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    Dagon: by H. P. Lovecraft (PC)    by   dkirschner       (Jun 25th, 2022 at 08:02:35)

    Quickly, I played this recently on an airplane at night, which set a fitting mood (and possibly weirded out the person next to me). I really enjoyed this visual telling of a Lovecraft story. It's simple. You're in a 3d environment, first-person viewpoint, a Lovecraftian hellscape made real. The excellent narrator tells his tale. You can move the camera around to look at things, and click on a door or in the distance or wherever to progress the story. Occasionally, there are bits of interesting trivia you can reveal by clicking on other items of interest. That's it. I'd definitely play more of these. Enjoy the horror.

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    Noita (PC)    by   jp       (Jun 14th, 2022 at 16:45:48)

    I've been "studying up" on Rogue-like/lites and this game was on my list to check out. And...I feel like I'm not playing it right? Dying often is par for the course - no strangeness there - but I feel like I never get to make the most of the wands I get and that the options for mixing them up are super rare and not that interesting? I guess I was imagining that I would be stumbling into these wild combination of modifiers/powers that would be fun and interesting to mess around with but I've found that I end up sticking mostly to either the two wands I start with or some safe combination of those - so, the super wild ones tend not to be exciting or interesting to play because they're either super wonky and I can't rely on them to hit enemies or super dangerous - like I'll test fire one and it'll blow up in my face.

    I've seen a few of the biomes, but not enough that I feel "wow, this is so cool and interesting" and I also never use the potions I find - first I'm unsure about the interface - I think I end up throwing them all instead of drinking them (I've assumed you can drink them), but I also find that throwing them is mostly a waste - like a flask with water is useful to clean up when I'm soaked in poison or whatever, but I can't use it quickly and safely enough for it to really help.

    So, I'm enjoying the exploration, and I realize you need to have a fair amount of patience - but when I die it's super fast and feels a bit unfair. Maybe I'm not up for the reflexes part of the game?

    The wand options and mixing is what I'm most interested in so perhaps I should just look at a guide/video to see what other people and that will show me a few things I haven't tried yet....

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    Yeti Quest (DS)    by   jp       (Jun 12th, 2022 at 22:58:50)

    It's a German match-3 game!

    Nothing super notable, but I was able to switch the language to French (there are three: german, dutch or french, which seems like an odd mix - no English?, but hey - I'm not really complaining.

    Interesting things:

    (1) It's a match-3 BUT at any time on a level you can switch between 3 modes for how you match!

    (a) Swap and match
    (b) Trace a line of connected tiles to match
    (c) Tap on group of 3 tiles (that aren't in a line, but are connected) to match.

    This seemed like too much of a gimmick - but I was surprised when I did clear a level by switching between mode (a) and (c) - so, when you're stuck sometimes, it can help.

    (2) There are4 penguin characters that look suspiciously like the ones from the animated movie whose name currently escapes be about a bunch of animals that escape from a zoo - get to Africa and shenanigans. The penguins are like a crack team of commandos (in the movie). I think the penguins have powers on some levels - but it's all in French and I couldn't really understand what they triggered/allowed for.

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    Nier: Automata (PS4)    by   jp       (Jun 12th, 2022 at 22:53:52)

    I kept on meaning to write about this game, but never did, and now I'm 27 hours in, have decided to put set it down, and want to see/read about the "true" ending from guides/youtube rather than spending another 30 hrs or so. It might be shorter? But who knows...

    I almost didn't continue playing the game - this part partially my fault, but I'm glad I stuck with it. When you start the game there some cutscenes but also warnings that the game does not auto-save and that you'll learn how to save in the game itself, later on. You can only save after about 45 minutes of playing...and of course, I died the first time about 40 minutes in. And realized I'd have to play it all over again and was...not happy. Then I started again, and tried to rush through, and died again (but sooner). So, again, not happy.

    Then I realized that the dodge/dash button is critical/crucial - and that I would have to practice using it while I attacked, and that made a really big difference and I was able to get to the point where you could save. And wow, I'm glad I did.

    The game is, reasonably, and open world 3rd person action game - with lots of RPG-style progression (upgrades, weapons, etc.)but it's got some weird extra things:

    (1) In some areas/places the game goes "platformer linear" - the camera shifts to a side view and you can only move along two axes (jump + left/right) - there are even areas with jumping puzzles or combat that's a bit tricky because enemies are coming at your from to sides and you can strafe/kite then around as easily as you do in the open areas. At other times the camera shifts to a top-down view...

    (2) Twin-stick shooter games (hacking) - I didn't really understand this until I finished the game the first time (with 2B) and started playing with 9S - you can hack robots by attacking with with the triangle button (which I thought was the heavy attack), and if you land enough hits you "enter" the robot and play a twin stick shooter game where you need to destroy a core - and then the robot is destroyed. You get XP for the hack and then for the kill. This mode of the game only happened occasionally with 2B - but with 9S being a scanner (not combat) android, I guess this makes sense?

    (3) There's a fishing game. I never played it, but I think you can catch fish and sell them or something.

    (4) 2D shooter games! Sometimes you're flying around in this sort of mecha-wing suit - and it's like a 2D space shooter game! (with a combination of both "Straight" shooting and twin stick shooting - when you're in either plane mode or mecha mode. The game switches automatically, so you can't decide.


    The game is "wonky" in many ways - I was often with a companion (either 9S or 2B) who would often just teleport to be where I was going, would fall of ledges and stuff like that. In combat however the companion was pretty useful!

    Another cool thing - there's a "online mode" where you can run across bodies of dead YorHa members (other players), you can revive them (so serve as an AI companion - but I think you can only have one, so there wasn't much point to that in my playing) or to recover them - it's an instant heal plus some buffs. The buffs are sort of randomly generated? (or perhaps based on whatever equipment the dead player had?) I like this system and, when you die you get to leave a message for others to read - you can't write whatever, but it's a sort of multiple choice ad-libs system that is designed (I think) for you to leave poetic/cryptic messages.

    Oh, if you die - you lose all your upgrades (chips) that you cannot get back until you get to where your body is and retrieve it. Very souls-like, and I only failed to recover everything once (when escaping the factory section at the very end - much frustration!).

    I really liked the chip system - they're basically buffs you can install - there are attack ones, defense, xp-related, item drops and so on. I played with mostly defensive and XP ones - and I was surprised that I kept all the inventory and XP when I started the game the 2nd time!

    The game has 26 endings! (all tracked/noted as part of your save file information) and I unlocked very few of them. They're all indicated by a letter:

    A: First playthrough ending with 2B.

    H: Got it my mistake when I left the area instead of going to fight the Goliath.

    W: Died in the first mission before getting a chance to save. Oops.

    T: Removed the OS chip. The game says you'll die - but I wanted to see what happened anyways.

    I think I got one more, but don't remember it exactly.


    The game also has some pretty epic boss battles! Once I'd gotten into things and realized the importance of dodging AND that I could always fire with my pod companion, that made things a lot easier. I just needed to have patience and time my attacks just right. I was also loaded up with chips that let me heal automatically (at a set rate) if I was not taking damage - so keeping my distance, waiting to heal, firing with the pod (for very limited damage) worked quite well for me in pretty much all the boss battles.

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    Sam Power: Footballer (DS)    by   jp       (Jun 7th, 2022 at 18:57:30)

    This is the last(?) (not sure if it's the last in a chronological release sense, but it's the last for me) game in the ": Job" series. The other three (policeman, fireman, handyman) are all very similar to each other - differences in presentation, but game structure is the same and most of the minigames are, again, the same.

    This game is really the odd duck in that sense - the character looks different in the game - and, the structure is completely different. There's no driving a vehicle to get to a location, nor does a vehicle get upgrades and updates. Rather, here you play a bunch of mini-games, all football related, as you pursue your goal of winning the world cup. You start at the bottom - you need to impress the coach during training/practice drills, and so on...

    So, in spirit - this game is definitely part of the series (there's no dinosaur sidekick though, what happened) in that it's a (gameplay-wise) collection of mini-games that are short and simple, that it's related to a job/occupation and that it starts a young kid (Sam/Jake/Tim - depending on where you bought the game).

    The minigames were fun, there's some subtle (or not so subtle, to be fair) interface design choices. For example, there's a free kick game where the ball does curve to go in - but this results from a simple sliding motion on the touch pad. It does make you feel "good" at kicking the ball. So, you sort of slide in the right direction and the ball mostly goes where you want and, more often than not, it goes even better! The only exception to this was a penalty kickg mini-game where depending on the speed of the swipe the ball would go up or stay at (mostly) ground level. This one was pretty inexact in my experience - I had a hard time consistently getting the higher kicks to work.

    Oh, like the other games in the series this one also prioritizes the use of the touch pad - really making use of the hardware to special effect.

    Failure was also an option here - I never ran into it in the other games, not saying it wasn't a possibility though. Here, there were a few mini-games I had to try a couple of times before getting them down.

    The game, I'm sure it's a different dev team, also has an art style that is distinctly unlike the other games in the series. There are no cute, round, simple 3D objects - it's all 2D cartoons for the cut-scenes (yes, there are cut-scenes) and simple sprite-based (or at least looking) art.

    For personal enjoyment, this one is my favorite - but I also think it's the most interesting in terms of interface - I wonder if "cloning" games like these would make for a good student exercise? The challenge would like in getting the game feel just right!

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    Random

    James Bond Goldeneye 007 (N64)    by   MC Shalom

    No comment, yet.
    most recent entry:   Friday 19 January, 2007
    I played about four games of the multiplayer version of this game. They lasted about 25-30 minutes for each game. We first decided hands down to be armed forces, or scientists, or civilians. For those of you that don't know, all of the player icons with a question mark on them. This is the only way to be fair, because anyone that is oddjob shouldn't be playing. The first game we played was in the facility, one of the first levels as you start out the game actually. We used power weapons to bring some excitement to the game. It worked, and we knew where eachother was if we saw the bathroom stall or a certain door, all of memories came back. The next game was in the complex, except this time we chose License to Kill as the scenario, this meant that one shot kills the opponent, and why not choose pistols as the weapon of choice. The problem about the complex was that the weapons were spread out all over the level, so if you were left with slapper only you were outa luck. I am 0 for 2 up to this point. Finally came the bunker level, and this time proximity mines were the option. I thought that placing the mines where the mines were first obtained would be a good tactic, it ofcourse backfired, I spawned my next life right in front of them, so not only did I get a suicide against myself, my kill total went down. This game took the longest to play because everyone kept getting kills but kept killing themselves too. It was hard to distinguish the difference between a mine and a bullet mark left from any type of gun. I guess I should have just started shooting anything I saw and seen what happens. Overall I feel that playing this game was a great blast from the past. It brought up conversation from when we all played this game when we were younger, and also what we remember about the levels we were playing in. I wish I could have this feeling more often. I would keep playing now if I didn't have a calculus test tomorrow

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