Kevin Vance - Latest Games Roundup

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Latest Games Roundup

Thursday, August 27th, 2009
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I've been playing a lot of games lately. I don't really have time to, but they help me clear my mind at least. I haven't been writing down my thoughts though, so here's a big list of them in vaguely chronological order:


Ghostbusters: The Videogame (PC) - I'm so conflicted. Besides the fact that I really like the movie, the designers did a great job of making a very rich world for this game. But actually progressing through the game is frustrating and repetitive: deplete a ghost's health, wrangle it with the proton stream, put it in a trap. I stopped playing this in July (I think I'm about halfway through), and I haven't felt like going back to it.

Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: Endless Frontier (DS) - I can't even remember why I got this, but I ended up playing through the whole thing. It has a generic 2D tiled overworld map and area maps, but the combat is a weird cross between generic RPG and brawler. You try and perform all your attacks so you can juggle the opponent in the air for 100+ hit combos. Also, almost every female character has huge tits with detailed jiggling animation and every other line of dialogue is a boob joke. What I'm saying is that if I could send any game back in time to when I was 12 years old, it would be this.

The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition (PC) - I appreciate what they're trying to do here. They stayed completely faithful to the original game, while adding a hint system, high resolution 16:9 graphics, and voice overs. And best of all, you can swap between the original and the special edition at any time at the push of a button. That said, I do not care for the new art style or many of the voices, and I never tried the hint system (the only game I've played more than Monkey Island is Monkey Island 2). The VFX are outstanding though: great looking water, magic FX, etc.

Crayon Physics Deluxe (PC) - This was a great demo, but I don't think it did the transition to full game well. It's like The Incredible Machine with only 4 parts: line, polygon, rope, and hinge. And later, rockets that are on the map but you can't draw. Solving puzzles always feels good, but I'd often find myself getting frustrated and drawing a bunch of wedges to force my way through a level.

Mr. Robot (PC) - I've already written my first impressions about this, and it's only gotten better. I'm so glad I found this game. I haven't played everything in the big Steam indie pack yet, but I think this was the hidden gem of it. It's like playing a ZZT game with nice graphics and music. And an RPG battle engine for some reason. I'm looking forward to playing more Moonpod games in the future. And even more "indie cred" for them: some asshole wikipedians have deleted Moonpod's wikipedia article for notability, so they must be good!

Audiosurf (PC) - Meh. I avoided it when it was released to much hype, and I was right. There's no point to this. Frequency came out almost 8 years ago, and this isn't even close.

Tales of Monkey Island (PC) - I've played chapters 1 and 2 so far. In chapter 1, it was nice to see the old characters again in an adventure game setting. And it had a vaguely Monkey Island-ish feel. But chapter 2 really did it. I had that big stupid grin I also had during episode 1 of Sam & Max. I'm pretty sure this is a solid game if you're not already a rabid Monkey Island fan, but there's a lot of stuff in it that's solid gold if you are. I hope they can keep it up for the rest of the series!

Trine (PC) - Fantastic. I know I'll never be disappointed when I buy a Frozenbyte game. It's like 1 player Lost Vikings, with gratuitous physics because it's the late 2000s. Besides the gorgeous graphics and excellent voice acting, I really like the way the combat feels, particularly for the Knight. Highly recommended.

Ben There, Dan That! (PC) - This was kind of neat. I got this along with the sequel, Time Gentlemen, Please for $5 on Steam. The graphics are crummy, but they have grown on me. It seems to have been created by the two biggest fans of the old LucasArts adventures ever, and it shows because the game is pretty good. The standout thing to me is that there appears to be dialogue written for almost everything you try do do: use any item, on any piece of scenery, and there's more and more text. Of course, all the modern adventure gaming I've been doing lately has made me miss voice acting and integrated hint systems, but it's fun and I'm looking forward to playing the sequel.
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[User Picture]From: kvance
2009-08-27 02:24 pm (UTC)
Heh! I've never seen that commercial before. I remember really liking the demo version of Frequency that came with the PS2 ethernet adapter, but I forgot about it and didn't buy the full game until much later.
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[User Picture]From: dariusk
2009-08-27 03:35 pm (UTC)
Fun fact: the Harmonix devs still harbor resentment at the worm ad. That ad ran during the Super Bowl (or similarly huge advertising event) and it earned them approximately NOTHING. Well, I guess it got them one purchase. But to this day they think that if the worm ad had been more descriptive the game wouldn't have been such a commercial failure.
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