dkirschner's GameLogBlogging the experience of gameplayhttp://www.gamelog.cl/gamers/GamerPage.php?idgamer=1269Friday the 13th: The Game (PC) - Sun, 18 Jun 2017 21:16:35http://www.gamelog.cl/logs/LogPage.php?Log_Id=6385Bought this at launch and was reminded of why I don't buy games at launch. A bunch of friends and I played the beta and, although it was buggy as hell, we thought it could be excellent. It's still buggy as hell. Sometimes it's brilliant and sometimes it sucks. A very mixed bag. Friday the 13th is an asymmetrical multiplayer game like Evolve. One player is Jason and the others are camp counselors. Jason's job is to stalk and kill counselors; the counselors' job is to survive the 20-minute round, preferably by escaping in some way, but if you manage to hide for that long, good on you. Jason gains new abilities over time. I cannot for the life of me remember one of them. I was only Jason twice in the beta and haven't gotten to be Jason yet in the full release (which sucks), so I'm not well-versed in how to play him. He can sense counselors by their movements and sounds, including breathing. He's got like a super sense ability that heightens detection, he can phase walk, which is going invisible and super fast, he can teleport, and it's the last one I can never remember. Jason becomes really, really powerful, which makes sense. You'll have different experiences (and chances of survival) depending on how good the Jason is. If the Jason knows what he's doing, you're probably all going to die. If the Jason sucks, the match might be boring. A decent Jason is best because he remains unpredictable. As a counselor, you basically run through cabins looking for useful supplies. You have various ways of escaping: cars (requires a battery, gasoline, and keys), a boat (propeller, gasoline...keys? I was a passenger on an escape boat one time), you can call the police (must find fuse and repair fusebox, then find telephone), who arrive in 5 minutes and save you if you can reach them, and you can wait it out hiding. Ideally, the counselors work together to acquire necessary items to escape, but it's predictably difficult because not all players are alike. Also not all players have mics to talk, and no one types (if you even can). Also, in a brilliant move, you can only talk to counselors nearby (i.e., no one else can hear you) unless you find a walkie talkie, in which case anyone with a walkie talkie can communicate. You also have no map (just a local minimap) unless you find one. You also can carry weapons to stun and injure Jason, some first aid spray, and some other things. Counselors also have to manage stamina (how long they can run). Even your standard, regular running depletes stamina, let alone sprinting. So you will have to slow down and walk or sneak or hide sometimes, which can be terrifying. And you have to manage your fear level. If you're in the dark too long, if you see Jason, or if you see a dead body, your character starts to lose it. I'm not exactly sure what the consequences of this are other than your character screaming (Jason can hear you) and being difficult to control for a little bit. If you turn on your flashlight or go hide, you will calm down though. When Jason catches you, he has a ton of different kills he can do, including context kills (shoving you into a fireplace, tossing you through a window, etc.). You might be able to escape if you're lucky and/or quick and/or have a pocketknife. Watching Jason chase people around can be really entertaining. It's not uncommon that my favorite parts of the game are after I die and I'm spectating. Spectating is like watching a horror movie. I love it. So that's how the game goes down. Unfortunately it's buggy as hell. I played two games tonight before the game froze and I couldn't make it close so I had to restart the computer. It doesn't play audio through my TV for some unknown reason. Sometimes it sticks on a black screen when you launch the game. People who play more report server and matchmaking issues. There are a thousand issues with counselor death animations and collision detection and all sorts of stuff. I was playing a couple days ago and a counselor was using the phone to call the police when he just like...fell into the wall and looked like he died (I think he disconnected), but he was in the wall. And the phone he was using was floating in midair. The person disconnected, or whatever happened, right when Jason smashed through the door, and Jason was pacing around trying to get to the body, but couldn't. We Instagrammed the floating phone. It's a really simple game. When it's good, it's awesome. I've had some amazing matches and moments, like the time I learned I could re-start a crashed car. As I sped off in excitement, three other counselors came running out of the bushes yelling for me to stop. This one guy says "We can escape together!" So I stopped to let them all in as Jason materialized behind the car and grabbed one and killed her. The rest of us sped off. Jason teleported in front of us. I drove the car backward to an intersection and tore ass toward the exit. As I was almost there, Jason teleported in front of me again, but I lost control trying to go around him (he stops cars) and ran into a fence. He killed one of my passengers and the other two of us scattered. We were all laughing. It was great. But when it's mediocre, which unfortunately is at least half the time, it's pretty boring. You can wait in lobbies and get in a game and poke through drawers for 5 minutes, get killed, and then either sit there spectating for 15 more minutes (or until everyone escapes or is killed), or you can forfeit your XP (which you use to purchase new counselors and Jasons with different stats, equipment, and special kills) and go ahead to another game. Like, sometimes absolutely nothing of interest happens for half an hour at a time. Oh, also the majority of people with mics are annoying as shit, which makes it really hard to overcome the dull times unless you just mute everyone. I'll keep playing here and there probably, and they've released a couple patches, but there's a long way to go.Sun, 18 Jun 2017 21:16:35 CDThttp://www.gamelog.cl/logs/LogPage.php?Log_Id=6385&iddiary=11184Pony Island (PC) - Thu, 15 Jun 2017 20:28:11http://www.gamelog.cl/logs/LogPage.php?Log_Id=6401Pony Island is crazy. Remember how Eternal Darkness messed with your TV? And how Metal Gear (I forget which one[s]) messed with your Playstation? Pony Island messes with your computer. This meta game has so many surprises. Every 15 minutes I felt like I was laughing at something or going "Whoa, cool!" or even freaking out about something the game did. There's one trick in particular that it pulled that had me a bit frantic, but I can't say it because it'll be a huge spoiler. Gameplay-wise, it's a little bit of sidescroller and a little bit of puzzling, and I guess a bit of text adventure. Some of it has a nice challenge (coordinating your mouse clicking on the sidescroller part, and some of the puzzles are tricky). Thematically it is wild. I'll just say that Pony Island is more than a game and leave it there. Play it, but don't read about it!Thu, 15 Jun 2017 20:28:11 CDThttp://www.gamelog.cl/logs/LogPage.php?Log_Id=6401&iddiary=11182Her Story (PC) - Thu, 15 Jun 2017 17:28:27http://www.gamelog.cl/logs/LogPage.php?Log_Id=6400Neat game that earns its praise. What do you do in Her Story? You watch video clips of interviews with Hannah Smith, whose husband Simon was murdered. You're a police detective, and you navigate clips in a database and just...piece together the story. You search through the clips using terms that might be important. So like "murder" and "Simon" and "Hannah" are probably some of the first. I have no clue how many videos there are (a hundred?) or how many search terms produce results (a hundred?). It's absolutely fascinating to watch the interviews. The acting is pretty good. I have no idea how the story pieces itself together given that you can search anything, but it worked for me. Do some players have the ending given sort of prematurely? I guess you wouldn't really understand clips from the last interview until you'd watch a lot though. I found over 75% of the videos on my own. Several times I watched a video that divulged crucial information, and I would be like OH MY GOD! Like videos about Hannah's bruise. There are a lot of little reveals and even subtle things that you pick up on. I think I figured out what happened and could re-tell the story. I'm going to go read up on it to see what other people say. Really worth playing for something different, and really cool way to present a narrative.Thu, 15 Jun 2017 17:28:27 CDThttp://www.gamelog.cl/logs/LogPage.php?Log_Id=6400&iddiary=11181Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist (PC) - Thu, 15 Jun 2017 14:08:07http://www.gamelog.cl/logs/LogPage.php?Log_Id=6399This is not what I expected! I thought I was getting the third game this week about heists. Well, it's sort of about a heist, but it's more Stanley Parable than Monaco or Payday. A confused narrator guides you through video game production. It had me laughing pretty good by the end. Play through twice to get a cassette tape player and listen to the tapes scattered around, especially if you like Rick and Morty. Whoever is doing the voices on the tapes is clearly a fan. Absolutely worth 30 minutes of your life, and it's free on Steam and probably from Crows Crows Crows's website. Wonder what else these people have made?Thu, 15 Jun 2017 14:08:07 CDThttp://www.gamelog.cl/logs/LogPage.php?Log_Id=6399&iddiary=11180Shadow Complex (PC) - Thu, 15 Jun 2017 13:10:44http://www.gamelog.cl/logs/LogPage.php?Log_Id=6396Duuuude, Shadow Complex was awesome! It's a neat kind of 2.5d metroid-vania. You only really move left/right/up/down, but enemies will sometimes be in the foreground and background and move back and forth. One of the two issues with the game is that it's hard to aim your gun and shoot enemies that aren't on your plane. It seems to choose which plane to aim at depending on whether or not an enemy is there, but it is finicky. The other issue is that there are bugs. It crashed on me three or four times. Sometimes the map doesn't auto-update with your objective, so you have no clue where to go until you restart the game. One time a trap door wouldn't open and I was running around for 15 minutes trying to figure out how to get out of this small maze I was in. I finally reloaded and when I ran over this one spot, a trap door opened and that was how you get out. It definitely never opened the first time, as I ran over that spot (and shot it, and threw grenades at it) a lot. The game isn't that difficult on normal. Boss battles weren't too bad, sometimes requiring a couple attempts. Regular enemies are generally only a challenge during set pieces, like one time you enter a room and four doors in the background open, revealing four minigun-toting soldiers. They spray at you as you scramble for cover (which keeps changing), and then little walker bombs start coming at you. That was a fun fight. It feels really good to shoot and melee kill enemies. There's good oomph to the combat, and it's fluid too. Enter a room, stealth kill the first enemy, get spotted by a camera, which activates turrets, shoot all those, toss a grenade into a group of soldiers, grapple onto a ledge to gain a height advantage, fire a missile at a missile launcher soldier, see a destructible vent, lob a grenade at it, jump down and assess the situation. I like that you have to think fast. It's got a silly story that I can't always tell if it's taking itself too seriously or poking fun at itself (both I think). At the end, it says it's supposed to be a companion to some Orson Scott Card story. Weird. Long story short, you and your girlfriend are going hiking and exploring some caves when she disappears. You find her being abducted and taken into some secret military compound (the titular Shadow Complex). You proceed to attempt to rescue her, acquiring new weapons and gadgets along the way, each of which (guns, grenades, foam, missiles, the blue thing) allow you to bypass different obstacles, thus further opening up the map. I won't spoil the ending, but you'll probably see it coming an hour into the game. The main character has a lot of cheesy one-liners, and he made me laugh too. He has a habit of shooting enemies in the head who are taunting him and expounding upon their evil plans. "And then we will destroy San Francisco [manifestation of Orson Scott Card's anti-gay conservative politics?] and then we will kill you and everyone you..." [BAM! Shot in the head]. It's funny every time. Despite some bugs, aiming issues, and over-the-top story, I 100% recommend this game if you enjoy a good metroid-vania platformer.Thu, 15 Jun 2017 13:10:44 CDThttp://www.gamelog.cl/logs/LogPage.php?Log_Id=6396&iddiary=11179Payday 2 (PC) - Wed, 14 Jun 2017 10:40:04http://www.gamelog.cl/logs/LogPage.php?Log_Id=6398Overkill gave away 5 million copies of this on Steam last week. Free popular team shooter? Sure thing! I did all the training missions and played a few random games with people this morning. I think it's fun. Definitely never played an FPS heist game before, and this is far more entertaining than Monaco, the other heist game I tried yesterday. You and three other people (or bots) engage in various criminal acts (robbing banks, guarding drug factories, stealing drugs, etc.). Like any multiplayer shooter, you choose a loadout and follow the objectives to complete the mission. There are tons of guns and gun mods and other items and characters to unlock. Payday 2 is both trigger happy and DLC happy. It gets pretty detailed with the actions you have to perform. Besides the fact that "hold F" does 90% of things in the game, it's cool that a mission will have you scout the premises first, then put on your mask (which means you're now ready for crime and NPCs will respond as such), sneak into the a building, take out a few security officers, pick up their radios and reassure dispatch that everything is fine so the police don't come (yet), stuff the bodies in body bags, hide the bodies, avoid the security cameras, find the computer, hack the computer (objective complete!), find a stash of money/cocaine, trip an alarm, attempt to carry out money/cocaine (can't sprint while carrying heavy things!) as police storm the building, escape in van. From my few online games, Payday 2 seems difficult. I mean, I am new and was maybe playing with other newbies, but we never completed a mission. I have some friends who used to play this years ago, so maybe they'll be interested in picking it back up. Nevertheless, I have another nice team-based game to call upon in times of gaming with friends! Yay!Wed, 14 Jun 2017 10:40:04 CDThttp://www.gamelog.cl/logs/LogPage.php?Log_Id=6398&iddiary=11178Race the Sun (PC) - Tue, 13 Jun 2017 23:06:48http://www.gamelog.cl/logs/LogPage.php?Log_Id=6397One more for the day, another Humble Bundle leftover. Race the Sky is basically an endless runner. You fly a ship across pretty geometric-shape-filled landscapes racing (toward) the setting sun. Avoid obstacles and collect pickups. Meet objectives and level up to unlock new ship mods and pickups that will appear in the levels. The music is upbeat electronic, the controls are nice and smooth. Despite it being an endless runner, it's actually quite relaxing. But it gets real difficult real fast. I upgraded my ship to level 7 or 8 of 25 in under an hour, and never made it past the third area. The game says the devs update areas every week changing the obstacles around. I wonder if they still do! "So you'll always have something new to crash into." Tue, 13 Jun 2017 23:06:48 CDThttp://www.gamelog.cl/logs/LogPage.php?Log_Id=6397&iddiary=11177Vessel (PC) - Tue, 13 Jun 2017 20:43:58http://www.gamelog.cl/logs/LogPage.php?Log_Id=6395Man, this is such a neat idea, but the game isn't fun to play. The story is throwaway for the neat mechanics, which involve liquid physics puzzles. You have a gun that sucks and shoots liquids (water and lava so far). There are machines that create little elemental automata when you fill them with liquid and power them up. You later get the ability to create the automata by getting "seeds" that you can sprout by yourself. These automata are important because they do things like press switches and pull levers and create steam (when a water and lava one meet), and these things remove barriers, power machinery, and help solve puzzles. They can also bypass certain barriers that you cannot. Later on, some automata clone themselves and are enemies, so there are many different kinds to keep in mind. Now, this all sounds really really cool in theory. But the controls are clunky, for one. It's a a puzzle platformer, and the running and jumping and grabbing things is awkward enough to have caused me countless missteps and deaths. There's a slight lag between pressing a button and the action happening. Trying to jump off of a moving object like a lever or spinning wheel is so imprecise. As with so many physics puzzle games, it is maddening when I know exactly what I'm trying to do but I can't get the objects to interact properly. The other letdown is that I often don't even know what I'm supposed to be doing. I mean, I know the overarching goals, but on a per puzzle basis, I'm scratching my head. There are large, fairly complex puzzles here, but the goals are unclear. This can be a good thing, as in goals that emerge through interaction with the puzzle, that you get closer to completing with new insight. But here I didn't get "aha!" moments. I got "Oh...I didn't think that would work. Okay." or "Huh? That's what I need to do? How the..." or "Wow this is a big puzzle and I see no clue as to what I should do. Hope these random guesses get me somewhere..." It's a lot of boring trial and error with lots of deaths and checkpoints the locations of which I do not know until I am respawned some way back. This would be cool if the platforming was more precise and if there was just a bit more direction!Tue, 13 Jun 2017 20:43:58 CDThttp://www.gamelog.cl/logs/LogPage.php?Log_Id=6395&iddiary=11176Monaco: What's Yours is Mine (PC) - Tue, 13 Jun 2017 17:20:37http://www.gamelog.cl/logs/LogPage.php?Log_Id=6394Digging back through some games that I got for free from a friend who had bought every.single.Humble Bundle ever a couple years ago. Specifically looking for games with controller support so I can sit on my couch. Monaco popped up in my to-play list and I figured why not! I must say though, I wasn't that interested in playing Monaco before, and only because it got such good reviews did I download it. After an hour with the single-player, I am bored. There's not a lot to do. You go from level to level with the objective (so far) of stealing or hacking or some other criminal activity, and then escaping the area. Gameplay is top-down stealth. Guards and security cameras abound. Guards patrol, everything has a vision cone, including you, and you can do things like hack computers to override security, unlock doors, disappear in smoke, shoot guards, pickpocket, etc. General stealthy criminal stuff that you would do in a heist. There are also tons of coins to pick up. The more you miss, the more time gets added to your final score, if you care about such things. I played 6 or 7 levels, and found myself just wanting to run through them instead of be stealthy because enemies (so far) aren't real deadly, and going stealthy was pretty boring. It was a rush to tear through levels with guards chasing me the whole way. I understand that's not how it's supposed to be played though. I also understand Monaco is primarily a co-op game, and that's what it got such praise for. I can see it being fun with 2-4 players since you can each have a different character (each character has a specialty--the locksmith picks locks faster; the mole can dig through walls; the gentleman is great at disguising himself; etc.). You could specialize and plan your route through the levels and communicate about who will do what to which guard and who will hack this or that computer. So, I've set this aside for co-op sometime. Single-player Monaco, no thanks. It does earn some style points though!Tue, 13 Jun 2017 17:20:37 CDThttp://www.gamelog.cl/logs/LogPage.php?Log_Id=6394&iddiary=11175VVVVVV (PC) - Tue, 13 Jun 2017 00:52:22http://www.gamelog.cl/logs/LogPage.php?Log_Id=6393Solid little platformer by Terry Cavanagh. When I beat the game, I realized why it is called VVVVVV. It's obvious earlier, but I was busy thinking about gravity flips. The only button you have at your disposal (besides the map button) flips gravity. So you don't jump or anything. Well, you run too, duh. So run and flip gravity. There are 2 hours of gravity-flipping levels packed in here, plus a map to explore to find teleporters to and lost crew members of your crashed space ship. I died 582 times, but there were only a few trouble spots, namely the first "intermission" when rescuing a colleague goes awry and you have to platform with them following you. Your pal moves forward when you are on the ground (normal gravity) and stops when you are on the ceiling. There is a really tricky part with three vertically moving platforms where you have to go across underneath them, and then flip gravity back and forth to get him to step on each platform in turn. Then you have to go back the way you came and then go forward again the way your pal went. That probably took me the longest, but the game said I died the most on the last screen, which was also hard (36 times). Nice little distraction that I wasn't planning on beating tonight, but hey, go me. Tue, 13 Jun 2017 00:52:22 CDThttp://www.gamelog.cl/logs/LogPage.php?Log_Id=6393&iddiary=11174