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Black Mesa

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Hack, Slash, Loot

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Bean's Quest

Game review - 1 agree

I try to avoid giving 10/10 reviews. As of this writing, this game in fact does have a few glaring technical issues, but the underlying game is just so perfect that I can easily forgive them.

Originally designed with the iPhone and iPad in mind (and currently no Android version, but hopefully this will be remedied and the APK will be made available on Desura), Bean's Quest uses a simplified control scheme where your character is constantly jumping, and you simply control left and right movement.

The music is great, the graphics are incredibly, vibrantly colorful, diverse, interesting, and full of life and animation. The level design is clever, there isn't a single level that seemed throwaway in the least, and new elements are introduced rather frequently. Despite it's roots as a iPhone game, and it's simple control scheme, this game gets challenging very quickly. Even after you've beaten the game, there are still hop pars to beat, as well as axolotls and gems to collect.

The indie community has brought us several amazing platformers over the years, and this little surprise, that seemingly came out of nowhere and just popped up on Desura, is the best new game I've found on Desura. The quality of it just blows me away, the whole thing, from the spritework to the music to the levels, is just consistently stunning, and I can't wait to see what these guys come up with next. The $5 price tag is more than fair, and they had the sense to make it multiplatform.

I know there's no demo (at the moment, anyway), but I assure you, there's no risk here. If you like platformers at all, Bean's Quest is among the cream of the crop. I can't think of a thing (aside from bug fixes) that would improve it. It's everything I could want out of a platformer. I've played countless thousands of games and this one now has the privilege of being amongst the highest echelon of that list. Perfect is a strong word, but at the very least, this is pretty damn close.

You don't want to miss this.


Mos Speedrun

Game review - 1 agree

Mos Speedrun is a challenging platformer with some lovable spritework and cool music. In a platformer like this, controls and level design are paramount, and Mos Speedrun absolutely delivers. The controls are simple, you simply run left, right, and jump. They can be a little slippery at times, but the challenges provided are more than doable, as long as you possess the sort of persistence needed for classic platforming.

As for the level design, you definitely won't be disappointed. Each stage is fairly short, and even if you take your time you can reach the end in about a minute, but you'll find that they actually feel much longer than they really are. If you're a platformer fanatic like myself, you'll 100% the game in an afternoon, but you'll have a hell of a time doing it. You CAN play just to reach the ending, but you'll still need to do a few of the challenges to access the last two worlds. Of course, as the name Mos "Speedrun" implies, the meat of this game lies not in merely clearing the stages, but clearing them with skill.

Each stage has four challenges. You'll earn a star badge simply for clearing a stage, clear a stage with all of the coins or with the skull to earn the coin and skull badges, respectively. The last, of course, is clearing a stage within that stage's par time. As far as I can tell, there is no reward for earning all 100 badges aside from self-satisfaction. As you play, you'll occasionally see achievements pop up. At the moment, I have no idea how to view the list of achievements and review which ones you've unlocked.

There isn't a lot of variety in the music, which is really unfortunate. There is no gamepad support, but this can be solved with JoyToKey. I didn't like the fact that up doubled as a jump key, and that there was no way to disable this without making menu navigation harder by simply leaving it unmapped. Overall, Mos Speedrun is just about perfect, definitely worth playing, and easily worth the $3 asking price.


Sven Co-op

Mod review may contain spoilers - 4 agree - 5 disagree

I'm not sure why there are so many 10/10's for this mod, but most of them don't even provide reviews. Sven Co-op is a brilliant concept that, unfortunately, falls far short of it's potential. In Vista, my friend experienced a problem where the game would minimize itself with every area load. These frequent map loads are greeted by MOTD screens, which proved to be very annoying and absolutely destroyed the immersion. At least, that is the default behavior, but we couldn't bring ourselves to play for much longer anyway.

I myself had been running in a 64-bit Linux distro on his brother's computer, and the music on the title screen didn't work, but it was otherwise fine.

The whole intro played out very poorly, but the worst of it was in the area leading to the chamber where the resonance cascade takes place. The scientists just started walking out of the room through the metal door, which our characters were also able to walk through. Eventually, they walked back through the door, activated the two-man lock system, and opened the door. None of the dialogue in the chamber played out. There was a five minute delay before the button at the top was unlocked, and it was about ten minutes before the cart actually showed up afterwards. Again, there was no dialog during this part, so me and my friend pretty much ate snacks while just wondering why everything was taking forever, and myself apologizing to my friend for coercing him into trying what I had believed would be a polished mod deserving of the 85% of reviewers providing 10's for.

When the cart finally did show up, I died inexplicably while my friend was transported to Xen, leaving me standing around in the chamber.

There was clearly a lot of work put into this mod, and playing through Half-Life with my friend would have been delightful, but it proved itself quite broken. If it works for you, great, but be warned that your mileage may vary substantially. Certainly not worthy of so much as a 9, much less a 10.



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