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    dkirschner's Outland (PC)

    [June 3, 2016 03:43:50 PM]
    Iíve confirmed there is FPS drop regardless of whether I use Big Picture mode. Canít imagine itís my laptop. Itís not too annoying, but itís there. It smooths out so nicely when there are fewer enemies on screen and when itís zoomed in to a smaller view of the area. Thatís my only problem with the game. Otherwise I thought it was wonderful.

    Iíve realized that the combat is deeper than it initially seemed. Early on, I was just hacking and slashing away, but you can actually do things like an uppercut sword swing and launch your foes into the air, stun them, hit them from above and below on ledges, launch bombs at them, make enemies hit one another, and use a whole barrage of special abilities in different situations. There is a really cool beam blast that annihilates anything in a line. There is another cool one that absorbs all energy balls (the red and blue bullets flying everywhere) and then sends a 360-degree shockwave out from your character that will similarly annihilate enemies. Itís a good way to clear a path through dense bullets and enemies.

    The difficulty ramps up toward the end, which is great because there is so much room for complexity here. There are spots where the bullet patterns take a minute of observation to discern. Add enemies walking through those areas, and youíve got a conundrum on your hands! How do you avoid the bullets and avoid/attack enemies at the same time? Answer: Rapid and precise color switching. Or lure the enemies out of the bullet area if possible.

    About halfway through the game, the machines that shoot bullets start alternating sometimes shooting different colors. In the last of the gameís worlds (heaven or something), the enemies start changing colors too. It is a bit mind-bending to keep track of what color bullets are flying where and what color enemies are, keeping track of all of those things changing colors, keeping track of YOUR color, and trying to platform your way around at the same time. It feels awesome every time you get through an area.

    All this craziness culminates in the final insane boss battle. It took me nearly 10 tries to get it and probably 45 minutes of repeating, getting a little farther, a little farther, stuck on one part for a while, a little farther, and finally defeating the boss. Hereís a video of someone doing a nice job of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTSNvPwiMEs. Somehow they can destroy the dragon heads in two hits, while it took me three. There were no weapon upgrades that I know of, so I dunno how the player was doing that. Also, I didnít think to use special powers against it until the very end when I had 1 health left and thought I was going to die. I was just riding around on the outer circle and it popped in my head: ďOh! I bet I can just use the beam and shoot the sisters from here!Ē Bam, win.

    Really great game, highly recommended if you like 2d platformers!
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    [May 24, 2016 12:12:46 PM]
    Been looking forward to this 2d platformer (+ bullet hell now that I'm playing it) for a long time and got a chance to start playing yesterday after retiring Jet Set Radio. Long story short, this light/dark mechanic is amazing. Here's the gist of how it works:

    There is the light (blue) and the dark (red). You get the power to switch between light and dark with a button press. The environment and enemies can also be either light or dark, and can even switch between them too. You are not harmed by the environment when you are the same color as it. You are not harmed by non-physical enemy attacks when you are the same color. You are always harmed by enemy physical attacks no matter the colors. You can only harm enemies of the opposite color.

    Your main environmental obstacles are various devices that shoot red and blue bullets. They are deadly, but the patterns are beautiful. Did I mention how stylish Outland is? It's a wonder to look at. So you'll have these bullets flying all over the screen, enemies moving about, and your task is to get through it all. Each screen is like a platforming puzzle. You observe the colors, the bullets' trajectories, the enemies' colors and movement, the platforms you have to jump on, etc. and plan it out in your head. Try it out, and if you die, do it again with modifications, or more carefully. It's so much fun to play.

    I've encountered one boss so far, who was pretty easy, and I think I'm near a second. The boss was a golem. This was before I could switch between red and blue (I was only blue). He sent a red spark along the ground that I had to jump over. When he did that'd, it would render him vulnerable for a moment. Jump up on him and attack, then jump off before the spark came back and hit you. Then he'd pound the ground and knock these armadillo-like enemies out of a tree. Take care of them and get health and whatever you need. Then he'd rain down blue and red bullets, which you just had to avoid the red ones until it was over. Repeat. It took me two or three tries, and I actually got an achievement when I beat it because I didn't take any damage. Go me.

    Anyway, really really really looking forward to playing more! I still have abilities to unlock (teleportation, some beam weapon, ??) and I can't wait for the difficulty to ramp up some more. I've already died plenty, but this is the kind of game that I enjoy mastering controls. Oh yeah, speaking of, the precision feels a bit sluggish, but that may be because I was playing on the TV. Sometimes that happens. I turned down the graphics level which helped a bit, but I will try it on my laptop sometime.
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    Status

    dkirschner's Outland (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Monday 23 May, 2016

    GameLog closed on: Friday 3 June, 2016

    Opinion
    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Brilliant light and dark mechanic. Game is great fun, challenging! -------------- Excellent 2d bullet hell platformer. Great bosses.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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