Game Progress 1/24
January 24, 2016

I wish I could say I spent this week wiping out various entries from my backlog. Sadly, I invested most of my free time into either falling asleep or tweaking my now-live Brutal: Above the Claw review. Most of the games I played this week weren't even on my backlog, technically.

I put an end to my playthrough of Culpa Innata. I spent so much time away from this yuck that I couldn't recall what I needed to do next. That's really no problem, though, because I could check my diary and figure out my next move. The true issue is that the game flat out sucks and is so boring that I don't feel like going through the trouble of studying dry journal entries so I can resume this cringeworthy quest. Any time I thought about playing the game, my mind would invent excuses not to touch it. Isn't that the opposite of how hobbies work? Anyway, this is the third time I've given up on this point-and-click adventure title, and it's the last. As Stephen King once said, "Life's too short to read bad fiction." I'm sure that goes for playing it as well.

I made it to zone 102 or something like that in Clicker Heroes and decided to ascend the world. Since the ascension, I've had the opportunity to tinker with some of the new tabs that have appeared. I've now summoned two ancients, hired five mercenaries, and obtained two artifacts. Additionally, I learned how to better manage my money, which has gotten me to zone 55. The game is currently running, and I've decided to drop anchor here so I can continuously beat the boss and crawl my way closer to the next boss kill achievement.

I finished Silent Insanity P.T., not that doing so is much of an accomplishment. It's a very easy walking simulator for Android that happens to feature one whole level of shooting, followed by a predictable "twist" ending. As if that's not bad enough, the developer felt he had to spell out the "surprise." Because heavy-handedness is a prized quality in gaming narrative, right? Anyway, I have a rough draft typed up for an upcoming community review, so you'll be able to read a more detailed piece on my thoughts regarding this tiresome app.

Having beaten Silent Insanity, I decided to start Into the Dead, about which I've heard pleasant things. So far, I'm actually impressed. The game is a first-person endless runner where you attempt to charge past zombies in an open field (and eventually a forest). You can occasionally snatch up a weapon and take a few out, assuming they get in your way. Surviving for as long as you can may be the game's objective, but it offers a collection of other goals to fulfill so that you can unlock new goodies, receive more gold for buying nifty things, and even access new play modes. I don't typically like endless runners, but I'm having a hard time making a case against this one.

Recently, as in several hours ago, I restarted and played all the way through the horror game 7Days. It's a creepy and short game that's very fascinating and enjoyable. Most of the campaign transpires within a plain house full of mysteriously placed doors and corridors. As you explore the house, it alters its shape and occasionally throws some demonic emanations at you for good measure. The first-person perspective also has this strange, zoomed-in quality to it that gives if the feel of a dream/nightmare. I don't want to give too much away, but expect a staff review in the future.

Filling the 'X' portion of Alpha Marathon is always tricky. There are loads of banal sci-fi games that begin with X, there's the X-COM series (which, while I respect it, is not my cup of tea) and then there are scores of X-Men titles that range in quality, most of them mingling near the shallow end of the spectrum. I decided to play through X-Men: Wolverine's Rage, a platformer exclusively made for Gameboy Color. I had hoped that it would improve upon the middlin' NES Wolverine's material, but it's really about the same. It has some terrific stages with elaborate designs, but combat is irksome and Wolverine's "rage" ability tends to activate when you don't want it to, causing you to lose health while it's active. The worst parts are the dumb boss encounters, most of which provide you with a place to perch so Logan can fully heal and return to battle without consequence. Sabretooth, for instance, has a platform you can leap upon and wait while he swings at the air. Once your health is full, you can hop back down and recommence clawing him to death. I got to about the penultimate stage before deciding I had had enough. Review forthcoming.

Finally, I restarted STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl and completed the first story mission. I like this game so far, but it starts off a bit confusing. I wandered the first area forever looking for a weapon, then said screw it and walked to the first mission. Magically, a weapon appeared in my inventory. With my newly discovered pistol, I head-shot (after several retries) a goodish number of bandits, and managed to secure a shotgun. After rescuing the hostage who serves as the first mission objective, I received a quest to hunt down a "nice suit" for him, which I did. That adventure almost didn't end well, what with starving hounds running up to me and becoming victims of my itchy trigger finger. I shot and killed one "harmless" dog, got attacked by a couple of others who were enraged by his passing, and started a commotion in the tunnel towards which I was heading. One surviving hound stirred a couple of enemies inside, somehow managed to kill one himself, and sent the other--a human-faced dog creature--running right toward me. Long and short: he got an ugly face full of bullets and I got the suit. Currently embarked on another story mission. I'm not sure when I'll get back to this game.

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