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    battlefield1 (PC)    by   Oliverqinhao       (Jan 17th, 2019 at 03:15:44)

    The detail in Battlefield 1 is stunning. In character two, there are two German soldiers chatting. One asks another why don't they isolate those who are sick? and another responded that the newspaper said that the flu is only very serious in Spain. It will not affect us.
    The in-game time is 1918. In real history, the Spanish flu has ravaged the world. However, due to the blockade news and the war. Only the Spanish media reported the epidemic. So everyone thought that the flu was still only in Spain.
    Later in the game, you will found more soldiers die in the barracks.
    Battlefield 1 is a good example for showing the cruelty of the war. I always remember a line in the game. Every person you saw in the scope is a real person. Games usually don't show you people die in the war due to illness, but Battlefield 1 did.

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    battlefield1 (PC)    by   Oliverqinhao       (Jan 16th, 2019 at 01:51:11)

    I have played Battlefield 1 before but never played single-player campaign before. Before the gameplay, I heard Battlefield 1 get a good reputation on the single-player campaign. And it really shocks me. The very first level go though a lot of different areas. From the infantry to the air. The develop really trying hard to show us how cruel the war is. I really like the scene when infantry charging. No matter how good you are, you still will die to the bullets from nowhere. Just like the individual can't change the war. People are fragile in the war.

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    Oxenfree (PS4)    by   jp       (Jan 15th, 2019 at 21:52:44)

    Finished this over the weekend. The experience was weird and interesting in unexpected ways.

    First, it's been a while since it came out and I have vague memories of it being an indie darling and that it had a cool dialogue system. Other than that, I vaguely "remembered" that it involved animals in a village. Or something like that. Oh, and that the tone was sort of like a teen movie. Ha!

    There's an early scene in a cave that really knocked my socks off - because I realized that, well, I did not remember what the game was about at all. So, the "true" tone - it's a creepy mystery that's not Scooby Doo at all - was genuinely a surprise, and a fun one at that. I was mostly going - what the heck is going on! - which was fantastic. Especially as you try to make sense of eveything with scant clues...really scant. Weirdly, the clue part only opens up (becomes a possibility) once you're really close to the end - and then, you have to actively reject finishing the game to go hunt up all the collectibles, that give you clues and info as to what is really happening. I was a good little foot soldier here, and collected everything, but I'll admit that there's a significant chunk of time in which I felt totally confused but also felt like the game assumed I wasn't. Like it had told me some important info that I didn't understand.

    The conversation system is nifty in a UI sense, you basically have three options open represented as speech bubbles above the character's head and you then press the corresponding button on the controller to choose that one. I felt a bit rushed at times, the options disappear quite soon, and there isn't really much time to think about a lot of the things you may or may not want your character to say. This was a bit unsettling, but I thought it was neat that when you say something, you can interrupt whoever is talking at the time. It made the game feel more "real" in terms of the chit-chat, more like actual friends talk and less like a movie/game. However, it sometimes made it hard to follow stuff, especially when someone is talking and your options are disappearing. Do I finish hearing whatever is being said, or get a word in before the choice disappears and maybe miss out? So, interesting - but I felt like it needed a bit of tweaking for my personal tastes.

    The game was made by a really small team - so the usual stuff you'd like/want isn't there - the other characters really act like dumb puppets and seem to have no real contextual awareness - I'd pop open the radio to scan frequencies, and they'd continue acting the same as before.

    Apparently to get all the trophies you need to play it three times - play nice, mean, and quiet. I think it's REALLY interesting that the game still works even if you never speak a word (by choice, the character sometimes just says stuff). It seems like the designers admitting that - whatever, the dialogue doesn't really matter, sort of like they gave up and just let you listen to the story play out in the voices of other characters. On the other hand, I presume it works! And, this means that the game is fundamentally not broken since you always have the option to remain silent. This feels like a really strange conundrum to me, but I mostly lean towards "not liking" the trophy because it sorts of draws attention to the game's narrative choices not really mattering for much.

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    Thumper (PC)    by   dkirschner       (Jan 14th, 2019 at 00:07:16)

    Thumper is intense, a "rhythm violence" game, according to its creators. It's deceptively simple, and becomes brutally difficult. You guide a beetle-thing along a track, pressing X in sync with the music track to create additional rhythms and melodies. First, you're just pressing X when passing little squares of blue light, then you're pressing and holding X to go through obstacles, then you're pressing X and left/right on the analog stick to take sharp curves, etc. Each level has added something new (I'm on level 6 of 9).

    Each addition allows for greater musical complexity, but also feels like a punishment. In level 5, the game adds rings that encircle the track and force you to perfect a sequence or else it kills you with a laser. I'm sure I've died hundreds times in Thumper so far. The first point is the most interesting. Since every correct button press you make and obstacle you clear generates a sound, the better you do, and the more you can hear sub-rhythms and melodies. Skill reinforces skill. The more you learn what the full music track CAN sound like, the better able you are to time inputs to create the track that you're learning. It's neat, and I really like it.

    Each level has a ton of sub-levels, usually around 30, plus a few boss battles. The boss battles are awesome, and I feel like a master every time I beat one. They are made up of four sections, and you have to complete all four sections without dying. Each section loops until you get it right and pass on to the next one. The boss battles require you to learn the music and be flawless in your timing, sort of like those rings in level 5. You time the X press on yellow-green lights, and as you get more correct, new lights appear, sometimes new obstacles appear, and at the end of the sequence, you press on a large yellow light that injures the boss and moves you to the next sequence.

    Thumper's sound and visual style are trippy. The score is industrial electronic music, very rhythmic and repetitive. The visuals are nightmarish. Google screenshots or watch a video to see. The bosses are undulating symmetrical shapes and otherworldly creatures like this firey skull guy who keeps reappearing. It feels like a horror game, and I guess this is something they mean when they say rhythm violence. There's no (stated) story to speak of, and the game is starting to feel a little repetitive as the difficulty ramps up. I may be approaching a skill wall where the time I'll have to put it isn't worth the reward, but we'll see. I'm sure I would feel like a god if I managed to beat it.

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    Alien: Isolation (PC)    by   dkirschner       (Jan 9th, 2019 at 22:54:40)

    Just finished. This is a long game for its genre. Horror/Survival games usually don't last me 25 hours. I could have done it shorter (I recall texting while playing a fair amount), but I doubt it would have been any shorter than 20 hours. While I enjoyed all its content, it did begin to overstay its welcome. The worst thing about the length wasn't the eye-rolling Murphy's Law in action that kept extending the campaign, but that the longer the game went on, the less scary and intense it became. The longer the game went on, the more you realize that you spend the majority of your time slowly walking or crouch-walking from place to place, and when a xenomorph comes, you learn that you can just hide and wait for it to leave, then resume your walking. It becomes more of a nuisance than a threat.

    But the later-game leveling intensity aside, I thought the game was brilliantly done. It recreated the atmosphere of the original Alien film wonderfully. Very authentic. The story was excellent, telling of Amanda Ripley, Ellen Ripley's (Sigourney Weaver) daughter, traveling with a crew to collect the Nostromo's (Ellen Ripley's ship) flight recorder from a space station named Sevastopol, which is going to hell. Therein, Ripley learns of her mother's fate, gets double-crossed a lot, deals with hostile human survivors and androids whose controlling AI has been instructed by Weyland-Yutani to protect the alien, and, of course, there are xenomorphs.

    Another brilliant part of the game that received a lot of attention is the xenomorph AI. It really feels like you're being hunted, especially if you crank the difficulty up a notch. Turn it down, and the xenomorph doesn't seem all that smart, wandering around and rarely finding you. But on hard, it seems to sniff you out, takes longer to leave, and comes quicker at less sound. A lot of the game was a white-knuckle situation, silently pleading with the alien not to turn around and see me. When I was playing earlier on, I'd spend an hour cautiously trying to get from Point A to Point B and died a lot.

    The sound design added immensely to the alien's realism. You hear it stomping when near you, breathing and making its raspy growl. When it's in the vents above or around you, you hear it moving. You can press spacebar to pull out a motion tracker, which beeps and blips, showing you where any moving thing is...if it's close. But its beeps and blips will give your location away. Any time you make a loud noise, you want to have a plan to hide immediately thereafter. Want to shoot a human? Find a locker to hide in first, then kill him. Want to sprint? You better hope there's a hidey hole or that you're sprinting to a checkpoint, because the xenomorph will hear you and head your way. Need to trigger a generator, use the plasma torch to open a door, anything that makes noise? Here comes the xenomorph. It makes nearly everything a potential death trigger.

    The game has a rudimentary crafting system. Find components scattered here and there, and use them to make molotov cocktails, noise makers, EMP bombs, and so forth. I so rarely used any of these (mostly just to get the achievements for using them), and the component collection and crafting seemed like filler. I maxed out my inventory maybe halfway through the game, always had plenty of ammo, and was never at risk of running out of health kits. I'd still open up all the containers and check desks and stuff for ammo and to replenish components when I'd make a thing, but the crafting didn't add to the experience.

    That's all I've got off the top of my head now. Definitely worth playing if you like Alien or a good survival horror game.

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    Kirby's Adventure (NES)    by   Dragutin

    Pretty fun- sort of like a mario with extra stuff
    most recent entry:   Thursday 18 January, 2007
    Second session: game is getting sort of boring. While it is a fun game to play for 15-20 minutes, it loses its captivity after a while. Perhaps it is because there is no real reward system. Once every couple levels you unlock an extra room, such as a bonus level where you have to play a little grabber game- like they have at the front of Denny's. You have to control the grabber arm to pick up plush kirby's for 1ups. Other unlock rooms give you special monsters so you can absorb their powers and rooms where you kill a boss and are able to absorb his power and get a tomato to restore all your health. Health is a more complex issue than in mario too- Since Kirby has 6 bars of health, sometimes you have to sacrifice some health in order to drop a weapon so you can pick up a different one to overcome a certain puzzle, letting you pick up a 1up or larger health potion later. Weapon choice is important for some bosses or puzzles but not essential. The level design is good for this game as well, enabling you to choose whether to fly over some enemies or hop from cloud to cloud wiping out enemies. Overall, there is a larger variety of things one can do compared to a platformer like mario which enhances gameplay. I think this is a good game but fails to keep me interested for long periods of time. It is fun to play in small amounts, but long sessions get boring.

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