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    Detroit: Become Human (PS4)    by   jp       (May 16th, 2019 at 19:08:43)

    I 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?

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    Final Fantasy: The Four Heroes of Light (DS)    by   jp       (May 16th, 2019 at 18:19:02)

    So 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!

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    Empires & Puzzles (iPd)    by   jp       (May 14th, 2019 at 18:57:33)

    I 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...

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    Final Fantasy: The Four Heroes of Light (DS)    by   jp       (May 10th, 2019 at 19:15:34)

    I 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...

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    Empires & Puzzles (iPd)    by   jp       (May 10th, 2019 at 18:50:30)

    I 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).


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    What is GameLog?

    GameLog hopes to be a site where gamers such as yourself keep track of the games that they are currently playing. A GameLog is basically a record of a game you started playing. If it's open, you still consider yourself to be playing the game. If it's closed, you finished playing the game. (it doesn't matter if you got bored, frustrated,etc.) You can also attach short comments to each of your games or even maintain a diary (with more detailed entries) for that game. Call it a weblog of game playing activity if you will.

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    Thomas Was Alone (PS4)    by   michelle

    No comment, yet.
    most recent entry:   Thursday 23 February, 2017
    Played the game for a really long time today and made it to level 8.10. At the beginning of my gameplay I was really frustrated because to me the levels were extremely challenging and required a ton of coordination. There were two stages especially that made me really mad and almost caused me to quit the game because they were nearly impossible. One of these was when John and Claire had to reach the right side of the screen while avoiding the incoming spikes on the left side and the other was with these moving platforms where Sarah had to jump upward to real the portal at the top.

    Since last time, a ton of new characters have been introduced. James and Sarah are the last two to join the group of the 7 Architects. Gravity is backwards for James so he sticks to the top of the mazes and jumps downwards. Sarah is really small and has the ability to jump again while she is mid-air. After the Emergence Event, characters such as Gray, Paul, Jo, and Sam.

    The character development I witnessed during my gameplay today was quite extraordinary. Thomas became self-aware while in the simulation and there was a "networking error" that allowed him to connect to the internet for 12 seconds which opened his eyes to the rest of the world and made him want to become a creator of his own world. So together with the other 6 AIs in his group (who all eventually reconnected after being eaten by the pixel cloud), they decide to help each other free the rest of the AIs.

    I got really sad towards the end of my gameplay. All the AIs have their own personality and realized that they have to sacrifice themselves to help the rest of the AIs "above". They become selfless and gain a do or die mentality because they want to free the other AIs. The characters that were previously self-conscious now realize that their quirks make them special. John who used to be conceited now realizes he can help others realize their worth. Claire still thinks she's a superhero and will do whatever it takes to help the others escape the simulation. Together, all 7 AIs, form the Emergence Event. I think this part of the game is really powerful because it ties to real life. There is strong symbolism here as the creators are showing that bad personality traits and low self-esteem can be shed and lost in growth.

    This game got really interesting because after the architects are gone and new grey characters are introduced, it becomes apparent that these new characters can now acquire the powers of the 7 original AIs by jumping into floating rectangles of that color. For example, blue means they can float in water, purple means they can double jump, and pink means they become a trampoline. I really like how the creators added dialogue and gave names to the squares so we know that when a grey character hits a blue powerup thing, they have acquired Claire's power. Rather than being just a puzzle game, this game makes you feel close to the pieces, which is strange because I never knew how much little shapes could be personified until now.

    Although this is my third log, I will continue to play the game some more. Where I'm at, Gray has betrayed Paul and wants to finish the simulation himself, but Paul is determined to warn the others about Gray. I don't know if the original AIs will make a comeback, but hopefully they do and hopefully in the end all of the AIs live in a world without simulations.

    [read this GameLog]


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