Tag Archives: indies

The Final Station Review

By Mike BC

 

 

What You Need To Know!

 

The Final Station is a side scroller and a train simulator.  106 Years after The First Visitation, The Final Station picks up with another visitation from a mysterious invasion that seems like zombies.  The enemies you fight during the side scrolling are dark humanoid figures that seem like shadow figures with eyes.  The most basic of these enemies moves slowly and can be taken out with a single charged melee attack.  There are other enemies though like the shorter faster enemies that require multiple melee attacks even if the first one is charged.  Another enemy moves slowly but has riot gear lending more credence to the idea that these enemies are zombies.  Throughout the game, you will have limited resources so choose when to use food and medkits wisely. In every level, you will have to keep people alive on the train and once you arrive at your destination, you’ll have to find the train code to move on.

 

The Good

 

The Final Station does a great job storytelling.  You start with little to no understanding of what’s happening.  When the game first starts, it gives the impression that you’re playing a “slice of life” game.  Everything seems very ordinary to the point of nearly being boring.  With every level, another piece of the puzzle is unlocked until you finally see what’s been there all along.  When you get that a-ha! moment and see what’s been going on, there is a deep sense of satisfaction in understanding.  The gameplay is solid! When the conflict began, I initially thought it was needlessly difficult.  The more I played, I realized that it was more than a simple side scroller.  In fact, the game relies on the player using strategy to get through every level.  The Switch version that we reviewed, is very good because the game plays very well in both handheld and tv mode but it did seem more fitting for the handheld mode.

 

 

The Bad

 

The Final Station had a few problems.  The game does a checkpoint system so that if you die during the level, you go back to the most recent checkpoint.  The problem isn’t with the system but with the checkpoint itself.  The checkpoint isn’t something you see, but rather, it happens automatically.  When you restart at the checkpoint, you go back to the same time and circumstances as when you were there previously.  If you were already low on health or resources when you cross the checkpoint, then dying may not necessarily help you get any further.  The fix to this is that at any time you can open the menu and restart the level.  The second problem is a nitpicky one.  During the train sim portion of the game, you have to keep your passengers alive.  If they get too hungry or low on health, they will die.  Medkits come up in each level and at times, I found myself with an extra for a passenger.  Food, on the other hand, was scarce and more than once, a passenger would die from starvation.  This wouldn’t be a problem except that your performance in the game is measured by whether or not your passengers survive trips on the train.  Lastly, at $19.99 USD, the game would be better priced at $14.99 like it is on Steam, PS4, and XBOX One.

 

 

Should You Play?

 

The Final Station is a unique experience.  I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with it. However, this game may not be for everyone.  If you enjoy side scrolling action, you should give it a go.  If the train simulator is all that catches your attention, know that it is a small part of the game.  In fact, the game would not suffer if it wasn’t in there.  Overall, I can recommend this game to enthusiasts of the genre.

Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf Review

Skyrim The Novel

Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf is a throwback to choose your own adventure books. This title instantly reminded me of Skyrim, but in the form of a novel. Lone Wolf is made up of two sections; the novel, and the action segments. The game progresses as you read the story and make choices. Some of these choices will lead to things like a battle or picking a lock. When one of these action segments takes place, the game moves from the novel to a 3D world. Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf surprisingly works well and will keep your interest. The story is captivating and has a way to connect with you right away.

The In’s and Out’s

One of the first things that jumped out at me was the graphics style. The game is gorgeous, between the hand-drawn depictions in the novel and the 3D world that you’re in during the action segments. The music in the game is okay and helps develop the atmosphere the game wants to create. One thing that does bother me though is the saving system. Right from the beginning the game never mentions autosaves, and never shows you how to save the game. I’ve found that whenever you are done playing you can choose from the menu to return to the main menu. When you come back to it the game will pick up right where you exited from. The saving needs to be explained at the beginning of the game to prevent people from being worried about turning the game off.

lone wolf

Time Your Actions

When I say time your actions, what I mean is attack as quickly as possible before the timer runs out. The battle system is my main gripe with Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf. The battle system is based on a timer, you have to perform your actions before the timer runs out. During the timer, there are quite a few actions for you to choose from, and as long as you are quick you can perform a few different actions. Each action depending on which category it comes from will use mana or energy. There is also a special that you can perform, though it seems arbitrary when that special is available. The battle system definitely needs much more explanation as I found myself just choosing actions without planning. Also, the items that are available during a battle are limited to what you have placed on your toolbelt. You start with three slots to place items for battles, which works fine, but items can be scarce at the beginning of the game. You need to make sure you use the rest feature before moving on with the story to avoid using up all of your potions.

lone wolf battle system

In Conclusion

Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf is an excellent choose your own adventure story with decent game elements. The fact that your choices affect the story adds replay value to the game and makes you want to go back and see what will happen if you make different choices. The battle system could use more explanation to make it flow better for the player. The art style and story are the shining stars of this game. If you like story’s then Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf will be a perfect game for you.