Fans of the visual novel genre should be familiar with ef – the first tale and ef – the latter tale by minori. These two titles are already available in digital format from MangaGamer, but they have something special up their sleeve this winter with the recently announced Limited Edition of ef – the fairy tale of the two
As far as visual novels go, Ef: The First Tale is one of the best that I have played to date. There isn’t much in the way of choices but the story is engrossing and kept me hooked until the end. Ef is also one of the longer titles I have played in the genre but remains polished and charming throughout. For a feel-good story with likeable characters and some great dialogue you can do far worse than Ef.
Gameplay: A visual novel with very little choices but a touching story.
Graphics: Beautiful artwork and plenty of scenes.
Sound: Original Japanese voice acting and an amazing soundtrack
Clear Sky is definitely a love/hate game and the larger emphasis on all out action might even alienate fans of the first game. While I missed the lonely atmosphere that the first game had in droves this one still kept me hooked right to the end. It still has its fair share of annoyances but overall is a good game.
Gameplay: A lot more action oriented than the first game.
Graphics: Some very nice new effects bring the zone to life.
Sound: Good ambiance and decent voice overs
A while back we took a look at the low resolution horror adventure, The Last Door, from Spanish studio The Game Kitchen. The first four chapters of the game, which make up season one of the story, was released on Steam as a collector’s edition. Now The Game Kitchen has announced that the season two premier, titled “The Playwright” will be released on the 31st of October 2014
Despite the fact that you can play most of the chapters for free online I still recommend this collector’s edition of the game. The story is superb and the low resolution visuals are not as big a hindrance as you might think. The audio steals the show however with great sound effects and some outstanding tunes. Hopefully the wait until season two won’t be too long as the adventures of Jeremiah Devitt is still far from over.
Gameplay: Some nice puzzles, but nothing that is too obscure or frustrating.
Graphics: Very low res, but once your eyes adjust you will barely notice.
Sound: The audio really carries this game with bags of atmosphere from the great tunes and spooky sound effects
Cloudbuilt is one of those games that will cause you to rage quit quite a few times until you wrap your head around the mechanics. Traversing the levels takes a lot of skill and the game doesn’t hold your hand. Check-points are sparse and enemies are fierce so make sure you are up to the challenge before taking on this game. The beautiful art style and catchy soundtrack are highlights but the controls take time to master.
Gameplay: Very fast and very challenging.
Graphics: Beautiful cel-shaded visuals with a unique cross-hatch effect.
Sound: A great soundtrack that matches the frantic pace of the game
While most fans would have loved to see a PC port of Guilty Gear Xrd, the latest installment in the series, appear on PC instead of #Reload, it doesn’t mean that it should be dismissed. This game still has just as much to offer as it did ten years ago and fighting game fans that somehow missed out on it are in for a treat. There are a ton of modes that will keep you busy for ages and the huge cast of crazy characters offer something for every fighting style. Considering its age the game has held up extremely well and hopefully garners enough interest to prove that there is a market for more of these games on PC.
Gameplay: A huge character roster to select from and fast paced fights makes for an adrenaline pumping experience.
Graphics: The visuals might be old and 2D, but they still look very impressive and the game is not afraid to take things over the top.
Sound: Some of the character voices can become annoying after extended playing sessions, but the soundtrack is still great
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter offers the perfect blend of immersive storytelling, atmospheric music and jaw dropping visuals. The gameworld is not just beautiful, but also compelling to explore. I would have loved it if the world was a bit more interactive and the whole experience slightly longer, but overall the game delivers on all its promises. It is also best experienced without knowing exactly what you are getting yourself into, so don’t be tempted into ruining any surprise for yourself before playing.
Gameplay: The supernatural talents of the protagonist allows for some interesting, but not too taxing, puzzle solving.
Graphics: The use of photogrammetry technology means that the game looks phenomenally detailed.
Sound: The soundtrack is hauntingly beautiful although the voice acting has a few rough patches
There’s no denying that Kraven Manor can be completed rather quickly, but it packs a lot of scares into its short runtime. The story could probably have benefited from it being fleshed out a little bit more, but the creepy antagonist and sinister atmosphere of the manor itself makes for a memorable experience. The game doesn’t go overboard with the scares, but knows how to mess with you which makes for a startling experience, at least the first time through.
Graphics: Nice visuals and excellent use of light.
Sound: Great audio and creepy sound effects.
Gameplay. Creepy and absorbing, but a little too short for my liking
Cloud Chamber is more of an experience than a game in the traditional sense, but this doesn’t make it any less compelling. The story might be fictional, but includes plenty of references to real science which makes for fascinating viewing depending on how keen you are on the subject. Due to the massively multiplayer aspect of the game your experience will depend on the other players, but even if you opt not to take part in the discussions you can still enjoy the story on your own.
Gameplay: No gameplay in the traditional sense, but still plenty to see and discuss with other players.
Graphics: The videos are believable and the 3D landscapes quite impressive.
Sound: Good acting and a brilliant soundtrack help immerse you in the experience