jp's GameLogBlogging the experience of gameplay Man's Journey (iPd) - Wed, 15 Aug 2018 19:00:15 played this over the course of a few plane trips which was nice. I loved the music, I loved the art, an extent I enjoyed the gameplay as well. Mostly the little details that made it shine. It's a short game (excellent!) about getting an old man from his home to his destination. As you travel from location to location you learn a bit more about his life and the reason for his trip and such. It's a nice, short story - nothing super special, but told in a nice sweet way. I wasn't really expecting any "real" game play, just "interactive stuff" mostly - but it's there and it was a nice surprise when I first learned what it was. Basically, you drag the background "ground" up/down such that they all connect and the old man can walk across the screen. So, you need to line them up and then, the man walks across BUT (trick perspective!) also walks "into" the picture. This is really hard to explain with text - a simple animated gif would do wonders here. Over the course of the game this basic formula gets mixed up a bit - there's a bit of light puzzling where you shift a background floor such that a rock will roll around, and stuff like that. None of it really outstays its welcome, but, as I mentioned, it was the little details I enjoyed a lot (as far as the gameplay/puzzling is concerned). For example, sometimes there are poles with telephone wires, and when you drag/move a background the wires will bounce around on the poles... It's definitely "more game" than, say, Florence - with less "story", but still enjoyable. I really like it as an example to show other people of "polish" and fine and careful attention to detail.Wed, 15 Aug 2018 19:00:15 CDT (PC) - Wed, 08 Aug 2018 23:57:57 (This entry has been edited1 time. It was last edited on Tue, 14 Aug 2018 15:37:55.)Wed, 08 Aug 2018 23:57:57 CDT Team: Metal Cartoon Squad (DS) - Sun, 22 Jul 2018 17:50:21 this a bit more, and sadly it didn't get any more interesting. I did figure out that there's a map that gives you an overview of the entire level (which makes it easier to get to the end). I had a bit of trouble with the first boss, strangely. It took me a few deaths to really understand what was going on (it wasn't clear to me when I was/wasn't taking damage). Once that was sorted out it wasn't too hard to beat. This one's going on the just wasn't that fun for me.Sun, 22 Jul 2018 17:50:21 CDT Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes (3DS) - Tue, 10 Jul 2018 17:52:58 has been a great game to play on the plane with my two kids. There's surprisingly more stuff to do than I expected - even as a single player (which I haven't experienced yet, but maybe later?). We've played in - I think - three different worlds so far, and each has a different item you use to solve puzzles and such. It's pretty standard Zelda in that regard, but having three links running around doing things adds a lot to the chaos and mayhem. At the end of each area you open a chest and get an item you use as materials for different outfits, and different outfits give you bonuses/special abilities which are fun. We've each unlocked a few - I only have one copy of the game, but the kids download to their devices AND they can save their progress which is neat.Tue, 10 Jul 2018 17:52:58 CDT a Move 2: Dance Tengoku Mix (PS) - Mon, 09 Jul 2018 15:56:42'm currently on vacation and I've been going through stuff I had "in storage". My old (original) Playstation was among the things I've pulled out and plan to get back into "circulation". Fortunately, it worked, and I spend a nice 30-45 minutes playing this game with my son - who was not familiar with this style of music/dance game. It took a few seconds to remember how it all worked and I now wonder what happened to this "branch" of the evolutionary road in game design. This game is a weird hybrid of sorts - it's a rhythm/action game that also feels like a fighting game although there's no combat. Here's how it works (this is partly as I recall, since I didn't play it that long!) a. The game has a bunch of characters, each of which have different dance moves (and a song and a stage). The dance moves change if you pick different characters and might even vary in their difficulty to pull off. b. Each match has a set length (the song) during which you'll get to do a certain number of moves. There are moments where you have moves, but not your opponent (solos!) and vice versa. c. Moves are a sequence of button presses illustrated in the screen (e.g. up,up,down,left). Each move ends with a separate button press (e.g. X or O). The final button press has to be on beat - the prior presses don't have to be. [This is what feels like a fighting game - these are combo moves!] d. If you get a sequence right, the next sequence is "upgraded" - get all the sequences right and you "fever" (AFAI remember, that's the "best"). e. If you get it wrong, you start over (or from a previous sequence). Obviously you won't get the highest rating. There are ways to attack your opponent, but I don't recall what they are. I DO recall that there are SECRET sequences you can do to unlock even higher combo levels and better scores. Anyways, the game still holds up incredibly well - even the gameplay feels fresh and different from other stuff out there now. Weird, huh? Also, I think it's a reasonably early game such that "O" is the default for "ok/accept" rather than "X" (then "cancel/back"). Story goes that US/Western devs ignored (didn't know?) the recommended default and used "X" instead - pissing off Japanese devs who then had to change when some Western games became really popular and cemented the "wrong" standard. It's been "X" as default for ok/accept ever since.Mon, 09 Jul 2018 15:56:42 CDT Team: Metal Cartoon Squad (DS) - Mon, 09 Jul 2018 15:29:46 this in during a short plane ride and...hmmm... I haven't done any research on the game whatsoever so I'm super curious to know if it's based on an existing IP or not. It's just that the art is so bad that it feels like the only way this would make sense is for it to be based on an IP with a particular niche crowd and aesthetic. Otherwise, the art is just bad... The game, so far (I've only played three levels) is a to down twin stick shooter where you control movement with one hand and the shooting direction with the other. It feels a bit awkward to play for me, but having the large-sied DS doesn't help either. You mostly run 'n gun, with some pickups along the way to heal, change to a rocket launcher, or move faster. Other that that, I'm not sure what else to expect.Mon, 09 Jul 2018 15:29:46 CDT Trap: 25th Anniversary Edition (PS4) - Wed, 13 Jun 2018 19:06:50 it! (with a little help) So, I did a "non-perfect" (because I missed a few augs) playthrough of the game and it's definitely MORE interesting than I thought (as a game, the whole violent videogames controversy is a separate issue). I'm not that familiar with FMV games, but in comparison with Dragon's Lair, I think this game has some interesing design innovations (they might not be innovations because, like I said, I'm not that familiar with FMV games). goes: a. Yes, you have to react appropriately (press button for trap deployment) at the right time - BUT, you have to be at the (or watching) a specific location in order to do so. It's super easy to miss things that happen while you're watching the wrong camera. b. The new version is a lot easier because you can see a small version of each camera that "comes to life" when it's actually playing video. The original just had static images. c. Since there are often multiple things happening at the same time, this is a game in which you're figuring out the "correct" watching order - what to watch when in order to succeed. So, to figure it all out you really need multiple playthroughs which is not something I'd say of Dragon's Lair. d. I screwed up once near the end and it didn't "game over", rather it re-started a bit of time earlier. I'm not sure if it's a formal "check-point" (if I had messed up later, would I have restarted at the same moment) or if it's a "rewind X minutes on the clock". But still, I was surprised when it happened. e. Because of the randomized code changes, you have to pay attention to the video (well, the audio, case the video might be the same). f. The code changes are NOT all instant - rather, after a color code change you might have to wait (execute a few traps with the wrong color) before switching to the new color. I'm not sure why this was the case and I wonder if I missed something (e.g. they announce in video "hey, now it's changed"). g. There's a few moments where you get the cue to trap BUT it's wrong (you have to wait a few seconds for a 2nd cue). I messed up the first one (pressed trap immediately) and was surprised by this. They video makes sense, but I'm not sure the "trick" is a good one other than the fact that I enjoyed the surprise and quickly figured out what I had to do. h. There are multiple endings and playthroughs (which I didn't do) that are interesting. With more time I'd probably pursue them just to see what happens. i. At least in this edition, the game is really framed as a movie/tv show -> highlights the cast and most significant crew in a credits sequence that, I'm guessing would have been rare for the time. From the video bonuses, it seems like the creators weren't seeing it (in the original concept) as a game and more as a movie that's enhanced (the whole project started as a way to use a hardware addon to a VCR rather than a console videogame - BUT it was conceived as a sort of trojan horse into the game industry) j. Perhaps my favorite thing is that there is a nice tension between wanting to "watch the movie parts" and the gameplay - activating traps at the right moment. In order to play well (without foresight) you have to literally ignore all the social stuff (people being social, interacting, etc.) and just focus on spotting "bad actors". So, like actually running security? In a way it's sort of like blind surveillance - I have to ignore what I'm spying on because that part is noise... weird?Wed, 13 Jun 2018 19:06:50 CDT (PS4) - Tue, 05 Jun 2018 19:08:13 this last night and...oh, wow, that ending took a real turn to the bizarre! The kid you've been controlling all along finally makes their way into a large tank - with a bunch of scientists watching - and you start to unplug this weird bulbous fleshy mass that's floating from a bunch of mind-control devices. Suddenly, you're sucked in! ...and you're now in control of this large bulbous fleshy mass that has multiple arms and legs sticking out of it. It was weird! You manage to escape from the giant tank, you wreck a lot of stuff along the way and the onlookers are generally in fear. So, your goal now is to escape from the facility - which you do eventually - by solving more puzzles, breaking stuff AND, in an interesting turn - getting help from some of the people that work in the facility! Up until now, any other human was either going to kill you immediately OR was a "drone/zombie" that was mindless and that you could ignore (or control). But now, when you're the weirdest crazy thing - some people help you escape?! The game ends when you escape the facility, roll down a hillside and come to rest in a patch of grass. The sun is shining. It was weird. (I also then completed the "secret" ending - where you enter an old unused vault - walk a bunch underground and then unplug some stuff - that, if memory serves, is color-coded like the mind-control devices) Weirdness aside, controlling the blob was a real joy - it sort of flows over things and also strains and grunts to get "tall". It can't jump or use stuff, but can grab on to things. It was a nice change of pace both in terms of verbs (what you do) but, more importantly in terms of game feel. Huh.Tue, 05 Jun 2018 19:08:13 CDT Trap: 25th Anniversary Edition (PS4) - Mon, 04 Jun 2018 17:49:50've played a few games (only gotten as far as "50" captures) and it's really hard to resist watching the video clips. As I've learned the hard way, this is not the way to succeed at the game. I'm actually surprised by how simple the gameplay is. It's REALLY simple - such that there are scripts online for how to win/get to the end. I'm not sure if I'll take the time for that a nutshell: a. Select room where there are active "augers". b. Push "trap" button when the warning indicator is red. c. Oh, find the clip that lets you know what the new color is, change to that color. I only learned about the color change from a lucky moment when I overheard the characters comment that they had changed the code - and then realized that my traps had stopped working. Will I make it to the end? I don't know...not sure if I'll have the patience for it all (it's basically a memory game in that you need to remember what room to switch to and then hit the button at the right time).Mon, 04 Jun 2018 17:49:50 CDT (PS4) - Mon, 04 Jun 2018 17:41:38 played Limbo and it was good. (I'll have to go back to my GameLogs to know for sure, but at least that's the memory I have). I've heard two different things about Inside: a. It's Limbo, but with more colors. Even the same puzzles! b. OMG, this is so much better than Limbo - it's amazing! So, I picked up the PS4 double pack to see what Inside was like. ...and so far I'm really enjoying it. I was surprised when - a few minutes in, as I was running (always running!) I missed something and was shot and killed. It was brutal - especially because the game doesn't have a whole lot going on. So, the crack of gunfire was a stark contrast to what was on-screen and coming out of my speakers. I get a real sense of urgency when I'm running away from dogs and the swimming "creature"(?), I feel a sense of awe when I'm walking through these abandoned facilities, I feel so sad for the gray "lifeless" humans I control, I wonder where it will all end (who is the child I'm controlling and where do they want to go and why?)...Mon, 04 Jun 2018 17:41:38 CDT