Posts

Showing posts from October, 2014

The Evil Within

Image
If you thought that Resident Evil 4 was the last good game in the series flagship titles, or that Alan Wake was a fresh take on horror - I'm sure you're going to love The Evil Within. There's a few definite points in the game where it becomes less about the horror and more about staying alive - but when it gets scary, it goes all-in. The most notable strength of the game comes from its ability to set up a scene, and give you a sense of dread before relieving it with a big scare, which is very rare these days in our jumpy, "Got'chya, let's move on to the next loud noise." loop we've been stuck in for a while.

You are a 30-something dark-haired male detective (Okay, okay, we can't break free of EVERY obvious gaming trope this time around) named Sebastian. Things appear to be going normal, and soon turns very hellish minutes into the game. Most things I can write about the premise of the narrative are loaded with spoilers, so I'll try to keep th…

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

Image
The first word I said when I started up Shadow of Mordor was "Finally." Finally there was a game released by a reputable studio and publisher that wasn't completely over-hyped. Finally there's a game worthy of my time on my PlayStation 4 (the last serious game I played on PS4 was The Last of Us Remastered). If it's not obvious, I bought into Watchdogs and Destiny, and I was extremely disappointing with both. Middle-Earth didn't shove marketing down my throat and it is one of the better games to come out this year.

I don't really follow The Lord of The Rings very much, so I'm not sure how the events of Shadow of Mordor fits in with everything surrounding it, but I sure did enjoy the story at face value. You play as Talion, a ranger with wraith-like abilities thanks to his "savior" Celebrimbor. In the beginning, some quite upsetting things happen to Talion and he finds himself in Mordor seeking revenge.

The cutscenes are beautiful, and are mo…

Boom Beach

Image
From the creators of the breakout hit, Clash of Clans, Boom Beach is a little more of the same (yet slightly different) gameplay we're accustomed to. It's a very hurry up and wait game, and orchestrating attacks and planning defenses is still a very strong point. In my opinion, I thought Supercell's other titles - including Clash of Clans and Hay Day - were extremely boring, but Boom Beach actually holds my attention to this day.

There's not too much of a plot in Boom Beach aside from a bare-bones "This is your villain, save island natives by beating his defenses." We're told the story through text and picture overlays usually at the end of an important battle, and every now and then an update to a building will trigger a short narrative.
Boom Beach looks pretty good for a mobile game. The 3D effects are actually impressive, but you'd need to be paying attention to the visuals to see some of the work that went into them. Everything fits in with the t…

Alice: Madness Returns

Image
Released: June 14, 2011
Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Players: 1
Publisher: Electronic Arts (EA)
Developer: Spicy Horse
ESRB Rating: M for:
-Blood and Gore
-Sexual Themes
-Strong Language
-Violence

Alice: Madness Returns features some great looking environments, interesting/creepy characters, and a heroine that can kick butt while still caring about people. The sequel to American McGee's Alice, Madness Returns picks up 10 years after the events of the first game. Alice has been released from the mental institute she was in, but she's still a bit mad. As she struggles to find out who started the fire that killed her family she's transported from a dark and creepy London setting to the bright, colorful, and off version of Wonderland.

Alice's Wonderland is falling apart and she needs to find out why. From the strange demon train and the enemies that it's spawned to the messed up Hatter, March Hare, and other famous characters twisted to fit into this unique Wonderland, it&…

Type:Rider

Image
Type:Rider doesn't quite fit in to 2D puzzle platformers in all the expected ways. It's primarily a timing and jumping game, but its secondary purpose is the more interesting one in this case. This is an educational game that makes learning completely optional, with the subject of typeface (mostly known as "fonts"). I liked reading about the different kinds and styles of typeface and the history behind them just a touch more than I enjoyed the game itself which doesn't really strike me as a problem because both are parts of the whole.

There's no narrative here at all, just history lessons about a very specific part it. After doing a level or a series of levels, you'll be transferred to the hub of sorts where you select your next trip back in time. There, you can read up on the various collectible you've acquired on the journey. The game can easily be beaten in a day, as I beat it in a matter of an hour and a half. That doesn't quite speak to my s…

SteamWorld Dig

Image
One of the very few problems I have with SteamWorld Dig is that it's over too soon. There's a lot to do, but doing all of it in the course of one playthrough might only take four or five hours, less if you know what you're doing. I originally played this on my Nintendo 3DS, but the re-release on PlayStation 4 gave me a chance to play on the big screen and I took it. The price is very fair for what this game is, but I can promise that it doesn't last as long as you'll want it to.

The player controls the main character, Rusty, who arrives at a small Western mining town called Tumbleton after having received a deed for a mine from his long-forgotten, and deceased uncle. The rest of the game is diving downward into the ground and coming back up every now and then to sell resources and buy upgrades.

There's a few "cutscene" style expositions where plot points are discovered, but mainly there's not too much story to tell past the beginning and end so t…

Extra Life 2014

Image
Hey everyone! Bryan here. Extra Life is right around the corner, and it's going to be a little lonelier than last year (four people instead of eight, ha ha ha) - but still a great event. If you'll remember when we did this last year, the team raised over $500, so I've updated the goal of $500 to $1,000 this year because we knocked it out of the park last time!

If you're unfamiliar, Extra Life is happening October 25th, and Chrissie and I will be livestreaming video games for 24 hours straight. All proceeds we raise go directly to Riley Children's Foundation - who saved my life when I was only a few months old (I suffered from "Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return").

Donate if you can, or just stop by our Twitch when we're livestreaming (we'll be doing some tests before the event I'm sure). We'll be playing PlayStation 4, PC, and possibly Wii U via a capture card on a secondary Twitch channel.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you t…

Super House of Dead Ninjas

Image
Super House of Dead Ninjas is one of those games that you show your friends and try to master as quickly as possible. I've often described it to people as a "hack-n-slash Risk of Rain." It is a rouge-like in the way that if you don't make it to the end of the game without losing a certain amount of lives (that act more like hit-points) you need to start over - kind of like games from the early 90's that didn't have a save or password feature.

The premise is described in a comic book that you can opt to read or not (I personally didn't) if it interests you to know the reason behind descending a tower of death. The comic is available in the main menu and that's about all the story you get. This game can be played pretty much as long as it still entertains you. I've spent three hours on it already and I'm not nearly tired of it yet.

If there was one turn-off for me, it was the visuals. In fact, that's what was stopping me from buying it indi…