21 September, 2014

Keepalive: Brütal Legend, Remember Me, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Cubetractor, The Walking Dead: Season 2

written by Blain Newport on Sunday, 21 September 2014

Brütal Legend (4 of 5)

A roadie gets transported to a land made of heavy metal album covers and has to fight the evils oppressing its people.

It's a passable action game and a passable RTS with nice trappings. I turned the difficulty down to easy because the game parts, especially the RTS parts, just weren't very fun. And this is from a guy who finished Sacrifice (which also wasn't very fun). But driving around the crazy setting, listening to the licensed soundtrack was a unique and pleasant experience.

Remember Me (3 of 5)

Um. Yeah. Remember Me has a lot of craft put into it.

That's the Arc De Triomphe surrounded by run down housing and canals. It kind of sums up the game for me. The craft is very good, but none of it makes any sense. Paris will never build non-luxury housing around the Arc or let it become a slum. I don't want to get into spoilers, but the story has the same level of logical consistency. Someone had what they felt was a cool idea but didn't think it through. The combat system is a case in point. You build combos yourself, but after a certain point, there is one uber combo and you just go into the menu to tweak it's properties from time to time. At points in the game you alter people's memories. You have to find the right combination of alterations to make to get a desired outcome, but it's mostly guess and check. Also it's terrible when other people alter memories, but when you do it, it has no negative consequences. :P

Injustice: Gods Among Us (4 of 5)

a DC Comics fighting game from the makers of Mortal Kombat

That's Solomon Grundy pummeling Bane. I'm just enough of a DC nerd (Timm and Dini DCAU nerd, really) that that's a pretty good fight. Thankfully the mechanical foundation of the game is also pretty sound. The guys at work had been playing the game for months, and I'd played enough that when it went on sale I felt obliged to pick it up. I played through the story mode, which is just okay, but it's still fun to open up practice mode and mess with combos.

Cubetractor (3 of 5)

an adorable game where you play a robot that pulls cubes together to make structures and is powered by enthusiasm

The art's great and the gameplay doesn't get in the way. I don't really want a sequel though, because the puzzles that were challenging didn't make me feel smart or brave or otherwise good about solving them. I'm just not a puzzle game guy. If I'm solving hard puzzles, I'd rather be paid for it.

The Walking Dead: Season 2 (3 of 5)

I'd put a picture, but almost everything would be a spoiler. The Walking Dead games are more story than game. Your decisions don't really change anything. People die and betray and make terrible plans and blame everyone else for their mistakes. And even with the frustration of occasionally lousy combat sequences and not being given the choices I'd want because the plot needs things to go wrong, these games still do a better job of character building and storytelling than most of what's on the market. I suppose if that's really all I was interested in I'd go play text games, which never went away and have been having a renaissance since Twine came about. But the few I've tried, some of which were creative and well written, still just sort of lie there compared to the urgency of The Walking Dead.

09 September, 2014

Big Humble Store Sale

written by Blain Newport on Tuesday, 09 September 2014 at 08:00 GMT -7

The Humble Store is having a two week sales event with daily deals and flash sales and even a free game to start (although that will probably have run out by the time anyone reads this).

I recommend The Swapper for $3 if you think a creepy puzzle game sounds fun. (It'll be leaving the front page in a couple hours, but

I personally decided to try Euro Truck Simulator 2 for $5 to see why virtual truck driving is so popular.

And as much as I enjoyed The Lego Movie, I haven't been into the games in a long time, so even $7.50 seemed too much to pay for The Lego Movie - Videogame.