Tag Archives: Game Review

Rosie & Sean Present: Most Memorable Gaming Moments of 2015

  1.  Her Story – True Detective

her story

This short, simplistic game sits at number 10 mainly due to a great narrative and satisfying gameplay.  You only have a police archive database and your keyword searching skills to find out what happened to a missing man through interviews with his wife and another woman.  Pretty soon you uncover his grizzly fate  and are left to piece together who dunnit. I thought I worked out what had happened, but talking to my bro I found that he had come to a different conclusion, even though we watched the same clips.  I felt like a True Detective as I searched through the database, as I am sure most detectives do a lot of computer work.  

  1. Wolfenstein: The New Order – Eat this vegetable!

Due to some ‘issues’ with the next entry on the list I ended up buying this muscle puppy and was pleasantly surprised. A game where the main character spends 14 years in a vegetative state resonates with my very being. So I sat by and watched the year go by in the game and in real life. Eventually I came to my senses and realised it’s Wolfenstein game. Ignoring the muscular dystrophy, I got out of that wheelchair and started killing some goddamn Nazi’s! Simple and effective, oh and the story wasn’t bad either. The New Order is like no other game – a first person shooter where you fight against the Nazis. (9/10 – on this list)

  1. Evolve – release the Kraken!

This game has everything you could want from a monster hunting game.   You can be one of four humans hunters, or you have a choice to be a huge, scary and beautiful monster that can evolve into even bigger scarier monster that can eat everything, including tasty humans!  

evolve.jpg

Both types of gameplay can be fun, I found that tracking down the monster could be frustrating.  Whereas playing as the monster was intense! The enemy can see your footprints and follow the trail so it feels like you are being hunted at all times.  I would of loved this game a lot more but it took far too long to find a game online and was incredibly disappointing when it would freeze mid game and then I would be back to the long wait.  Rage quit.  

  1. Telltales Game of Thrones – Taking a beating.

Once again Telltale makes you feel like you’re between a rock and a hard place.  Your family is in danger and it’s up to you to play as the various family members to ensure survival.  Some moments are gold,  once I was caught drinking stolen royal wine and told the Kings Guard that I found it in the bushes!  Haha!  Accidental comedy can arise but this is a serious game and most decisions will be hard to make.  This game is not quite as heart wrenching as The Walking Dead, but will leave that horrible feeling that you could have played better to prevent the various horrible things that happen to your family.  Bring on the second season!

  1. Rise of the Tomb Raider – Getting in touch with your feminine side and discovering it’s a mass murderer. 

November 10, 2015

Dear diary,

Today I was the only person who didn’t get Fallout 4. I bought Rise of the Tomb Raider instead. It looks like a movie and plays beautifully but I have to go to bed so will write in you soon.

Tomb Raider.jpg
ARCHAEOLOGY!

November 22, 2015

Dear diary,

I finished Tomb Raider today. The last 12 days I have been speaking like a well-to-do archaeologist from Ascot. I never knew what an archaeologist actually did. Apparently it’s destroying and displacing artefacts while committing mass murder. My quest, I mean, Lara’s quest to find the holy grail consisted of killing half the population of Siberia and most of the wildlife. Jesus, who was an immortal militia leader also perished after Lara destroyed more artefacts. I think I would be a good Tomb Raider, except for all the horrific deaths.

P.S. I also raided lots of tombs.

  1. Fifa – Slide tackle.

I only discovered Fifa this year as previously I had thought I didn’t like sports games.  I was surprised at how smoothly it all worked and how it took me back to my youthful soccer days.  It really felt like I was a star sports player!  I especially relished sprinting at all times, using slide tackles inappropriately and having a blatant disregard for everyone’s personal space – including the people on my own team.  I even leant more about the rules of soccer, like how you can’t have two people offside – amazing!  I would recommend Fifa as a couch co-op and to also play like a maniac – it makes for a hilarious replays.

  1. Star Wars Battlefront – You’re a star war!

A long, long time ago…Do I really need to write anything for this? It’s Star Wars. Firstly, the sound is perfect and goes like this…*clears throat* Pew Pew Pew (Blaster, H. 2015), BLAP BLAP BLAP (Wing, A. 2015). Running around blasting rebel scum looks and feels like the movies, you’re at the front of battle in the star wars. There are modes galore and fighter squadron feels like a completely different game. Sure there are downsides to it that I’m not going to bother mentioning, because just when I thought I’d get bored of this game I found a shiny icon and got to be a star war!

As a huge, yet inherently indecisive (lazy) fan, it was tough to choose between Bubba Fatt, Dark Vader or Mr Palpatine. Mr Palpatine has assistants that can really help change the tide of war. So like any good Catholic boy I chose the electric paedophile that creeps around destroying people’s lives with his hands. ZAP!

Mr Palpatine.jpg
Mr Palpatine
  1. Rocket League – Crazy car soccer.

Imagine playing soccer but with cars, and rockets, and flips.  Now you understand Rocket League.  Fast paced fun with short matches made for multi-player madness.  Also you get to dress up and wear hats on your cars head.  What more can be said?

rocket league.jpg

  1. Dragon Age: Inquisition – A dance m’lady?

100 hours, that’s 27 short of cutting my own arm off, Franco style. It’s also how long I spent playing Dragon Age: Inquisition this year. I did not expect the Inquisition (intended) to be what I spent 4 actual days playing. Why did I play it? Well the same reason I ask myself questions in my own blog, it’s great! Like Franco on Instagram I tuned everything I could – Men, Women, Qunari and Dwarves. Regardless of their sexual preference I inquisited them like a guy who had a magical green wrist that I assume gave a great hand chandy. In addition to the tuning options, all the other aspects of the game were near perfect – dialogue choices, freaking dragons and phenomenal set pieces.

My pick was Wicked Eyes & Wicked Hearts, a mission where you don a ridiculous mask and suck up to nobles whilst gathering dirt on them in order to uncover a conspiracy to assassinate the Empress. A distinct change compared to the rest of the game. My choices resulted in making a scene on the dance floor before murdering the conspirator in cold blood and telling everyone else they all worked for me since I have lots of dirt on them. Proof that games provide an escape from reality by tapping into our subconscious desires.

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Dance for me

*A special mention to the mission that lets you judge the conspirator posthumously (a stinky fly-ridden crate of remains).

  1. Tales from the Borderlands – Finger Blastin’ Good

Telltale games aren’t real games, they’re stories. There’s no gameplay. I’ve seen better graphics. These are some of the things I made up so I could rebut it. Admittedly, it did take me a while to get into the Telltale games – I still haven’t played any of The Walking Dead. But I came around after playing Game of Thrones. I imagine Rosie is saying “no shit idiot, I told you they were good”. Well behind every woman’s discovery is a man who takes credit. I’ve seen Big Eyes and know how it works. That’s a lie, I haven’t. Game of Thrones was excellent, but so serious. I liked the style of game but needed something that was ‘my jam’.

Well I found my jam and it was Borderlands flavoured. For a game to come in at #1 it has to be something we both loved and agreed on. Easy! since TftB has an amazing cast of characters on an outrageous adventure in a rich world. The voice acting was perfect, particularly Patrick Warburton (see below) and the situations you find yourself in lead to some of the saddest, grossest and most hilarious scenes I’ve seen in my years as a wannabe stay at home dad with no kids. I’m talking actual laughing… out loud! No condolence laughs through the nostrils needed.

Much of the story is presented via flashback through the 2 protagonists, Rhys and Fiona. An unlikely duo forced to work together to find a vault of treasure while getting themselves into trouble and having to fend off a variety of bizarre and hilarious enemies. With the help of Fiona’s sister Sasha and Vaughn – Rhys’ bro (in a bro way, not a sibling way) plus two of the best robots in all of history, Loaderbot and Gortys.

Tales from the Borderlands takes place in a world I’m familiar with, but didn’t really need to be. It’s a brilliant and along with Portal 2 is one of the funniest games I have ever played. I don’t want to spoil the jokes or story but this scene… this scene alone was our favourite gaming moment of 2015.

The Stanley Parable Review

**** Warning: This post contains a couple of spoilers. 

the stanley parable

I have recently played The Stanley Parable, the highly praised 2013 HD remake version bought through the Steam engine.

You start from a first person perspective, the narrator calls you Stanley.  Stanley works in an office building and he finds that all his co-workers have gone missing.  Your quest is to find out what happened to your co-workers and to explore the environment.  The player is able to alter the story line and will finish with one of the sixteen possible endings.  The story is told from a first person perspective yet you can’t see any of Stanley while playing the game, including his hands and feet, which is pointed out by narrator when Stanley questions his existence.  The player can interact with the environment by opening doors and pushing buttons.

Self-taught, first time, young game designer, Davey Wrenden came up with Stanleys parable using a source mod.  The narrator is played by English voice actor, Kevan Brighting, who delivers his lines with dry wit and style.  Wrenden attributes half the games popularity to Brightings narration.   When coming up with the idea of this game Wrenden wanted to explore how games can change the narrative depending on choices the player makes.  The third wall is often broken and the player is very aware that they are inside a game.  At one point the narrator directly addresses the player by pointing out that you aren’t Stanley, you just control him, giving this game a feeling of self-awareness.

After playing this game for a couple of hours I had finished most of the endings and was left unsatisfied, yet I still continue to think about it.  This game is all about player choice.  I played the first time through following the narrator’s instructions, which resulted in a good ending for Stanley.  I won’t spoil other endings but will talk about some parts of the game that I found brilliant.

During the game in the emotion control room, I was frantically pushing buttons trying to work out how to stop a terrible thing from happening.  I thought I had worked it out and played through again but found that the buttons didn’t seem to be responding.  Wrenden admits that this was actually a design fault as he wanted Stanley to be able to interact with the buttons but didn’t know bind keys inside the Source mod.  This design fault actually made the game even more interesting to players because of what is says about the gamer and their expectations of how games should work.

baby minigame

Another part I was amused by is the baby mini-game.  Stanley is in a room with a cardboard cut out of a baby and has to press a button to stop the baby from crawling into a fire.  The narrator describes the game as an art piece that represents the pressures of parenthood and the constant needs of children.  The sound design in this part of the game is really interesting because the player is told to do one thing – save the baby –  but is ‘rewarded’ with terrible repetitive sound of the loud buzzer and the baby wailing.

I found this game was too short and it left me a bit unsatisfied.  The player doesn’t actually have that much control over Stanley as you can’t even jump of pick up objects.  It did make me question my preconceptions of how a game has to be, which is ultimately with linear storytelling.  As a budding game designer it did make me think about how to incorporate more player freedom in game.  It is a difficult task because the game maker has to include new areas and story lines depending on player choices, resulting in a much bigger game that the audience will only experience a small percentage of.  Yet it does want me to make games with more unexpectedly adaptable story lines depending on player choices or actions throughout the game.

All in all I think it was a really interesting game but not for everyone.  If you are looking for a meaty game for recreation, The Stanley Parable may not be for you.  I would recommend this to non-gamers because there are no complicated actions or controls to master in this game, literary types and anyone who would be interested in game design.