Friday, October 14, 2011

So... About That...

So some of you may have noticed that the website seems to be lacking new content recently. This post is to explain this as well as why you shouldn't worry.

Every writer for VideoHuevos currently attends college and recently we have all been completely swamped with school work and unable to even play video games let alone write about them. Luckily, as the semester drags on we are becoming more and more accustomed to large work loads and have actually been able to get in some game time. What this means is that there will certainly be more posts in the near future. Now these posts may not be as involved or a frequent as they have been in the past but I can assure you, we will be trying our best.

What you can expect more of:
- Gaming Videos
        - Gameplay
        - Guides
- Interesting Gaming News
- Gaming Culture
- Analysis

What you can expect less of:
- In-Depth Game Reviews (Simply Too Involved)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Art style is something I immediately notice in a game. If the style intrigues me I’m typically excited for it, and I was VERY excited to play Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet.

The gameplay of ITSP is an elegant combo of shooter mechanics, exploration and puzzle solving and the game sharply resembles such classic games as Metroid and Zelda. The player controls a small alien craft and must solve complicated puzzles and survive swarms of enemies with whatever tools and abilities the player has collected.

The gameplay is not without its downsides, however. Several of the puzzles give so little explanation that it’s difficult to even discern its goal. This can lead to a great deal of frustration. Another point of frustration is the fact that nothing stays dead. Instead, after going through the effort to kill enemies they quickly respawn, sometimes in as little as five seconds. Eventually I saw no point in even killing enemies and instead simply avoided them.

The story of ITSP is told through various “silent” cinematics (no sound effects or voicing, only music). The lack of voicing and explanation of the story causes more questions to be raised than answered. This could have been intentional, but it really makes the game feel empty and eliminates any immersion factor the game may have had.

The artistic style of Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is unique and mesmerizing and the gameplay does not dissappoint. Unfortunately the game is much shorter than I expected and doesn’t take itself nearly as far as it could have. The music of the game also doesn’t meet the high standards that the artistic style sets. In fact, there is very little music except for during cinematics.

ITSP has the makings of greatness, the creators could have done so much more with it. Instead of a great game they instead have presented a mediocre game that looks great and doesn’t last very long.

Video / Audio
Huevos Factor


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Catherine Review

Anyone who’s played a Japanese game will immediately tell you how different they are from typical American games. The same can be said for Japanese movies and TV shows. The fact is that the culture of Japan itself is much different from what most of us are used to, different culture breeds different media. These differences in media can sometimes seem strange and unfamiliar, but it can also introduce something revolutionary. Catherine is a game that walks the line between bizarre and brilliant.

After being forced into thinking about marriage with his long-time girlfriend, Katherine, Vincent Brooks finds himself in a bit of a predicament. A strange cocktail of stress, alcohol and a mysterious woman named Catherine give rise to an affair that Vincent can’t even remember having. After this encounter, Vincent starts having terrible nightmares that could very well be the death of him. Vincent must not only survive these terrifying dreams but also choose between his two unknowing lovers.

The gameplay of Catherine is divided into two distinct modes: conscious and nightmare. While conscious the player is confined to the Stray Sheep, a bar where Vincent can strike up conversations, drink and play arcade games. After leaving the bar and going to bed the player enters the world of nightmares.

Nightmare mode is where the actual gameplay takes place. The player must solve a long stream of puzzles, all of which involve moving and climbing blocks in order to reach the top. Although these puzzles seem simple at first, they quickly become very challenging and addicting.

In addition to its unique style of puzzles, Catherine also implements a new kind of morality system. Instead of making choices at pivotal conflicts as most games do, the player instead crafts Vincent’s personality through seemingly trivial conversations and text messages. How the player developes Vincent changes what decisions he makes at large plot points. This gives the game a much more discrete and natural feel to it than “I chose to do the right thing” morality decisions.

Despite all of this, the game loses a lot of immersion simply due to gratuitous and lengthy cinematics. After a while it felt more like I was watching a movie, not playing a game.

All-in-all, I really enjoyed playing Catherine, the puzzle-platformer, survival horror romance is hardly a typical game genre. The originality of this game is truly astonishing. I just wish it made the player feel more involved in the game. 
Video / Audio
Huevos Factor


Monday, August 8, 2011

Why We Won't Be Playing Anymore Rusty Hearts Beta

Some of you may have heard that we recently got into the Rusty Hearts closed beta (who didn’t). I was planning on doing a whole “Rusty Hearts Preview” video showcasing what the new free-to-play MMO has to offer. We, however, couldn’t get past level 3. It was by no means too difficult, we just couldn’t stand to play any longer.

The game starts by letting you chose from a mere three classes that have absolutely no customization available even aesthetically. This means that while in town there are about 20 clones of each character running around aimlessly. That aside, immediately after being thrown into the tutorial you see the game’s cinematic system, a glitchy compilation of talking animations combined with microscopic text. I usually don’t have any problem with text-based story, but something about this felt off.

After actually fighting you immediately get a taste of how easy the game truly is. By simply spamming the attack button you perform incredibly long-ranged arch swings that damage just about everything on the screen while destroying them in one to two hits. The magic system is incredibly limited and pales in comparison to simply attacking.

On top of all of this, the game explains NOTHING. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to up my skills after leveling, I had a great deal of trouble figuring out the party system and there are no location guides of any kind.

One thing to keep in mind is that Rusty Hearts is still in beta and is by no means a finished product. Another thing to consider is that we maybe spent an hour playing, hardly enough to get a good idea of the game. It is completely possibly that we were simply being impatient and incompetent. I will, however, never be playing this game again.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet: First Impressions

When I first heard people comparing Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet to such classic games as the Metroid series the word "hyperbole" came to mind. However, after having actually played a substantial amount of this "insanely twisted" game, I honestly couldn't agree more.

Although the artistic style and music are quite unique, and the gameplay as well as the mechanics bar very few similarities to the famous franchise; the feeling of the game's exploration and upgrade systems are nearly identical.

So far ITSP has a very familiar feel while still providing something new and exciting. I can't wait to finish this game.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ms. Splosion Man: 60 Second Review

Don't have time for a review? Check out the video!

It may have been because I hadn’t played the original Splosion Man, but when I saw my first glimpse of the cartoony, textureless world and obnoxiously energetic main character of Ms. Splosion Man, I honestly wasn’t expecting much; but after hearing countless ravings about it I finally decided to pick it up. It was a good decision.

Ms. Splosion Man’s gameplay centers around the “sploding” mechanic. Everytime the player “splodes” it creates an explosion that propels Ms. Splosion Man into the air or off walls and can also be used to take out enemies. Sploding is used to both platform through levels and to solve challenging puzzles.

The controls of the game are rather generalized which is quite a change if you have played any hairtrigger controlled platformers recently. The game is woven so that if you’re good at the game your character gets a sort of “flow” going. In other words, if you know what you’re doing you will fly through the level with speed and elegance, if you don’t know what you’re doing it can feel like you’re moving through molasses.

Getting lonely playing Ms. Splosion Man by yourself? Grab a friend and play through the CoOp campaign on the same screen or over Xbox Live. The Co-Op campaign features completely different levels from the ones found in singleplayer and even has its own ending. Play with friends is both challenging and incredibly team oriented, as every Co-Op should be. Don’t have any friends? Well, that’s sad, but you can still play through multiplayer with the “Two Girls One Controller” setting.

Both the single and multiplayer campaigns are both impressively long, and the game also features extensive collectibles and hardcore difficulties. In other words, there is no shortage of content.

I wasn’t expecting much out of Ms. Splosion Man but I was immediately amazed. It is definitely one of the best indie games of the year... if you can stand the main character.

Video / Audio
Huevos Factor


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Bastion: 60 Second Review

Don't have time to read it? Watch it!

Something magical happens when first entering the world of Bastion. It’s something that’s hard to pinpoint, but it’s definitely there. Perhaps it’s navigating through the combination of art styles seamlessly flowing together whilst the deep-voiced narrator describes your characters actions. This is not your usual XBLA game.

If you grew up on any of the classic gaming systems then chances are you remember at least one classic RPG and how it made you feel. Bastion somehow harnesses that nostalgia while providing something that feels completely new and unique.

Bastion is simple to pick up and learn but difficult to master. It centers around simple mechanics and controls, the player is given two weapons, a shield, a special ability, and the ability to evade/roll. The player can chose their own weapons and ability, each of which has its own strengths and weaknesses. Each weapon also has a variety of upgrades to collect and chose from, making gameplay very customizable. If that weren’t enough, you can even augment enemies to add a challenge for a larger reward. Bastion steps away from the usual stats system and instead focuses on skill and customization, a refreshing change from usual RPGs.

The narrator following the player through every step of the game adds a mystical, story-like essence and makes it feel not like you’re following a set story, but creating one. The story itself is masterfully crafted and intriguing.

Bastion is, simply put, awesome, I just wish there was more of it, the campaign itself only lasts about 5 hours. The creators tried to supplement this with weapon challenges, leaderboards on certain levels and the New Game+ feature but ultimately, the game is still very short. Bastion exhausts itself long before it exhausts the player.

Video / Audio9.5
Huevos Factor9.5


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bastion First Impressions (Video)

We sat down and played the first few minutes of the new indie game, Bastion and to put it simply, we were blown away. Don't believe us? Check out the first 10 minutes of gameplay.

Bastion is a new action / RPG that brings back the nostalgia of classic SNES RPGs while still feeling completely pollished and new. You can play Bastion the way YOU want to play it with customizable  weapons, powers and upgrades. You can even activate certain difficulty heightening objects (similar to skulls in Halo) for extra XP and money.

Bastion has knocked us off our feet and we hope to have a full review up soon.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ms. Splosion Man First Impressions and Gameplay

So I sat down yesterday and played the first few minutes of the new XBLA release, Ms. Splosion Man. I decided to record while doing so. Feel free to check out the first 15 minutes or so of the game for yourself.

Now I never played the original Splosion Man, but I have heard great things about it. I have actually already heard far more good things about Ms. Splosion Man and that is part of the reason I decided to get it.

From what I've seen so far I can tell that Ms. Splosion Man is a highly unique platformer with a distinct style and challenging gameplay. It's no Super Meat Boy, but it's definitely awesome.

I'd say you could probably expect a review up for this game in about a week.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Trenched Achievement Guides

Some of the achievements of Trenched may seem tricky but most are far easier than they seem. We've put together some video guides for the trickier ones.

Conscientious Objector
To get this one you need to complete one level without firing a shot. This, of course, doesn't count shots from your turrets.

This is an easy achievement to get. Simply select the first level and be sure to select an engineering trench and one machine gun turret. Place three machine gun turrets around the perimeter of the ship and focus on collecting scrap and avoiding blitzers. Upgrade the turrets as you have money and this should be a piece of cake.

To get this achievement you need to kill 5 enemies with a single explosion. Since knobs each count as an enemy, this achievement is very easy.

Just make sure you have some sort of artillery cannon equipped and go to the first Africa level, Oasis. There are plenty of Knobs here, one well placed shot will do it.

To get this achievement you need to kill an enemy with a sniper shot that has bounced 4 times. This is an achievement that sounds difficult but is actually very easy.

You need to make sure you have at least one sniper rifle equipped that has "Ricochet" as a special ability. Select the Europe mission refinery and position yourself in-between the two front paths the enemies take. When enemies come, shoot directly at the opposite wall and you will probably get this achievement instantly. Watch the video for more clarity.

Medal of Honor
To get this achievement you need to get Gold medals on all missions.

Once you have leveled up pretty far and have improved weapons getting gold medals on most missions is VERY easy. The main mission that is difficult to gold is the final boss: Farnsworth. It's not that the boss is difficult, it's the fact that the time limit for a gold medal is so short. This one is kind of hard to explain so it would probably be easier just to watch the video:

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Trenched First Impressions

A video describing our first impressions of the new XBLA title, Trenched.

Trenched combines the gameplay of a Mech assault game with the tactics and defensive strategy of a tower defense. It offers a new take on the common tower defense genre. Completely customizable mechs and turrets paired with versatile enemies makes for a strongly strategic experience. Definitely worth picking up for 1200 Microsoft Points.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

5 Myths About Energy Drinks

Now I know that energy drinks don’t directly relate to gaming but in my experience most gamers tend to consume vast quantities of caffeine be it through energy drinks or other means. I have also noticed that said gamers recieve a lot of grief from friends and family for it. For the most part, the disapproval is seems entirely unfounded and parents are very misinformed about energy drinks and caffeine in general. This post is meant to shed some light on several myths being circulated about energy drinks.

5. Taurine Comes From Bull Urine / Semen
I’ll be honest, this is one I hadn’t heard until very recently, but after some research I found that it is a widely circulated myth.

Taurine is a sulfonic acid that is a major constituent of bile. For those of you who don’t know what bile is, it is a substance secreted by the liver that aids in digestion. This simple explanation alone shows that it is neither derived from urine or semen.

Taurine is, however, named after the Latin word for bull, taurus. It was originally isolated from ox bile back in 1827. Of course, bull bile is not where taurine found in energy drinks is taken from. Taurine today is completely synthetic and is obtained from isethionic acid via various chemical reactions.

For those of you still sceptical about ingesting taurine, you should know that we actually take it in daily as it occurs naturally in many of our foods, especially meat. The average person consumes about 58mg of taurine a day simply through eating. That, by no means, is anywhere near the 1000mg per serving that many energy drinks supply, but it’s still there.

4.  Caffeine Stunts Growth in Children
I, personally, started drinking coffee at a relatively young age and was constantly bombarded with warnings of how I was going to stop growing. I actually fell pray to this one for many years. I truly believed that I was never going to reach to my full height potential. Today I stand over six feet tall, not exactly short by most standards.

This myth originates decades ago when it was thought that caffeine increased the chance of osteoporosis and thus reduced bone mass. Years of new research, however, have discredited these claims. Instead it seems caffeine plays little to no role in decreasing calcium absorption.

3. Caffeine Has No Beneficial Effects
It’s a common belief that the only beneficial effect of caffeine is the perception of energy by the individual consuming it. Non-energy drinkers tend to use this as a common mocking point. Of course, this is very untrue.

Many studies have shown beneficial effects in several areas of the brain. Caffeine increases activity in the frontal lobe, where part of the working memory is located. It also increases activity in the cingulate cortex, a part of the brain the controls attention. Participants who consumed caffeine performed better in memory tasks than those who didn’t.

The brain isn’t the only place of benefit, caffeine has also been shown to increase athletic performance and exercise recovery. Runners who consumed a post-workout beverage that was high in carbohydrates and caffeine increased their body’s storage of muscle glycogen by 60% over those with a solely carbohydrate beverage. In Lehman's terms, the caffeine helped them recover much faster.

If that weren’t enough, there is now evidence that caffeine may decrease risk of heart disease.

All of this is not to say that there aren’t downsides of caffeine, but we hear about those all the time. It is all about being smart with your caffeine consumption.

2. Caffeine is Deadly in High Doses
Okay, this one is actually true, caffeine really CAN kill you. The actual LD50, or median lethal dose, of caffeine is between 150 and 200mg per kg body weight.

An average cup of coffee has around 100mg of caffeine. This means it would take more that 80 cups of coffee to kill an average person. You try to drink 80 cups of coffee in one sitting! I know I couldn’t.

The only real way to overdose on caffeine would be to take large amounts of caffeine pills, and there have been a few reports of this. There are also rare individuals who may have severe reactions to it and thus their lethal dose would be MUCH lower.

Caffeine IS deadly in high doses, but it is nearly impossible to reach the doses needed under normal conditions. Still not convinced? Aspirin kills FAR more people every year than caffeine does. Think about that.

1. Caffeine Counteracts Alcohol
This is a myth that I really cannot believe is even around anymore and yet, somehow, at nearly every party I go to I see someone trying to sober up by drinking A TON of coffee. This myth is a very dangerous one. If a person thinks they are too drunk to drive but that they can sober up with a cup of coffee that person is much more likely to get behind the wheel.

People tend to get this idea by hearing that alcohol is a depressant (downer) and caffeine is a stimulant (upper). From here they infer that uppers + downers = sober. Biology, however, is not as simple as addition.

Alcohol works as an allosteric modulator of the GABAA receptor while caffeine acts as a nonselective antagonist of adensosine receptors. It works this way because caffeine is structurally similar to the aglycone of adenosine and therefor works as a competitive inhibitor.

Long story short, caffeine and alcohol work through different mechanisms and thereby do not counteract each other. Really though, you don’t need to look at the pathways to figure this out. Just look at Four Loko, an alcoholic energy drink. Do you really think it would have been popular if it’s ingredients counteracted each other?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Red Faction: Armageddon Review

I’ll be honest with you, I had never played anything from the Red Faction series before playing Red Faction: Armageddon. In fact, I’m not sure how, but I had never even heard of the series. I became intrigued by the promises of completely destructible environments. The fact that it spawned a swarm of SciFi spin offs such as Total Recall was just icing on the cake.



Even though I was completely new to and unfamiliar with the Red Faction style of gameplay, I was welcomed with open arms by the Geo-Mod engine. Red Faction: Armageddon is not your average, everyday shooter.

When the Red Faction series advertised completely destructible environments, they didn’t oversell. EVERYTHING is destructible! The ability to completely annihilate and later rebuild environments on a whim completely changes the dynamics of gameplay. Are your enemies turtled in behind cover? Just smash through it! Is your position open because of a previous rampage? Rebuild it! The world opens itself to your destructive / constructive will, allowing for complete creativity in combat.

Not only does Red Faction give you the ability to manipulate your environment, but also gives you quite and arsenal with which to do so. Every weapon has its own special use, some are specifically designed to destroy cover while others are meant to destroy enemies while leaving their structures intact. The choice is yours.

Not only does the game supply you with enough ammunition to kill a substantial army, but it also equips you with the Nanoforge. This contraption allows you to customize your playstyle even further through purchasable upgrades and abilities. All these powers and perks are incredibly fun to use, however, they are not without their downsides.

These upgrades are cumulative and your upgrade capacity is limited only by the amount of salvage you scavenge. If you have to dough, you can have the upgrades. This may sound great but what it means is that after a certain point, the game becomes incredibly easy. Enemies simply cannot compete with your supreme power, and this makes the last sections of the game rather unexciting. Even changing difficulties does little to ease this problem.

Difficulty aside, the gameplay experience of Red Faction is incredibly entertaining and definitely worth trying.

Video / Audio


Although the sheer destructibility of the world adds a sense of awe and amazement, the rest of the game leaves quite a bit to be desired visually. That’s not to say that the game looks awful by any means, it really just fails to amaze or captivate as its gameplay mechanics do.

On top of this, the individual physics of the environments combined with animations of weapon explosions causes some lag and tearing in areas of high action. This is to be expected in a game with such attributes, but it is still worth noting.



Red Faction: Armageddon follows the unfortunate tale of Darius Mason, a freelance miner tricked by a malicious cult into releasing an alien Armageddon. Darius must rectify his mistakes while taking on hordes of both aliens and colonists who blame him for the strange outbreak.

The story itself is not incredibly immersive or intriguing. Darius himself is a well developed 3-dimensional character, unfortunately, he is the only one. Every other character introduced has absolutely no depth, this means that when they inevitably are killed off, the player feels nothing for them.

The game tries to supplement its obvious story flaws with collectible audio logs spread throughout the mines. These logs however, add almost nothing to the overall story and seem placed in locations that make no sense. Why is there a military log lying around in what looks like an abandoned underground house?

All in all, the story of Red Faction: Armageddon left absolutely no impression on me, and this isn’t a good thing. A forgettable story is sometimes worse than no story at all.



Red Faction offers three modes for the player to choose from: Campaign, Infestation, and Ruin Mode. It’s a very good thing the game includes more than simply the Campaign as it is very short and can be completed in one sitting.

Infestation mode brings a Horde-esque survival mode to the game where players can fight alone or with friends against wave after wave of aliens. This mode features a bunch of maps to play on but there might as well be just one. After one playthrough of this mode, there is really no reason to come back. I found myself getting bored around the 25th out of 30 waves.

Ruin mode is legitimately a mode who’s sole purpose is to blow stuff up. The player can either chose point-based and timed setting or to just go about destruction just for the fun of it. This mode encompasses an interesting idea but really fails to hold up. The first few minutes are a hoot, but the luster of destruction falls very quickly.

Huevos Factor


It may be because I had never played anything from the Red Faction series before, but this game felt AMAZING to play! This feeling of amazement was rather short due to lack of content and the diminishing of difficulty over time, but you know what they say, “A candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long.”

Okay, that was incredibly cheesy, but you get the idea. This game is a real treat to play, but there isn’t much to it. My suggestion: Rent It.


Video / Audio
Huevos Factor


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