Tag Archive: first impression

Revamping First Impression Articles!

First Impression articles were meant to go hand-in-hand with Grab Bag streams. The idea was to play a bunch of games for a few minutes each and then write about them.

This felt like a good way to share my thoughts on games which I might not get around to finishing and/or which weren’t up to the standard I expect of games which I write full articles about. While this technically worked, these First Impression articles often ended up being just as long as the standard, featured articles and it quickly became very difficult to write about every game from every Grab Bag stream.

So, the streams are remaining the same, but the articles are getting revamped! Here are the three main ways these articles are changing for the better:

1) Every game in a Grab Bag stream will be written about within the same article. This ties the games more closely to the stream itself and ensures that they all get written about in a timely manner.

2) There will be a lot less writing for each game. I’m not setting a word limit, but there will be a limit of two three paragraphs per game. The idea is to give a quick, general impression of the game which complements the video while also serving as an alternative for those who can’t or don’t want to watch the stream recording itself. While I love to analyze games, lengthy First Impression articles ended up taking more time to read than just watching the video and much of the content would have been painfully redundant for any games I went on to write featured articles about.

3) Scores are gone and replaced with rankings. Giving scores to games in First Impression articles always felt a bit strange, but I thought they were necessary due to the wildly varying qualities while writing about games individually. Rankings solve this problem by killing two birds with one stone. They serve as a way of further tying the games to each other and to the video and they also make for a nice alternative to a more absolute scoring system.

In short, these changes primarily serve as a way of trying all the games from a Grab Bag more closely together. Ditching scores and tightening up the writing to give snappier, more general impressions of each game are added bonuses.

Considering all these changes, names for future articles will also be changing from First Impression articles to Indie Game Grab Bag articles to glue them to the video content as firmly as possible. Gaming Grab Bag is a catchier title, but I’ve opted for Indie Game Grab Bag in favor of a little more clarity.

Last of all, the most recent Indie Game Grab Bag stream was last night, so the very first of these revamped articles will be ready within the next few hours!

Atomic 79

First Impression: Atomic 79


Steam Page

This First Impression article is based upon about the first hour of gameplay and may not necessarily be indicative of the game as a whole. This includes the score at the end.

With a name referencing the atomic number for gold, you might think that Atomic 79 is about mining, and you wouldn’t be wrong, but it’s more about shooting a whole lot of voxel skeletons. Aside from the initial hub, the entire game takes place inside a single, dark room where you must survive against the relentless hordes of spooky skeletons for as long as possible while collecting as much gold as you can. Even though Devil Daggers immediately comes to mind, Atomic 79 is far more upbeat, infinitely more charming, and feels pretty different overall beyond belonging to the same odd ‘arena survival FPS’ subgenre.
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First Impression: Shattered God

First Impression: Shattered God – Quest for the Divine Relic


Steam Page

This First Impression article is based entirely upon my experience with the game up to shortly after the end of the second dungeon, which you can see in the above video, as well an an initial playthrough of the demo, which ends at the title card drop after the first dungeon. This article is not necessarily indicative of the game as a whole. This includes the score at the end.

Full Disclosure: I received a free key for this game from the developer, which I accepted after trying out the demo. This has in no way influenced my opinion on the game, the contents of this article, nor the content of the above video.

Shattered God is an action RPG where the focus is heavily placed upon its rather unique combat system, though the rest of the game feels competently made as well. Outside of combat, the game mostly plays like a standard RPG where you bounce between dungeon delving and talking to NPC’s in towns, though it’s not made in RPG Maker so it does benefit from the addition of a few mechanics which are difficult to replicate in that engine and it has a distinctive appearance. The combat system is the heart of this game though and it is a wonderfully frantic, surprisingly difficult, blend of timing and multitasking.
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Ninja Smasher Title

First Impression: Ninja Smasher!


Steam Page

NOTE: The Ninja Smasher! segment in the above video begins at 1:03:27!

First Impression articles are based entirely upon the first roughly 30 minutes of gameplay and may not necessarily be indicative of the game as a whole. This includes the score at the end.

Even though simplicity is often a good thing, Ninja Smasher! feels a bit too simplistic for its own good. An otherwise satisfying combat system quickly wears thin in the face of bland level design and painfully low difficulty.
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Mastema Bones

First Impression: Mastema: Out of Hell


Steam Page

First Impression articles are based entirely upon the first roughly 30 minutes of gameplay and may not necessarily be indicative of the game as a whole. This includes the score at the end.

Mastema: Out of Hell has some rough edges. Okay, it has a lot of rough edges. Those edges may even include baffling decisions like mapping your normal attack to the B button on a controller. Despite everything, and much to my own surprise, I enjoyed my time with this game.
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