Archive for May, 2017

random links (23)

The Witcher coming to Netflix as a TV series

The Witcher is heading to Netflix

Torment: Tides of Numenera update adds a new companion and the ‘Voluminous Codex’

“MP3 is dead” missed the real, much better story

How to Report a Bug to Microsoft

40,000-year-old bracelet made by extinct human species found

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The Deadly Tower of Monsters is one of these games, which essentially have only one central narration, but manage to get a lot of mileage out of it regardless. There is even a little bit of Stanley Parable thrown into it here and there. I like it!
The game is built around the idea that a director is recording a commentary track for one of his old movies, which gets a new DVD release.

So this director has a ton of stories to share while playing, but also addresses things the player does. It’s done really well, they have thought of a great many scenarios. While the gameplay and the graphics and the sound are all good, the director and the assistant commenting on everything, is the main event here.

It was actually shocking to me how good the graphics were. Both animation and design were much more imaginative and creative than many AAA games I played in recent history. Finally something that has true memorable and distinctive design and isn’t just some generic outing like a thousand other (therefore) forgettable games.

Without them having to say it outright, I was constantly thinking of Ray Harryhausen, tons of the monsters moved/were animated exactly like beasts from his movies. They nailed that stuff. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone even trying anything like that in a game. I had to wonder if it’s harder to animate something that looks like “stop-motion model animation” in the Unreal engine, than it is to do it like everyone else.
It took me only 5 hours to complete the game and I’m really happy I haven’t missed this fun gem.

Ghost 1.0 has the same name problem, I thought, Dex has. Searching for these games is a nightmare and I can only imagine this hurt their success. They are both really great and I think I’m growing fond of this metroidvania type of game. I can’t say I’ve played many, but pretty much every one I have played was a huge hit to me. Dust comes immediately to mind, which is another of my all time favorites.
Ghost 1.0 has good gameplay, good music, nice graphics, good controls, great story and characters honestly and… Does a good game need anything more? I don’t think so. It’s all here.
I enjoyed the game a lot, although I suck at it. There’s this rescue mission in the game and it took me ages to complete it (I hate that it’s not possible to save during this long mission, it has to be completed in one session). Maybe it’s supposed to be hard, because the menu allows the player to skip it, but geez… I had to do some scenes like 10 times before I was able to pass them. :D In a worse game this might have kept me from finishing it.
The game offers more smaller side-missions after the main story is done. These shorter missions (which have to be unlocked during the main campaign) are also very brutal as far as I’ve played them so far.
The game definitely lacks whatever type of frame-limiter. It runs with ~2700 FPS, which seems like a slight overkill…

Hard West is kind of between XCOM and Valkyria Chronicles, as far as the story (or a story) is concerned and uses a “choose your own adventure” vehicle to tell it, it resembles a little bit the interactive slides in Pillars of Eternity. The gameplay is straight XCOM though. I wish the tactical battles would steal even more from XCOM, since there aren’t that many disruptive events within a mission. While the game has a ton of guns (too many almost), there is little else and the guns don’t really differ much, besides their range and damage – so there are usually ~5 guns that fulfill the exact same role. For all the typical Western tropes, this game has no scenes on trains and there are no Gatling guns. In that regard it’s the opposite of Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, which obviously constantly has Gatling guns. :P
The story is told in several loosely connected and separate campaigns. Nothing carries over between those campaigns, so all earned gear is gone again. I mean, ultimately you only need the gun called “the judge”, but still. :P
There is also no leveling for individual characters. All characters can be equipped individually (there are also cards which can buff stats), but all this stuff can be given to whomever.
The graphics are good and the sounds are alright alright alright, but for everyone who likes the old west and XCOM, this doesn’t matter all that much anyway, since there is no competition here. I’m glad I played it and I had fun, but it won’t become an obsession like XCOM 2.

PS: After Mad Max this is only the second game to have darker screenshots for whatever crazy reason. The brightness in the game itself while playing it was ALRIGHT.

random links (22)