There seem to be a fair few dual stick retro-styled shooters around at the moment and our resident reviewer Beth Gwynn has been getting her hands dirty with 8Days in a bid to see if this shooter is a dud or dynamite.......
"Banking on nostalgic graphics and a threadbare, 80's-esque plot to drive the game, 8DAYS is a "crazy dual-stick shooter in which you play as an expendable mercenary" (store.santaclaragames.com/
games/8days) whose soundtrack is more enjoyable than the gameplay itself. While the game's description boasts that the levels have exceptional replayability due to the variances in how each level can be beaten, it is easily argued that because of the sheer difficulty of the game, it is unlikely to be finished, let alone revisited.
There are two playable characters: Mike, the "grizzled veteran" at the ripe age of 40, and Lola, the edgy 24 year old (you know she's edgy because she has pink hair). While the best gameplay, as Santa Clara Games, states, is in co-op mode with the two characters, I played through on single player as both, starting with Mike.
My hope was that, aside from the 8 bit graphic design of the characters, there would be some discerning factor between one character versus another, like one regenerates health, while one regenerates ammo, but there is no distinguishing factor between one over the other, which I found to be disappointment, because after going through the first two levels as Mike over twenty times, I switched to Lola. That, in itself, is a large issue. Having to forfeit my progress with one character to start a new game with another in no way endured the game to me.
The game drops the player in a torture chamber/ prison cell from which the character must escape, picking up weapons and proceeding without dying in the process. There are some health packs, of which are acquired at great cost, sometimes resulting in restarting the map after death. I tried it several ways and decided that once my health bar was full, I wouldn't stop to visit with other guards and lose what little life I had. This decision came after hours of trial and error and discovering that the following level had very little health packs available. Couple this knowledge with the insanely overpowered enemies, and I entered each level with dread. Six gunshots were the average amount it took to take out an enemy; one knife swipe or two gunshots from an enemy was all it took to kill my character. Stealth is of paramount importance as a single player, however, when I peeked a corner to aim, I inevitably took a bullet or two. Each level passed was a test of will.
Truly, I've struggled with finding positive things to say about this game. The graphics, while nostalgic, aren't enough to make me want to sit through the grueling investment of dying on a single level fifteen times. There is no compelling storyline to keep me invested. If I were to find a redeeming factor in 8DAYS, it would be the soundtrack. The music has a downtempo, Indo-China/ Malaysian vibe that fits in well with the story the plot and graphics are trying to tell. However, the soundtrack can be purchased without the game, leaving little incentive to pick up 8DAYS in the first place.
Challenges in video games are rewarding. That is the whole purpose of side quests, trophies, unlockable achievements and the prize of finishing the game and seeing the end credits. But if a game is so difficult it leaves the player returning to the saturated market for something more fun, what have the studio and the developers achieved? The purpose of a video game, from a development perspective, is financial gain. The purpose of a video game, from a consumer's perspective, is enjoyment. If the consumer doesn't enjoy the game, the studio isn't seeing long term success. Something as simple as a health patch, where the levels have an additional health pack or two, would make this game a more realistic challenge for the players, and at that point, I would pick it up again. Until then? There are hundreds of other games I'd rather play."
Have YOU Played 8Days Yet?
What Were YOUR Impressions Of this Game?
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