Backlog battle - Episode 6 - Mediocrity

Seems that has already gone couple of weeks since my last blog. At least looking at the number of games I've played recently. So here is list of my recent games and some of my thoughts on them. Quite high number of of mediocre games this time around.


Battlefield: Bad Company

My brother got an Xbox not too long ago. Since we live in different countries I thought it would be ideal way to do some socializing now then. Been looking to get some cheap games for him since the prices in Norway (where he lives) are horrendous. So decided get the first Bad Company. I've played good amount earlier Battlefield and Battlefront games. Anyway all fine and dandy except that he hasn't gotten his Xbox online. And I haven't had time to go and fix it (Norway and all). Anyway wanted to just blast through th single player because I assumed it wasn't too long. Ended playing some multiplayer as well. Surprisingly there are still people playing this. Gold rush seems to be the one mode that is played. Or maybe the only one available. Works for me since I like objective based modes. The single player campaign was surprisingly long (~10h) and must say I enjoyed every minute of it. Story might be cheesy but I had no idea that it had so much open world. I actually like FPS games, but haven't played lot of multiplayer since the second UT 2004 and COD1. Anyway, this got me kind of hooked for more FPS. I won't ever have time to dedicate my time on single game but BF games seem to work well for me since its more about objectives and not twitch. Anyway this made me order Bad Company 2 and I've started look forward to BF3.


Dark Void

This is like bleak futuristic Uncharted with a Stargate-esq story. Not really bad but not quite as good as Dark Void Zero is. Still worth playing through. Don't think that there is really one thing that makes this bad. It is just very mediocre in every sense.


Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction

This is no doubt the worst Splinter Cell game for me. Way much worse than Double Agent. The projections are a really nice touch. Shame that this more shooting than sneaking. Granted this works better for coop and online stuff but its not really Splinter Cell anymore. Story was simply idiotic. Is Lambert coming back in a next game?


CivCity Rome

Rather Simcity than Civilization. Which btw is a franchise that needs to be brought back. Fuck that Sims crap. Your goal is of course to expand the city. Had this been more like SimCity 3000 ,in ancient Roman settings, it would have been awesome, but no. The catch here is evolve by upgrading residential houses. Basic shack can be upgraded to a hut with access to meat. Small hut can be upgraded to medium hut access to water and so on. Fair enough you would think. Unfortunately the range for the houses to acquire these items is limited. Meaning that at one point the range is not enough since the larger buildings take all the space. At one my point one of my idiot fruit farmers refused to upgrade to a bigger house because the meat shop wasn't fully in his range. Had the shop 90% covered on the are thingie, which wasn't good enough. Would have needed to knock down an existing building to make more space and this would screwed up the other housing. Anyway grapped this on a sale while back and managed to squeeze about 10h out of this.


Sonic Colors

Completed this in a weekend. Review here, had to post one since there wasn't really good one from before. Not saying that mine is good, but at least it is a proper review.


Shattered Union

This is mixture between Risk and Advance Wars. Game is bit too random and unbalanced for my taste. Presentation is nicely done and the hex-based map is interesting. Shame that the gameplay is so average and doesn't require lot of tactics. I always hate it when there is no way around of loosing so many troops. Or you could say I just suck at this. Probably. Anyway, the game has fog of war in every map, which I suppose is realistic. Not just fun. Sure Advance Wars has this occasionally as well but no on every map. Simply because it is just fun guessing all the time. Had the description been more clearer on size of the opponent one could have lived with the constant fog of war. Just now it is very hard to see and plan which size of enemy force is to be expected. Didn't realize before starting the game that this from PopTop Software. Company behind Tropico 1&2 and Railroad Tycoon 2&3. All of those are really good games. Shattered Horizon was this silly named company's last game. And do doubt the worst I am afraid. Still paying 59p for this was not waste per say.


Lure of the Temptress

Wanted to start and adventure game and happened to be browsing my GOG collection same time. This (free game) was the first that I noticed. Well it was Beneath the Steel Sky, but realized that this was the game before. Although probably not related. Anyway I think played this before, at least to some point. Quite short and crude, but what do you expect from a point&click game from 1994. Nice little story and quite moody thanks to the music and the dark(ish) art style.


Got some Indie games time as well..


Lead and Gold Gangs of the Wild West - Steam

I suppose you could call this indie, in a way? Have had this for while, but decided to pick this up only now because they were running a free to play promo this weekend. IE more players. My "better" laptop didn't want to run it at all so ended up using my Netbook. Which can barely run it. Shame because it seemed like easy to pick up western action. Planning to upgrade my desktop and should be able to play this better.


Plain Sight - Steam

Another Steam indie multiplayer game. Really interesting concept and art style. Also less HW demanding for me. Game is almost one year old and unfortunately almost none is playing this anymore. Maybe if there is a play free weekend like with Lead and Gold.

 
 

Blueberry Garden - Steam

This is a strange one. For first the game seems to be rather poorly optimized. IE. the HW requirements are not demanding, but still had problems running this. Anyway work laptop ended up running this. This is such a typical indie game. Interesting open world-ish gameplay with very distinct artistic look and feel. The story is interesting, with a lack of better word. Especially after realising there is an objective. Nice little game, but wait for an Steam sale before picking this up.


Epic Dungeon - XBLI

Now I played quite a few XBLA indie games but this is no doubt the best so far. Old school hack and slash RPG in vein of Diablo and Gauntlet. Closer to look of the latter though. Pure 8-bit retro coolness. You are thrown to a dungeon(epic dungeon mind you) with 50 floors and only got one life. Four different characters and skills. Good amount of loot and endless stream of monsters. Reminded me bit of Realm of the Mad God actually. Maybe I'll cough up further praise, in form of review or something later on.

Fetus/suteF - PC

Two different games but grouping them as one. Fetus is the first game. suteF is the sequel the more longer and more of an proper game. These both are Indie horror puzzle freeware games. The game mechanism is bit in vein of the excellent VVVVVV. Although not as C64 but still very retro looking. And no means as brutal in difficult. Somewhat disturbing though and the puzzles get very deviant in the end (of suteF). Definitely worth checking out. Fetus available here. And suteF here


This weeks random Youtube song should be something from Esoteric since been listening to them all week. Esoteric is a British funeral doom band. They aren't really Youtube friendly thanks to their long ass songs. So here something completely different. Posting a song from FantomenK album that was on sale in last weeks Yawma promo, which no one bought. This song would have worked without that White Stripes melody as well.

  

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Posted by kalmis

Seems that has already gone couple of weeks since my last blog. At least looking at the number of games I've played recently. So here is list of my recent games and some of my thoughts on them. Quite high number of of mediocre games this time around.


Battlefield: Bad Company

My brother got an Xbox not too long ago. Since we live in different countries I thought it would be ideal way to do some socializing now then. Been looking to get some cheap games for him since the prices in Norway (where he lives) are horrendous. So decided get the first Bad Company. I've played good amount earlier Battlefield and Battlefront games. Anyway all fine and dandy except that he hasn't gotten his Xbox online. And I haven't had time to go and fix it (Norway and all). Anyway wanted to just blast through th single player because I assumed it wasn't too long. Ended playing some multiplayer as well. Surprisingly there are still people playing this. Gold rush seems to be the one mode that is played. Or maybe the only one available. Works for me since I like objective based modes. The single player campaign was surprisingly long (~10h) and must say I enjoyed every minute of it. Story might be cheesy but I had no idea that it had so much open world. I actually like FPS games, but haven't played lot of multiplayer since the second UT 2004 and COD1. Anyway, this got me kind of hooked for more FPS. I won't ever have time to dedicate my time on single game but BF games seem to work well for me since its more about objectives and not twitch. Anyway this made me order Bad Company 2 and I've started look forward to BF3.


Dark Void

This is like bleak futuristic Uncharted with a Stargate-esq story. Not really bad but not quite as good as Dark Void Zero is. Still worth playing through. Don't think that there is really one thing that makes this bad. It is just very mediocre in every sense.


Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction

This is no doubt the worst Splinter Cell game for me. Way much worse than Double Agent. The projections are a really nice touch. Shame that this more shooting than sneaking. Granted this works better for coop and online stuff but its not really Splinter Cell anymore. Story was simply idiotic. Is Lambert coming back in a next game?


CivCity Rome

Rather Simcity than Civilization. Which btw is a franchise that needs to be brought back. Fuck that Sims crap. Your goal is of course to expand the city. Had this been more like SimCity 3000 ,in ancient Roman settings, it would have been awesome, but no. The catch here is evolve by upgrading residential houses. Basic shack can be upgraded to a hut with access to meat. Small hut can be upgraded to medium hut access to water and so on. Fair enough you would think. Unfortunately the range for the houses to acquire these items is limited. Meaning that at one point the range is not enough since the larger buildings take all the space. At one my point one of my idiot fruit farmers refused to upgrade to a bigger house because the meat shop wasn't fully in his range. Had the shop 90% covered on the are thingie, which wasn't good enough. Would have needed to knock down an existing building to make more space and this would screwed up the other housing. Anyway grapped this on a sale while back and managed to squeeze about 10h out of this.


Sonic Colors

Completed this in a weekend. Review here, had to post one since there wasn't really good one from before. Not saying that mine is good, but at least it is a proper review.


Shattered Union

This is mixture between Risk and Advance Wars. Game is bit too random and unbalanced for my taste. Presentation is nicely done and the hex-based map is interesting. Shame that the gameplay is so average and doesn't require lot of tactics. I always hate it when there is no way around of loosing so many troops. Or you could say I just suck at this. Probably. Anyway, the game has fog of war in every map, which I suppose is realistic. Not just fun. Sure Advance Wars has this occasionally as well but no on every map. Simply because it is just fun guessing all the time. Had the description been more clearer on size of the opponent one could have lived with the constant fog of war. Just now it is very hard to see and plan which size of enemy force is to be expected. Didn't realize before starting the game that this from PopTop Software. Company behind Tropico 1&2 and Railroad Tycoon 2&3. All of those are really good games. Shattered Horizon was this silly named company's last game. And do doubt the worst I am afraid. Still paying 59p for this was not waste per say.


Lure of the Temptress

Wanted to start and adventure game and happened to be browsing my GOG collection same time. This (free game) was the first that I noticed. Well it was Beneath the Steel Sky, but realized that this was the game before. Although probably not related. Anyway I think played this before, at least to some point. Quite short and crude, but what do you expect from a point&click game from 1994. Nice little story and quite moody thanks to the music and the dark(ish) art style.


Got some Indie games time as well..


Lead and Gold Gangs of the Wild West - Steam

I suppose you could call this indie, in a way? Have had this for while, but decided to pick this up only now because they were running a free to play promo this weekend. IE more players. My "better" laptop didn't want to run it at all so ended up using my Netbook. Which can barely run it. Shame because it seemed like easy to pick up western action. Planning to upgrade my desktop and should be able to play this better.


Plain Sight - Steam

Another Steam indie multiplayer game. Really interesting concept and art style. Also less HW demanding for me. Game is almost one year old and unfortunately almost none is playing this anymore. Maybe if there is a play free weekend like with Lead and Gold.

 
 

Blueberry Garden - Steam

This is a strange one. For first the game seems to be rather poorly optimized. IE. the HW requirements are not demanding, but still had problems running this. Anyway work laptop ended up running this. This is such a typical indie game. Interesting open world-ish gameplay with very distinct artistic look and feel. The story is interesting, with a lack of better word. Especially after realising there is an objective. Nice little game, but wait for an Steam sale before picking this up.


Epic Dungeon - XBLI

Now I played quite a few XBLA indie games but this is no doubt the best so far. Old school hack and slash RPG in vein of Diablo and Gauntlet. Closer to look of the latter though. Pure 8-bit retro coolness. You are thrown to a dungeon(epic dungeon mind you) with 50 floors and only got one life. Four different characters and skills. Good amount of loot and endless stream of monsters. Reminded me bit of Realm of the Mad God actually. Maybe I'll cough up further praise, in form of review or something later on.

Fetus/suteF - PC

Two different games but grouping them as one. Fetus is the first game. suteF is the sequel the more longer and more of an proper game. These both are Indie horror puzzle freeware games. The game mechanism is bit in vein of the excellent VVVVVV. Although not as C64 but still very retro looking. And no means as brutal in difficult. Somewhat disturbing though and the puzzles get very deviant in the end (of suteF). Definitely worth checking out. Fetus available here. And suteF here


This weeks random Youtube song should be something from Esoteric since been listening to them all week. Esoteric is a British funeral doom band. They aren't really Youtube friendly thanks to their long ass songs. So here something completely different. Posting a song from FantomenK album that was on sale in last weeks Yawma promo, which no one bought. This song would have worked without that White Stripes melody as well.

  

Posted by Tordah

That's quite a random bunch of games you have there. I've only played Lead & Gold and Plain Sight from those.  I do actually own Dark Void and CivCity: Rome as well, but I haven't played them yet.
 
Lead & Gold you probably already know my opinion on from my blog. Great game. I've almost put 20 hours into it already. The latest patch added dedicated server support which seems to make the community feel more alive and active. I haven't had any trouble finding people playing it now.
 
I didn't like Plain Sight at all. It's just too confusing and feels like it all about luck since you almost never see the dude that kills you. I admit the weird gravity is an interesting concept, but I didn't much care for it. 
  
Oh, and Esoteric is amazing.

Posted by kalmis
@Tordah:  Thanks replying. You are right, that is quite a random selection of games. Just like to keep it different.
If you already got both Dark Void and CivCity: Rome I suppose those are worth playing. Good with Dark Void is that is quite short, but play it on easy difficulty. There is no different cheevo for beating on normal. Although, I think Vinny mentioned on a podcast while back that you can just beat the last boss on hardest difficulty to get that cheevo.
 
Just checked my options on upgrading the desktop I got here. Not worth it, without motherboard upgrade. So I think I'll just buy a new one. If wife allows it that is. Anyway would have been nice to play some more Lead and Gold, but it is just not fun when it's so slow. And don't want to buy it again for the PS3.
 
I can understand why you would think of Plain Sight that way. It is one chaotic game. Don't really care for the combo mechanism which I assume will become very tricky if there are lots of real players. At time reminds me of some those old UT/Quake maps with the crazy jump pads.