Jan 1, 2016

Video Game Reviews

Legend of Korra – This was pretty fun. It’s a totally average game in most respects. It’s just a beat em up, except your punches and kicks get skinned with bending. But hey, I love bending, I can spend 7 hours jumping around beating people up with fire and water and earth and air and have a great time. There’s combos and such to get cool moves, but it was a fair amount of button smashing for me. There’s not as much avatar charm as you’d hope for. It’s mostly just Korra, a little bit of Jinora. Mako and Bolin only show up for pro bending (which, though super shallow, is pretty cool to play a couple times). Iro makes a cameo for selling you stuff. No one else shows up, which is a bummer. Avatar is half cool and half fun, and this only had the cool half. But still, for a couple bucks on steam sale, it was super worth the time.

Mount & Blade – This game’s old now, but it is kind of cool. It’s pretty expansive, which is impressive. But eventually I got bored because I felt like there were only so many things to do in this expansive world. Combat is pretty terrible – your own troops shouldn’t be able to push you off a bridge. And how come everyone else can swing a weapon in a crowd except me? But it’s tolerable, and neat how there are different weapons. So I ran around and killed bandits and then joined a kingdom and tried to conquer the world. We were coming along, if the damn king didn’t declare war with everyone on the map. And I got some guys on my side and owned a couple of places, and that’s neat. But it feels like it’d take forever to actually conquer everyone. I’m sure it would happen eventually, we were progressing, but it would take too many years for me to be in charge and actually run the wars reasonably. And much too many to win all those wars. Fun, but I just can’t fight the same battle over and over, so I gave up. I suppose I should have gotten some mods and looked at what fun that can be, but I was already bored at that point.

Heroes of the Storm – My first entry into a MOBA! Technically, I ran another one (DOTA 2 or LOL, can’t remember) once. I was immediately intimidated by the character select screen and literally quit and uninstalled. I know that’s a rage quit joke, but no seriously I did that. A LAN party finally got me to play it in a more friendly environment, and it’s fun. HotS is a less hard core experience, by many accounts, so that helps. It’s pretty fun, I played it pretty constantly for a few couple weeks, trying to burn through the free characters for a given week. By the end of the week I start getting bored, and only finally start getting confident enough to play the games against real people. But that is… mixed. Finally had my first encounter with assholes . People who, as far as I can tell, are not amazing players, but are cool literally yelling piece of shit this and fucking newbs that. Fun stuff. One guy I reported cuz yikes. Without assholes, though, it’s still iffy. I’m not great, but I’m okay. Getting matched with people who ask questions that imply they’ve never played before is not great. Often we win pretty handily, or get destroyed. That doesn’t feel like great matchmaking. It’s hard to adjust to the idea that you should win 50% of the time, we’re used to thinking we should always win, that’s the goal. But I think I’m okay with that, I just should feel like it’s a real game most of the time. Matchmaking is hard, I don’t want that job, but in my admittedly limited experience, it’s pretty rough. But I’m still going, I have enough heroes now I could actually do hero league, which is super intimidating. But I’ve been playing for a few months now and still having fun, so I like it. Heck, I even bought a couple heroes with real dollars. Crazy!

Qvadriga – This is a chariot racing sim. Doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, and it isn’t too much fun, really. You buy a dude, a chariot, and horses. Their stats boil down to 2 potential characteristics which make them better at their jobs. Then it’s turn based, you choose to speed up, slow down, change lanes or attack. My first few races I felt like I was grasping how to take a corner without tanking. Then I had a ton where I couldn’t seem to go around without falling, so I got confused. That got frustrating, and then it just seemed like it was always going to be the same thing over and over, so I stopped. You can change cities and race tracks, but there didn’t seem to be all that much variety.
Interplanetary – This is a space artillery turn based game. It’s a neat idea, you develop up one planet, and you shoot players on the other planets in a solar system. You need power and materials, and build things to generate them. Then there’s 3 kinds of weapons, two kinds of shields, and things to spy on other planets (or block their spies). It’s cool, but it’s too hard and the computer, even on normal, is a bit too good at targeting. The weapons are affected by gravity and have time of flight so you have to predict the path of the other planets. That’s pretty hard to do at all but the shortest ranges, but the computer was pretty accurate. Then you reach the point where you are all blasting away – the tech tree has mostly topped out and you are just trading blows. And missing more than the computer misses. So, it’s fun, i got bored. It’s an early access game, but it sounds like it has all its features.
Metro: Last Light – This is a sequel to the other Metro game, which I remember being okay. I guess I should be into the story, since it’s based on a book? It’s just a post-apocalyptic thing, but everyone has to live in the subway which is a fun conceit. In the last game you did a thing and it had an effect and you aren’t too happy about it. This game is partially about redeeming yourself, but mostly about getting from point A to point B. After all that, it’s a mostly generic shooter. You fight either dudes or beasts. The dudes are more fun because you can stealth. The beasts are just frantically shooting the shit out of everything until they stop coming. It’s okay, but nothing much.

Kill The Bad Guy – Fun little puzzle game. 3/4 view, line art, a bad person is walking through the very very small level, you have to trigger traps in the environment to kill them (exploding car, electricity in water, etc). It’s fun, simple, has a fun sense of humor. A lot of the bad guys are based on real people, it seems, references to someone terrible in the news. There’s not a lot there, but it’s a nice distraction.

Ultra Street Fighter 4 – Huh, I haven’t played SF since Turbo! It’s not too different, I guess. Looks a lot different, not necessarily better. Everyone is all wirey and poppy and veiny. The badass level is just a bit too high. It plays pretty similar, from what I remember. I’m trying to play every character once just to see, but gosh there’s a lot.

Rome Total War 2 – I tried. I know this is a whole genre. And I know it’s deep and complex and you can’t try it for 5 minutes and give up. But I did try it for hours, and I did not have any fun. Also, what’s with all this Civ shit? I thought the whole point of this game was the war part. But now you can auto-resolve the fights and just go build your city? That seems anti the point. I just couldn’t get into it, gave up before taking my first city (which I failed to do a few times). Sad day.
Lost Planet 3 – I never played the originals, so I don’t know how this compares. For the most part it’s a completely normal shooter. There’s mech stuff which is a bit different (no guns, fighting by grabbing and drilling and such), which is neat, but nothing super special. Shockingly, the voice acting is really really good. Super impressive. The facial animations are actually really great too. The models are not great, they are from a few years ago and look like it. Skin is lifeless, hair is fake, mouths and eyes are creepy. But the animations, underneath that crappy model, is actually super good, like better than most games. The story is fine, whatevs. All in all, the game is good but not great.

Space Run – This is a quirky tower defense. You are a spacer trucker (voiced by Vax from Critical Role!), and you have to survive your runs by building guns and defenses on your ship each time. It’s fun, but it is still just tower defense, which I never got super obsessed with.

Not The Robots – Weird little game. You are a robot trying to get through a bunch of levels. There are lasers that can kill you and sentries that hunt you. You have to trigger or tag objectives to finish the levels. You have a few tools you can use to help. It’s fun, simple. There’s not a series of levels, you start over each time and get as far as you can. So I only got so far and didn’t push much past that, but it’s cool.

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