mzuckerm's comments

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Posted by mzuckerm
@ChernobylCow: Funny you should mention Divinity II, since I just finished Ego Draconis and noticed quite a few similarities.  If push came to shove, I'd probably take Two Worlds II over it, though.
Posted by mzuckerm
@TMThomsen: Yup.  Even without the Portal 2 stuff embedded, it was a great deal.
Posted by mzuckerm
@ahoodedfigure: I actually used the name that shows up in Steam, so thank them for not fully typing out the name.   
 
As for Jamestown, don't get me wrong, I do think it's a well done game and pretty fun to play.  I'm hopeful that they'll add additional levels through DLC and maybe some Internet connectivity through a patch or something like that, but I don't know the developer at all and have no idea if they plan on doing that.
Posted by mzuckerm

I've been focusing mostly on indie games.  I bought the Potato Sack and a couple of other Steam indie packs over the last couple of months, and have been working my way through some of those games.  The quality is obviously a bit more uneven than you'd expect when a game comes from a big studio, but some of the winners here are really excellent and can be found for almost nothing.  Quick reviews below: 
 
Cogs - This is basically a series of moving block puzzle, where you have to move blocks around in order to connect pipes and gears in order to make a variety of machines function.  It's basically the same thing over and over again, but there are a wide variety of challenges and a couple of different modes (including time and number of moves challenges).  While I generally think moving block puzzles are some of the most annoying parts of adventure games, they really work here.  The game has a style that is really appealing, and the game is really well done.  The music and sounds are perfect for the game, too.  Very relaxing to play after a long day.
 
AaAaAA!!! - A Reckless Disregard for Gravity - This is basically a first person game where you jump off buildings in a bizarre, futuristic world, and try to rack up points by doing stunts, tagging buildings, and breaking score plates.  It's entertaining for a little while, but the gameplay is pretty repetitive.  The game has an engaging humor to it, though, and the concept of just plunging straight down is fairly unique.  It would have helped to have a greater variety of achievements.  Right now I think there are only six, and a few are pretty easy to get while two will take dozens of hours to get anywhere near.  Given the impressive number of levels in the game, that would have been an encouragement to keep playing. 
 
Defense Grid: The Awakening - This may be the big winner of all the games I've been playing lately.  This is a pretty simple tower defense game, but it gives you a wide variety of towers to choose from (as well as levels of upgrades for each), and allows you to shape the path of waves of aliens.  Both of these contribute to a pretty entertaining game.  Each level feels a bit like a puzzle that has to be solved.  There is a lot of content here; quite a few levels, and each level often has multiple challenges and different awards based on performance.  So far I've put in over 40 hours and I'm still playing. 
 
Jamestown - Well made game, a throwback topdown shooter in the vein of Raptor, Tyrian and 1942.  The game is pretty short (I think there are only five levels, plus some challenges) and the gameplay is a little unorthodox (the Vaunt ability takes some effort to get used to), but the graphics and gameplay are smooth, the soundtrack is good, and the game just feels right.  Also, the story is just a bizarre combination of historical characters in a futuristic world.  As far as I can tell, this is never really explained.  The game may be best played with other players, but it doesn't appear that this is supported over the Internet (which is a pretty big drawback). 
 
Rush - Much better than the other game from this same developer, Toki Tori.  In this game you must guide blocks from the entrance of the puzzles to the end.  The blocks start out going one direction, and can change direction if they run into walls or if you place tokens on the ground.  The game just works for me.  I had plenty of "a-ha" moments playing this game, and seeing the blocks complete the puzzle can be as satisfying to watch as the cards being taken off the screen after successfully completing a game of Free Cell.
 
Toki Tori - In my opinion, not nearly as good a puzzler as Rush.  In Toki Tori, you control a chicken trying to solve puzzles in a 2d platform world.  You can use bridges, teleportation, and an ice cannon.  I wasn't able to get into it.  Frankly, it's pretty boring.
 
Zombie Driver - Made it through the story mode of this game recently.  It's kind of like an old school GTA clone, except with simpler missions and a city filled with zombies.  The graphics are decent, although you view the world from a high enough perspective that it doesn't need to be all that detailed.  The voice acting is terrible, but that may have been intentional to try to spoof a bad zombie movie.  There are several gameplay modes outside of the story mode that may keep you entertained, but I don't expect to get much more than 5 hours of entertainment out of this one.

Posted by mzuckerm
Posted by mzuckerm

I've been working my way through some games lately.  Recently, I finished The Ball.  I can't recommend it very strongly unless you happen to get it at a deep discount on a Steam sale like I did.  Even then, I still can't say for sure it's worth it.  There's nothing wrong with the game per se, it's just not very compelling in any of its aspects.  I have a fuller review up here, and some gameplay footage below.
 
  

  
   
  
I also recently got around to plaything through Dead Space 2.  I finished it in a little less than two days, which should suggest that it's definitely worth a playthrough or two (particularly if you played the first one).  I'm sure there have been plenty of reviews on the site already, so I probably won't get around to doing anything as involved as that.  That being said, the single most compelling part of the series is, for me, the story.  I am fascinated by horror in space (one of my all-time favorite movies is Event Horizon), and have watched the Dead Space DVD and read through the graphic novel to get some additional views.  But this game doesn't add much to the canon.  You're still more or less left with the same questions as you were after the first one.  Who created the marker?  What precisely does it do?  How exactly are the Unitologists tied into this?  I was hoping for a little more in the way of explanation, and the game does hint at a couple of things towards the end, but the writers seemed reluctant to really tell you anything new and concrete.  That's my only complaint about the game though.  The gameplay is terrific, I enjoyed the level design and the (limited) puzzles, and the combat is more or less the same (very fun).  They also added in a surprisingly fun multiplayer component, which I think really adds to the value of the game.  I strongly recommend it.
 
More recently, I started played Darkness Within: In Pursuit of Loath Nolder.  I hadn't heard of it until recently, when it went on deep discount on Impulse (the homeless man's Steam).  It's a Lovecraft-inspired older adventure game.  So far the story is pretty good, but the puzzles can be maddening at times.  I'll probably post a fuller review after I've completed it.
Posted by mzuckerm

Just finished Two Worlds II (for the PC) yesterday.  My feelings on it are fairly complex, my review goes into it in more detail here.  I also just downloaded the new Back to the Future episode.  I'm about 45 minutes into it now, and it feels more or less like the last one, so I expect I'll like it just as much (review here).  I've been playing Magicka some as well.  I haven't beaten it yet, but that's not for lack of wanting to.  The game is a blast to play with friends.  It's a lot of fun just blowing each other up, reviving, and repeating.  Well worth the cost.

Posted by mzuckerm

Great pic.

Posted by mzuckerm
@coonce: Just a dude who's lost without his mustache.
Posted by mzuckerm

Just saw this, it's really well done.

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