Monday, October 24, 2016

Jack Red reviews Horror Heroes Bundle (Bundle Stars)

Special Thanks Roll Down
Zaxis Games & B-evil (99 Levels to Hell)
CSR-Studios (Dead Pixels)
Neckbolt (Belladonna)
Demon Wagon Studios (Kraven Manor)
RuneStorm (Viscera Cleanup Detail: Santa's Rampage)
TAD Productions AB (Blackbay Asylum)
Saibot Studios (Dooways: The Underworld)
Ignatus Zuk & Gonzalo Villagomez (Deadly 30)
Bundle Stars

Hi everyone I'm Jack Red, clearly I needed more horror games. I don't get them as close as often as other genres. Regularly I play stuff like Resident Evil nonstop. An month ago I came across Bundle Stars looking at some of their bundle deals. Oddly Horror Heroes Bundle has been up for some time if I heard correctly. Regardless I recently bought it from Bundle Stars. I took an chance for many reasons but I'm glad I did. This is the best indie game bundle I ever had. I didn't own many indie bundles to begin with. What's interesting is most bundles I seen up til this one. Usually all are made or owned by the same company. In this rare case several companies are involved with this deal. Which by itself is close to insanity.

Spoiler alert: I will try not to fully spoil all the games but some facts I must talk about in my reviews.

1. Viscera Cleanup Detail: Santa's Rampage

This game is part of an short series where you can clean after the mess you see or go wild creating an bigger mess. In this stand alone expansion you play as an janitor elf cleaning up after Santa's rampage. There is a lot of blood & gore in this game so if you don't like that. Then this game isn't meant for you. I like you get to explore Santa's workshop. You get to listen to several songs unless you destroy the radio. This is one of the few games where dying doesn't set you back too much. In this particular case the only way as far as I'm aware of dying is getting blown up. Every time you get blown up, it creates more of an mess for you to clean up. You also can take the time to collect stuff for achievements including elf heads. Honestly for some reason this reminds me of Garry's Mod. You can go in your office either by selecting it on the main menu or clocking in when you're done. Surprisingly to clean or make more of an mess is simple as it quickly becomes addicting. Hell you could play this online with a few people that does spice the game up. Yes this takes place on Christmas which bags the question. Does this count as an horror game? I have to say this for two great reasons. I am aware many people are confused which holiday to category The Nightmare Before Christmas movie. I believe it does take place on both holidays. Considering Jack Skellington briefly took over Christmas to turn it into another surprise Halloween. I would personally category it as Halloween Christmas because of that. There's a lot of horror movies taking place on Christmas like Jack Frost series, Krampus and Black Christmas. If people already made horror movies based on such an holiday than this game should count. Second reason is just witness the amount of gore in this game alone. Most horror games doesn't go that far to gross you out like that. Usually some unexpected things that are disturbing or disgusting mostly in Silent Hill games. Here is an game with elves killed in a few different ways, some worse than others. The idea of one of the most peaceful creatures killed by Santa is mind blowing. The controls are very easy to memorize with an great sound track & good sound effects. I would say this is one of the best games in the bundle.

2. Belladonna

Belladonna is an point & click game that's inspired by Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. You play as an reanimated woman trying to find out what happened. I really like the artwork of this game as it fits the theme perfectly. An great sound track with amazing sound effects. I am very impressed by the voice acting in this game. Honestly this game for it's kind was way too easy. I originally expected more of an challenge like Telltale's The Walking Dead games or Toonstruck. If you play your cards right less than an hour you will beat this game. Seriously it is very easy to memorize & guess what you're suppose to do. Yes there are some horror elements to classified it as an horror game. You get to poison an cat as well as robbing an grave for an head. Another problem I want with Belladonna is limited in content. This makes it harder for me want to replay it more often. I like it when games has plenty of unlockables. I would say this is an good game but there are better ones in this bundle. What's sad is this actually the most recent game in the bundle since it came out last year.

3. Dead Pixels

Dead Pixels is about your last chance to survive the zombie apocalypse. You are fighting waves after waves of them to get to safety. This game is strikingly similar to River City Ransom. Let me explain you do have melee attacks which are similar to River City Ransom but more limited. The actual sprites look kinda similar. In both games you can buy your stuff in stores to level your character. But the similarities end there folks. In places or stores you can find, buy or sell stuff. In order to advance your character further in the game. There is an great variety of zombies you'll face. I really like how well the controller support is. This game was also sold on Xbox Indie service. I got to be honest I don't have much to criticize here. Everything works incredibly well for what it is. I also like all the Resident Evil references in this game. Everyone knows Resident Evil is one of my favorite game series. You get an great variety of weapons with clear differences to help you realize them. Dead Pixels really blew me away as soon as I started playing. I am willing to say this not only one of the best this bundle has to offer. This also is one of the absolute best indie games I ever played. The only bad thing is when you get corned while zombies get very close. Your health will go down rapidly thus forced to use many medikits & firing to survive. Lastly I can't help this reminds me of Dead Rising series. Both Dead Rising series & Dead Pixels share some of the game mechanics. I am an huge fan of Dead Rising as well. I also would like to point out I beat it on two difficulties for this review.

4. Kraven Manor

Kraven Manor is similar to many horror games where you are exploring an mansion to find clues. This does start slow but suddenly close to half way through things gets crazy. Some of these puzzles are clearly inspired by Silent Hill & Resident Evil series. As an whole all of them felt meant to be there. You get to search around rooms with very few enemies. This game looks awesome for an indie game made by college graduates. One of the best horror games of this style I ever played. All the sound effects are right on with an good sound track. You can play two difficulties changing the game a lot. There's a few hidden stuff you can find with an great achievement system. Some puzzles mostly later on are complex & requires memorizing it. You can quickly die from fire & enemies in a few minutes especially getting grabbed. Thankfully the check point system works very well. I could play this again at an later date. It's difficult to state where I would rank this among the other games. I will say Kraven Manor did left an huge impression on me near the end of the game. I would say this offers more than Belladonna in a few areas.

5. 99 Levels to Hell

You are going through Hell itself to hunt the devil down. Play as four characters with plenty of weapons & power ups. Most levels are random generated making it different to keep it fresh. An great variety of enemies with amazing sound track. Most levels you are simply escaping from one room to another. Most bosses do the same stuff with some exceptions. Yes you can upgrade your weapons but dying once takes it away. If you want to save your process to come back later. By force you automatically lose one health. All levels are roughly the same size with some having depth of stuff. I do like the controls on keyboard and controller a lot. They did an great job making you felt like you're facing Hell. Although if you want an better more definitive experience go play Doom series instead. Honestly this was an great game but it's okay compared to other games in the bundle.

6. Blackbay Asylum

I got to be honest I'm not familiar with this style of horror games. I really came to like Blackbay Asylum. You play as Doug whose an patient of Blackbay Asylum trapped in an hellish world. Most of it's puzzles are inspired by Resident Evil & Silent Hill series. Honestly these were well thought out with some having death traps. Some levels are very straight forward with nothing to stop you at all. Which does hurt the game a little bit but I love being in first person in some portions. You get to play what feels like two different style horror games in one. I love a lot of the overall design as well as Doug's offensive jokes. This guy is quite an character as he clearly doesn't care for anyone but himself. In an way it reminds me of Duke Nukem, Caleb and Lo Wang. I would say this is more challenging than Belladonna with more reasons for me to keep coming back. My biggest complaint has to be no unlockables of any kind. Not even achievements which could bring more appeal to this amazing game. Some say this is worth being price as sixty bucks which I agree. Without question one of my favorites in this bundle.

7. Deadly 30

I am really impressed how good this game actually is. Deadly 30 reminds me of Dead Rising series for many reasons. Both share a similar leveling system you could build up with kills from zombies. You play as three different characters during the entire game. Each one comes with their own personality and weaponry. Very short areas with Black Forest having the hideout. You could go out to find the other characters & get more scraps for upgrades or risk it all by sleeping until night. I dare someone who wants an difficult gamer challenge to play Deadly 30 sleeping on every night. Basically you can't go out looking for scraps or characters. You can take a part trucks & tanks with chests to open. There is an serious learning curve as you can't rush the game or you will die a lot. For an indie game that has to be the one of the absolute best I ever played. Easily one of the best within Horror Heroes Bundle in my opinion.

8. Doorways Chapter 3: The Underworld

I haven't played any game in this series or of this style so I'm very new to this kind of experience. Doorways Chapter 3 is easily one of the scariest games I ever played. You can only escape from enemies with limited places to hide. Very impressive graphics with amazing audio to fit the environment perfectly. All of it surprisingly works much better than you think it would. Honestly this game is intense, an strict learning curve & I highly recommend not rushing if you are new to it. Doorways Chapter 3 has some great puzzles to solve. If you play Resident Evil or Silent Hill games then those will be up your alley. This game does an great job trying to scare you without forcing it on you. I do recommend this game to any horror fan. Hands down one of the must owns in Horror Heroes Bundle.

Now I will do an quick Top 8 with all games included to help give you an idea which are worth it...
8. Belladonna
7. 99 Levels to Hell
6. Kraven Manor
5. Dead Pixels
4. Doorways Chapter 3: The Underworld
3. Blackbay Asylum
2. Viscera Cleanup Detail: Santa's Rampage
1. Deadly 30

I hope you guys enjoy my blog as tomorrow I start my Halloween marathon blog series. I figured Halloween still needs more people to hype it up. Until tomorrow at dawn, I'm Jack Red and I'll see all of you later.

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