Backlog battle - Episode 2 - Artsy indie games and Chopin

Continuing my endless battle of the huge backlog of games. Here are the games from recent weeks. Not so much exciting stuff here thanks to Eternal Sonata which has taken up most of the time. According to my Raptr it says I used 34 hours on it. Some of it is idling though.

As earlier, apologies for the spelling. English is not my first language.


Eternal Sonata  

This 8 year old kid is kind of badass 

Almost stopped playing this after couple of hours. The horrible cute graphics and one of the slowest starting stories I can remember. Anyway in the end it was worth playing. Got couple of strange issues with the game. The camera is fixed and mostly this works fine. Except for the battles. You can not see where the enemies are without zooming out. Wont take long before you see from the pre-fight scene how the characters are located. Still wasting a turn on running to wrong direction bit too often. Other huge annoying fact for me was the items. Each of games multiple characters can upgrade his/her weapon and armour like in any RPG. The most important stats shown clearly +ATT, +DEF and so on. Only problem here was a number of cursed items and complete lack of description on these. Only way of checking this is on the actual battle. There seemed to be sizeable inventory and later parts of the game you are carrying 9 characters items with you. Try to remember and distinguish which of those were cursed. Idiotic. Other than that that. Game certainly has a beautiful looking art style. Cel-shaded world with lots of colour. Even to borderline yucky cute. Story is interesting. The dual arch with Chopin's dreamworld and the more standard RPG story was kind of interesting. The fine indie game Cave Story actually had very similar story where stronger force is exploiting local people and turning these into soldiers. All and all I found the story to be decent. Only gripe on it was the fact that it starts way too slow. After 1st chapter you don't have a goal. Talk to the count about taxes huh? Being a failed musician I enjoyed the music aspects here. Even though classical is not really my thing. The fact snippets about Chopin were interesting to read. Could have gladly read even more about him.


Trine

I must be in the minority here but I didn't like the game. Despite the game being Finnish and me being half Finnish. What's this got to do with the actual game you might ask? Well people from small countries are very proud of games from their countries. Anyway start with the good. I'll admit the art style is stunning. Music is beautiful as are the backgrounds. The Lost Vikings type gameplay is always interesting and introducing the levitation mechanism the wizard is somewhat fresh? Shame that physics were so strange. Not to mention the awkward jumping or or the camera that made the jumping even more tricky. Also I experience some framerate issues (PS3). Not to forget the countless skeletons. These just keep on coming and coming. The horrible knight character has trouble killing the end level skeletons despite the upgrades. Sure you could use the hammer but how do then block their first invisible sting. Almost tempted to write review since Brad's 5 star or the 4.3 average of user review are too generous IMHO. 




Toy Soldiers

Getting close to the end of the campaign. It is great game except for the tower defense mechanism. Must admit this is much harder than I expected. At least from a tower defense game. Artstyle is a amazing, but I doubt I'll ever play this again once I've finisjed it. Bit too long loading times and that unfair difficulty, especially on the boss battles. I like difficult games ala N+ and Super Meat Boy but in such a tower defence game. Sure you can handle the randomness by manning the turrets yourself. In the end it is still just defending fixed attacks.


Archon Classic

My review here. This is of course a remake of an old C64 game. Feel bad always rating a indie game with such bad score, but there simply isn't anything to go for here. The developer completely missed how cool the deliberate retro games are. Instead they made a 90's version of Archon. Yes 90's. Archon originally is from 1983. They've also added lot's of nonsense to the gameplay that is supposed to make this modern.


Windosill - The sequel to classic Atari 2600 title Windowpane. Ok maybe not.

bird has it

Normally I write a review of the indie games that don't have any here. For this particular game it is not going to happen. Simply because this a 30min game. A 30min game with a price tag. Must have gotten this in one of the Steam holiday sale indie packs, don't actually remember. Currently it goes for $2.99. Game is very nice artistic adventure puzzle. Idea is simple to manipulate the screen and find a small block. This block is used to in a slot above door in lower right screen. Once block is inserted the door can be opened and the characters toy car can be pushed to the next screen. There are totally 10 screens or levels. Most puzzles are to do with different kind of physics based quandaries. Presentation is really artistic as seen in the screenshot. It is definitely worth playing if you got this on your Steam collection. Would I recommend paying the $3 price? Well it is for a nice little indie game. So of course. Maybe would suit better fans of this genre and artstyle. Game, if you can even call it that is just too short. Not wanting to go into substance over dollar debate. Just don't feel that why you should pay for something like this. Especially when there are free and as nice games available. Maybe I'll blog about such games more later on.


Coil

Not really sure if this can be considered to be a game. Game is developed by Edmund McMillen (and some other person) which caught my attention. The full version is available on Steam. It says demo but it is a full game. Interesting concept if nothing else.


Lugaru HD

This was actually surprisingly good. Posted a review of the game here.


Current:

Port Royale 2. Still really early but man this is a great game. Modern version of Pirates! with even more complex mechanism. Such as trading and small element of city building.

 As usual, random Youtube video. Got introduced to this bands just few weeks back when I played Brutal Legends for the first time. \m/ 
  
4 Comments
5 Comments
Posted by kalmis

Continuing my endless battle of the huge backlog of games. Here are the games from recent weeks. Not so much exciting stuff here thanks to Eternal Sonata which has taken up most of the time. According to my Raptr it says I used 34 hours on it. Some of it is idling though.

As earlier, apologies for the spelling. English is not my first language.


Eternal Sonata  

This 8 year old kid is kind of badass 

Almost stopped playing this after couple of hours. The horrible cute graphics and one of the slowest starting stories I can remember. Anyway in the end it was worth playing. Got couple of strange issues with the game. The camera is fixed and mostly this works fine. Except for the battles. You can not see where the enemies are without zooming out. Wont take long before you see from the pre-fight scene how the characters are located. Still wasting a turn on running to wrong direction bit too often. Other huge annoying fact for me was the items. Each of games multiple characters can upgrade his/her weapon and armour like in any RPG. The most important stats shown clearly +ATT, +DEF and so on. Only problem here was a number of cursed items and complete lack of description on these. Only way of checking this is on the actual battle. There seemed to be sizeable inventory and later parts of the game you are carrying 9 characters items with you. Try to remember and distinguish which of those were cursed. Idiotic. Other than that that. Game certainly has a beautiful looking art style. Cel-shaded world with lots of colour. Even to borderline yucky cute. Story is interesting. The dual arch with Chopin's dreamworld and the more standard RPG story was kind of interesting. The fine indie game Cave Story actually had very similar story where stronger force is exploiting local people and turning these into soldiers. All and all I found the story to be decent. Only gripe on it was the fact that it starts way too slow. After 1st chapter you don't have a goal. Talk to the count about taxes huh? Being a failed musician I enjoyed the music aspects here. Even though classical is not really my thing. The fact snippets about Chopin were interesting to read. Could have gladly read even more about him.


Trine

I must be in the minority here but I didn't like the game. Despite the game being Finnish and me being half Finnish. What's this got to do with the actual game you might ask? Well people from small countries are very proud of games from their countries. Anyway start with the good. I'll admit the art style is stunning. Music is beautiful as are the backgrounds. The Lost Vikings type gameplay is always interesting and introducing the levitation mechanism the wizard is somewhat fresh? Shame that physics were so strange. Not to mention the awkward jumping or or the camera that made the jumping even more tricky. Also I experience some framerate issues (PS3). Not to forget the countless skeletons. These just keep on coming and coming. The horrible knight character has trouble killing the end level skeletons despite the upgrades. Sure you could use the hammer but how do then block their first invisible sting. Almost tempted to write review since Brad's 5 star or the 4.3 average of user review are too generous IMHO. 




Toy Soldiers

Getting close to the end of the campaign. It is great game except for the tower defense mechanism. Must admit this is much harder than I expected. At least from a tower defense game. Artstyle is a amazing, but I doubt I'll ever play this again once I've finisjed it. Bit too long loading times and that unfair difficulty, especially on the boss battles. I like difficult games ala N+ and Super Meat Boy but in such a tower defence game. Sure you can handle the randomness by manning the turrets yourself. In the end it is still just defending fixed attacks.


Archon Classic

My review here. This is of course a remake of an old C64 game. Feel bad always rating a indie game with such bad score, but there simply isn't anything to go for here. The developer completely missed how cool the deliberate retro games are. Instead they made a 90's version of Archon. Yes 90's. Archon originally is from 1983. They've also added lot's of nonsense to the gameplay that is supposed to make this modern.


Windosill - The sequel to classic Atari 2600 title Windowpane. Ok maybe not.

bird has it

Normally I write a review of the indie games that don't have any here. For this particular game it is not going to happen. Simply because this a 30min game. A 30min game with a price tag. Must have gotten this in one of the Steam holiday sale indie packs, don't actually remember. Currently it goes for $2.99. Game is very nice artistic adventure puzzle. Idea is simple to manipulate the screen and find a small block. This block is used to in a slot above door in lower right screen. Once block is inserted the door can be opened and the characters toy car can be pushed to the next screen. There are totally 10 screens or levels. Most puzzles are to do with different kind of physics based quandaries. Presentation is really artistic as seen in the screenshot. It is definitely worth playing if you got this on your Steam collection. Would I recommend paying the $3 price? Well it is for a nice little indie game. So of course. Maybe would suit better fans of this genre and artstyle. Game, if you can even call it that is just too short. Not wanting to go into substance over dollar debate. Just don't feel that why you should pay for something like this. Especially when there are free and as nice games available. Maybe I'll blog about such games more later on.


Coil

Not really sure if this can be considered to be a game. Game is developed by Edmund McMillen (and some other person) which caught my attention. The full version is available on Steam. It says demo but it is a full game. Interesting concept if nothing else.


Lugaru HD

This was actually surprisingly good. Posted a review of the game here.


Current:

Port Royale 2. Still really early but man this is a great game. Modern version of Pirates! with even more complex mechanism. Such as trading and small element of city building.

 As usual, random Youtube video. Got introduced to this bands just few weeks back when I played Brutal Legends for the first time. \m/ 
  
Posted by Ciffy

I'm actually in Chapter 6 of the Encore playthrough of Eternal Sonata, and I'm curious what you thought about the (a) the ending of the main playthrough and (b) do you have any intentions (or did you) go back through and do the encore playthrough for the extra achievements / trophies?

Posted by melcene

I found very much the same about Eternal Sonata.  Unfortunately, I had trouble getting past the cutesiness.  I have a problem with anime-style art in my video games anyway, but the cutesiness put it over the top for me.  I did stick through it for a bit though because the game was kind of FF-ish, and I liked the music-themed aspect to it. 
 
Ultimately, it ended up being something for my kid.

Posted by WatanabeKazuma

I'd be interested to see your opinions on ES once you are completely done with it. Definitely a game that I have always had my eye but I have for whatever reason never got round to buying.

Posted by kalmis
@Ciffy: Well I must admit the ending was quite strange. The final boss battle wasn't really a surprise. Could have more conclusive, but then again knowing what happened to Chopin it was decent enough tie-in in the end. 
I have a save before the  Mysterious Unison which I checked out. The two first floors churned out the same type of enemy and I read that end boss there has 4 mil hitpoints. So I think I've have enough of the battle mechanism and game now. 
@melcene: Yeah I know what you mean. The artstyle might be suitable for younger player. Which is bit odd because the story is not for kids. Not that its mature or anything. Just more complex. 
@WatanabeKazuma: I would say I am done with the game. Got an urge to go and play FF now. I would definitely recommended the game. After the first chapter the story starts to open up and while it is in the end the average JRPG game. It is still a very polished one. Best part of the game is that it is very cheap. At least it is here in the UK. I think I paid only £8