It was with no small amount of relief that I decided not to write this piece as a review. At first I thought maybe I would, but I realized, quickly, that I might not like what I had to say in it – not always. Not everything.
Foreword from the author,
Sometimes writing things is difficult. Not literally, like pushing keyboard buttons, that’s usually not difficult, except when coke spills in your keyboard and really messes up the Alt key, that makes pushing the buttons difficult because Alt is really underrated and oft-used. But I meant difficult like, the space in my brain that would normally come up with things to say to the computer word processor is absent. Or filled with noodles. And my brain doesn’t have a way of eating the neighbor noodles so they just have to live together. The noodles are useless too, it’s not like they do something.
…other than being a member of the cruel killer point-and-click genre, which is inherently retro, I would say this Shadowgate is thoroughly modern in most other ways. What I came into this wanting to be able to say about Shadowgate is: It Is Shadowgate. What I actually really have to say is, “It’s Shadowgate, but it’s Shadowgate made in 2014.” And every change that that implies.
“… a pretty good basic indie platformer with lots of fun things to do in it and some clever levels and bosses.”
“… a game where you, as the titular Knight, can smack the crap out of Reize Seatlan using a shovel.”
From the beginning, The Wolf Among Us struck me as easier to recommend than The Walking Dead, functionally its nearest counterpart, because it isn’t so relentlessly bleak. With the first season now concluded, I think it may just be Telltale’s best season to date.
While the gameplay itself offers much to enjoy,
the real treat is in the aesthetics.
Child of Light is a fairy tale rendered
in watercolor, and darkly poetic.
Ground Zeroes sold me on The Phantom Pain.
Last week saw the release of Moebius: Empire Rising, an adventure game along the vein of Gabriel Knight, with some of the same pedigree. Specifically, the game is written by Jane Jensen and developed through her Pinkerton Studios label, published by Phoenix Online Studios. Phoenix Online previously worked on the Cognition series that I found so compelling last year, so I’ve been following their other work and I previewed a lot of their games at GDC this year. I was looking forward to Moebius when it was announced, and let me just say: this is an interesting one. But not at first glance. You have to dig deeper.
I really like Escape Goat 2 and I think you might too. When it’s not pissing me off, anyway, which it did do frequently. Still, it’s a snack-like game and even when it’s frustrating, it’s so friendly and colorful that it’s hard to hold a grudge.
I’ve been really busy lately, so I’m going to step up to the plate and bunt.
If you like South Park, the TV show, you’ll like South Park: The Stick of Truth. If you don’t like South Park, the TV show, you won’t like South Park: The Stick of Truth.
…a distillation of everything Naughty Dog has come to do so very right.
The Castle Doctrine is probably one of the most cynical and brutal games I’ve ever played. I bought it for a few reasons: the premise sounded fascinating, it’s by Jason Rohrer who was responsible for Passage, Sleep Is Death, Inside a Star-filled Sky and Gravitation (amongst others), and it was 50% off and due to go full price a few days later to coincide with the game’s release. According to Rohrer the game will never go on sale again so it was as good a time as any to check it out.
It’s a rough game to start though, and if you don’t know what the game is about then stick with me here, you’ll be perfect to illustrate this to.
There is a lonely house to the south of Hyrule Castle, perplexingly positioned atop a small hill for no apparent reason other than its fairly central location in the realm. The house has been there for at least two hundred years. It is not obviously part of Kakariko Village, to the west, nor is it, in any special way, associated with Hyrule Castle itself – although its occupants tend to end up there in times of need.
I managed to dip into a version of Proteus a few years ago, at least I think it was a few years ago, I can’t quite remember– time seems to go so fast these days. It was an early build anyway, and I didn’t play it for long because I’m not a fan of playing betas or alphas when there are so many finished games out there already, all vying for my time and attention. My brief jolly through its crisp, bright sprite-encrusted landscapes however, was enough to put it firmly on my map. Even then it had a hypnotically calming air about it, and following Joel Goodwin’s adorable video of him and his little boy playing it together I only wanted to play it more.
If you liked Braid, you’ll probably enjoy The Bridge. It is not by the same creative team, but in terms of mechanics, aesthetics, and structure, it may as well be called Braid 2: the Braidening, Braid Strikes Back.