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TheMG42

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Everything posted by TheMG42

  1. TheMG42

    Not a Hero

    I initially picked this game up on sale for super cheap and the game's cover art also caught my eye. Nice coincidence to see it pop up on the list. It's a fun, challenging 2.25D action shooter with cover mechanics. You unlock more characters as your progress through the game and each one has their own style of combat. The characters themselves are pretty great; Cletus has already become my personal favourite, ya numpties! The game's art direction is great. Strong pixel art design, cool looking levels, vibrant colours and great gore effects. I wish I could get the game's cover art on a t-shirt. The controls and combat are both pretty straight forward, so it's pretty easy to pick up and play, while also adding a bit of challenge to the game. The game is still on the short side in terms of play length, I was there were more levels that were larger in scale. I want to see more of this game because I find it that fun to play. Overall, I'd give this a rating of Good/Great All hail Bunny Lord!
  2. TheMG42

    Call of Cthulhu (2018)

    So the game finally did go on sale and I jumped at the chance to pick it up. Having not been a fan of either the table top game, the Cthulhu mythos or Lovecraftian lore, I went into this game with no expectations or pre-conceived notions. I feel like if I had been a Cthulhu fan, I might have been able to appreciate this game a bit more than I did; I can certainly recommend it to fans. The animations look really janky, there were a couple of instances where the voices didn't always sync up with the characters' mouths (this was apparent towards the end of the game) and the in-game character models look very "last-gen", the way the game renders characters hair looks like they're attracting swarms of flies. This is in contrast to the cut scene graphics looking far more polished. The puzzles in the game are pretty straight-forward and there are some stealth and shooting elements to the game, although the insta-kill/insta-fail sections involving "The Shambler" can absolutely go fuck themselves. The detective mode is pretty much just find the somewhat highlighted clue and press a button to continue, so nothing overly obtuse there. In terms of the art direction, I hope you like the colour green or the colour green mixed in with a ting of muddy grey. Some areas such as the Mansion, I think are well designed but other than that it's just green tinting everywhere. It's particularly obvious during the game's final hour or so. I will say that the dark, misty environment works well when you're exploring the island. It really gives you a sense of depression and dread taking over the place. The game's level design isn't all that great. It's very indicative of it's relatively smaller budget and resource availability. The levels are pretty well just a bunch of independently developed set pieces with no connectivity to one another. I imagine the game has some replay value to it, given that the game delivers bits of dialogue through dialogue trees and certain interactions with either NPCs or the environment flash a "this will affect your destiny" disclaimer. There may also be clues and information that you may have missed on your first play through. There's also some light RPG mechanics in that you can customize your characters abilities in "Eloquence", "Strength" and "Investigation" just to name a few. Overall, I'd give this game a rating of Hazy.
  3. TheMG42

    Far: Lone Sails

    It's a simple puzzle platformer with a little bit of resource management in that you have to keep your vehicle maintained and running. The art direction is fine. The main vehicle has a really creative design and the environments are well done. Although, I'm not sure why they fluctuated between full on colour for some backdrops and greyscale for others. The backgrounds go from flat barren areas, to a tornado destroying an abandoned town, to wrecked ships, to a volcano explosion. Couple this, with the music and overall the game does a good job of giving you the feeling that this world is completely dead and dangerous to try and survive in. The puzzles are simple, it's mostly just hitting buttons to progress things or use something on your vehicle to help progress things. I wouldn't exactly say they're mind melters. There's no dialogue at all and I didn't really understand the plot, if there even was one. That made it hard for me to get more immersed in the game and to try and relate or to understand the main character's motivations. I'm not exactly sure why, but overall this game wasn't really enrapturing me as much as I was hoping it would. Overall rating: Hazy
  4. TheMG42

    Late Shift

    In terms of FMV games I've played recently, I certainly liked this a lot more than The Bunker. I felt that the story was far more engaging with the Late Shift. I guess I like the choice and consequence style of gameplay more than the point-and-click style. You play as Matt Thompson, a college student who works the late shift as a valet/car park attendant. The night appears to be rather quiet, until a robber breaks into the car park, holds you up at gun point and forces you to drive to a house where a robbery is being planned. Unfortunately, the guy who kidnapped you suffers an injury when he broke into the garage and Matt is forced to take his place in the robbery instead. The robbery goes awry and you end up in the crosshairs of a Chinese triad gang, thus beginning the adventure to escape with your life based on the decisions you make. "Gameplay" is fine for what it is; a choice and consequence, FMV style game. Certain choices can lead to entire chapters being locked off until you try again on another play through, so there's at least some consequences for your actions. The acting is fine, it's kind of interesting to watch Matt's character arc quickly go from an average, innocent college student to a hardened criminal. The music is just kind of throw-away, although I wish they hadn't mixed the music to be so loud and the voices to be so low. I had to drop the music levels to about 60% just to hear what the actors were saying to each other. There are some technical issues I've found with the game. The subtitles and the actors lines don't match up on several occasions, there was one instance where I pushed my luck and managed to get a 50% share in the money for the robbery. The subtitles matched that decision when it played out, but the actor recited the line where it was only 25% (If you don't push your luck). There's also random multi-coloured bars that can flash up on screen momentarily and I get some frame rate slow down and acceleration with a number of scenes, leading to believe that maybe parts of this game weren't rendering correctly. Could simply be a console vs. PC thing. I do wish there was a way to check what choices you've made, what ending you got and even compare your choices globally with other players. I don't really care that I made X number of choices in a play through, when would that ever tell me anything of consequence? Overall, Late Shift is short, fun FMV game that I can recommend if, like me, you've never really played many FMV games. Do try to pick it up on sale, though. I picked it up for $7 CAD, as oppose to $12.49 CAD. Overall rating: Good/Great
  5. TheMG42

    The Bunker

    I honestly thought FMV games largely died out in the 90's, so seeing one pop up on this list had me intrigued. I picked it up on sale for about 40% off on the Microsoft store (played this on the Xbox One). The game is essentially a point-and-click adventure style game within the confines of an FMV game. The story, I felt, was good and the acting is done rather well. You play as John who was birthed by his mother Margaret and he has spent his life growing up in an underground bunker since Britain has been ravaged by nuclear war. Fast forward to the present day and John's mother dies of old age, leaving him as the bunker's sole survivour. While going about your daily routine, a failure in the bunker's system triggers an alarm and thus begins the adventure to fix the problem while also learning about the history of the bunker, your childhood within it and why you're the only one left alive. You learn about your life and the ultimate demise of the bunker's inhabitants through a series of flashbacks, flavour text left on computers and audio logs played on tape cassettes. The ending has a nice twist and shows just how far Margaret went to protect her son. You're then faced with the choice of leaving the bunker, presumably explore the world and possibly get microwaved by nuclear radiation or stay in the bunker that is also leaking nuclear radiation and honour your dead mother's wishes, even after everything you've learned about what she did to protect you. The game has some memorable moments, including one fucking hard-to-watch scene which involved the treatment of a serious injury that John suffers while trying to fix an air filter, as well as a rather "troubling" aspect of John's daily routine. The game is quite short and I kind of wonder if this would've been better off as a movie, rather than an FMV game. I haven't really bothered playing any games that are point-and-click and/or FMV games and I don't think The Bunker has done much to change that any time soon. It's got a good story and it's a technically sound product, but I'm just not convinced this game is for me. Overall rating: Pass
  6. TheMG42

    The Dark Pictures

    Having never played through "Until Dawn" since it was a Sony exclusive (settled for watching multiple play throughs on Youtube instead), I was pretty pumped when they announced that this game would be multi-platform. "Until Dawn" was one of the games that convinced me that interactive storytelling games with a branching narrative and choice and consequences was a viable form of video game entertainment. I love the idea of stumbling upon an abandoned WW2 freighter — whilst dealing with modern day pirates trying to rob you — and unravelling the mystery of the ship and what happened to the crew members. I love that the story, at first, seems to have a paranormal undercurrent, combined with navigating through the dark, decrepit, and sometimes claustrophobic environments. It helps create a sense of tension and unrest. As the characters explore the ghost ship, the game initially leads you to believe that something onboard is causing them to all slowly lose their grip on reality and start hallucinating. (I.e. one of the characters pulls back a curtain covering a small shrine and then has a decapitated, rotting human head drop down in front of their face, only for the game to reveal that is was a silver-plated flower pot, or something.) The main characters eventually learn what's actually happening with the ship and it's the Occam's Razor Principle in full effect. The game has replay value, with it being a branching narrative with choice and consequences, along with trying to see how many characters you can keep alive or kill off, depending on your choices. What I disliked about the game is a bit of a longer list. Everything about this game feels like a lesser version of "Until Dawn": Fewer protagonists, less fleshed out character personalities/traits, a less expansive world, a shorter play time and weaker facial animations. The facial animations all have Mass Effect: Andromeda syndrome where it looks like the characters are trying to kill you with their gaze and they don't seem to really emote anything, even in high stress, high danger situations. The frame rate chugs concrete at certain points of the game, even though there never seems to be much going on. There was one instance during the final combat encounter where I got hung up on one frame for a solid 2 seconds before the game proceeded as it should. Some of the textures seemed low quality as well. At one point, I was inspecting a damaged life boat and the texture on it was so blurry, I assumed it just didn't load at all and moved on. This might not be a problem on PC, but it shouldn't be that bad on console hardware either (played this on a vanilla Xbox One). The characters don't seem to really evolve beyond the introductory part of the game, where each character's traits are laid out for you. They can go through some crazy shit, but it doesn't really seem to affect them all that much. The game relies heavily on cheap jump scares (a dead body falls out of a locker or a pipe bursts and starts hissing steam), to the point of being a nuisance. It doesn't add anything scary or horrifying to the game. I feel like if this game was just a "stand alone" title, as oppose to being a part of an Anthology, maybe the developers would've had more time to expand on the story and character arcs as well as fix any optimization issues. At the end of the credits, there's a teaser trailer for the next game in the Anthology: "The Dark Pictures: Little Hope" with a release date of 2020. At this point, I hope it's towards the end of 2020 because it's clear that Man of Medan was a little underdeveloped and could've benefitted from a few more months of polish. I hope the next game can improve on Man of Medan's shortcomings. Overall, I'd give this game a rating of Love/Hate.
  7. TheMG42

    Call of Cthulhu (2018)

    Game would have to go on sale ($79.99 CAD as of this posting) for me to buy it. That being said, it'll definitely be on my "To play" list.
  8. TheMG42

    Oxenfree

    Hands down, I absolutely love this game. I'm not really a huge fan of 2D or "2.5D" style, side-scrolling games, but this game did a lot to change my mind towards appreciating this particular style of game. The art direction is fantastic. It does a fine job of striking a balance between dark and eerie as well as cartoony and stylized. Characters that are illustrated to look as if they belong in a Saturday morning kids cartoon (in reference to the in-game "photos") in contrast with a dark, creepy and uneasy environment just seems to work so well, at least for me. The texturing and lighting in this game does a great job of giving the environment some depth of field, even though it's a "2.5D" game and it really adds to the creepy atmosphere of the game. The story is equal parts awesome and creepy. The occult and supernatural elements are well done (the tuning your radio bits were a nice touch), it made me wish the game went even deeper with these themes. The twist at the end of the story has a nice, subtle impact, enough for an "Oh poop..." moment. Gameplay is rather minimal and there is a lot of walking, with no real sprint function but I was able to overlook that since the story was so well done. I imagine there is some replay value, given the multiple dialogue options and there is a "New Game Plus" option which apparently offers another dialogue option and a different ending. Although past that, I suspect you'll be playing through more-or-less the same scenarios. The teen drama stuff didn't really bother me that much. I didn't feel that it was overdone or that the game put too much of an emphasis on it. I mean, the characters ARE teenagers, so I guess that sort of stuff is to be expected. I managed my expectations on this front. The music is phenomenal, no complaints there. Overall rating: Fantastic.
  9. TheMG42

    The Surge

    More like "The Scourge". Unintuitive level design. Too many "Where the hell do I go?" moments that killed the pacing of the game. Clunky, poorly executed combat mechanics make the game a more tedious and arduous version of Dark Souls. The premise of the game is rather interesting, but it's combat and level design kind of nullify that positive element. Overall rating: Pass
  10. TheMG42

    Firewatch

    After doing some initial research on the game... Wow, I didn't realize just how divisive this game was amongst fans and critics alike. Ultimately, I can respect a game that garners pretty passionate opinions about it, positively or negatively. My experience with the game was rather positive: I love the colourful, heavily stylized art direction of the game; it really helps make the environments look beautiful and vibrant. I enjoyed the conversations between the two main characters; it's funny, clever and believable. It helped get me more immersed into the game world since it makes their behaviour seem believable. One detail that I did appreciate within the game, without wishing to spoil much of anything: as the story devolves and becomes more cloudy and hazy, with the main characters becoming more unsure of what's happening to them, the environment around them also becomes more cloudy and hazy as well. The environment become less clear and colourful, instead becoming more muddy and disorienting. Maybe that's a bit too simplistic for some players, but I thought it was a bit clever. The melodramatic stuff I can take or leave. It doesn't really help the story, but I don't feel that it harms it either. It was just sort of "there" for me. Without going into spoiler territory again, about two thirds of the way in, I found myself rather enraptured by the direction of the story. I was all Gung-ho for the story to take a rather darker and more "sinister" (for lack of a better word) turn, but the game throws a bucket of cold water on that potential plot thread and it left me feeling a little bit empty by the end of the game. Perhaps it's a subversion of expectations, but it didn't really jive with me. My main gripe with this game is that for an interactive storytelling experience, the choice and consequences within the game don't seem to amount to much of anything. Since there really isn't much in terms of traditional gameplay, this seems like an area that could have been far more developed and could have bolstered the overall story. In the end, it comes up quite short. This is a game that you can really only experience once, since a lot of the intrigue of the game is lost on a second play through. I think that's fine, it's still one of the better games I've come across this year and I'm glad it popped up on Ross's list, since I'm not sure I would've played this game otherwise. Overall, I'd give this game a rating of Good/Great.
  11. TheMG42

    Remnant: From the Ashes

    The game is definitely out now. Seems pretty promising. Looks like a combination of Dark Souls and Gears of War. Putting this one on my "To Play" list.
  12. TheMG42

    Vanishing of Ethan Carter

    Right off the bat, this is one of the most beautiful games I've played in quite a while. You can easily get some beautiful desktop wallpapers from this game. I was running this game on the Xbox One and had no issues with the frame rate or graphics quality of the environment, so thumbs up all around here. I wish I could say the same thing about the character models, though. They're decidedly "last-gen" in terms of graphics quality and it creates a rather eerie effect in contrast to the beautiful scenery. Like most other comments on here, yes, the game is quite short. Even if you're achievement hunting, you can finish it in about 2 hours. To me, that's fine. The game still accomplishes what it set out to do anyway. I respect that the game doesn't hold your hand through it all and there's no invasive HUD elements that pull me out of the immersion. I'm not quite sure how to feel about the ending; it left me wondering what the story was about and how it all ties together. Perhaps another play through and/or some more research on the game is needed. Overall, I'd give it a rating of Good/Great.
  13. TheMG42

    Vampyr

    Having bought the game on sale for $20 CAD a few months ago, seeing this game pop up on the list was pretty much the impetus for me to finally play it and see what's up. The setting of early 20th Century alternative London I thought was well done. The art direction does a decent job of giving the player that feeling of being in a dark, depressing and gloomy world being ravaged by a plague with almost no hope in sight. Abandoned buildings, dead bodies wrapped up and pilled onto carts and vigilante patrols give a sense of dread and unease. There's a few interesting Sin City-esque scenes that I also enjoyed. The story and concept I think are fine; it's a branching story with choice and consequences. You play as Dr. Jonathan Reid who returns home to London from the frontlines of World War 1 only to discover he's turned into a vampire and has to figure out why and what impact it has on the world around him. The NPC backstories of each district are presented well enough and there's a motivation to get to know them as well. The more you unearth about them, the more desirable their blood becomes, which results in a huge bump in XP should you choose suck their blood. This is valuable for stat upgrades. You also have to craft them medicine if they begin to feel sick; their sickness decreases the value of their blood. If you choose to feed on any of the NPCs, their death will have rippling effects on the health of the district, particularly if one of the district "pillars" goes down. However, I though the execution of all of this came up a bit short. As easy as it would be to just munch on a bunch of the NPCs for the giant XP boosts, I got by well enough with out having to kill anyone. Since you also get XP boosts from completing story missions, side quests, healing NPCs when they're sick and murdering thugs in standard combat. It left me a little bit under-leveled throughout the game, particularly in boss fights, but attack pattern recognition and a lot of patience are the keys to victory in that scenario. The combat is very Dark Souls-like: melee-centric with light attacks (one hand/off hand weapons), heavy attacks (two-handed weapons), stun damage, parrying, dodging and stamina management, instead of resting at bonfires, you rest in a bed in a hideout which you need to seek out and enemies comeback if you rest or die. However it's not as fluid or as tightly designed as Dark Souls. There's also special vampire attacks that rely on your "blood capacity". Some of them I found effective such as "Blood Cauldron" or "Claws", other I didn't even touch like "Shadow Mist" or "Coagulation". The dialogue flows a bit weird at times (Tell me more your job, tell me more about this city, tell me more about your relationship with... etc) and it sometimes makes it feel like a bit of drag knowing that this will the help the player get to know the NPC's backstories a little better. It also felt just plain drawn out at other times, especially after boss fights and towards the end of the game. There is a romance aspect of the story, but it feels rather forced and just seems to spring up out of left field. Overall, I think Vampyr straddles the line between "Hazy" and "Good/Great".
  14. TheMG42

    Close to the Sun

    The game is definitely out now; it's available on Microsoft Windows. Not a lot of exciting moments in this game except for some chase sequences. It's more or less a Bioshock-themed walking simulator.
  15. TheMG42

    Lords Of The Fallen

    Ultimately, this game just made me want to play more Dark Souls. Pass.
  16. TheMG42

    What Remains of Edith Finch

    I can certainly recommend this game. For me, It's got a great and interesting story and I dig the art direction. It is quite short; I beat the game in about 2 hours, but there is some replay-ability in this game, since there are details you'll likely miss the first time around.
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