By kalmis 2 Comments
Sometimes I wonder why I even keep a backlog and play these old games. Or write these blogs for that matter. No one cares in the end. Then again these are for my own purpose reminding me of where I actually used my time. Which recently has been lot on my mind, where my time is going. Thanks to some mediocre and simply boring games. Have this compulsion that I have to finish a game before I can move on. Or try damn hard at least. Same as watching the credits in a movie I need to see in a game.
There was a shoddy article at CNN recently where they looked at Raptr stats of RDR. And they discovered that only 10% had finished the game. How accurate that is, that is something else, but for one. It can still get an indication. I've completed that particular game twice, which is a rare treat. RDR certainly get bit repetitive in the end, but it has somewhat great story and it irks me that so many people don't have patience to see how it ended. My wife often comments why I do keep on playing a game if I don't enjoy it fully. Little bit of swearing doesn't mean it is all bad!? I just need to see the credits. And the game might improve.
Anyway ,with this blog I am trying to break out of that mold a wee bit. My time is valuable as it is already. And we don't even have kids, yet. Recently I rejuvenated my Backloggery account and will be posting my updates there more often. So if you got an backloggery add me as a friend. Still probably keep on writing these blogs now and then though. With that, here are games I've played recently..
Now this is awesome. A short espionage story done on a early Quake engine. Reminded me of No One Lives Forever. Gravity Bone is free to download and doesn't require any install. And it will probably run on your toaster. And that is said in the kindest way possible. It is not apparent all that the engine is so old. The art style is very unique and fits perfectly the idea. The mood on this really well done as well. Game can be completed in 15mins. Only complaint is that it is too short! Incase you haven't played this before I would strongly recommend doing so.
Last game from the first Humble Bundle that I haven't still played. Scary game, especially with headphones and dark room. Game has nice pacing and the the physics puzzles are nice and simple. The visuals, even for older game like this work really nicely. Especially with the panic/night vision thingie. I really should play more horror games. Maybe when that Resident Evil/Silent Hill HD bundles come out I'll start with one of those. Only complaint I would have with Requiem is "that" certain spider tunnel sequence. Took a bit too long to get out of there. If you played the game you know the scene. They really screwed up the quick saving here. Bunnyhopping in the end seemed to help. I've got Amnesia already, but should probably get Black Plague next and finish this story.
Ubisoft have really struck gold with Assassin's Creed franchise no denying that. Not sure if this is something to mention since gaming books have a certain reputation. Anyway, I have already read the book for Brotherhood(long flight) before starting the game so I was familiar with the story. Interesting with the book was that it was completely about Ezio, not a single word about the modern day stuff. Also it had more context naturally and more depth with events around Caterina and all. Also the ending is way more detailed and makes sense. Not the sci-fi stuff, well that is not fair. There is the apple, just not any of the modern bs. The game goes in to same category as Just Cause 2 and maybe RDR for me. It is just a very fun game(s). The worlds are so large and there is always something to come back to after beating the story. Couple of annoyances with this game I got as well. Ezio relies way too much on static aids for his assassin action. Good example is the machine gun mission. You need to infiltrate a fort and retrieve some blueprints. You can not be detected or else mission fails. To get the better score/full sync on the mission you need to pass it through without killing anyone. Do-able and not too hard just very time consuming. Ezio is such a bad ass that he doesn't do any cover mechanism other than hides in hay-stacks and wells? Very odd. Especially in the part where you destroy the prints. You are basically dancing around a soldier and a pile of boxes. Feels kind of retarded in game so complex. Similar awkward you see me/you see me not happens couple of times later as well. Game kind of moving towards Hitman series with the freedom, but not quite there yet. Other complaint would be the same as in GTA games. When restarting a mission how come your ammunition count doesn't get reset? Despite these, this game is awesome. Very much looking forward seeing how Cesc's... i mean Ezio's adventure's will end.
Still some on and off sessions with this. Got to about 75% of the career on this. To be able to continue with the levels you need to have 1st place on pretty every track. Sorry, not happening. Had it only been the cheating AI, unfair mechanism, or how the levels are designed that area against you, but no. Everything here is against you. In one race where I had the slow screen-covering monster truck against significantly faster buggy's and rally cars. The speed difference doesn't pay such a big role most times because of the rubberband mechanism. As usual was battling for the third spot on a wide curve where a small rally car managed to tackle my monster truck out of the cliff. This was a wide road and it could overtaken me easily being faster and all. Instead this car half the size of the monster truck's pushed the bigger car out of the cliff. Would have never worked had the roles been reversed. What a cheating and unfair game! As I said on the previous blog, don't think that this acceptable since the first game had exactly the same faults. I must be a minority here since they seem to churn out these games still. For me, I am done with MotorStorm for good now.
So, had to experience this myself. And it is as repetitive as everyone says it is. If there only would be a way to play this game by listening through all the dialog and having short summary of the action sequences. Because the dialog is properly funny. Finished the story and glad about that. Normally I would try and beat my friends scores, since there are quite a few spots where Tordah (who is the only that I know who has played this) has better score than I have. Just can't be bothered with this anymore. So much wasted potential. Also seeing how I didn't fully enjoy Mr Splosion man in the end. And now this, I doubt I want to play Ms Splosion man, ever. Or another game from Twisted Pixel. Their games always tend to become a chore.
My review here. In short, not good.
Good game, but I wouldn't quite call this GOTY though. Music and the narration is great as is the weapon combination system. Which is surprisingly deep. I can't stop and not think of Braid after playing this. Both very artistic and unique. Even tad pretentious. Yes, flame on. Also the gameplay is not the most exciting here. Still enjoyed pretty much every minute of it, but have really no desire for second run. I have not played too many 2011 titles so this will be probably be on my list end of the year.
Gamecube is a strange platform for me. Remember getting the console for birthday, but barely played it. Finished Windwaker and Starfox Adventures while back, but that's about it. Anyway, have my study sorted and my old CRT hooked up now. So played through Pikmin on original hardware and 14" CRT telly. And it was great. Idea and the gameplay are fun and original. Had some trouble with the controls to begin with, but once that was OK had absolutely no problems with the game. Understand now why people are asking for a new Pikmin. Wife saw me playing this and asked if it was a children's game. Trying to explain her the RTS mechanism didn't get far. This was actually one of the things that put me off while back. The visuals that is. Yes, I was an adult back when this was released already. Anyway very glad that I went back for this and played this. The 14" TV, the full blown SD experience was brilliant. Well except for one thing. Our cat likes to sleep on my lap while I do my gaming. Have just a office chair in the study. It is comfy, but not comfy enough for two. Need to look into getting into that and sequel too.
From Pikmin to Operation Flashpoint. Quite a difference. Anyway, hardly played the first game, but keep getting reminded of this by my closest boss who is kind of FPS/shooter-nut. Got this game for peanuts on Ebay while back, the Xbox 360 version that is. And after all the time I've used on Bad Company 2 it was quite a learning curve. Man, this game is hard compared to BC2. Challenge is always refreshing. I've got couple of serious problem with this game. It makes you wait, constantly. You end up running and running between locations which is “realistic”. Just very boring. Everything in the game takes time. Changing your gun to a RPG takes about 15 seconds. Getting out heal pack playing the small mini game takes the same if not even more. Your duder can not jump, but he can go over obstacles. Taking his time. To get around the endless running you can always use an vehicle. Your 3 man squad will generally/are supposed to follow your actions. Meaning when take that jeep you have literally wait for them. Games like GTA and Mafia manage to do the same without making you wait and wait. Add here the long loadtime you end up thinking why are you wasting your precious time with something like this. Had the AI been smart this would have been bearable, but no. The enemy behaves relatively realistically. When getting shot they will duck. They will also try to heal their downed teammates and seek for cover. Your own team mates on the hand have not been so lucky with the intelligence distribution. As mentioned they are monkeying your actions. When they feel like it. On a certain stealth mission I was doing good progress on approaching an enemy location only to have the alarm triggered by my team mates who were running behind me, even though I was crawling and had ordered the team to stand down. Other fine example of this games moronic behavior is spotting. Since you are in charge of the team it is up to you point the team to correct direction. Their shooting efforts leaving lot to be desired for, hardly ever getting a kill. Or even shooting at the correct target for that matter. Here you can point to an enemy and order them to engage. Problem here is that you need to be very accurate with the aiming and pointing out to an tiny head popping up in several hundreds of meter. If you happen to miss this you end up sending the team there. The aiming and engaging being so clunky and slow always end you taking the shot yourself. Knowing your team would use 5min on it anyway. In the end it is almost easier to leave the team behind, because shepherding them is too time consuming and in-effective. Only time when you need them is when facing higher number of soldiers. The squat can be ordered around with number of different commands and tactics. This gives a nice sense of depth, but using this interface is just clunky and slow. Idea is nice to have more control on your team, such a shame that they are so useless. After about half way through I had to stop playing this. My time is too valuable for waiting some moronic AI in an mediocre FPS.
From flora RTS and tactical FPS I jumped into a Russian made Fantasy strategy-RPG. Really enjoyable experience and challenging for sure. There is quite difficulty spike on the 6 mission, but I am determinated to finish this. Only complaint so far would be the voice-acting which is slightly awkward. Still playing this, might pen a review later on.
RPS made me do it. This is a strange one, card based western game. Game has quite a learning curve, but once get it it is rather addicting. Would be nice if the game had multiplayer. Been only playing the demo and would want to get the full version but dishing out $15 for a yet another game that is not available on Steam or GOG is not tempting. Hard enough to keep the track of all the indie games as it is.
Usually games with rolling stuff tend to get annoying because of the randomness. Here it is not a problem because the basic idea is so simple. Just racing through well designed and pretty levels. The tower defense aspect, which more of you building stuff to hinder the opponents progression is addicting although in the end it doesn't play big role. Still, off those my favorite thing is the big elephants, those are just so random and cause lot of grief for the enemy. If placed well that is. One of the few 2011 games that I've played when these have been new still. Tried some online multiplayer but had some strange issues with the controller not responding. Although that might have been batteries running out. Anyway this a great game and will be interesting to see what kind of DLC they can do. This made also download the demo of Zeno Clash. Didn't know these guys were from Chile.
Had just a brief encounter with this. Nice minimalist platformer ala Limbo. This having the cheapest XBLIG pricing so had to of course purchase it. I think I've almost finished it, but still not sure what's going on.
Another great XBLIG title. Super Meat Boy would be closest relation. The visuals might look simpler, but the this is definitely not a simple or an easy game.Another 80MS title which I would highly recommend.
The recent go-to-games have been:
Bad Company 2
What else. Looking really forward to the BF3. Slightly gutted that I "need" to get the Xbox version. On BC2 I've gotten my brother to play more of the Vietnam maps now. He also had some problems with logging in to EA servers from his Xbox. This seems to be quite a common thing for all platforms. And surprisingly there isn't a fix from EA's end. Doing some port forwarding on his router solved this. We were comparing our stats and he has kind of gone past me on the hours spend. I am at ~100h where he had 204h. Uh? No question what he used his summer on.
Been playing this for on and off for months, but haven't mentioned it here before. Perfect game for bite sized gaming. Was playing the v0.15 version for a long time when I realized there was a newer version already v0.21. Still free. Quite big difference here. On earlier version you could start a game that you could not beat with chosen character combo. This is more of an puzzle than dungeon crawler. The paid version has nice features, but don't really care for the visuals. Also bit the same as Six Gun Saga, don;t really need yet another indie game outside the usual platforms. When this gets full release it will most likely be on Steam.
Random Youtube clip of the month..
Another comment about my age. I've noticed that when getting older I seem to have mellowed down a little bit. Can't say that word like hate belongs to my vocabulary anymore. Even tomatoes which used to be my nemesis has started to be tasteful. There is still one thing that I hate. With a fucking passion. AUTOTUNE. Luckily I am not exposed to this too much. Occasional glimpse is enough to give me an headache though. The so called "artists" using autotune should be gathered and taken behind the shed and shot. Ignorance is bliss, usually, but when this attacks my music I can not do anything else than vent.
So there is this band called Pain. They are Swedish electronic/metal hybrid something. Comes from mind of Peter Tägtgren who is a known heavy metal producer and the guy behind band called Hypocrisy. Who play melodic death metal. I like Hypocrisy and kind of like Pain. They are perfect gym music. At least the earlier albums. Pain released a new album in June called You Only Live Twice. And it has some decent some songs, but there is, you guessed it. AUTO-FUCKING-TUNE. On their recent albums they gone more and more towards the mainstream more. And now with such strong autotune presence it is simply too much. I had to give that CD away. Sorry Peter, you went too far. So here is a goodie from 2nd Pain album. When this shit still sounded fresh. Back in 1999 at least.
Kalmis will not buy another Motorstorm, Twisted Pixel game ever again. Or a Pain album for that matter. Oh and OP: Dragon Rising is shit. Rock of Ages is awesome. And all autotune artists should be shot.