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Nelson Schneider's Video Game Reviews (324)

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AereA 1/5
Arcanum: of Steamworks ... 3/5
The Yawhg 3.5/5
Dungeon Defenders II 4/5
Spelunky 0.5/5
Hard Reset Redux 2.5/5
Girls and Dungeons 4/5
Time Tenshi 2 3.5/5
Time Tenshi 2.5/5
We Are the Dwarves 1/5
Shadow Warrior 3.5/5
Torment: Tides of Numen... 4.5/5
Hammerwatch 1.5/5
Metro Redux 4/5
Dragon Quest Monsters: ... 3/5
Diluvion 3/5
Seiken Densetsu 3 ( Sec... 2.5/5
Titanfall 2 2.5/5
Treasure Hunter G 3.5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Br... 4/5
Shadow Warrior 2 4.5/5
Treasure of the Rudras ... 2/5
Oceanhorn: Monster of U... 2.5/5
The Bard's Tale ( 2004 ) 3/5
Middle-earth: Shadow of... 4/5

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Yet Another Zombie Defense   PC (Steam) 

Almost Completely Brain Dead    1/5 stars

“Yet Another Zombie Defense” (“YAZD”) is the second game released by the ironically-named Awesome Games Studio, which got its start thanks to the Xbox Live Indie Games platform that graced the Xbox 360’s digital marketplace with a seemingly endless supply of garbage. After releasing on Live in 2010, Awesome Games Studio ported “YAZD” to iOS and browser gaming platform, Kongregate, in 2013 before moving on to Steam in 2014. I would have been happy to ignore “YAZD” until the end of time, but, unfortunately, Nick ended up with a Steam copy thanks to a Humble Bundle and we were desperately low on anything to play that features local coop.

Presentation
“YAZD” is not only a Unity Engine game, it’s a Unity game AND an asset flip. Nothing about the presentation is positive, as the entire thing is an extremely basic aggregation of free or cheap assets with no extra work put into the art style at all.

The entire game takes place in a single-screen: A flat, empty parking lot with a single lamp post to mark the center. So much for good environmental design.

The cast of characters features a generic Guy, and generic Girl, and another guy wearing a SWAT uniform for whatever reason. There are only a handful of different zombies, and they all look like dirty hobos instead of the undead.

The audio is… completely forgettable. I think “YAZD” has a sound track. Yes, a track. One. But I wouldn’t bet on it. Weapon and zombie sound effects are basic, but at least serviceable.

Technically, the UI in “YAZD” isn’t great, but at least the game didn’t crash or otherwise misbehave. The native Xinput support is also nice.

Story
There is no story in “YAZD.” Apparently the three development-free characters find themselves in a parking lot during a zombie apocalypse. They have unfettered access to weapons and materials with which to fortify their position… provided they collect enough cash from slain zombies to pay the exorbitant prices to… the invisible, intangible, immortal merchant? Either way, many of the zombies must have been yuppies before their transition to undeath, as they carry rather large amounts of cash with them ($250-750).

“YAZD” is basically a Survival Mode from a number of other, significantly better games, but ripped-out and left to stand on its own. It doesn’t.

Gameplay
“YAZD” is not completely without merit, however. The gameplay does have a bit of superficial depth that allows it to be tolerable for around 2 hours before the novelty wears off.

Despite the variety of modes, every round of “YAZD” starts off the same way. The player(s) find themselves in the middle of a parking lot on night 1 of the zombie apocalypse armed with nothing but a pistol and a little bit of cash. In local coop mode, only two players can participate in shared-screen play, whereas in online coop, up to four can team-up. In most aspects, “YAZD” is a bog standard top-down twin-stick SHMUP in a vain of “Smash TV.”

Players must judiciously spend their limited cash on new weapons, ammo for any weapon that isn’t the default pistol (which has unlimited ammo), or obstacles from which to craft a fort to keep the zombies away. Purchases are all made at the end of the night before the player chooses to start the next night. Each night, the zombies become a little bit stronger, adding an aspect of ramping difficulty that becomes nearly impossible to handle somewhere between night 20 and night 25.

Building forts and arming turrets with the same arsenal of guns available to players is a novel concept that puts a new twist on one of the mainstays of the Tower Defense genre… except “YAZD” isn’t a Tower Defense game. There is no objective to protect outside of the player character’s own life. Once a player has figured this out, and learned to exploit the on-screen zombie limit of the game, base building and defenses go out the window in favor of simply kiting the zombies around the parking lot in an enormous herd. This becomes even more important in later nights, as the zombies’ stat multipliers allow them to tear even the best, most expensive obstacles to shreds in seconds.

When it comes down to it, my main problem with “YAZD” is that it’s just a dumb, repetitive survival game. There are no distinct stages, no special enemies, and no sense of progress. The strategy elements could have been great if they were implemented in a game that wasn’t otherwise terrible in every way.

Overall
If your idea of a great time is killing endless waves samey zombies on a single screen, by all means, give Awesome Games Studio the full $2 they’re asking for this waste of bandwidth. If you demand any kind of engagement from your games, though, stay as far away as possible. Any strategy or ‘fun’ that “Yet Another Zombie Defense” appears to contain is purely superficial.

Presentation: 1.5/5
Story: 0/5
Gameplay: 2.5/5
Overall (not an average): 1/5

 

 


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