There is no shortage of great new games to discover and play as we move through 2023 and I myself have been diving into quite a few lately. It’s time for another mini-review roundup and this time I’ll be sharing my thoughts on Cannon Dancer – Osman, Dogfight: A Sausage Bomber Story, and Hunt the Night.
Cannon Dancer – Osman (PS5)
Cannon Dancer – Osman originally released in the arcades over 30 years ago but has now made its way to modern platforms thanks to ININ Games and some members of the original development team. The game was essentially a sequel to Strider and so it shares a lot of similarities to it. This new release brings the core game as it was but with some helpful extra features like save states, rewind and fast forward functions, screen filters, and cheats that you can enable. The story of the game takes place in a cyberpunk Arabian styled world and has you playing as an assassin named Kirin who has to take down an evil sorceress named Abdullah the Slaver.
Gameplay feels good and Kirin is able to jump, slide, attack, perform throws including suplexes, and unleash super attacks. The game is quite challenging as many arcade games of its time were due to trying to get you to put more coins in. Of course, with the new features like rewind anyone should be able to play through this game and it won’t take you long either. The whole thing can easily be finished in under an hour which for the $30 asking price may be a bit of a barrier for some. If you’re willing to pay that though you’ll get a fun and challenging arcade experience with some great action-packed moments and really appealing sprite work to boot.
*Cannon Dancer is available now on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. PlayStation 5 version reviewed. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.
Hunt the Night (PC)
Next up is a game I really enjoyed called Hunt the Night from publisher Dangen Entertainment and developer Moonlight Games. It’s a top-down action-RPG title available on PC now that gave me major Dark Souls and Castlevania vibes. It’s set in the vast world of Medhram and you play as a woman named Vesper who is a member of The Stalkers. This group uses the dark magic of the night to fight back against the many horrors that inhabit the world. You have to set out into this world and explore the many ruins within it to take down all manor of challenging enemies and bosses. This game has some awesome enemy designs from snakes, wolfs, behemoth like beasts, and many more. In fact, the 16-bit artwork in general is one of my favorite things about Hunt the Night as every location, character, and enemy was a delight to look at while playing.
The story in the game is rather lore heavy with lots of information being dropped both from the NPCs in the world and in collectible feathers you can find. It has some nice twists during it and while the story wasn’t the best thing about the game it was a nice complement to the visuals and gameplay that I enjoyed most. You can explore the world freely and it has a nice assortment of puzzles to solve to help freshen things up between the combat. That combat is tough and you’ll really have to master dodging to keep alive in this game. You have a stamina like meter that goes down when you dodge but it does refill on its own pretty fast so managing this meter is a big part of winning fights. For offensive options you can use physical and ranged weapons and there being a lot of both to choose from. Some swords are weaker and faster while others are stronger and slower. Ranged weapons of course have only so many shots to use before you run out so you really need to make each one count. Other things that can help you include Moonstones you can find and equip that give you new abilities or perks so exploring the world is well worth it for these or other useful items. You can also spend currency to upgrade your gear or health.
Overall, Hunt the Night is a great looking action-RPG that will push your skills to the limit but one that is very rewarding when you pass its challenges. It has a dark and beautiful world to explore, challenging combat against great enemy designs, and lots of lore and things to find. If you fancy challenging games then don’t let Hunt the Night pass you by.
*Hunt the Night is available now on PC. Reviewed on PC. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.
Dogfight: A Sausage Bomber Story (PS4)
The last title I’m talking about today is Dogfight: A Sausage Bomber Story from Katsu Entertainment and Hound Picked Games. It’s an arcade side-scrolling shoot ‘em up that has some very nice painted backgrounds and hand-drawn visuals. There isn’t much of a story to this one but the basic setup is that the evil Vega Nation is attacking several different nations and it’s up to a select group of pilots to defend those nations and push Vega back. There are four pilots in the game to choose to play as and you can do so with up to four players locally if you choose. I played through the game solo for this review but tried out each of the pilots as they all have their own special ability.
I wouldn’t say Dogfight does anything special to stand out in this genre but it’s solid fun anyway. There are nine environments to play through each with its own types of enemies. Those enemies can approach you from the front or back of the screen and you can flip your plane to face either direction to shoot at them. There are a few difficulty settings so no matter your skill level you can enjoy this and while the game is short you can always take it on again at a higher difficulty if you choose. The game offers up a good assortment of weapons to use with 250 different combinations in total so trying out different ones can be another reason to replay it. The boss fights are also a highlight of the game as you take on huge machines like a battleship, a drill machine, and more. I will say that much like Cannon Dancer this one is a bit higher in price than I think it should be but if you think you’ll play it over a bunch then it might be worth it to you.
*Dogfight: A Sausage Bomber Story is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch, and PC. PlayStation 4 version reviewed. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.