C’mon, at least a couple of those character designs are kind of halfway tolerable.
Fantasica : Soulless Free-to-Play and Pay-to-Win Garbage
Here’s a working business model: Take the proven success of the hamster wheel method of gaming (slow progression through tedious busywork), add timers to make players come back every day instead of spending a lot of time at once, and then offer to remove the restrictions in exchange for real money. It’s pretty effective, and it can dress up your bare-bones JRPG/RTS with the trappings of ceremony and decorum. Next, institute a variety of in-game currencies to obscure the fact they can all only be earned at a reasonable rate by getting players to go into debt, create a series of time-sensitive "events" to keep the players busy (replace them with near-identical ones immediately after), and plaster the screen with advertisements for purchasable in-game items. Fantasica is exactly that.
The Weaknesses of Portable Controls and Their Negative Effects on the Gaming Industry
When using a tablet, cell phone, or netbook, you are sacrificing a great deal of functionality for the benefit of portability. For many tasks, this is entirely appropriate, time-saving, and convenient. Being able to use Google Maps or search for information on the fly can be valuable. But for gaming? Unless the insultingly simple Angry Birds is your idea of an engrossing video game experience, touchscreen controls or cell phone buttons are obviously inferior to a controller or a mouse/keyboard combo. Yet portable gaming is (in popularity and sales) overtaking the hardware actually designed for playing games, and by a significant margin.
DuckTales Remastered: A Pathetic Exercise in Imperialist Hegemony
SMASH THE DUCKRIARCHY!!!!!!
It’s so insulting and degrading to keep stereotyping and denying rights to an entire subset of intelligent beings based on traits they cannot control. To inflict vicious cane beatings on the heads of those prejudged to be vicious criminals solely on them being dogs and wearing black eye masks, and to receive no repercussions because of your wealth, is a sign of society’s complete depravity and a reliance on the very highest pinnacles of duck privilege.
Sorry about the lack of updates, dear readers. I have some excuses but no one wants to hear them, so instead have a link to an article explaining why GOG.com is so good.
One thing the author doesn’t give enough emphasis is how fantastic it is to legally purchase games with no compatibility problems and no DRM. 20 year old DOS games will run just fine on newer systems with GOG’s executables. The smaller library is the only thing keeping GOG.com from overtaking Steam entirely in terms of quality. Desura is another good alternative, and Gather Your Party will probably do an article covering them next. Hopefully game distributors in the future will learn the proper lesson from Microsoft’s Xbone failure and reduce or eliminate the amount of DRM in their products.
Shadowrun Returns : Competent, With Unfulfilled Potential
Shadowrun is a multimedia franchise that started with a tabletop RPG in 1989. It has had a recent resurgence due to the success of a Kickstarter campaign, resulting in the game I’m reviewing. (1) Short version: If Krater is a poor man’s Baldur’s Gate , then Shadowrun Returns is the upper-middle-class but still proletariat version of a Interplay/ XCOM: Enemy Unknown hybrid. If that last sentence didn’t make any sense to you, then just regard this game as a fit but unsatisfying tactical RPG.
Indie Games That Don’t Suck: Desktop Dungeons
Rogue Legacy not enough like Rogue for you? This game should scratch that itch.
Desktop Dungeons is a free 2010 roguelike by QCF design (to date their only game). What makes it unique is that you have a quick game with a single floor on a single screen, and the enemies don’t chase after you. Sounds easy by roguelike standards? Not really.
Expect to see this screen a lot.
Rogue Legacy: Tolerable
This is Rogue Legacy , not the 1980 game Rogue . Sorry, Mike Ricca! Hope your controller works ok.
Rogue Legacy is a 2013 2D platformer Metroidvania quasi-roguelike mish-mash of a game by Cellar Door Games. (1) It has a randomized procedurally-generated map that is different every time you play the game. The player avatar is a deliberately cliché knight that holds his/her sword at a 45 degree angle and swipes it like some fantasy protractor. You must navigate the pseudo-random castle and seek out fights, loot, and four bosses to open the path to the end battle.
No article today, true believers, for I will be
wallowing in self-pity Tweeting the EVO 2013 fighting game tournament extravaganza! I have a Twitter even though I find the site distasteful, so I might as well make use of it. See you soon, and keep watching the skies.
Edit: This link has all three streams simultaneously and is what I’ll be watching.
Double edit: Here’s the schedule (times PDT)
Triple edit: This Google Doc has everything in US time zones mapped out.
This is a very good-looking piece of work.
Sonic: After the Sequel is a free fanmade PC game that uses art assets from existing Sonic the Hedgehog games in combination with new art to create a series of original levels. It is a two-dimensional platformer like the Genesis/Mega Drive games of the early nineties. In its imitation of the originals, it succeeds quite well but does little to improve on the ancient formula.
The game is surprisingly competent for a fanwork; Sonic the Hedgehog fans aren’t noted for their high levels of creativity but the creators of this one defy expectations and stereotypes. If it weren’t for the copyright notice on the title screen and the sounds and graphics lifted from some SNES games, I could have thought it was some long-lost official Sonic game dug up from Sega’s vaults. Sonic: After the Sequel is remarkably close to those early Sonic games in every respect, and that is both respectable as well as the game’s downfall.
Ambivalent About this Series
I played Revelations: Persona when it first came out in 1996. I didn’t enjoy it that much; it was far too obtuse and clunky though I enjoyed the concept of collecting monsters for use in combat and wished it had been better implemented. After learning more about the series (and that it predates Pokemon by a decade) I found that earlier games expect even more while giving even less; their brutality and negligence of the player are legendary.