Every once in a while a game comes along that I have a really hard time reviewing. Usually, it’s when I’m reviewing a game that I was really excited about but didn’t initially live up to my expectations. Anshar Online is such a game. The problem, I’ve come to realize, isn’t the game, it’s me. I loved Anshar Wars 2 way too much to come at Anshar Online with any objectivity. I wanted more of the same, but bigger and better. Some of the changes were so jarring right out of the gate that I was thrown off balance immediately and that was colouring my view of Anshar Online. Once I had spent enough time with it to allow Anshar Online to exist in my brain separate from Anshar Wars 2 what I’ve found is an experience that hits most of the same notes that I loved in Anshar Wars 2, but also goes deeper and provides what should ultimately prove to be a better and more replayable experience.
I have a bad habit of passing over games because they aren’t all that appealing on their store page. Laser Arena Online for the Gear VR had all the markings of a shoddy VR game. It was an online FPS, it was made by “hardcore gamers”, it used only the touchpad for controls and it didn’t look amazing in the pictures. In the reviews section, people were commenting that it should have controller support and the developers were responding by saying that the controller was inaccurate so they left it out for now but they were working on it. Plenty of other shooting games used the controller so I saw this more as an excuse than a good reason.
It’s probably one of the most common unfulfilled dreams in America today; that age-old, childhood aspiration of growing up to be a supermarket clerk working in a stressful, thankless, multitasking environment under the constant scrutiny and criticism of your superiors. Well, thanks to virtual reality and nDreams, you no longer have to endure those sleepless nights imagining what might have been. Just strap on your Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or PSVR, load up Shooty Fruity and suddenly you’re there, listening to the horrible elevator/Wii Shop music and frantically scanning groceries while also using a whole arsenal of weapons to blow up mutant fruit.
Fail Factory is a game developed by Armature Studio and published by Oculus. If you pay attention to the Gear VR at all you have probably seen the trailer for the game. If you have and you are anything like me, you thought it looked like an entirely unremarkable game and had no idea what it was about. You could be forgiven for that because the trailer does a pretty bad job of showing what you actually do in the game.
This past Friday morning I awoke at 6:30 am to what I thought was the sound of a door opening in my house. I inspected the entire house in my underwear with the leg of a high chair to fend off any would-be robbers and decided that I must have dreamt it. By this time I was awake though so I checked the internet to see what time Wal-Mart opened, saw that it was very soon, and headed out to pick up Super Mario Odyssey for my Switch.
As soon as the game starts you’re in the dark, grimy, cyberpunk city of Detritum, a place with a gloomy and depressing atmosphere as people are gathered around flaming barrels and everything just looks bleak and dismal. You play as just Willa Thorne for the first few minutes, a high class young adult who was thrown into the depths of the city, but soon you will have a whole cast of six protagonists to choose from. The story of the game is interesting and keeps becoming more and more expansive as new locations are explored and new characters are met.