Prime's Playtime Punishment

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  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI

    Next up: Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs. I only sort of liked the first one, so we'll see if they've improved the shitty parts (i.e. being super boring) and kept the good parts (great writing, great graphics).

  • MyrmidonMyrmidon Baron von Puttenham California

    Next up: Amnesia: what was I doing again?

    _k
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI

    I actually do play about 30 minutes a month. It's just. so... slow...

    The story isn't (yet) as interesting as the first Amnesia so I'm not as engaged as I was with the other. Of course, I just got to the part with the man-pigs, so maybe it'll pick up.

    Also clicker games.

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI

    Amnesia: The Dark Descent is free today. Like, completely free: http://store.steampowered.com/app/57300/

  • If you want to find some way to co-play FTL or Supreme Commander 2, I'm down. Those games are boss.

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI

    When I get there, I'll let you know :)

  • Also if you have any dreams about flying, I was instructing people in WW2 air combat for a while in the Reddit squadrons / made an instructional YouTube series in War Thunder.

    But now I'm just making it worse. :D

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI
    edited January 2016

    At my current rate of two games per year the backlog will take me approximately 170 years.

    At any rate:

    Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs


    This is not a sequel to Amnesia: Dark Descent. It is just another game in the same style made by the same team.

    A Machine For Pigs is not what I would call a game. It is a first-person visual novel.

    A Machine for Pigs is extremely well-written, just like Dark Descent was. The story is deep, intense, horrifying, grim, and gruesome. It tells a tale of a wealthy industrialist in the waning days of the 19th century who, wracked by madness and illness, does some pretty terrifying things. Through the game you discover the tale in bits and pieces as you play this man who has, of course, awakened from a fever-induced amnesia.

    You travel through the streets of London 1899 and through the halls and corridors of your estate and eventually, the titular Machine. You walk around with a lantern, solve very simple puzzles (put this thing here, pull this switch, pull this thing, open this door... that sort of thing), and avoid monstrosities called Manpigs. There is very little of the latter and a great deal of the former (that is to say, this game is basically a ton of walking through corridors).

    Just like with Dark Descent, I found myself thoroughly bored and just hoping for the next bit of story. I think I'd rather just read this thing as a short story.

    However, the game does serve up a phenomenal atmosphere, which is something a written novel could never do. The sound effects, the glimpses of the machine and its dark, dark work through bars, windows, and catwalks, the background screams and squishing of viscera, blood, fluids pumping through pipes, lots of breathing and flashes of electricity and steam venting all serve as a perfect backdrop for a tale that wonderfully captures Victorian horror; the steam, the feeling of Progress! Science! Wonders! Mystery!, the primitive but promising technology, and the supreme evils of Empire, God, and Man all set the stage for a deliciously darkthought exercise in what it would be like for this man as he descends into pure insanity. You really feel for him as he desperately seeks redemption for what he has done.

    I can't say I liked the game, but I did like the story. The pace, just like with its predecessor, was glacial, and that turned me off for months. Coming back to it felt like a chore, but I'm sure lots of people love games like this. It just ain't me.

    The graphics were good but not as good as Dark Descent. Almost the whole game takes place in endless dark metal corridors with lots of brass, pipes, steam, and dark wood accents. It gets really boring after a while.

    It's super easy to avoid the manpigs... even easier than the Dark Descent. In addition they got rid of the dumb "insanity" mechanic as well as stupid inventory management of oil and crap for your light. Now your lantern just works and all you have to do is walk through about five hours of this game to get to the end and get the whole story.

    Onward!

    BobbyDigiMyrmidon
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI

    Aztaka

    Aztaka is definitely interesting. It's a classic Metroidvania (as much as I hate that word, it does describe its own genre sufficiently). If you're not sure what that means, a Metroidvania game is a side-scrolling action/platformer in which you can travel freely through the world, and instead of moving through the game in a linear fashion, you go back and forth between areas, gaining powers, items, or weapons that allow you to unlock previous areas you were unable to explore. A hallmark of Metroidvania games is that you may see an enticing "thing" in the very beginning of the game that seems impossible to get to; that's because it is... at your current level. When you progress through the game and get more abilities and items, you return to the beginning and suddenly find yourself able to get the thing with ease.

    At any rate, Aztaka is a game like this. There are many unopenable doors, locked areas, and inaccessible power-ups to be had but you must return when you have the correct ability or item to progress.

    There is a lot of satisfaction in doing this. When you return to an old area and are able to plow through enemies with your upgraded strength and abilities, you feel a lot more powerful and it gives a great sense of progress.

    Aztaka is very heavy on Aztec lore. The names, music, and art are all taken straight from the era and you can tell the writers are in love with the lore. The hero's name is Huitzilo and your trusty companion is the spellcasting hummingbird Ayohpa. Expect names such as Axayacalk, Hualahci, and Calpollalpan. Don't worry, I couldn't read them either.

    The graphics seem a bit dated and you can tell that the dev toolkit was low-budget for the sprites but the background artwork is all hand-drawn and excellent. The music is phenomenal and some of the soundtrack is truly depressing but extremely good at setting the mood of each area.

    The game mechanics are a bit stiff and hard to get used to but once you master the forced keyboard-and-mouse combo it gets better. There are a lot of frustrating jumping and puzzling mechanics, however. The wall-jump, in particular, is maddening in that you have to run towards a wall with the A or D keys (left or right), jump with W, then let go of A or D and quickly hit W rapidly to start leaping. There were several points at which I felt like giving up on the game because of a near-impossible jump. Still, I got better at it and was able to carry on.

    There's also one point in the game that has what appears to be an impossible jump... and it's required. I had to go to an online guide to finally figure out that you have to use a special ability to bounce off a flying enemy to get enough air to make the jump. It's the only point in the entire game where you have to use this mechanic so it's a little unexpected and off-putting.

    The control scheme is unique. You use the mouse to control a "hand" on the screen and with the hand you can grab energy of various types (elemental, life, spiritual, divine) and drag it to different things to do stuff. For example, when you kill many enemies, life energy drops. You grab the life energy with the mouse and drag it onto Huitzilo to heal. You can drag spirit energy onto Ayohpa to give him spellcasting power, and so forth. There are many objects in the game that require interaction in this way and sometimes you have to grab energy and drag it with you through a level to drop it on a certain object. It adds a pretty neat in-depth puzzling aspect to the game.

    The combat is challenging and there are several bosses that are quite difficult but nothing impossible to overcome. The game took me 10 hours to beat. I did enjoy myself so I'm willing to recommend this game despite its shortcomings.

    Onward!

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI

    Banished

    I didn't want to like this game, but I fell for it... hard.

    I started playing Banished a year or two ago. I launched it, started my little colony, and had almost everyone die after the first winter.

    I tried again, and survived to maybe the second winter, and then everybody starved to death. I just wasn't good at it.

    Recently, I decided to crack my knuckles and try again. The little village of Icrontia started the same as the others; a handful of Banished exiles, a cart full of wood, stone, and iron... some seeds, and a rich and verdant forest before us.

    I told the villagers to lay down the foundation of a house and a built a fishing dock on the river. They are industrious folk, and they complied. I built them houses. I made them gather fish and plant seeds. I told them to gather herbs, hunt deer, and built them a barn. They began cutting firewood and making rudimentary tools. I built them a school. I built them a marketplace to trade goods. After a few years, a wandering trader showed up with exotic seeds from far-off lands, and cattle, and chickens. I traded furs and wood, and the Icrontians saw bounty. They planted orchards and fields and even began brewing ale from pears and apples.
    The village grew, children grew up, people went peacefully in old age, and babies were born.

    Then, I grew too bold.

    I began exploring a bountiful, far-off valley. I decided to expand my settlement. I built a long road and set down a homestead and a hunting shack. The frontier was indeed bountiful but the trek back to the village was long and hard. My people, ever willing to comply, literally began working themselves to death in order to fulfill my whims and dreams of a far-flung civilization.

    The population plummeted; people starved and froze to death; the resources of their labor sent off to another land to appease their ceaseless god.

    I closed the file and started a new village from scratch. Fuck 'em.

    Sorry, Carley.

    Banished is a lot of fun; it's slow and there's not much of an end-game (other than achievement hunting) but it's weirdly satisfying. I find as much pleasure in starting new settlements from scratch as I do in growing and expanding my existing ones. I've learned a lot of harsh lessons (the game is unforgiving and survival is difficult), but I'm getting better at it. After almost 30 hours of gameplay I've only earned two achievements. It's a big challenge.

    SonorousZanthianRahnalH102
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI

    So I decided to shine the light of my benevolence on Icrontia. It was a very harsh few years, and more people froze and starved to death, but they sacrificed for the greater good. I dismantled the far-flung settlement, demolished the structures, brought things back in and hunkered down for a few years... and suddenly nomads arrived and the population began flourishing again. Now, Icrontia is a thriving village (and my most successful of the four different games I'm running)

    RahnalH102
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI

    Plantera

    I wouldn't really call this a "clicker" game, as it's more of just an incremental "collection" game where you can grow, or not grow, your garden. You can pick fruit and vegetables, or not. You can chase away rabbits and foxes, or leave them be. There's not much "game" here, but it IS a relaxing and adorable incremental game where you can lazily achievement hunt and earn Steam trading cards. If the idea of a simple game where you can invest 5 minutes or an hour a day to see cute animals and plants grow on your screen appeals to you, this is definitely worth $3. I like the idea of paying for the game and not having to be worried about microtransactions.


    Adorable

    BobbyDigi
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI

    This game is fucking brutal! Here was Icrontia, absolutely thriving, with nomads arriving in droves, almost 500 citizens.... and then a FUCKING TORNADO goes and absolutely GUTS two of my town centers. Dozens dead, dozens of structures destroyed. Ayyyyyeeeee



    _k
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI

    Weather physics is BS though: That tornado started in the mountains.

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI

    Okay, I got good at Banished. I have 29/36 achievements. Hit the "town" achievement which means population 900. AMA.

    Strikes
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI
    edited June 2016

    BARDBARIAN

    Bardbarian is an interesting take on the tower defense genre. It's less tower defense and more bullet hell... and more like what a twin-stick shooter would be if you only controlled one of the sticks. Allow me to explain.

    You control Brad, the Bard. He has tired of fighting the endless hordes of monsters and decides to retire and turn his axe into a guitar. When the town is attacked (again) by monsters, he keeps his vow never to fight again... however, nobody said anything about inspiring others with his shredding metal guitar solos.

    You go into battle by playing guitar, summoning followers and leading them around the battlefield. You don't have any direct attacks or ways to defend yourself; rather, you let your groupies do the attacking for you. They shoot at enemies and soak bullets while you play songs to inspire.

    Your followers start out very weak; they can barely do any damage and generally one hit from a monster will kill them... however, you can spend gold to upgrade their levels and turn them into a fighting force of extraordinary magnitude.

    That's where the game gets grind-ey: you have to replay waves over and over again to grind gold to buy upgrades in order to progress. At first it's confusing as there is no way you can progress in the game; it's just too hard and you die too easily. Eventually you realize that dying and replaying the levels over and over again is the way to progress.

    As you do various things in-game, you unlock new types of followers. There are all kinds, from standard arrow-shooting elves to lightning-gun wielding sword knights and undead wizards. Everything has a total metal flair.

    The soundtrack to the game is predictably awesome and even though you hear the same few metal songs throughout the game they don't get old, and provide a good soundtrack to sometimes frenetic gameplay.

    I put about 10 hours of grinding and getting better until my team was strong enough to beat the end boss (well, it's more about surviving UNTIL the end boss, but regardless).

    This game is currently $7.99 on Steam. I got it for $2.99 and it was totally worth it at that price; I'd say it's almost worth $8 but you should probably wait until the next time it's on sale.

    Onward!

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI

    Tumbleweed Express

    I stumbled upon this game via a Reddit thread from the creators. They call it a "travel defense" game; it's a shooter on rails (literally).

    You are the engineer of a train out in an alternate history steampunk-esque Wild West. You have to deliver cargo, fend off bandits, and deal with competitors while getting your cargo to the next stop, or rescuing towns from marauders, or some other thin-story nonsense. Your train has guns on it. You start with a pretty simple cannon but eventually you get crazy weapons like flamethrowers, Tesla cannons, TNT launchers, and more. Your train moves forward by itself (though you can boost the speed), and you control the guns. You blow up obstacles and enemies so you can safely deliver your cargo. It's pretty simple.

    This game is fun. The art style is a bit amateurish but it's basically like Borderlands. The voice acting, however, is awful, and the story is goofy... but the game is fun. You can tell it was made by a bunch of friends.

    It took me about 8 hours to beat it with another few hours thrown in for collection quest stuff, achievements, and other junk. There are now Steam trading cards available as well.

    If you can get this game for under $10, go for it. It's worth it.

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI
    edited June 2016

    Bad Rats
    I'm not reviewing this game or finishing it. It is so racist it actually offended me and I bailed.

  • SnarkasmSnarkasm Madison, WI

    How is it... hmm. Can you elaborate without offending yourself?

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI

    @Snarkasm said:
    How is it... hmm. Can you elaborate without offending yourself?

    The rats that suicide themselves look sterotypically arab and strap dynamite to their chests, have turbans, and blow themselves up.

  • SnarkasmSnarkasm Madison, WI

    Yep, that'd do it.

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI
    edited July 2016

    Basement Collection

    This isn't really a game; it's "a compilation of 9 award winning indie games by Edmund McMillen, creator of Super Meat Boy and The Binding of Isaac."

    It's... not that great. I wasn't entertained by most of the games. I didn't really find any compelling reason to power through; most of the games don't really have an end, they don't save your progress, and they don't offer anything other than a look into McMillen's experimental work. I'd call it an art project more than a game.

    It's probably very interesting to developers and those are indie dev "hobbyists" for lack of a better term, but it's not for me.

    This review sums it up perfectly:

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI
    edited July 2016

    Removing Godus from the list. It's so broken it's really unplayable. I spent 40 frustrating minutes in it only to find myself giving up due to what felt like alpha testing. Nope.

    Dev team quit. This game is dead. https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2016/06/28/godus-designer-has-left-22cans-no-time-frame-for-release/

  • MyrmidonMyrmidon Baron von Puttenham California

    That's really unfortunate. I remember what that was like when I tried to play Shattered Horizon or Lead and Gold - long-since-dead games.

    ...suuuuuuure you don't wanna do 10 hours of it? :P

  • ZanthianZanthian Mitey Worrier

    @primesuspect said:
    Removing Godus from the list. It's so broken it's really unplayable. I spent 40 frustrating minutes in it only to find myself giving up due to what felt like alpha testing. Nope.

    Dev team quit. This game is dead. https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2016/06/28/godus-designer-has-left-22cans-no-time-frame-for-release/

    You got Molyneuxed

    primesuspect
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI

    @Myrmidon said:
    That's really unfortunate. I remember what that was like when I tried to play Shattered Horizon or Lead and Gold - long-since-dead games.

    ...suuuuuuure you don't wanna do 10 hours of it? :P

    Those games may have been dead from the dev support/community aspect, but Godus literally doesn't work. It's alpha.

  • sazboomsazboom White Lake MI

    @primesuspect had the same thing happen when I downloaded Gothic 3 from steam. Was pissed I paid 6 bucks for a game that was all but unplayable. Had to read the forums to find out it was released pre-alpha due to money crunch. Guess the gothic community was strong enough to get the fans to release a patch it for it that made playable.

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI

    Bastion

    This game was a long time coming and I should have played it way sooner than I did. I'm glad I finally got around to it, because it is fantastic.

    If you know me at all, you know that I love narrative-driven games, and character development is super important to me. If your game nails those elements and then adds excellent voice acting and a stellar soundtrack on top of it, I'm sold. I'm putty in your hands.

    Let's start with the obvious: Bastion is a beautiful game. The colors—watercolor-ey soft-blur, dreamy, and fluid, the art style, and consistent design elements all set up the stage for what is a relatively simple game in terms of mechanics: You control "The Kid", a serious, gruff character with a large hammer and a "city crest" on his back, who wakes up and begins to try to make sense of the calamity that has befallen his world.

    The most unique aspect of the game becomes immediately apparent: Everything the kid (thus, you) do in the game is narrated by a buttery-smooth character named Rucks (who, though he sounds like a 65 year old cowboy from Texas, is actually a young dude named Logan Cunningham) who describes both the story as you play the game and the kid's actions. While that sounds like it could be annoying, it's done well enough that it immediately becomes a part of the experience that you just expect and look forward to. Everything you do in the game triggers some narration, which probably goes into the hundreds of hours of recorded speech.

    Voice acting is great; but the music is where this game really shines. Not only is the OST good, but the original songs sung by "The Singer" in-game are haunting and beautiful (Here's one of the songs. Here is @Myrmidon covering it). Imagine making your way through this haunting and atmospheric world while hearing this tune far away in the background. As you get closer to Zia, the Singer, her voice becomes clearer and louder until you stumble across her playing this song by herself in a field. It's one of the more beautiful moments I've ever experienced in gaming, period.

    The game does have something for players looking for a challenge; it has a very interesting mechanic in which you can choose to invoke "gods" to make your enemies stronger, faster, smarter, tougher, etc. If you choose to invoke no gods, the fights are pretty simple. If you want to make the rewards higher, earn more achievements, etc, you can invoke the gods any time to fine-tune the difficulty level.

    There is also a lot of depth in terms of customization of your play style, through the choice of weapons and power-ups. The Bastion itself is the hub town where you start your adventures and return to upgrade or change your weapon loadout, invoke gods, buy power-ups, and more. There is a wide variety of weapons to choose from and there's not really a 'best' combo, so you can choose a loadout that suits your playstyle. Like Melee? There's a huge hammer, a spear, a fast machete, a flamethrower. Like ranged? There are a variety of gun types and even a massive cannon. While some weapons lend themselves a bit better to clearing certain areas, for the most part you can choose what you like rather than what's "optimal" for the zone.

    My first playthrough took about 8 hours. The plot presents a major fork at the end of the game which determines what kind of ending you'll see and there is a "new game +" mode so you can keep your skills, level, items, powers, and go through again to see both endings.

    Don't take my word for it. Read @Cherplunka's review and also for bonus insight, her interview with Greg Kasavin (one of the devs) from back in the day when we did that sort of thing ;)

    Onward!

    RahnalH102Zanthian
  • RahnalH102RahnalH102 the Green Devout, Veteran Monster Hunter, Creature Enthusiast New Mexico

    You'll enjoy Transistor once you get to it then.

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