Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime: Cooperative Chaos

lovers

Recently my boyfriend and I started playing Lovers in a Danger Spacetime!

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect— the game is fairly new and I hadn’t heard about it. But if you’ve got someone to play with, let me tell you: it’s loads of fun!!

What is Lovers? It’s a space shooter made by Toronto-based game developers Asteroid Base. It really tests how you manage your resources in a team. I’ve never played by myself, but that option is available. You’ll get to choose a pet companion who will help you man your spaceship. When playing the local coop version (which is what I did) you and your partner get to pick your own characters and then the adventure begins!

story lovers in a dangerous space-time

The story is simple and…cute? It’s set in a galaxy where love has always helped the ecosystem prosper. That is until Anti-Love started to take over and spoil everything. You and your partner must navigate through the galaxy, rescuing space-bunnies (who can help you unlock portals to progress to the next level) and restoring love. And of course, communication in your relationship is key.

lovers in a dangerous spacetime ursa major boss battle

The entire game is a lot of multitasking and cooperating, and most of the time, you have little time to react to what’s going on around you. For example, at one point when you rescue bunnies, you’re greeted with a bomb. First instinct would be to just set it off and then leave, like with the other bombs in the game. Or you’d think to get your shield up so you can safely deflect it. Turns out that the bomb explodes outwards, creating a radius of green matter that will persistently damage your ship’s health. All you can do is manoeuvre out of that space ASAP!

Personalization is a big part of the game, in which you can collect various gems and upgrades that can be added to your ship’s guns/cannons/shield or engine. These are limited, and you must decide on whether you want to add the metal upgrade to your shield (making it bigger and does damage to enemies crashing into it), or on a gun, making it a giant flailing mace. You most likely will start learning which upgrades you prefer to have on which part of the ship. But after you finish a world (a section of the game), your ship gets refreshed and you start anew!

yamato cannon lovers in a dangerous space-time

If you and a buddy’s looking to work on your team working skills, or just have some extra time to burn exploring beautifully created 2D environments, get Lovers. And also set off the Yamato cannon as often as possible. It’s beautiful.

Alice: Madness Returns— Dementedly awesome

Hey all,

Caught in between classes and the many papers, projects and presentations that has lined my agenda. However, that makes this game I recently got perfect in terms of how I’m slowly going insane.

Alice: Madness Returns is the sequel to American McGee’s Alice. The premise of the story revolves around Alice having witnessed her family being killed in a  tragic fire. Having to face what she saw, and being the sole survivor, she is filled with the horrors that haunt her every day. In response, she escapes to a place she calls Wonderland, leading others in the real world to believe her mad. This game begins in 1875 and Alice is now 19. She has been released from the mental asylum, and is placed in an orphanage in Victorian London where Doctor Bumby watches over her. She’s getting better, but at the beginning of the game, she is sent to run an errand that accidentally leads her into Wonderland again, causing her to spiral down into her madness once again.

Now if you’re used to Disney’s version of Alice in Wonderland, you’ll be pleasantly (maybe) surprised. The beginning of the game is absolutely stunning.

alice

The first screen cap I took in game. Couldn’t help myself— it was ridiculously beautiful.

This is not at all to say that the rest of the game is not stunning. I have to say that one of the main things that sold this game for me was how nice the graphics were. You’re moved from the natural beauty that is Wonderland before it starts to crumble in Alice’s mind, to a Steampunk-esque version of the Mad Hatter’s place. There is more (I’m only through the first chapter of the game…actually I’m stuck there, but I’ll explain why a little later on) as the game progresses, and people have hinted to me that it gets more disturbing.

crying alice

Oh look. It’s a statue of me crying.

Screencap borrowed from (x) since I have not yet gotten here yet.

What stood out to me was that at the very beginning of the game you already feel a sense of unease. There are no jump scares in this game (at least not yet for me), but as you wander through the orphanage, you can’t help but be a bit nervous for what to expect at every turn that you make. Psychological horror is awesome.

Now on to what I did not like about this game: it’s buggy. I am currently stuck in the last part of the first chapter because I cannot get my freaking umbrella open to act as a shield. It turns out that I will have to go through my configuration files in my computer to fix this. I also had issues with getting the mouse that pops up when you open the options screen to go away. I ended up with three cursors on my screen as I played the game. I had to restart the whole thing in order to make it disappear. Since this game is about three years old, I’m sure there won’t be any updates to deal with these issues, so if you do get this game, know that this is what you’re getting yourself into. It’s not horribly hard to fix, but it does mess with your game experience since you will have to exit the game in order to fix what is wrong.

Additionally, if you’re very into fighting (I guess I like it, but I understand that not every single game has to be focused on solely that), Alice is quite limited in those terms. The Vorpal blade that she uses is her main attack, and her swinging it is quite straightforward. You press your left moue button. There are a few more side weapons, such a pepper grinder that can be used as a ranged gun, and bombs, but they’re not as prominent.

Overall, I’m pretty excited to squeeze some more time out of studying and invest it into Alice: Madness Returns!

-Karen

Borderlands 2 Review– A.K.A Where did all my time go?

Hey y’all,

I made one of the dumbest decisions one week before reading break (which is essentially Spring Break for university students in UBC) and bought Borderlands 2. The week before break is usually when everything is due– papers, midterms, presentations, you name it.

Anyway, I remember logging in and promising myself that I would play for 30 minutes. A very reasonable break duration, right? I finally logged off to hastily finish the rest of my course work three or so hours later.

What I like most about Borderlands 2 is how funny it is. I have not played the first game in the franchise, but I heard its storyline is not as well developed. I also bought the Mechromancer Pack along with the game, meaning I got to play as Gaige and controller her murderous robot Deathtrap. Gaige is a cool female character who is steampunk-esque in her attire (added coolness in my books). She built Deathtrap for a school science fair, but her opponent, Marcy, stole her blueprints and bribed the judges causing Gaige to come in third. However, when Marcy shoved Gaige, Deathtrap identified her as a hostile and killed her. Gaige then went to Pandora to evade arrest. Pretty neat backstory I’d say.

gaige

The reason why my short break turned into a uber long one was because of the storyline as explored through quests.

**Mid-game spoiler**
I was doing the Rising Action quest and I logged in during my “30 minute break” to finish it up and hand it in. Once I submitted the quest, in which I insert a new power core to generate energy for the rebel base called Sanctuary, I was notified that it had all been a trap. Now the inhabitants of Sanctuary were under attack because the corrupted power core hacked through the power shield that was protecting the city. However, there are other heroes in the story (Lilith, for those of you who have played Borderlands, returns as a NPC), and they manage to teleport the entire city into the sky, but accidentally leaves you behind by accident.

Reading the quest description...

Some of the quest descriptions in this game…

This basically meant I had to find my way back to Sanctuary. Which took me about three hours. I was so desperate to get back to the safe zone for rebels and log out there instead of anywhere else. I was quite attached, you see. I felt bad for drastically changing life in Sanctuary, and causing probably a few deaths to civilians in the process. I had to find my way home. In other words, I was hooked.
***End of mid-game spoilers**

Borderlands 2 revolves around the gamer playing one of the six playable characters on Pandora (4 without DLCs). You are a vault hunter, which means you have unique abilities. For example, my character Gaige can control a death machine in the form of Deathtrap as a Mechromancer. Maya, another character, is a siren, which means she can suspend enemies on another dimension. This allows her to do crowd control.

Unfortunately for you, as a vault hunter, the villain Handsome Jack (who is a brilliant villain by the way) is on the lookout for you. His aim is simple: kill you. Vault hunter interferes with his business of gathering the mineral Eridium and ruling the world so he must get rid of you. And everyone else in the city of Sanctuary who are basically the last of the resistance on Pandora.

handsome jack

This is a roleplaying, FPS game. If you’re looking for something fun, I would recommend this. You play this solo, so I sometimes get bored of it for that reason (you can invite a friends for a co-op mode though if they also have the game), but I take a break and I find myself missing it. Very funny, interesting characters (even their NPCs such as Moxxi and Tiny Tina! Google them up, they’re really cool. I may do a post in the future just to explore the characters in Borderlands!), and great storyline. Not to mention, they broke the world record for the most number of weapons in a game: 17,750,000.

-Karen

EXIT Canada

Have you ever played escape the room games? If you haven’t here’s one of the first ones that I played way back then. Excuse the graphics because it is quite old, but if you wanted something better in terms of quality, feel free to just Google up something! There are loads of these games.

Basically, an escape the room games places the player in a room. There is usually a locked door, and using clues around the room, you have to work your way through the room to find a key or a passcode which leads you to your freedom.

I found out from a friend a while ago that in Richmond, they made one of these games…in real life. EXIT Canada.

What does this entail? I went a few days ago with my friends. You get to choose which adventure you would want to experience: a sunken ship, an egyptian one, a prison escape, or a laboratory escape. We chose the sunken ship.

I can’t go into details since that would be giving the game away, but you do have to go through more than one room. The room is not big (which is probably why they only allow parties of 6 people max), but I liked it. It is themed around a ship, and when you walk into the first room, you pick up a piece of paper telling you your backstory.

We had to open several locked boxes and such to get the code for the first room, and that included quite a bit of problem solving. You are allowed two hints and we used it all in the first room. We spent a good chunk of our allotted 45 minutes in that first room, so needless to say, we failed the overall challenge. Time really flies by. However, it was definitely an experience!

It’s not the easiest of places to get to, but once you get to Lansdowne station, it’s about a 15 minutes walk away. If you’re carrying stuff, they have storage cupboards for you to drop off your stuff (it locks, and you keep the key for the duration of your game). The staff is nice, and my overall experience was enjoyable. It costs around $23 a person, and the rate of the game goes up overall as you add more people to your group. I didn’t expect the most amazing theatrical experience, and thought that the rooms were well decorated. You reserve your time slot online, but don’t have to pay till you get there. If you’re looking for something new to do, you can go check out EXIT Canada!

-Karen