Backlog Log Blog 7/6/2012

Like this awesome picture I made in about 1 min?

This past week has been pretty busy with all the 4th of July nonsense, relatives coming in from out of state, my sisters’ graduation party, and a bunch of other craziness going on. So, I haven’t really had time to play many games in over a week and a half, not that there’s really any games coming out now. In fact, other than Diablo III, this summer has been pretty much barren in terms of games. A great chance to dig back into the pile of games I have always wanted to get around to, but never really found the time to play. So along with the other stuff I’ve started doing this summer, I’m also going to start a sort of “log” (or as I decided to call it the “Backlog Log Blog”, because I’m an idiot who thinks he’s hilariously clever) of all the older games I have finally decided to play.

Whether anyone ever actually reads this or not, it’s at least going to be fun way to motivate me a little more to dig back into those games I’ve had sitting there, begging to be played for years. And it never hurts to document your thoughts and get some extra practice writing. So why don’t I stop explaining what I’m going to do (like always), and just get to it.

Batman Arkham City

Yes, this game isn’t even a year old yet, but it’s been one of those games I’ve been meaning to play for a while and just never seemed to get around to it. I had played the first 5 minutes when I first bought it about 2 months ago, but just never commited to playing it until recently. I don’t know if it was the excitement for the new Batman movie this summer or what, but I finally got that itch to jump back in.

I really liked Arkham Asylum. I wouldn’t say I loved the game like some people did, but I still consider it a surprisingly awesome game. As you probably know, Arkham City is basically the same game with an added open world element to it, and I still can’t decide whether or not that’s a good thing. The world is definitely bigger, and there is still a whole hell a of a lot to do, but the added openness didn’t cause the completionist part of me that obsessed over the first game to show itself. Maybe it’s just because I’ve been trained to ignore all the excess boring side missions in other games, but this game just didn’t hook me the way the first did.

Add the open world to the fact that the main storyline is much shorter than the original, and I couldn’t help but feel a small amount of disappointment after finishing the game. Of course I went back and finished all the side missions I hadn’t done, and don’t get me wrong, more of this kind of Batman game is pretty awesome. I just couldn’t help but thinking maybe they expanded the game in areas that didn’t really add to my enjoyment, and if anything, detracted from it.

Of course, at the end of the day, this is still an awesome game that everyone should probably play. With the combat just as fluid as always, the gadgets even more numerous and extensive than before, and the riddler trophies as addictive to completionists as any game, there’s really no reason not to play this game, especially if you liked the first.

Cryostasis

With Patrick Klepek constantly tweeting about his experience playing through the odd, freaky experience that is Amnesia: The Dark Descent (which I plan to play soon), I decided to play...Cryostasis? Yes, Cryostasis. Though my logic jump from Amnesia to Cryostasis isn’t all that apparent, I was pretty much wanting to play something unique with a slow pace and an eerie tone. Also, I recently heard Dave say something about Cryostasis being a game that freaked him out, so I decided to jump in.

I, for one, am not a person that gets scared all that easily. I’m occasionally a little freaked out by movies if I watch them by myself late at night, but I always have to forcibly put myself in the optimal environment in which to be scared if I want to really freak myself out. I guess it might be just be the fact that it’s really hard to suspend my disbelief when I’m watching a movie where people make the stupidest decisions. For instance, it always baffles me why characters in movies decide it might be a good idea to split up and search the bowels of some basement, cave, or spaceship when those who wander off by themselves have met nothing but a horrible, gruesome death throughout the entire movie. Of course, games are a little bit better because I’m actually the one controlling the character and making the decisions, but the graphical capability of video games is still not really at the point where I get scared all that easily.

That being said, there were a few times I was legitimately scared while playing Cryostasis. There was one particular part where I couldn’t really see where the things were coming from, but I could here them in the darkness, and hearing without seeing the enemies is almost always the way I get scared while playing games. However, the biggest problem I have while playing scary games is the eventual staleness of the situations. Once I’ve played the game for a few hours and understand the mechanics, as well as the methods in which the game trying to scare me, there’s really nothing left to be frightened by because I feel as though I have everything under my control. This is why I can’t wait to play Amnesia, because if there’s one game that could probably scare me it’d be that one.

Despite my inability to feel fear, I still had a really great time playing through the game. The story is pretty interesting right up until the end when it kind of disappoints (other than that I’ll try not to give any spoilers here), but the journey was a bit mysterious and odd in a way I liked while the storytelling was unique in a very interesting way. Actually playing the game was fairly fun, although occasionally frustrating, and they do some pretty cool things with tying the story to gameplay together.

Overall I would not suggest this game to everyone, but it’s definitely still worth playing for a select few. However, if you don’t have a fairly new computer, I’d probably steer clear. The game was known for its technical issues when it was first released, and now that the game is several years old those issues are going to be less noticeable for some, and painfully annoying for others. I build my computer about a year ago and the game ran perfectly up until the end of the game. I’m not exactly sure why it started doing this, but I had it crash on my every 5 minutes or so when an enemy would pop on the screen or when I would try to swing my cursor around really fast. This persisted for about one whole chapter until it suddenly just stopped. So just a word of caution to those of you who don’t have top of the line computers, it might be more of a headache than it’s worth.

The IT Crowd

I probably won’t spend too much time writing about non-game related stuff, but I will at least mention it if I think it’s worth mentioning, and The IT Crowd is definitely worth mentioning. All four seasons of the show are on Netflix and I finally decided to give it a try after Gary Whitta tweeted about the hilarity of one of the episodes. At first I was skeptical after I’d being thoroughly disgusted by the first episode of a similarly “nerd focused” show called Code Monkeys, but The IT Crowd is literally a billion times better than that awful piece of garbage.

For those that don’t know, The IT Crowd is a British comedy centered around three IT department employees of a large company. The characters are great, the situations are hilarious, and I really can’t recommend it enough. If you don’t have Netflix, well then what the hell are you doing, and if you do, you should go watch The IT Crowd.

Indie Game The Movie

Last but not least, Indie Game The Movie is a must see. Anyone with any interest in how games are made should definitely check this movie out, but most of you probably already know that, so let’s just leave it at that.

Next Time

That’s all for now, but I’m going to end each one of these things with a little preview for next time. I’m currently reading the book A Game of Thrones, so once I finish that I’ll probably write up some of my thoughts about the book and my expectations of the next one. As for games though, I’m not really sure what I’m going to play next. I will continue playing Diablo III, but I doubt anyone needs to hear anything about that game, and I might get back into Starcraft II if I have the time. I’ve really been itching to play as of late, and now that I have some people to play with I might jump back in. Who knows, maybe I’ll try something no one’s ever done before and make some youtube videos of me playing starcraft. Wouldn’t that be ever so exciting :D...

So, here are the games I may play next, if you have any suggestions or comments about which one I should choose, let me know. Many of these have been sitting there, waiting for me to play them for a while, so don’t be surprised if they’re old. Also, there will probably be a lot of JRPGs in there.

7 Comments
7 Comments
Posted by DoctorWelch
Like this awesome picture I made in about 1 min?

This past week has been pretty busy with all the 4th of July nonsense, relatives coming in from out of state, my sisters’ graduation party, and a bunch of other craziness going on. So, I haven’t really had time to play many games in over a week and a half, not that there’s really any games coming out now. In fact, other than Diablo III, this summer has been pretty much barren in terms of games. A great chance to dig back into the pile of games I have always wanted to get around to, but never really found the time to play. So along with the other stuff I’ve started doing this summer, I’m also going to start a sort of “log” (or as I decided to call it the “Backlog Log Blog”, because I’m an idiot who thinks he’s hilariously clever) of all the older games I have finally decided to play.

Whether anyone ever actually reads this or not, it’s at least going to be fun way to motivate me a little more to dig back into those games I’ve had sitting there, begging to be played for years. And it never hurts to document your thoughts and get some extra practice writing. So why don’t I stop explaining what I’m going to do (like always), and just get to it.

Batman Arkham City

Yes, this game isn’t even a year old yet, but it’s been one of those games I’ve been meaning to play for a while and just never seemed to get around to it. I had played the first 5 minutes when I first bought it about 2 months ago, but just never commited to playing it until recently. I don’t know if it was the excitement for the new Batman movie this summer or what, but I finally got that itch to jump back in.

I really liked Arkham Asylum. I wouldn’t say I loved the game like some people did, but I still consider it a surprisingly awesome game. As you probably know, Arkham City is basically the same game with an added open world element to it, and I still can’t decide whether or not that’s a good thing. The world is definitely bigger, and there is still a whole hell a of a lot to do, but the added openness didn’t cause the completionist part of me that obsessed over the first game to show itself. Maybe it’s just because I’ve been trained to ignore all the excess boring side missions in other games, but this game just didn’t hook me the way the first did.

Add the open world to the fact that the main storyline is much shorter than the original, and I couldn’t help but feel a small amount of disappointment after finishing the game. Of course I went back and finished all the side missions I hadn’t done, and don’t get me wrong, more of this kind of Batman game is pretty awesome. I just couldn’t help but thinking maybe they expanded the game in areas that didn’t really add to my enjoyment, and if anything, detracted from it.

Of course, at the end of the day, this is still an awesome game that everyone should probably play. With the combat just as fluid as always, the gadgets even more numerous and extensive than before, and the riddler trophies as addictive to completionists as any game, there’s really no reason not to play this game, especially if you liked the first.

Cryostasis

With Patrick Klepek constantly tweeting about his experience playing through the odd, freaky experience that is Amnesia: The Dark Descent (which I plan to play soon), I decided to play...Cryostasis? Yes, Cryostasis. Though my logic jump from Amnesia to Cryostasis isn’t all that apparent, I was pretty much wanting to play something unique with a slow pace and an eerie tone. Also, I recently heard Dave say something about Cryostasis being a game that freaked him out, so I decided to jump in.

I, for one, am not a person that gets scared all that easily. I’m occasionally a little freaked out by movies if I watch them by myself late at night, but I always have to forcibly put myself in the optimal environment in which to be scared if I want to really freak myself out. I guess it might be just be the fact that it’s really hard to suspend my disbelief when I’m watching a movie where people make the stupidest decisions. For instance, it always baffles me why characters in movies decide it might be a good idea to split up and search the bowels of some basement, cave, or spaceship when those who wander off by themselves have met nothing but a horrible, gruesome death throughout the entire movie. Of course, games are a little bit better because I’m actually the one controlling the character and making the decisions, but the graphical capability of video games is still not really at the point where I get scared all that easily.

That being said, there were a few times I was legitimately scared while playing Cryostasis. There was one particular part where I couldn’t really see where the things were coming from, but I could here them in the darkness, and hearing without seeing the enemies is almost always the way I get scared while playing games. However, the biggest problem I have while playing scary games is the eventual staleness of the situations. Once I’ve played the game for a few hours and understand the mechanics, as well as the methods in which the game trying to scare me, there’s really nothing left to be frightened by because I feel as though I have everything under my control. This is why I can’t wait to play Amnesia, because if there’s one game that could probably scare me it’d be that one.

Despite my inability to feel fear, I still had a really great time playing through the game. The story is pretty interesting right up until the end when it kind of disappoints (other than that I’ll try not to give any spoilers here), but the journey was a bit mysterious and odd in a way I liked while the storytelling was unique in a very interesting way. Actually playing the game was fairly fun, although occasionally frustrating, and they do some pretty cool things with tying the story to gameplay together.

Overall I would not suggest this game to everyone, but it’s definitely still worth playing for a select few. However, if you don’t have a fairly new computer, I’d probably steer clear. The game was known for its technical issues when it was first released, and now that the game is several years old those issues are going to be less noticeable for some, and painfully annoying for others. I build my computer about a year ago and the game ran perfectly up until the end of the game. I’m not exactly sure why it started doing this, but I had it crash on my every 5 minutes or so when an enemy would pop on the screen or when I would try to swing my cursor around really fast. This persisted for about one whole chapter until it suddenly just stopped. So just a word of caution to those of you who don’t have top of the line computers, it might be more of a headache than it’s worth.

The IT Crowd

I probably won’t spend too much time writing about non-game related stuff, but I will at least mention it if I think it’s worth mentioning, and The IT Crowd is definitely worth mentioning. All four seasons of the show are on Netflix and I finally decided to give it a try after Gary Whitta tweeted about the hilarity of one of the episodes. At first I was skeptical after I’d being thoroughly disgusted by the first episode of a similarly “nerd focused” show called Code Monkeys, but The IT Crowd is literally a billion times better than that awful piece of garbage.

For those that don’t know, The IT Crowd is a British comedy centered around three IT department employees of a large company. The characters are great, the situations are hilarious, and I really can’t recommend it enough. If you don’t have Netflix, well then what the hell are you doing, and if you do, you should go watch The IT Crowd.

Indie Game The Movie

Last but not least, Indie Game The Movie is a must see. Anyone with any interest in how games are made should definitely check this movie out, but most of you probably already know that, so let’s just leave it at that.

Next Time

That’s all for now, but I’m going to end each one of these things with a little preview for next time. I’m currently reading the book A Game of Thrones, so once I finish that I’ll probably write up some of my thoughts about the book and my expectations of the next one. As for games though, I’m not really sure what I’m going to play next. I will continue playing Diablo III, but I doubt anyone needs to hear anything about that game, and I might get back into Starcraft II if I have the time. I’ve really been itching to play as of late, and now that I have some people to play with I might jump back in. Who knows, maybe I’ll try something no one’s ever done before and make some youtube videos of me playing starcraft. Wouldn’t that be ever so exciting :D...

So, here are the games I may play next, if you have any suggestions or comments about which one I should choose, let me know. Many of these have been sitting there, waiting for me to play them for a while, so don’t be surprised if they’re old. Also, there will probably be a lot of JRPGs in there.

Posted by ericjohnson

Enjoyed the read.

Posted by Dan_CiTi

Nice. Also I'd replace FF13 and Eternal Sonata with Lost Odyssey and Resonance of Fate if you haven't played them, much better games.

Posted by DoctorWelch

@Dan_CiTi said:

Nice. Also I'd replace FF13 and Eternal Sonata with Lost Odyssey and Resonance of Fate if you haven't played them, much better games.

Already played Lost Odyssey and got stuck at a really annoying boss battle and broke a controller...that was the end of my time with that game :P

Also I played like 5 minutes of Resonance of Fate. I've been meaning to go back and play that.

@OfficeBat said:

Enjoyed the read.

Thanks :)

Posted by TyCobb

Was the title an ode to "Bob Loblaw's Law Blog"?

Posted by DoctorWelch

@TyCobb said:

Was the title an ode to "Bob Loblaw's Law Blog"?

It actually was. I was going to put a disclaimer at the beginning saying something stupid like "not to be confused with Bob Loblaw''s Law Blog" but then decided it was a stupid joke that no one would get.

Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

"It's log, it's log, it's better than bad, it's good! It's log, it's log, it's big, it's heavy, it's wood!"

Ahem.

The IT Crowd is delightful. I was shocked and pleased to see one of the leads in Bridesmaids. But the real standout in that show for me was the horribly sexist boss. Any time he was on the screen, I was practically howling. Good stuff.

Personally, I enjoyed the hell out of Arkham City after not really getting into Asylum. I know the main story was shorter, but it felt like the stronger of the two. I do agree that some more meat to it definitely couldn't have hurt. And as for the games you have on deck, there are some excellent choices in there. Personally, I love me some Walking Dead, though Deus Ex, Tales, and SMG 2 are all pretty great.

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