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    Old Man's Journey (iPd)    by   jp       (Aug 15th, 2018 at 19:00:15)

    I played this over the course of a few plane trips which was nice.

    I loved the music, I loved the art, and...to 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.

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    Audiosurf (PC)    by   jp       (Aug 8th, 2018 at 23:57:57)



    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Aug 14th, 2018 at 15:37:55.


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    Inside (PC)    by   dkirschner       (Aug 8th, 2018 at 23:54:35)

    Outstanding game. I believe I will be showing this one to people and would like to watch others play through it. Better than Limbo. There's more story embedded in the dialogue-free game this time around. I won't pretend to have it figured out, but will spend time soon attempting to interpret it.

    One thing that struck me is that I encountered 0 bugs or glitches. The game played flawlessly. Audio was minimalist and sounded oppressive with headphones. Visuals were more colorful than Limbo. I liked the reds, which made its dystopian industrial setting more ominous. Controls were smooth and near perfect for the platforming.

    Several things in Inside stuck out to me, including the violence with which the protagonist is repeatedly killed, as well as the ending when you control the blob or hive mind or whatever it is. The way that thing moves is so fucking creepy and neat to watch, all those arms and legs sticking out and all those voices groaning.

    Nightmare city.

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    Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition (PC)    by   dkirschner       (Aug 4th, 2018 at 11:47:11)

    Wow! Pleasantly blown away by Bulletstorm. This one was never really on my radar when it originally released, but I caught press of the Full Clip edition and apparently it's a game that sticks with people. My three-word review is "big dumb fun," which is a solid review. It's like Gears of War meets a more mature, less offensive, and more self aware Duke Nukem. I'd read that you can actually play as Duke, fully voiced with new lines, in this Full Clip edition, but I actually played Bulletstorm "Lite," which I gather is just the single player part of Full Clip, and unfortunately without Duke's voiceover. I did find a Duke Nukem figurine on a table near the end of the game. Couldn't interact with it, but neat surprise.

    It's well enough that I only had Gray's (the main character) original lines because they're good. The language is very colorful and R rated, but I usually found it funny, or so exaggerated as to be funny. The bad guy has a habit of using racial slurs against an Asian character, Ishi, but I guess that's why he's the bad guy. Ishi even says at one point something to the effect of "If you use another racial slur, I will punch you in the face." Does using racism in humorous context, even in a self aware way, make it okay? A question for the ages...Ishi's humor, in contrast to other characters, is dark. In the beginning of the game, he gets melded with a robot AI, and constantly battles for control of himself, but it causes him to have really dark and deadpan humor that I loved. Ishi made me laugh more than anyone else, with Gray a close second.

    Okay okay, so while the characters are fun and the story is well done, that's not why you would play Bulletstorm. The name says it all. This is a game about murdering enemies in deliciously brutal ways. At any time, you can have three guns and your "leash" equipped. Guns are varied and all have secondary fire, or "charge," modes. Your standard assault rifle can charge a powerful blast. One gun launches bouncing bowling-ball sized mines. You can control when they explode, and you can, when charged, cause multiple explosions. Zoom in with the sniper rifle, and you can guide the bullet, which is super fun and deadly. Charge up the drill and you can use it to melee enemies. You upgrade guns and purchase ammo using skill points, which are granted for fashionably killing enemies. Headshots, ballshots, buttshots are some standard methods that yield extra skill points. There are like 150 specific kinds of skill shots to figure out though! Each weapon has like 10, there are skill shots for killing bosses and minibosses in various ways, and there are, my favorite, environmental skill shots.

    You see, Bulletstorm isn't just about bullets. It's about using your leash (the closest comparison off the top of my head is the grappling hook from Just Cause) to grab enemies from afar and fling them into spikes, off ledges, into man-eating plants, into dangling electrical wires, etc., and using your boot to kick enemies into same. The environment is littered with killing opportunities, including a liberal amount of exploding barrels. All of this makes Bulletstorm a massive playground for combining these elements. What felt especially novel is that the more you use the tools at your disposal, and the more creative you are in your killing, the more skill points you get. So it becomes this cycle where you get creative to earn more skill points, use the skill points to buy more and fancier weapons and ammo and charges, which allows you to cause even more mayhem, which rewards even more skill points, etc. The loop is brilliant.

    The game is fast, flashy, and sounds good too. The Gears reference comes from the look of the game, the exaggerated military gruffness of the characters, and the fact that like half the settings are ripped from the franchise. Totally fun, totally self aware, totally worth it if you want a few fun gory evenings in a video game. OH, and I played this because of EA Origin's "premier" membership launch. I've wanted to play A Way Out with a friend, and I went to see how much it would cost. Found out about Origin's new model, and saw they'd greatly expanded their library. So I'm subscribing for a month to play A Way Out, and saw a handful of other games on my wishlist, including Bulletstorm, Titanfall 2, Inside, The Witness, and Duskers. So I'll be trying to burn through some of those in August, which is most certainly a bad idea given that school is starting.

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    1979 Revolution: Black Friday (PC)    by   dkirschner       (Jul 24th, 2018 at 16:30:55)

    Wow, this was better than expected. I expected a knock-off Telltale game with a historical story, but this stands up on its own. The voice acting is really good, especially for the prison warden, and the music is pretty good too. It keeps things tense as the action drama unfolds. Some of the character models are really janky though! My favorite is this one NPC who sits like a statue in an area, never moving. My second favorite was a man with extra-large, deformed hands. They looked like an alien's hands. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the attention to detail to place the character in the midst of the Iranian revolution. Really impressive. How many of the characters in the story were real people, or based on real people?

    So, in this game, you're a journalist, a young adult from a well-to-do Iranian family, trying to avoid sides in this political struggle. You take photos, but the problem is, as your character realizes, photographs are not neutral. The eye of the photographer inscribes photographs with meaning, and then those images can be interpreted by others for various purposes. One person looks at a revolutionary photograph and sees passion; another sees lawlessness. The coolest thing about taking photos is that many of them, once you snap, are juxtaposed with real photos from the revolution that have been recreated in the game. Extremely cool!

    You of course get sucked into the revolution against the Shah, and the game tells the story of your involvement with resistance groups through your friend and family servant (I think this is the same kind of relationship I read about in The Kite Runner--not really servants, but not equals either), your family, including your police officer brother, and your lovely time post-arrest with a prison warden who enjoys a good torture session. The game does a good job exploring the moral gray areas of the revolution, how different groups had elements of good and bad, and how people changed sides over time. Actually, this game corrected my limited understanding of the Iranian Revolution. I didn't know how oppressive the Shah's regime was. I thought Iran was modernizing and that Khomeini's rise to power was more simply a backlash against westernization. I didn't know there were so many other ideologies vying for dominance, and that there were other prominent, even progressive, religious leaders besides Khomeini.

    The game plays out in 19 chapters, most of which are basically interactive movies with dialogue options a la Telltale. Occasionally there will be a serviceable quick time event. My favorite parts were the few times you're allowed to walk around and interact with objects and people, like during a protest, in your father's study, or at a revolutionary headquarters. These moments slow the tense action down and let you view the pieces of history you've collected as you've snapped photos and read about Iranian culture. I haven't felt like I learned this much from playing a game in a while, and there are clear parallels here between this and Never Alone. I use Never Alone to teach about culture in my SOCI 1101 classes, and I had bought 1979 Revolution as a potential tool to discuss social movements or politics. Not sure how well it would function for an actual play session in class, but at least as an example may be useful to demonstrate something about religion and politics, ethnocentrism, and some other topics.

    If I had to score this game, I'd give it around an 80, which is 10 points lower than I would have given it before the ending, which just...ends. Did they run out of time or money to finish? Are they planning a sequel? Not cool! I also don't think your choices mattered much. I can't imagine what else could have happened in the end depending on choices you make regarding your brother and cooperating or not with the warden. Also, at the end the game credits Sundance. Do they have a game development arm? I hope so. More games like this would be welcome!

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    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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    1 : jp's Old Man's Journey (iPd)
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    3 : dkirschner's Titanfall 2 (PC)
    4 : dkirschner's Inside (PC)
    5 : dkirschner's Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition (PC)
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    1 : dkirschner at 2018-06-05 21:58:05
    2 : jp at 2018-06-04 17:09:43
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    Random

    Aerox (iPd)    by   fanwar3

    I found out about this platformer on the app store a few days ago. It was a platformer game called aerox. In fact, it is an interesting tilt-controlled platformer that boasts clever physics and intuitive controls that challenge my skills. This game is packed with many physics-based puzzles and platforming action. The tilt controls are automatically zero based on how I am holding the device at the time each level starts, which is great when I am ready for it, but can cause some issues of calibration if I am not steady. Once in the game, the ball will sharply and quickly roll, turn and slide in the directions I tilt in and touching the left side of the screen “breaks” the ball from rolling and touching the right side of the screen allows me to lock the camera for precise movement of the ball. There are 30 levels to beat and things quickly start getting complicated. When things start to get complicated, I have to manipulate the environment and make use of the ball’s odd and unique physics in or to continue my path. The visuals in the game are bright, with soft modern platforms and designs that are on par with the ball’s shiny surface. Shadowing in this game is great as well as the tiles. This game presents an environment where the ball calmly rolls around and jumps over different obstacles. Each level is between one and four minutes long. The goal in each level is to finish in the shortest amount of time possible. There is no real rush, as the environment is calm, so is the music. So I fall off the ledge, ant the game starts me back at the beginning or at the last checkpoint. Level 1 was just very simple and as I progress through each of the levels, I see more objects and obstacles. I am on Level 13 now and it feels very difficult to move on past this level. I have to roll the ball against walls to move from one platform to the next. This is just like running along the walls to get from one point to another in Prince of Persia. What feels uncomfortable is the fact that I have to tilt my screen to an unplayable degree to get the ball moving at a fast speed.

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