Archive for September, 2013
Let’s cut to the chase. Outlast is the scariest game I have ever played. While something like Silent Hill or Amnesia tries to scare you with paranormal occurrences, Outlast knows the more realistic, the more human, the enemy is, the more we’ll be scared. And does this masterfully.
You play as Miles Upshur, a journalist investigating the Mount Massive Asylum in Colorado. There he enters the building and finds himself locked in. The only way out is in. It doesn’t take long for Miles to realize that he made a mistake coming here. The place is filled with insane patients, some of which are longing to rip your torso from your head (literally).
As the game tells you early on, you have three options: run, hide, or die. Your only asset is a camera. While it has a regular mode, you’ll spend most of your time using it’s night vision mode which turns the darkness into a creepy shade of green which, by the way, just adds to the atmosphere. Unfortunately for you, the camera runs on batteries hidden in the environment, so sometimes you would have to reload a save file and try again.
Mount Massive Asylum is filled with tons of enemies and also tons of places to hide. If you can outsmart the psychos chasing you down a hall, you might have enough time to hide in a locker or under a bed which may or may not, depending on if he saw you, trick him into thinking you’re gone.
Now, this is a horror game and Outlast delivers in that regard spectacularly. There’s a great mix of scripted jumpscares and moments of terror and adrenaline as you get chased by big mutants with a club. There is a story to Outlast, if you take the time to explore it. Documents are hidden around the environment that provide info about what happened in this dreadful place.
Outlast is amazing, but it is also scary as all hell. It’s one of those games that I simultaneously love and hate. If you want horror, Outlast is where it’s at.
When you first heard of Halo: Spartan Assault, you probably (like me) assumed it was a lower priority first-person shooter to keep us busy while waiting for Halo 5. Well, you’re not that far off. First of all, it’s actually a top-down twin stick shooter exclusive to Windows 8 computers, tablets, and phones.
Story-wise, Spartan Assault isn’t as fleshed out as Halo 4, but it still does a good job at letting you know what’s going on. The game takes place in between Halo 3 and 4. Like I said, the story could use a little work and it felt like I was just going through the same stages over and over again without any plot backing up these pointless endeavors. Yeah, I said endeavors. Sue me.
Surprisingly, the new top down perspective does little to change the experience. Sure, it’s totally different from previous Halo titles, but thanks to familiar ambient sound effects, the art style, and of course, the weapons, it feels very much like any other game in the series. You can still melee, chuck grenades, and activate armor abilities, so it’s really not that different. One thing that really disappointed me is the fact that there’s no online multiplayer. This is a Halo game! Where’s the multiplayer?!
To be honest, the game runs really well. Gameplay-wise, it’s very reminiscent of Dead Nation, or for you younger gamers, Clone Wars Adventures. Graphically, Halo: Spartan Assault looks great. I usually don’t see this much detail in titles like this. A lot of the locations you’ll be visiting are similar to maps in Halo 3, so there’s a bit of a nostalgia factor.
My biggest gripe about the game is the touch screen controls on tablets and phones. They just don’t work. This is something I believe could have been vastly improved. If you have the choice, buy it for PC.
Overall, this is a Halo game. Despite the new perspective, you’ll never forget that. If you have a Windows 8 computer, the game is definitely worth it. On the other hand, if you only have a phone or tablet, save your money.
The playability of Legend of Dungeon cannot be faulted as it is based on a tried and tested formula that is the foundation of the gaming world. Monsters appear, you kill monsters. Item appears, collect and use item. Die…and your efforts are displayed on a neat chart for all to see how you compare next to their always more astounding efforts. If it isn’t broken, why fix it?
Legend of Dungeon is a lot of fun due to its constantly changing maps and items. When you die the next dungeon won’t be quite the same and the potions you pick up, although keeping their names (such as pink potion, sickly green potion, questionable yellow potions), will have different effects on the next play through so it’s always a lucky dip at first but then you train yourself to remember which potion does what in the new spawn.
The drops of items are random as well. Incredibly random. As when I played the first time I managed to pick up only one hat leading me to think I just wasn’t very good at it. But on the next play through I was finding hats and weapons like the game had almost taken pity on me due to the first time. So even if the combat is incredibly standard the variety of the maps and the items certainly make up for this.
The pixel art is pleasing to the eye with great use of light and shadows which add extra layers onto what would otherwise be quite a 2D affair and the music compliments this even if it is a tad repetitive. The dungeon is well constructed with hidden switches and secret floor panels to keep you searching every room meticulously in case you miss a sliding door that leads to a shop offering hard to come by weapons.
If you fancy exploring with a friend then up to 4 people can play locally and although the keyboard might get a bit crowded I had a great time with a couple of friends. It’s nice to see local co-op in a heavily online world and Robotloveskitty (being a husband and wife team) do a good job of bringing people together in order to raid dungeons and find a plethora of amusing hats to boot.
Lost Odyssey begins with a very impressive cut-scene covering a large battle between heavily armored forces. Once it seems one side is winning, the other side brings out what I can only describe as battle towers. At a certain point in time mobile towers with mages ride around resurrecting fallen soldiers. Once it becomes obvious that the battle is pretty much a stalemate, a barely armored man appears and you are thrown into a basic tutorial. After the tutorial a meteor falls and kills everyone near it except Kaim.
After being directed back to town you find out that as Kaim, you have lost your memories and there was another survivor. Kaim gets summoned to the council where a powerful sorcerer named Gongora claims to have hired Kaim and cast a spell of immortality on him. The council discusses a building project called “Grand Staff” that Gongora is in charge of and ultimately decide to suspend construction until Kaim and Seth, the other survivor, investigate. Throughout the story, you find out that Kaim and Seth are 1000 years old and must recover their memories.
Personally I had times where I hated the game and it took some motivation just to load the game up. I do not know exactly what about Lost Odyssey made me feel that way because I did enjoy the battle system and a lot of the story was entrancing. I will admit that the story had points that, for lack of better phrase, “kicked me right in the feels”.
The only issue I had that I can pinpoint is trying to have my character cooperate with what I tell him to do. The biggest issue was trying to interact with the environment, such as a ladder, and I would press “A” when prompted just to have Kaim stand there doing nothing. Sometimes it would feel like it took two full minutes to start climbing a ladder. This became most problematic during areas that are timed.
Lost Odyssey took me around eighty hours to complete the first playthrough. For those that can get past the minor gameplay issues, I would recommend this because overall it is a great game.
Have you played any of the Megaman games? If you have, you’ve already got a pretty good idea of what Gunman Clive’s gameplay is like. There has been a shortage of western games lately. So how do we bring the genre back to popularity? Let’s make a really good handheld game that anyone can enjoy. Like I already said, this is basically a western version of Megaman. Your only controls are move, jump, and shoot. Just like Megaman, the game is pretty dagnabbin’ hard. See what I did there?
The graphics are great. The art style works perfectly with the mood of the game. It screams “western” like no other game I’ve played before. The enemies in Gunman Clive can be pretty unfair. I mean, losing health by walking into a duck? Yeah, that’s unfair. Most of the other cowboys you’ll be fighting have small pistols that won’t take too much health away when you are shot. There’s also “bosses” that will throw grenades at you that can really diminish your health bar.
Yes, also like Megaman, the game is frustrating as heck. Sometimes, I’d have to go through levels several times over just to get them right. On normal difficulty, the game takes roughly two hours to complete. This is one of those games that uses a touch screen D-Pad and it actually works surprisingly well. The only times I had issues was when my thumbs got sweaty, but of course, that’s my fault.
For only $2, Gunman Clive is a great buy. I might not last you more than a few hours, but you’ll want to go back and play it some more when you’re done.