Void

Void

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Ancient Egypt Tourist Mode [AC Origins]

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It’s a shame of course about the censorship (funny if people did this in real life) but it’s nice to see teachers and educators paying attention to the great potential of the medium and it’s nice of the devs to take steps in their direction.

From the launch of the game I had been saying that it’s a shame this wonderful historical recreation doesn’t have a mode like this for people who just want to cruise around. I was imagining a better way would be to have a separate way just out of flying with the bird which is both wonderful and very interesting, but hey, I guess this has both, so, quite fantastic!

Piano Fallout 4 Theme

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I didn’t love the original quite as much, but this interpretation sounds quite great.

The Single Player Gamer

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I’m growing to like Bethesda more and more… i feel like they’ve made a bit of commitment through this one and i’m really happy if they start to pool resources from crossovers, Doom, Fallout, Skyrim, Dishonored, Prey… i hope they can pull the engine, the pipeline, maybe artists or workflows and editors, maybe this is the only way today to compete with the huge financial attraction of “games as service” with all the recurring revenues, but maybe with a pool of games which could benefit from cross content they could pull of producing regular content based games. It stresses me even in a game which i admire for the world like AC Origins, it stresses me out every time i start it to get a “join this week’s community event”, “buy our newest trivial skin”.. it’s like an endless little frustration jab: “you don’t have it all, and you haven’t completed it”… robbign me of the joy of knowing i’m done and of the ease of mind of knowing “what’s left” and instead keeping me in a constant “see, there’s this new content, this MIGHT be something you’ll love … OR it might be another wave based leaderboards trick hidden under a story skin, but the only way to find out is to waste some time and anxiety poking at it for a while”.
 

I really hope some companies will find it profitable to still make games as content (as opposed to as service), things that you can just consume like a movie/book and be done to it and move on, but if people keep voting with their pockets otherwise… of course I understand them, but I have some hopes that maybe this kind of content has a kind of less glamour but hopefully a kind of security for companies after all. Even if it’s just some niches.

The Evil Within 2 – impressions

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Shortly after the prequel, just a few days later in fact, I finished tEW2, so with both fresh in mind here’s my quick impressions

+, +, +, +, + maaan a bit of open worldness, that was mega cool! I mean sure, it wasn’t anywhere on the level of polish or variety of a Dying Light or Dead Island, nor the consistency of a Elder Scrolls, but hey, it was there, and it was great, some player choice, even some attempts at secondary quests for a few hours made exploring each train and house a thrill of my own making as I felt I didn’t HAVE to be there, and therefore felt responsibility

-, – unfortunately the commitment to this direction was not that great, with a world that was pretty empty, and most importantly badly chosen in being bland: contemporary environments make little in visual interest (where for example EW1 had some 18-19th century visuals which were great)

+, – the main story was pretty “meh” for me. Had some good parts, but also some boring parts, and a lot of missed opportunities for it to being genuinely interesting by trying to be super bland. “Father and daughter”… says it all unfortunately and this was stretched for player motivation, from introducing the daughter to the unreasonable coincidence that’s never satisfactorily explained as to why she’s also super important to “the evil corporation” (yeah, another one, how unoriginal and cowardly), as is he. Of all the people in the world, these two.

-, -, +, +  the game has a lot of mediocrity. I mean the prequel had awesome parts and reeeally really bad parts, this one doesn’t have the bad parts, but is also mostly missing the excellent moments/locations

+, + much muuch less “instant death” moments. I mean they were still there so that’s a minus, but still MUCH better than the prequel.

-, -, +, +, – there’s a rather memorable antagonist as the photographer, which rather annoyed me being a typical serial killer policeman story with some gore, though there were also some memorable visuals. Still, because it was so linear it felt constraining.

+, + the game has some well done surrealist moments and scenes, locations with an Escher-esque feel and even interesting ideas such as micro time loops

+, +, +, +, -, + they made this SUPER huge move that I always wonder why more games don’t and that made a HUGE impact to my experience: they allowed me to play in first person 90% of the time. MAaaan that was greeeat! Contributed a lot to the enjoyment of the world, the open world and the memories in general. Sure, it didn’t feel AS beautiful visually as 3rd person but it was totally worth getting over the feeling that something is missing for the sake of the great immersive first person experience, even if it was a bit unpolished at times (breaking those huge boxes felt silly, the collision felt bad with the knife, as was with the little key statuettes… ). What a FANTASTIC move! This added a LOT to my game and was a main reason for me buying it and enjoying it as much as I did. I wish more games did this.

Overall I’d give this game a 1 on a -5 to 5 scale. It was a decent AAA game with some nice moments and some “meh” moments. It took us about 17h of gameplay to finish it, out of which I think about half were exciting, and the rest were linear so-so story. It was enjoyable enough to finish, and never as horrible as the prequel when I abandoned it for months. Would I super recommend this game? I guess not, but it’s okay.

gameSketch 395

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A spirit’s shadow of a world, in the footprints but unfortunately in the shadow of the originals

 
Usual rules: 3 tries per person. Winner gets to propose a gameSketch. x5 multiplier for first timers. Newcomers: you may ask for 3 freebies even if you didn’t yet guess anything. Outstanding credits: Schkan x6, Firefish x36, Jason Clark 10, Jaco x101, Marius, SebastianKErben x20, Radu x45, , 47Crows x19, Ange, PettyX90 x7, Pori x2, Tarpo x5, player347 x9, Diana x6, VideoGamesAsArt x2 , thegazer x9, BiaHawks x7, rsocu x5, Teofil S. Awaiting scenes from you guys.

 

The Evil Within – impressions

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+, +, + remarkable production values

+, +, +, + epic length/value for money. It felt like 3 times as long as I was expecting, and all continuing not with stretched content but with constantly new locations and set-piece moments

+ the classical music sections such as the safe zone were nice, in the rest i didn’t remember/notice/like any special music. The credits has a bit of it.

-, -, – a lot of gore and shock horror, way too much and way too rudely in your face in my opinion

+, +, + the overall story felt pretty interesting

-, – it felt often very “gamey” … like contrived with game elements, enemies spawning, strongly scripted moments (in the bad sense) like enemies appearing at certain moments, no freedom, and the occasional totally gratuitous twist just to say put you in a “now you’re shooting a machine gun”, “now you’re locked in a moving elevator + shooting gallery”

+, +, +, + some really spectacular locations in variety, and also in production values, with little recycling and amazingly done. I often couldn’t believe this is not some prerendered scene because so much of the environment was changing around me, buildings falling/changing/ending up in new places…

+, +, + nice story twists, original story and a nice twist on horror with even some science elements

-, -, -, – overdone gore

+ some of the most spectacular game OR movie street city crasing/earthquake scenes I’ve ever seen

-, -, – bad pacing… too much tension and disgusting things without alternating with peace/contemplation/observation/something different… it tried to keep the beat too long too stressful leading to often just wanting to close it and for months not looking forward to start it again

+, + but in the end did because of the great production values

-, -, -, – a LOT of one shot kills and unfair moments.

-, -, – made worse by long loads. Any game that has so many unfair player kills should at the very least instant load… but still the problem is unexcusable because:

-, -, – it doesn’t make story sense. Every time the protagonist said “phew, i made it” all i could think is, “no, no, you didn’t, you died sooo many times. this movie would’ve ended so far before”.

+, + there’s moments where it felt satisfying, an environmental puzzle which made sense, or where being careful was rewarded with a payoff giving a Dark Souls style satisfaction of overcoming adversity in an interesting setting, but then they were also killed off by others which were simply arbitrary and felt random

+, – the horror/supernatural/fiction setting can be a wonderful thing a fascinating world to discover… but it turns out it can also feel like “a nightmare” in a more literal and unpleasant sense in that it feels arbitrary. I mentioned Dark Souls earlier, at least those worlds felt consistent in the rules, and in the world .. here sometimes it was interesting, sometimes random.

+ if one could strip away all the bad design choices in this game you’d end up with a game with a cinematic spectacle rivaling an Uncharted game and reminiscent of Resident Evil 4…. too bad there’s also all the frustration

Overall I’ll give the game a 0. It’s weird. For the high production values and length and the interesting story i’m tempted to give it a 1 or even a 2, but then I remembered all the moments it made me soooo hate it, like seriously angry, with cheap and random deaths, with boss battles, with repeated pointless frustration. There were even moments even close to the end where i had settled on -1 despite all the pluses because along with the greats there were so many horrible things it did and backward choices, but in the end I guess it deserves a 0 on a -5 to 5 scale. I can imagine people really admiring and appreciating some things in it, but I can also imagine people who like I felt at times feel like throwing the disk against a wall and promising to themselves to never again buy a game from this dev because they don’t entertain but rather abuse their players… but yearh, then there’s the good portions with are impressively professionally done and the great variety in locations and the interesting story elements…. so overall, well, it’s a draw. It was frustrating enough to not deserve the standard 1 that i give to mediocre but AAA games, and yet there were great moments and content in there. I wouldn’t recommend it though. I did buy the sequel and I’ll give it a try hoping they’ve kept the good and thrown away the bad… we’ll see.

PS: I’ll end this more critical review with and example of one of the redeeming sides of this game, it’s sometimes fascinating environments, of great variety, one of which is this mansion, which shows how much nice historical building research they did

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In the shadow scale of great colossi a non-horned child gets a pet

I be cold sick these days so the image fits :D

 
Usual rules: 3 tries per person. Winner gets to propose a gameSketch. x5 multiplier for first timers. Newcomers: you may ask for 3 freebies even if you didn’t yet guess anything. Outstanding credits: Schkan x6, Firefish x36, Jason Clark 10, Jaco x101, Marius, SebastianKErben x20, Radu x45, , 47Crows x19, Ange, PettyX90 x7, Pori x2, Tarpo x5, player347 x9, Diana x6, VideoGamesAsArt x2 , thegazer x9, BiaHawks x7, rsocu x5, Teofil S. Awaiting scenes from you guys.

 

ELEX – impressions

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Pfu, this was a big one, with some rough corners, but totally worth it. Here’s my quick thoughts as the credits are rolling:

+, +, + fascinating interesting world to discover

-, + from the creators of Gothic I kept hoping for another interesting medieval world, but that’s okay because despite my bad expectations they somehow managed to pull it off, to make a mix of medieval and scifi that felt half believable. I didn’t expect that.

+, +, +, +, + Amazing and fascinating story. I say this despite my initial skepticism, but because of the many times it impressed and twisted things around, so many times I thought I had a point of view and opinion which was wonderfully flipped into new revelations and new curiosity and interest. I gotta say I was impressed

+, +, +, -, +, + Amazingly big and fascinating world. So much to explore, so much to do. In many ways it made me think of Zelda Breath of the Wild, in this kind of gameplay of a big world in which all directions are open, where you’re struggling but discovering. The world feels much more mature and well thought out, but also not quite classically fairy tale beautiful. Shockingly it is that too, with many many moments of jaw-dropping beauty. There’s areas in it which are not as artistically well done, but then others which are simply beautiful (amazing vegetation and the day night cycle come to mind). The beauty is enhanced by:

+, +, +, -, – there’s moments of technical excellence. Sometimes the world looks faantastic. And I suspect not just the artwork, which I found just okay, but the tehnical side, the god ray, the HDR lighting, the draw distances. Unfortunately also on the technical side there were some embarrassing weakness. Framerates/controls felt sometimes clunky or lack of fluidity in animations/movements. Another example eeeevery single going into the inventory took bothersomely long. And this is an acitvity that you do as you’d think VERY often in an RPG. Or weird stuff like going into the map and not being able to reach the North East side of it… except then later we discovered at a certain zoom level

-, -,+ the game has a lot of unpolished corners, from clunky controls to the occasional seeming “bugs” nothing game breaking, but little moments of frustration. It felt okay though as the amount of options and things to discover were worth overcoming these things.

+, + quite interesting and often beautiful vegetation. But also the deserts are quite beautiful. As usual didn’t like much the cold and snow areas, but hey, the variety overall I guess had to have it, and there’s even some lava fields. Still, my favourite were the green areas.

+ there’s some nice touches with sounds, for example when I noticed the bird chirping in the green areas I was quite pleasantly surprised

-, +, – the game mechanics are often too little explained. In this it’s a bit like the original Dark Souls, and no, i don’t mean like gameplay like most people do, I mean in it being that kind of unpolished gem where you keep getting annoyed at things that weren’t explained, at stats/traits which seem trivial/useless but then are crucial… but then we forgave it all seeing how much thinking was put behind the stuff and it’s not that the world was bad, just the explanations were underbudgetted

+, + quite cool minigames, I liked the lockpicking in particular, and the hacking was interesting too… but again hoooribly eplained, had to youtube/google it

+, + the music I found okay, not amazing but not bad either; however through repetition does add a lot to the mood of various places

+, +, + pretty interesting factions

– annoying too strong startup/logo/intro sounds… at each startup being too loud and scaring a bit, so many times jumped to grab the volume control, often too late

+, + there’s some nice amount of choice and tradeoffs

– the freedom in gameplay choices means you can easily make a game which can already be hard to learn the ropes of, even harder, which is what I did.

-, – yet another game which doesn’t understand the meaning of an “easy” difficulty, though in the end it was a good enough game to be worth putting up with that

-, – there can be pretty strong discrepancies between what your character says and how he speaks and your actual abilities in the game, like he may be talking like a powerful person while you feel yourself in practice very weak. Similarly you encounter people in the world which talk to you like you’re some great hero and powerful problem solver even while you’re in fact hiding behind your companions which do most the work or you simply run away from places.

+, +, + a large amount of interesting quests loaded with interesting characters and stories, both in world characters and companions that surprise and delight

– the endgame has a bit of a cliff hanger ending… which I don’t fully agree with as I prefer great stories to be closed, even if they will be enriched or expanded later, but one has to admit it was done pretty nicely and while one is left with curiosity I have to give it to them they do manage to misdirect wonderfully with a lot of wrapups of other loose ends and mysteries.

+, +, +, + I really had the impression they have put a lot of thought into creating this world

+, +, + plus although i would’ve hoped for a purely dark fantasy world without the scifi, I gotta say they managed to do amazing world building here, and in particular I have great admiration for the effort of creating a NEW world, something which, it’s true, can only be done once, but it is the more remarkable because of that. It’s much easier to build on an existing world, but to create a new one, and do so with such ambition and backstory, i gotta say I’m impressed

Overall I’d give this game a 3.9 on a -5 5o 5 scale. Despite the rough corners and lack of polish which made me initially just think of just a 3.5 the size and scale and grandeur of the project, the ambition and choices… as well as the amazing length of the story (I think about 90h so far, and story ongoing after credits also) has impressed me in great ways.

PS: it’s only after the credits and after doing another big set of wrapup world exploration that when the game did a “summary of your actions” ending type of things that I remembered again just how much this game reminded me of my beloved Fallout 2: not just in the way where it pays off to go around to talk with random people in the town but in it’s quest and story structure, perfect for this kind of complex ending that requires a very flexible non-cinematic summary, because your actions in the world cannot be summarized in 1 or 3 or even 5 endings, but instead they are upon locations and upon people and upon projects. Another great plus for the game! + +  + +

PS2: even after finishing the game it’s still a fun to explore more, and I’m finding to my surprise still new and interesting areas.

Farcry Primal Timelapses

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What a beautiful world!

Quake 2 Rapid Rundown

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I totally second the part about it being one of the best soundtracks ever! (as funny story did even a non gamer friend which took it to the gym for workout where everybody was impressed they said)

Frogger: He’s Back!

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I hear this game got bad reviews, but for me it was a super awesome game, played it a lot with my sisters, we found it quite fascinating. And it was one of the coolest things to use my then fresh 3fx Voodoo Rush video card.

The Jak Trilogy

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It was quite amazing for it’s time. I remember being blown away on the ps2 by the open worlds of Jak 3 & Jak 2

Mr House in Fallout New Vegas)

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Some very interesting moral questions showing the divide of human thinking.

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A lovecraftian mystery wrapped in a stress simulator

 
Usual rules: 3 tries per person. Winner gets to propose a gameSketch. x5 multiplier for first timers. Newcomers: you may ask for 3 freebies even if you didn’t yet guess anything. Outstanding credits: Schkan x5, Firefish x36, Jason Clark 10, Jaco x101, Marius, SebastianKErben x20, Radu x45, , 47Crows x19, Ange, PettyX90 x7, Pori x2, Tarpo x5, player347 x9, Diana x6, VideoGamesAsArt x2 , thegazer x9, BiaHawks x7, rsocu x5, Teofil S. Awaiting scenes from you guys.

 

Playstation Graphics Development over Time

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Nice trip to history. Can’t say I agree with all the connection points of causality on the narrative, but still an interesting trip through time.

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