Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Overdue games update

I'm on a break for the holidays so thought it was about time I wrote something about what I've been playing over the last couple of months. I've left Spore off this list as I've only recently gotten in to playing it again and want to post about it in more depth later on.


Since September, I've managed to complete two games. The first is episode two of the Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness (PC version) developed by Hothead Games. You join Gabe and Tycho again on their quest to find the giant robot destroying New Arcadia (and which destroyed your house in the first episode). Basically, it was more of the same as the first episode but I'm not convinced it was quite as fun. At least in terms of the turn-based combat, I got more out of the mimed attacks and colourful clown blood spatter, than I did of beating up rich snobs and mental patients (cue ethical discussion here...). I did enjoy it though, because of the humour that comes with it and I think I quite like the episodic format - it doesn't take more than a few hours to complete. I also think I'm driven more to complete games like this by a desire to get to the end of the story than by a sense of challenge, as I'm not sure I want to go back and do it all over again in "insane mode". I mean, you'd have to promise something a lot more than the same thing again but a hell of a lot harder.



The second game I completed was Lost Winds, developed by Frontier Developments for the Wii. Available on WiiWare (as opposed to in shops) where you play Toku, a young boy who has to save his homeland from the elemental spirit Balasaar with the help of the Wind spirit Enril. You control his movements with the nun-chuck but also use the Wiimote to control the wind in order to help Toku jump higher and further. Apparently a second player can use an additional Wiimote to help Toku jump further but not higher (similar to the co-op mode in Super Mario Galaxy) but I haven't tried it. I really enjoyed Lost Winds, again because I could complete it in a few hours (as opposed to weeks) and also because it is one of the few games I've come across that actually integrates how you use the Wiimote into the story and gameplay. It's also easy to pick up and very pretty. It might be a little too short (I think it might be best to think of it as an episodic game, as a sequel seems to be in the works) and it could definitely have benefited from a map, or some sort of spatial representation of where you were and where you could go, since I seemed to spend a fair bit of time retracing my steps. If you have a Wii though, I would definitely recommend downloading it and it is only 1000 points (only £7).



I've also been playing a point-and-click adventure game called A Vampyre Story about an opera singing vampire named Mona who was kidnapped and turned into a vampire by the rather pathetic Shrowdy von Kieffer and is now trying to escape back to Paris. Developed by Crimson Cow I had high hopes for this as I'm a big fan of the genre and while it looks pretty, I'm finding the characters a little annoying, especially Mona's sidekick Froderick the bat, and the dialogue you have to sit through can be a little tedious (and just isn't that funny). I'm not sure the interface works that well either and in general I'm just not enjoying it as much as I thought I would. I think it might go on the back burner for a bit while I play Spore...



Lastly, there is World of Goo developed by independent games studio 2D-Boy. I played the PC demo a while back but have been waiting for it to be released on WiiWare in Europe - which should be soon - to see what it's like on the Wii. I absolutely loved this game. Described as a puzzle/construction game by it's developers, the player controls balls of goo which you can attach in different ways to form bridges and structures so the remaining goo can exit the pipe (a bit like Lemmings). It's not only easy to learn, but also clever and engaging. But if I have to wait too much longer I think I'll end up with the PC version.


Ok, think that's it for now at least!

4 comments:

Costas said...

Happy New Year!

Some really good games you have been playing my friend.

I have also played Lost Winds and i loved it. Especially because like you said, it integrates the game's story with the controls and what you are doing so well. Also loved the visual style and music. I agree that it should have had a map. I got lost once for 1 hour, so in the end i did not find too short..... Definitely worth buying.

It's also a coincidence that i started playing A Vampire Story on Sunday together with a friend (longtime point-n-click adventure gamer). I am actually enjoying it to be honest although there are times where the dialogues can get too much. Clicking on an item that has absolutely no use to you and then listening to them talk for a couple of mins can be annoying.

With regards to World of Goo, i bought the PC version. Awesome game. BUT. Get the Wii version. It has co-op and it's supposed to be "sublime" (as per Eurogamer review 10/10).

Great gaming choices btw.

Jo Iacovides said...

Happy New Year to you too!

Thank you for the comments. I'm glad you've been enjoying a lot of the same games. A Vampyre Story definitely has moments of humour, but like you said, the characters do have a tendency to go on a bit...

Definitely looking forward to downloading World of Goo when I get back to my Wii next week. The co-op sounds like it could be a lot of fun too. I've also heard a fair amount about Braid and based on the reccomendation from your blog - I'm going to have to have a go at that too!

Eumenides said...

jo mou

i have not played any of the games but i am expecting a try out on my visit to milton keynes.. :)
i think the vampire one sounds cool, even thou u r not greatly excited by it heheh

evi

Jo Iacovides said...

lol, I'm sure I will get you to play one or two when you do visit! and if you like the vampire one, I might even let you borrow it...