The Oberlin Review

Clever Gameplay ‘Hand of Fate’s’ Focal Point

Clever Gameplay ‘Hand of Fate’s’ Focal Point

December 11, 2015

There are two cards in front of my small golden game piece, each one representing an upcoming encounter. I don’t have enough food to sustain my character, and my health points are down to 20. This all means I’ll be dead soon unless I get some supplies, even if these encounters don’t end up being especially dangerous. I take a breath and press the ‘A’ button; the card flips over, and I die in 30 seconds. Moments like these, which seem arbitrary and completely luck-based, happen each and...

Retro RPG Undertale Humorous, Sincere

Avi Vogel, Columnist

November 20, 2015

Filed under ARTS

I’d seen notably glowing reviews for Undertale on a number of websites, but I entered the game worried I’d be the next victim of over-hype. Instead, I left having found what might be my new favorite video game. Undertale, a game created almost single-handedly by Toby Fox and released this fall, offers an outstanding and unique experience. It’s a role-playing game styled after games like Final Fantasy for SNES and the cult classic Earthbound. You play a child who’s fallen into the mysterious Underground, a world full of both friendly and dangerous monsters. The opening text crawl explains some history of the universe, but it’s your character’s progress that tells you the entire story. I wish I could...

Visuals, Soundtrack Enhance Hotline Miami

Avi Vogel, Columnist

November 6, 2015

Filed under ARTS

Hotline Miami is a game about killing everyone in sight. Sure, there is more to this game: It boasts a unique art style, an incredible soundtrack and tight controls. All of these elements are solid on their own, but developer Dennaton Games brings them together in Hotline Miami for a single purpose: to make the act of killing enjoyable. Whether or not that sounds agreeable to you will dictate whether you will believe Hotline Miami deserves veneration or outright hatred. However, most gamers will find it worthy of praise on the level of pure enjoyability. Released way back in 2012 — but recently put on sale in celebration of the release of its sequel — Hotline Miami is a top-down, fast-paced, bombastic shooter that ...

Starbreeze Crafts Moving Narrative in Brothers

Avi Vogel, Columnist

October 2, 2015

Filed under ARTS

It was 2 a.m. when my computer screen finally faded to black, credits rolling. Controller still clutched tightly as the names scrolled down the screen, I realized the adventure was over. A mixture of emotions ran over me — happiness, loss, feelings from all ends of the spectrum — but what I felt above all else was elation at having been a part of a fantastic journey. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, released by Starbreeze Studios in 2013, is a puzzle-oriented game that offers much more than just brainteasers. The game follows two brothers on their journey to find a cure for their ailing father. The cure is kept in a tree that’s only hinted at on a scroll given to the player in the opening moments of the game. Th...

Lineage Twist Keeps Dungeon Hunting Fresh

Avi Vogel, Columnist

September 18, 2015

Filed under ARTS

Rogue Legacy is a 2D action-platformer with aspects of the bullet hell and rogue-lite genres that randomly generates dungeons for the player to move through. Although the game seems to be just an amalgamation of popular genres and successful series, developer Cellar Door Games has done more than just borrow elements of these genres — it has taken the time to polish the game and add a unique flavor. The game follows a knight — or whichever class you choose — who ventures through a castle. Inside, the character comes across monsters that drop money and require varying degrees of strategy to take down, culminating in a huge boss that sprays pellets across the entire screen. If you happen to beat all four bo...

Unique Storyline a Highlight of Futuristic Game

Unique Storyline a Highlight of Futuristic Game

September 4, 2015

When I started Over The Moon Games’ The Fall, I had no idea what I was getting into. I’d put this game on my wishlist after reading its description: a dark sciencefiction game that promises to ask deep questions regarding artificial intelligence and centers on a character stranded on a planet. Everything I read encouraged the player to leave behind the idea that this was a game in any traditional sense. Rather, critics encouraged gamers to see it as an interactive, highly linear story. To me, t...

In-Game Purchases Support Online Card Game

Avi Vogel, Columnist

May 8, 2015

Filed under ARTS

When I first picked up Hearthstone, developed by Blizzard Entertainment, I thought I’d just play every once in a while when I wanted to take a break from schoolwork. Now, more than a year after its release, I still find myself popping in every day to do my daily quests and participate in the game’s impressive Arena mode. All in all, I’m still having fun. Hearthstone, for those who don’t know, is an online Collectible Card Game, or CCG. Blizzard is renowned for releasing games that are not only incredibly successful but that also have staying power well after their release through patches and a plethora of free updates. Hearthstone is a free, downloadable game that has microtransactions built in. I use real...

Delayed Walking Dead Game Release Detracts From Seamless Play

Avi Vogel

April 24, 2015

Filed under ARTS, Features

Imagine that you’ve been trapped in a camp and, not having been able to loot much in the town over, you have only four items of food that you can divvy up between your parties. Do you share the food with your enemies, hoping that they’ll be more cooperative later on, or do you reward the individuals who have been more integral in your journey up until now? Do you let yourself starve to feed the children, or do you let them stay hungry so that you’ll have the energy to help the group when trouble inevitably strikes? This is one of the many scenes that Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead: Season One presents to players. The game, based on Robert Kirkman’s eponymous comic book, takes place in a post-apocalyptic world ta...

Standout Gameplay Elements Separate Darkest Dungeon from Crowd

Avi Vogel

April 10, 2015

Filed under ARTS, Features

You look at your roster. The last mission you played through wiped out all of your high-leveled heroes. You try to recruit some new ones, but they all have traits that would make them a detriment to any mission you might undertake. With reluctance, you take four level-zero adventurers with you, cross your fingers and hope they all return. In 10 minutes, they’re all dead. Situations like these are common in Darkest Dungeon, a video game that was released this February on Steam, a prominent platform for releasing independent computer games, via the Early Access program. The developers at Red Hook Studios, who created the currently unfinished game, have released Darkest Dungeon with the aim of getting fans’ reactions...

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