All posts by mightysbb

Obscured By Sales: Steam Autumn Sale 2014

Sometimes it can be hard to keep track of new Steam releases when under fire from all the $3.74 and $7.49. Here’s all the most interesting-looking games released from November 26-December 2, during Steam’s 2014 Autumn Sale.

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How Divine Divinity Broke My Heart

When Larian released their “old-school” RPG Divinity: Original Sin back in June, I was enthralled. I could barely run it, I knew there was no chance of me ever completing it, and number-crunching builds is not one of my strong suits, but its uniquely elemental combat and open-ended questing managed to hook me for 35 hours (a drop in the bucket to some, but record-breaking for me). Trying to capitalize on the Divinity buzz, the Humble Store quickly offered up a huge sale on the previous games: Divine Divinity, Beyond Divinity and Divinity II.

Right off the bat, Divine Divinity intrigued me. It sounded like an action RPG with a sprinkling of more thoughtful and methodical mechanics, which is exactly what it turned out to be. Usually you’ll see people chalk it up as a Diablo clone and this is definitely true of the first few hours of the game, which oddly see you descending a handful of floors in a sprawling dungeon – something you’ll seldom do for the rest of the game. But once I completed the dungeon, I was presented with a single waypoint… on the other end of the map.

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Coin Crypt Review

Coin Crypt is the embodiment of a certain tier of indie game. These games are no Bastion or Hotline Miami, that transcend the stigma of the term “indie game” and stand out as some of the best in their genre, but they’re no Lifeguard either. They’re the games that strip a genre to its core elements, coking it up a little and costuming it in a retro art style. In so doing, though, they often cut themselves out of any of the depth and complexity needed to be particularly gripping for more than a session or two. Coin Crypt stands out as the epitome of losers here.

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Hold the phone, Terra Battle is an actually good mobile game!

The most consistently I’ve ever played a mobile game was Jetpack Joyride in 2011, and ever since I burned out on it, finding a solid mobile game has been slim pickings. For the last two weeks, Terra Battle has been the first mobile game I’ve found in these three years that is not only good in the first place, but simultaneously mindless enough to easily fill in the gaps in the day, and complex enough to sustain itself.

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Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Review

If you’re like me and you loved Borderlands, but Borderlands 2 wasn’t quite your jam, then you’ll probably find a lot to love in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. I certainly liked The Pre-Sequel several times more than I ever liked BL2, but for every time you’re reminded of how much you like the original, there’s another time you’ll learn to appreciate all the polishing work the sequel received.

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Guacamelee: Gold Edition Review

Forming an opinion on Guacamelee has proven to be a difficult task, and criticizing it has proven to be even harder. On one hand, it’s a pleasant-enough platformer that fancies itself among the $15 indie hoi oligoi. On the other hand, it’s just no fun. What do you say about a game like this? Do you focus on praising the solidity of its mechanics, or chastising its unengaging gameplay and flatline pacing?

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Lifeless Planet Review

Lifeless Planet is a perfect example of a game for which nearly everything has gone wrong. Like TinyKeep, almost every feature is contradicted by another feature until the game is a boring, confusing mess. It’s one of those new-fangled narrative-driven games, but no – it’s a 3D platformer. It’s a 3D platformer, but wait – the controls are absolutely god-awful. The controls are absolutely god awful – oh, yeah, this game is terrible.

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Gauntlet Review

It’s been nearly ten years since anybody’s wanted to make a Gauntlet game, and rightfully so. Fans of the series (and realists in general) would probably be safe in assuming that the pre-Dark Legacy appeal is never going to resurface but from indies. Any new, name-brand Gauntlet would come with so many modern trappings baked-in that much of the point of playing a Gauntlet game would simply be eliminated. Because of this stigma, Arrowhead Studios, the creators of Magicka and Helldivers, were probably the best developers for a new, modern Gauntlet game.

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