Feb 8, 2014

Video Game Reviews

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons – This game is very good. It’s short, Steam tells me 3 hours, but it packs a punch. You play two brothers out on a quest to get medicine for their dad. The mechanical hook is that you control both boys at once, one with each analog stick. That’s interesting and different, and then you do a lot of running around and platforming and puzzle solving. The game is beautiful. The character models and animation are just okay, but the environments are beautiful. You are encouraged to literally sit on a bench now and again and watch the scenery, which I did every time. There’s no words, they speak kind of a simlish thing, but you are never confused about what’s going on. The game is most reminiscent of Shadow of the Colossus, to me. Which is a bit unfair, because SotC is one of my top games ever, so it’s not nice to compare to that. It doesn’t have nearly the sense of awe or scale that SotC did, but it certainly has a very human, very heartbreaking element to it that most games don’t have the ability or will to pull off.

Rogue Legacy – I’m not done with this, but it’s hard to say when you are done with a rogue-like. Presumably there is an end if I can get good enough to beat all the bosses. But I’m not sure that will ever happen (I never beat FTL, after all), so I have to write something sometime. Basically you are a dude exploring a castle, killing monsters, getting gold (to upgrade your stats/abilities/equipment), etc. It’s a roguelike in that the castle resets everytime you die and go back in (although you can pay a dude a % of your money to keep it the same). It’s not as harsh as most RLs, because you don’t loose all your upgrades. Your character does die, and the cute thing is that the next one you play is a descendent of the last one. It’s very fun, very addicting. It’s not special, it isn’t anything as powerful as Brothers. But I have put a few hours into it already and I’m sure I’ll put more before I either beat it or get bored.

Fallout: New Vegas – Alright, released literally 3 years ago, right on schedule! Well, I loved Fallout 3. This is basically the exact same game, near as I can remember. But it’s been long enough that that’s fun. It’s pretty buggy, I don’t know what Bethesda’s freaking problem is. But no bug was game ending, so I guess that’s enough. The world is huge, I put in 55 hours and I didn’t even visit every location, maybe.. 2/3 of them? Certainly didn’t do all the quests. I guess I was ready to be done by the end, but I liked it. I was an NCR guy all the way through, then all of a sudden decided I didn’t trust anyone else to run the Strip. That was kind of fun. Pretty cool over all. Only downside is I’m in no mood to play Skyrim, which finally went on sale on Steam. I’ll have to wait a couple weeks I guess.

Bioshock: Infinite – So, this game is good, but I don’t quite get the game-of-the-year caliber love. It was a pretty slow start, to be honest, I had trouble getting in to the game. I like the bioshock games. I know people love the world-building in the first one. And it was extremely impressive to be sure. But Rapture never wrapped me up like it did a lot of people, it was cool, but didn’t blow my mind. This is kind of the same, except with out some of the awe and novelty of the first one. The game play is much like it ever was, which is to say much like System Shock ever was. The powers are different than before, and some are kind of interesting. I think I’m getting noticeably worse at FPSs, by the way. I’ve never been great, but I could keep up in TF2, usually near the top of a random sampling of players, but not able to compete with anyone who played regularly. But now, I feel slower, with worse aim and worse, I don’t know, situational awareness? Not surprising, I don’t play games nearly as much and they aren’t often FPSs, but still kind of sad. Anyway, the game picks up part way through, by the end I was in to the story, the ending is actually pretty good. Overall, an above average, but not truly outstanding game.

Red Faction: Armageddon – This game is pretty fun. I don’t think anyone thinks it’s amazing, red faction has always been about destroying stuff and this lets you do that. I don’t know how many times you have to tear apart a building piece by piece until it’s not fun, but I didn’t get to that number. The story is just whatever, you are kind of an anti hero who has to defend a bunch of people, many of whom are dicks, from aliens or monsters. But there’s some cool guns and a big mech and a smashy hammer. Fun stuff.

PixelJunk Shooter – I never got around to this one on PS3, wasn’t worth $15 to me I guess. I never played Racers or Monsters, I think, but I did like Eden quite a bit. This one is fun. It’s kind of a more actioney Where’s My Water, which is funny. It’s pretty easy, there’s never really anywhere that is particularly challenging, but that’s okay for a cheap fun game. Good way to spend a few hours.

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