Hello backlog... we meet again Kap’s profile
I have a great bunch of games. Yay!
So many of them are unplayed. Boo!
This simply won’t do.
With a few exceptions (such as unwanted bundle games that were included on a single Steam key), I honestly intend to play all of the games in my library, and this group seems like a great way to encourage that. I don’t plan on doing it systematically where it would feel like a have to rather than a want to, as that would take away the fun factor, and that’s the whole point of games for me. I’ll play them as the mood strikes, and jot down a few notes here and there. :)
Some recent assassinations from the Spooktober event. :)
Little Nightmares is fun and semi-creepy, with fantastic artwork and atmosphere. Lovers of LIMBO and INSIDE would be wise to check this one out, as it has somewhat of a similar feel and vibe, although with a darkly cute, almost claymation-like aesthetic. I wish it would have been longer because I really enjoyed my time with this one, and it left me wanting more. Perhaps I’ll look into the DLC someday.
I don’t watch thrillers since they typically don’t scare me (which defeats the point in watching them), and I wasn’t sure if I’d be equally unmoved when it came to video games, but there was a part in Among the Sleep that genuinely scared me and got my adrenaline pumping, which was a gaming first for me. (Although after the initial scare, I kept seeking it out rather than trying to avoid it. Hmm, what does that say about me?) This was short and fairly simple, but generally well-done. The graphics were nice and occasionally surreal, the controls were fitting for a toddler, and the underlying story concept caught me a little by surprise.
Dreaming Sarah was a bit… odd. I’m not familiar with Yume Nikki, the game that this one drew its inspiration from, but this felt like exploration without much direction, and a bit more backtracking than I would have liked. It wasn’t a bad game, and it kept me entertained for a while, but there was one area that I wouldn’t even have found without finally consulting a walkthrough, and the ending felt rather abrupt and unrewarding.
Just a quick update on some games I’ve finished recently. :)
1953 - KGB Unleashed is a short point & click game that simply didn’t click with me. I loved its eerie atmosphere, but didn’t enjoy its (sometimes obscure) puzzles, and found the story to be lacking without any sense of explanation. I wouldn’t call it a “bad” game, and some point & click fans might really enjoy this one, but to me it felt like wasted potential, and I was glad when it was over.
Little Racers STREET is a simple, casual racing game that’s been in my unfinished pile for years. It’s not a high-budget game, but the controls felt good, the graphics were decent enough, and the occasional weather effects were a nice touch. All of the races take place in the same two cities, so although the routes constantly change, they do feel a bit samey after a while. It’s a fun little game, best played in short bursts, and happens to have one of the funniest game reviews I’ve seen.
Shufflepuck Cantina Deluxe was another unfinished casual game that I originally started years ago and finally decided to assassinate it. You essentially play virtual air hockey in a Star Wars-ish cantina. The controls are smooth and responsive, and the gameplay is fun, but it gets very repetitive rather quickly. I have to confess that once I was halfway through the game, I hacked it to give myself extra in-game currency (needed to progress the “story”) just to cut down on the inevitable grind that I was facing. I did have fun with the game, just not enough to warrant another dozen hours of playing glorified pong against the same handful of opponents. :3
Fairy Bloom Freesia was a fun little 2D fighting game. The generic story’s tacked on, there are very few enemy types and they’re butt-ugly (most look either like blobs or Chewbacca), and the music’s rather bad… but the gameplay’s pretty fun and rewarding. You gradually level up and unlock new skills (attacks, passive bonuses, and special attacks), so there’s a sense of progression throughout the game, and knocking enemies back into other enemies causes a domino effect chain reaction, which can trigger some massive combos with bodies flying everywhere. It’s fairly short and simple, but I enjoyed it enough to immediately do a NG+ run, and since I opted to carry over my existing skills instead of starting over completely from scratch, it was much quicker and dare I say even more fun the second time around, blasting through the hordes of enemies as an overpowered little fairy. :P
Wait, what year is it again? Ok, so I was a little late to the party in getting around to playing Tomb Raider (often referred to as Tomb Raider (2013)), but I thoroughly enjoyed this cinematic adventure. Great visuals and music, action, exploration, and some tense combat made this a joy to play. It was lighter on the puzzle elements than I had expected compared to Tomb Raider: Anniversary which I played a few months back (Hey, where are the blocks I’m supposed to push?), but the environments were great with a lot of attention to detail, and it had a nice sense of progression with skill and equipment upgrades. I also loved that I could use stealth to take out a lot of the enemies, which I prefer over the “guns a-blazin’” approach. I really liked this one a lot, but I’m thinking that I should probably take a break before diving into Rise of the Tomb Raider, just so that it doesn’t feel like I’m still playing the same game.
I won’t say much about it, since story-driven games like this are better played than described, but I finished the little gem known as Finding Paradise. Fans of To The Moon and A Bird Story will feel right at home here, and I’d recommend playing both of those first for story reasons. This didn’t trigger the same emotional response for me that To The Moon did, but it was moving in its own right, and the music and humor were still excellent. (I had also somehow missed the two free “minisode” DLCs that had been released for To The Moon, so I went back and played those, too. It seems that there’s an overarching story going on here as well that Freebird Games is concocting. We’ll have to stay tuned!)
Ack! I’ve been away from here for far too long, but wanted to stop in with an update after finishing MX vs. ATV Reflex. It had been ages since I’d played a racing game and I was really getting the itch, so I tried my hand at this fun little motocross racer. Although there are a selection of vehicles to choose from including buggies and trucks, and some races require you to use those, the dirt bikes are the most fun since they allow you use twin-stick controls (one stick to steer and the other to lean your body) for more variety, tricks and subtle control. It made the game feel a lot more visceral and involving than just having to hit the gas and steer. The graphics still hold up well, there’s a nice sensation of speed, and timing jumps just right can feel pretty rewarding. There are also some nice touches like deforming terrain (which causes ruts that will affect your handling) and extra cheers from the crowd when you overtake another racer or pull off little tricks. The AI is pretty stupid and seems to have a complete disregard for human life, so it’s not uncommon for trucks to simply run you over, or for other riders to land on your head after a jump (which will usually knock you over, while they continue on their merry way), so I sometimes found myself restarting certain races over and over, since the initial start would often resemble a demolition derby. The tracks are also reused which limits the variety somewhat, but some of them were beautifully done, and I especially liked the outdoor wilderness maps which reminded me a lot of mountain biking out in nature. All in all, this was fun!
It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update, but I recently had the pleasure of playing Tomb Raider: Anniversary. I’ve been meaning to check out the latest titles in the series, but I wanted to complete the ones in my library in order, starting with the oldest one first. (I know that the story in this one isn’t relevant to the more recent ones, but that’s just how I roll.) :P
I never played the original, but this remake still holds up well today. The graphics certainly aren’t cutting edge since the game’s now 11 years old, but they’re fine for this type of puzzle platformer, and I enjoyed exploring the different environments. I did encounter a bug in one of the boss fights, the camera position occasionally wasn’t ideal, and some of the timed platforming sections could be challenging/tricky/frustrating due to the controls, but all in all, it was fun to experience the face-lifted origin of such an iconic series.
Technical note for anyone intending to play this: I needed to disable Fullscreen Effects on my system to avoid some awkward motion blur, and needed to enable v-sync or else Lara’s ponytail would randomly stretch out behind her for miles. :P
Overall, I enjoyed playing UnEpic. I thought the game’s premise was interesting and found the controls to be responsive enough while I explored the castle, occasionally discovering hidden walls, tripping over traps, and learning how to defeat all of the inhabitants. There’s a lot of flexibility in customizing your build as you level-up and allocate skill points, so everyone’s playthrough can be slightly or substantially different, and your particular build can have a dramatic effect on how difficult or easy certain bosses and enemies are. (Thankfully, there’s a sidequest that will give you a one-time option of re-spec’ing your skill points if you find that you’ve chosen poorly.) In addition, the game has random loot drops, a couple of unique weapons that you can earn through sidequests, and offers a selection of different pets to alternate between (each with a unique attack), so there’s a fair amount of choice and variety. Despite its enjoyable gameplay, though, the game has a few notable flaws. While there’s a lot of voice acting, the character you play is unlikeable and obnoxious, and I found the humor to be completely lacking and often lowbrow and crude with its fart and sex jokes (with one at the very end being downright distasteful). I’m sorry, but there was absolutely no reason for this game to bring up rape, nor do I feel that that’s a topic that should be joked about. The game also resorted to some arguably “cheap” mechanics toward the end in an attempt to add variety to the gameplay, but rather than make the game more interesting or challenging, I personally found that these changes only added annoyances.
The Walking Dead: 400 Days DLC was a short but enjoyable extension to the original game. It’s certainly not essential, and since these 5 (mostly independent) episodes are rather brief, it doesn’t give the same opportunity to bond with the newly-introduced characters, but fans of the original should like this as it offers more of the same atmosphere and gritty decision-making.
Games from the current Challenge Me! :
The Magic Circle is an unconventional and occasionally trippy game. It has an interesting concept and I had some fun with its unique core mechanic, but overall, it was a neutral experience for me. While the voice acting was well done, I thought the story itself fell flat, and while I certainly don’t regret playing it, it’s not one that I’d personally recommend or choose to revisit.
Teslagrad oozes with charm, and I loved its artwork, atmosphere and storytelling. It’s a puzzle-platformer with fairly straightforward puzzles, but the somewhat floaty controls made a few of the platforming sections and bosses feel almost frustratingly difficult, and much harder than I believe the game originally intended. Overall it’s a great game, but if you’re the type who finds getting killed repeatedly until you can get the timing just right to be tedious rather than rewarding, then this probably isn’t for you.
I had fun jumping around as a super spy in Gunpoint. It’s short and the puzzles aren’t particularly tricky, but the mechanics are interesting enough and give you multiple ways to tackle some levels, and I loved the writer’s sense of humor. You’ll only get a few hours out of this one, but it’s enjoyable time well-spent.
Transistor was a gift from last holiday season, and another superb release from Supergiant Games. It’s highly polished, and beautiful to both look at and listen to. It didn’t immediately grab me the way that Bastion did, but I soon became a sucker for the added strategy of its real-time/turn-based hybrid combat. I also like how it gently encouraged experimentation by only unlocking background lore if you varied your combat setup. It’s a great game and I’d highly recommend it. I can’t say that I cared for the ending, though, and didn’t feel that the love story was portrayed convincingly enough.
Ittle Dew is a cute, light-hearted puzzle adventure game that was chosen for me in the last Challenge Me!. It’s colorful and cartoony, has a nice dose of humor, and is full of puzzles that range from simple/obvious to downright tricky. (I wasn’t able to make it through the entire Master Cave without consulting a walkthrough.) It’s not particularly long (it’s possible to speedrun it in under 15 minutes if that’s your thing), but I took my time exploring all there was to see, and it’s a fun time while it lasts.
Orcs Must Die! is another fun, cartoony game that was picked for this challenge. It’s a combination of tower defense and third-person shooter, which often has you running back and forth in order to defend against enemies from multiple directions. There’s a nice variety of traps and passive perks to choose from, which greatly affect how you approach each map, and most of my time in the game was spent simply looking around the maps and strategizing. The formula is essentially to come up with a plan, execute it, move on if it succeeds, or reevaluate it and try another plan, and some of the maps may require a few tries before you find something that works well. It’s a fun game, and I found it plays best in short spurts doing a map or two at a time, rather than sitting down for a long marathon session.