I played Avadon: The Black Fortress a few weeks ago for about two hours. Unfortunately I didn’t feel like writing about it at the time and – being the professional writer that I am – apparently didn’t take any notes. So here it goes: Continue reading “Impression: Avadon: The Black Fortress”
I’ve done it. I’ve played the last Assassin’s Creed of my collection long enough (about 8 hours) for it to feel like a chore (again) and after I write these words I hope I’m done with the series for good. Hurray! Who would have thought that writing on a regular basis could feel like actual work? Continue reading “Impression: Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag”
Hey, remember how good ‘Portal’ was and how you always wanted a game that’s inferior to it in any extent? Me neither. Nine years later ‘Attractio: The Reality Show Begins”, a game with a really silly name, provides you with just that. While clearly aimed at the Portal fan base, it offers less of anything that made Portal so dear to me. Continue reading “Impression: Attractio”
To build your mountain of shame you cannot solely rely on bundle purchases and the forgetfulness of the elderly. You have to use any means necessary to pile up that shameful heap of untouched games. Let me introduce you to another effective way to add to your suffering, to increase the soul crushing guilt, to have your hopes and dreams violently ripped from your tiny game loving heart: free giveaways! To celebrate its 30th birthday and the 300th iteration of the same open-world game since 1947, Ubisoft gave away a bunch of games. Guess who showed up just in time like a fat monkey demanding its banana. It’s a game you don’t care for, you wouldn’t buy it on a 99% Steam sale, but yet as soon as they dangle that banana in front of your face, your monkey brain goes tilt and you click that download button like the entitled feeling primate that you are.
I never really understood the appeal of the ‘Assassin’s Creed’ series. The third person stick ’em all looked great at its release and the climbing animations in combination with the resulting view were astonishing. Then I realized that that’s basically all there is to it so I very soon tossed it onto the mountain of shame (it was actually just a very big pile back then) and because it happened in the dark ages I sold the disc, which saves me from having to talk about the first entry of the series any further. I can’t sell any of the other ‘Ass Creeds’ I bought. Damn you, digital distribution!
The series stayed very popular among the masses so I was wondering whether I might have misjudged it back then (because you can always trust the masses), or whether it just became a better game through it’s many incarnations. I read that ‘Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood’ was supposed to be among the better entries of the series so when I had the chance to grab it for cheap, I did. Damn you, curiosity! Continue reading “Impression: Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood”
Oh Arcanum, I really wanted this to be a proper review, not just a mere impression after a (good) couple of hours. I put in the work to make you run. I installed patches and mods. I ran you in the proper compatibility mode and as administrator. I did some weird command line shit to make playing you as smooth and painless as possible – from a technical stand point. Come to think of it – that probably should have been GOG’s job, where I bought you for real money. What I want to say is: I really tried.
In ‘Arcania’ you play stereotype fantasy protagonist number one, farmer man-boy turned hero with a twist: this time you are mentally retarded! And so is everybody else in the game, much like the real world.
The ‘Arcade Game Series’ brings emulated arcade classics to your humbling, shiny gaming machine. It does so in a convenient package that frees you from painful fiddling with ‘DOS Box’ or other arcane techniques you’d rather not be associated with. Since you are the owner of earth shattering processing power, it is natural to assume that fiberglass cables with the diameter of your powerful clenched fist/a babies head run thought the walls of your formidable castle. You won’t even notice that every single entry of this series comes at a gigabyte per pop.
‘Aquaria’ clearly is a labor of love. It’s just that love doesn’t write good video games, love doesn’t prevent my game collection from getting cluttered up by games I don’t care for and love doesn’t stop me from writing about said games.
After a short confusing intro, we play as fish girl ‘Naija’ in a metrovanian style underwater world called ‘Aquaria’ – yeah I know. The graphics of the underwater caves are nice and full of details, the controls are solid and it even has innovative features like that impractical song mechanic which lets you play short tunes to active special abilities or solve icon/note based riddles. I am sure that there is an audience out there who loves this game and I will gladly tell you why I can’t join them and stopped playing after less than an hour.
The writing is so stiff and corny, full of ‘philosophical’ babble which gets boosted further by the very serious and serene, this-is-my-thoughtful-timbre voice acting. I don’t mind games taking a philosophical excursion. ‘Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs‘ basically poses the question wether mankind doesn’t deserve extinction by pigmen. ‘What Remains of Edith Finch‘ makes a good point about life being shortened by death, but both games do it with a knowing twinkle in their eyes.
Then there’s the music, which at it’s better moments copies chord progressions directly from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ movie soundtrack, but for the most part is so corny, that even the Elves were embarrassed. It goes perfectly with the writing.
In combination with those flaws there’s no chance for a game in a genre that didn’t interested me much in the first place, to keep me entertained.
It is my impression that the game is solidly made and it’s different parts fit well together, even in their corniness. For a ten year old indie game the production values are surprisingly high. It’s simply bad luck for ‘Aquaria’ to have made it’s way into my collection, as my heart is as cold as the frozen water of a wintry lake and bereft of the warming but fragile love it once held.
Antichamber is one of those games you chose to show your ignorant non-gamer friends as proof that video-games are not just cynically marketed products full of violence and questionable ethics targeted at white, male teenagers without a soul, but thoughtful art.
It’s an indie puzzle game. It has a minimalist art style which is nice, but maybe has a bit too much of a ‘Look at me, I am art!’-vibe going. I played for a while and the game made me feel clever, which I enjoyed while it lasted. Then I got stuck, felt less clever and remembered that I would much rather like to kill someone and loot their corpse, because that’s what this hobby is all about. I am talking about video games.
Antichamber is the game you give to your kid to share your hobby in a save and positive way. It also keeps your offspring distracted for some hours while you tread your inner 15-year-old with the immature, violent and sexist content he or she craves.