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Chris Kavan's Video Game Reviews (466)

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Stardew Valley 4/5
Undertale 4/5
Cyberpunk 2077 3/5
Fable Anniversary 3/5
Strange Brigade 4/5
Satellite Reign 3/5
Watch Dogs 2 4/5
Divinity: Original Sin 2 4.5/5
Marvel: Ultimate Allian... 3/5
Star Trek: Bridge Crew 3/5
Metro 2033 3.5/5
South Park: The Fractur... 4/5
Sundered 3.5/5
Mass Effect: Andromeda 3.5/5
Life is Strange: Before... 4/5
God of War 4/5
Doom (2016) 3.5/5
Armada 3.5/5
Detroit: Become Human 4/5
Destiny 2 4/5
Horizon: Zero Dawn 4.5/5
Oxenfree 4/5
Murdered: Soul Suspect 3/5
Kirby Star Allies 3/5
Celeste 4.5/5

Next 25
 

Dead Block   PlayStation Network 

A Bit Too Dead    3/5 stars

Always searching for the next multiplayer experience, things are starting to get pretty slim in the picking department. After scouring PSN for some game that held at least some appeal to Me, Nick and Nelson - we settled on this game - a tower defense game that features zombies (yay!) and had an interesting premise and decent ratings from players. And for $7, it was reasonably-priced as well. Yet even for that low price, Dead Block feels too short for its own good, and you can easily get through the entire thing in one setting.

Presentation

While the graphics aren't going to turn many heads, it also gets things right. The cartoonish graphics are nice and vibrant, the soundtrack has a 50s rock-n-roll feel (a proto-Elvis kind of rocking) and the controls are simple to pick up. While nothing truly stands out in this department, nothing disappoints either.

Story

As a PSN game, it's pretty light on the story department. Apparently the scourge of rock n roll has caused the dead to arise and now it's up to three people: a construction worker, a portly boy scout and a badass black cop to tackle the problem, survive the night and stop the rock. This means going to various locales (a garage, school, hotel, record label and more) and stop the living dead from getting inside by building various barricades and traps. And that's pretty much it.

Gameplay

As this is a tower defense game - you have to stop waves of enemies (in this case zombies) from getting to your location. The point is not to protect one thing, but to destroy the zombies once and for all. This involves one of two things: finding a trio of parts to power up a guitar and play some power chords (in a rudimentary Guitar-Hero-esque rhythm mini-game) or kill a set number of zombies over the course of a level to power up a generator that kills all the remaining zombies.

Each of the three characters has their strengths and weaknesses. The default construction worker is great and breaking down the various items scattered about (that gives you wood to build standard barricades) and well as building those - but his search skills are slow. The boy scout is great at searching and building, but has low health and weak melee attacks and can't break down items as fast. The foxy cop has the best melee skills and health but her building skills aren't as good compared to the other two characters. In multiplayer, you can choose to play as three of the same character or one of each - it does give you a little challenge depending on the setup, but the variation isn't a huge selling point.

Each character has their own set of traps and special attacks. During the level, certain items you pick up (and search with X) give you access to better weapons, better traps and you can also find $1 coins and steaks that allow you do a few cools things. A dollar can be used to either refill your health or use a jukebox to make all zombies dance themselves to death. The steak can be placed on grates where it will attract zombies - also to their death.

The try to give some variation to the zombies - there are regular, old, huge strongmen, astronauts and cops, amongst others. Some take a high amount of damage to kill, while others are immune to certain attacks. There is enough variation to shake things up, but despite the effort, levels still feel a bit repetitious .

Overall

If you want something short and sweet - it does the trick. You can easily finish the multiplayer levels in one sitting without much effort. I found the single player experience to be more challenging than the multiplayer portion - but that doesn't make it any better overall. Even at $7, it feels a bit short - drop it to $5 and it might be worth it. The game is just too short and repetitive to make it memorable, though for a tower defense game, at least it puts a new spin on an existing genre.

Presentation: 4/5
Story: 2/5
Gameplay: 3/5
Overall (not an average): 3/5

 

 


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