L'enfant Sauvage Wolfborn8’s profile
Apologies for not having any fancy formatting or images, etc, but I really don’t have the time for that anymore, especially when I suck at doing that sort of code-y stuff and will take forever with just the one game, let alone this many ^^
Due to a couple of personal reasons (I had one of the most horrible weeks in recent memory not that long ago), and also because if everything goes well with my writing projects from now on, I probably won’t have the time to do individual reviews for everything I play anymore. Instead, I’ll be focusing on delivering short paragraph-long impressions about the games I play, most likely just once a month.
Despite being much busier than usual, I was still somehow able to play more games this month than ever before in my entire life, if memory doesn’t fail me. I suppose that all of them are either short or short-ish and there’s also two titles I abandoned midway through and that contributed to the unusual high number of games played.
Flood of Light: Really nice and cutesy looking puzzle game. You collect and move orbs of light around in order to complete each room and there’s also secondary objectives tied to achievements. The learning curve is very subtle and the mechanics evolve at a nice steady pace. There’s a story, but I basically didn’t care about it. To sum it up, if you like puzzle games in general, you’ll probably also like this one.
Seraph: This was a weird one. It’s a twin-stick shooter roguelike platformer (all things I tend to like!), but where you don’t actually aim and just focus on jumping around and dodging. Personally, that fact plus the poor design behind the procedural level generation ended up killing the experience for me. It felt way too repetitive way too quickly. I got bored at one point and didn’t finish it.
Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs: I kept holding off on this one because I’m such a huge fan of Dark Descent. But a very dear friend gifted it to me (thank you so much, you know who you are!), so I finally got around to playing it. Overall, it’s a really nice experience with some great set pieces and the moments where the music kicks in are truly fantastic and memorable, but overall I didn’t find the story to be as compelling as in the first Amnesia and it also doesn’t have the same level of tension/psychological horror prevalent throughout the first title– Dark Descent continues to be the ONLY game to this day to have actually made me anxious while playing it.
Killing Floor 2: It was being fun until one day it stopped working and it did’t launch ever again. I tried all the suggested solutions in the forums, but with no luck. As for the gameplay itself, it’s a lot of fun, but I wish the maps were more like in Left 4 Dead where you keep moving forward and have an actual objective to accomplish rather than just waiting for the next wave.
Tiny Echo: Charming, but super short point and click adventure game that I won on steamgifts this month. You go around delivering psychedelic mail to nature spirits (just as you would in real life, really ^^) and the reason why you’re doing this becomes evident as you play. It’s a sweet little game, but not very memorable in the end.
Metro 2033: What a ride! The atmosphere and sense of immersion are some of the best I’ve ever seen in a video game. It is a bit of a shame that the game has quite a few bugs and that the animations and combat don’t hold up incredibly well these days, but it was still an awesome game.
Bottle: One of the worst games I’ve ever played. It lasted about 20-30 minutes, there’s one music track on loop, the environment and landscapes re-use the same assets over and over again and there’s only 6 badly written notes to interact with in the entire game. Avoid at all costs!
Metro: Last Light: It fixes basically everything wrong with Metro 2033 and delivers one of my favourite first-person experiences of all time. Absolutely stellar game! The Redux version also includes all the DLC and a couple of the extra missions are truly memorable, namely the 100% survival horror driven “Spider Lair” episode. Awesome stuff!
Owlboy: I think this game has some of the most beautiful pixel art I’ve ever seen, it’s just so pretty and so much care was put into all the little character animations and expressions. As far as gameplay goes, it’s a very accessible platformer compared to many others I’ve played, which makes sense once you realise that the story is very much aimed at all ages. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a couple of tricky sequences and boss fights, but all in all it’s a narrative driven game that was designed to be enjoyed by all rather than trying to appeal to the hardcore platformer audience.
All my reviews are spoiler free! :)
Don’t feel so HOT today (pun intended), so I won’t be adding images or whatever, apologies.
I’m pretty sure I’m like the last person on Earth who wanted to play SUPERHOT, but hadn’t yet. Somehow I was able to escape all and any spoilers about the game, which is really how you want to go into this SUPER.HOT title. If you know what’s coming, it’s almost kind of pointless to play, even if the gameplay is still really, really good.
Time only moves when you move– actually, it still moves incredibly slowly even if you’re standing still, but the (lack of) speed here is so irrelevant to the consequences of your SUPER.HOT actions on a larger scale, that for practical purposes time might as well be perfectly still. I do enjoy watching the enemies move at a snail’s pace, though! So, time only moves when you move and you have to use your SUPER.HOT fists, objects in the environment, melee weaponry and firearms with a limited amount of bullets to waste away your foes. Ultimately, and despite looking sort of like a traditional FPS from the outside, SUPER.HOT SUPERHOT ends up playing much more like an open ended puzzle game that allows for multiple-solutions than anything else. It feels fresh and novel and I had a blast experimenting my way through.
However, and for as much as the gameplay is indeed engaging and exciting, this is an incredibly short game; took me exactly 2h to beat the entire SUPER.HOT campaign. Sure, there are SUPER.HOT challenges to beat and an endless SUPER.HOT mode, but as far as I could tell, these just re-use level layouts from the story mode, so I personally thought that was kind of lazy, especially given the game’s relatively high price range.
The game’s visuals are very minimalistic, yet striking and exactly what they needed to be given the SUPER.HOT context of the game. The sound design is rather stellar and it’s almost as satisfying to hear an enemy shattering into SUPER.HOT pieces as it is to actually see it happen in glorious SUPER.HOT slow motion.
Overall, it’s definitely a great, but incredibly short and kind of overpriSUPER.HOT.SUPER.HOT.SUPER.HOT.SUPER.HOT.SUPER.HOT.SUPER.HOT 2018 to everyone!
All my reviews are spoiler free! :)
"Welcome home, such as it is. This squalid hamlet, these corrupted lands, they are yours now, and you are bound to them."
Oh, Darkest Dungeon, how I loved to hate you! This is one of the best games I’ve ever played; almost everything about it is near perfection. I know the RNG is a big point of contention for a lot of people, but quite honestly, I found that if you bring the right party to the right area or to a boss, chances are, even with a few unlucky dice rolls, you’ll be ok. You may lose a couple of party members here and there, but nothing that should affect your campaign too too much. Or at least that’s the experience I had.
"The cost of preparedness - measured now in gold, later in blood."
In fact, I think that’s the gameplay’s biggest strength. Party composition/positioning, skills chosen, the synergies between the skills of all your party members, camping abilities, all this matters more in Darkest Dungeon than in most other games of this genre– this is tactical gameplay at its absolute best. The fact that it’s turned based and that there are stats associated to pretty much every little thing you need to know, helps not only to predict the outcome of your associated immediate actions, but also what needs to be corrected in future incursions into any of the very distinct 5 (6 if you own the Crimson Court DLC) major areas in the game.
"We dug for months, years-- an eternity. And we were rewarded with madness."
Darkest Dungeon has a very deliberate and overt Lovecraftian influence that trickles through every single aspect of the game, from some of the hero classes to enemy designs to the dungeons themselves… But the biggest contribution Lovecraft unknowingly bestowed to this game was its stress system and all the little sub-mechanics involved therein.
I’m not gonna go into too much detail about the whole stress system because there are a whole lot of gameplay elements involved and attached to it, but let’s just say that as you explore and fight, you will inevitably be submitted to the stresses of both physical and mental combat, something that this game pulls off like no other.
Certain enemies deal almost exclusively stress damage (which is not as easily cured as physical damage), and this is yet another genius move from the developers, because it often forces you to focus on these enemies first, allowing the heavy hitters in the enemy party some free reign. Juggling which enemies to attack, when, with who and how is almost a mental battle in its own right and I love it!
"The front line of this war is not in the dungeon, but rather, inside the mind."
The art is stunning and it reminds me a lot of Mike Mignola’s, which is big praise coming from me. The frame animations are charming and to the point, the audio design is incredibly immersive, the soundtrack is incredible and the narration, gods, the narration! I can still hear the narrator going “the light, the promise of safety!” every single time I turn on my bedside table lamp during the night. I’ve gotten so many memorable quotes out of this game, which can be applied in so many real-life situations, that it’s actually kind of crazy.
This is a game I’ll definitely be coming back to at some point!
"Remember there can be no bravery without madness."
Coming Soon: SUPER.HOT.SUPER.HOT.SUPER.HOT.
All my reviews are spoiler free! :)
I never played Tomb Raider back in the day, my introduction to the franchise was done through Underworld. Since then I’ve played Guardian of Light, Legend, the first game in the reboot and I have to say that despite being a spin-off, Guardian of Light remains my favourite game in the series. That’s not to say the others weren’t good though (except Legend, I did not like Legend one bit).
But let’s try to focus on Anniversary. Despite its sometimes clunky controls, wonky collision detection, terrible combat and sometimes frustrating camera angles, this is nonetheless an enjoyable game that very much still stands the test of time, gameplay wise. So much so that I wish the games in the reboot were more like this, with much less combat and a lot more platforming and puzzle solving, just with state of the art visuals. Don’t get me wrong, I actually enjoy the reboot title I played, but I always thought there was way too much combat for a game called Tomb Raider– the combat to tomb raiding ratio was completely out of control.
Story wise, Anniversary has a completely forgettable narrative; I honestly won’t even bother going into it. Where the game shines is in the stellar level design and the feeling of being in an actual place– the graphics are by no means incredible by today’s standards, but the atmosphere and sense of scale and immersion are still top notch.
There’s also an almost refreshing approach to the archaic gameplay design, in the sense that there are barely any colour coded platforms and definitely no indication on how to proceed within each location. You just have to figure it out for yourself and that was something I truly enjoyed. On the other hand, there are also no modern quality of life features, such as being able to unlock shortcuts after having accomplished something within a dungeon; instead, you’ll often find yourself having to backtrack here and there (it never takes too long and the game checkpoints you very frequently, but I think it’s still worth mentioning).
There’s not much more to add other than saying that the game was much better than I thought and I definitely had fun with it, despite the aforementioned shortcomings :)
Happy holidays, everyone <3
Hugs all around!
Virginia’s Main Theme – Mood Music
Virginia. Where to even begin? It’s a game that attempts to play like an experimental movie with no dialogue, down to its roughly 2h long running time (I had it running for longer to get all the cards). I first got curious about the game when hearing things like “if you like Twin Peaks, you’ll love Virginia”, etc, but after playing it, I don’t really see much of Twin Peaks in it– but there’s definitely a Lynchian feel to its approach and mood, namely hints and dashes of Blue Velvet above any of his other work. When all is said and done, the inspirations for Virginia seem to be many and varied, I personally even saw some Apocalypse Now in there; but for the most part, Virginia played to me like an extended version of one of those more down to Earth, entirely focused on the character relationships, X-Files episode.
I won’t tackle anything that happens in the story because of spoilers, but I will say that there’s an almost pervasive sense of nostalgia and perhaps even echoing sadness throughout the entire experience and the final act is as beautiful, hypnotic and thought-provoking as it can also be a tad confusing. Of course this is all down to interpretation because the game is very open-ended that way– where I saw sadness you may see happiness, who knows? I won’t go into detail over such personal matters here.
I actually wanted to replay the game in one go as soon as I finished it now that I had more knowledge of the story as a whole and of the characters, but I didn’t for the same reason I couldn’t even play the game in one sitting, despite its very short length: in all my many years of gaming, Virginia was the first and only game to have ever made me physically ill while playing it. I had to play it over the course of 3 separate sessions and I was feeling such motion sickness at the end of one of those I was feeling dizzy.
The FOV and the head-bobbing are ridiculous and the camera movement, while probably attempting to convey some sort of dream-like state, just made me feel like the character was drunk all the time! Which is funny, because there’s a scene where the character may potentially be rather tipsy, yet the camera behaves the exact same way as before and after. Turning off motion blur helped a tiny little bit, but overall this is a game I will never be replaying, despite really wanting to.
In the end, my favourite elements were the fantastic editing (worthy of an actual feature film!) and the soundtrack, which is so so incredibly beautiful and probably the closest thing to Twin Peaks in the entire game, but even then only during specific tracks.
PS: I’m thinking of just having monthly updates after this post, unless you want me to continue doing these individual, more in-depth “reviews” after I beat a game. Let me know? ^^
So, my first post ever. I’m usually really bad at online social… stuff, but I promised a certain someone I’d post here, so here I am.
I suppose it’s only natural I start by talking about Hellblade– because without this game, I wouldn’t have met the person that showed me to BLAEO in the first place. It is also the perfect game to introduce myself a little bit to this community.
Maybe Hellblade is not the best game ever made, but it sure is my favourite one nonetheless and also definitely the one that had the most impact on me.
I… have acute PTSD, you see, and I suffer from hearing voices as well as having very vivid graphic hallucinations sometimes. There were a ton of moments and entire sequences and/or cutscenes in the game where I sort of became one with Senua and Senua became one with me, so many were the similarities between what was happening on screen and even what was being narrated to what I’ve been through in real life– even the wording they use, things like “darkness” and “curse” are eerily familiar to me. There were at least 3 times while playing the game where I had to just stop and take a step back, breathe deeply and very calmly because it was all getting too real for me.
Personal input aside, the storytelling, while nothing particularly groundbreaking, is extremely well thought-out and the narrative itself is conveyed in a truly satisfying crescendo. In addition, Senua is an incredibly flawed, believable, strong, proper protagonist and is supported by a great ensemble of characters both seen and unseen, all of them magnificently voice acted. On top of it all, the sound design and OST are both beyond perfect and it really add to the veracity of the experience.
The game is incredibly well optimised because even though I don’t even meet the minimum requirements in certain areas, I was able to run the game with almost every visual aspect set to high. Can’t remember the last game where I was able to do that and have it run exceedingly well at a constant 30fps. Sure, I would’ve preferred 60fps, but beggars can’t be choosers and I was overjoyed to just be able to play it anyway. If I’m ever able to afford a new PC, I’ll definitely play it again with everything set to maximum, but in the mean time I’m still a happy wolf :)
I don’t much care for achievements, but I actually ended up getting all of them for this game, which I suppose wasn’t all that difficult since only one of them is not story related ^^
Anyway, and despite being a cinema kind of guy first and foremost, I also love video games and I’m very much looking forward to becoming a part of this little community. I’m hoping to be able to write a post about Virginia soon, which is the last game I finished and it actually fits this month’s theme here at BLAEO.
There are a lot of games I have that I still haven’t played and that I really want to. I Also gotta make some lists, I love lists :D
Thank you for reading! May your dreams always be kind and pleasant, and may they never be shattered <3
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