Sometimes too many video games can be a bad thing, and I've recently run into this problem. I have a vast backlog to go through but I'm not sure when I'll get around to it, so I tried doing something this year - stop buying so many damn video games! It's given me time to catch up on some games I've really been wanting to play but was simply too busy with other games to try out. However, there are two games recently that have made me take a break for my backlog and there is a reason for that, because they're pretty damn good.
Cook, Serve, Delicious!
This isn't a game I would usually be attracted to, a cooking game? As soon as I saw the title I knew it would've made an awesome quick look but little did I know I would end up buying the game.
In case you weren't aware, Cook, Serve, Delicious is supposed to be the first ever ''Hardcore'' cooking game and you're probably asking, ''does it accomplish that?'' Well, yes, I think it does. Let's get one thing here clear though, it isn't a cooking simulator, it's very much a game.
You first start your journey in a 0 star restaurant that you have opened in a hotel and with a limited amount of food you can make, all with their different perks and negatives. For instance, certain foods will be more well received at night, but will also be more messy causing more chores.
All these perks contribute to or damage your ''buzz'' meter. From what I can tell, I think it affects how many customers you get in one day, but I could be wrong seeing as how it's not totally clear on how what it does. One thing is for sure though - a high percentage is good to have. Various challenges and things will do will also change the buzz meter either positively or negatively.
Of course as you give the game more time you will soon discover more foods and drinks to help your restaurant rise to stardom. All the foods are fairly different in the way they are made, using a keyboard based system in which you must press the corresponding keys (usually that of the first letter of the item you wish to use) to do the action. It allows the game to be a lot faster, since you don't have to do a lot of dragging with the mouse and you have quick access to everything you wish to use.
There are also various chores to have to do throughout the day which take up time, but are easy to do. The challenge of Cook, Serve, Delicious doesn't come from the cooking you need to do (although, the different variants in food can really mess you up), it's the amount of time you have to do it.
You have a short amount of time to do everything, and it makes the more complicated foods just that much more difficult to master. Customers will lose patience and leave, deducting how much you earn in the day and will also break your combo. There are also various items you can get, which help with chores, let you pick a ''special of the day'' and make it so customers will have more patience.
The game is addictive, fun and fast paced, but there is something about the pacing that bothers me a little bit. Even if you finish all the tasks at hand to upgrade to an extra star, you will need a certain amounts of days under your sleeve to progress, so it sort of makes the game drag on a little bit while you itch to see what is next. I also didn't feel the need to try out all the foods, seeing as how healthier foods have a lot more benefits I tend to stuck with those, discouraging use of the other items I had at my disposal. Money also took a little bit long to make, making getting a certain item or food you want feel a bit dragged out. The main issue with the game was that when I felt I was done with it, I hadn't experienced most of what the game had to offer.
None the less, it was still cheap, awesome and I am glad I purchased it. I really suggest picking it up and up voting it on Steam greenlight.
Now this, this is a game I would usually be attracted to. Large maps, different ways to kill people, different choices, interesting characters and settings etc. As soon as I saw the game I knew it was something I was interested in.
And does it live up to my expectations? Yes, it most certainly does. There aren't many games that made we want to play them again right after I finished them, but this is one of those cases in which I do. The fact that according to your playstyle there are subtle differences, dialogue and endings really give it playability, not to mention that playing through the game two different times causes you to play it very, very differently.
In my playthrough, I opted to go for the stealthy non lethal route, trying to spare as many people as I can, which would reward me with the good ending. Although, when I was playing this way, there were many different systems that I didn't experiment with. I never used the bow, hardly used the pistol and never put any runes into purchasing Devouring Swarm or Windblast. It's also a given that I wouldn't have used any bone charms that boosted my combat abilities.
Speaking of non lethal playthroughs, you don't have to kill anyone in the game. That's right, not a damn single soul. But you're an assassin, how do you get rid of your targets? Well, doing different side missions will allow you to ''neutralize'' your enemies in creative ways. Instead of killing someone, you might get someone to cut their tongues off and put them into their own mines to work, or perhaps you will brand them with a special mark that casts them as a criminal, preventing people from communicating with them. It's pretty satisfying to know that you did the right thing, but you did your job none the less.
Satisfying is a fantastic way to describe the game actually, everything you do is just so much damn fun and really makes you feel like a bad ass (when you get the hang of your skills, that is). The powers in the game are pretty awesome, but the most substantial one is definitely blink. Blink allows you to get around the environment in a quick and easy way. It's essentially a teleport, but the design of the game really takes advantage of it. A lot of games today are fairly flat, literally. Blink allows you to bypass whole areas of the game, access places that you would never be able to in other games and escape battles with ease instead of having to reload.
The reason why blink and other powers (such as possession) work so well is because the levels are so big, after my playthrough I still felt as though I had skipped a lot of what had to be seen. For instance, in the mission in which you have to visit a brothel-type location, instead of going through the front door and going into different rooms waiting for the AI to move to a certain position, I just went around the back, possessed a fish and swam to where I wanted to be. That's why when playing it again, I have a big reason to do it so differently. Not only do I want to experience the other weapons and abilities, but I want to see the other beautiful structures and environments I missed out on.
To even further the reason of exploration, are runes and bone charms that will help you upgrade abilities and give you small perks to help you out. You will have to use the heart given to you at the start of the game to locate these, and it will lead you to places you would never think of going. The heart also has the ability to tell you about certain people and areas, giving you more context of the world. I think that the hearts dialogue was over-looked, seeing as how it was a really brilliant and subtle touch. And to further expand the world, there are stacks of books, audio-logs and notes to immerse yourself in.
I could go on for a while about how great the game is, further talking about how nice the art, soundtrack, voice acting and characters are, but they are really things you need to experience yourself to get the feel of them. It's so refreshing for a game like this to come out, one that gives you optional missions, big levels to explore and just overall a fantastic experience. In case you couldn't tell, I strongly recommend trying Dishonored out, you won't be disappointed.
So, that's it! Those are the most recent games I've been playing and I hope you enjoyed hearing my opinions on them. Thanks for reading, and have a good one.