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Quick-fire March 2021, Part One

30XX (Early Access)
30XX was released on the 17th of February this year as a Steam Early Access title. The game is developed and published by Batterystaple Games and is a roguelike action platformer.

30XX combines the crisp controls and fluid movement you love from action platformers like Mega Man X, the replayability of a modern roguelike (Binding of Isaac, Enter the Gungeon, Dead Cells, etc.) and co-op play into a single gorgeous package.

Awaken a thousand years after 20XX to realize the world that needed you is gone, changed irreversibly by the advent of the Synthetic Mind and a human race that’s lost the will to reach for the stars. Explore the lush, verdant prison our world has become, and fight to save what remains.

If you are a fan of the Mega Man series and similar action platformers, you need to check 30XX out. It is a sequel of 20XX, and it continues the greatness which that game had to offer. It is addictive the same as the prequel, and features tight controls that are very responsive. The difficulty tends to be a bit inconsistent between levels and bosses alone, and should be rebalanced for the final release. Game’s graphics are beautiful, from the level designs to sprites and the background music fits as well. You are able to play with two characters with different play-styles which offers a good portion of replayability. 30XX also supports local and online multiplayer modes, so you can also dive in with a friend. It will still be overhauled with additional content added (at least three more level themes are planned), as the developers will run the Early Access for around a year. Batterystaple will also be adding more items, power-ups and systems. They plan to raise the price during development, so get it while you can for 16,79€.

Lust from Beyond
Lust from Beyond was released on the 11th of March by Movie Games S.A. and PlayWay S.A., while developed by Movie Games Lunarium, the creators of Lust for Darkness. Lust from Beyond is a psychological horror game with occult and erotic themes. It is a world fueled by desire, fascination, and fear. A world inspired by the disturbing works of H.P. Lovecraft, H.R. Giger, and Zdzislaw Beksinski.

You are Victor Holloway, an antiquarian tormented by visions of a sinister land, where there is no difference between pain and pleasure. To unravel the true meaning of your dreams, you join the esoteric Cult of Ecstasy.

Taste the cultist’s life from within. Get lost in its blasphemous and sexual customs. Find out what happens when the pleasures of this world stop being enough. Discover the gates of Lusst’ghaa, the mythical Land of Ecstasy beyond the borders of reality or comprehension.

Lust from Beyond is a horror porn, or better said erotica game, that blows away the original game Lust for Darkness. The attention to detail is done right in a stunning Lovecraftian style – it sucks you right in, chews you thoroughly and spits you out. The game could be polished more in certain aspects, but it is a title made by a smaller studio so all can be forgiven. In some occurrences it is difficult to know what to do to proceed, but all in all the atmosphere and story are done right. The visuals are crisp and the audio fits in this horrorish theme really well. Lust from Beyond is also a right amount of disturbing for a visceral erotic horror game, and its uniqueness is outstanding. The playthrough was awesome, and I really liked the game, so I can recommend it to all fans of horror and erotic themes. Depending on your choices, the game also has multiple endings to offer, so that is a big plus for the replay value. If you liked the prequel, you cannot go wrong with Lust from Beyond, as it tops Lust for Darkness in every conceivable way.

Metal Unit
Developed by JellySnow Studio and published by NEOWIZ on the 28th of January, Metal Unit is a sprawling side-scrolling platformer with roguelite features. Play as Joanna, a soldier on a mission to capture her treasonous sister. Wear the M-Unit 11 suit and battle against monsters and aliens while uncovering the truth about humanity.

Metal Unit tells a tragic story of human survivors and their battle against monsters and machines to regain control of their planet.

The Earth is under siege from all directions, with ancient beings emerging from underground and alien machines descending from space. The fate of the planet hangs in the balance, but you can help tilt the odds by playing as Joanna, a new soldier capable of wearing the powerful M-Unit suit. Follow Joanna on her epic journey to save humanity and get revenge on her traitorous sister that has taken up arms with the alien race.

Metal Unit has to be recommended to fans of side-scrollers and platformers with roguelite action features. It has light Metroidvania elements and offers fluid gameplay while you fight many enemies in three different regions that are diverse and pretty big. While you can dash and avoid enemies, it has an action-packed battle system, where you can connect various attacks together to perform great combos. Metal Unit offers a wide palette of ranged and melee weapons, so you can defeat enemies in your own specific style. The mechanics and controls are solid and its unique progression system keeps you on your toes. Art style is also great, transpired with pixel art which suits the game perfectly and the soundtrack fits the atmosphere you are currently in as well. The game turns out to be fairly short, but on the other hand offers a good amount of replayability with its New Game+ option.

Shoot 1UP DX
Shoot 1UP was originally released by Mommy’s Best Games in September 2015, and was just overhauled with its DX version this year for PlayStation 4 and 5. Why play shoot ’em ups one ship at a time? Launch them all at once! Unleash an entire armada of ships in Shoot 1UP!

Instead of stowing each 1UP you collect, each new ship becomes playable immediately, resulting in an ever-growing armada of destruction! With your home world ruined, lead your detached battalion’s charge by destroying the mechanical-tentacle hybrid attack forces responsible for your pain.

Shoot 1UP DX has many new changes and improvements compared to the original game. There are new level designs, big-bad bosses, and new enemies all remastered for 4K resolution at 60 FPS with tons of action. The game’s uniqueness in the shoot ‘em up genre is that every 1UP you collect brings you another ship to the game. You can command up to 30 ships simultaneously and you can expand or contract your formation so it suits your gameplay best. Both formations are good, since the spread out one gives you the highest multiplier, while the shrunken one makes it easer to avoid enemies and their bullets. The game also offers 2 player local co-operative play, which can put 60 ships on screen at once, for a total ship and overkill insanity. Shoot 1UP DX offers three difficulties, with Serious being the most… well, serious. You will have troubles surviving even if you are the most experienced shmup player around. Its campaign is a bit short, but there is always room for besting your or your friends’ high scores.