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Power Member - Level 10
“Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends!”
I suppose one day there will be an end to Whatcha’ Playin’ Mills?, but
that’s besides the point. You're not here for doom and gloom, nor quotes
from old rock songs. Nay, you're here to read my thoughts on vidya
gamez. I don’t blame you, they are quite intriguing.
So without further ado, lets get to the 10th edition of W.P.M.!
Was Alone (PS3)- Some people, and by some people I mean
David Cage, would have you believe polygons equal emotion. A developer
who has the better tech can not only create video game characters with
more diverse facial animations but actually be able to better convey the
intended emotions to gamers. What a load of crap that is. All you need
to do to figure that out is play Thomas Was Alone. T.W.A. is well written
and because of that, conveys emotions far better than most AAA games.
It’s a 2-D platformer all about a gang of quadrilaterals. They don’t
speak: they just act. The only talking is done by The Narrator, aka
Danny Wallace, who won a BAFTA for his performance.
delivery is oozing with wit and charm, something T.W.A. handles extremely
well as a whole. Puzzles occasionally have a strange difficulty spike
and checkpoints are oddly placed, but the heart of T.W.A. is in the story.
Characters consist of simplistic skills but complex personalities. For a
game about a bunch of squares and rectangles to elicit such emotion
from the player is a nice counterpoint to the push by AAA developers to
make more movie-like games.
If you would like to read more of my thoughts on Thomas Was Alone, check out my full review on Plus10Damage.com.
Dev Tycoon (PC)- Ever wonder what it’s like to start up your own
development company from scratch and rise to the top of the industry?
How about simply making your own game? Well look no further than Game
Dev Tycoon. Similar to Game Dev Story, but different enough to warrant a
purchase; G.D.T. is a enjoyable and sometimes frustrating experience.
from the bare minimum of a one-man team working out of a garage, G.D.T.
starts simple enough. As you level-up skills and research new tech and
ideas, gameplay begins to open-up. It also begins to get a whole lot
more complicated. G.D.T. provides insight into the everyday problems of a
game developer. Is attending the big conference worth the $80,000? Do
you hire a staff during development, then lay them all off
afterwards? At first glance this tycoon game seems run-of-the-mill but
eventually forms into quite an in-depth experience. Yet it finds a
balance between super-complex simulation and accessible tycoon game,
reminiscent of the old RollerCoaster Tycoons.
major problem holds G.D.T. back though: luck. You
could perform everything correctly during development, only to end up with a
financial and critical flop. It would be like an acclaimed developer
expertly crafting a game and then flipping a coin to see whether it's
successful or not.
If you would like to hear more of my thoughts on the game, my review is sure to be up sometime next week on Plus10Damage.com.
Sorry, no music from G.D.T. on Youtube.
of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PS3)- Last week I talked mostly of the
positive side of C.O.D. 4. This week, I’ll get into some of the negatives.
For starters, how about the inclusion of perks such as Juggernaut and
Stopping Power? They seem to only exist to counteract each other and
considering most people use one or the other, they end up wasting a perk
slot. There’s a reason why both no longer appear in more recent C.O.D.
titles, and that’s because they were a silly addition in the first
place. Secondly, the inconsistency of flashbangs and concussion
grenades. Neither one is full-proof. I can’t tell you the number of
times I’ve thrown one into a room and then proceeded to be obliterated
by a non-impaired enemy.
next two problems are ones which still plague the series. Ones that
should've been fixed long ago but for one reason or another get
overlooked. Sub-machine guns allow the player to be far too mobile. Not
in a forward and backwards motion, but a lateral one. It’s like they’re
sliding on ice but are somehow able to turn on a dime. The last problem I
would like to bring up, is one that has always baffled me. Why in
seven-hells do bullets come out of the character model’s head and not
the barrel of their gun? Does this make sense to anyone? Do you all have some secret ability to shoot Barret 50 cal. rounds out of your foreheads? Why am I being left out of the fun?
Survivor- (PC)- Last year was the year of the indie. F.T.L., Journey, Mark
of the Ninja, Thomas Was Alone, Fez, Hotline Miami, and so many more
made a big splash in the industry. There was also Lone Survivor: a
survival / psychological horror title, that garnered a fair amount of
attention. Now that I’ve got my chance to play it, I fully understand
Survivor has such an oppressive atmosphere, which so few horror games
are able to properly convey these days. Depression, paranoia, and apathy play a
significant role in not only shaping the protagonist's personality but
also support the setting. Unlike most survival-horrors, enemies are to
be feared. Should you attempt to sneak around them or use what precious
little ammo you have left?
Survivor is a great example of another indie title that executes its
goals better than most AAA games with similar aspirations.
You actually get the sense that the world you inhabit isn’t an easy one
to survive in. Something the Dead Space series lacks after the first installment. Simply exiting a building is a multi-day process filled with
multiple opportunities for an unpleasant death.
Wars: Dark Forces (PC)- Before I get started on this one, I advise you
all to stop what you're doing and go check out the Star Wars pack on
Steam. It’s filled with a bunch of great Star Wars games for absurdly cheap prices.
You can find the KOTOR series, the Jedi Knight series, Battlefront II,
Republic Commando, and a few other lesser ones.
now for Dark Forces. The first installment of the Jedi Knight series is
a classic FPS that I’ve sadly never played: until now. I’m a mere five
levels in and I’m having a blaster, oops, I mean blast. The levels are
as you would expect of a 1995 shooter, in that they’re far less linear
than modern titles of the same genre. In fact, it’s easy to get lost,
but I’m rather enjoying that aspect. Dark Forces doesn’t lead you around
cut-scene to cut-scene, being forced to view the 'ohhhh! ahhhhh!'
moments. It simply plops you into a level, gives an objective, and tells
you to complete it. I’ll admit, I’ve had to occasionally look up a
Youtube video for help, but I’m still finding Dark Forces far more
enjoyable than most modern shooters.
are surprisingly smooth for a nearly 18 year old game. Kyle Katarn, the
protagonist, speeds around the level in Doom-like fashion, as he
slaughters alien and Empire scum alike. While the mechanics take some
time to fully grasp, they don’t hinder the experience for too long.
narrative is also quite good. Kyle is a ‘mercenary’ loyal to
the Rebels. I won’t go into too much detail but the story runs parallel
to the original trilogy, occasionally referencing the major plot points
and characters of the beloved Episodes IV-VI.
three indies and a game from the mid-90’s? I fear I might be turning
into a gaming hipster with what I’ve been playing these days. If not for some bro-dude C.O.D. time, I'd likely be wearing a fedora and scarf right now, while sipping a latte or whatever it is that hipsters drink.
Maybe I’m just poor and this is all I can afford? Yea, that’s it. I live
a destitute half-way hipster life: poor me.
can read more of my writings at Plus10Damge.com. I also encourage you to follow me on
Twitter @GeneralMills_44 because my Tweets are pure gold, or so I’ve
been informed.Disclaimer: that informant may or may not be me.