20 April, 2014

Catching Up

written by Blain Newport on Sunday, 20 April 2014

I continue to play games. I just haven't felt the urge to write about them in a good while.

Diablo 3 (3 of 5)

Game not pictured because it doesn't really look like much.

Since they fixed the loot system and reduced the cost, I figured it was finally time to try the premiere action RPG.

It's okay.

I can only imagine what a disappointment it would have been with the auction house where instead of finding great loot you just find stuff to sell then have to spend every trip back to town scrolling through auction listings. Bleh.

As it is the game still isn't really grabbing me. As a melee class the biggest threat was groups of elite enemies with lava or toxic abilities that made it hurt to get close to them. Difficulty spikes determined by a random number generator leave me pretty cold.

EDF 2025 (4 of 5)

Game not pictured because I don't have an HDMI capture setup.

EDF 2017 was a budget game. EDF 2025 doesn't actually add or change a huge amount and was priced at $50.

For me, it was worth every penny.

In case I haven't properly introduced it before, Earth Defense Force is a campy game about defending the earth from hordes of enemies. Dead Rising, with it's oceans of zombies is the only game I can think of that puts as many enemies on screen as EDF. But the enemies of EDF are giant ants and spiders and robots and space ships, giving it a bit of the feel of a 50s monster movie. The hammy histrionics of the voice acting confirm that none of this is to be taken too seriously.

Beneath the silly trappings is a simple loot chase. Shoot bugs. Grab armor crates to increase health and weapon crates to get random weapons. More difficult levels give better weapons. The weapons themselves can be pretty wacky. Grenades that don't travel far enough for you to get out of the blast radius, close range weapons with reload times guaranteed to get you killed if you don't take out all of your opposition in one magazine, weapons that fire in two directions, neither of which is straight; etc. Working around these limitations (throwing the grenade from higher ground so it travels farther, carrying a more practical backup weapon to switch to after unloading the first one, and maneuvering opponents into the fire pattern of a multi-directional gun) makes the player feel very clever.

I could go on, but I'd rather just go play some more.

Goat Simulator (3 of 5)

Here I am licking a bucket.

Here I am getting hit by a car, still with my bucket.

Here I am, struggling internally with whether to trash this party, still with my bucket.

Goat Simulator is basically a silly physics toy where you can knock stuff about and jump around and then push a button to make a goat noise. There's a bit more to it than that, but just a bit.