It may have been Rock Paper Shotgun that recently posted an article along the lines of “Why Isn’t There More Surrealism In Gaming?”. I certainly didn’t read it, but the title posed an interesting question. Surrealism is something I admire, Dante’s Inferno being one of my favorite games visually, and though the style sees some success in smaller titles, “mainstream adoption” isn’t exactly in its vocabulary.
Maybe it’s for the best, as a plague of mainstream games that are even more troubling and confusing than they already are isn’t something I’m clamoring for, but it’s still something I appreciate seeing when it comes along.
Tormentum – Dark Sorrow is a game that revels in its boundlessly dark imagery and compelling surrealism. It’s the same sort of thing Dante’s Inferno was going for. Where Dante’s Inferno was a deliberately and shockingly twisted depiction of hell, Tormentum takes that same mission statement and applies it to a point-and-click adventure game set in an oppressive, nightmarish wasteland.
Continue reading Tormentum – Dark Sorrow Review
Back when the Gauntlet reboot was coming out, I didn’t understand why everyone was getting riled up calling it a Diablo clone, as if a game that was actually like Gauntlet could work even a little bit nowadays. My thought back then was that the next pure Gauntlet experience wasn’t going to come from the franchise itself, but from somewhere smaller than fucking Warner Bros.
Excave is really only interesting for one reason: it shows us what a “true Gauntlet game” is like in 2015, warts and all.
Continue reading Excave Review
Some kinds of games I enjoy, some I don’t, and some just make me sad. Not sad because of a tragic ending, plot twist, or circumstance, just sad for the game itself. Destiny made me sad because of its wasted potential (and budget), Hohokum made me sad because its heart of gold was in the right place all along, and Gauntlet made me sad because it was doomed for mediocrity at the most.
A Druid’s Duel makes me sad because it’s a perfect talking point for what belongs on a PC and what doesn’t, and it doesn’t deserve to be.
Continue reading A Druid’s Duel Review
There’s a few classes of free-to-play first person shooter. There’s the old and the ugly, usually trying to ape Counter-Strike in some way… your BlackShots and Sudden Attacks. Above that there are the high production value splashes of yesteryear, your A.V.A.’s and Genesis A.D.’s (rest in peace).
Nowadays with things like Warface and Blacklight Retribution being free and making that whole Korean age look so quaint, there’s a whole new tier. Based on my time with the Dirty Bomb closed beta, I’m willing to bet that it will come to define that tier.
Continue reading Greek Letters: Dirty Bomb Closed Beta
Choices for free-to-play games are slim on the 3DS. That may make sense considering phones are a much more ubiquitous device, but when Pokemon Shuffle was announced my interest was piqued. The concept of a free, match-three Candy Crush type of thing on a 3DS wasn’t something I’d considered before, and for whatever reason, I was pretty excited to try it out. Continue reading A Bit Of Opinion: Pokemon Shuffle
In this age of so many throwback arena shooters coming out of the woodwork that no one really wants them anymore, Wickland stands apart by calling back to Hexen. Or… looking like it. It sets itself apart with unique fantasy-textured maps and an at least thought-provoking central mechanic, but doesn’t do the most important thing it could do to differentiate itself from the flood: it isn’t a very good game. Continue reading Wickland Review
The level of critical acclaim for what in my eyes is one of the worst games of 2015 so far is puzzling me like nothing in even The Talos Principle ever did. Apotheon is receiving virtually no serious negative press – Steam reviews are at 96% positive, it’s receiving ratings upwards of 7 across the board, and hell, Destructoid has declared it “apotheonestly great”.
Are they being hypnotized by some kind of swinging pendulum hidden in the game’s stylish pottery art design that only affects professional journalists? They must be, just as they are every time an indie with spunk comes bounding down the aisles of the digital store, and explodes all over every shelf in the vicinity.
This game is a hot fucking mess. A sometimes fine, sometimes knee-deep layer of baffling design and broken interactivity has seeped all the way through to the bottom of Apotheon. Next to no facets of the game are spared from the onslaught of unpolished gameplay.
Continue reading A Bit Of Opinion: Apotheon
Playing Peggle 2 is a bit like listening to modern Maroon 5. Early Maroon 5 is something no one should be ashamed to admit they like. It’s great music. The same goes for the original Peggle, a humble little game with just the right amount of everything it’s possible to have too much of. It was just the right balance of challenging and relaxing, its humor didn’t come off as shitty video game humor and was instead merely charming, and it didn’t feel like a million dollars was poured into it.
Clearing levels in Peggle 2, however, is the equivalent of hearing Adam Levine’s vocals whine over Maroon 5’s latest electropop turd – it’s catchy, it works, but it leaves me wondering “Where’s the funk?”. Continue reading A Bit Of Opinion: Peggle 2
I have a fascination with buying some mediocre-looking game just to see what it is, and what happens when a person buys it. Song of the Myrne: What Lies Beneath is something of a weird case, because from the screenshots I could tell immediately that this wasn’t going to be Game of the Year material. But my male intuition told me that this game was probably pretty cool, and after playing a fair bit of it, I think it sort of is…
Song of the Myrne is many things. Flawed, simplistic, and cheaply made to be sure, but it’s also an ambitious, seemingly sprawling RPG with many things people praised Divinity: Original Sin for reminding the world of in back in June.
Continue reading A Bit Of Opinion: Song of the Myrne: What Lies Beneath
We all know Ubisoft isn’t exactly on a winning streak lately, so it’s barely even worth the apophasis. Despite the reliability with which they’ve been churning out garbage these days, I doubt any of us were expecting they would drop the ball this hard on fucking Tetris. Before I played Tetris Ultimate, I heard people make the same remark, and thought “yeah, yeah, but it’s probably good enough to just crank out a few rounds of Tetris now and then”. It isn’t. This game is as broken as some of the classics. Think Action 52, think E.T.
Continue reading Tetris Ultimate Review