GameLogBlogging the experience of gameplay Was Alone (PC) - 11 Dec 2018 - by dkirschner game, clocked just about 3 hours. It had potential to be longer and more complex. As is, I enjoyed this oddly calming puzzle platformer, never felt too challenged, and at the same time as some tricks were getting old and tedious to perform (stacking characters to reach higher), new ideas were being introduced that felt only partially explored (e.g., the color fields). It has a clever little story about Thomas and other AIs in a mainframe liberating the AIs. It's well voiced, and I was surprised how much personality could be given to featureless colored cubes. One was curmudgeonly, one was a liar, another wanted to be a superhero, two were falling in love, and Thomas was proud of his jumping abilities. The chuckle-worthy script and cheeky British narrator reminded me of Portal 2 and The Stanley Parable. As for the gameplay, you guide colored blocks to where they need to go. The blocks have different abilities. Thomas is a good jumper, and you later meet a yellow block that is even taller and a better jumper. The purple block can double-jump. The red-orange one can bounce other blocks. The blue one can float in water. The little orange block just seems like a liability, and it's no wonder he's curmudgeonly. Later on, there are "color fields" that change the color of the gray blocks that pass through them. All these different abilities and block sizes are manipulated to get each block to a specific spot on each level, which clears the level. There are some obstacles like spikes and moving platforms, but like I said before, it is really relaxing for a puzzle platformer. I enjoyed the music, which sounded like distorted instrumental post-rock like Explosions in the Sky with some chiptunes bleeps and bloops thrown in. But it did loop over and over and over. Variety would have been cool. The game also reminded me a lot of Ibb and Obb, particularly the latter bits with the red and green blocks with opposite gravity working together. One criticism is the character selection interface. You use the number keys to select characters, which are represented as colored squares in a row on the bottom-right of the screen. There should have been small "1", "2", etc. on the character icons because when you have 8 blocks on a level (and in the later levels most of them are gray, which just leads to a long gray bar instead of individually identifiable block icons), it's really hard to glance down and know which number will select the block you want. The levels are short and the blocks change order from level to level, so it's not like you can memorize "yellow is always 5" or anything like that. Yellow will be 5 on on level, 1 on the next level, 3 on the next level, etc. There was a lot of unnecessary number pressing trying to cycle and select the block I wanted to control.dkirschnerTue, 11 Dec 2018 16:31:55 UTC Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess (Wii) - 06 Dec 2018 - by dkirschner! Sort of...I got frustrated and watched cut scenes for the last few dungeons. But finished! Okay so, overall, this was a game that felt like work to play. I occasionally lost myself in a couple of the great dungeons, but more of my time felt spent in tedium. A couple immediate factors leading to this feeling: 1. Poor instruction and instructional timing for some new items. I remember when I unlocked the water bombs. I saw a lake, dove down, was excited to see destructible rocks, went to select the bombs and...they were grayed out. Why? Hmm. Maybe you don't actually place the bombs while in the water, but drop them from shore and the special thing about these bombs is that they explode in water. I could drop them from the shore, but they blew up long before reaching the rock. Hmm. I later saw on a walkthrough that you have to put the iron boots on first to use water bombs. That doesn't make sense to me. Why can't Link use bombs while swimming, or while standing on the bottom of a lake in normal shoes? Another one that happened tonight was using the dominion rod to make the statue use its sword in the Temple of Time. The game doesn't tell you you can do this, and soon after gaining control of the statue, it got seemingly stuck between a gate and a ledge. I couldn't move it. I did everything I could think of and, not wanting to save and exit (more on that soon), I consulted the walkthrough, which said you have to use the rod on the statue a second time to make it attack. Why would I think to use the rod on the statue a second time?! I already control the statue. The game doesn't tell you these hot tips that are necessary to your progression and saw me wasting a lot of time trying to figure out something that I should have been told. Yet another one tonight is when I learned (again from a walkthrough) that you can use the claw to pick up shells of a particular enemy type. I missed doing it in a room to get the Big Key for the Temple of Time and, long story short (explained below) quit in frustration. There is no reason for me to assume the claw would bring that object to me when it has never brought an object to me in 20 hours of play with the claw. The claw grapples to environmental objects like grates and moss for platforming purposes. I've tried to grapple other things that would seem to make sense and it never does it. I missed that key, escorted the statue all the way down 8 floors of a dungeon, opened the path to the dungeon boss, and came up against...a locked door that required a Big Key. I turned the game off, made food, and turned it back on after I ate. 2. But what happens in Twilight Princess when you're in the Temple of Time dungeon and you save and quit after you've escorted the statue? Why, aside from the statue and the gates you happened to smash with it, the dungeon resets itself! All the enemies respawn, the traps reset, you have to re-do puzzles. At a game I was already lukewarm toward, I faced the prospect of having to trek back up 8 floors of a dungeon (and then back down) to get a key from a chest that I couldn't figure out how to open earlier. And that solution happens to be yet another item usage and/or bad (timing of) information that is inconsistent with its usage in the entire game up to that point. I'm done ranting. There is a lot I enjoyed about the game aside from what I talked about last time. Some of the later dungeons were excellent, with my favorite being the desert one. The puzzles got more challenging, and the more items you acquire, the more creative you can be with thinking about solutions. In the last dungeon, I used like 6 items. Shoutout to the spinner, a rotating disc you ride around like Marty McFly on a hoverboard. The spinner is one reason the desert dungeon stood out; it's a joy to use. One final thing I gathered from playing Twilight Princess is how influential Zelda games are in other adventure games. For example, a couple years ago I played Darksiders, which I really enjoyed (till it bugged out on me and I couldn't finish). But, wow, Darksiders is a Zelda clone! I'm glad I played this, though I could have stopped 10 hours earlier. Watching cut scenes didn't add a whole lot until the very end when All Is Revealed. The story is s-l-o-w and the dialogue is written at like a first grade level, not that exciting at all. Come for the neat use of the Wiimote and the charming world.dkirschnerThu, 06 Dec 2018 21:52:45 UTC Men at Sea (PS4) - 02 Dec 2018 - by jp actually first played this last weekend - but I feel asleep while playing. I'm blaming tiredness not the game, but I guess my overall impression, now that I've finished it (all the different ways you can finish it) is that I'm somewhat disappointed. The game itself is quite simple, clean, and pretty. But... a. I had trouble with the cursor - it's movement never felt smooth and I often overshot what I was aiming for. I'm not sure if this was just a "bad port" issue? (I think that the native version of the game is touchscreen, which makes more sense) b. I was super excited the first time I finished the game - I got a book with a code! It went on a shelf in the game and I was invited to explore further stories/playthroughs. The number, if I recall, was a five-digit one and it game me the impression that, well, there were thousands of different stories (playthroughs). Furthermore, you're invited to visit a site, input your code and you can buy a book! (physical or digital, your choice) Wow! I was so impressed - and it's such a neat idea. Like a little storybook you can have. I imagined people buying the book to gift to little kids and such. But then, as I played through again, and again I realized that the number is a gimmick. There aren't really thousands of different games. In other words, there aren't that many playthroughs, in fact I completed them all in 90 minutes or so. This was such a disappointment! Now, it's not that the playthroughs were bad or anything like that - just that I thought the game was so much more than it ended up being. Sigh. This is like a No Man's Sky of branching narrative games. c. I think it was neat how each playthrough acknowledged previous ones and there was also an effort to shorten some parts that would have been really boring to play through so many times. It sort of skipped ahead (for example the moment when you take fire from the fireplace, the first time you play there's more dialogue and stuff - after that it just skips to the moment when one of the burly men has the torch). It doesn't skip EVERYTHING, and some scenes started to get really long in the tooth (burly men sinking in the ocean particularly), but I did appreciate the attempt to make things shorter than the original playthrough.jpSun, 02 Dec 2018 19:43:32 UTC Drift: Zen Edition (PS4) - 30 Nov 2018 - by jp of this game looked really cool. That's the only reason I bought this game. Having played it for (only?) a few hours, I'm surprised by a few things: a. It's really hard. I just don't seem to get it - in terms of how to best control the car, control my turns and acceleration and what I think are the basic game controls. I bombed the tutorial. My score was in the bottom 5% of all scores! (I eventually got it up to the 45% percentile but that was many attempts later). It's just hard. For me. Which I'm interested in - personally - because I feel like I'm really in the dark as to what I should do to get better at the game. b. There's an "overworld" which is how you get into levels and also how you progress in the game. Zones are gated and in order to lower the drawbridge to the next zone you need to complete a bunch of objectives in a zone. THESE I CAN DO! And, I enjoy just driving around each zone and trying to get the objectives complete - the objectives are generally gameplay related (drift in circles around this thing, drift under this other thing) - but since there's no time pressure I can take my time, plan my route, try again and so on with a lot less pressure and, I must say, a bit of fun. c. So, the overworld/zones I enjoy playing in, but the levels themselves are a disaster for me. It's very sweet/sour sort of experience and I wonder how better players feel about the overworld. For me it's not easy, but I have enjoyed it - will better players find it a cakewalk and a boring grind?jpFri, 30 Nov 2018 22:47:53 UTC Dawn (PS4) - 30 Nov 2018 - by jp finished this last weekend and I have to come clean on a few things: The game's first two chapters didn't really impress me all that much, but once the game gets going - it really moves along quickly and with fun twists. It's interesting to compare this game to other games with branching narratives - e.g. the Telltale Games - in this sense, the butterfly effect stuff is interesting in how it provides context as well as memory, you can read the entries to remember what has already happened and stuff like that. They also do the "previously on..." segments (much appreciated) like Telltale did, but the butterflies add a lot more. I was curious to see if the butterflies would influence me towards/against certain decisions or not. I don't think it did, and I think that's a good thing here. The one thing I was confused about where the detailed stats for each character - I looked at them a few times, and saw how certain choices made things go up/down (you get an "updated status" message) but I didn't get a sense that the stats mattered all that much. Once you're done you can go back and replay chapters - but you have to do them from the start. So, going back to try things differently, while possible, felt more onerous than I was willing to go for. On the other hand, replaying definitely goes faster (and you peek behind the curtain - e.g. quicktime events that don't really matter). I played the entire game worried that someone would die at any moment. I don't think that's possible (most deaths are probably in the last three chapters or something like that), but the illusion that this was possible definitely enhanced the experience for me. A lot. I made it with only two deaths. I mean three. I thought this was pretty good because one was "on purpose" - I did something I knew was a bad idea...jpFri, 30 Nov 2018 22:37:35 UTC Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess (Wii) - 30 Nov 2018 - by dkirschner I bought a Wii U! Now I can play the backlog of Wii and Wii U games I've accumulated over the years. Twilight Princess is first. I did my Zelda research and this one is placed above Skyward Sword (the next in the series) on almost every list. Then Breath of the Wild is apparently one of the best games ever made, and so I figured I would do Twilight Princess (it's appropriate to celebrate my Wii U acquisition with a Wii launch title) as representative of that generation of Zelda games, and then play Breath of the Wild later on. Also, dare I admit that besides the original Legend of Zelda on Nintendo, I've never played a Zelda game except for a few hours of Wind Waker, which I didn't like. Since Twilight Princess is essentially my first Zelda game in 25 years, it took me some time to get used to the flow of the game, and many things that regular Zelda players probably take for granted, I had to learn to make sense of. For example, the game alternates between sort of like "overworld" and dungeon parts, and there seem to be series staples such as the compass, the heart fragments, that iconic chime sound when you discover a secret, and so on. Also somewhere in every overworld/dungeon sequence, Link gets a new toy, whether it's bombs he can use under water, heavy boots, or a grappling hook. You'll use that new item heavily in the associated dungeon, the design of which revolves around the use of the new item, and then use it some later and largely for secrets or revisiting old areas to find new paths. So yes, it took me some time to get used to the flow of the game. Another thing that has taken considerable effort is the controls. Maybe it's because I haven't played a Wii in a long time, and maybe it's because there are so many different actions you can perform and so many different buttons, but I've got busy hands and arms playing Twilight Princess. It is extremely cool to use your sword by making a slashing motion with the Wii controller, to use your shield bash by thrusting the nunchuck forward, and to do a special attack by waving the nunchunk wildly about. You can do all this while holding Z to lock on to enemies, or you can hold Z and press B to use whatever other equipped weapon you have (bow, grappling hook, slingshot, bow with bombs, etc.). It only gets old when the Z targeting doesn't work quite right or when the camera decides to be wonky, which happens a lot. It's also sometimes difficult to play with a cat on your lap who is easily startled by sudden movements. But, the more I play, the more I reinforce that 1 is map, 2 is equipment menu, - is the inventory wheel, + is...I don't remember what + is. That A sometimes cancels and sometimes selects, and sometimes attacks, that B sometimes cancels and sometimes attacks. But when all else fails, just flail wildly. The game's tone is kid-friendly dark. But just when I'm getting turned off by the cutesy sweetness of the game, I'll face a new disgusting looking boss or (what I'm currently doing) witnessing the current main bad guy who looks like a Lovecraftian horror nearly kill Midna, and now I, turned into a wolf, am trying to sneak into Hyrule Castle to get Zelda to help me and Midna. But the whole time, Midna is on my back, half sliding off, gasping for breath like she's dying. Kid-friendly dark, but damn, there is great character art and the weight of Midna dying on your back is heavy. I like these faster, more tense moments of the game better than exploring the dungeons. The dungeons are full of respawning enemies, which can largely be ignored, and all manner of little platforming and other puzzles. I generally dislike the platforming, thanks to the aforementioned wonky camera and lack of precision movement. Last play session, I kept dying in an area because Link kept slipping off a rock, or while attacking a bird, Link would thrust forward and fall off, or Link's grappling hook would attach to vines but the game wouldn't transition from grapple to climbing and so I'd have to let go and start over. The puzzles rarely make you feel all that clever for having solved, but I hope that with more items in my inventory, I can be more creative in approaching puzzles. However, this game is from 2006, so I sort of doubt it. I will say that the grappling hook has been my favorite new tool because you can use it on different kinds of objects and it improves your mobility. One cool moment from my last play session was seeing grappling hook sites high above the center of the water temple, grappling up there and finding a treasure chest on a chandelier, surveying the area and seeing a grappling hook site where a lever should have been, and then getting myself over there, activating the switch, and moving the staircase to its proper position to allow the water to flow to the center of the temple, raising the water level, and allowing me access to the door to the dungeon's boss. That was the most satisfying part of the water temple. But, can we please do away with water levels? Unless you have made Abzu or Subnautica, just don't do it. More later! Based on time to beat, I should be a little over halfway through, but have uncovered most of the map. So hopefully there are some story twists and the game picks up pace.dkirschnerFri, 30 Nov 2018 09:40:03 UTC Let's Go Eevee (Switch) - 25 Nov 2018 - by EEEEhentai 2018/11/21: 花了差不多18个小时通了一周目,整体来讲还是比较愉悦地?因为本身定位就是轻量级,感觉其实并不是非常合适连续的去游玩?前期训练师强度不高,数量频率也不是很高,所以玩起来倒还蛮轻松的。可以一旦打完第二个道馆以后,训练师频率就直线上升了,而且如果想要快速轻松的击败他们,必须非常熟知属性的克制才行。当然,我发现了GF在设计整个游戏的时候,用了一个非常简单的方法控制玩家的水平,并且保证绝大数玩家能通过游戏。首先是在训练师方面,训练师分为三种,一种是可以被躲避的,一种是不可以被躲避的,另一种是需要玩家主动去寻找的精英训练师。不可以被躲避的训练师为玩家提供了通关的最基本的要求,喜欢对战的玩家,或想要培养宝可梦的玩家可以自己迎接上去,并且可以去寻找精英训练师去战斗。精英训练师的难度更高,但一般都会提供较好的东西,高级球、招式学习器等。(躲避训练家本身就是种乐趣) 中后期的节奏实在是太慢,地图上充斥着想跟你对战的训练师,持续高强度没有足够休息缓和的对战,很容易让玩家感受到疲惫。前期还是一个训练师之间跟一个可以让你捕捉精灵的草丛,但到后期基本都是5连战以上,真的很累!当然也可能是因为精灵太少的缘故。 在地图的设计上,在第三个道馆后,玩家行走的路线才稍稍开放一些(其实感觉也好像没开放多少)。因为金虹市的道馆,需要玩家运用袈裟斩除掉树枝障碍才能看到,而玩家在经过这里的时候似乎才刚学这个技能,而且剧情马上引导着玩家朝下一个地方前进,所以非常容易忽略掉这里的道馆。限制较多的地图设计上,更好控制玩家队伍的等级,以及难度。为了让玩家感受到开放,游戏前进的逻辑不是A到B到C,而是A到C再到B。 明雷真的让人舒服了不少!在暗雷的时候,玩家总是会踩雷的莫名其妙(毕竟是按照概率来计算的),尤其是在山洞这些区域里,这时候踩雷,玩家第一个会怪罪的肯定是系统,而不是自己,非常容易产生极强的挫败感,以及影响游戏整体的节奏。但是改成明雷后,不但对宝可梦的生态有很好的展示,同样当玩家撞上宝可梦时,怪罪的更多是自己,而不是系统!当然,明雷的产生逻辑似乎没有做的特别好?宝可梦时长会从玩家脚下重生,则是需要注意的地方。 我其实还是蛮喜欢通过扔球去捕捉宝可梦的,首先这种方式更简单,任何人都能熟练的操作,因为是需要把手柄一甩,或者对准按一个键就行了!不但符合这一作的定义,同时让捕捉这个过程不再变得过于紧张繁琐。当玩家想要去刷6V或者是闪光的时候,不断地进入战斗-残血-捕捉这个循环实在是太过消耗时间以及繁琐了,现在遇到即可去捕捉,而且大大减少了繁琐性,让玩家更加乐于去捕捉怪物。但同时,可能减少了在面对稀有怪,将它消弱至残血的那个紧张感。但我还是觉得利大于弊的。 同时本作的连续捕捉机制,也是同样促进玩家多去捕捉,简化捕捉高强度宝可梦的机制。当玩家连续捕捉同一只宝可梦时,稀有度闪光度会大大增加! 缺少训练宝可梦的地方,搭档宝可梦缺少变化,但是在玩家身边的神态帮助玩家还是非常有意思的!(伊布疯狂摇动尾巴,说明附件有隐藏道具)。 性格,6V,培养是关键。 Go的联动,让游戏简单了不少!更是帮助Go提升了不少意义。 迷宫:轨道,传送点,推石头。EEEEhentaiSun, 25 Nov 2018 00:13:32 UTC (iPd) - 24 Nov 2018 - by jp've been playing this on the phone a little bit here and there. It's essentially a rogue-lite (you can purchase stuff that carries over). It's cute, and it can get challenging, but I'm not all that excited. Well, there are lots of different characters, and the game incentivizes finishing dungeons with more than one, BUT there is a grind to get loot to buy decent starting equipment for them which is a bit of a drag. On the other hand, each character has different abilities (that you unlock as you level up within a dungeon, you always start at level one) which provide different tactical opportunities. Overall, I think I might stick with it until the end - but for one character. I may not if I get to a point where it feels to grindy. The story? Some sort of forest creatures, and time travel and all woodsy? I haven't paid much attention and it seems mostly a bit...boring? Maybe there's a big twist somewhere along the way. So far the "sprite" (sproggy?) that tells you what to do is very suspect...jpSat, 24 Nov 2018 16:21:30 UTC Trek Bridge Crew (PS4) - 18 Nov 2018 - by jp played a demo of this at GDC and it was awful. It just seemed really dumb and I felt that I couldn't do anything. I was wrong! I picked this up on a trip over the summer in Italy. I gambled that it would work in English (it did!) so that was a huge sigh of relief. I played the Engineer tutorial which was fun and then decided I'd jump online to play with some other people. I must have spent 20 minutes or so in the lobby waiting - at most there were two other people, which might have been on Rifts? I wonder because they had hands they could move around (it took 5 minutes for one to make rude gestures). But, maybe they were using PSMove controls? I was using a controller and deliberately stayed quiet - though, as noted by one of the randos, he could hear my breathing. Oh well. I never did get that multiplayer match. Fortunately, there's a campaign so I played the first mission of that. I had to bail because, not having done the captain tutorial, I got to a point where I was unable to figure out how to proceed (UI wise). The tutorial sorted me out, it was a dumb thing but I was ready to go! It was a fun, albeit easy, mission. The Kobayashi Maru! Weird choice for your first mission, but it was a simulation (within the game), so it makes sense from the training perspective? Anyways, I'm looking forward to some more missions....jpSun, 18 Nov 2018 20:17:10 UTC Dawn (PS4) - 18 Nov 2018 - by jp started playing this a loooong time ago, but never finished or got too far. I don't know why, other than perhaps something else - more exciting at the moment - came along. I also neglected to write anything about the experience so here goes for a more recent play session. I thought I'd play some more - at least finish one play through - because the unplayed pile of shame is very large. I'm surprised by how easily I was able to get back in. The game does a good job of reminding you of prior choices and important scenes. I also recalled being confused about the flashback scene. It's one where you play a few girls who are running away and then they die. They were being bullied, apparently by all the different characters you play now. I was confused for a moment because the flashback scene was inside the cabin and the scene I played had me...trying to get into the cabin. Anyways, it all made sense in the end. I found a few more totems - that trigger partial flash-forward scenes. Somehow I should be able to make sense of them to avoid/prevent what they refer to. I'm not sure how that will work out, to be honest. At this point I have one section of each of the totems. I've also been picking clues - again, I'm not sure how they will come into play. I'm guessing they might affect future events in some way? For example, I found a baseball bat - and there was a message alerting me that, it mattered somehow (it was one of those butterfly messages where things go one way or another). I'm curious to know how the clues and totems play out and whether or not its possible to "get everything" in one playthrough? I'm guessing not - and I'm surprised by how many clues it seems I've missed so far...jpSun, 18 Nov 2018 20:11:01 UTC