Today I review this game:
I was planning on talking about the awesome GridWars game, and then ranting on Microsoft-erm "Bizarre creations" for having it taken down. Unfortunately I remembered my intention to review a game I truly hate. Plus I couldn't get it running on Linux again. Which stank.
So instead, you all get to watch me ranting about something else. In this case, I switched out for a different arena shooter, Invaders Corruption. And while I don't really "hate" this game, you can safely assume this review isn't going to be positive.
Invaders Corruption is an overhead 2D arena shooter made by Manuel van Dyck. The thesis of the game is that enemies, arena's, the player, and even gameplay can be generated in a procedural manner based on a core-seed. This hands us a really interesting game, with pretty visuals, which ultimately ends up being somewhat annoying.
Maybe I've been spoiled by really good arena shooters like GridWars, but this game seems to prove that there are no inherently good genre's. You see, this genre usually has a huge edge. The reason is that the learning curve is about 15 minutes, you can enjoy a game in 10 minutes a day, and you can also go all out and spend hours and hours before reaching mastery. This game lacks this crucial element.
Now if so much is really generated, how can I claim this game to have so little depth? The reason is that while most of the graphics are procedural, VERY little of the gameplay will change. This is even true when plugging in all kinds of core-seeds.
Most arena shooters are 1-hit-1-kill games. You get bombs to help protect you, a few extra lives to help you last longer, and enemies are about the size of your ship. This game is 1-hit-1-kill, but you get only 1 life, and start with one bomb. Your ship is almost always far too big compared to the enemies, requiring you to try core-seed after core-seed to get close to decent proportions. This is worsened by the fact that your ship usually has too much inertia, as well as wall bounce.
Because of these things, I very seldom die because I couldn't handle it. I almost always die because I didn't see that tiny enemy, or my ship bounced off a wall too hard, or getting the ship to go where I want it doesn't always work. Then the over-punishment which comes from having only 1 life sets in.
So yes, this is a popular game. While this game isn't that fun to play, especially for very long, it is pretty interesting. I recommend you give it a try, regardless of your tastes. It's free, and runs in WINE so you have no excuse.
Final score: 6
(why this score?)