In Other News
So with all that’s been going on in WoW with me, I haven’t taken the time to talk about the other games I’ve been playing. I gave you a laundry list back in July of all the games I picked up during the Steam Summer sale: Monaco, Dishonored, To the Moon, Dungeons of Dredmore, and The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing. Additionally, I snagged Rogue Legacy when it was on sale and just picked up Papers, Please this past weekend.
I’ve had months to absorb most of these games, so here’s a whirlwind of reviews for each of them.
I started playing Monaco with my wife, as it’s a fantastic game meant for more than one player. Unfortunately, it didn’t keep her attention, and has since fallen by the wayside. I thoroughly enjoyed the stealth aspect of the game, but although she doesn’t like first-person-shooters, her approach to most problems seems to be to shoot stuff. Perhaps that’s a WoW influence; I don’t know. Regardless, it sits unfinished in my Steam queue; I may return to it alone, but that seems to defeat the purpose.
I finished Dishonored almost without interruption. It was a fantastic game very much in the style of RPGs I’ve come to love. It’s not as open-world as Skyrim, no doubt, but sometimes all the openness does is make me get lost in the game and never finish it (as is true of Skyrim, twice now). Dishonored’s character development, story, and art all appealed to me greatly, and I enjoyed virtually every moment – except one. I missed the “don’t kill anyone” goal by one person. I was specifically instructed to fight a duel against someone, and while I tried non-lethally assaulting him before the duel (and got attacked), I didn’t have the necessary power-up to put him to sleep after the duel began. Beyond that one situation, I was never spotted nor killed anyone, so missing that goal by something I considered “part of the story” was a bit frustrating. Regardless, it was an excellent game I’d suggest to anyone who enjoys the Bethesda-style games.
Dungeons of Dredmore was funny, but to be honest, it didn’t stick. I played a lot of Rogue-like games growing up (Nethack in particular), so I think some of the novelty of it was simply lost from the get go. It was fun and worth the few dollars I paid for it, but it’s unfinished and likely to remain that way.
The Adventures of Van Helsing was one of the best D2-style games I’ve come across in a while. It was a lot of fun, offered a lot of character paths, had a funny story and engaging gameplay. I played it with my buddy, but it was during the time his sight was starting to go, so we stopped playing it in hopes to return to it after his eye surgeries. He just wasn’t getting anything out of it. I would still highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys ARPGs.
To the Moon only got loaded up once, and while I was enjoying it, I wasn’t enjoying it enough to keep me from other games. I want to be clear that I don’t think I’ve given it a fair shake; the story’s barely started, but compared to the other gems I purchased, it just hasn’t made it to a top spot yet. I suspect after this content-gorging is over and I’m in another dry period, I’ll go all the way through it, but until then, all I can say is that it’s not as good as the other games I finished.
Rogue Legacy I spread out between sessions of WoW. It was a great game that was a lot of zany fun. It had a surprising amount of depth in the meta-game in between levels that gave you options on how to develop your character. I ended up doing something pretty different from another of my friends who played the game. My other friend focused heavily on the crit strike talents, but those were largely left alone by me; I focused more on the magic path, and in fact it was in fact a caster class with an empowered spell that got me to the last boss. The game had a lot of great variation on game play by making randomly-generated characters from which to choose each time you died, but there were also a few that were essentially unplayable qualities, such as vertigo, which inverted the screen but not the controls. Sorry, I’m not a spatial genius; I only played a character with that quality once, and not for very long.
Papers, Please I only snagged this past weekend, and I suspect I’ll write a much longer post on it when I’ve finished. Any game classified as a “Dystopian Document Thriller” might make people roll their eyes with potential boredom, but after hearing about it on Extra Credits, I thought it seemed very interesting, so for six bucks I figured I’d give it a go. I played for about three hours straight in my first sitting. It reminded me very much of Ore No Ryomi, a game I played a lot when I was living in New York. It’s seemingly about the simple matters of checking people’s passport and travel papers, about all the little actions that go into that. If that was it, I’d probably already be done with it. However, it’s couched within a turbulent moment in history with a lot of terrorism and secret political actions and framed as a struggle of survival, since you only get paid for people you process, and yet the money you make is almost never enough to pay for rent, food, heat, and medicine. As a result, you have to balance your thoroughness with your need for speed so that you can keep your family alive. In that way, it’s a bit of a cross between Ore No Ryomi and The Gods Will be Watching. It’s been a lot of fun, though I did give myself a headache from, I suspect, eye strain of trying to read so much so quickly.
So that’s what I’ve been up to outside of WoW. I look forward to trying some other new games, too, such as FFXIV: A Realm Reborn, but I want to see some more reviews trickle in, first. Are any of you, dear readers, playing it?
Stubborn (a game glutton)