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    Flower, Sun, and Rain (DS)    by   jp       (Feb 18th, 2018 at 14:51:12)

    I bought this many years ago because Suda51. As in, here's a weird game by a strange creative person doing potentially interesting things. If I recall, the reviews were "ok", but whatever.

    I first tried to play it several years ago while on a plane and I got to a point where the game said to look up a date in the manual. I didn't have that with me, so I put the game away and then...others games got in the way.

    I started it up yesterday and, with manual in hand, learned that you were supposed to make any date up (it's the character's birthday) and write it in the manual so you don't forget it! There's a blank space in the manual for that...sigh. I guess it's a good thing I didn't just try a random number when on the plane because chances are I would not have remembered what random number I put in and then would have screwed myself over....

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    Dungeon Maker (DS)    by   jp       (Feb 17th, 2018 at 11:28:51)

    Another game I picked up for next to nothing. That being said, the premise (from the back of the box) seemed really interesting. In a nutshell you're in charge of creating a dungeon (digging, placing rooms, etc.). The dungeon then attracts monsters (different monsters are attracted to different rooms) which you fight with in order to get money and loot. Loot consists of either equipment or food ingredients. You spend half the game in the dungeon, wandering around fighting monsters, etc. and the other half in the village buying stuff (new rooms,magic items), selling stuff (equipment, etc.) and, most importantly "leveling up".

    The progression system is different - every night you can eat a meal and rest. Resting restores your health and magic. Eating is how you "level up" - different meals (some created with several ingredients) have different permanent effects on your stats. So, you can gain 1 HP, or 1HP and 1 STR point, or some other combination of things. Initially I was pretty excited by the system because you have some flexibility on what you want to increase and such. Also, it means that you always level after a dungeon, no matter what! However, for the meals to work you need the ingredients, that means either buying some of the basic ones OR killing specific monsters and hoping they drop the food item you want. It works on paper but it becomes REALLY grindy after a while. A short while. This is because you have to spend a lot of time fighting monsters you don't really care about anymore (too easy) just for the chance of an item drop AND the progression starts to feel really, really slow. My "fix" for it would be to make certain ingredients easily purchaseable after a while, so that you focus only on getting new/special ingredients from the monsters you're currently equipped to fight.

    As you fill out your dungeon you also learn that each level has a goal - you need to build it out to a certain point (minimum number of monsters and/or enough of a certain type of monster) in order to fight a boos that appears. The bosses are obviously a significant step up in terms of challenge. The boss then leaves a hole and you now have access to a lower dungeon level.

    I played all the way down to level 3 of the dungeon and although the grinding was really grindy and starting to get really boring I do appreciate how the game has started to mix things up. First, I found a slime companion (who can help in fights). And then, a girl who used to cook meals partied up with me as well. It makes for more interesting combat BUT also makes things MORE grindy. You have to cook meals for the girl as well - which means you now need double ingredients. The slime progression is kind of cool though - when you kill a monster there's a chance the slime will try to mimic something of the monster which can provide you with a stat upgrade (or lower!). You can choose not to, but it's the only way to improve the slime, for example by copying the monsters arm it gets more STR or something like that. You have a higher chance of a "mimic opportunity" against solo monsters, which is the complete opposite of the item drops where the chances are higher against groups (up to three).

    In all, it's an interesting game but the grind was too much for me....

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    Shadow Of Mordor (PC)    by   Tevin P.       (Feb 17th, 2018 at 10:30:14)

    The first thing I did when I started the game back up was to start a brawl. I wanted to see how many orcs I could fight at once. It was something like 20.

    After I spent some time doing that I decided to move on to the story again. As I walk towards a mission area an orc called my name. He offered me info on where I could find the black and if i set him free. I found this kind of ironic seeing as orcs had kill Talions family. Talion wasnít really sure that he could trust the orc but ended up setting him free. As I played on the orc told me about a rivalry that he had with an orc captain and that if I helped him kill the captain he would give me more information.

    At this point the game pointed out a few things. If I found the right people it would give me information on the people I was trying to kill. The particular captain I wanted to fight was immune to arrows but scared of a creature called a caragor. I thought it was interesting that the developers gave a character not known to have fear to give it to them. After setting free a caragor and watching it kill the captain, the game gave me another bit of information. The world would change as I played the game. The orc I was helping, ratbag, moved into the orc captains position. I thought this was a very interesting mechanic. It meant that every kill i make someone will fill that slot. Maybe it is supposed to imply some sort of futility.


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    This is the Police (PC)    by   damnlyons       (Feb 17th, 2018 at 00:53:28)

    Iíve now reached Day 17 on this third and final session. As expected, things are picking up with the mafia. Iíve gone from one request a day to now getting two, sometimes three, and they usually want more officers for them. This might just be random chance, but I like to think that itís indicative of the deepening of the relationship between the mafia and Jack Boyd. Though they donít have any huge leverage on him (yet), if he wants to meet his goal of making half a million before he leaves the force, then heís inexorably tied to their desires, as itís only through them is he going to be able to meet his rather lofty goal. Thereís just no legal way to make that much in 180 days as a police chief. Iíd say theyíve got their claws deeper in Jack than heíd care to admit.

    Some interesting new mechanics were introduced since my last session. For instance, I chose to side with Sandís criminal organization because what can I say, heís old-fashioned, Jackís old-fashionedÖ it seemed like the best match. In doing so, Jackís pitted himself against the rival gang leader. Their battle for the city of Freeburg is represented by a scoreboard of sorts. The goal is keep the leader you sided with ahead of the other. Unfortunately, this dooms you to some less than legal tasks in order to keep your dark messiah in the lead. To top it all off, you also have to keep city hall happy while trying to fight this gang war and those pesky civilians always need protecting, so it all makes for a very busy Jack Boyd. Youíre constantly spread too thinly, and many concessions have to be made, and many people die as a result of these concessions, all in the name of making Jack a wealthier man. Itís such an ignoble goal, but it makes for compelling gameplay in my opinion. Not often is a player asked to assume the role of the ďbadĒ guy, so when it does happen, I cherish the experience.

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    This is the Police (PC)    by   JChambers       (Feb 16th, 2018 at 23:03:02)

    I logged on today planning to anger the game's resisdent mob boss by playing the game using a minimum of criminal tactics. I was surprised to find that this wouldn't be an option. I was immediately shot dead by an assassin's bullet while reading the paper. At first, I was a bit upset by this turn of events. After all, how am I supposed to play the game my way, if I am punished for my good acts. That is when I came to a realization: Maybe the game developer wanted me to experience a different take on the material.

    I feel as if the dev wanted to tell a specific story. I use the "Fire All Black Cops" scenario as an example. Personally, I found this scenario to be a bit heavyhanded, but I think that is the kind of commentary that the Weappy is going for. The idea that players should experience the lifestyle of a dirty cop is not something that I am completely against. I think whether This is the Police (TITP) is consdered comentary, fiction, or any combination of the two, it can be enjoyed. It was actually a little shocking when I died violently during what is basically a management sim. I restarted the game and decided to fully embrace the role as a dirty cop, seeing where the twists and turns to would take me.

    I have to say, it really is fun to watch the story unfold, having to deal with the eventual repurcussions of skirting the law that Jack is supposed to uphold.I liked taking a path that I would normally avoid, and trying to deal with issues that I normally would not be presented with in more straight-laced playthroughs. I do, however, think that an argument could be made that the setting and backdrops of racial strife could be seen as exploitative. In the end, I feel that the game dev is actually using exagerated versions of real issues to make a statement, and ask the player to experience something a bit more uncomfortable than standard good/bad guy situations.


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    Random

    The Last Guardian (PS4)    by   edGarcia

    First time playing it, visually pretty starts a little slow
    most recent entry:   Thursday 21 September, 2017
    I played through another few hours of the game and U have realized that I don't like this game. The game is beautiful and the way Trico interacts with the is environment is incredibly lifelike, but I was put off by the lack of story in the game.

    I made it all the way to the part where the boy and Trico are climbing up a tower and a monster wearing a mask (who suspiciously looks like Trico) knocks us off.... for no reason. I'm sure the game later tells us who this is but I am a bit worn out of all of the puzzles and having no clues to the plot as a just wears me out. If I was to get a clue to the backstory after clearing each room I would be satisfied.

    A big highlight of the game is when the bride you and the monster are on is collapsing, being in the open area was a great "breath of fresh air so to speak" after clearing the last dungeon. After rolling the glass off the game really picks up and the boy has to do a "leap of faith" to Trico's tail. The first time this happened I failed it because I thought I was dead but after seeing the tail come flying towards me, I knew that I had to press R1 to save myself. If the game had a few more of these fast paced moments, I would've gotten more engaged.

    Overall I can see why people like this game, but it isn't my cup of tea. The visuals were great, puzzles challenging, but there wasn't enough to keep me engaged to the game. Looking back to my puzzle game history i really enjoyed portal 2 because after every couple of puzzles I would get backstory or witty robot humor to keep me entertained. The Last Guardian doesn't have this and so I wasn't as engaged. Having a narrator of the main character just describe what he is doing isn't plot development its boring.(at least to me it is.)

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