Author Topic: Finished playing...  (Read 48522 times)

Winston

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #555 on: December 22, 2016, 03:37:31 AM »
Batman: The Telltale Series

Someone might reasonable argue that this isn't a game, but interactive storytelling. As you go through the game, you're offered a series of choices. The consequences of those choices affects what happens later in the game (e.g., if you're seen shaking hands with Carmine Falcone, that will make Gotham think less of you). There's combat, but no tactics: it's all in the form of QTEs, so combat plays out like a game of Simon Says.

With all that said, I enjoyed Batman:TTS. If the story is everything, at least they chose to tell an interesting story. It's set in Batman's early years, when Harvey Dent was still Bruce Wayne's good friend, and Batman meets Catwoman for the first time. A group called "the Children of Arkham" is terrorizing Gotham City, and it's up to Batman to try to stop them. Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne learns some uncomfortable realities about his parents and the source of the fortune they left him. 

The game spends a bit more time with Bruce Wayne than as Batman, and in some crucial encounters you can choose to participate as either one. It adds a dimension to the story that's not found in the Arkham series. On the other hand, there's no "open world" or detective puzzles to solve; your crime-scene detection is limited to linking various objects in static environments.

If I'm going to mention the Arkham games, I have to add that Catwoman is the same hyper-sexualized creature in both series. It's a shame, because she is more fully realized in Batman:TTS and this would have been a chance to show her in the same manner as the other female characters in the game (Vicki Vale, Officer Montoya). However, this is Bruce Wayne's story, not Selina Kyle's, and the game is clearly targeted at a male audience. It would have nice to have Batman be more acceptable to a female audience.

At its current price of $25, gamers may feel that the the series is too expensive for 5-6 hours of gameplay (about 60 minutes per episode). If you look at this as a choose-your-own-adventure story, then I think the price is reasonable compared to same amount of time spent in a movie theater. Certainly the story is better than a couple of the Batman movies I've seen.

The game has some replayability, to see what the results were of making different story choices. I've played it through twice, once as "good and noble" Batman, and once as "make every bad choice possible" Batman. I'll probably play it through one more time, to create a game save suitable for any follow-up Telltale seasons of Batman.
Bill Seligman
Alliance: Winston, Yungi, Pellinore, Tebyalyublyu, Theadora, Vasili, Winella, Winstonia
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Marco

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #556 on: December 24, 2016, 04:56:42 PM »
Pony Island.

Well, that was a trip.  Reminded me a little bit of the old Mac game "3 in 3".

Marco

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #557 on: March 13, 2017, 08:15:35 PM »
Lara Craft Go and Deus Ex Go.  These are puzzle games made for touch screen devices, presumably by the same studio.  Both are turn-based, and artistically reflect the theme of the game they are based on.  Some of the mechanical elements are the shared between the games, such as enemies who can be taken out from behind or the side, but will kill you if you step in front of them.  I never got stuck for too long on a puzzle, but plenty of them made me think for a while.  I thought Lara Croft Go was prettier, while Deus Ex Go told more of a story.

Winston

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #558 on: March 20, 2017, 10:14:43 AM »
Horizon: Zero Dawn

This is one where you play a savage hunter going after mechanical dinosaurs.

I'll start with what makes this game unique: the encounter mechanics. In H:ZD, you can't go toe-to-toe with a foe unless you're at least 10-15 levels above them, and often not even them. To deal with a given beast, you have scan them to learn their weaknesses (e.g., they have a canister that will explode if hit with fire), and come up with strategies for defeating them. The game does not force you into a particular strategy, it just provides you with a variety of tools, each with ammo of various elemental types (fire, shock, etc.): bows, tripwires, traps, and slings; there's even some machine-gun-like weapon that I never used. You typically sneak around, plant your obstacles, lure a mob to you, do some damage... then run away before it can attack you, wait until it's forgotten you're there, then head back to do more damage.

If you all you want to do is blast away at enemies, this is definitely not the game for you. If you like to play a game that rewards patience and strategy, it's a game to consider. For me, a player who has no twitch reflexes, it was a lot of fun.

This is an open-world game. After some initial tutorial quests, you can go pretty much anywhere you want, though the further you go from the starting areas the tougher the mobs get. There are the usual loads of side quests; I went on every one I found to out-level the main story content. There are also many types of collectables; my favorite was the Vantage, which gave you an overlay of the original high-tech landscape before the fall of civilization.

The graphics: This is a beautiful game on the PS4 (I don't think it's available on other platforms). The landscapes are lush, the details on the characters and the creatures are amazing. More than once I was befuddled by a shadow crossing the sky, then realize it wasn't one of the flying creatures, but the sun rising. The one drag on this realism are the cut-scenes, which occasionally demonstrate some graphics glitches.

The story: You play Aloy, who (after a bit of a tutorial) starts out as a 19-year-old outcast from the Nora tribe. As you proceed in your efforts to be accepted by the tribe, you gradually become aware that there's a destiny in store for Aloy, one that explains the mechanical creatures and the ancient remnants of a technological civilization that are all over the landscape. In the end, I liked the story; it did a good job of rationalizing the environment and tugged on my heartstrings as Aloy learned who she was and where she came from.

Diversity in gaming: Aloy is a 19-year-old woman, but none of her outfits looked anything other than practical gear. Several male characters (and at least one female character) attempt to flirt with her, but she has none of it: she's focused on the task at hand. There's an even blend of different human racial types represented. Aloy's one semi-romantic interest (it goes no farther than "I'd like to show you that cavern someday") is someone with a different skin color than hers. Like the recent Tomb Raider games, this game does well by the female lead (at least, according to this particular cis-gendered white male reviewer).

Final verdict: If you have a PS4, and you value patience in your game-play, this is a "must-have" game.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 12:55:50 PM by Winston »
Bill Seligman
Alliance: Winston, Yungi, Pellinore, Tebyalyublyu, Theadora, Vasili, Winella, Winstonia
Horde: Grotar, Swiftslice