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    Burrito Bison: Launcha Libre (iPd)    by   jp       (May 22nd, 2017 at 18:59:27)

    I've been playing this for the last week or so and this game is 100% juice and polish. It's really a joy to see it unfold. I've hit a point where I've maxed out (I even spent money on some permanent boosters) and all that's really left is a grind of restarting with some stuff unlocked. Not THAT interesting to grind, but it's been enjoyable so far. Mostly 'cause of the juice. So juicy - almost literally, since you spend most of the game flying through the air squishing gummy bears. (game also available here: http://www.kongregate.com/games/JuicyBeast/burrito-bison-launcha-libre)

    I've particularly enjoyed:

    a. In order to keep gameplay fresh, there are some things you can run into that "trigger" a short in-game mini-game. For example there's a pink airbag thing you ride and have to tap fast to catch a green gummy that runs away. There's also a giant key you have to aim at a lockbox three times, and a dune-style worm that burrows and you have to (only by tapping, for all three mind you) direct to eat moles and, after a bit, a giant diamond.

    b. At the end you collect recipe sheets. Get enough and you can unlock/pay for actual recipes. Bona fide recipes. There's 4 (or 5?). I don't think they're fake, but I've only unlocked one.

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    Killzone: Mercenary (VITA)    by   jp       (May 16th, 2017 at 19:35:32)

    I've only played 30 minutes or so and wow...

    a. This game looks amazing. I'm really surprised by how good it looks. Still surprised.

    b. It seems a bit slow at times? Maybe I'm just too accustomed to the fast and snappy action in Destiny?

    c. Mixing on-screen actions (swipe this way, swipe that way) with an intense action shooter has always felt a bit unfair/hard for me. This game is no exception.

    d. So far, the game feels like a Call of Duty game, but with Helghast and their cool/iconic helmets. I'm not feeling the Killzone vibe yet, but we'll see how it evolves. Otherwise, here's another example of CoD design ideas influencing other games (e.g. Follow an NPC teammate around, he tells you where to go and what to do)

    e. You play a mercenary, so it's all about the money. Literally. You get credits for kills, picking up ammo, etc. You have to buy ammo if you run out, and you have to buy new/better(?) weapons. It's not clear to me why you can't pick up enemy weapons...and it seems weird that you buy/upgrade your stuff from crates that are lying around INSIDE the building you're infiltrating? Where they there before? Do the Helghast use them? Confused...

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    Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime (PS4)    by   jp       (May 16th, 2017 at 19:30:22)

    I've really been enjoying this game. It's been recommended to me so many times I've lost count and, well, it's all pretty much deserved.

    I'm not sure how it works "solo", but I've been playing co-op with my son and we've enjoyed the hectic nature of running around to the different posts and deciding out loud who should be doing what. I'm often the one attacking the enemies (combat stations) while he does the engine (flying around) and shield (defense).
    We've reached the first boss and I'm curious to see if/how things change in later levels/worlds... I get the sense that, we've sort of tapped out to an extent? Each station on the ship has space for gems that modify what the station does - and we've unlocked the possibility for each station to have two gems installed which broadens the possibilities even more. However, I've noticed that we're sort of comfortable with our current options and all our stations are chock-full with gems already. In fact, we have gems lying around that we don't like that much (the steel ones). So, what will happen next? Will we get a different ship? Different kinds of gems? More of the same?

    I'm curious to find out... (and no, I don't want to research this either, I want to be surprised!)

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    Fallout 4 (PC)    by   dkirschner       (May 16th, 2017 at 17:09:45)

    So I've been playing this for a couple months and never posted an entry. Woops! I thought about it a couple times, but there's really not a lot to say. Let's slot it in between the other Fallout FPS games.

    Worst: Fallout 3
    Middle: Fallout 4
    Best: New Vegas

    What did I like about Fallout 4?

    It's denser than Fallout 3 was. Still a large place, but more stuff to explore. By the end all the different buildings were feeling pretty same-y, but most of them told a little story through enemies, emails, computer terminals, robots, and other means. I remember going in some robotics factory and reading the employees' email-based D&D game. Or stumbling upon a doorway with a bunch of arrows pointing to it. I decided to go in, and there was a maze with tons of traps. Nice ammo and other loot awaited, but I was disappointed not to find a unique NPC living there. Like, "Ah, you made it through my maze of traps! I'm clearly a really interesting character with a neat story and a cool quest line!" There's a cool quest where you get to pretend to be a superhero, and there were a handful of other solid, memorable ones.

    The interplay of the different factions was cool, and I like that there weren't too many. Some games give you sooo many factions or guilds to join, but this really had three or four (if you count the Minutemen). And I like that I didn't realize they were all going to come into conflict at first, but then I saw it start to happen and it was making me anxious! I was pretty committed to the Minutemen and the Railroad, and I guess luckily hadn't done much except meet the Brotherhood of Steel. But when the story led me to the Institute, I just had to side with them, which meant I had to assassinate the Railroad leadership and annihilate the Brotherhood of Steel. I didn't mind the latter, but the first was tough. I was like one quest away from liberating all the synths from the Institute (which I'm sure would have made them enemies).

    I enjoyed the combat. VATS gloriously returns, and I made a sniper/rifle-based character to exploit VATS. I could headshot anyone with 95% accuracy by the end of the game, have a 35% chance upon kill to refill all my AP, and just constantly refilled my crit meter. Brutal. I would have liked to re-do my character stat allocation though. I initially put something like 10 perception, 10 intelligence, and 8 agility. I was thinking intelligence because you could make weapon mods and get more junk to build settlements with. Turns out I absolutely hated bothering with all that, so my intelligence points were pretty much wasted. I got the perks I wanted and started filling up luck next. But I should have had perception, agility, luck, and charisma instead I think. I didn't like not being able to effectively persuade anyone the whole game either. But I knew I was making that choice at least.

    I also enjoyed the overarching story. It had some stupid plot points, but the twist about Shaun was cool. Definitely did not see that coming. If you follow the main storyline, the game is probably not long at all. I spent 54 hours, but did a ton of side quests and spent way too much time poking through garbage in abandoned houses.

    What did I dislike about Fallout 4?

    Poking through garbage in abandoned houses. There is so much junk laying around everywhere to pick up. Every now and then there will be something valuable, like a magazine, or some good ammo, but it's like playing slots. I just had to look at everything. What if there's a safe? Gotta read the computer terminal. Maybe some purified water in the fridge? I had plenty of everything the whole game (except the first 5 hours or so) but I still felt compelled to rummage because it was there. All that crap is components for crafting, so if you're crafting, you need to constantly be picking it up.

    I've (re)learned that I really don't care for crafting games. I didn't like settlements. I ended up ignoring them. Didn't care about the settlers. Didn't want to use workshops. Never upgraded a weapon or built a mod. My weapons were fine, and I was better off not managing NPCs' farms. The build interface sucked too, and scrapping items was really annoying. You have to hold V to go into build mode, then walk around and push R to scrap an object, then push Enter to confirm. For the amount of crap you have to scrap, that should all be one button, not require like three button presses and two hands for every.single.item. So as one might expect, my settlements were in poor condition and I don't think any of them were much more than 50% happiness. And I'll give you a hint: it doesn't matter one bit!

    Like Fallout 3 before it (and unlike New Vegas), NPCs were generally pretty dull. The game wasn't funny. Towns weren't that interesting. Settlements and farms were the same boring thing over and over. Fallout 4 added repeating quests that never ended that I would do several times before I realized I wasn't moving anything forward. I really hate "dailies" in single-player games if they aren't clearly marked as such. There were some weird quest moments that made no sense. For example, this one Institute quest has you going to Bunker Hill to capture a synth, but the Railroad is there trying to save it and the Brotherhood of Steel is there trying to destroy it. Not one person shot at me. I've got an army of Institute synths and coursers behind me, and no one shoots at me. So I waltzed in, completed my objective, walked past the Railroad members who were now just standing still with no one to fire at since the synth was gone, and left. Weird.

    Anyway, Fallout 4 definitely had more personality than Fallout 3, but it doesn't hold a candle to New Vegas, and that is so disappointing. I was hoping it would be more like New Vegas, but I guess at least it was somewhere in between and not just an update of Fallout 3. I think I'll skip the next one unless it gets like rave reviews.



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    Aqua Kitty DX (VITA)    by   jp       (May 12th, 2017 at 18:23:20)

    Short, fun. Not that deep. Well, as much as I played, to be fair. I played on Normal and cleared the first world, almost cleared the second and then realized that, although it was an entertaining experience - the small vita screen doesn't really help and I didn't feel there was all that much variety in the game. More enemies, sure. And there are powerups, but it's really mostly the same... There are some gameplay subtleties I did enjoy though...

    a. You press L/R to toggle the facing of the ship, which is the direction you fire in. Movement is independent, so you can fire to the left while moving (retreating) to the right. However, you move faster if you move in the direction you're facing. I only noticed this when I realized that I was taking hits because I was moving too slowly...and that turning around helped a lot.

    b. The powerups change color, depending on their color when destroyed is what you get. I was able to use this "tactically" to get hearts instead of the "cool" but somewhat useless bomb (the bomb is good, but it triggers on collection rather than as a choice - so sometimes it would detonate in a mostly empty space...)

    c. Paying attention to the minimap is important, since you can tell if the aliens that steal the cats are around and thus get to their location faster (rather than once they've lifted a cat and are escaping)


    Overall? Yes, fun. The kind of game you need to practice a lot to get better at - but with so little overall variety in the levels I played I'm not sure it's really worth my time?

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    1 : jp's Soul Bubbles (DS)
    2 : jp's Burrito Bison: Launcha Libre (iPd)
    3 : jp's Killzone: Mercenary (VITA)
    4 : jp's Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime (PS4)
    5 : dkirschner's Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves (PC)
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    Random

    Flight Control HD (iPd)    by   jp

    No comment, yet.
    most recent entry:   Tuesday 4 May, 2010
    From my experience with the ipad so far, this is one of the few games I've played that really feels at home on the device. Clearly a lot of work was put into making the interaction smooth and natural. It really is a pleasurable tactile experience, which is quite unusual. Most games hope to render the controller invisible or unnoticed. We want immersion, not awareness of the device we're using to play the game.

    As for the game, as I had read, it is quite fun and engaging. It's the sort of game you think is easy, then you fail, and then you grumble because you realize you hadn't noticed something so it's entirely your fault. So you play again. And en once more because this time you really will make it.
    On the other hand, the experience is quite shallow. There's onky so much you can do and even though the game mixes things up a little with diferent varieties of planes at different speeds, after a while you realize that the experience only goes so far...

    I'm curious to see if I'm able to reach a "moment of zen" as it where, where everything becomes clear and I destroy all of my high scores....

    [read this GameLog]

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