Hellmut: The Badass from Hell is a bullet storm dungeon crawler game developed by ‘Volcani‘ and published by ‘Grindstone‘. It already came out on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PS4 and PC. Hellmut aims to throw players into the centre of fast paced action and danger. Let’s take a look.

Now the first thing we will say about Hellmut: The badass from hell is that the story isn’t clear. We honestly aren’t entirely sure what the story is. According to the intro cutscene we know there’s a mad scientist who somehow summons a demon and asked for eternal life (along those lines), not sure why anyone would trust demons of all things but whatever, the scientist is mad remember. The demon then summons more demons who then attack the lab, while the big main demon kills the scientist leaving him as just a skull and spine. A being called the ‘eye of ka-ra’ shows up and grants the skull life, giving the scientist a chance to fight for his body and probably get revenge. Now we see the green test tubes and know that monsters are in there but when the eye of ka-ra offers the mutation forms as rewards for challenges it sounds like those forms were never his and completely new. Whatever, simply put it’s about fighting to get back what’s yours.

The tutorial does introduce you to the basics of the game and does that well but that’s all it does. There’s actually a number of mechanics or items in the game that wasn’t explained or made clear. Also it doesn’t fully prepare you for what’s coming next or gives enough combat. So players will get a shock on their first run of the game in terms of how much you’ll get swarmed and the difficulty. That isn’t bad as tutorials don’t need to fully explain everything, it’s okay to have some things be figured out by the player. A tutorial should explain the basics and that’s all really but when an emphasised item in the game like those red soul stones aren’t explained clearly, as to what they do, it’s a problem.

You enter the game and from the start get to pick from two transformations: Rat king and Stitchmonster. These mutations are the main focus of the game. Players can transform into them at anytime. Rat king is a longer ranged fighter who fires exploding rats. He has 150 health and his secondary shot is like a shotgun spread shot of your primary weapon. Stitchmonster has lots of health with 250 and has a single hammer throw attack. It’s secondary attack is basically an explosive ram attack which can get you in trouble if used badly. There are many more mutations like Slimeball which fires single shot slime projectiles and while the secondary fire is a huge bean that does serious damage in the direction you selected. I call that beam the boss killer. There’s another one. Ragnar is basically a undead norse god which fires two machine guns at the same time and the secondary attack is odin calling down purple lighting around you to harming enemies who are too close to you. We like the different mutations and some are clearly better than others. The fairy orc is the worst in our opinion by far. We just use it as a shield. Now if you are using a mutation and you lose all your health, that mutation dies and you are forced back to your skull form. You can quickly transform into another mutation or fight on as the skull but you can’t use the dead form until you revive it using a resurrection orb which you can buy or receive as an additional award.

In the levels, you will walk around and traverse the place until you enter a room which shouldn’t take along at all. Once in the room monsters will spawn. Kill them all. That’s it. Go from room to room fighting monsters and demons. Some rooms may have a treasure chest which contains either a weapon, soulstone, or a permanent stat boost like movement speed, rate of fire or damage. Some rooms have a mini boss in them, while other rooms may have a tome for summoning the eye of ka-ra, some rooms have a shop and one always has the exit portal. So get in a room and fight for your life, literally as the enemies don’t play around. With a wide range of enemies with different attacks patterns and abilities, you need to recognise the enemies and what they do quickly and stay alive. Some like skeletons, go up to you and slash you, while others like the hovering robot fires projectiles. Some enemies chase you down while others move around with their own pattern and only attack when you enter their range. Some can borrow underground where they can’t be hit but can still hit you, just wait until they resurface. Some are fast while spree are slow. Some summon more demons while others can poison you. Lastly some rooms allow you to run back out once the enemies spawn so you can fight them in a single line through the path (cowards way0 while some rooms trap you in with a laser wall for a period of time. We honestly prefer it if every room prevents you from leaving once the enemies spawn. It’s easy to run out and fight. 

As we’ve mentioned there a shop in each level where you can… well… buy stuff. There are two types of merchants there. One big guy that sells weapons, armour and weapon buffs while the other sells, medkits, a resurrection orb and a red soul stone expansion bag. Make sure to visit the store every level. One, because you’ll need the medkits to stay alive and two, because you may find some useful weapons and upgrades. It’s a good variety. All the weapon descriptions are quite humorous. Humour and being silly is a theme throughout the whole game. The game isn’t serious and the advice given at the loading screens, to weapon descriptions to character interactions is all jokes, and taking everything lightly. Humour works well and and definitely in a game like this where everything is colourful and pixel graphic style. Will someone please explain the purpose of the red soul stones. We bought the expansion bag and still have no idea what it does. No we won’t look it up. We will figure it out ourselves as well always do but the game should tell us, or if it unlocks secrets, then a hint should be given. Inside the shop is also a arcade machine which let’s you play space invaders but a Hellmut: The badass from Hell version of it. Literally the same game, the enemies move left and right while discoing over time and you just have to shoot them. Instead of a mother ship, it’s the eye of ka-ra that occasional goes across the screen. Nice touch and a different pace to the game but here’s a another weakness of the game. What do we play that game? What do we get out of it? First time we played, we went to level 22 and then exited and received nothing. Our coins didn’t go up, neither did our red soul stones. Is there an end to this game? After some waves it gets boring real quick. Hellmut should have spiced up the space invaders with something different in it.

Now Hellmut: The Badass from Hell isn’t a big game at all. You can complete a run very quickly and that’s what the game seems to aim for. It’s all quick gaming for quick fun. If you have a couple of hours to spend then you can play this game doing multiple runs and unlocking different transformations. You won’t spend the whole day on this game. There are 8 levels and four bosses. This in a way reminds us off Spelunky. A quick game with a few levels but has good replayability. All the levels and the bosses are randomly generated. So you won’t be getting the same exact layouts at all. There is some form of pattern though. Hellmut however; does have a different function from the other games.  There’s a tournament mode where if you enable it, your runs will always have the same seed. This means you will have the same layout, same enemies, same items everything. This is good for competing against your friends. This way you and your friends can all face the same thing to see who does better. It’s great that they put in an option like this. 

 The bosses have quite the gap in terms of difficulty. Some bosses are very easy to beat and don’t put up much of a fight while others are very difficulty and take a long time to beat. For example there’s one that acts like a vampire and flies around and can’t be until it starts to do attacks of it’s own. Some bosses have high attack damage and they can hit you multiple times in a row   wiping out mutations within seconds. This brings us to one of the main points about Hellmut: The Badass from Hell. Game difficulty. Hellmut, for the average person is a difficult game. For X35 Earthwalker? It’s sort of easy and we will explain why later. Why the game is hard for the average person and gamer is because it’s a fast game and the enemies do high damage. Regular enemies can kill you within seconds if you aren’t careful. Especially those red dragons who are the strongest enemies in the game. If you get too close, they will breathe fire at you and it does a lot of damage. When at least two hit you with the flamethrower, it could literally be over just like that. The blue ogre looking monsters who charge right into you do a ton of damage as well. Your only healing is the medkits. Well there is a cure pill that you can get your hands on in a room but that’s rare. So primarily you rely on medkits which are limited since you can only get two in each store. You can acquire more by beating bosses too. So players really need to avoid getting hit as much as possible. Sounds obvious but it’s really important here.

Let’s wrap things up. There’s more to say but I don’t want to say anymore. The good things about Hellmut: The Badass from Hell is that it’s quick, lively and enjoyable. The humour, graphics style and colours help make it more appealing. The game concept is simple and easy to understand and get straight into. Wide variety of weapons and enemies which help mix things up. The tournament mode is an excellent idea and will have it’s uses. Gauntlet mode is basically endless waves of enemies coming for you and the test tube in the centre of the stage, which you need to protect. This mode also allows other players to join you in the combat which is a big deal. The amount of replayability is good for what this game is. You have to unlock all the mutations which requires you to beat the game multiple times and the random generated levels helps with keeping the gameplay exciting. We also like the music options. There is Modern crap, old school and mix it. Mix it is currently our favourite.

As for the negatives, the level designs are too simple. Traversing the levels doesn’t feel exciting at all. Once a rare glitch happened which caused some enemies that died to stay on the field and not do anything but stand there. This stopped us from getting to the next level. Story wasn’t clear, some items like the red soul stones weren’t clear as to why we collect them and what we use them for. The space invaders style arcade game in the shop gets boring real quick and still don’t know why we should play it or what we even gaining for playing it. Only a few levels has this problem but because of lighting a square wall in a room may blend in with the floor colour making it hard to see. Lastly games like this benefit from and need co-op campaign. Hellmut: The badass from Hell is the kind of game you play together with a friend or family. Leaving co-op only for gauntlet mode isn’t good enough.

Overall Hellmut: The Badass from Hell is a good game, especially for the size of the development team. It’s great for when you have a couple of hours to spend and want quick quite chaotic action. Nothing serious though. We would say 7/10 right now. Hellmut: The badass from Hell may have multiple mutations but even those can’t do a thing against… the ‘Earth Walk!’

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Riverbond is a new hack and slash dungeon crawler game developed and published by ‘Cococucumber’. Riverbond is said to be coming out in the third quarter of 2019 on the Xbox One, PS4 and PC. A game like this looks very welcoming but we all know it can’t be that innocent and safe. Let’s take a look.

The story in Riverbond is quite interesting. Players head out on a journey, which takes place down a river. Get it? This isn’t an ordinary trip. It’s an enchanted river and the lands are continually shifting and moving. The world is collapsing and so there isn’t much time. Player must also rebuild the passage that goes to the great beyond. Whatever that is. So players have to save the world by the looks of it by figuring out what’s happening and the solution has to do with the great beyond. Interesting but still simple.

Now Riverbond takes place in a voxel world. What’s a voxel world?… well… A voxel represents a value on a a grid. It’s all 3D though. Think of it as cubes placed together. So if Riverbond has a voxel world, basically the style of the game is all cubes. The lands are made from cubes, the characters, and the water is designed in a cube style. It’s easier to understand when you see the game yourself. When you do however; the first things or should we say game that comes to mind is… Minecraft. The world world and characters and stuff is basically cubes. Blocky. 

This style obviously gets attention and when done right and with the right colours, can look really good. Even better is the fact that the voxel world in Riverbond is destructible. So be careful of what you destroy. There is real time physics s don’t think for one moment that the block will just stay in the air. Gravity is at work. There are 8 worlds and each off course is different and have their own threats and obstacles. Speaking of threats, since it’s a hack and slash, expect lots of combat, many enemies and lots to slow you down. There are even bosses as well. The developers have described them as deadly but cute. 

There is said to her over 50 different weapons and guns. Good to see that there is some variety to the combat. Long ranged combat and off course close range slashing. Best of all though is that Riverbond is multiplayer. That’s right, 1-4 local. So not only can you invite friends and family over to play, you don’t have to save the game and go to the menu to bring them in. It’s drop in, drop out style meaning they just have to hit start and they jump in where you are. That’s an excellent option. Great job developers. That’s what we like to see. Riverbond about to get some action from gamers.

We checked out some Riverbond gameplay and it’s what we expected based on the games description. You run around as a small character wielding large weapons and fighting through the many enemies. There are different skins for players to unlock like the shovel knight skin. Big enemies that have dangerous attacks, you can destroy structures and pillars, knock down bridges, smash through trees and much more. The co-op multiplayer looks fun as you can all team up against enemies and turn the tables thanks to the extra back up. We hope Riverbond has a means to make the game difficult even when there’s four players attacking enemies. We wonder if the game is difficult at all.

Overall Riverbond does so far look like another little fun game. Nothing huge and complicated at all. It seems like another game that we can get friends to quickly play and have a laugh and fight together. The graphics are very good for it’s style. The level design is good too and shows good creativity. We like the variety of enemies from pigs and crocodiles to golems (we think it’s golems). We like what we see. The developers ‘Cococucumber’ have done a very good job so far. We at X35 Earthwalker look forward to seeing what Riverbond has to offer gamers. Now Riverbond may have a collapsing world but even that isn’t as serious as… the ‘Earth Walk!’

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Wizard of Legend

Wizard of legend is a new fast paced dungeon crawler developed by ‘Contingent99‘. It’s coming out the 15th of May on the Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Linux and PC. Lately there have been some good dungeon crawlers. Does this one fit that description? Let’s take a look.

The story in Wizard of Legend is very simple actually. Players control a wizard who’s goal is to overcome the chaos trials. Doing so they will become a wizard of Legend. That’s it. Just joking. Basically the council of magic holds the chaos trials every year in the kingdom of Lanova. The chaos trials are a gauntlet of magical challenges. So off course to become a wizard of legend, you must complete all the challenges and show your wizardly might.

Wizard of Legend

In Wizard of Legend, players must fight their way through each challenge. Each challenge has dangerous and powerful conjured enemies who are more than willing to help you fail the trials. Wizard of Legend puts a lot of emphasis on speed. The dynamic magic combat requires players use spells quickly and fast magical attacks while keeping lots of mobility. So fast movement and fast spell casting. This sort of reminds us of DOOM, in terms of always moving. 

There are different play styles thanks to the wide variety of spells. There is over 100 spells. That’s a lot. There are spells for fighting at a distance, spells for more close range, even speeds for summoning and having your minions fight for you. What’s better is that these spells can work in combinations and combos to some extent. So chain together spells that work well together. Do not forget mobility.   

Wizard of Legend

Awesome enough is that in Wizard of Legend, there is local co-op as well. This means open up your window and yell to your neighbour and tell them to come over and play. You both can take on the chaos trials together. This means now there are two play styles to take into consideration. Do you equip and use spells that create synergy between the to of you or do you forget about all that and both jump in head first and stand crushing enemies. In the case that you get crushed instead and downed, your partner has a chance to bring you back into the fight… but it won’t be easy.

Just to clear some things up yes you can play with your friend but you can also play against them as well. Last of all Wizard of Legend has full controller and gamepad support.

We checked out some gameplay of Wizard of Legend. Everything definitely fast paced. we are seeing dodges, slides, evasion, while casting many spells. This is the kind of action that we at X35 Earthwalker like. You have to stay on your feet. Some enemies use magical attacks of their own while others go melee. Different elemental attacks such as ice, fire, wind, lightning and more. This should make players wonder how hectic and crazy will fights get in PvP. Will some spells have an advantage over others like element type, recovery time, area of effect etc. Stuff to take into consideration. Probably the most coolest thing is that you can challenge and face the magic council members themselves who are at the height of magical powers.

Overall Wizard of Legend looks like a awesome game. It’s fun. fast paced, many enemies, many spells, many options, co-op and versus, mighty bosses, smooth gameplay and great graphics for it’s style. The music is good as well. The developers ‘Contingent99’ did an awesome job with this game. We at X35 Earthwalker are looking forward to Wizard of Legend. We hope that it delivers on what we have seen and know and more. Now the chaos trials have a big reward for those who win but that reward is nothing compared to the rewards of the… ‘Earth Walk!’

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Spelunky 2 will be here and that’s exciting. It has to be the most exciting thing, in terms of gaming, that we have heard all year. Literally we are more excited for Spelunky 2 than Destiny 2, Evil within 2, Emily wants to play too etc. Spelunky was an excellent game and certainly worth playing. It was difficult, exciting and had a lot for players to do and try out. Spelunky 2 will eventually be here. Let’s take a look.

Now from what know about Spelunky it is safe to assume that the play style will all be the same. The developer ‘Derek Yu’ made it clear that some new things will arrive and some old stuff will make a return. The new things will have to be items, enemies, mechanisms etc but the old things will probably have to be the stuff that were signature to Spelunky like the ghost that shows up when you run out of time.

The developer also revealed his influence for the story of Spelunky 2. He got married and had a daughter (congratulations by the way and continue to have a great marriage Derek Yu). This is what’s happening to mr Spelunky as in the trailer he has a beard which shows time has passed. The child receives mr Spelunky’s signature hat as if passing on the mantle to his daughter but he fades away. His daughter looks out the window in deep thought but diligent. 

This all makes sense. Think about it. mr Spelunky gets out of the strange cave that he explored for treasure. If you completed Spelunky then you know that he found a lot of treasure, treasure which would easily gain him fame and a comfortable life. He can afford a house and to have a child. The child is easily amazed and super interested in her fathers adventures and judging from her clothes wants to do what he did or does. Maybe Mr spelunky went on one more adventure and hasn’t returned yet which is why he faded away. Does she go after him using the knowledge she learnt from her dad? A much deeper story here.

Now Derek Yu did say that he wants to keep what made Spelunky unique. Well that obviously has to be the whole cartoony feel of it all. Little characters with unbelievable upper body strength to carry three friends at once while climbing a rope for example. It was anything serious but casual fun. Casual fun but very challenging and you would see that if you watch the Northernlion plays Spelunky serious on Youtube. Another unique thing was off course the ghost the horrible moment of encountering the ghost for the first time, knowing you can’t stop it but it’s coming for you. Also what’s unique is the silly cartoony physics chain of events. For example you throw a pot at a powder keg to set it off. it blows up but the explosion throws a rock at you, which hit you in your head, which knocks you of the platform, which makes you fall unto spikes which results in your death. There are many wacky chain of events that people wouldn’t believe until they see it. Lastly that is definitely unique would be the tough shopkeepers who make you learn the hard way that you shoplifting is wrong. Also don’t try anything funny. Below is a video of X35 Earthwalker doing his first ever Spelunker run on the Xbox One:

Spelunky was considered by many to be almost perfect. Our suggestions for Spelunky 2 would be to make it bigger. After all, when you master Spelunky you can actually beat the game quite quickly and a bit easily. It becomes no where near the challenge it was. It needs more levels and maybe pathways like instead of heading to the jungle, you can go towards the dry land area or something like that, allowing more time spent and exploration. Maybe secret door ways that have various conditions for entry like number of enemy kills on that run. Make levels more chaotic as in more danger can show up at almost any time forcing players to be on their guard much more instead of casually causing through levels. We have more ideas.

Overall we at X35 Earthwalker are so excited for Spelunky 2 but disappointed that it will not be on Xbox One as that means we can’t play it until much later by the looks of it but we aren’t the developers and so it’s not our decision to make. As long as Spelunky 2 is released for many to enjoy that’s fine with us. Not much information has been released on Spelunky 2 and so we encourage everyone to be on the lookout for new information. Spelunky 2 is something you have to check out. Now we are excited for Spelunky 2 but nothing is more exciting than… the ‘Earth Walk!’

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