Jul 12, 2015

Video Game Reviews

Dark Souls – I tried. I really tried. In fact, I tried an extra couple of nights just out of stubbornness, because I knew it has such a reputation for being impossible. But, it wasn’t that it was impossible, or at least I hadn’t gotten to the impossible part yet. It was pretty hard, and there are basically no instructions, which is just stupid and frustrating, not fun and discoverable. But anyway, it was just SO GRINDY. As often as I die, that’s hard, but having to kill the same 10 guys over and over and over to level up or to buy equipment. There’s a god damn crest that requires 20k darksoulsbucks. That’s like 10 grinding outings. I don’t have the patience for that. I’m 14 hours in to the game and probably less than 1/5, judging by the gamefaqs. If we assume linearity, this is not 50-hours-worth fun, so, I gave up. Bummer.

The Bureau: XCom Declassified – So this is the much maligned FPS version of XCom. A travesty on the face of it (turning a classic game with a classic gameplay to just another squad based shooter). It’s not actually all that bad. In terms of story, I like it. It’s simple, and doesn’t overstay its welcome. The revelation, choice, and fallout toward the end are pretty neat. It is very much in the style of XCom, with a team of rando soldiers, except your main guy, going off on missions. It’s not nearly so expansive, but it has that feel. Sadly, the soliders are terrible. It really kind of defeats the point of your squad based shooter if your sqaud will not STAND THE FUCK STILL instead of running into enemy arms every 5 minutes. It wasn’t a problem until the end, but the last couple levels when it gets more difficult it’s damn annoying for them to repeatedly ignore your stay put orders. But still, I was expecting little, and I got a bit more than that, not bad.

Ride ‘Em Low – Nah. I played for about 5 minutes. I must have gotten this in a bundle? I have no idea. The menus are too slow to navigate, you can’t use a controller, it all feels clunky. Only took a race for me to stop.

Dungeons and Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara – This was the remake from a few years ago of the old arcade D&D game. I have fond memories of the game. Unfortunately, it’s pretty boring by yourself. It’s got online coop, but it didn’t connect to any games. Maybe no one is playing anymore. Maybe it was broke for some reason. I played through the Mystara campaign, it was kind of fun, but not nearly as much as with people. It also comes with an older version, which I switched to but got bored with. Kind of a waste of 5 bucks :/

Miasmata – This is a game made by a couple of guys, small in scope but pretty cool. It’s first person, you wake up on an island with a disease. Your goal is to cobble together the ingredients for the cure. You find out what they are by finding journals from dead scientists around the island, you also find ingredients for other medicines to keep you going. It’s kind of a survival game, you are just wandering around finding ingredients, water, sleep, and avoiding a beast that I’m pretty sure you can’t fight against (even though you can throw things and there’s knives and axes). You have to figure it out cold, which I usually don’t have the patience for, but it’s not super complicated, so I did this time. You can find maps that fill out your world map, but otherwise you have to triangulate off of known landmarks to find where you are, to expose new parts of the map, and to mark the location of unfound (but visible) landmarks on the map without finding them. It’s a little finnicky and leads to some cheating (scanning the tree line until your cursor changes), but it’s pretty neat. There’s a lot of dying at first, but once you get the framework it’s okay. Eventually it gets a bit boring, because you are just doing the same thing over and over on a different part of the island. But it mostly works, and I pushed through to the end. Pretty cool.

Magic 2014 – Ah magic. Same ole same ole. Fun for all the same reasons, kind of boring for all the same reasons. I played through the main campaign. I got really really stuck on one fight, with some rats. I resorted to googling, but it didn’t tell me any different than i was already trying. It gave me a reason to keep trying (that it would eventually work), but at that point I was just restarting the duel over and over until I got one of a very small subset of draws that would set me up to win. That’s not fun, that’s just dumb. The rest of the battles were good. The last one was fun because it was 2 on 1 and I did pretty well on the first try, which was probably a good draw too. Didn’t have the energy to do any of the bonus stuff, re-battles and such. But it was a fun distraction.

Survivor Squad – This game is pretty fun, but it’s actually just too hard for me, or I’m too impatient. It’s a top down squad game, you move 4 little people around and survive zombies. You run around and search for supplies. Supplies are actually in really short supply, that’s the hard part. Some of the levels are do-able, but the ones with infinite zombies until you kill a source are pretty hard when there’s multiple sources. It’s fun, I just got sick of dying, oh well.

7 Grand Steps Step 1 – This is kind of a board game. You move characters along an arc with tokens, picking up jewels or whatever to advance the game. It’s generational, so at some point on the board they die and you have to have had kids and given them tokens to get them good at… getting more tokens. It’s pretty repetitive after a while. By the time I got to the last ring I was pretty bored. You can fail at the last ring and drop a level, then earn your way back up and try again. After twice at that I didn’t have the patience to do it again, so, I guess I lose.

Jamestown – Rando little Gladius type game. Nice pixel style art, some attempt at a story but I don’t know why. Game is very short, just a few base levels, with the intention for a lot of replayability, re-doing the levels at harder levels, unlocking bonus levels and such. But that would require a lot more time to get good, so nah.

Defense Technica – Pretty blatant Defense Grid ripoff. I think I was the only person who didn’t think Defense Grid was awesome. And this is just a ripoff, so… It was okay for a few levels, but I got bored super quick.

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