Monday, November 10, 2014

Legend of Grimrock 2

So this is one of the few games that I actually pre-ordered. I usually don't do that. I usually wait for a Steam sale, or at least a 50% off discount. This game I couldn't wait for. I occupied a bit of time by playing the ORRR2 mod for the first game.

The gameplay is just what I loved from the first one. Grid based movement and tactics. The enemies are extremely difficult if you play on hard. I was unable to get past the first boss after 10+ attempts. I switched to normal and that felt like enough of a challenge.

If you find a gold key, make sure you don't waste it. If you don't mind some spoilers, you can at least choose what to spend it on by checking this Steam community page

Same for potions. You can spend your ingredients early, or check what they can become by checking this Steam community page

The puzzles are a very good improvement, which is amazing because the first game's puzzles were so good. One of the nice differences, is that you are usually given a glimmer of something that you just need to find a way to get to. A chest hidden behind trees, or in a location you'd have to drop down to, or find a secret door to reach. I really like this because it narrows down the amount of tedious wall checking that was involved in the first one. You'll still check walls, but usually with a purpose.

The graphics and very well done. All of the animations and monster variation from the first were quite enjoyable. They also added a new angle of tactical combat, with some enemies attacking while turning, and others doing a fast side-step and then attacking, or even enemies that can jump and flank you. Lots to learn and enjoy.

The bosses in the game were nice, but one of the bosses in particular I considered to be a bit of a test of patience. The poison gas boss was really annoying if you did not have poison resistance. It also summoned minions if you didn't take out the key points, so you have to prioritize that as soon as possible. I spend easily 30 minutes figuring out a pattern, then another 20 getting it right and getting out before being overrun.

The last boss of the game felt like a huge improvement from the first. Minor spoilers continuing here... Make sure you're geared for lots of normal damage, stock up on potions and healing crystals, and be prepared to dish out lots of damage quickly. Anti-venom potions and speed potions would also be good. He does tons of damage, and spawns minions the entire fight. Beat him down as quickly as possible without being too risky. He tends to hit you back pretty quick. I found the cannon worked decently well for good hits from across the field, but hitting him up close with heavy weapons works really well too. I'm not sure if anything comes after mummies, but I killed him before the mummies...

Overall I would highly recommend this game to anyone that played and enjoyed the first. It's fabulous.

And now for some pictures. Sadly almost all pictures of the game contain spoilers because you can see the gear images.








November 24, 2014

I went back into the game a while back, and kept digging for secrets. I apparently missed a few large areas of the game somehow... I found the last of the shards, an extra few boss fights, and the real ending. It was well worth the effort, and I'm glad they gave us so much with this game. Thanks Almost Human Games!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Anodyne

Anodyne looked really appealing in the pictures, good art style and Zelda like.

The puzzles are good, but if felt a bit lacking in that you don't get that many items, so you end up reusing the same trick quite a few times per dungeon. Also, the same layouts/tricks seem to come up quite often. If you see a lock, and have a key, but there is another path, you have to go down the other path first, because there is a second lock a few rooms past the first lock.

Some of the puzzles were much more abusive than Zelda's puzzles, but you do get checkpoints that you can spawn back at if you die. And you'll die a lot... You also get warp gates quite often, so you don't have to spend a lot of time manually backtracking. This was an awesome feature.

The boss fights were almost usually trivial, because I could just swap hits with the boss until I won because I had more hitpoints. I think only one or two fights I had to actually use tactics. The last fight was one of these.

The characters and dialogue in the game are anywhere from simple and random, to amazingly creepy. Like, wow that's creepy. The ambient sounds usually helped with the creepy factor.

The controls are pretty good if you use a controller, but the Android on screen controls were almost impossible for some of the fighting you have to do in the game.

You will have to collect cards to finish the game. All of them. So don't skip any if you see them. The warp gates light up when you have found all the cards in that particular area.

As far as length, it took about 4.5 hours to beat completely. Some of that was a bit tedious, but overall it was enjoyable.

The good:
Good blend of puzzles and exploration keep you entertained throughout
The visuals are really good when they're good

The bad
The visuals can be really bad in some areas, and this is done on purpose.
It gets very creepy at parts, maybe just from a dark sense of humor?
The twitch jumping and bullet hell rooms were not even remotely enjoyable. They were probably the weakest point of the game. For this alone, I am extremely glad I switched to a controller on Steam instead of attempting to finish this on my Android.

These kinds of screens happen too often...

You find red bugs that give you an extra hit point.


This pretty well sums up how often you'll die. By the end I think I died over 30 times. Sometimes just to get back to a checkpoint faster though...

Friday, August 22, 2014

Savant - Ascent

Picked this up in the Humble Bundle: PC and Android 9

Very solid anime look to it, and animated beautifully.

Music is mostly dubstep, with a few varieties. It works extremely well with the gameplay.

The gameplay is basically an arcade style game, and everything blends perfectly together.

The levels are hard at first, but as you pick up CD pieces, you get a few new abilities. By the time you get 4 abilities, you have enough to finish the game. Each time you finish a level in story mode, it remembers your progress and you can continue from there.

The game is quite short. I finished it in just 25 minutes, but I enjoyed every minute. Highly recommended if you already have this in your library -- as most people that follow the Humble Bundles do.





Saturday, July 5, 2014

Euclid The Game

http://euclidthegame.org/

It's actually quite neat going back to something you learned so long ago. That is, until you get horribly stuck on level 20.

Never before have I had problems falling asleep because of an unsolved Geometry problem...

Borderlands 2

I picked up Borderlands 2 to play during lunches with friends. I got the game of the year option (GOTY), and then bought the other DLCs when they went on sale at 75% off.

I wasn't sure what class to pick, so they described some character classes to me. Sniper... shooter... what-what?! A combination steampunk/necromancer? Done.

The graphics are stylistic, like the first, with much better overall visuals.

The controls similar to the first, meeting all FPS and item collection requirements. I do wish there was an auto-fire on all weapons though. The carpal tunnel is killing me when I have to rapid fire a semi-automatic gun.

The voice acting is excellent for just about everyone. Each character comes alive with the voice over. Handsome Jack really shows you how much of a jerk he is, and Brick uses the word "Slab" in every sentence. Claptrap is claptrap, just pure brilliant stupidity. Loved it.

The animations used while talking could be better. There were times where the gestures were working perfectly with what was being said, and a few other times where it felt like World of Warcraft player emotes playing on a loop.

The gameplay is amazing. It's Diablo-style item grinding, with all the uniqueness of Diablo II unique/runword items. I didn't really see what the point of money was until I checked out YouTube and realized that you can tip Mad Moxxi enough that she'll give you a nice gun. You can also play the slot machines in her place until you get a good gun too. I used these two methods to get a good corrosive automatic weapon for taking out robots.

The story is very well done, with lots of exploration opened as you go, and a main story to pull you through the new zones.



So, I worked my way up to level 17 with friends at work, having tons of fun. We had a gunzerker, psycho, and two mechromancers. A few people swapped around classes a bit too, since we were pretty early in the game.


We completed every quest we found, and duped the amazing orange weapons we found (seen below). I got to try out sniper rifles, sub-machine guns, shotguns, etc. to see how each one worked with my class. I really liked sniping in the beginning, while my robot and friends did the tanking. Later on I used an explosive assault rifle for most of the game.

<There is a large gap of time here, when Blizzard updated Diablo III and the expansion Reaper of Souls hit the high mark. They fixed the horrible, horrible loot system, and added some fun end-game content, and made pimping out your character fun. It took tons of lunch gaming, and a LAN party to get Diablo III out of my system and back to Borderlands 2>

When I got back into Borderlands 2, there wasn't as much desire to go back and finish it. Most of my friends had already beaten it, so they were onto other things. So I went ahead and switched to crit-path mode, so I could finish it up. This little beauty lasted me well into the high 20's.


I actually spent much of the game playing missions that were much higher level than my character. Mostly because I really didn't feel like grinding out side quests, and wanted to finish off Handsome Jack.

Handsome Jack is a horrible, cruel, sadistic, cocky jerk. Never has a villain needed to die as bad as Jack. I also have no idea  why it took me so long to realize that Handsome Jack had a mask on. I blame the cell shading...


Oh, and if you're going to try and crit path the game like I did. I'd highly recommend getting a really good corrosive weapon against robots. Seriously. I ended up beating the game at level 30, but it took quite a few respawns to get through some of the harder fights until I got a good corrosive automatic weapon (thanks Moxxi!)

I bounced between having a really resilient, tough, and powerful robot, and having myself do insane damage. For the end game, I went with insane damage on myself.

All in all, it took just around 27 hours to complete the game. Well worth what I spent on it.

More anarchy please!

This is my character after beating the game.

And here is my new shiny! =D

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Risk of Rain

So this game is amazing, and a complete jerk at the same time. I would equate this to Spelunky if I had to equate it to anything, except it's harder. It's also less hard than Binding of Isaac. Probably because there are no negative items in this game that make you feel like you screwed up when you get them.

The controls are simple for keyboard or gamepad, but I prefer gamepad. My friend used the keyboard, and his pinky finger got a bit tired holding down Z for the entire game. Maybe allowing for toggling primary shoot button in keyboard settings?

The graphics are reminiscent of Sword and Sworcery, or Out of This World. The character/enemy animations worked great for when the swarming happens, and it will happen...

The gameplay is basically a survival game, with upgrades you purchase or get from boss drops. The tactics you have to employ to survive are all unique to the various characters you can pick.

I really didn't like how items and characters were unlocked, as it really slowed progress in the game. I actually gave up on trying to progress past the 3rd character and just hacked my prefs.ini file to give me all characters and items. It was much more enjoyable after that. Don't get me wrong, I like the point of progressing, and how this is handled as a game mechanic. I just felt like progress was at a stand-still for a while, and I would have quit playing if I didn't hack the save file to give me more options.

They let you play solo, multiplayer on the same screen, or multiplayer over IP (also works for LAN). We played multiplayer over IP in a LAN setting.

The unfortunate part of playing in a LAN setting is that if you die, you have to wait for the next level before you get to play. Sometimes that can take several minutes. There should be some way to revive or respawn after some time to keep the pace of the game up. It was basically a really good time for me to get another drink, take the dog out, read up on some blogs, and check on items for the people that were alive.

Now on to images!


You start by choosing a character. You'll only have one at first, but more can be unlocked by achieving various things during the game (or by hacking your save ini file)




When you die, you'll see a results screen. This will happen. A lot.




To give a more concrete example, I made it to the second level, and stacked banners so I could quickly kill the boss. Yay!




And then on the next level I bought all of these extra items with the money I made. Woo hoo!






And then I died shortly thereafter, with all my wonderful items... Boo...





Here is another playthrough with a friend at a LAN party. I'm doing really well, we're beating the crap out of the mobs and taking names. I was Acrid and he was Bandit. Ranged/Tank seems to work really well. Ok, ranged is just awesome, but I like to be in the thick of things.




For some reason, I completely ignored the fact that I could continue to the last level, and I just keep pressing X and cycling through the game. We did this for a while until we ultimately died... due to server de-sync. Note to others, do not let 100+ mobs stack up and take too long to kill them. It makes the game extremely sad in multiplayer.




We finally beat the game with a team of Hunter (friend) and Miner (me). We owned so many faces it was ridiculous. Stacking tons of damage/leech/AoE is the way to go for the tank, while my friend did the ranged damage/AoE. I sadly didn't get pictures of our progress because we were too busy kicking ass, or running for our lives.




And here is proof that it can be done, and that we did it. Woot!



I would highly recommend picking this up to play at a LAN setting or even just to play solo in your free time. Fantastic game.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Legend of Grimrock - One Room Round Robin 2

From a post on the Almost Human blog page, I found out about this mod. I wanted to stay away from semi-completed or amateur mods, as they could become a time sink with little rewards.

This was anything but amateur. It had unique monsters, brilliant and challenging puzzles, new spells, deep stories, crazy complicated maps, and new items.

I don't want to harp on specific puzzles, or complain about other puzzles, so I'll just say that overall it was a great experience. If I had to play it again, I would try a Toorum run. At least I wouldn't have to panic from almost running out of food so close to the end.

The one thing they did an amazing job of is having an awesomely powerful last boss. LoG didn't really have an amazing last boss in terms of fight mechanic, it had other mechanics.

Check it out!

I also did have to check YouTube a few time to help get some solutions. I tried not to rely on it too heavily, and many times it just confirmed that I was done in a particular puzzle, so I could stop searching.

ORRR2 Walkthrough - Part 1