Tag Archive: sidescroller

Mega Man Maker – IceMan’s Return by Mr X (161588)

Mega Man Maker recently received its first major content patch, adding in new bosses, enemies, abilities, and a general upgrade to just about everything. Even the name has been upgraded from the original Mega Maker! So, I thought now would be a great time to take a look at the levels people are making with all this cool new stuff.

IceMan’s Return makes use of many new tools, but it’s also just a good level all-around. You’re going to have a bad time if you try to make it through this level with just the buster. slippery ice, disappearing yoku blocks, spikes, and plenty of enemies placed in just the right locations to snipe you while you’re trying to reach a new platform all come together in what might initially seem like disastrous level design. Thankfully, IceMan’s Return provides players with a set of four new weapons perfectly designed for overcoming its many hazards.

Aside from the Mega Buster, your arsenal consists of Time Slow, Ice Slasher, Hyper Bomb, and Ring Boomerang. Ring Boomerang is the least important of the lot, though it’s still good for collecting items from flying enemies and those placed on the other side of walls. On the other hand, Time Slow is crucial for dodging enemy projectiles and helps a whole lot with the disappearing blocks, especially the ones near spikes.

Ice Slasher certainly fits the cold theme of this level and its freezing powers come in handy against some of the tougher robots this level throws at you At one point you need to use Ice Slasher to freeze a row of flames to create a bridge, which is a neat gimmick I wish the level played with a bit more, though the lack of any way to gain weapon energy or backtrack in this room is a minor issue.

As for the Hyper Bombs, their high damage and vertical range can come in handy on occasion within the level, but they really shine in the boss fight against Ice Man himself. Ice Man is immune to the Mega Buster, though he takes damage from everything else and you get plenty of weapon energy refills in the corridor leading up to his room. Hyper Bombs are Ice Man’s weakness and, on top of the extra damage, their vertical explosion serves as a counter to his movement pattern.

Overall, this level is really polished. Time Man’s theme matches the icy aesthetic surprisingly well and the ice blocks themselves are broken up with more metallic ones on occasion to prevent the level from looking monotonous. Every enemy feels like it has been placed with care in just the right spot to make the most out of its attack pattern, yet careful weapon usage allows players to overcome any obstacle. Disappearing blocks are likewise common, but always in small groups so players are faced with a variety of small challenges from them rather than a single, frustrating chain. As to length, this level is slightly longer than average, but it maintains consistent mechanical themes while changing things up with plenty of both horizontal and vertical platforming and the checkpoint placement is excellent.

IceMan’s Return is truly a fantastic level to return to after such a big update.

Cuphead

Cuphead


Official Site || Steam Page

Cuphead was one of the most highly anticipated indie games of 2017 and, while I always enjoy stumbling upon great overlooked games, it’s rather refreshing to see a game with so much hype behind it actually (mostly) live up to that hype. Both visually and audibly Cuphead is an aesthetic masterpiece and this is something that was obvious from the first, painfully brief E3 trailer, but there is a breathtaking world of difference between seeing a few disconnected trailers and brief gameplay demos versus playing it for yourself as one cohesive whole. Even more importantly, it plays extremely well.
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Unblade

Unblade


Freem Page || Vector Page || Developer’s Site

Unblade is an over-the-top action platformer starring a frog wielding an umbrella blade and it’s as amazing as it sounds. Your rather unconventional weapon with its various quirks is the main draw, though varied, well-crafted levels, secret collectibles, and awesome action sequences all definitely contribute to making Unblade worth playing.
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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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Wells Title Screen

First Impression: Wells


Official Site || Steam Page

NOTE: The Wells segment in the above video begins at 1:15:45!

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, which can range from 0 to 5.

Wells is a good idea executed poorly. A sidescrolling action platformer inspired by 90’s run-and-gun games with a steampunk setting and an outlaw protagonist certainly sounds good on paper. You even get a bunch of different guns to play around with, allowing you to adapt to any situation. However, none of this holds up in the face of awful combat, bland level design, and an almost complete lack of plot and characterization.
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