[12/19/2014 – 12/25/2014]
There were a lot of games this week. There were a lot of high points this week. Here they are from worst to best.
LOW POINT: WOAH DAVE!
Once I played it for five minutes, I had seen all there is to see. Its an arcade 2D platformer. There’s just not much to it. You collect coins and kill enemies by throwing eggs or bombs at them. It just feels so strange to play, like the physics are off or something like that. I managed to play Super Crate Box for hours, but Woah Dave! Just seems like it was rushed and made over someone’s weekend.
LOW POINT: AFTERFALL: INSANITY EXTENDED EDITION
I’ve had this for a very long time. Just sitting there. A dirt cheap game that feels like it was made by an investment group. Playing it the first few hours it was just laughable. I felt wow this is really budget. Sure I bought it for cheap, but everything in the game just felt cheap. It would be a different matter if the game was more fun, because fun trumps graphics in my opinion. I put 11 hours into the game to see it through to its finish. The one thing that really stuck out was just how unfair one specific boss was.
I spent 45 minutes on that boss. What seemed to be the only boss in Afterfall: Insanity. He wasn’t just difficult for a few reasons, but his first phase was very slow. The first phase, the hit detection is really questionable. He can whip you through not only solid objects, but giant stone structures that are as thick as a room. His whip giant bone whip can sometimes go half of the arena’s distance. He throws his shield, and normally hit detection is pretty good, but a few times it flew through some objects.
When he threw his shield, he’s open for shots, but the problem is he moves and flickers like his animations are very jumpy. As big as he is, he’s still tough to hit. You need to get up close and your shotgun fires twice before a long reload.
Once the boss enters phase 2, he just beats the fuck out of you. Relentlessly. He cornered me plenty of times, then its just a prolonged death. Not just that, but goons flood the arena. The boss runs as fast as you. Not just that, but the camera is a struggle to see. When I get knocked down the camera reorientates to the boss I was trying to run away from. They’re just there to waste your ammo. Eventually I found the secret is there is an ammo dispenser. There’s always a trick.
Even with the trick, it was still a glitch that held him still and let me unload two pistol clips in him to finally kill him. While I can’t say he’s the hardest, it is notable.
LOW POINT: TROPICO 4
I like to love Tropico 4, because I liked Tropico 3. They are the same game with some upgrades, but Tropico 4 was a low point this week, because I sank hours into the 20th scenario. The final scenario and by far the toughest scenario.
Now I was 6 tries in. I got closer and closer with each try. However, with the easier it was, the more frustratingly random the game overs seem to be. Without spoiling it, two games ago it was smooth sailing into the ‘community’ goal. Suddenly I was losing $50k per month or year after having $200k. I went into the red really fast. Then I started cutting costs, blowing up buildings, firing people. I ran out of things yet my costs were still losing $10k per month or year.
The last game everything was perfectly fine into the furthest goal that I’ve been to. I had $500k and making $50k profit per month or year. All I had to do was complete the buildings. They were being completed!
I was winning an election 2:1. I did all of my election promises right then and there. The promises were finished. Then for the first time in 50 hours of playing the game, I wasn’t re-elected. Astounding. I didn’t even get to see the final vote, just Palermo telling me I didn’t win. Then back to the scenario selection screen.
I had only lost twice in the entire easy game. Until this final chapter.
LOW POINT: KILLING FLOOR
The reason I dusted off this old boy for the first time in a year was Christmas. Santa’s Moonbase trailer always enticed me to actually play the game. There aren’t very many Christmassy, winter games outside of games that have a few levels. Sure there’s the DLC for Costume Quest, but other than that, I can’t think of anything for PC.
So I played Killing Floor and I’m good enough, but it just didn’t feel fun like it used to. I tried a few servers and made it through an hour of play on the Moonbase against Santa’s minions, but I think the buzz from the trailer wears off after the trailer.
LOW POINT: BREATH OF DEATH VII
I’ve owned this game for a few years now. I made the mistake of thinking the game was too easy on medium difficulty. So I went in the game hard. Turning a supposedly 3 – 5 hour game into a 11 or so hour game. I sure got my $1s worth there. It turned into a grind. The bosses felt undefeatable until I had to spend another hour to level up.
HIGH POINT: BLEED
This game falls somewhere in the middle of good and bad. I really liked the gameplay. It was fast, crazy and made my hands hurt. I was surprised how much after a single hour of playing how bad they hurt. Maybe I’m just not used to dual stick 2D platformers. One thing that I didn’t like about the game was they really acknowledge you the player. Its not her struggle, its you helping her in her struggle. It also could have been a longer game than an hour, but whatever.
HIGH POINT: SPLICE
This falls somewhere in the middle as well. Its a tranquil puzzle game that is pretty simple at first. Like everything it gets mind boggling by the end, but not on every puzzle. It throws some easy balls at you. I plowed through this in two sittings for 3 hours. Then after you beat the game it unlocks another campaign. That’s always interesting when games do that. Makes me think the new campaign is too difficult for normal people to complete.
HIGH POINT: ESCAPE GOAT
This was a really enjoyable game. Short and sweet, around three hours, but I felt not only engaged, but relaxed go at my own pace sort of thing. Its not as rock hard as every other 2D platformer out there, but maybe that’s why this is a puzzle platformer. Sure there were difficult parts where I had to move, but it was still a lot of fun.
HIGH POINT: DINO D-DAY
I was very disappointed after thinking this was a single player game for years. Turns out I was wrong and I should have read the game’s description. Oh well. It was a lot of fun to play and they overhauled the graphics too. It all looks really nice and slick. They’ve spent their money well even if its down to $1 on sale. I think I bought it when it was $5 on sale. The problem with the game is that its not Team Fortress 2 or Counter Strike. That’s who this is competing with and its not like a single player game where you beat it and move on. There is no off season. They’re always competing for players and there’s just no reason to return.
HIGH POINT: MARLOW BRIGS AND THE MASK OF DOOM
I picked up this gem for $1. Sure its a God of War clone for people that love explosions, but its a fantastic game. I heard how its budget, yeah budget in price, but not in value. I played through this in 8 hours flat. Now that its all over, I really think its the best game I played all week if not all Steam sale.