Thursday, May 22, 2014

2014 Play Log - Getting Back on Track

I'm still not back to where I was, but I think I will be changing the format of this a little. Trying to write something for each day gets to be a bit much (for writer and reader), so I think I'll switch to a Monday summary of what I did the week before.

Diablo III Image Diablo 3 - This is becoming my bite-size gaming experience (jump in, run around to the next objective, teleport back to town, save and quit). I'm beginning to (sort of) regret being a Hunter class. Since I do nothing but shoot bows and throw knives, it makes the game feel more like a run-and-gun game and less like a "dungeon crawler". However, being able to attack from a distance is an advantage. I'm going to try a warrior character before I get too much farther in it.

Child of Light Image Child of Light Demo - One of the more talked about games recently. Very pretty to look at, but I didn't really like the combat system which is a lot like those found in Japanese RPG's.  I would have been interested if it had been more like a platformer and/or if it had more voice work. Trying to read rhyming verse that's being spoken in turn by two characters takes much of the charm out of the game.

Mario Golf: World Tour Image Mario Golf World Tour - Proof that Nintendo may be the least relevant gaming platform today, but that doesn't keep it from selling me specifically. True, I knew this purchase had a dual purpose - after I play some of it, it goes to Sarah. She really seems to enjoy the Mario golf games. I've seen her play the old N64 one for hours. Is the autism or does she just enjoy it? As for me, I do think they made the game a little too easy. If you play on Easy, it lines up shots for you and you only need to press the button twice to swing. While you can switch to a harder "Manual" setting, I don't think I'd enjoy it anymore, especially since I'd know I could do better just by going back to Easy. Part of me would love if this had come to the Wii (or Wii U even). Playing golf in the Wii Sports game was a lot of fun! Too bad it only had the one course in it.

Vanquish Image Vanquish - I only played this a little, but WOW! I'd heard about this game from my podcasts - the guys on it saying how great and overlooked it was. No kidding! I have to go back and play the tutorial again because there are so many options for your character in this run-and-gun game that I couldn't remember all of them. It's sort of like Robo-Cop meets Halo with a healthy dose of Michael Bay-style explosions. The action is frenetic, the shooting is visceral, and the cut-scenes leave your jaw on the floor!

WildStar Image WildStar Beta - A new MMO from NCsoft (makers of Guild Wars) set in a cartoonish, space environment. The beta took hours to download and install, but my initial playtime didn't go very well. It was very hard to figure out how to "activate" something. I stood in front of a console for several minutes, clicking on it, pushing buttons and not getting anywhere. When something did work, I wasn't sure if it was me hitting the right key or if there was a huge amount of lag. Might have to try it a bit more.

Finding Teddy Image Finding Teddy - I've had to start playing this game with the guide open in Steam (thankfully someone on the forums wrote one up since there wasn't one on GameFAQs). There have been several instances where this "simple" point-and-click game assumes too much of your creativity. I want to complete the game, but I don't want to spend 10 hours on a 3 hour game.

(Insert about one week's gap in here. I'm a bad blogger.)

First some updates to games I've already mentioned.

No more Diablo 3 yet. Not buying Child of Light (maybe yet). Gave up on Mario Golf World Tour and passed it along to my daughter. Haven't played anymore Vanquish. Never did get back to Wild Star Beta before the trial period ended. Haven't gotten back to Finding Teddy...yet.

So, what have I been playing? Well,...

LEGO The Hobbit Image Lego The Hobbit - I'm playing this on the 3DS and so far it's been more entertaining than the movies. (Good Lord and Butter, Mr. Jackson! You are the Geek Messiah for bringing us The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, but The Hobbit movies are as bad as the first Star Trek movie. Except for the dragon. Smaug is cool looking, I will admit. Back to the game...) I'm not too far into it yet, but I really like the way dialog from the movies is integrated into the gameplay - something I never got used to in the LotR Lego game. There are different abilities for each dwarf and the levels are nice bite-size lengths. It will be interesting to see where this game ends since I know the console versions will be getting DLC (which you may have to pay for) to cover the third movie. (Why? Why is there a THIRD MOVIE?) While there is DLC for some 3DS games, it's not a common occurrence.

Stick it to the Man! Image Stick It To The Man - I got this as a PS+ freebie and have been playing it for nearly a week now. Yes, I know it's a short indie game, but I guess I play slowly. It reminds A LOT of Psychonauts and in some ways I feel it's more like a Tim Schafer game than Broken Age does. The art style is 2D paper characters and backgrounds but in a 3D world. It's a point-and-click (or "stick") adventure with some platform elements. It also has a demented sense of humor, like an underground comic from the 70's. I played a level last night where my character was trapped in an insane asylum and it was more than a little unsettling - which means the game designers did a very good job! It can be a little frustrating (like many adventure games) when I feel like I've done or tried everything and still can't finish a level, but I'm determined to get to the end credits of this one.

I also checked off two more Steam games from my A-to-Z playthrough - Adventure Park and AI War. Both were games that would have required considerable time investments, being a sim builder and large scale strategy game, respectively, and I didn't feel the desire to dig that deeply into them.

No comments: