Strangers Abode! My blog segment in which I feed you with my brain mush! Hmm.. that didn't sound right at all..
Or Final Craft.
I'm loving Final Fantasy XIII. And it's not that I love the series unconditionally . I hated the 12th part. But something about Lightning's story is very appealing to me. I've been playing for 50 hours, and I've had a blast all the way through. The combat is fun, the story is engaging, the world is interesting the characters are.. Well yeah. Hope and Vanille are the game's only problem. They should've been toned down a little bit. But they eventualy overcome their problems, so it's not that bad. And I've noticed the linear gameplay, I don't mind it all that much though.
The thing that bothered me- and that found its place in Brad's review- is that you don't feel the scale of the world. I mean, how could you? You're moving around through tight corridors and never see the map, it's like the whole place is a giant maze more than an actual world. And you don't participate in any games, side missions or anything interesting with other people. It's like reading a book. It has a plot, interesting events, but no interactivity. And last I've heard, this was a GAME.
Don't get me wrong, I don't want a nameless character and/or an open world sandbox game. God no. I hate those games. I just think that someone somewhere forgot what makes games special.
Ah hell, even with those problems the game's awesome, and I recommend it.
Also, Starcraft 2. Played a bunch of multiplayer, and I pretty much suck at that game. It's still fun though.
Hence the title.
Castlevania HD is a good game. It may not be a great game, and God forbid a supberb one, but it's not BAD. At least it wasn't bad for me.
But you have to gather a possie to have a good time with it. And and play it on hard. Then it gets crazy. Crazy FUN that is! Hahaha, I'll be here all day folks!
Conundrums left and right, this is another edition of Strangers' Abode- my blog segment in which I use short controlled bursts of information aimed at your head.
Blat blat blat! Let's go!
One Game Only
One game only doesn't mean this blog will focus on one game, it means I can get only ONE game from the following selection:
Super Street Fighter IV
Microsoft Points (Let's say I'll get 2/3 games that way)
Just cause 2
Crazy. Now, two of these great games cost the exact same ammount of money. Starcraft 2 and SSFIV. Incidently, these two are the biggest contenders on that list. Funny thing is- I already share one Starcraft 2 key with my brother. But it's not as comfortable as I wish it was. Also- I can't play against him, which is a bummer.
Two- TWO Starcraft keys purchased by me in a short ammount of time? Insanity (not to use the word madness).
So why shouldn't I go for SSFIV? Well, you see, I'm not that good of a fighter. I had SFIV, and my win/loose ratio was about 20% to 80%. Hint: 20% are the fights I won. Yeah.
It's a very interesting game, and I've found out about its existence by reading that blog. Fascinating, you should check it out- if you hadn't already. Thanks Fallen189, for putting this game on my radar!
Now, the big thing about Minecraft is that it's really cheap right now. By not buying it while it's in the Alpha stage, I'm loosing money! The game will be more expensive in Beta!
Just Cause 2 is the least appealing game of the bunch. It looks pretty though.
Damn. I've got a conundrum. Any opinions?
And now- back to our show
Castlevania is comming out this week- and I'm eagerly awaiting its premiere. I love side scrollers, and Metroidvania games are a perfect example of a complicated, well structured 2D game.
Puzzle Quest 2 is a nightmare. I can't play it anymore. The second I see an enemy standing on my path, I turn off the game. Then I start it up, fight that enemy, go on, see another monster, turn it off.
I'm level 40, and every fight still takes about 10 minutes. I have had enough. It's like playing Persona 4 without the story. Only boring dungeons remain.
Man, I'm really selling you on the game, huh?
And that's pretty much it. Thanks for reading! Bye!
While rummaging through the ruins of old console games, I have found one that hasn't aged a day in my mind- Suikoden 2.
I realised this game was probably one of the best JRPGs- hell, RPGs I've ever played. Screw that, best story game I've ever played.
Which bummed me out a little. I finished RDR not long ago, and the story was decent. Actually, it was pretty well done. But something was missing.. And it wasn't the nostalgia- I played Suikoden 2 about four years ago. That's not enough time to get all mushy about it.
So, if it's not the poochie-poochie feelings, then what? Well let me tell you something about the characters, story and writing in this game...
Marston's love and blindness
I didn't really like John Marston, and certainly had no attchement for...
...his wife and son, who the story writers desperately wanted to shove down my throat the last couple of hours of the game. All they did was whine, and make me do pointless missions. Yes, after four missions of shooting damn forest animals, I felt waaaay closer to my "son". You know what they say, nothing makes a bond between a man and his boy tighter, than shootin' and skinnin' some deer!
It just felt dirty. All of it.
It felt that way because it was forced. John Marston may have loved his family- he lived with them for 16 years. I on the other hand, couldn't care less about a bunch of strangers I've met an hour ago, and only knew an hour before everything ended.
I barely cared about Marston himself.
Don't get me wrong, Marston is clearly a more likable fellow than Niko or Carl Johnosn. But he's just too passive about everything. he has his moments, but mostly he just doesn't care.
Games that made you think
So maybe it just wasn't for me. Some people enjoy it, but does it make them/you think about it? Does this game make you care and feel bad/good for all the people involved?
Persona 4 did. Good story driven games do that. I'm not saying ONLY JRPGs are skillful at creating an interesting world with charismatic characters, no, I cared about the fate of my crewmen in Mass Effect 2.
Except for Miranda, I mean- she has a nice ass, but man.. I have no idea what someone was thinking when writing for that character. Oh, but she has a sister that she cares for! Bleh!
Suikoden 2 was one of the few games with a story I cared about. I also got deeply invested in some of the Final Fantasy games, mainly FFIX- it has an amazing way of pulling me into the world it has created. Even if it was a lil' bit cheesy here and there..
And how could I forget The Longest Journey? That game was worth the time spent on looking at a faq (I'm not that good at adventure games).
So what game made you feel for the characters and its story? What games you couldn't get into because of its writing?
Welcome to Strangers' Abode, my house is my head, so take your shoes off! Don't want you to make a mess! It's just a blog segment in which I talk about the games I've been playing lately.
I'm a little late to the party with RDR, but hell, it's still worth mentioning.
Between Limbo and Redemption
I liked LIMBO. However some puzzles were annoying. The atmosphere is great, the graphics are amazing and
MINOR SPOILERS! The ending is open the interpretation, which I actualy liked. People talk about that here and there on the forums, which is great, I like reading up on that stuff.
Red Dead is another game with an awesome ending- it was very clever, glad Rockstar didn't dissapoint. I just finished it, and will probably play some more. It's a bit dull now though, the story was the main thing that kept me going. END OF SPOILERS
PQ2 is incredibly long. It's too long. Especialy if you consider doing all the sidequests and exploring every room. Man, I'm already tired of puzzling. It's just too much, really. I miss the story of PQ1, it felt more epic and interesting. This is just- there's something evil here, kill it. Whereas in PQ1 you were fighting a war, making alliances.. Maybe that is its biggest flaw.
Summer of Arcade 2010
Been thinking about Summer of Arcade lately.. And the only game I'd buy from the remaining four- is Castlevania. Yes, it's flawed, but Monday Night Combat is a DOTA meets TF2 both things are not very appealing to me.
There's also Hydro Thunder Hurricane, and from what I've heard they're just banking on nostalgia with that title. Since I never played the first game in the 'franchise' I don't suppose I'd enjoy this one.
Lara Croft looks bad, I don't think I'd enjoy another top down shooter. That's what I thought, but then..
Valve being Valve
Valve's the only thing (except for Blizzard) that keeps my faith in PC games strong.
I've enjoyed playing Valve's latest free(!) source engine game. Alien Swarm plays really well, requires tactics, team play and it's a lot of fun to shoot the aliens in the face. What more could you want?
Enjoy Alien Swarm? Downloaded it already? If not, do so.
And that's pretty much it for now. I still have that crazy LIMBO achievement to get.
Oh, anyone reading this can recomend me some good JRPG classics? SNES era games would be great!
Famicom, a revolutionairy console, known in the USA by the name of Nintendo Entertainment System. Now, considering this is a website about video games (video game website about video games) you probably know all about Famicom, and you've seen or played some of its 8-bit titles. Even so, a little background info is needed. So, the original Famicom came out in 1983 in Japan, and then in 1985 in the USA, Europe and the rest of the world where it was known as the Nintendo Entertainment System, NES in short. As I said, you probably know this. What you may not know though, is the history of the NES clones. Countless bootleg duplicates of the system, that included hacked versions of the original games.
When I was little, I always thought my console was an original Nintendo console. Well, I was a bit too young to know what I know now, or even what I knew some years back, when I used the internet to get the scoop on the Nintendo consoles. So I type in "Nintendo consoles", and look through their systems. Wait, no Pegasus on that list? Yes, Pegasus. You see, here in Poland, NES was REALLY REALLY rare, so nobody had one. Instead all kids had a Pegasus- a clone of the Famicom system from Taiwan, nobody knew, and most don't know even TODAY, what was/is a NES.
Now, I don't know what the hell you had in your house, but for me the mighty Pegasus was an original Nintendo Entertainment System. It wasn't cheap, either! What was really peculiar for me even back then (with my tiny brain of a seven year old) was that the cartriges had 400 games on them. Well, okay, that's like a mix tape sort of thing, I get it. What was weird, is that there were about 60 games on that cartridge (which was still plenty) and after the 60th, they started to repeat. Why? Well, the 2nd Contra had double the lives. What? Yeah. The 3rd Contra had a powered up version of your gun as your default gun. And my favourite Contra had infinite lives.
I suspect there was nothing like that on the original Nintendo console, but I may be wrong. The weird thing is, people still buy Pegasus consoles here in Poland. They think of it as a rare item, and some buy it because of nostalgia. It's a weird situation, and I really don't want to enlighten them, ruining their childhood memories. Don't get me wrong, it's not like our experience with the console is based on its originality, but I felt somewhat betrayed when I learned that my first console was a crappy duplicate.
You think the Pegasus was the only NES clone? Or maybe you've seen a few brandless vids (coined by Jeff) consoles on sale at a crappy kids store, or in a back alley, sold by a creepy looking guy with a weird accent and waxed moustache.. no? Well, either way, there were many more, and here are my favourite ones:
Arcade Station and Arcade Action There were countless console duplicates sold in the USA as well as Europe, China and Japan, but these little fuckers are the worst. You see, My dad bought me a NES that looked somewhat like SNES (that's Pegasus for ya) but he still KNEW it was an 8-bit console. In fact Pegasus was advertised on TV. These consoles though looked like N64s! A parent that's not into gaming would buy this piece of shit diguised as the cutting edge Nintendo console. The very next day the guy in the back alley would be gone with the money. Awesome.
Polystation This bastard looked like Playstation. It even had a similar logo. But it was EVEN WORSE than Arcade Station/Action, cause it was sold as a console that can read CD's, but when you've opened the disc tray- there was a cartridge slot instead of a laser. Classy. The funny thing is, Polystations are STILL IN SALE. Three years ago I've seen a brand new Polystation being sold on a local market. Holy shit.
As you can see these two clones were used to fool the parents into buying something that's ten years old. There were ones resembling Sega systems too, like Sega Master System or Sega Mega Drive, it didn't matter though, cause under the hood, they were all Famicom clones. Beautiful. But there were better ones out there.. Pegasus, as I mentioned before, was a really good one. And apparently, so was Dendy- a popular Russian NES duplicate.
I just mentioned a few, but there are about 100 (or even more) NES clones in existence. Can you imagine Xbox360, Wii or PS3 clones being created in Russia today? I guess those days are over. But don't be sad. I'm sure somewhere, someone is just about to sell a Polystation console to a naive parent.
Did "Fatal Fantasy VII" draw your attention to this little blog? Well you've been tricked. Cheated, conned, played, bamboozled (my favourite one). Okay, there is a game with that title here. #50 "Fatal Fantasy VII", and it's pretty scary how close its gets to the source material. But first, a little introduction to the horrible world of..
Net Yaroze. A PS1 development kit responsible for 84 games shipped on PS1 demo discs. For every good game you stumbled across, there were ten awful, awful ones waiting around the corner. I'm more than half way through, and I couldn't be any happier. You see, most of these 'things' after the 30th one aren't even games. People sent out their tech demos, and pre alpha versions of their homebrew products. I enjoy bad games, I laugh a litte bit and move on. But there's nothing funny about tech demos. Ironically (Bender would disagree) the first game on today's list is..
#45 "Tunnel Demo" A fitting name, it's a demo of a racing game (that rhymed!). Now, a demo consists of actual gameplay, or so one would think, but what awaits us here is a short tunnel (hence the name) and a ship. Now, make no mistake, there are NO other opponents. Which is kind of sad really. It's just you, no music, no sound effects, no goal. You- going in circles. The controlls are bad. Worse than you might think, by pressig up you speed up, strangely enough you go straight to your maximum speed, and that means it leaves you with only limited controll of the ship. You turn left and right with circle and square. Again, why the weird controll scheme? Left and right too normal for you? You had to make it more fancy? You can go to the 'track viewer' and view the one track. So that's all I can say about this game. Or should I say "steaming pile of.. garbage".
#46 "Pune Yaroze" Homebrew games have a tendency of being treated as direct clones of other games. In many cases that may be true, but this is actualy a quite interesting game. It's
Snake. Yeah, that goes against everything I said in the previous sentence, eh? Well, sue me. It's Snake, but for two players. It' ain't bad, it's actualy FUN. Something I can't say about most of these.. things.
So, if you're not familiar with the gameplay, let me lay it out for you. You're a snake (duh) and you grow constantly (or after eating an apple/some other fruit) and your goal is to eat enough fruits to unlock the door and reach the exit. Here though, you don't eat apples. You just grow. In fact, your ass doesn't move even an inch from the place you start. So you're this humongous line that keeps growing and you need to close your opponent in a tight space from which they cannot escape.
It's like someone would combine Snake with Tron races. Hmm.. there was this great Tron races game on Linux.. Damn, I'm starting to think about better games again. Sorry 'bout that. So yeah, this is fun. Now, what was that Linux game called..?
#47 "Car Demo" No sense thinking too much about this one. It's from first perspective, it's ugly and it handles really bad.
#48 "Between The Eyes" What would you get if you'd cross previously mentioned Tunnel Demo with a hooker's wardrobe? Between the Eyes. A game with a style so hideous and the controlls so bad, it would put all the makers of the previous Yaroze racing games to shame. "You can do worse that that!" it would say. It would laugh at them, cause the would be producer of such a game- let's say a man named Lewis Evans- to shoot himself, as he created the most foul, disguisting and terryfying game that has ever roamed the earth. Hundereds would die from swallowing their own tongues in seizures, as the game would constantly switch colors inducing epilepsy. Such a game would be cursed, CURSED for all eternity. Thank God that game was never made. And that's how I'd like to end this little paragraph. Nothing happened here, there's nothing to see here folkes. Go home.
#49 "Second Offence Demo" They meant Tech Demo. We're greeted by the mechanical voice that says the name of the 'company'(?) "MOBIOUS CODEWORKS" it doesn't stop after saying it once, no, it's actualy a part of the remixed tune that repeats itself throught the demo. Then we see a shiny doughnut rotating hopelesly in the vacuum. ANd then a scary lady. Well, to be fair, all this stuff looks really nice, considering PS1's capabilities. But.. why? Let's mov--"MOBIOUS CODEWORKS"--e on.
#50 "Fatal Fantasy VII" Hahaha.. really, I'm not joking here. Fatal Fantasy VII.
Wow. First thing that caught my eye, is that this "game demo" was produced by the same people behind "Terra Incognita" which I reviewed back at the very begining. That's great- I thought- the english translation of TI was absolutely hillarious, so this is going to be even better. I was a little dissapointed when I've figured out there's no way to switcjh from Japaneese to English. Well, whatever, let's take a look anyway.
You press start and there it is, does this remind you of something..?
Yeah, yeah.. it does. It swirls around for a bit too. Okay, how about this then:
This is starting to get a little creepy. And then you turn around.
Hey, look, Cloud's STOKED! Goddamn! For once in his miserable emo life. I'm glad, really. You walk around some more, exit the bathroom and go into another dimension (apparently to take a whizz you have to cross the gates of oblivion itself- as my friend stated) and end up in a nice garden. This is where the first battle would take place.
I said 'would' as this is the end of the demo. The 'Final' (*nudge* *nudge* get it?) screen reads: "Fatal Fantasy VII, coming in december?" No. No it's not. Never again have I heard anything about Fatal Fantasy or Team Fatal. The history of this project remains a mystery.
So that's all I've got to say about Fatal Fantasy VII. It was a great dream. And it's amazing how the graphics in the game look like the graphics of the original, I'm actualy impressed. Maybe that's why they did this? To get Sony's attention? I hope these guys were hired by Squaresoft. As far as I'm concerned, they've earned it.
Thanks for making Terra Incognita and Fatal Fantasy VII guys, wherever you are!
#51 "Fujiyama" What a HUGE step down from FFVII. This is a weird one, it's aprogram that allows you to view Mount Fuji from couple perspectives. There are about twenty pictures of ths glorious volcanic cone, but it's pretty useless today (although it was useless back then too I suppose). I'd rather look up the "Thirdy-six Views of Mount Fuji" on the internet. Case cl--"MOBIOUS CODEWORKS"--osed.
Uhh.. yeah. This one's a top down shooter. It's impressive, although it doesn't have music nor sound effects, but that's really frequent among Net Yaroze games. Either way, it's enjoyable, it has nice 2D graphics, balanced gameplay, powerups, and cool enemies. Overall it's pretty good.
#53 "Appointed Station" I really wsh I could say something about this game, but there's SO much going on, I can barely see anything. It's chaos. You're a ship flying through space, shooting things, there are space birds here and there.. flying.. but.. they don't don't hurt you, and.. well.. that's it. Erm.. Yeah.
#54 "Sam The Boulder Man" Another Boulder Dash clone, but made by the same guy(s) behind "Clone" reviewed earlier. So that means.. the same sound effects? Yeah.. yeah it does. The music, the sound effects, it's all there. So, again, I don't like Boulder Dash very much, so I've got nothing to say about this title. Apart from the fact that it looks pretty decent.
#55 "Gravitation" Developed in 12 weeks- is always a good sign with Net Yaroze titles. I'm not being sarcastic, most of these games were apparently done within days. A longer hatching period means a better game (there are exceptions to this rule,a nd I'm sure one game in particular is a world record braker in this discipline) and that's the case with Gravitation.
It's fuuuun. This is a multiplayer only game. To describe it, I'll have to use other games again. It's like asteroids, but it's a two player game. So the objective of the game is to kill each other. There are 8 different maps, and each one is like a maze, it has it's shortcuts, and strategcly placed holes in the walls- through which you can shoot down the second player. The tricky part is to kill your rival, while manouvering through the maze. Most of our lives were wasted by crashing into the walls, but when your opponent collects a powerup, well, you're pretty screwed. They range from switching your left-right directions (which means instant death) to bullets being shot from each side of the opponents ship, making a previously simple act of destroying his ship almost impossible.
What can I say, my friend is rather picky about his games, and he said this game's alright. We also went through all of the eight maps. And that's the best recomendation for Net Yaroze game I can give. Just don't play "race" play "dogfight".
As you see- I'm half way through this ordeal. What have I learned? Well, it's ovious now to me that the standards in homebrew gaming have risen. Xbox360 homebrew titles- dreadful they may be- are so much better then this crap, I'm amazed. Well, without further ado, it's the "Remember? Net Yaroze! half-way-there special extravaganza"! And JUST for this occasion:
#34 "Net Yaroze Intro"
Yes, it's the whole thing, right there. Why was it.. why was the Star Wars th.. hmm.. well it's the half-way-there special extravaganza! So anything goes!
#35 "Bendy Demo" It's a tech demo, where you're looking at a crazy image, that shifts left and right. Yup, I've got nothing.
#36 "3D Breakout Game" Finaly, a game! Oh.. oh.. ohhh no. It's hard to express how bad this game really is, so.. there:
So.. how can you fuck up a breakout game? Well.. just like that. You know, breakout is pretty cool on it's own. It doesn't need anything else. So what the fuck is this? I'm serious, WHY? Why, why, why, why, why? Why is the camera constantly turning? It's suppose to be challenging? Well, yeah, it kinda is, I'm amazed I've been playing it for so long, cause it's desorienting, and you feel sick after a while. It would be okay though, if the screen was a little bigger. How am I suppose to see ANYTHING on that little square there? And did you see how the ball glitched through the tiles? Even the game, in the little box is unplayable. Awesome. You're ruining my 4/8 special extravaganza, 3D Breakout! Get the hell out of here! Git!
#37 "Car Racing" Oh, what a great name. I just wish it was more representative of the game. Guess what, there's no collision detection system. Again. It's the second fucking racing game without a collision detection system. how is that even possible? This game is even worse, it's 2d! I think it's possible to make a 2d game, that is capable of determining whether you hit an another car! Is that REALLY so difficult? Who made this game? Why did he make it? It has no point either. Or maybe it does, but I had no idea where to go, and there's nothing on the screen telling me how many laps am I suppose to do, or have done. It's pointless, it's bad, it's ugly. So there you go, Car Racing, a game which is bad and unfinished enough to have the same name as it's genre. Hey, I'll name my game "Third Person Perspective"! I'll name my game "Adventure Game" (previously on "Remember? Net Yaroze!"...)! Hey, I'll name my game "Action Game"! ... Massive.. Action.. G.. Hmm..
#38 "Clone" Oh, yeah. now we're getting somewhere. I'm a big fan of old FPP shooters. Wolfenstein, Doom, Duke Nukem- awesome games. So how about "Clone"? Well, I'll tell you something about Clone. Or better yet, I'll show you:
So, yeah. It's a blatant copy of Wolfenstein/Doom. The sounds are literally *ripped* off from Doom. The main problem is this wall of darkness before you. How can I shoot the weird.. clone.. things, when I can't see them? The draw distance is terrible. You know what, maybe it's for the best, casue the graphics are absolutely abysmal. The less I see, the better. So, about the gameplay- you're strolling through these corridors, shooting these.. clone things. You find keyes to open these weird brick walls, and poof, you're transported to the next level. I've found a machine gun in the first level (same as your first gun, only shoots faster), but I doubt there are other weapons in this game. So there you go. Clone. A bad game, go figure.
#39 "3D Demo" It's a tech demo. Again. Nothing to say about this one.
#40 "Feedback Demo" Another one. Seriously? Guys, come on! Part 4/8 is suppose to be eventfull!
#41 "Flag Demo" Oh My God. This is.. torture. Another tech demotherfuckingshit!
#42 "Manic X" Yes, a game! A real game! And a good one, too! It's a Pac Man clone. Nothing too fancy, but it's well done, and the visuals are pretty good. When you die you even hear the classic Pac Man sound, which is a nice touch. Really, this game saved my gamepad today, another shitty tech demo, and I'd throw the controller through the fucking window! So anyhow, a Pac Man clone. One of the better ones. And that's all there is too it.
#43 "Snave" A bad shooter. You fly through an endless corridor, shooting badly designed enemies, and collecting weird anime girl pictures. Yeap, blowing apart space ships and collecting manga, is a match made in heaven. The controlls are awkward, the graphics are terrible, the music's pretty bad, and.. yeah, that's the whole game. Yuck.
#44 "Sound 2 Light" A sucky visualizer, you swap CD's, play the music, and viola! Pretty lights appear!
Fuck, this is the last title I review in "Remember? Net Yaroze! half-way-there special extravaganza"? Well.. this is kinda.. anticlimactic.. ... ... ... So.. yeah. See you next time.
Once again- Net Yaroze, a PS1 developement kit, and me, engage in a glorius combat, from which neither me nor the system walk away victorious. Why would I prolong this gruesome spectacle? I won't, here's the next game.
Well, the name of the game is pretty representative of this title. You walk around killing innocent people. The sounds are nice I guess, and it's definitaly better then some other Net Yaroze shit I went through in my previous reviews, but even so, this game is bland and uninteresting.
You walk around civilian filled hallways of some underground area 51 complex, and shoot everything you meet. Not that anyone wants to do you any harm, so it's never explained why you mow down these poor bastards on your way to the exit. Well, okay, there's no exit. The objective is to kill as many people as possible in a certain time limit. Maybe someone along the way had a gun, cause I died at the end? I don't kow, the game's so cluttered it's hard to see anything. Yeah, the graphics are pretty bad. It's all shown from the top-down perspective, so it's like Crimsonland (a great game worth checking out) in a tight, ugly looking maze, and on top of that, you kill some bland civilians instead of aliens.
So to sum up: boring, bland and ugly, but sure as hell better than most of the Net Yaroze stinkers. Not that any of you will ever play these piles of.. Ehrm.. Onto our next title then, which is..
#24 "Adventure Game" Hooo boy, adventure game indeed. How can I even describe this? It's.. Well.. It's trying to be good. But at the same time, it kinda laughs from itself, and it makes the game look really pathetic in the process.
Let's start by.. well.. pushing start. "Written in four weeks" Well that's not so bad (sarcasm), let's see the menu. Clever, you use the main protagonist to choose options in the menu, okay, let's start the game already. It looks like Final Fantasy VII world map, which ain't half bad, really. But then, you try to move around. And that's when the horror begins. The controls are awful. they're beyond anything I've ever experienced.
The whole game seems to be a big ice world level, cause I don't see any other explenation for all this sliding that's taking place here! The music loops. It loops after twenty-thirdy seconds. And it's horrendous. It changes after I enter the city though. Too bad another, even worse tune hops into its place. Gah! The camera is the worst thing ever to grace the world of computer games. It's locked in one place, Resident Evil style, in an open 3d world. So it hops around every few steps, locking onto the next pre set position. Euuugh! The fighting is just mashing the X button, the enemies don't have an attack animation, so it doesn't even look good. Bleeh!
Then we arrive at the city, and that is where the first conversation takes place. The guard asks me: "What do you intend to do in this city?" And our main hero responds: "Not sure, I think I probably have to talk to someone and they'll give me an item I can pass on to someone else who will give me another item, etc, etc." Heh, well at least it starts of with the breaking the fourth wall joke. Pretty clever. The conversation goes on, some jokes, not all of them funny, and then another game related joke. And another. And another. The deeper into the game, the more self referencing jokes about the game. Some don't just brake the fourth wall, they smash it with a sledgehammer. "I'm low polygon" says one character. Haha.. yeah. That stopped being funny twenty minutes ago.
The author is showing us every bad thing about the game's plot and graphics. What am I to do then? Well, they never say anything about the gameplay, so I guess I'm left with that. It sucks! There. Put that in your game. One thing I liked was an old ferryman, that asked me if I had the permission to go through the river, I said I do, and he just said he believes me, and lets me through. When asked if he wants any proof, he just says it's my conscience, and if I lied, I'll have to live with it. A Monty Python situation almost. Heh, clever, but does it work if I don't ask the king for the permission prior to the conversation? No. No it doesn't. Ehh.
I see what's going on here. The game tries to become its own punchline, and to its disadvantage, it succeeds. It's funny for about a minute, and then it's just embarrassing.
#25 "Super Bub Contest" It's a nice Bust-A-Move clone, and that's pretty much it.
#26 "Pandora's Box" It's Sokoban, but from the First Person Perspective. The graphics look on par with those in Wolfenstein. Yup. You're better off playing "Pushy" from my last review, or just Sokoban, that- I'm sure- can be found and played, online.
#27 "Opera of Destruction" It's a 3D shooter, where you're a pilot of a futuristic looking plane thing, and you're suppose to destroy the other players (or CPU's) town. So you fly around, destroy enemy ships, fly over to the enemy town, and destroy it. that's your mission. To defend, you can use your turrets, but that means switching your camera from your ship, so it's not always a good move. Now, this is a sound concept, and the game would be great, but the graphics are pretty bad. The draw distance is terrible. You can't see shit. Thank God the enemy town has this big violet light on one of its buildings, but when you destroy that building, you're screwed! The sound effects are good, there's no music, but fuck that. It's a good game. Especialy when you play with a buddy. Can't think of any other flaw.. oh yeah, it's not Time Slip.
#28 "Time Slip" One of the greatest games ever. Don't be fooled by the primitive graphics, the lack of music, and the horrible, horrible sound effects. This game, is good. It's better then good, it's the best Net Yaroze game ever. It's fucking amazing. And I'm not pulling a Jim Sterling here, I really DO like this game.
Okay, time (hah!) to tell you what's this game all about. So you're a snail. You jump around, collect coins. Collect enough coins, and the exit open. Pretty easy, eh? Ha, the twist is, every 30 seconds a past version of you respawns. It follows your moves, like a ghost from a racing game, and if you touch him, you die. Now, imagine, every 30 seconds the same thing happens. And there's no limit to this. It would be easy to just avoid them, and collect coins, but you have to use your past selves to open doors that close if you get off a platform that opens them.
So your left with many snails walking around the level, opening things for your other past selves. Every move you make, you're thinking about your future self, where he'll be standing? Over here, over there? You're thinking about 'him' not 'you'. You are your own enemy. You'll see those past versions of you, and you'll curse them. It's mind bending. You're looking at a door, knowing it will be you, standing there in thirdy seconds.
Sometimes, you're standing around with four copies of yourself slowly walking around, afraid of stepping onto their future selves. You have to jump over yourself at times, and you know this, so you're walking around in the past (your present) for the future you to stand a chance, while avoiding your past self, who's walking around pushing buttons, cause he has to open a door for your past past self that's about to spawn.
About the lenght- It has about 10 levels, and a password system, so you can start where you left off. But the puzzles are so mind bending, you're going to spend some time trying to find the coins and the exit.
Don't be fooled by the graphics, gameplay wise, it's Braid before Braid, its past version, if you will.
#29 "TanX" Still have to check this out with my buddy. It's only multiplayer.
#30 "Decaying Orbit" Ever played Lunar Lander? This game is very much like that. Only you're trying to manouver from planet to planet, from a top down perspective. There are some space turrets shooting at you, and if you fly far enough through the edge of the screen, you will die. Those are the dangers of Decaying Orbit. You can upgrade your space ship, buy weapons to bust those turrets, new engine to fly faster, and so on. The ship behaves like it would in the vacuum, it's very easy to loose control, and fly through the edge of the screen. The map's are getting bigger, with more planets around (crushing into planets- also deadly) and more space turrets. It's pretty cool. The graphics are pretty nice, you know what? This game's alright.
#31 "Blockz" A pretty cool title. It's like Zoe Mode's "Chime" only a little clunkier. Worth a try.
#32 "Video Poker Simulator" Ehh.. Don't be fooled, it's not 'poker' poker. There are no other players, it's more like a slot machine in Vegas, with looping music, and terrible, terrible graphics. Well, if by graphics one can mean a pair of gloved hands animating poorly. Next game.
#33 "Yaroze Rally" Oh yeah. This game is fun. The best thing about this game is that it.. it doesn't have a track. it's just a bunch of roads connected randomly. There are checkpoints, and yeah, they're named 'checkpoint 1' '2' and so on, but you don't know where's the next one, and there's no map. It's chaos. You know what else? There's no collision detection system!
"Some kind of a detection system?! In a racing game? Surely sir, you jest!" "Yes," I reply "it's the future of this genre, it's the main point actually. It has been done before you know." "What?! What is this blasphemy you talk of heathen! To the torture chamber, you shall tell us all about this 'Coh-Li-Sion" thing!" Oh yeah, you can see the cars through the track. Yep.
Aaaaand the trees are just for show. No collision detection there eiher. Stopped to show you this fine lookin' tree over here.