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    Mini Metro (PC)    by   jp       (Apr 20th, 2018 at 19:01:36)

    I'm surprised by how easy this seems, but then it isn't. I lose pretty quickly even though I usually feel like I'm entirely on top of things. So far I've improved my game by:

    a. Not holding back in the early game with starting new lines.
    b. Trying to make circular lines that overlap on a single station (which is then upgraded)
    c. Making sure each line has a circle, triangle AND square. One of each is super important.
    d. Being less scared to pause and completely redraw everything as needed.

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    Rime (PS4)    by   jp       (Apr 16th, 2018 at 18:04:57)

    Finished! (over the weekend)

    I want to say it gets better - the environments, art, and so on definitely get more interesting. But also, I felt like it never really "took off". That's a bit unfair because I went back to the 1st chapter (to pick up some trophies) and I realized that there's a remarkable amount of variation in terms of how you solve different puzzles and so on. This is not a game that tries to give you all the possible variations of a single mechanic. Thankfully!

    Towards the end the story starts to make more sense...but it only comes into focus at the very end. I think it's supposed to be a big twist/surprise but it didn't quite work. I was mostly confused to be honest. With a bit of "oh, I guess that's what it all means". Part of me wants to say that it would work better had I known the premise going in. Otherwise it's just too metaphorical?

    In all, beautiful game but it felt a bit emotionally...dry? On the plus side, it was cool to read the credits, and then the after-credits credits with a whole bunch of stuff in Spanish. It turns out the developers are Spanish! Yay!

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    Magical Starsign (DS)    by   jp       (Apr 13th, 2018 at 18:45:02)

    4 hrs in and I've reached the (a?) 4th planet. My party now has a total of 4 characters and I must admit that I'm getting more and more interested in the game. The last planet was fun because it involved more talking to people, a few fun gags, and not that much combat. The standout was a comedic sequence where you visit the Space Police HQ to file a complaint about space pirates and are given the run around from one desk cop to the next - all different bureaucratic offices. It was short, but funny. Especially as you catch on to what is actually going on.

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    Rime (PS4)    by   jp       (Apr 13th, 2018 at 17:54:05)

    I've pretty much wrapped up the 2nd chapter/section of the game. The game is pretty...and it seems like it's trying too hard to be Journey. At least that was the impression I got in the first chapter. There are puzzles, but they're not really that hard, so I don't think that's the main point or focus of the game.

    There's a story/narrative that I'm slowly uncovering but, to be honest, I'm not really paying all that much attention to it and I'm not sure it's that interesting? I guess I'll see...the game is definitely still pretty and, I've really enjoyed how the 2nd chapter was different from the first with new puzzles and more interesting environments to explore - especially the sections where I had to swim around.

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    Titanfall 2 (PS4)    by   jp       (Apr 13th, 2018 at 17:49:11)

    Ugh. I was sure I had written an earlier entry...oh well.

    So, finished!

    It's definitely the bombastic experience I was hoping for and expecting with an interesting set of mechanics. Weirdly, I didn't particularly enjoy riding around in the Titan - it felt too slow and I don't think I was that good at it. I mostly went "all in" and then retreated to heal the titan up, so I don't think I was really making the most of the different powers and abilities. It's almost like the Titan combat veered into fighting game territory (attack, respond, block, etc.) rather than shooter territory. In the former I really need to be up to speed on what my opponent is doing while in the latter as long as I hit the enemy and use cover I should be ok.


    The standout moments of the game are by far a few of the middle missions where you discover/use the time travel mechanic. It was an interesting experience as you start to realize the tactical potential it has - namely that you can warp in and out of combat giving your opponents an incredibly hard time to respond. I also thought the way those experiences were layered over successive areas in the game was well thought out, interesting, and engaging to play.

    After I finished the campaign I spent an hour or two in the multiplayer - I joined a group playing a "fight back waves of enemies" mode that was interesting, but I wasn't all too excited to run the experience grind to get better equipment and loadouts and all that stuff. Made it an easy decision to move on to another game...

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    Aliens: Infestation (DS)    by   jp

    Loved it.
    most recent entry:   Monday 11 March, 2013
    Oooh, wow!

    This game is REALLY great. It's somewhat of a surprise and I'm having a hard time articulating what it is I've been enjoying about it (I've already finished it). But here's my bullet list:

    1. It's short
    2. It resonates really well with the source material (Alien + Aliens)
    3. Ties in nicely with Aliens (the movie)
    4. Audio is excellent - music sets the tone and there is quite a variety of "themes"
    5. Gameplay is familiar, but not in a repetitive way (think Metroid-style)

    Perhaps the main thing I've enjoyed is how much personality the game has and some of the interesting (and non-standard) design choices the team made. For example, the game has a system of "lives". If your character (a marine) dies...he (or she) is dead! However, you have a team of up to 4 others you can immediately step in. In abstract terms, you can have up to 4 lives. In "story" terms, there's a team of marines that can step in when the one you're controlling dies. And they really do die! They don't come back. How do you get more "lives"? Well, you run into other marines in different parts of the environment. Normally they're hunkered down in semi-remote locations. If you've lost any lives so far (your team has fewer than 4 members), the marine you find joins your team. If not, they stay where they are (and you can occasionally come back to recruit them if you're still in the same location). I thought this was a really clever way of integrating the "team of marines" (that slowly, but surely, die off) with the notion of "lives".

    Great game, and probably a better experience than the recently released Aliens: Colonial Marines?

    [read this GameLog]


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