Category Archives: Game Lagviews
I picked up Papers, Please during the recent Steam summer sale because it was recommended to me by both my brother and cousin, both of whom had played the game for a few hours and ultimately ditched it before its completion but nevertheless had fun with it. I wasn’t totally sure what to expect going in to it. I expected the blocky, retro-style graphics, but I didn’t expect a “story” of sorts. The game isn’t terribly nice to look at – and it makes no apologies for being that way – it is meant to appear bleak and dull. I mean, you’re a border guard stamping passports for Pete’s sake.
Here’s the game in a nutshell. You live in Arstotzka, a country seemingly inspired by, I believe, the Eastern Bloc states from around the time of the cold war. It also takes place in 1982, in case you were interested. Of course, all of the nations and whatnot are completely fictional.
The basic premise of the game is this: you are a border guard forced into your job via a labour lottery. You have a son, a wife, a mother-in-law and an uncle to care for – all of whom are apparently too young/incompetent/lazy to work and provide for themselves. So basically you wake up, read the newspaper headlines (some of which occasionally foreshadow the day’s tasks ahead), and then walk to work. Arriving there, you are given a document outlining any procedural changes you must take in account for the day ahead. The actual “game” presents a view of 3 areas – the top shows the exterior of the border crossing, the bottom left shows your actual booth where the hopeful admitees stand, and the third at the bottom right of your screen is your work surface. (more…)
When I was a kid (and I’m talking 4-5 years old here) my father let me play a game called Wolfenstein 3D. You might’ve heard of it. I have no idea how he pulled this off, but my mother didn’t really seem to mind at all. This launched a bit of a weird obsession with World War 2.
I’ve always found WW2 interesting. Admittedly, I’m not alone. Literally a billion games have been made around this subject, the first Medal of Honors, Battlefields, and Call of Dutys included. I found the eastern front particularly interesting since the western front gets way more coverage here in Canadian schools (obviously). However, when my grade 12 history class touched on the fact that, hey, the USSR was involved too (a fact I only vaguely knew from the first Call of Duty games), and went into a bit of detail, I found the subject interesting. Seeing Red Orchestra pop up on Steam, I always intended to try it out. And so finally, thanks to a Steam sale, I did. (more…)
Note: I wrote the bulk of this review back in June 2012 and cleaned it up to be published in Jan 2013, so please excuse some of the inconsistencies or out of date info.
Diablo 3 is not the game I had expected it would be. I loved both the original Diablo and Diablo 2, and I expected it would follow the formula set by those game reasonably closely. However, expectations and reality don’t always align.
When you are first thrown into the game’s world, you immediately hear the familiar sounds of Tristram’s guitar, the familiar sound effect of a bow fired by an NPC, and you come across a conveniently named town: New Tristram. Right away, my expectations were beginning to be met, but every step further into the game, I began to sense that something was not quite right. Everything was just a little bit off, and a whole bunch of thing I expected to be a particular way, weren’t. I can appreciate the idea that they wanted Diablo veterans to feel at home, but for me at least, the way the game unfolded led to me realizing just how far removed the game is from past Diablos, which in turn led to me feeling mislead.
However, the games we’re getting today are a lot different than the games we got 11 years ago. And I can’t really get too upset at Blizzard for wanting to experiment a bit rather than make the exact same game we got so many years ago. So I set my expectations aside and decided to go for an adventure.
I was planning all along to do a video Let’s Play series for our YouTube channel and I wanted to play a game that wouldn’t take terribly long. So I looked at the games in the most recent humble indie bundle (well, the last one that actually involved games instead of music, ebooks, flowerpots, candles, or whatever else they’re doing nowadays) and researched how long it would take to beat each one. I’ll be honest, I only chose Rochard because it seemed like it would be the shortest of the bunch. I had no idea what it was about or what I was getting into, I just walked into it blind. But I have to admit I was a little surprised with Rochard. The best way I could describe it would be as a platformer/side-scroller Half-Life 2 with a bit of Portal and a dash of Quantum Conundrum mixed in. Bear with me here… (more…)
Nexuiz started out as a free (open source) standalone game based on a enhanced version of the original Quake engine. It existed this way from 2005 to sometime in 2010, when it was announced that another company had bought the rights to the name in order to release a commercial game that shared many of the same ideas. Nexuiz claims to be a part of the next generation of arena FPS games. These types of games, fast-paced arcade shooters, have a few essential requirements, and Nexuiz seems to have forgotten about them. (more…)
I’m going to come right out and say it. I’m just not a fan of this game. I have no idea why the ratings on Metacritic are so high. Okay, that’s not entirely true. There’s a large amount of weird people on there giving the game 10/10. What? Really? You’re telling me there’s no way this game can improve? I mean, you can’t get better than 10/10. Well, I beg to differ.
This game is free to play, which sounds great. It’s an FPS – no surprise there – but brags about the fast pace compared to other shooters leading many of the 12-year-olds on Metacritic to boast about how much more skill it requires compared to the “normal” FPS games such as the defiled Call of Duty series and – and there’s lots of comparisons to this one – Quake. Tribes accomplishes this with jetpacks and something they call “skiing” which I think is really better described as “sliding” or “gliding”, perhaps.
Speaking of 12-year-olds, I have a feeling they may make up a good sized portion of the players of this game. Who else has little access to money, lots of time to waste, and no skill at video games? Your average young teen/pre-teens. I was making top 3-5 on my team every map despite it being my first time playing. It was rare to come across players who could actually aim properly. It’s not my intention to brag – I’m nothing special at shooters – but there wasn’t much of a challenge.
Back in the day (2002-2005 especially) I was a huge fan of the PC game Rune. It was loaded with bugs, but I loved it. And I wasn’t alone – today there’s still a good sized following of loyal fans about, although they have been steadily becoming less active over the past few years. Even the low caliber club forum has almost no new posts in well over a year (although I did hear about this tournament thing brewing from a post there). And who can blame them? Despite the pleas of fans Human Head studios has continued to evade the question of whether or not there will be a sequel. The original game, which was released in 2000, has been without a successor for 12 years and the original group of fans had basically given up hope (with some exceptions, of course) until recently. (more…)
Generally I’ve been pretty happy with the games I get from the Humble Indie Bundles, but And Yet It Moves makes so unhappy, I don’t even know where to start.
How about with the name? It is at least representative of something you can do in the game, moving around. Actually, you can spin the world around clockwise or counter-clockwise to move yourself around the world and solve puzzles. This is guaranteed to be neat for at least the first 10 minutes, but to base a whole game on it is a bit risky if the developers can’t come up with any unique ideas that take advantage of it in order to keep the game interesting. (more…)
Jamestown will remind older players of days in the arcade. With its old-school looks and feel it seems to try and pull at some nostalgia string buried deep inside you.
It’s a very simple concept. Basically, you’re in some kind of weird ship shooting at stuff (you can unlock 3 other ships using money you earn after completing missions). You have a “normal” fire, a “special” fire, and an ability called a “vaunt”. I’ll try to explain these: normal is boring and weak, special isn’t very special – you’ll be using it most of the time – and vaunt basically protects you for a short period of time and strengthens your attack. You can use normal and special attacks whenever you want but you need to collect enough gears (I think that’s what they are, anyways) in order to use your vaunt ability. An aptly timed vaunt can be invaluable. (more…)
Dear Esther is an awful game. Having said that, it is also an interesting piece of what I can only describe as art.
I finished it in just 75 minutes, and that included exploring nearly every corner I could find and taking screenshots of the scenery. Not exactly a long commitment, but $10 for a 75 minute experience is… a little expensive. Although I can’t say I didn’t think it was worth it. It’s hard to explain, but I’ll give it a shot: (more…)