It’s originally Christmas Day when this haphazard sluice of words is splashing the leftovers of holiday apathy into your face. I’m now drowning in gift cards, stuffed with macabre gingerbread men (and women) that I helped decorate, and am planning to wipe out the sun so the snow can stick around a little longer. Meanwhile, games have been played and pushed aside with a fair amount of return candidates to talk about, so I guess merry something and happy something else. It means just as much, weeks and months late (if you’re an optimist, season’s greetings weeks and months early instead).
Typoman – Boy, did this grab me by the exclamation point at first. I originally ran through the Wii U demo – yes, I was one of the five – and thought it was a clever approach to puzzles and wordplay. While I’m still intrigued by the game, it’s telling that I haven’t gone back to it in weeks now. If I had to point my finger as to why, I’d say the obtuse puzzles aren’t as forgiving as I originally thought, which slashes my play session times to shreds. I…don’t know that I want to finish this, but I definitely want to give it some more time to impress. (Maybe).
Her Story – Full disclosure: I’ve seen credits here. My loophole is that I haven’t gotten all the scenes and refuse to cheat myself to that plateau.
Anywho, this is a brilliantly conceptualized game. It’s the concept of “rabbit hole searching” made interactive; your curiosity naturally lays another brick into the path ahead while the game itself can go to autopilot. The mystery of which words our mind can associate with Sam Barlow’s framed, timed expositions is one of the more individualized experiences I can recall in gaming. Someone could, theoretically, learn through the story in near-chronological order like an unfurling drama while others could stroll backwards through the revelations. There’s a masterclass of concept here that runs turns the term “player choice” into something far greater in scale than streamlined peers have ever boasted. I’m sure to check into this group of search terms again from time to time. (Maybe).
Virtue’s Last Reward – I just could. Not. Be. Bothered. I got one ending and that was enough for me, and I think it was a bad one. I dig the Saw-esque concept, dig the traps, the rules, and even the larger number of people. What just doesn’t jive with me is the bloated script and extended, unnecessary, and boring reactions. Do you know why the Saw movies are usually a fairly brisk 90-100 minutes? And why maybe one-tenth of that is devoted to the “OHMYGAWD!” that we’d all be screaming our throats out with in that situation? Because it’s clearly, grossly apparent how terrible the situation is already, allowing the script to be trimmed of that fat in favor of the juicier bits. I want more juice, damn it! (Never).
Injustice 2 – Injustice number one – another Wii U play for me – was cool enough as it outpaced this charmer, but the fights ultimately felt too sterile for me to devote larger amounts of time to it. I storied then basically backed out of the room. Numero two feels tighter and wider with even the story opting for more ambition…mostly. Again though, the fights ultimately feel too sterile for me to knock my head against the wall of deeper playtime. Also, impromtu poll time: Who in this wide world said “Gorilla Grod and Swamp Thing, pleze?”. I’m sure those fan bases exist but I can think of a dozen other characters that could’ve used this bump (uh, Steppenwolf? Bizzaro Superman?!) and would’ve made far more impressive spectacles of their ring time. (Probably not).
Berserk and the Band of the Hawk – I like anime. Anime is nice. Especially the ones with the colors and sounds. I had never heard of Berserk, nor Hidetaka Miyazaki’s inspiration for Dark Souls from that source, but after my time in this world, I want to go back. I’ve read up a little on the Golden Age and love the shameless brutality of it all. The gameplay feels heightened because of my interest in the source material, even though it’s every Dynasty Warriors game ever at the core of it all. Mayyyyy be grabbing this one again when I have another itch to win wars single-handedly. (Definitely).