Continually phoning it in… Also: Steamworld Dig

So – as you can see it’s been a while, I kinda gave up on the brute force thing.  Just bored, and didn’t really see the point.  This is a hobby, not a job.  If I’m not having fun, why do it?

But I did finally hit some code last time for the first time in ages.  Basically just taking my Corvax ship from Killing Horizon and doing some simple asteroid style movement, nothing fancy, still not sure what I may end up doing with it.

But honestly – I’ve been gaming again for the first time in ages, so I’m just letting myself enjoy that.

And right now – that means:

  1. Nex Machina
  2. Downwell
  3. Age of Wonders
  4. Steamworld Dig

All on PC.  I kept seeing rave reviews for Steamworld, and was hesitant, but godDAMN is it scratching the roguelike platformer itch of Spelunky & Rogue Legacy for me.

Nex Machina is so amazin, arcade 360/arena overhead shooter (a la Robotron).  So satisfying.  On the last boss…

Downwell also a fun – quick hit of a game.

AoW – only did a little/few hours so far.  Enjoying it.  It has a Summon Dire Penguins Spell.  Can’t argue against that!


Game Review: Rogue Legacy

Perhaps “review” is the wrong word… Game Ode, is a bit more proper.

Oh, Rogue Legacy.  So far, you are my game of the year.  In the past two weeks I have already clocked more hours than I Bioshock Infinite and Dishonored combined.  You are video game crack rock.  The satisfying sounds, the feedback, the leveling up.  The familiarity of the levels once you start playing, but still know that it’s ultimately random and you still have to explore even if there are patterns.  The hope that you can find a good character to charge the castle with.  The great character designs.  The music, the jukebox, the 4 different areas.  The tough decisions (seriously, please, can’t I just mix and match a few more runes?  PLEASE???)  I never feel like I won’t beat the game, because even if something is hard now, it won’t be after I level up and get a few more attributes leveled.  Some things are confusing (what’s better, health or armor?)  But in general, I love you.

I really look forward to trying Spelunky.  I haven’t been a fan of so called “rogue-like” games, or rather the overabundance of them.  It seems to be a trend I’m annoyed with.  Some games seem to me, almost a little too loosely using the term.  Others are at least a bit more in the vein that I can let slide: FTL, Spelunky, Rogue Legacy… I haven’t played FTL, but from the screens it certainly *seems* rogue-like to me.  Anyways, Rogue Legacy, you rule, and I am addicted to you, and I cannot stop playing, because I just want to kick the main boss’s ass, ASAP!

There are all sorts of little achievements that the hardcore cheevers can go for.  I’m not such a person, but I can appreciate it.  I love the creativity and humor in the game, even if some of it is a bit facile and juvenile now and then.  It’s still a blast.  I have to agree with a few others that the platforms that extend are kind of a pain in the ass sometimes, especially when you have spikes.  I’ve gotten to the point I don’t even bother with them if I have a stretch of spikes and platforms and I have a lot of health, I just go take the damage.

There are plenty of options and ways to play.  One frustrating thing is that some of the secret/special chests require certain types of characters or weapons and it is quite rare that I’ve been fortunate enough to have the right type of ability to get ahold of those chests (I mean, in particular, the “challenge” chests).  The other thing I’m not so sure about is the knife-throwing game.  I never do that well at it.  Maybe I’m not supposed to.  And that damn elf.  That greedy bastard elf.  Supposedly 1/3 of the time I should be getting a chest, but I have only gotten it a few times and I am definitely over 100 in generation (even 200?), which means I have super rarely ever gotten it (granted, not all playthroughs have had me see the elf, but it is still nowhere near 1/3 of the time).

Would I recommend Rogue Legacy?


Game “Review”: Dishonored

Dishonored: 9/10

Last night I didn’t do any coding.  Instead I beat Dishonored.  I really like that game.  I went on, I think, the “normal” setting of difficulty (or it might have been easy – it wasn’t that hard, but a few spots were).  It’s not perfect, the controls sometimes seem a bit clunky/cludgy (compared to Deus Ex, for example).  I’m not sure why – but sometimes it felt like I was supposed to be able to do all these acrobatic cool things, but stuck in this first person mode, I felt like I was just a cylinder floating through space.  It’s hard to describe.  A lack of embodiment in some way.  That said, it’s a minor critique, because in terms of actual gameplay and control, I felt it was fairly tight and for the most part I could do what I wanted to do.  If I actually focused and spent more time mastering the controls, I probably could have done better.  But I was going pretty casually, not going for all the runes/charmes.

The story was interesting and had a couple surprises in store.  I also didn’t expect playstyle to affect the storyline, and I’m not sure how much it affects it, but I know there’s a couple places where it does, at least.  It’s funny, too.  I forgot the name of one character and I told someone I would kill this person, then I saw who they were and I’m like – Oh, YOU!  Man, we tight.  I won’t kill you!  Because of the earlier mission where they helped me.  It was this little reciprocality that was interesting to see how I played out.  It’s not like some big major thing that was “IN YOUR FACE MORAL CHOICE” of Bioware, but it was still this interesting moral choice.

Is it immoral to kill a person who’s going to die of the plague?  I mean, they’re suffering and it’s not like they have a cure.

Also – who is “The Outsider”?  I think I would actually love to read a book or at least see a graphic novel or some animated videos of this world.  It really does have a lot of interesting things for it.  Probably more than Bioshock Infinite (which I haven’t played yet, but have heard it’s still more bro-shooter than deep-story despite the attempts at deep story)…  I definitely felt that there was a much larger world waiting to be explored out there.  The steampunk motif was nice.  The art style was great, I like that cartoony look.  The characters really did have personality.  I really want to go find the stories posted around the world and read them as I only glanced at some because I wanted to get on with the killing and shit.  But I still want to go back and experience what was there to build the world.  The fact they mention these other locations/continents/islands or whatever just opened up more.  There’s clearly a lot of potential history.

The audio was great.  Not overbearing, everything sounded satisfying when you shot at someone.  The magic effects were nice.  I never felt too underpowered, and it was a nice wave of “difficult” “easy” … a good game design has that sort of structure.  You can’t continually make everything uber-hard.  Well, I shouldn’t say that.  Some games are MADE to be hard: Mega Man.  Super Meat Boy, etc…  But for a narrative game, you need those ebb and flows.  This did those flows well.  Sneaking, killing, large fights against a group of people.  More sneaking.  Getting lost.  Finding your way.  Various betrayals.  Etc…

So yeah – I’d put this up with Bioshock 1 in terms of being a great game from the past half a decade or so.