So um, the point. The point is that sometimes it’s difficult to write things. Or you don’t want to write things, or both, in which case there’s defiantly [sic – inside joke, deal with it] no writing happening. Then sometimes you want to write a thing, but no thing strikes your fancy. Not much in the gaming world has been impressively interesting to me this year so I don’t want to spend too much time word-vomiting about stuff I care not for. What I can do however is word-vomit in micro review extravaganza form, so that’s what I’m gonna do.
And please remember, if you don’t take kindly to my harsh, seemingly drunken ramblings and don’t like my opinions about things well, that’s just like… your opinion, man. This has been published for comedic purposes and because we seem to be in the middle of a content drought.
Let the pulling of names from a hat begin! Please also note, I’m not strictly talking about games that have come out in 2014. I’m just talking about what I’ve been doing in 2014. Mostly while drunk. I’m mostly drunk. Most of the time. Half of the time. Sorry.
Fuuuuuuuuuck this game. I was scopin’ out the loot bag of PS Plus games earlier this year and there was one called Binary Domain, then I read or heard something on the internet that went like “Binary Domain isn’t a piece of crap!” This is false. Binary Domain is a big piece of crap. 77% through Chapter 1 I wanted the game to be over. I’ve been playing it for what seems like 400 hours. I’m still somewhere in the penultimate chapter, but I feel very qualified to give this game 1 out of 5 [update: I finished it yesterday and it’s definitely still a 1 out of 5]. There are 6 characters in your “bad ass / rag tag” group of future people who have to kill some robots or something. Let the cliches unfold: you play as Dan, macho white guy with a mysterious past that gave him the nickname Survivor. I think that’s his nickname; I sorta forget, who cares? Then his BFF, whose name I forget; he’s a large shouty, funny black guy. Then they meet the other operatives they have to work with: sassy, disapproving Brit commander guy whose name I also forget, and his gruff demolitions lady pal, Rachael, who is sorta like cardboard. Then you meet the ultra-disciplined Chinese lady sniper whose name I also forget (I just remembered the black guy’s name, it’s Big Bo; insert lol) and you can tell Dan is attracted to her because he says things like “hey we should have some sex.” He probably said that. I wasn’t listening intently. I’ve been catching up on Neil Degrasse Tyson’s podcast a lot while playing this game with the volume turned down. Anyway, she plays hard to get, she likes to chastise Dan but then mixes in a compliment or two, and the game does the will they won’t thing. It’s silly. Then you meet a French robot. I don’t know who made this robot and who decided to give it the hilarious bad French dialect it has. Probably some jerks in Nantucket. Anyway, this game is a pile of crap. It’s a shame because some rather interesting themes are vaguely explored and considered, particularly regarding the ending, but it’s all tackled so amateurishly. If you downloaded it because it’s free from PS Plus go ahead and delete it. 11GB back on your hard drive.
1 out of 5
Hotline Miami [Vita]
I feel like this game should come with a coupon for a hand and finger massage because playing it for even seventeen minutes really fucks up my hands and fingers. I’ve done a lot of hating on this game, mostly because in my opinion it gets by 99% on its soundtrack (which is probably already out of style but I haven’t been to Pitchfork lately), and because I’ve seen so many people write “SATIREZZ!” about it. But I’ve now played through to the third last level, and I dunno, I guess there’s something to it. I suppose it could satiate high score chasers, though this game judges harshly. Any time I thought I blew through a level in radical fashion it awarded me a C+. Like I said, I think I’m on 12 of 14, or 13 of 15 levels, and that far through the game there isn’t a hint of good satire nor the feeling that I should be reflecting upon all this murdering I’m doing. I just go get a pizza or videotape after I kill 80 people and some guy is like “things are weird man, but are they really happening, but who am I, you’re not looking so good, maybe you’re Tyler Durden, oh your pizza’s getting cold!” and somehow this shit has blown reviewers away. If they’re saving some crazy revelation for the end of the game I’ve got news for you: that’s not how you do it. Remember Bioshock: Infinite? Fuuuuuuuuck that game too. You can’t just have next-to-no substance 95% of the time and then the last chunk you go “look, there WAS substance, go play it again.” The last thing I ever want to do is play through Hotline Miami again, unless you eventially unlock a mask that makes all dogs in the game go fuck themselves.
2 out of 5
Wolfenstein: The New Order
I bought this game because I thought it was some kind of modern remake of Wolf 3D but with bumping New Order tunes hammering away in the background all the time. I couldn’t have been more wrong. God this series got dark. Wolf 3D had this for dialog: “hot dog!”, “my naven!” I don’t know why nazis were obsessed with hot dogs, and I don’t know what navens are, but Wolf 3D was generally not oppressive. W:TNO has you work your way through an hour-long tutorial that is utterly tedious only to watch a member of your squad be tortured by some incredibly evil nazi guy. That’s the tutorial. Anyway, after that it gets better. Especially killing dogs while they sleep, with your knife. I pretend they’re the Hotline Miami dogs, doubles my pleasure. There aren’t many games where you can sprint while firing two assault rifles, while also surfing on your back. And the unlocking of perks is done quite satisfyingly with a system that has you completing a certain number of tasks in a given line of abilties (stealth, bein’ smart, killin’ shit, explodin’ shit). The game is also fairly serious, did I mention that? I’m not super far into it yet because it’s a hard game to play when you’re drunk and asleep, but from what I’ve heard from other people it only gets better, and I already like what I’ve played. However, I recommend waiting for Wolfenstein: The New Order Remastered which should come out next year and will probably remove the tutorial level.
Undecided, but leaning toward good out of 5
This game looks pretty snazzy but I don’t like it as much as Super Stardust HD. It’s another score chasing game, which I for the most part don’t care about, and there’s a very annoying hook that has you “rescuing humans” which are represented as little cookie cutouts who look like Gumby. I would prefer if the difficulty was toned down so that the game wouldn’t give me such a hard time when I let the humans die. Also, there should be more focus on endurance and longer, gnarlier levels with graphical effects that get more intense. The game actually is a lot like that but not in a way that I find pleasing. I played it one time, miraculously beat the whole thing in one sitting, and haven’t played it since. I guess there was music but I don’t really remember. It was probably some techno garbage like they had in Rez that makes unimaginitve game reviewers say “the music was really rad!” meanwhile they’ve never bothered to dive into the luscious and vital catalog of Warp Records music.
2 (humans saved) out of 5
The joy I get from playing Demon’s Souls still to this day is similar to what I imagine a dog lover’s joy would be if their dog learned to speak quasi dog English and said “ry ruv roo.” Yeah. Demon’s Souls is that goddamn good.
5 out of 5
Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition
This game is kinda fun. It’s like a less fun, more rigid Alien Swarm. Granted, I haven’t played co-op yet which is probably the best part, much like Alien Swarm. There’s a really amusing thing with this game, you find objects that tell bits of story but for some reason the people in the stories are always referred to as objects instead of people. For example, you’ll find something that flashes a little story info card up on the screen saying “Jim Cruntington wasn’t fully prepared for the zombie apocalypse and so it died.” Like, I guess Jim is the “it” in that equation? It’s pretty hilarious. Thinking about it now I’d award an extra half-point just for that. Oh, the game is like a top-down isometrical point-your-mouse/joystick-and-shoot and walk with WASD/joystick. Actually I don’t even know if you can play this game on a computer. Whatever.
2.5 out of 5
Child of Light
I tried to play this game and I totally didn’t understand how to. It was really pretty though.
I’m too stupid out of 5
I hadn’t fired up Braid in several years so I gave it a whirl a few months ago. I remembered something about hidden stars, so after finishing the game again I did some Googling about this and ended up watching a couple YouTube videos. That some people actually found all of these stars is amazing to me. The time they must have spent … they’ve probably spent more time in their lives playing Braid than I have eating cheese, and I’ve eaten a buttload of cheese. Anyway, then I started more Googling and reminding myself of the fan theories of the meaning behind the game and I remembered how insufferable I find Jonathan Blow and then I kept reading some of the theories and the one that annoys me the most is this whole it’s-a-metaphor-for-the-a-bomb theory. Yes, there’s a quote in one of those books at the end that lends this theory credibility, but no. Just no. Were there bombs in this game? Was there any reference to World War II? No. It was about a guy who fucked up his relationship with a woman he cared for and the text in the game, and the gameplay, was his thoughts and manifestation of his regret for fucking up this relationship. But people say well the regret part is the regret of the guy who designed the a bomb, oh stop! You can say X regret is a metaphor for Y regret. You can do that for anything. Braid was simply a cute, clever, slightly pretentious reverse Mario game where the princess is not your prize, she is your victim. You can’t spell Victim without “Tim”; see, and now I could make some ridiculous theory about that. Braid’s about a dude who was a dick. (I foresee disagreement and bile on this one, because I’m basically shitting on other peoples’ subjective opinions.)
This game is still pretty good, but not as much as I remember. There are some bad levels. And the pretentiousness in some of the text; especially at the end.
3 far-fetched fan theories out of 5
I had never played this game, which many consider to be some sort of weird classic, so when the 15th or 20th anniversary edition (I forget which) showed up new on the PSN store I went for it. I described it in the forums here as not Earth-shattering to me but I can definitely see how it could have been in someone’s early, formative years of playing video games. And despite somewhat bizarre controls I appreciated the game’s dedication to making me suss things out. There were a few very annoying bugs where the game would seemingly forget about certain progress you had made, but I guess that’s what happens when you have a game that sets you back to the last checkpoint when you die and there are multiple, overlapping checkpoints within self-contained objectives. I wouldn’t call it extraordinary but it is certainly a memorable and powerful experience. It also doesn’t go on longer than it needs to which always wins points with me.
4 out of 5
The Last of Us: Left Behind
My one complaint about Left Behind is that there are a few sections where the difficulty spikes abnormally which is highly frustrating; particularly the final set piece of the DLC. Granted, this is a problem that the original game itself had. Aside from that complaint every other thing I have to say about Left Behind is extremely positive. This is the second best downloadable content I’ve paid for in the era of DLC next only to the Dark Souls DLC which can’t possibly ever be topped by anything, so that’s not a knock. Everyone’s expectations for Left Behind were outrageously high and Naughty Dog exceeded them. If I can make a baseball analogy, Left Behind is like following up a Perfect Game with a game where you throw 81 pitches, all strikes (that would also technically be a perfect game of course, but, like, the ultimate perfect game that couldn’t ever be topped – okay, here’s a question baseball afficianados: what’s a more desirable perfect game? Your pitcher throws 81 pitches, all swings and misses (or foul balls for the first two strikes), OR, your pitcher only has to throw 27 pitches and they’re all popouts or groundouts, etc. For the sake of his arm and well-being I’d say the 27-pitch game. I know there has to be the crazy assumption that you’re playing against a team so undisciplined that every single batter swings at every single first pitch but .. this was pretty ridiculous to begin with). I’ll stop here; no more words required. TLoU Left Behind is the best.
5 out of 5
Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition
This game is good. There is loot. It really whips the llama’s ass.
+3.5 to Intelligence out of 5
Threes [this is a mobile game]
This game is kinda good. There are cards with cute faces that make cute sounds.
3s out of 5
Limbo is a good example of a thing that probably isn’t as good as the people who like it say, and it’s probably not as bad as the people who dislike it say. I certainly didn’t enjoy it as much as I did the first time through back in 2010. That’s probably common, not a big deal. Most of the puzzle solving is below average to bad, but this game always won accolades for its “atmosphere” anyway. That wears thin though. Limbo is not a very good game to revisit and I think it will continue to fade in popular opinion over time. It’s never outright bad though. In fact it’s enjoyable still, mostly because of the cool style. It looked good on Vita.
2.5 out of 5
Bioshock Infinite (revisited)
Tevis Thompson and I don’t always agree (particularly in direct relation to one another since I don’t know him and he doesn’t know me) but when we do, it’s about Bioshock Infinite: I think Bioshock Infinite is the worst and most disappointing game of the past console generation. I replayed it this year on Easy instead of Hard like I did the first time, to sidestep the poor balancing issues, and that made it approximately 3% more enjoyable. Infinite is such a self-important game that misses on every account, at least for my tastes. Bioshock the first blew me away. Yes, 2007 was a different time and it doesn’t have the impact now that it did then but I still think it is a strong, cohesive game with a pretty good narrative. Infinite is such a mess. If you can tell someone what this game is about in 45 seconds and that person you told isn’t crying in the fetal position at the end of your explanation then congratulations, you’re an astrophysicist/rocket scientist/brain surgeon hybrid. Doubt my sincerity if you will, but for me this game was and is a disastrous disappointment.
1 out of 5
Whatever “Silent Hills” ends up being I am confident that it will be to P.T. what Dead Island is to That Dead Island Trailer: inferior. This game/thing/teaser was terrifying to a lot of people, and I’m an especially big wuss when it comes to psychological terror sort of stuff so it was especially challenging for me to play. I’m glad I did though. I didn’t get through it all because I had to stop to clean up the bowel movements which exited my body, so maybe I didn’t even see the worst of it. Screaming demon baby, possessed insanity fridge, creepy weird phone and radio groans. That was enough for me. But I highly recommend playing this thing if you can. If that’s not an option you might still get some entertainment out of watching someone do a Let’s Play. Aside: maybe the most graphically impressive “next-gen” (now-gen?) thing I’ve seen.
Rather terrifying out of 5
The year 2011
This isn’t a game; I just mean the actual year 2011. It was pretty good. It had that Dark Souls game, and that Skyrim game, both of which I plan to play some more of before I die. What better endorsement is there?
In retrospect 5 out of 5
The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads
Great live album. Energetic. Check it out.
30 years later it’s still 5 out of 5
Assassin’s Creed Roman Numerals Four, Colon, Subtitle Black Flag
Assassin’s Creed looooooooooooves itself. I’m playing the game for practically six minutes before it pauses to poll me on how handsome it is. Very handsome, ACIV, I already told you! I have to admit I was skeptical about the driving boats thing. I still am but … man, drivin’ boats! They should really abandon the assassin crap altogether because walking around doing assassin-y stuff is by far the worst part of this game. Driving your boat around is a blast. It takes a bit of work to master and you have to go through so much other crap in the game that I don’t know yet if it’s worth it but … it’s something.
Driving boats = 4 out of 5, The rest of the game = 1 out of 5
The Wolf Among Us
I’m going to drop another Bioshock Infinite bomb here: The Wolf Among Us, to me, is a failure. As far as I know this episodic series has been released on three platforms: Personal Computer, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 2. This game is broken on 66.333% of those platforms. I find this to be unacceptable. Did you play this on PC? Read no further, and good for you. Did you play this on PS3 / X2? No, nobody did. They tried, but nobody truly experienced what was intended. It infuriates me that not one major review I read had the gumption to call TWAU out for its terrible technical flaws on two of the three platforms it released on. There were critical lines of dialogue and conversation choices that I completely didn’t hear or outright missed because the game was too busy hiccupping. This happened more and more in each subsequent episode. I really liked the content and wanted to allow myself to become fully immersed but between the hideous loading times, the constant stalling and skipping, and the egregious aforementioned audio errors I was never able to. A game can have a fantastic story and shining characters, but that doesn’t matter much to me if I can’t play it properly. It’s a shame. Hopefully Telltale will have earned the $25 I gave them when this comes out on PS4.
2 out of 5
Now to cleanse my palette. Ahhhh. Fez. I love nothing more than reading tales of The Righteous and The Holy decrying the meanness of Phil Fish as they stomp and shout about how they won’t buy or play Fez because they choose not to support a “jerk,” a “bad person” … as they wear an Old Navy t-shirt and eat a McDonald’s cheeseburger. That shirt y’re wearin’? Slaves made it. That hamburg y’re eatin’ there? Raping our ecosystem, m’ friend. (Disclaimer: I wear Old Navy shirts and eat McDonald’s. Lols)
If you’re one of those morons just end your crusade now. You’ve already failed.
That felt good. “I did it for me.” Fuckin’ eh, Walter.
Anyhoo, Fez is the bees knees. That’s right, if you don’t play Fez there won’t be any more honey. I don’t know about you but some honey on top of some butter on top of some toast is real good so please support the things I want to put in my mouth hole. Thank you. Right, Fez the game. Umm.. 2D guy hat spin world sunglasses jump twirl yay etc. That’s pretty much Fez. I can’t describe this game to you. You know who can? Your TV or computer screen, while you’re playing Fez. I find that’s the best way to have it described to you.
5 out of 5 and by far my favourite game of the year
Brothers: A Game That Almost Everyone Agrees Didn’t Need A Subtitle
This game is a very worthy investment of time and money. On the money front, for me at least, it was free, and on the time front it lasted maybe 4 hours which is a delightful amount of time to dedicate to a single game at age 30. Even if you have to pay 10 or 15 dollars for it I recommend it. It’s nice to look at, there are some beautiful moments sprinkled throughout, the puzzles-lite have a good flow to them and the experience can be quite moving if you’re in the right mood. You should play Brothers: A Game That Has A Colon And Then A Subtitle.
3 out of 5
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
Uncharted 3 contains what I found to be the best moments in the whole series but overall for some reason I don’t consider it any stronger a game than Uncharted 2, and it’s certainly nowhere near the heights of The Last of Us. The ending is a godawful mess, just like in Uncharted 2, and there are a few parts that drag on endlessly, a problem every Uncharted game has had. To its credit there was no jetski moment. Probably my favourite Uncharted game on the whole as I found myself smiling many times during my experience with it. They’ve got to stop with the ridiculous escaping-collapsing-things gimmick though. (Spoilers) I swear it took 15 minutes to escape that burning house in France (End spoilers). I’d be happy if Uncharted 4 was the last game in the series, but of course that won’t be the case. It will just, most likely, end up being Naughty Dog’s last Uncharted game, which I guess is just as well. Somebody’s gotta make TLoU 2: The sequel I don’t want.
3 out of 5
Dark Souls II
This game came out of the gates at a unique disadvantage. It is the only game ever to be released with the pressure of being the sequel to Dark Souls. I know there’s probably a splinter group somewhere who believe that Leisure Suit Larry 5 is the sequel to Dark Souls but in fact it is Dark Souls II that is the sequel to Dark Souls. Go figure. I would recommend this game to anyone and everyone. I passionately hate the caveat that every poor reviewer feels necessary to spout when talking about this series: “blah blah blah difficulty blah blah blah boss fight blah blah blah no hand holding blah blah blah this game is not for everyone.” Why does anyone feel the need to say that Demon’s Souls, or Dark Souls, or Dark Souls II (or any other game for that matter) is “not for everyone?” I have news for you: Grand Theft Auto V, World of Warcraft, Minecraft, The Sims, DOTA, Call of Duty, Angry Birds, Madden and whatever else are the most popular games ever are not for everyone! There is literally a small handful of things that are truly for every human being: gravity, oxygen, some sort of functioning brain, Jurassic Park, water, some fruits and vegetables and that’s about it. Nothing else is for everyone. Stop being a crappy thrower-around-of-useless-disclaimers. If you have two hands and eyes that work then you can and should play every Souls game. Including this one which, while not having the impeccable design of its predecessor nor the newness intrigue, is still a fine game. It stands on the shoulders of greatness which makes it sorta great by default, even if it’s not that same exciting kind of great.
3.5 out of 5
The Walking Dead – Season 2
The best scene in season 2 of The Walking Dead (The Game) occurs in episode 5 and is a flashback to season 1. Rut roh. While there were interesting scenarious throughout, and I generally enjoyed playing as Clementine, season 2 of TWD had nowhere near the impact that season 1 had on me. The 400 Days stop-gap between seasons turns out to be truly useless as four of the five characters introduced are almost entirely AWOL in this season and the one who does hang around is quite poorly written. This season has a lot more in common with the TV show of the same name: uninspired characters go from place to place, not much of consequence happens, and by the end of everything most of the characters have died and not many lessons are learned. Season 1 was so surprising to me because it blew what source material I’m familiar with out of the water. Season 2 fails to keep up with that level of quality almost right from beginning to end. The only consolation in my game was that I ended up with one of the few new characters whom I found to have any substance (Jane), though I strongly doubt this will matter to my specific save file if and when Season 3 is released. (S2E1 spoilers) Jane will probably get Omid and Christa’d (End spoilers). A disappointing story arc that can’t quite be redeemed by the strong writing for Clementine and solid performance by her voice actress.
2.5 out of 5
That’s it. Bye.
Don’t complain about all this ranting to firstname.lastname@example.org. It was all for fun. Seriously. Please don’t complain.