Monday, February 28, 2011

Platform Joy

I've been doing a lot of platform jumping and navigating over the last week, having barreled through the entirety of VVVVVV in all it's glory, and jumping into a game I recently took an interest in, Prince of Persia (the 2008 release). My cause for playing the latter is having heard about it shunting combat off to the side, or rather, reducing its frequency and emphasis in the game to a level more fitting of its place in an adventure game--that is, not a combat-focused action game.

My major gripes with Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and both Uncharted games thus far are that the combat, in each case, drags the game down. I didn't show up for overlong, frustrating, not-very-well-done fighting sequences. I came for the adventure aspects; the exploration, navigation, puzzling--the fun bits. So far, I'm having a good time with PoP 2008. It's pretty straight forward and not terribly challenging, but so what? It's a good game to chill out with because the smoothness with which the prince can move around the attractive open world is very fluid and relaxing. I'm around a quarter of the way through it, I think. I'm thinking I might pick up the epilogue DLC if I'm still feeling it by the time I get to the end.  I only paid about $10 for the full disc, used, so I may kick $10 to Ubisoft to support this game, which I feel like probably wasn't a great success.

VVVVVV was the Resolution game for last week, and I got right through it and collected every shiny trinket in about 5 hours over 3-4 days.  I really like this game. I love the art and the retro C64 feel to it. I also love the music, which is chiptune and also retro sounding, but featuring fully modern production values. It is an amazing soundtrack, tickling my nostalgia bone just right. The game itself is a big open world hub with linear stages sprinkled throughout, so it's kind of Super Metroid like, except that you can go anywhere from the word go, and there are no power-ups of any kind. Start to finish, you only ever use three buttons, left, right, and gravity-flip. It's a hardcore old-school platformer in a lot of ways. There aren't really any enemies, only obstacles and gauntlets to navigate around. Anyway, VVVVVV comes highly recommended. I think I got this for $2.50 on Steam, though I also bought the soundtrack for $4 later on.

I jumped back into League of Legends this week, trying out a new champion, Pantheon, the Spartan-alike warrior with a spear and buckler. I am complete garbage at this game, and my team loses more often than not, but somehow I still end up having fun playing. I think I am now 2/5 or so with this character, and more like 1/6 in terms of games where I felt like I played worth a damn. Like I said, though, it is fun to play. I wonder how Valve's DOTA2 will compare. I know that is going to be a lot more like DOTA itself, so it may end up being less accessible than LOL, which would be weird, but then, I guess Counter-Strike is also a Valve game.

Elsewhere, I've been plugging along at Tactics Ogre. I feel like every great thing I want to say about this game I have already said in the past about Final Fantasy Tactics, but don't let my silence lie, this is a fantastic game, and a must-buy if you a) still own a PSP, and b) like turn-based tactical combat games. An appreciation for extreme political depth and subterfuge is also a plus. I got through another chapter of Dead Space, too! That puts me at Chapter 6.


Greg said...

Just finished Mass Effect 1 for a second time. I'm kinda glad I did but that damn mako got pretty annoying by the end. I was able to collect a few more achievements but damn, it would not be easy to get the full 1000. After 2 play throughs and over 40 hrs, I only got about 500.

Count Elmdor said...

Yeah, the ME games take probably 2-3 playthroughs at a bare minimum to get all the achivements. Some people play them 5-6 times, but who has the time? As much as I love them, once through is enough for me until the whole trilogy is out and then maybe after I finish my current Shepard's story, I'd go back and start another and go a different route.

Are you going to carry this new save over into ME2 and 3?

Greg said...

That was part of the reason I wanted to play again, to build a strong Shepard to carry over into ME2. I'm thinking I will play ME2 twice, once with my ME1 file imported and once without.

My Shepard was a regular soldier, no biotics or tech abilities which is the most vanilla way to play. Unfortunately I guess I'll be stuck going straight soldier again in ME2 with my game save.

Count Elmdor said...

I think they give you the option to change classes when you import. I know that even though I imported my save, I still went through a little sequence of questions to reestablish/tweak Shepard's background.

Greg said...

Ah ok, I was hoping that would be an option. Good to know.