Sunday, April 15, 2012

Babo Invasion and Sol Survivor

What the hell is a Babo?

Well, whatever they are, there's some sort of invasion going on or something. I don't know. But this is a third-person shooter and I'm playing as this giant eyeball who rolls around the level shooting things. Apparently in this game you play as round...thingies (Madballs, I guess?) and you roll around shooting things.

It's not bad. I like it. Good action. The different characters each have their own special abilities and there's different kinds of enemies and the levels have secrets scattered around for you to find and there's all these different guns...seems nice. I'm enjoying it. Weird, cute aesthetic.

There's all these cool multiplayer modes too. Shall we try one out?

Oh, there's literally nobody in the multiplayer lobby? Okay, well, never mind then. That's a looked like a lot of fun.

Well anyway, I like this game. I give it a thumbs-up. Good value!

So how about Sol Survivor?

It's a tower defense game. And I opened the first level and it felt like I was playing...every other tower defense game I've ever played. Yeah, there's not a whole lot of variation in the genre, really.

Well, starting with the campaign...

This is "normal" difficulty. And it's way too easy. The creeps can't even get past the first bend before they've been turned into swiss cheese. I'm going to have to ratchet it up to hard.

Here's the next level, on "hard" difficulty. This time the creeps made it almost past the second bend, but still less than halfway across the track. And I'm not even calling in orbital support. This is too easy. It's boring. Let's try "insane".

This is more like it! Just barely lost at the final wave. Okay, so all I have to do is take the hardest difficulty level right off the bat.

So I guess the big question is, what makes Sol Survivor different from every other tower defense game out there? With Defense Grid: The Awakening, it was strong fundamentals: high-quality gameplay, graphics, and sound, with a decent story and strong voice-acting. With this game, we've got a few things.

First, orbital support. You get an energy meter that lets you call in airstrikes. There's an orbital laser, gas bombs, napalm, artillery strikes, and some others I haven't unlocked. It's a nifty mechanic that makes the player more active than in competing tower defense games.

Second, character selection. You get to choose a commander, and depending on who you pick, you'll have access to a different set of turrets and orbital strikes. That's kinda nifty. Not something I get to explore in the first hour of the game, since these guys are, like, unlockable, but it's a feature that I like. It adds some depth and lets you pick different characters depending on your playstyle. A nice touch.

Third, multiplayer. You can play locally or online, with a variety of game modes. Let's try it out!


Other than those things, it's pretty standard, and from what I've seen of it so far, it looks well-executed. So if you like tower defense games, you should enjoy it.

Well anyway, it seems like I need more than just an hour to get full value out of this game, but my first impression is positive. It looks like a decent take on the formula. For the best value, I think you want to play this with a friend, because the multiplayer looks like more fun than the solo campaign. Same goes for Babo: Invasion too, really.

So yeah, these two games seem nice.
  • Alien Zombie Megadeath
  • Astro Tripper
  • The Baconing
  • Beat Hazard
  • Defense Grid: The Awakening
  • Explodemon
  • FlatOut
  • Future Wars
  • Gear Grinder
  • Greed: Black Border
  • Grotesque Tactics: Evil Heroes
  • Hack, Slash, Loot
  • Madballs in...Babo: Invasion
  • Plain Sight
  • Sol Survivor
  • Trapped Dead
  • Twin Sector
 9/17 complete. And that's also all but one of the games in the Be Mine 2 bundle (only Plain Sight is left), and thumbs-up on all of them so far, so I am feeling very happy with the value there.

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