As you can see, I remain skilled at combining the names of different games together in an attempt to create a "clever" blog title. And for once, I think there's actually some thematic consistency between these games, even though it's kind of not obvious at all and I'd have to explain it. Aside from these both being games that I got "free" on PlayStation Plus.
Anyway, I played the first Metro game (Metro 2033) in early 2013 (I think) because it was $10 as a download on Xbox Live. And despite paying less money for Last Light, I enjoyed it quite a bit more, because my biggest issue with 2033 was fixed in Last Light. By which I mean that Last Light is actually a competent shooter. Well, that's not to say that 2033 was a bad game, but it was definitely a game where the atmosphere was the draw, and not the game play.
Then again, whilst playing through Last Light, I couldn't help but feel that even with the improvements, the atmosphere stuff was still the main draw. To be fair, I really like post apocalyptic stuff. Just conceptually, I really like the ideas behind the Metro universe. Using bullets as money is still a fantastic idea, even if there aren't a ton of places to actually spend bullet money in the game. I think the game might lean a little too heavily into the weird mutant monsters though. Not that I think there shouldn't be any of them, I just think that some of them can get a little silly. Like the giant crawdad things. Those weren't especially fun to fight, either.
Toward the end of Last Light, I kept thinking that the game was right about to end, but then it kept going. And going. I mean, it's not a super long game, it's still a modern/linear first person shooter. But I think that the game could have, and should have, ended sooner than it did. At a certain point the story wasn't moving forward at all (which is a little ironic, given that this part of the game was specifically about the main character moving forward to get to a place), and I just wanted to get to the end. I didn't want to fight yet another group of monsters, or yet another group of humans.
Speaking of which, I did like that most encounters against humans are set up as being built around stealth. I also like that the game has a Trophy for beating the game without killing any humans (aside from ones you're "forced" to kill, according to the Trophy). I didn't like that the act of trying to sneak through the game wasn't great. The AI isn't great, and most of the areas are so dark that I couldn't see well enough to actually sneak around. Granted, that's actually more realistic than a lot of stealth games, but not really fun. I think there is some sort of night vision goggles in the game, because there's a thing on part of the HUD for them... But I never found them. Unless that's only in easy mode? I honestly don't know.
Aside from the game going a little long, and some AI issues, I did enjoy the game a lot. I think the voice acting wasn't great, but what am I going to do, play the game in Russian? Never!
And then I played Remember Me. This game and Last Light have two things in common: The first is not great voice acting, and the other is that the style and atmosphere is WAY better than the act of actually playing the game. Especially in Remember Me. While Last Light is a competent game, well, Remember Me... I feel bad calling it incompetent, because I can't really bring myself to call it broken. It's bad though. Remember Me is a bad game. The combat feels bad (and gets very frustrating when fighting invisible enemies), and the platforming is mediocre at best.
But it's not really broken. Then again, this is the first game in a LONG time that I decided, mid-game, to turn the difficulty down to easy. Not because I didn't think I could beat it on normal. I was just getting so angry, and thought I would enjoy it more on easy. What really happened was that I disliked it less than I had before. And that's a shame, because there's some interesting ideas in Remember Me.
For example, you can customize the combos in the game to give various bonuses during the fight. One is extra damage, one is healing, and one recharges special moves faster. That's all great in theory, but there's only four combos in the game, and the combat isn't fun. The measured and slow pace that you have to use to get the combos out just wasn't fun. The special moves help spice it up a bit, but you have to hold L2 to use them, and for whatever reason, using a DualShock 4 with the game works, aside from L2! And probably R2 too, but I don't think R2 was using in the game. So I had to switch back to the DualShock 3, which I didn't like.
The one game part that is good is the memory remixing. But as much as I enjoyed going back and forth through memories trying to change them to meet whatever the goal at the time was, they're all really easy. And there's only four of them in the entire game. But if they had made a game that was mostly those memory remixes, and the rest of it was an adventure game, that would have been rad.
As much as I didn't like the game play, I loved the style of the game. Remember Me's vision of Neo-Paris is fantastic. Everything from the beautiful streets of the upper class zones to the filthy and disgusting sewers of the lower class zones was perfectly realized. Again, as with the post apocalypse, I'm a sucker for futuristic cyber-punk type settings, so admittedly this game is right up my alley. But it's still realized better than most game worlds are.
Oh, and there's a character named Kid X-Mas who is a bounty hunter with a TV show. He brings a holographic wrestling ring around with him that he summons whenever he finds and fights his target. Whatever you think of Remember Me, you have to admit that is rad. Or at least very silly in a good way.
If you have PlayStation Plus, and haven't played either of these games, go play them now. Just set Remember Me to easy first. It's definitely a game to be played for the world, and the art, not the game play.
Oh yeah, you play as a lady in this game! I wasn't going to mention it, because it was well done and she was written in such a way that the character didn't HAVE to be female, and thus was a woman just because the developers thought it'd be cool to play a game as a lady, but then I remembered that almost all games and game developers are sexist monsters who intentionally discriminate against women, so I thought I would mention it.
That's about it for "new" games that I've been playing. I've also gotten back into Need for Speed Rivals. Back last year, before being hospitalized (over that Crohn's induced abscess) ended most of my game playing for that year (and a lot of January), I had beaten the cop career in Rivals, but not the racer career. I still enjoy playing as a cop more than as a racer, largely because of the Dark Souls style losing of Speed Points when you get busted as a racer, but I think I'll stick with the racer career this time. At least long enough to finish it.
And I think I'm getting into playing Killzone Shadow Fall online. I played a few matches this morning, and I'm glad that I am. The campaign of that game isn't great, so it's good to actually get my money's worth. Which is not to say that I regretted buying it in the first place, because I needed to have a really good looking game at launch to justify my purchase of a PS4. So, yeah, Shadow Fall is a fun game.
I still have yet to beat Olmec in Spelunky, and I'm taking a break from the game. I just... I called it an abusive relationship on Twitter, and I think that's accurate. I mean, I ALMOST beat Olmec once, so I know I could do it. But I just don't have it in me to keep trying. For now, at least. I'll be making more attempts in the future, after I take some time to get away from it, and try to clear my head of Spelunking.
That's been it for games. Unless you count the Strider demo, but I didn't buy the game and start playing it, so I don't think that should count. I've also been playing D&D with friends (that same quest that we started last year), and now my sorcerer is powerful enough to fly through the air and shoot lightning (that does lightning AND fire damage) at the same time. So that's fun.
Oh, and I finished my second novel, Space Cops 5000! It's not up for purchasing just yet, that'll be next Friday, the 28th. I still have a little more formatting to do, with regards to meeting Amazon's requirements for publishing on Kindle. It's specifically making links in the Table of Contents lead to the chapters in the book. That's harder to do than it should be. Or at least it was on my first book, but luckily I've managed to forget what I did to get it working last time, so I can look forward to figuring it out all over again! Don't worry, it's not the kind of thing that could lead to a delay. It's not THAT hard.
I'll probably do another blog here once I get that up on Amazon. You know, to advertise for it on the forums here on GB, because advertisements are not only allowed on the forums, I hear that the mods encourage it! I kid, of course, but you can't stop me, mods!
Health wise, I'm still alive. I'm going to be getting one of two treatments for my Crohn's, both of which involve injections. One is at the hospital every 8 weeks, the other is at home (I'd do it myself) every 2 weeks. But I don't get to decide which, the insurance company does. Yay USA? At least the doctor thinks that both will be about the same in terms of effectiveness, and side effects, so it doesn't really matter in terms of my health, unless I'm allergic to one of them.
Next week Lords of Shadow 2 and Thief are coming out. I'd like for both of them to be good, but I feel like Thief won't be. I'll play LoS 2 if it's good or bad, but I'll wait until it goes down in price if it's bad. Then next month is basically New Christmas, with all the games coming out. Ground Zeroes, Dark Souls II, inFAMOUS Second Son, other games that I won't play but will hopefully be good for the people that do play them, etc.
It could be a while before my next video game related blog, unless I get LoS 2 next week. Just warning you.
Now that we know the actual end of the Year of Luigi (some time in March, I don't remember), I figured I'd go back to Luigi before the official end.