jp's GameLogBlogging the experience of gameplay Eleven 2: Blizzard (DS) - Sat, 16 Dec 2017 15:56:11 picked up this one and Firestorm (for my son) because they were cheap and seemed interesting. So far, I'm REALLY impressed. I hadn't noticed it was made by Level-5 (a good sign) and...I'm guessing it's based on a TV show? So far, it's a refreshing "typical" RPG (ala Dragon Quest, etc.) BUT, the RPG elements are all football related and combat is all replaced with football matches! The story is over-the-top anime style (aliens arrive and destroy all the football clubs and want to defeat everyone, and they're really good) with special moves... The combat is action-oriented and I'm having a really hard time understanding what I'm supposed to do, but I've noticed that a few of the matches so far area really scripted so I'm hoping it's an ease-you-in type tutorial... I have only been able to win at ONE random football battle and I don't understand the stats or system OR when I'm supposed to use the stylus and when not to... I hope I'll figure it out because I'm really intrigued and excited. There's also a lot of anime cut-scenes (they remind me a lot of the Layton games cut-scenes, but there's more of them) and all the characters have english accents! (I got the game in the UK, so that makes sense...)Sat, 16 Dec 2017 15:56:11 CST Machines (DS) - Tue, 05 Dec 2017 16:42:59 this for a few hours - did 30 or so puzzles. I have no idea how many more there are but I think a lot! Two things I wanted to get down: a. It works remarkably well for a DS game since it seems to be running a physics simulations, uses the styulus and has all these (increasingly more) complicated bits and pieces that get added - gears, lights, explosions, fuses, balloons, etc. It's a pretty good "rube goldberg" game that feels closer to the really open-ended ones (e.g. Super Crayon Physics Deluxe) rather than the "there's a single solution to this puzzle, figure it out" games. This is mostly because I think I solved a few of the puzzles in weird/alternative/maybe plain lucky ways. b. I looked at the credits and it seems like the entire production team is/was Polish! Yay for happy discoveries like that and I've since learned that "City Interactive" is decent-sized publisher and developer with a ton of titles under its belt...Tue, 05 Dec 2017 16:42:59 CST Battle Brawlers (DS) - Tue, 05 Dec 2017 16:29:40 kids had Bakugan way back when though I don't think they ever played the "real" game - just had the figures. Since I picked this game up for next to nothing I thought it would be interesting to see what the actual game was about and how it was adapted into videogame form. I played for a few hours, with no real intention of continuing and I'm both impressed and disappointed... a. I don't really understand the basic stats/mechanics of the game - as it is played for "real". Your monsters have a value - higher number is better, and a "type" (element). Since combat in the videogame is resolved through mini-action games (swipe really fast, match your taps to these icons flying across the screen, follow this path quickly with your stylus, etc.) I have no real sense of how the stats matter and to what degree. If your monster's value is higher, I know you get an advantage, but I'm not sure if you can always make up for a disadvantage with, say, really good stylus skills. b. The real game has a dexterity component - I think - because you have to roll/throw your monster in ball form onto the playing field and get it to land on a metallic card, at which point the magnets kick in and the ball opens into a creature (a pretty cool toy if you ask me). Anyways, the same mechanic applies in the game and its implemented in a way that's pretty clever. You select a direction and swipe to launch your monster. Then, you can swipe more to move it around the play area (pick up bonus tokens) before trying to get it to stop on a card. There's additional stats that make this easier/harder (get more/less time to move around, ease in changing direction, strength of the magnet and a few more). So, for what is ostensibly a card game - with toys - it was neat to see that they made sure that dexterity mattered in the game. I can't think of other card games where this might happen, so I guess Bakugan is a more interesting game than I thought initially? c. AFAIK, the overall structure of the game is that you play in a series of tournaments - improving your Bakugan along the way, buying new ones, etc. until there's some showdown at the end (there's strong hints that your Bakugan is up to no good, so I'd expect some reversal at some point). I played the first single player tournament and almost finished the co-op tournament where you're paired up with an AI teammate against a pair of AI opponents. It works and is interesting UNTIL I lost a bunch of matches where I had no input (AI played AI, lost, played lost, and we lost the match). THat was a bit frustrating - AFAIK, I can't change what my AI teammate has/ I felt a bit powerless and at the whims of chance.. So, I decided it was time to move on!Tue, 05 Dec 2017 16:29:40 CST Colors (DS) - Mon, 27 Nov 2017 12:20:58 it all the way to the 5th world and it's been fun. The game is quite like the classic sidescrolling sonics, but with new mechanics and things - there are these wisps that grant you a special ability. Also, there are boss levels, which are rendered in low-res 3D polygons. I only stopped playing because, in the underwater levels, I got tired of dying from running out of air while also experiencing weird checkpoint glitches. A few times I had to re-start really far back and, though this only happened in boss fights, the boss would get stuck in the "final mode" but not really be vulnerable in the way it should have. So, I got frustrated, looked at the pile of pending games and decided it was time to move on. :-)Mon, 27 Nov 2017 12:20:58 CST Boy: The Video Game (DS) - Mon, 20 Nov 2017 07:18:47 was an Astro Boy GBA game that I really enjoyed (made by Treasure, of all companies) and so I picked this one up just for fun (and for not a lot of money, which is a common theme with me). When I booted the game up I was surprised that the existing save files on the cart indicated that progress had only been made to the second stage of world 1. Wow, that doesn't seem like too far, I thought - maybe the game had previously been owned by a small child who just didn't like it? My mistake. And I only made it to the 3rd stage before calling it quits. It's been a while since I've played a game that had so many issues in terms of gameplay and controls. It felt old school in a bad way, so - an experience so clunky and awkward that it might have been given a pass 20 years ago because we didn't know any better. But today? (well, ten years ago I guess - the game is that old) The game alternates (AFAIK) between platforming sections and sidescrolling shooting sections. Both are a mess. In the platforming ones, you have to punch your way through enemies - button mask mostly, but there are some that fire little fire balls that damage you. You can't really dodge them. Jumping is also awkward because you can jump up, but you can't jump to move sideways unless you press another button and then Astro sort of fires his jets and goes sideways or a little bit. But, you can't control him, so getting the timing right to land on a moving platform is way more effort than it should be. When you kill an enemy they drop an orb, collect enough orbs and you can activate a special power. I only tried three of the powers: a shield which was useless 'cause I activated it at the wrong time, a health restore, and Astro's butt machineguns which were a waste because he didn't seem to fire at the enemies surrounding me. Ugh.Mon, 20 Nov 2017 07:18:47 CST Inc. (iPd) - Tue, 14 Nov 2017 21:50:31've been playing this for a week(?) now - mostly because I've been on a loosely investigative (experiential?) exploration of idle/clicker games. I think this is my 4th in the last month or so. The premise is fun, you're selling eggs - so you tap to get chickens and then spend all the money researching better eggs and improvements that make your entire operation more efficient. But, it's a weird game on a few fronts... a. The "core" activity - tap to get more chickens, never gets better/automated in any significant way. At the beginning, it matters...but once you're past the thousands...all you get is a bonus multiplier (small, in the grand scheme of things) that only lasts while there are chickens coming out of the hatchery - which is less than 10-15 seconds. b. The core driver of the economy comes from watching ads (you can't choose to do it, you randomly get the opportunity every now and then), tapping on drones (that randomly appear and fly across the sky), and random gifts (that appear as delivered boxes). So, to make significant progress in the game you can't play it idly - you have to pay attention, with your phone on. c. Offline benefits are super slim - I was NEVER able to buy/improve anything from having not played and coming back to the game. So, you can't "let your economy" grow - because it doesn't. A few drones and a minute of paying attention will probably get more progress than 2 hrs offline. d. The progression curve felt quite smooth until slightly over halfway through. I hit a cliff HARD. (going from Tachyon to Graviton eggs). It's so bad I decided to quit as soon as I learned what the next egg was (Graviton). So, it's a weird idle game because it's not idle. You make progress via the action parts, really. It's also not really a clicker game - because the clicking quickly becomes meaningless. It does heavily favor the re-start (prestige) which is weird/interesting because the core loop ALSO has a re-start loop inside of it. Each time you upgrade your egg you have to start over. But when you prestige start-over you get special soul eggs that give you a nice multiplier for everything else. Overall, the game feels weirdly out of balance - I never had issues with having enough hatchery capacity (the main thing you build/upgrade) and neither did I have issues with the transportation (you also buy/upgrade trucks to carry eggs away). I suspect this might become more prominent later - but so far it seems to easy and, well, mostly meaningless.Tue, 14 Nov 2017 21:50:31 CST (PS4) - Mon, 06 Nov 2017 19:16:26 this over the weekend and it was surprisingly underwhelming - it's just more puzzles and a story ending that was...not that interesting for me to be honest. The puzzles did get slightly more complicated - taking a few more attempts to figure out or get the action/timing right, but nothing I'd describe as "mind-blowing". So, competent puzzles that don't really resonate that well with the narrative so it ends up feeling a bit empty. It's a fine competent game, but the twist isn't interesting enough for the length duration of the game. I'm guessing the team struggled with how many/few colors to include? My gut feeling is that the game would work fine with 4 - and that after that you're not really getting that much more bang for your buck in terms of interesting puzzles.Mon, 06 Nov 2017 19:16:26 CST (PS4) - Mon, 06 Nov 2017 19:12:33 I did the reset and AFAIK, there's nothing new/different. Not complaining, just noting...Mon, 06 Nov 2017 19:12:33 CST (PS4) - Sat, 04 Nov 2017 12:02:57! I'm so impressed by this little clicker game. I recently played the Paperclips one (don't think I've gamelogged it) that impressed me because it had interesting gameplay options that opened up as you played and there was an evolving narrative. But this game, which I presume predates Paperclips, ALSO has that and, AFAIK it even ends (there is a restart option but I haven't tried it yet - who knows maybe the story continues?). It actually ends with a glorious cut-scene that felt super Kubrick 2001 in visual style and grandeur (helped by music that reminded me a lot of Jarre). The premise is silly - but I enjoyed the brevity of length and the fact that I wanted to read the little text messages you get as you make progress in the game. Sat, 04 Nov 2017 12:02:57 CST of the Tentacle Remastered (PS4) - Sat, 04 Nov 2017 11:59:35 could have sworn I wrote about this one a while back...but I guess not? Sigh. I've finished it, played a fair amount and even got a few of the trophies. I never played the original, but this remastered is well worth it - I think you need a fair amount of patience with the game though. It's an adventure game, which basically means interaction and inventory puzzles in which you need to figure out what to use with what (and when). Since the game takes place over three different time periods, with three different characters there is a fair amount of challenge in figuring out what to do when you get stuck. It's not structured such that you complete one character before moving on to the next and such. The premise is such that part of the fun is taking advantage of the time travelling mechanic - you can make a change in the past such that a character in the present (or future) can now do something they couldn't before. Thus, will all the different strands intertwining and existing in parallel, there were definitely times when I had to consult a guide because I hadn't caught on to the fact that I had to do something innocuous-seeming with someone in one time period to affect the future. It can be really frustrating! I was also surprised by how big/long the game was - I was expecting something shorter (just cause it's older?).Sat, 04 Nov 2017 11:59:35 CST