Indietail – Spellbreak

A while ago, I wrote a review on Hyperscape and actually recommended it. I mean, it was fun and felt like Quake, on top of being free-to-play. But then I stopped playing Hyperscape again since I wanted to play other games and when I came back to another round or two, I noticed how hard it is for a Non-FPS-player to react in time or to make the right decisions or to aim properly. On top of that, there were some balancing issues and it felt just very frustrating to play it.

So, then I got an E-Mail about Proletariat’s Battle Royale game, Spellbreak, which is available on Epic Games (among other places) and even features crossplay! I was eyeing it for a while before eventually realising that it should, in theory, be just my cup of tea. I mean… Magic…. Combos…. Boom!

My very first game and I won! Woohoo!
Developer: Proletariat, Inc.
Publisher: Proletariat, Inc.
Genre: Battle Royale, Fast-Paced, 3D, Action, Fantasy, Third-Person
Release Date: September 3rd, 2020
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC, XONE, PS4, Nintendo Switch
Game is free to play

In Spellbreak, you essentially play as a mage using two magical gauntlets to battle it out on a big BR-style map. Before the round starts, you’ve got the choice between six different elements to use for your primary gauntlet: Poison, Wind, Lightning, Fire, Rock, and Frost. This gauntlet grants you bonus effects whenever you level up. Those effects range from immunity to your own spells to utility to more damage, so it’s worth looking into those bonuses.

During the round, you essentially try to find equipment and scrolls, as well as gauntlets that have a different magical property to your primary one. For instance, if I were to play as a Conduit (Lightning Mage), I’d be able to pick up the five other elements but I wouldn’t be able to get a second lightning gauntlet. This is quite well-made since the different gauntlets influence each other in different ways. Using the Tornado spell for instance and infusing it with Lightning, Fire or Poison damage caused it to turn into a Lightning Storm, a Fire Tornado or even a Poison Tornado, which is quite nice.

Similarily the Poison Cloud can be infused with Electricity, Fire or Ice, resulting in either an electrifying poison cloud, a big explosion or a frozen poison cloud that entraps and poisons everything inside of it! Some elements don’t mesh well together while others are unique and have very good offensive capabilities, but overall you pick what you get or what suits your playstyle the most. After all, your primary attacks (aka not the spells) also change based on your elements. Rock mages only hit ground targets with their primary attacks but can generate shockwaves and armour using their class-specific skills. Ice mages are more precise but also rather slow while Tempest mages deal less damage but can shoot out a barrage of shots!

Another interesting mechanic in Spellbreak is the Mana bar that you deplete while floating or while shooting out your primary attacks. With amulets, you’re able to gain more maximum mana, while belts increase your armour and boots increase your movement speed. If you don’t find certain items, it can get a bit hard for you to spam or run all the times. Meanwhile, as a Tempest mage with a Legendary amulet, you could very much kite enemies away.

And then, you also have potions, shield shards and abilities. Abilities also have rarities like your equipment but basically enable you to use another set of utility. Chase enemies, fly through the air or become invisible. It enhances the playstyle and I really like how there are no offensive abilities for the Shift-Slot. Unlike Hyperscape, you have your damage in your gauntlets and spells, while you use the abilities to gain momentum, push forward or flee.

Poisonous Firewall!

And then there’s the art style. The game’s heavily influenced by shows and movies like Princess Mononoke, Akira, and Avatar – The Last Airbender. This is resembled quite well in the charakter designs and how the world looks. There are different parts to the map that all have a distinct nature to them and just feel different overall. That’s something that I really enjoyed. I really like the influences the game has in terms of the art, although it got a bit hard to discern certain damaging effects on the ground from normal grounds in certain areas, which is a bit troublesome.

An issue that I have with the game, though, is how you at times can get locked into walls and you just get combo’d away. On top of that, some enemies play quite good but you have no way of adding them or making friends, overall, which is a bit of a bummer, in my opinion. Unless you write down their names or memorize them or whatever, there is not really an option, from what I’ve seen.

Don’t mind me, just hiding in this push…

And at last, I had the issue of me having a hard time with the map borders. At times, I’d go and loot a place but then the circle would move again and suddenly, I’m more than 2000 meters away from the next safe zone and the circle just runs over me. This gets annoying and frustrating over time when the game just decides to place the inner-most circle on the other side of the map. I mean, the map also gets slower at a more drastic pace compared to other games, so personally I would have changed the interval or allowed bigger circles, potentially.

In the end, Spellbreak is just another battle royale game. You have good players in there and bad players. Aiming is not as hard and important as in other games, though zoning, strafing and fast reactions are even more so.

Spellbreak has a certain tactical component to it but in the rounds that I played it always ended up being about me and other players butting our heads in when the circle stops by. It’s a battle royale, after all. It’s different from Fortnite and other games, for sure, but I’m not sure if it’s something I’m going to play forever. This is going to be something that I’ll play with friends now and then, I guess, and then I’ll get frustrated because of the meta or because of my lack of skills… and then I’ll play something else.

In the end, Spellbreak is a free-to-play battle royale game, so try it out if you wanna and don’t if you don’t wanna. I enjoyed it so far but I’d imagine that others wouldn’t. Due to the nice combo system and the mobility you have in the game, though, I’d recommend it to fans of the genre or fans of Quake and Unreal Tournament!

Cheers!

TSS#68 – Blaugust Prompt #2 – Unpopular Opinions

“What is some popular piece of content/media that seems to be universally loved that you have never been able to understand?” – That’s today’s prompt, “hosted” by @Dragonray over at AzerothianLife.

In their post, Dragon actually talked about Game of Thrones and I completely agree with her views. I personally only have watched the first 5.5 seasons and ever since I had my own red wedding over here after a little knife accident at home (a year ago), I couldn’t watch the show anymore. Jokingly I’d say that it may be some sort of PTSD since the scar on my hand hurts whenever I start up GoT again… I highly recommend checking out Dragonray’s post! While I personally like some parts of the show (Arya’s, Danaerys’, and John’s (particularly the wildling arc) parts were lovely so far), I hate a lot of other parts with the glorified rape and assault and discrimination against all sorts of people. 

I feel like the show is trying to go for shock moments to reel in more views. It’s trying to get controversial to essentially make more money since bad PR is good PR. In that regard, I hate it. While you may say that it’s an adaptation and that the source material is at fault… I’d disagree since at some point the show got very loose from the books (and honestly, I haven’t read them and I doubt I ever will). Going for shock moments for the sake of being edgy is just stupid. It’s like the racism and discrimination in Beat Cop, a game that I criticized a lot. It’s there to be edgy or to cater to some people’s tastes. People want to get to know and want to love some of the characters – and people love it when those people get killed off. Of course, they hate it… but they get caught off-guard and like it then, I guess? 

And then there is Sex for instance. Everyone likes sex – apart from people that don’t… but quite often, it’s just there without having to be there. Due to the budget being low at one point, the creators didn’t actually show one of the battles since they couldn’t afford all the soldiers and animations and stuff… instead, they used “the messenger’s report”. I may make a post about this (and more drama theory in the future) but it essentially is a technique to show something without actually showing it. Someone just reports on what happened somewhere – or someone’s standing on a wall and is reporting what he’s seeing over there. In the viewers’/audience’s head, the battle is very vivid and brutal when in fact, nothing has been shown. In GoT they do this relatively early (one of the first two seasons?) while this one person is having sex with a prostitute. So they saved money and showed people sex so that they don’t get bored. 

I’m ashamed to admit that this picture took me way too long as I was trying to figure out how to edit the baby yoda so that the lighting works better but I just couldn’t get it done with my paint.net skills, so I ended up just leaving it like this. The Baby Yoda means haven’t stopped. This is only the beginning. (Just kidding, this is the first and the last baby yoda meme that I probably will ever make)

While I’m not against sex, I don’t like the fact that it’s present in the show at nearly all times. Even when the mob is coming for the royals, the creators have to add in rape or attempted rape to make it more extreme… While I applaud the use of the messenger’s report in that earlier example, I condemn the latter as it’s just horny writing at best. People living their fantasies. Incest, Rape, Assault, Violence against women, a crossbow pointed at a prostitute while she’s getting fucked. That kind of thing. 

Thus, I didn’t really get why people love it so much without condemning the moral aspects of it. 

Note: The GoT opening theme is stuck in my head now. Help.

But this post is not at its end here (as you can see for yourself)… I didn’t really want to just post about my views being really similar to Dragonray’s regarding GoT and thus, I thought I’d talk about an unpopular opinion of mine, so watch out, trigger warning ahead…

I don’t like Star Wars…

I don’t really get the universe and while I watched a lot of the movies it all just felt not that good to me… I don’t like a lot of the characters and plotlines… the best part of the show may be the part where that one stormtrooper (or clone warrior? soldier? whatever?) bonks his head against that ceiling pipe. 

I’m referring to the first six movies by the way – I haven’t ever thought of watching the newer movies… I just don’t like the universe I guess? I like Sci-Fi… Star Trek was actually quite cool. Star Gate was also quite alright. The Last Generation is a wonderful story. Robot Dreams – really nice! Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – absolutely awesome! Star Wars – not so much… it’s technically Science-Fantasy but that’s only because of the Jedi-Magic and stuff and the setting in the past… 

And this might tie into the post about fandoms and stuff but people get really defensive about Star Wars. “yOU DoN’t LiKE S T A R W A R S?! HOw coULD YOu?!” followed by some insults. I don’t know. People are weird. Don’t hate me please because of me not liking your favourite movie. We can still watch it together but I’ll probably fall asleep. You can hate on all the Tim Burton movies I enjoy… You can hate on Corpse Bride and 9 and Frankenweenie. You can hate on my absolute favourite movie, (500) Days of Summer and insult me about how the score isn’t that incredible or how the female lead character, Summer Finn (played by Zooey Deschanel), is a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. I still like the movie. And even if I find Star Wars boring, you can still enjoy it and talk about it as I love it when people are passionate about their interests, just like I love my stuff.

So, there’s my second Blaugust post. I hope you enjoyed it. I linked it above but here’s Dragonray’s post again. Highly recommend! Tomorrow’s prompt will be presented to you by Mailvaltar, so check them out! 🙂 

Cheers!

This post is part of the Blaugust 2020 event. Wanna know more about it? Then check out my post on it or Bel’s post where he also linked everyone who’s participating! Be sure to check out the others as well!

Looking out for “Traveller’s Rest”

I’ve enjoyed my fair share of shop or tavern keeping simulations from Recettear to Moonlighter to Shoppe Keep 1 & 2, so it was a bit of a no-brainer for me that I’d try out the demo for Traveller’s Rest. 

But what exactly is Traveller’s Rest?

In Traveller’s Rest, you take charge of a rundown Inn, serve guests food and ales, and where you farm your veggies, hops and grains yourself to become self-sufficient.

Since your tavern/inn’s kind of run-down, you’ve got decorate, clean and unlock a bunch of features as you progress through the quests that the game offers to you. As you gain experience and level up, you also unlock skills, tech trees, and features like ordering ingredients, renting rooms to guests, hiring staff and a ton of other things!

The demo starts off somewhat slowly as you’re being told how to build, clean and serve – the basics, basically. Over time, the Inn gets rather busy with guests swarming in and you having to clean after them when they trash your place, calm them down when they get mad and get rich when they pay up and leave!

I feel like Traveller’s Rest has a bunch of everything in there. The music is nice, the progressing feels steady and overall, it’s a nice little game with all kinds of features. It honestly kind of reminded me of Graveyard Keeper since the style is similar and since the malting and fermenting are quite similar as well. The only thing missing are the corpses that you throw down the river, but I doubt that would fit into Traveller’s Rest. 

Overall, I had a lot of fun with this two-in-game-days-long demo, despite the fact that it was a tad annoying that you’ve got to wait so long for the fermenting or malting or whatever to be done. I guess, a speed-up-option of sorts for those kinds of things would be quite nice, like meditation or something. 

The game’s coming out in Mid 2020. Be sure to wishlist and follow the game on Steam if you’re interested in supporting a solo-project. 

Cheers!

TSS#43 – Love, Death, The Witcher and Robots

I’m currently at my parents’ and with my siblings at school and my parents at work, I’ve got my sister’s Netflix-Account all to myself, resulting in me trying to get into the Witcher again… and…

I don’t seem to be particularly fond of it. I can’t seem to get warm with it but… don’t hate me. I don’t completely hate the franchise. I just hate the show! And the first game! And I haven’t played the second one yet but I enjoyed a bit of the third game and never touched the books, so I can’t hate on those yet.

I just feel like the pacing is just not right for me. The story-telling is doing stuff that I don’t like, like starting with a fight against some Monster that didn’t seem close nor overwhelming, it was just a bit… boring, in my opinion. And then they’re drinking and we get to know how everybody hates the Witcher.. and then everybody wants to fight Geralt but it ends well and then there’s a kid and the wizard and Uhm… I fell asleep at that point. Instead of watching the show in the evening, I then decided to watch it in the morning and suddenly… Uhm… I fell asleep again.

I guess the pacing isn’t for me. It may not be the ideal “morning show” or the ideal “wind-down show” but more of a “play the games, read the books, fantasize about Geralt in your wildest dreams and then love the show”-show. It’s not for me. But it doesn’t have to be. It’s for Witcher-fans and people that like the world, the characters and the franchise. It’s not for me, so I guess I don’t have to try to like it either.

Instead, I watched Love, Death + Robots. And I liked it.
It’s a lot shorter and episodic and honestly, I don’t know what to say about it apart from it being awesome.

I guess, I need the humor and I need a certain edge. I need to be fascinated by a world and like it from the beginning, even when I don’t know much about it. I mean, sure, I love reading Sci-Fi-stuff but I doubt that the genre is really the reason why I prefer this show over the Witcher. After all, I liked HBO’s Game of Thrones more than The Witcher (or rather… I liked the six seasons that I watched so far a lot and haven’t watched any of the other seasons, yet, but I’m sure I’ll like them more than The Witcher’s first season).

Essentially, I just found out about Love, Death & Robots a while ago and always wanted to watch it but didn’t get the chance to… and now I sat down with it and am completely in love with it. The show is episodic, being an anthology and all of that. The whole premise of the show is that there are these 18 episodes that all work on their own and that have something to do with the three topics found in the title.

The first episode, “Sonnie’s Edge”, is just… cool. I liked the hardboiled-ness of the characters in the beginning and the overlaying backstory of Sonnie who has been raped and sliced up by a gang of men and is now fighting in the pits to find the thrill of life again, as well as the dystopian setting and the fighting scenes themselves. Afterward, the episode features Love and… robots? I just liked it. There’s a bit of a philosophical theme here and Uhm… I might turn that into a post itself after I thought more about it and after I read other (famous) opinions on the matter of artificial intelligence, what makes a human a human and what it means to be alive. It’s interesting and intriguing. The story shifts around and it honestly surprised me… but it didn’t disappoint me at all. I liked the plot twists and right after the first episode was over, I watched it again for a second and a third time before eventually watching the second episode, “Three Robots”.

The second episode features three robots that try to learn about humans, long after the humans’ fall. They don’t know much about humans, and yet behave very human-like and very touristy. They then discuss several matters like how the humans were created and other matters. In the end, they make a discovery and learn about their own past and… it’s just great. Since the episodes are anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes long, I don’t really want to spoiler too much.

Each episode can stand on its own and feature a different topic, setting, different lighting and music as well as a different tone in general. The same way the first episode was dark and badass, the second one can be light-hearted and humorous while the third episode is rather dark and thrilling. I really liked this as no episode was like the other and as I didn’t really feel bored at all during the show, so far. The pacing is just right and the show is changing up the music, animation, the style, the lighting and everything in every episode. Apparently, there has been a different team involved in every episode.

And at this note… the third episode ended and was just thrilling, exciting and featured a very interesting plot twist at the end of it… But before I’ll ramble more about how much I love the show, I thought I’d wrap up this post here and think about how many cat pictures I’ll put into this.

Anyways, I wish you all a nice day and I really hope you enjoyed this post. I’ll be back home again by tomorrow, so I’ll be able to stream again and play more video games and essentially live by myself again from there on, so reviews and other posts might be different by then. I will also be able to finish up the drafts for the different MonHunLogs and overall, prepare for the new semester to arrive. It’s going to be a bit stressful soon, so I’m not too sure about how much I’ll be posting and streaming, but I’ll surely find a way.

Cheers!