GameLogBlogging the experience of gameplay I Forget (PC) - 17 Apr 2021 - by dkirschner was a free Twitch game a couple weeks ago and I grabbed it because it sounded different. I'm always looking for games about death and loss. This one is about dementia. It's really short and simple, but so sad. You play as a woman, and things start out straightforward enough. Walk around your house, click on objects, find Dylan. Eventually you (the player) realize that you (the character) have memory troubles. You're not going to find Dylan (and I guessed the "twist" immediately). Gameplay wise, it's a walking simulator with some emotive flashbacks. I think the best scenes are at the end (the frantic one and the calm final one). In trying to interpret this, you (the player) are of course learning about the characters for the first time. It's all new. But in the context of dementia, you (the character) are also learning about the characters. At one point, she doesn't think that a magazine with her on it actually has her on it. She doesn't know who is calling her. She is unaware of her condition. Hours pass while she looks out the window, sits at a chess board, or thinks about putting the kettle on for tea. At the end of the game, all the notes and things you've uncovered are blank again, suggesting that she has forgotten again. She exhibits the fear and paranoia and frustration that characterizes a lot of dementia patients. And the joy of realizing over and over the good things that have happened (her and her husband's successful careers) and the grief of realizing over and over the bad things that have happened. I wonder if dementia is sadder when is happens to people with successful careers and big families. Like, there's an idea that those people had more to lose. I think that's how we frame success though. Would this story have felt different if the main character was an office worker rather than a notable cosmologist? If her husband was a bartender rather than a famous pianist? Subjectively, the illness is just as devastating, and at some point, they won't know what they've lost. This makes me think about my family members who have had dementia, and makes me think about my parents and about me in the future. My step-grandfather has severe dementia and is only being kept alive by a team of medical professionals and a girlfriend who loves him very much. He has no quality of life, doesn't know who any one is, sits in a chair with his eyes closed all day. He used to be like the woman in this story, getting up and doing things throughout the day, but then later on getting worse (including leaving his house and locking himself out, wandering outside with his guns, smashing his house windows with a baseball bat, threatening people who came over, eventually forgetting everyone around him). This makes me remember that I should write a will and all that and specify that if I can't remember shit and get angry and paranoid and make others' lives hell and have no quality of life, to do all that is possible to kill me. dkirschnerSat, 17 Apr 2021 18:37:40 UTC Simulator (PC) - 17 Apr 2021 - by dkirschner is a weird one! I was intrigued by the theme of building a cult and the way you do it through a sort of card game. You will have no clue what you are doing until you try and fail a few times. Then, I suppose like cult knowledge, it becomes clearer with study. You start off with a menial job (in subsequent playthroughs you can choose a couple other, better jobs). You have to go to work to earn money because time passes in real time (there is a handy pause button), and I suppose you have rent and need to eat. Soon, you can perform more regular actions, such as studying, dreaming, and exploring the city. You also get other stats to manage: health, reason, and passion. You can boost stats by studying them to get more cards, which allow you to use the stat to perform more actions or to make actions stronger. For instance, using your passion for work will let you paint. If you only have one passion, your paintings will suck and you won't earn anything, but if you have four, you can turn profit and use money for other things, such as exploring the city to buy books from the bookstore or to pay entry into a secret club or to hire a goon (who could become a follower or, better yet, a sacrifice). Basically this is a game of managing expanding resources and countdown timers, as it takes time to study or do anything else. Eventually, you will learn more about the occult, including getting all sorts of recipes for rites, magic items, incantations, and etc., etc. I never really got past acquiring a bunch of things (I actually exhausted the library and studied every book, haha), improving my arcane knowledge, and getting stuck in a loop of going to work. I had maxed out all my stats, didn't have anything useful to dream about, and just...didn't know what else to do that wasn't going to take forever. That was my fourth playthrough and I decided to quit because I get the gist of it. Also, I was out of health. Sometimes you will get sick, which will require health to stave off. I suppose this is like a win timer because I never figured out how to get health back. If you don't stop an illness, it turns into decrepitude, which persists the rest of the game. I had like 5 decrepitude (I must have been really sickly!). Anyway, assuming I didn't die from wasting away, I guess I would have slowly gotten the various pieces of recipes for learning about and enacting cultist things, grown the membership of my cult, moved into a headquarters (I had an empty one but couldn't figure out how to move in), hired a goon to sacrifice in the end, and raised the dead or whatever you do in the end to win. Oh, I did win a "minor victory" one time by becoming chief of police or something. I have no idea. But I sat here for three hours today clicking on things and feel like nothing happened. My girlfriend has been listening to a podcast about Heaven's Gate and telling me about it. So, with that plus Cult Simulator, I feel like we're ready to start our own.dkirschnerSat, 17 Apr 2021 17:34:14 UTC Protocol (360) - 17 Apr 2021 - by Sup3rCondor played this for about 20 minutes. The frame rate is abysmal! I swear it was running at a solid 10-15 fps for most of that time I was playing. Its bad. Its too bad because the game seems fun and like it has some good ideas! Unfortunately its pretty much unplayable with the framerate like it is. Maybe I'll play if for PC one day, but I will not be playing it on the Xbox 360 again. I would keep playing if I didn't have so many other, better games to play at the moments. (This entry has been edited1 time. It was last edited on Sat, 17 Apr 2021 13:40:16.)Sup3rCondorSat, 17 Apr 2021 13:39:21 UTC (XBX X/S) - 17 Apr 2021 - by Sup3rCondor finished the game! The gameplay stayed strong pretty much all throughout the game. This game was advertised as a co-op game, but I played the whole thing solo. I never really felt like I needed more people to play with. The game works great as a single player game. As I previously mentioned, the gameplay is fast and exciting. The game suffers from the same thing that Revenge of the Sith does. The overall story and world are fascinating and interesting. However, the moment to moment scenes and dialogue is not good, and even really bad sometimes. There were plenty of head scratching moments when characters would say one liners that didn't fit the situation at all. Given that Bulletstorm and Gears of War Judgment had very passable dialogue, this is disappointing. It doesn't drag the game too far down though. Finally I want to express my gratitude for gamepass that allowed me to play this game in day one with my subscription. It really is the best deal in gaming, and its only getting better. Anyone who games on Xbox or PC should be subscribed.Sup3rCondorSat, 17 Apr 2021 13:34:38 UTC (PC) - 14 Apr 2021 - by dkirschner is soooo much better than Layers of Fear, the other Bloober Team game I've played. Everything clicks here, and all that I remember disliking about Layers of Fear was improved upon. The setting--holy shit, it's so dystopian cyberpunk. The whole game takes place in these awful, run-down tenements full of drug addicts and people addicted to virtual reality. Your character himself needs a drug to stay sane; if you don't take it (and it's optional!), screen effects like tears and pixelation make it difficult to navigate. Plus, your software (you're heavily augmented) keeps letting you know you need to take it (which, irritatingly, interrupts any audio recordings you might be listening to). The tenements are on lockdown because of the outbreak of a virus that wreaks havoc on augmented people. So you, a detective, are stuck in there, and of course, there is a crime to solve. Not any crime! You find the body of your son, missing his head. You follow a trail of murders, eventually confronting the killer, and then, well, then the story gets really, really good. But the whole game until then is intriguing, largely thanks to the tenements that you can explore, knocking on people's doors and chatting with them. These were some of the most entertaining parts, learning that there is some religious cult, talking to a woman trapped by an abuser, talking to the addicts or criminals who freak out when you say you're a police officer, talking to a VR addict who thinks he's woken up captured by the enemy and locked in a dingy room, and even completing a couple little side story quests. But after the confrontation with the killer, some puzzle pieces fall into place, and then from there the story gets meaningful, largely, I think, with some parallels to transgender identity and issues around transitioning, as well as themes like digital consciousness and genetic modification. I liked the main character and thought the voice acting was fantastic. The visuals are creepy and beautiful with a ton of horror effects like screen distortion. The end part with the trees in the pond in particular was beauuuutiful. The audio is phenomenal. Like I said, all the elements work together. Gameplay wise, you're mostly walking around looking for what you can click on. You can activate two types of detective vision, one to examine technology and another to examine biological matter, which are especially useful for investigating crime scenes. You can pick up objects and look at them, and sometimes you'll need to solve puzzles, which are never too bad. I think I looked at a walkthrough for one that I was stumped on, and one time because I was tired of trying to figure it out (my least favorite part of the game, the forest that masked a warehouse). Occasionally, there are stealth sequences with a monster to avoid. These are bland, as the monster is easy to avoid. They can just take a little while because you have to go so slowly. Plenty of these stealth sequences (and other locations) are really messed up, like bad dreams. The main character is not entirely in touch with reality, and there are four or so really interesting sequences where you have to hack into the brain-chips of murder victims, where you get to see their own lost grips on reality. These were always very cool and changed up the gameplay. There was a bit of a pattern--explore, follow clues, find victim; hack victim and play through their memory/consciousness; learn some info, and then explore, follow clues... Definitely worth a play through if you like cyberpunk, detective stories, and horror. Great merger of the three. dkirschnerWed, 14 Apr 2021 23:05:45 UTC (XBX X/S) - 14 Apr 2021 - by Sup3rCondor more I play this game the more I like it! The gameplay is fast paced and super fun. There is an interesting mechanic with the class I chose (not sure if every class has the ability) in which as I shoot enemies, I regenerate health. This keeps the action high as I run out of cover to shoot as many enemies as possible. The story is pretty interesting, but the voice acting is pretty low quality. Thankfully its not bad enough to take away from the experience. I'm definitely going to beat this game, I'm not sure how much time I have left in it.Sup3rCondorWed, 14 Apr 2021 19:17:09 UTC of Honor (360) - 14 Apr 2021 - by Sup3rCondor game is not great. Its a pretty standard first person shooter and is very obviously a Call of Duty clone. Only this game does everything on a subpar level when compared to CoD. The gunplay is stiff and awkward, and the graphics are very bad for their time. This game came out in the same year as Mass Effect 2 and Call of Duty Black Ops, and it looks more like it came out in 2004. The story is also quite bad. Its a pretty standard military shooter that glorifies the US war effort in Afghanistan. I would say though that is the main redeeming feature of this game. Unlike the present day based CoD games, Medal of Honor tries to reflect reality. Though it largely fails, the effort is appreciated. I beat this game in 3-4 hours, so there really wasn't much too it. I would only recommend playing this if you have nothing else to play. Its a last resort type of game.Sup3rCondorWed, 14 Apr 2021 15:06:46 UTC Rock Galactic (XBONE) - 14 Apr 2021 - by Sup3rCondor game about mining in space as a group dwarves!? And players can embark on this adventure with up to 3 friends? What's not to love! I played this game with my friends for 2 and a half hours yesterday and we had a blast! The gameplay is to tier in this game. The gunplay is fun, each player-class has very specific and useful jobs, and the art-style is beautiful. This is a gamepass game so none of us had to buy it. Gotta love gamepass! We gonna keep playing for sure!Sup3rCondorWed, 14 Apr 2021 09:27:19 UTC Rogue Agent (DS) - 12 Apr 2021 - by jp'll start by saying that I didn't really enjoy the aiming and shooting in the game, and that's the main reason I'm not playing much further than the tutorial level. I've thought about it and I'm mostly annoyed by the inconsistent hit detection - it's both hard to tell when you are hitting/damaging enemies and some hits that should (might?) have been hits didn't(?) register as such? Another strange design decision is that when you press a key it immediately skips the text/exposition which otherwise appears slowly on the screen. This is instead of the more common/standard for the 1st keypress to show all of the text at once and the 2nd keypress to continue. So, I missed a lot of story/exposition... But here's what I think is going on.. You're an agent chasing after the bad guy from Goldfinger. There's something going on in Fort-Knox. So, you rush in...but then a nuke explodes? And you die? But then you decide to work for another bad guy - from another movie. Oh, but you have a special cyber-eye that is supposed to help you see through walls and stuff. So, you're not Bond? Or you are? I'm so confused by all this that it didn't help me want to continue playing either...jpMon, 12 Apr 2021 18:22:11 UTC (PS4) - 12 Apr 2021 - by jp really this game's central conceit - by night you venture into a dungeon for loot that you then sell in your shop by day! With the money you earn you improve your own equipment thus increasing the chances that you'll succeed (go further) in your loot-seeking adventures. The dungeon-eering part of the game is quite straightforward. It's a "Binding of Isaac"-style roguelike. The dungeons are randomly generated, you run around dodge-rolling and attacking (for now with a sword, but you can unlock other weapons including ranged) and you collect loot that monsters drop (or you find in chests) in a backpack with limited slots/space. Additionally there are some items for which there are restrictions in terms of where they can be placed on your backpack. Obviously if you die you lose (almost) all the loot you've picked up. If you want to bail before you beat the dungeon you have to pay a price in coins - you can't just waltz out the entrance... The store part consists of you placing items for sale, deciding for what price and then watching punters come in and react to your prices. Too low and they get stars in their eyes, to high and the grumble and so on. So, you're basically managing what prices to set for things hoping to get enough money such that you can safely bail during your next run while also hopefully saving enough to first unlock shops and then afford to buy the upgrades they sell. The entire loop is actually explained in the game's manual of all places! So, I played a few sessions trying to get a feel for the action and mechanics, but ultimately I decided that I simply didn't want to engage with the game on its own terms. Namely, the loop is way too slow for my taste! I didn't really enjoy selling stuff in the store mostly because it takes too long AND there's a lot of trial and error in setting prices that just seems...well, too much for a game (I expected) to be more about the action side of things. It doesn't help that I'm not that good at the action parts of the game - such that my scavenging runs were more improductive than otherwise. Oh, to add more insult - for the upgrades you can buy in stores you need more than cash, but also items! (of the ones you've scavenged) I was just annoyed by the that I had sold (underprice) a bunch of things it turns out I wanted to keep...sigh. This definitely feels to me like a game that was designed additively - lets add more systems and sub-systems where each works on their own, but the entirety of the game experience simply never gelled for me. More than gelled, it seems like they're competing with each other in terms of their pace. I was just itching to go back into the dungeon, but had to snooze through the store parts, for example.jpMon, 12 Apr 2021 18:10:56 UTC