jp's GameLogBlogging the experience of gameplay the Gungeon (PS4) - Thu, 23 May 2019 19:07:51 is the sort of game I can't really play alone - co-op is the only way it works for me. I just don't want to spend the time learning, practicing, and "getting good", so it's more fun to have someone else you can rely on. It is fun though, and I've enjoyed the within-level teleporting system that makes backtracking really painless. I wish more games implemented things like that. As a rogue-like, I've also enjoyed learning about all the different secrets and things - for example, if you leave something behind a rat comes and nicks it. BUT, you can prevent that and give yourself an "extra room" to visit without the rat coming by. It's a little strategy/subtlety you can engage with to maximize your chances of success (e.g. save a "ammo reload" for when you really need it). The different kinds of guns are also fun and I've enjoyed how you mostly pick up buffs that help. Oh! And the added incentives - kill a boss without taking a hit and you get an extra item!Thu, 23 May 2019 19:07:51 CDT Become Human (PS4) - Thu, 16 May 2019 19:08:43 really, really, enjoyed this. Yes, the story is "good enough" and some of the scenes (that I saw anyways) are unnecessary in that they don't seem to advance the story in any meaningful way. And..and...there are lots of things "wrong" with this game - but still. I really, really enjoyed it. A lot of that enjoyment came from the intense desire to want to talk about what happened in my version of the game and to learn from others about their experience. All this because the game really diverges in lots of interesting ways. It REALLY diverges. And, I also really appreciated the games branching UI display - it shows you all the moments and places where the game can branch, it shows you what you've seen/done and it also shows some (all?) of the dependencies that matter - e.g. for unlocking options in a later section you might have needed to do something in an earlier section. It's a really neat experience to just navigate that AND it's also a really good example where you can see how, even with "few" branches - these sorts of games can quickly spiral out of control all over the place in terms of the need for production resources (animators, actors, etc.). I also really enjoyed the games overall UI and the fourth wall breaking "menu character" - there's a character in the main menu who says things BUT (at least?) twice during the game breaks out and asks you a question - the first one (mid-way?) is whether I considered her a friend. I said no - and immediately regretted it! The 2nd question came up after I finished the game - this time, the UI character basically asked if I could/would set her free - I said yes, and then she was gone from the menu! I don't know if she comes back, she didn't when I went back to replay earlier sections...but who knows?Thu, 16 May 2019 19:08:43 CDT Fantasy: The Four Heroes of Light (DS) - Thu, 16 May 2019 18:19:02 I had to go to a tower to fight a sand monster. People were hinting that I needed a water spell to before I could do damage. However, I couldn't buy one in the shop so I thought I might have to find it out in the desert or something. I ended up in a tower fighting the sand monster by mistake and it clearly wasn't effective. So I died and started back up at the desert village. It was night time and I was able to sneak into some caves under the leader's palace - oh, and that's where the water spell was! So, I head back to the tower. When the fight starts you get a message that says "hey, don't forget to prepare your water spell" (or something like that). You can't actually prepare it, and I had forgotten to prepare it. So I had to die again. Sigh. Third time was the charm. Oh, and now I've switched over to the other two characters!Thu, 16 May 2019 18:19:02 CDT & Puzzles (iPd) - Tue, 14 May 2019 18:57:33 decided to join a clan just to experience the "clan" gameplay - so far there are two things: titans and wars. Wars seems like a new thing with different gameplay? I'm not sure yet because I haven't played in one yet. Titans are basically REALLY tough monsters you play against and try to do as much damage as possible within a limited amount of time. The whole clan can attack and if it goes down everyone gets rewards. You start at weak titans and then more powerful ones roll in. I've also put a limit on myself for my progression - I won't play longer than X and then I'll quit and uninstall. Lets see if I last that long...Tue, 14 May 2019 18:57:33 CDT Fantasy: The Four Heroes of Light (DS) - Fri, 10 May 2019 19:15:34 assumed I'd stick with this for not a lot...but, I'm kind of enjoying it - especially because I've been pleasantly surprised and confused! a. You being as a level 1 character, the king asks you to go rescue your daughter and halfway into a dungeon another character shows up and says you're too weak and joins you. He was not wrong! I had a really hard time "getting started" mostly because all the characters kept on dying! This was not a walk-in-the-park dungeon for a weak character (with no items, etc.) b. Apparently you can craft hats that give you powers by slotting gems in them? I have a hat, but haven't been able to slot stuff in permanently because.. UI? I don't get it? c. Over the course of the first quest I gathered two more teammates (to get to the titular 4). However, as soon as that was done, two of them bailed! What? I thought these were the "four heroes of light"! Maybe not... I've since been wandering in the desert with two characters...but I just met a third! d. The game simplifies a lot of RPG stuff in interesting ways - there are no classes (as far as I can tell), and you have little control over what you attack and such. However, there's more flexibility - you can easily cast spells (don't have to worry about mana and such) via "initiative points" (don't recall their actual name). Anyways, I'm really enjoying it so far...Fri, 10 May 2019 19:15:34 CDT & Puzzles (iPd) - Fri, 10 May 2019 18:50:30 started playing this to help a friend - one of those "invite a friend and get perks" - and I decided to stick with it for a little while to see what it was about. It's been some time since I've engaged with the "mainstream" mobile game market so I thought I'd see if/how things might have changed. The game is essentially a puzzles and dragons game, fantasy themed, you have characters, they level up, and you're building out a town/garrison with buildings that generate stuff you need to level up your characters. So far, so normal. There's timers on stuff and the upgrades take longer the further in you are. It's a mostly un-special game that really doesn't draw my attention. Especially since, invariably, booting it up requires closing 3-4 "windows" with offers for in-game stuff. These are separate popups - kill one and the next opens. It's really in your face and, to me, really annoying (one window I could handle, but 4? Cmon!) What I find most interesting about the game is a "auto-play" feature. You can essentially farm (until you run out of the "tokens" you need to play a match) resources and leave your phone to the side as it plays the game. This feels really wrong - I enjoy a match-3, but here I can even avoid doing that entirely! (which then begs the question "where is the game?"). I assume that this is either a requested feature or something that is desired/used by a fair number of the game's player base. At this point, it seems that the game is purely about running the grind/treadmill of progression. At this point the game is a clicker game with an optional match-3 game you can play if you want. The autoplay doesn't even speed things up - it just runs...normally. (and, from watching it, it's not even a good auto-play AI, missing lots of possibilities to match 4 or more things). Wow!Fri, 10 May 2019 18:50:30 CDT Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood (DS) - Thu, 09 May 2019 19:08:48 on going and I've realized what is frustrating me the most about the game: moving around the world. I feel like I'm doing the equivalent of "pixel hunting" in adventure games - but for a top down 2D game in a strange semi-isometric perspective. I spend more time wandering around trying to find the location of the next thing I need to do oftentimes missing it entirely despite being "right there". The controls for this (dragging the stylus on the screen) feel a bit imprecise, but there's also the problem of getting stuck on scenery and such. I have enjoyed this last chapter though because I was forced to split the party - half going to do one thing and the other half another. This forced me to try out different characters I had ignored entirely. I did kind of mess up though, because I put all the "fighters" in one group (the group whose mission was fighting stuff) - but then realized that the other group had to do a lot of fighting as well. It was a bit frustrating (and I exhausted all my supplies of healing items and such) - but interesting. For a bit. I've decided to move on to another game. I made it as far as chapter 5 (pretty close to the end, I think)Thu, 09 May 2019 19:08:48 CDT Portrait of Ruin (DS) - Thu, 09 May 2019 19:04:14 probably started playing this too close (in time) to the previous Castlevania I played. It's too familiar, and the things I don't particularly enjoy are too salient. That being said, I've enjoyed the dual character system in this game, though to be honest it feels at times like there is too much handling. I usually feel weak with only one character and now I feel weak with two, which seems like a worse experience in some sense. I'm not sure I'm "sold" on the premise that you visit different locations inside of paintings (or the paintings are portals? I'm not sure) - I guess it helps to make the locations you visit less linear BUT you sort of lose a bit of the sense of locations and geography you pick up when you have to wander through the different places and you see how they're spatially related to each other (via an overworld map of some sort). I don't think I'll continue playing this - mostly because I don't think I'm currently in a place to dedicate the time needed to master the different bosses (and their difficulty spikes).Thu, 09 May 2019 19:04:14 CDT Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood (DS) - Wed, 01 May 2019 13:05:49 I heard that BioWare made a Sonic RPG game I was...uh...sceptical. And now I've been playing it and it's weird and interesting and I'm still figuring out how much I enjoy it or not. I've just started chapter 4. From prior saved files on the card indicating a chpater 9 exists, that would mean I'm almost halfway done. I've never been a huge fan of Sonic other than enjoying the games, so I have no idea if the game has a lot of "lore" from the tv show and comics and whatnot. So far I've been surprised by how they made 3d isometric levels that are the areas/levels from the first game that feel like the levels from the game - there are ramps and loops and such. You mostly just wander around avoiding monsters and when you get to a special location (you see an icon popup) you have to activate switch to the appropriate character and activate their ability: Tails can fly short distances, Sonic does loops and ramps, Knuckles breaks boxes and so on. You can have a part of up to four characters but I think Sonic is required, so really you only get to choose three. Can you tell it's a BioWare game? I'm not sure...but, weirdly(?) the game does have a simple dialogue system you get to use when important story stuff happens, when you meet NPCs, and sometimes just from talking to other members of the crew. When in dialogue you can choose from different options - where some are "tagged" with different Sonic faces - one for example denotes a snarky response. Another has three small character faces, and this one signals you'll ask your team or refer to the team. It's simple system but I've enjoyed trying out different responses and such. I don't think there are any significant differences in outcome or gameplay from these choices - but maybe I'm wrong? So far the most interesting thing for me has been the combat system. Characters can perform a different number of actions in a combat round and the're all lined up in the order they'll do them. So, you can set a character to attack, but then heal with their second action. Strangely, the enemy actions aren't listed so you never know when they'll do something. You also have special POW moves that cost power points - performing these moves requires using the stylus and doing stuff like - tap a spot on the screen at the right moment, tap really fast in a specific area, or trace a line at a certain speed. I struggle a lot with some of these which is a pain because it means that there are certain abilities I just don't ever get to use.Wed, 01 May 2019 13:05:49 CDT The Infernal Tower (DS) - Wed, 03 Apr 2019 11:06:36's a stacking game where you get "tangram" style shapes. When stacked correctly they stick (fuse?) so you don't need to worry too much about wobbling. However, I was not able to clear the first level. The stacking was not the problem. Rather, each level has a bunch of objectives you need to meet in order to win and...I didn't really understand them all that well - or, there were way more objectives than I thought because a number kept going down but the objective I was sure I had met didn't clear. So, I was confused and a little frustrated....Wed, 03 Apr 2019 11:06:36 CDT