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Daylight is a poorly-executed mess of a horror game. You have my permission to stop reading this review and judge it by my first sentence. If you do, then I will envy you for not wasting time playing this.

For those of you who still want to read why, alright: Daylight is a first-person horror game where you navigate a procedurally-generated dungeon-like map. You find a set of items, you find the key, get our of the area onto the next, then rinse and repeat. No real combat here, you are just haunted by shadow creatures called “witches” which gets defeated if you light up a flare.

A horror game’s typical strength is with its intricately-created set pieces that lead you to to memorable moments; which is a fancy word of saying lures to a trap. Remember the first time Nemesis showed up and chased you around in Resident Evil 3? Nothing of that sort happens here, really. The idea of having randomly-generated content completely tramples this formula and the whole game suffers because of it.

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You will always be holding your tablet up. #Ngawit

Cheap scares are brought to you in a non-thought of way. Sure, the first time it happens it’s a chilling moment but it shortly becomes laughable because of the repeatedly clumsy way it’s being delivered to you. The video below is me encountering an enemy for the first time. The surprised scream coming from me did not come back on subsequent encounters. Believe me. Please.

Internet celebrity/IGN personality/licker of handheld systems Jessica Chobot was the much-ballyhooed pen behind Daylight. She might also be the voice of the protagonist but I didn’t bother to look it up. The voice acting is entirely made up of gasps and exclamation of dread that is so random and repetitive, it becomes hilarious really quick. The narrative is a fairly run-off-the-mill horror asylum/Cthulu mythos tale. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but seeing pentagrams, human sacrifice, and the devil never looked so bland. Seriously, it’s like the developers ran through a checklist of tropes and environments from every horror videogame, ever and just went with it.

On the technical side of things, the game is also a mess. It’s the first game I’ve ever played on the PlayStation 4 that dips below 30 frames per second. Unbelievably, it does this all the time! There are instances where the game will stutter and freeze for a few seconds. Completely unforgiveable, given that the visuals themselves are less-than-impressive.

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Hey. it’s an abandoned asylum! So original.

You can finish the game in less than two hours. The developers claim it is meant for multiple playthroughs because of the procedurally-generated levels. No thanks.

In my opinion, Daylight has nothing to offer to my gaming tastes. My limited gaming time is better spent on something else. A poorly-crafted tale behind a poorly-crafted gameplay system makes Daylight easy to put down and ignore.

Redemption:

  • It’s not a retail priced game (though $15 is still not cheap enough for this)
  • The buttons work and there is video and sound.

The Human Sacrifice:

  • Random generated levels =  stupid idea for a game like this.
  • Repetitive and bland gameplay progression
  • Technical issues galore.

Factor that can swing either way:

  • You might die tomorrow.

Daylight

Developer: Zombie Studios

Publisher: Atlus

Available for: PlayStation 4, PC

Reviewed: PS4 version

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages. We here at 30lives.net is proud to present our new review series, Retro Reviews. Sometimes we all have that itching to play something from the past, something close to our hearts and we are not that different. All of us, right here in 30lives.net, will never let go of our childhood as they were precious to us and to our readers. We start our series with an old indie game: Frank’s Advanture 2.

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Franks Adventure 2 was released by the now defunct?/retired developer Wiesi-Mausland (Now called Wiesi) back in November 2003. This was a follow-up to the hugely popular Frank’s Adventure released earlier in October. Frank’s adventure 2 vastly improves everything that was great about the first game, while also removing the few negative things that hurt the original. It can be classified as a sandbox adventure game with item-trading as one of its biggest points.

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It’s frank.

 

You play as Frank, just a regular guy who seems to have a talent for entrepreneurship, meeting people and a taste for adventure. Immediately the character relates to the player due to his desire for adventure and fun and love. After the saving the publishing company that he works for in the previous game, his boss asked trusted him to help their main branch in the city to help their financial situation. Frank, being the professional and great businessman that he is, bought a plane to the city to save the publishing company that he loves so much.

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we should be like Frank and be a professional

 

Immediately after taking control of Frank, you’ll see the difference in graphics from the original. Sharper and clearer outlines and colors, tall buildings and busy streets. The game map is nearly 1.5x the size of the original, and there are more dangers in the city than the countryside in the first game. Crossing the street feels just as dangerous due to the many cars, and other surprises that you encounter during the game that truly challenges anybody who wants to complete the game. Character models are also improved massively with the semi-celshading (remember this was 2003) that produces more realistic looking characters during the time of course.

The catchy music that plays while you move around the city is relazing in contrast to the busy streets. However, because of the limitations of the time and the developer’s own indie cred, no voiceovers were given for the great dialogue in the game. They won’t lose points for this because it also shows how focused Frank must be to block out all the distractions in the city just to finish his goal.

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Characters with great unique personalities and backstories. This was ahead of it’s time.

 

Controls are insanely simple and you can pretty much play this game one-handed, a great feature at the time compared to other games released at the time. This is actually the best and greatest thing about this game. More games need to be playable one handed especially in our more busy lives.

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Cameos from some popular characters are here

 

 

Franks adventure 2  was released free as well, and still accessible in the internet. This truly is, one of the greatest indie games released in history and was very influential for many games that we enjoy today.

You can play Frank’s Adventure 2 online at Newgrounds. http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/134777

Okay guys, this is what I’ll be doing the week of March 25th: Make sure my calendar is clear from any social events (lol who am I kidding, of course it is), have a backup internet connection (just in case) and stock up on tons of Cheetos and caffeine because there will be no sleeping. At all.

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Yes Sir Bad Ass sir

I have played the beta to Diablo 3‘s latest expansion Reaper of Souls on and off for the past few weeks. I just finished the campaign last night (would’ve finished it earlier if my internet connection wasn’t wonky – yes PLDT, I’m looking at you), with a solid eight hours game play on Act V and the all-new Adventure mode. I really had a great time playing and if you’re looking at a recommendation whether to buy it day one, you can stop reading now and have my big fat YES. YES most especially if you’re starting to play Diablo 3 only now because you’re getting to the best version yet.

I am dying to talk to people about the new expansion’s story but I won’t be an asshole and spoil it all for you. Let me say one thing though, it is BAD ASS.

Here’s a rundown on what’s new on Reaper of Souls!

  • Screenshot077The Crusader is definitely the most fun to play with, and this is coming from a person who has played all the available job classes in the core game, so you can trust me on this. The crusader is so damn versatile you can pretty much do everything you want – be the tank, be the main damage dealer, do long-range attacks, dish out AOE damage, whatever you need him to do, he can do. Best of all, the crusader can carry a 2H weapon on one hand so he can still carry a shield with him. I can see some barbarian players going green at this awesome passive skill. The hammer skill (Justice) and splash damage skill (Fist of the Heavens) also mimics the witch doctor’s play style while being tough as nails. While the barb and WDs will not be deemed obsolete, the crusader can pretty much give these guys a run for their money.
  • Screenshot060The Mystic is an all new NPC who has joined you in your journey in Westmarch (where Act V mostly takes place). The mystic has interesting services such as transmogrify and enchant. Transmogrifying items is a novel idea; you can change the look of your equipment so if you have a favorite look, you can keep it even if the item you’re wearing is of a different style. Also, have you ever picked up a legendary item but found out that the stat bonuses it gives are pretty much worthless for your class? You can now re-roll the stats for any item that you have in exchange for crafting items and a bit of gold so hold on to your trash legendaries and give the enchant service a try.
  • Crafting materials are now dropped by monsters. Yep, you don’t have to keep salvaging the blues, yellows and oranges that you get to produce crafting items. Most monsters now drop these things so you can be a pack rat and keep all the legendaries that you nab. There are even legendary crafting materials now. Nifty.
  • Special legendary items now drop from bosses. After fighting some of the bosses in Sanctuary, they curiously dropped legendary items specific for my class to use. Some of these legendary items also had special skills that activate during use. One of the items that I got is called Pox Faulds which stinks up from time to time like Ghom’s poison fart attack. I’ve tried standing near a mob and waited for this ability to kick in and it was mad, juvenile fun. Also, dropping special legendaries is a really good idea too as you can get to farm more items when you keep replaying boss fights, and what’s great is that…
  • 80-90% of the loot that you get is for the class you are playing! Blizzard has introduced Loot 2.0 which makes most of the stuff that you pick up during your runs usable for the current class that you are playing. This makes the hunt more fun as you’re guaranteed to get items that is for the main class you’re trying to gear. I guess this is also because…

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    Transmogrify – pimping your style
  • They are shutting down the auction house. I have mixed feelings about the auction house to be honest. I don’t hate it because I’m able to easily get items that I need from other players that don’t need them, but at the same time I hate it because Blizzard has probably tweaked the drop rate of items to be really crappy for the auction house to be more useful. In the end, the game’s fun factor has dropped since most of the time you’re not able to get the stuff that you need. Which brings me to another point…
  • The legendary items are now account bound. You can say goodbye to trading legendaries with friends. All legendary items are now account bound even when they are still unidentified. I guess you better get back the oranges you’ve lent to friends or you might not get them back when March 25th rolls in.
  • The side quests for the other characters round up their story nicely. You can get into special quests for Kormac the templar, Eirena the enchantress, Lyndon the scoundrel as well as service NPCs like Haedrig Eamon and Covetous Shen and find out more about them. What happened to Eirena’s sisters? Is Covetous Shen really a god?
  • Screenshot075The difficulty levels have changed. You can start up to the third hardest level (Expert) right off the bat so you do not need to replay it two more times (from normal and nightmare) to get to the hardest difficulty. Nightmare has now been changed to Expert and two more difficulty levels called Master and Torment is added to the game. You can only get to these levels by reaching 60 and 70.
  • And yes, the level cap is raised to 70 as I have mentioned, which means extra passive and active skills for everyone!
  • Paragon levels do not have cap anymore and the experience points are shared within all of your characters. With leveling up your paragon, you can now assign your characters extra stats (instead of it auto-assigning) so it gives you now an option to really build your character. I still don’t know whether I like this or not since I don’t really like thinking of builds (more of gearing characters), but we’ll see.
  • You can now form clans in Reaper of Souls. This is great for gaming communities and groups so you can easily see friends’ progress and stuff. I haven’t really tried this feature yet since I’m the only one who has access to the beta from the group and I’m a snob when playing with people I don’t know (huehue) but maybe I’ll try it out sometime.
  • Screenshot070The adventure mode adds an extra layer to the game. If you’re up for random challenges, you can give the adventure mode a whirl and complete missions in different dungeons. Completing these bite-sized (well, okay some are not so bite-sized) adventures will reward you with special gold that you can use to buy random equipment from the NPCs. Finishing all adventures in an act also rewards you with a Horadric Cache. Getting a bunch will let you build a treasure chest that has sweet items, I assume. I have to get back to you on this once I actually get to build and open one.
  • Cursed chests and fountains can be found in different parts of the map. To open these chests, there will be certain conditions like beating a number of enemies guarding the chest, clear an area and so on.
  • Aside from dropping health globes, monsters also drop a white globe called Nephalem Glory. This gives bonuses much like getting Nephalem Valor and fountains and lasts for about two minutes. You can extend the time of the bonuses by picking up health globes so WDs will have a field day on this for sure.
  • Possibly one of the best tweaks to the game, you can now revive from corpse. YAY!
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Let’s go on a Shenventure

Sadly, some parts of Act V is still incomplete and only have placeholders for texts and NPCs and have a bunch of bugs yet to be zapped. I find myself sometimes fighting bosses that get stuck and skills that do not have an actual description yet. This is of course purely understandable and acceptable – even in beta, the level of polish for the latest act is very impressive. The city of Westmarch is very dark which brings me back to the ultra-gothic feel of Diablo 2 and the new tracks they used are hair-raisingly good. Also, the beta stops just as when you’re about to fight the last (?) boss in the act so it really left me hanging so bad that I wish we can fast-forward to March 25th now. Please.

Again, if you’re just jumping to Diablo 3, this is the perfect time for you to do so. A lot of things in the core game have been tweaked in Reaper of Souls which makes the game more challenging with the new difficulty levels, more exciting with the crusader class, and the new additional features makes a more satisfying game experience for the dungeon crawlers and looters like me.

Asiasoft is the exclusive distribution partner of Blizzard in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls will be available in the Philippines on March 25, 2014 at the following suggested retail prices of P1,800 for the standard edition and P3,500 for the collector’s edition which contains the following:

  • A full complement of Diablo III helms and weapons, primed for transmogrification
  • A Ghost Wolf minion players can summon
  • Three additional character slots to accomodate new heroes
  • A World of Warcraft in-game companion pet: the Treasure Goblin
  • A set of StarCraft II Crusader themed Battle.net portraits and Malthael-themed decals
  • A full-color hardcover art book
  • A behind-the-scenes Blu-ray/DVD two-disc set
  • A limited edition Reaper of Souls mouse pad

See you in Westmarch! The crusade goes on!

Spelunky

Developer: Mossmouth, Bill Software

Publisher: Mossmouth

Available for: PS3 (Aug 2013), PS Vita (Aug 2013), Xbox 360 (2012), PC (2009), Steam (2013)

Reviewed: PS3 and PS Vita version

Spelunky is a game that takes you deep into a deep magical cave filled with treasure and wonders. But don’t let that fairytale premise get to you. If you underestimate this gem of a game from developer Mossmouth, this tough and sometimes controller-hurling platformer will bury you alive.

Randomly generated levels are the backbone mechanic of Spelunky. The genius of it is even though they are all random, every component of the levels seem to work together like clockwork. Unfortunately, they are all working together towards the goal of killing you. They will achieve that goal many times. True story: I died 90 times before I even got a glimpse of the next main area.

Dying in the game can’t be more hardcore. Finger twitched on the jump button while traversing some spikes because of that sneaky spider? It’s all over. When you bite the dust, you start from the beginning of the game (unless you unlock a shortcut), all the money you’ve been saving up for items, including the items you already have, go poof! All gone.

The game will not reward you with tangible power-ups or anything of the like. You use the knowledge you gained to help you on your next foray into the caverns. The aforementioned spikes for example, you will soon learn that walking through them is harmless and will take care that your finger does not stray to the jump button or it’s gonna be spelunker-kebab time. It’s essentially learning from your mistakes and observing how things work so your next try will be more successful but you can’t just memorize everything because of the levels are all random. Genius.

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Rescuing a damsel in distress gives you one more life point for the next level.

You always start with four bombs and four ropes. These help you traverse the levels to suit your needs. Bombs are useful to blast a path to a goal — be it an item/treasure or the exit to the level. The rope enables you to get to hard to reach places or avoid falling to your death. Other items or more of your basic items can be found from crates and pots but the more unique items, like gripping gloves that enables you to climb walls, are sold via a shopkeeper who appears randomly within the levels. There are also other trinkets like stones and bones that you can use in a number of ways like triggering a trap or throwing to kill an enemy when your trusty whip can’t do the job (square button).

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The game’s main trapping is the Adventure mode. This can be played single-player or multiplayer co-op. The PS Vita shines with multiplayer because each player have their own screen and can go wherever they want in the level as opposed to having to stay on the same screen when played on a TV or monitor using multiple controllers. I haven’t tried multiplayer yet so I can’t say anything about it in this review.

Purchasing Spelunky on PSN entitles you to both the PS3 and PS Vita versions (Cross-Buy). The two versions are compatible to play together for multiplayer. I forgot to mention that the multiplayer modes in Spelunky are local only. No online for a game like this is a missed opportunity in my opinion but being able to play this on the go on my PS Vita is a really good trade-off for lack of online.

Spelunky has been available for the PC and from the Xbox Live Marketplace for quite some time now but the PSN version, specifically the PS Vita one is the version to get if you have the system. With how the game plays, you would want to play as much of it as possible to get good at it. And believe me, getting good at it feels awesome.

The Good Stuff:

Challenging gameplay — Game will keep you on your toes all the time. Dying is a learning experience.

Awesome risk-reward system — Trying things out and learning how to tackle various situations is very satisfying. You start every do-over with more knowledge to go further.

Randomly generated levels keeps the game fresh everytime — You can’t just memorize the game so you will have to rely on your experience and skill.

Playing it on anywhere on the PS Vita — Spelunky anywhere. Hellz Yeah.

Cross-Buy and Cross-Play — Buying Spelunky on PSN gets you both PS3 and Vita versions and they can play together. Aww…

The Bad Smelly Pit:

No Online Multiplayer — This is a missed opportunity. You would think being a game that has been out for years now (original PC version was released 2009) and has co-op, they would’ve added online for the 2013 versions. But nooooooooo.

No Big Bosses — I’m not sure if this game needs them, but I love fighting big bosses. So yeah. lol

Things That Could Swing Either Way:

High Difficulty — I love challenging games but believe it or not there are people who don’t! OH MY!

In Closing:

Spelunky‘s challenging gameplay is geared towards the classic core gamer. Try it out if you think you are up to the challenge. Countless hours of fun (and dying) awaits you.

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Dive Kick is a fighting game that literally uses only two (2) buttons to play. The D-pad is of no use in this game so there aren’t any complex input patterns or chain combos you have to memorize in order to pick up this game. As a matter of fact, one or two games in, you’ll automatically “get” this game. Despite the simplicity of the game’s control, Dive Kick is able to draw in fighting game newbies and veterans alike with a surprising amount of depth. I also have to point out that I’m a very casual player of fighting games.

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Timing is the name of the game:

With the game in a perpetual state of sudden death, one hit is all you need to win a round in Dive Kick. Each of the thirteen (13) characters in the game’s roster play differently even if your input device is limited to only two (2) buttons. The variation in play style of each character lies in how high they can “dive” (jump), the angle of their kick, the velocity of said kick, and then there are some x-factors which are special moves activated by pressing the two buttons at the same time and the kick meter powers (super moves). You goal is simply to trick your opponent into a position where they are unable to avoid your dive kick (you can’t block in this game). As I said, anybody can pick up on this game without having to go through rigorous move-list memorizing and single player training on combos and learning the proper timing of special moves. You can play this game with anyone, even people who have no aptitude or interest in playing games in general.

One shot is all you need to win
One shot is all you need to win

Talking Trash:

Even if tensions would run high, I believe trash talking plays an important role in fighting games because its one of the best tools to psyce people out (just don’t get too personal). Dive Kick goes out of its way to highlight people when they are sucking real bad with the fraud and choke detection system. These “systems” basically just add insult to injury when a player fails to win a single round or lose the game to  a five to zero comeback all in good fun. Also, for the first time ever (I think), head shots matter in a fighting game! Kicking someone in the head will not only give you a rush with a “headshot” victory banner, you will also render your opponent dizzy for the next round making their dive kicks less effective for a fixed period of time on top of cancelling out their kick meter (super move bar). There is even a gem you can equip before a match called the YOLO gem (self explanatory) and nothing is more humiliating than getting your ass kicked by someone with that gem.

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Stretching Out The Game:

There are thirteen (13) characters with funny background stories which will compel you to finish story mode just to see what hilarity ensues at the ending for each character. Outside that, there is online multiplayer for casual games and ranked games. You’ll need to go online and fight ranked matches to acquire all trophies which will take quite some time because the feats you have to pull off aren’t exactly easy (if you don’t cheat and farm them with a friend). Other than that, it would really depend on your group of friends or if the game is actually going to show up in your local tournament. Dive Kick is actually an EVO approved game.

Good Points:

There is enough depth and fun to go around for everyone in this game for fighting game veterans and people who couldn’t care less about the genre.

It’s a great game to break out anywhere (you can play versus mode with two human players on one PS Vita) it’s a great game to kill time with.

Dive Kick doesn’t take itself seriously despite the raves of people on how deep the game is. The creators of the game still treat Dive Kick as a parody game and with that, there is a lot of good laughs to go around from the character back stories to Uncle Sensei’s pre-match tips.

Bad Points:

The simplistic controls will eventually bare down on you despite of the depth of the game. It will be hard to play this game for extended periods of time.

Things Which Can Go Either Way: 

The intentional comedic character design, dialogue, and character voices may not appeal to everyone or may not get the jokes because there are a lot of references to fighting games and culture. I don’t get most of them.

The art style and character design will not appeal to everyone.

Dive Kick will probably piss hardcore fighting game veterans when they lose to a clueless newbie (which is entirely possible).

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My new favorite character after SiMo, the coffee-making sniper droid.

Last week marked the release of the first DLC for Sanctum 2, a hybrid FPSxTower Defense game by Coffee Stain Studio. This DLC introduces the ballista-touting-rogue-insurgent-shorty-of-a-rebel named Tsygan and controlling her is a blast!  Her main weapon (Ballista) can deal the most amount of damage among all weapons when fully charged or deal damage over time (DOT) with pulsing bolts which release shock waves damaging all creep around the target it impales. That ain’t even the kicker, the final round in Tsygan’s weapon deals MASSIVE amounts of damage. We’re looking at a hit modifier of at least 200%. I don’t have a definite number because I don’t really bother to do math while killing things. This last shot modifier apparently also affects the DOT of her Ballista’s secondary fire (DOT pulse bolts) and the SMG’s poison darts so Tsygan is pretty much THE badass DPS machine right now. Hitting weak spots takes some adjustment because the Ballista fires at an arc so you need to adjust your aim depending on the distance of the target to some extent; nothing a little muscle memory can’t solve. The new secondary weapon, Gatling Laser, is also pretty bad-ass. It has high rate-of-fire, long range, and even deals damage over time on everything it hits. The secondary fire (right mouse button) of the Gatling Laser charges up the weapon and deals are-of-effect (AOE) damage around your character. It can be used as crowd control or concentrated fire on a single target making it my new favorite secondary weapon as well, with the SMG in a close second.

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The the number of “+” signs? That’s the number of times mutators evolved the blasted creep.

The new creep introduced in this DLC can be a real pain, especially when you are trying to complete the five (5) feats of strength or when you neglect their presence in the battlefield. Mutators are the worst. They basically shoot gunk at other creep to increase their health and if left alone will eventually evolve normal creep to epic boss levels. Healers aren’t that bad because they expose themselves in the air unlike the mutators who stay in the rear which makes them difficult to kill but likewise can be a big threat if you don’t kill them off immediately.

The four (4) new maps bring all sorts of new challenges with its layout but mostly because of the Mutators and Healers thrown into the mix. They are also a massive pain when you attempt to finish them with the five (5) feats of strength (each feat basically makes the game harder). I haven’t gotten around finishing the feats of strength with the original content but I have made some attempts on finishing the new maps with the feats only to repeatedly fail so hard at them even with Tsygan’s bad-ass DPS abilities. 

Surprisingly, I haven’t unlocked any of the new perks but I was able to finish all four (4) new maps. It looks like I’ll have to start grinding or playing old maps with feats of strength on to take my level to 20 and beyond (I’m currently level 19) in order to try out the companion bot (pet). I also haven’t gotten around using the new towers namely the Range Spire (increase surrounding tower’s attack range) and Slow Field Dispenser (allows your character to take portable mines to slow down creep on the fly)I’m not really a fan of support towers since I just simply go all DPS with some Kairos (tower which slows creep) to create choke points. It seems like I’ll have to explore more tower placement tactics if I want to accomplish all maps with the feats of strength on though. However, if you just want to finish the game without challenging yourself too much, you need not bother with the new perks of towers.

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Good Points:

  • The new weapons bring in more fun factor with higher damage output.
  • Maps are still well designed and very challenging when attempting to finish with the five (5) feats of strength on.
  • The new creep bring in a new set of challenges.

Bad Points:

  • You can’t acquire all the new feats and towers without grinding which is rather pointless.

Things that can swing either way:

  • I suppose if you hate getting your ass kicked, you will not like Sanctum 2 or any of its DLC.

Sanctum 2 is available on Steam and Xbox 360 for $14.99 and the first DLC: Road to Elysion can be purchased for $3.99. You can also get a season pass for all four (4) planned DLC for $11.99.