I had hoped that I would be able to get these The Longest Journey pieces out a bit before Dreamfall Chapters released, but as it turns out The Longest Journey is…well…long. But I still managed to finish my replay of Dreamfall: The Longest Journey one night in advance of the release of its sequel. For better or worse, it was much as I remembered.
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.
As I’ve mentioned a few times my PS3 is a relatively recent acquisition, and so I missed on some otherwise must-have exclusives during their launch windows. In honor of the release of Beyond: Two Souls this week, I decided to skip it for now and instead fire up its spiritual predecessor, Heavy Rain.
I thought I might not have much to say about Heavy Rain, but it had me at “Press Start,” and not actually in a good way.
I was so excited when the message about the final chapter of Cognition: an Erica Reed Thriller, dropped into my inbox, that I let out a little squeal of joy. In public. People looked at me.
That should be your warning that I’ve become remarkably invested in this adventure game series.
I’m not very good at real-time strategy games. I attribute this to my inability to multitask well, but that’s not to say I don’t enjoy playing them. The biggest problem I have with them is that most revolve around micromanagement, and since AI War, with its robust automation and smart unit management, I’ve become more of a macromanagement kind of guy. Why? Because it means I can focus on the strategy part. You know, the important part. Not the frantic juggling and tedious busy work part. Homeworld and Company of Heroes, allegedly two of the finest real-time strategy games evar, turned me off because I had to nanny certain units. I’m sorry but, engineers, you need to fix those tanks right in front of you. And repair frigates, those nearby damaged ships need looking at. Do your fucking jobs. The more granular my level of involvement the more distracted I am from the strategy, and for me, that’s a problem.
Our own Mat C reviewed Alan Wake in 2010, producing a definitive, thoughtful piece of work. I agree with basically everything he said and the way he said it, so I don’t mean to just regurgitate. Mat took care of a lot of the heavy lifting for me by doing the Reviewer’s Job; my intent is to look with the space of years, a platform change, and perspective between the game’s 2005 announcement, its 2010 self, and its now self. Alan Wake is an exceptional effort that could have been even better. Yet to reject it as just a missed opportunity is unfair. There’s more to it than what we got, but what we got is still a superb game.
And I made a video! You gotta watch my video. Click the button! CLICK IT!
There are a few games that I break out semi-regularly. I don’t have a schedule or anything, it’s just that sometimes when I’m in a certain mood, or when the weather is behaving a certain way, or what have you, certain games will call to me. One example is Defense Grid: The Awakening. If you find me playing it, chances are I’m sick or depressed. These states happen pretty often with me so I play a lot of Defense Grid, and for years I’ve been meaning to come back and write something more about it, something more than what I wrote in the review linked above, because that review just isn’t right. It isn’t right at all.
Developer Splash Damage Publisher Bethesda Softworks Released May 2011 Available for PC (version played), Xbox 360 & PS3 Time Played 42 hours Verdict: 5/5 Gold star! “Minor gripes aside, Brink is a clever, bold and unfortunately underrated addition to the team-based multiplayer canon. It isn’t for everyone, but for those who can appreciate what Splash …
Review by Dix Limbo Developer PlayDead Publisher PlayDead Released 21 July 2010 (XBLA), 19 July 2011 (PS3), 2 August 2011 (PC) Available for Xbox 360 Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, PC (via Steam; version reviewed) Time Played 3.5 hours (Finished) Verdict: 4/5 Thumbs Up Uncertain of the fate of that fifth point (out of five), a …