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Title: Journey and its ilk
Posted: May 16, 2012 (10:35 AM)
I thought I'd crap out my thoughts on this game while they are still somewhat fresh. I hope that Journey lovers don't take this as a personal attack, because it's not.
I understand that my personal aesthetic may make me a poor candidate for appreciating games like Journey; indeed, I am so bored by this kind of stuff that I can't get far enough in the game to warrant writing a proper review.
But I have to ask to nobody in particular... what's the appeal? Bear in mind that I am the same hater of all things beautiful and stripped down who doesn't have much love for Ico and Shadow of the Colossus either.
But getting back to Journey: it's a very simplistic game. I may be wrong (again, I only passed 3 or 4 'levels') but here is a title where you can really make do with one button.
The good old Sonic the Hedgehog games only made use of one button function too. But those games offered some semblance of challenge and there was lots to see and do.
Not Journey though. This 'game' is a bland beige tour through a wasteland with cyclopean structures jutting out here and there, involving hopping about and riding carpets to no worthwhile end.
On some occasions, I can pierce the heavy veil of pretentious praise from supporters and see that they love the game because it offers something 'different and beautiful in its simplicity.'
I think back to Out of This World, which was a game that was different and offered a simple, yet beautifully told story of friendship. But that game also had sick puzzles and hard as hell shooting elements. That game killed you a lot.
I imagine OoTW in an alternate universe, where Lester and the big alien just hold hands and run and jump to the end. That would have been something else.
Users with accounts on the HonestGamers site are able to contribute reviews and occasionally other types of content. Below, you'll find excerpts from as many as 20 of the most recent articles posted by Masters. Be sure to leave some feedback if you find anything interesting!
You play the role of The Hero, but you look like Edward Carnby, specifically from Alone in the Dark 2, right down to the blue leisure suit and pitiful death sequences. You are the strapping, golden-domed captain of the football team, enjoying a sunset with your prudish girlfriend on the beach, besotting her with your romanticism and a bottle of Alize.
I am not enamoured of any two old games slapped together (just Silent Hill 2 and 3 in this case) being called a “collection” in the first place, especially given how easily Silent Hill 4: The Room (of the same ‘era’) could have been included for more value if not quality. Moreover, the third instalment isn't a great game anyway; certainly not on par with the second – but this is still the best release for the series in ages.
Some might argue that the canon was lost once it left the hands of its original developers; since that time it has been passed from studio to studio, each with ingenuous intentions of making the first ‘next gen’ standout. Regrettably, that still hasn’t happened.
Game: Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (PlayStation 3)
Posted: March 23, 2012 (10:57 AM)
My team went through a checkpoint door and encountered enemy resistance. I noticed one teammate was absent on the front lines, and looked for her. Naturally, she was running in place, into the locked checkpoint door we had just come through.
Tragically, though the poor presentation is the first thing you’ll notice, it’s not the worst. Not by a long shot. In fact, an argument could be made that the presentation is the best thing the game has going for it.
Alone 3 tries to blend the first game’s unparalleled approach to otherworldly detective work, with the second game’s more lighthearted but equally smart MacGyver-esque sleuthing (and jacked-up combat), in order to arrive at a happy medium. To the credit of the developers, the mixture does reach a medium, but it’s not happy.
WotW isn't exactly unplayable; the tense narrative and bleak, nearly monochromatic presentation does much to convey the hopelessness of the human plight in London in the face of merciless invaders.
All PopCap could do to evolve the experience was to polish the presentation, and tack on enough variations of the main game to entice us to dive in. Fortunately, they’ve done both fairly well here. The results aren’t spectacular, as they were with EA’s exquisitely refined Tetris, but it’s about as good a job as can be expected.
Daytona USA was an experience. And it’s the sort of experience that can never be brought home. Sure, we can search online for seven like-minded old school players to have a go, but that doesn’t come close. What might have come close, would be local multiplayer, so that at least you could invite friends over and split-screen race to your hearts’ content. Guess what? Local multiplayer is not available. Oops.
Attention puzzle game gurus! Tired of taking apart videogame conundrums like so much Lego? IGS has your game. You won’t beat it any time soon. In fact, Tricky Kick’s box should wear a disclaimer: If you think you’re at all good at games, don’t play this. Your ego and sense of self worth may be smashed irreparably.
Kyotokei tries to be the horizontal Ikaruga and it does what it sets out to do in a perfunctory fashion, lacking distinction or panache. That being said, if you loved Ikaruga, you’ll like Kyotokei, because how many other colour based shoot-em-ups are there really?
The GameBoy iteration of R-Type II managed to take the already flawed and decidedly obnoxious arcade experience, and made it loathsome and near-unplayable.
The car won’t drive anymore -- you'll have to ditch it. You strain your eyes to seek her out, but the snow makes it hard to see. Cheryl is out there, somewhere in the whiteness. She’s a little girl lost, drowning in a sea of powder: The lonely resort town of Silent Hill has claimed her.
Game: Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth (Xbox)
Posted: July 26, 2011 (10:55 PM)
Lovecraft always waxed poetic about dangers “not to be met or dealt with, but only to be fled from as precipitately as possible.” None of his scholarly protagonists ever kicked Dagon's ass, or put buckshot into any of the Deep Ones. But that is what this game expects of us.
From malevolent children bearing bows and arrows and the inexorable presence of a giant spider early on, to crushing gears and high-voltage surfaces in later industrial-themed levels—everything is beset upon you to bring about your ruin. You will be skewered, bludgeoned, electrocuted, decapitated. And you’ll get used to it. It's a small price to pay to learn, to see what comes next.
Cloud Master has tepid and disposable written all over it, but its accessibility is its saving grace.
Didn’t Sega ask itself that most obvious question that begs answering even now? What if the baseball game we make for our beloved Master System isn’t great? What then? Won’t we look like fools? What then? Will we fold? Most likely someone did ask that question, but was promptly fired and replaced by someone else’s son, and the so-so game that is Great Baseball was released anyway.
The story of Bob Parr and his gifted family of superheroes (wife, Mrs. Incredible; children, Violet and Dash) is told inexcusably poorly. When you finish the adventure, you still won’t know what the movie is about.
Hang On is still enjoyable, in its small way.
Big-headedness ruled the roost on the Turbografx-16, and we had developers Hudson Soft to thank. From Bonk’s Adventure to JJ & Jeff, Hudson had a stranglehold on the burgeoning cutesy 2D platformer featuring characters with massive noggins genre.