Monday, July 28, 2014

2014 Play Log - Valiant Hearts, Steam games, and SDCC

I'm going to mash some stuff together in this post so I can get back on track. It was originally supposed to be an in-depth review/essay on a great game I played, Valiant Hearts: The Great War. However, I put the following paragraph together (which I think came out quite nice)...

 Wars represent the worst of Mankind's creations. And it is arguable that the most abominable of these was World War I, or as it was known at the time, The Great War,  there having been no conflict before it that affected so many peoples. Never has there been a struggle between nations that was so wantonly profligate with human life over such trivial stretches of land. It was birthed from the Industrial Revolution gifting the Old World military's with killing power that they neither understood or could control. What was expected to be a short, "traditional" European battle turned into four years of trenches, machine guns, artillery barrages, and gas attacks.

Onto this blood-stained parchment of human created horror and suffering, Valiant Hearts writes its story.

...and everything I wrote after that was awful. Part of this was due to the fact that I wasn't able to write more right after playing. The lapse in time diminished some of my inspiration for better writing. I wanted to put down how the game made me feel and how the game played, but it all seemed too heavy handed (me, not the game). This is a wonderful story that is told by playing the game. Some of it is easy and some of it is even entertainingly silly. Some parts, like the repeated cries of the injured, are haunting even if you know that they are just looped sound clips. And it keeps a respectful connection to the actual struggle with historical notes and item descriptions, something more games should strive to do. The experience of playing Valiant Hearts will stay with me a long time as we head into this centennial anniversary of The Great War.

Now, on to some quick Steam game plays...

 Alan Wake's American Nightmare - I loved playing all the way through Alan Wake and the bonus content, and I was looking forward to exploring his ongoing adventure in American Nightmare. But I just couldn't take it. The whole tone of the game was different. Lost was the ominous tension, the tweed jacket, the quirky townsfolk, the tortured writer, the haunting music at the end of an episode, and the lush Pacific Northwest scenery. Instead we get some moron trying to do a Rod Serling impersonation every time something happens to our now automatic weapon equipped hack! Even Rod knew to only talk at the beginning and end of the show. Anything more is just idiotic parody.

 140 - If we received a video game from another planet, this is pretty much what it would look like. Interesting, but not worth staying with.

Adventures of Shuggy - I think I got this one free and that's good, because it is not my kind of game. Aside from really floaty platforming, the goal of levels is to pickup all the gems. I stopped playing games like this back on the SNES.

And that brings me up to date. Yes, I did go to Comic Con 2014, but game-wise it wasn't much to write about. But it does give one an idea or two for a game. For example, someone should make a game about how to sneak into Hall H, or the quest process of getting a Funko exclusive which includes defeating Stoner Dude to get into the line!

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