March First Impressions Roundup

During the past month or so I’ve played seven games that I’ve never touched before and probably won’t play long enough to do a proper review of them. So, here are my first impressions of these titles. You can find the gameplay footage from the Videos page.

Rogue Legacy
rogue legacyI must confess I tried a demo for this game a long time ago. It seemed fun enough, but I felt like it didn’t have much to offer. The verdict in a nut shell is that the gameplay is lacking. It’s the best of album of random gimmicks that get old fast. The upgrades are a boring +X% grindfest and the game just doens’t hold interest long enough for me to really get invested in it. I liked the idea and theme, but execution was lacking.

Alpha Protocol
alpha protocolI had no expectations when jumping into this game and I was surprised at how much it reminded me of a role-playing game. I liked the idea of playing a spy and gearing up to different sort of missions. The humor was fun enough, but let’s just say that it helped that I was in a good mood. The problem, again, was that the gameplay was dreadful. Shooting in this game was horribly unsatisfying and I didn’t at any point feel like anything was at stake. I didn’t care. There was a lot of talking, too, so I wouldn’t really call this an action game. Interesting idea poorly executed.

Batman: Arkham Asylum
batman arkham asylumI don’t know what this game is supposed to be. Some people call it a brawler but I barely did any fighting in it. What little fighting there was, it was really boring and monotonous. I liked the idea of sneaking around like in thief, planning your next move, and then gliding in like in Just Cause 2. There could’ve been more of that even at the beginning. I like Batman just fine. I don’t really care about superheroes, but I don’t think there ever was anything “super” about Batman. Maybe that he’s super rich. The voice acting and script in this game were ridiculously poor and I didn’t see the point in running back and forth in the asylum. Very weak first hour. Maybe it gets better. I’m leaning towards giving it another go.

C&C: Red Alert 3: Uprising
command conquer red alert 3 uprisingWhat is it with strategy games and these survival missions with a handful of troops? I hate it. Give me structures to build. I didn’t feel like finishing the intro mission (if it even was that). Instead I jumped into a skirmish match. It was serviceable but I’ve seen it already and gotten bored of it. The acting was (as a juxtaposition to Batman) ridiculously hilarious and with the addition of awesome rock music they really had something going for them in this game. Too bad I never encountered anything interesting in the gameplay whatsoever.

Dragon Age: Origins
dragon age originsThe first hour to this game had me hitting the Snooze button several times. It was just so boring. If any book started like this then nobody would read it. They try to force a lot of random lore down your throat with a truckload of characters you should immediately be interested in. In addition the first steps of gameplay are like trying to run in a swamp. Nothing happens and your left to wonder why you should care about anything that’s happening. I kept playing and after the first hour I started to get into it a little bit. Maybe I’ll try this one again, since it might actually have something interesting happening in it. The game mechanics and all the loot are just there, too. It’s like the devs just expect you to be interested in whatever they put in the game. I’m not. I looted a small warehouseful of stuff but barely touched the inventory. Why should I? There was no incentive to do so. If you’re a game developer, this next one is for you: It is your job to make the player interested in the game! Don’t forget that.

EDGE
edgeA puzzle game with pretty much no direction to it. No planning required. No intelligence required. Just go and somehow you’ll end up at the exit from the level. I liked the fact that the controls in the game took some getting used to and actually required some skill to master. Too bad they didn’t focus as much in the level design.

SimCity 4 Deluxe
simcity 4What a disaster. People cried their eyes out with the new SimCity and how much worse it was than SimCity 4. Having now played both of them I have no idea where all of that was coming from. Sure the new SimCity had problems, but the game was like a dream compared to this piece of garbage called SimCity 4. Maybe you could make larger cities in it. Maybe it wasn’t always online. And maybe you could even drive a tank in the game and destroy your own city by shooting it to pieces. Fine! But that doesn’t make up for the fact that mechanically the game was and is a nightmare. Building anything in SimCity 4 requires just far too much effort to me to give a second thought to it after a while. And the popups made me feel like it was 1998, again! GUI design was like a brainchild of a 12-year-old and to top it all of the sound design made an extra effort to make the game as unplayable as possible. Give me the new SimCity any day of the week over this one. Thank you.

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Gradually Removing Scores

I’ve always done game reviews with a score, even back when suomipelit.com used to be around, so it has always been sort of hart for me to think of doing reviews without scores. Having heard the argument against scores, however, made me realize that they do more harm than good. So, I’m gradually removing scores from my reviews and the newer ones will not have any scores assigned to them. I feel like it’s the direction modern game reviews need to be taking.

The Video Page Updated

Hi! I’ve neglected the video page ever since Twitch announced they won’t be automatically saving the past broadcasts anymore. I didn’t feel like doing much for the matter at the time but now I have updated the video page to match the saved highlights (newer ones are still mostly full casts).

Enjoy!

Mirror’s Edge Review

mirrors edgeOh, Mirror’s Edge. Why do you have to be so painful? This is going to be short and sweet because quite frankly I don’t care enough to write properly about this game. Not that I do that with any game anyways.

Mirror’s Edge is an interesting idea. It’s a game where you don’t have to shoot anyone. But you can. If you want to. The idea is to run and do all sorts of cool parkour action in the way. The problem is that the action is horribly slow and boring, most of the time you have no idea where to go (even when the game has a specific button that shows you where to go), and the controls are god-awful. I like the idea. I like the graphics. The game has style. But that’s all it has. The plot made me fall asleep and… well I guess the level design was pretty inventive so we gotta give it points for that. If only there was a proper game you could play the levels through with.

Rochard Review

rochardRochard as an idea works wonderfully well. Guy with a gravity gun does some action puzzle platforming in different space stations. It’s just very mediocre, bland, predictable, and boring.  Don’t get me wrong — the controls are wonderful, graphics neat, and there are some very fun action-packed scenes that lift the energy level from its typical boringness. It’s just that a lot of the four-hour experience is filled with tedious cut scenes that drag on and don’t tell you anything interesting, puzzles that barely get you thinking, and jumping slowly from platform to platform without much of a challenge offered at any point. The last half an hour or starts to get a tad more challenging and just when you start to get into the game a little bit, it’s over. And of course you can’t even skip the end credits. It’s a mess. You want to like it, because it looks neat, but it just doesn’t offer you anything that fun to do.

List Of Games I Need To Beat

Ok, I have been cataloguing games on IsThereAnyDeal.com (great site, by the way) and have managed to form a list of games that I have played but not finished. It would appear that I own something like 600 games (not counting DLC, obviously) which means that I need to pick something to really get through. So, here’s the list. Some of them might be games that can’t really be beaten, in which case they will be removed from the list, but I really need to start finishing stuff that I’ve started. Let’s see how it pans out.

#1 A New Beginning – Final Cut: Indie Gala June
#2 Adventure Apes and The Mayan Mistery: Indie Gala Mass Effect
#3 Age of Wonders
#4 Age of Wonders 2: The Wizard’s Throne
#5 Anomaly Warzone Earth: Summer Sale Indie Bundle Day One
#6 Back to the Future: The Game: Humble Weekly Sale: Telltale Games
#7 BioShock™
#8 BIT.TRIP RUNNER: Humble Indie Bundle 6
#9 Blade of Darkness
#10 Blades of Time Limited Edition: Groupees Be Mine 8
#11 Braid: Humble Indie Bundle V
#12 Chocolate Castle: IndieGameStand: Voxatron
#13 Cities in Motion: Indie Gala Magicka
#14 Company of Heroes: THQ Complete Pack – Winter Sale 2012
#15 Conquest of the New World
#16 Cortex Command
#17 Crayon Physics Deluxe: Humble Bundle with Android 5
#18 Crusader Kings II
#19 Darksiders: THQ Complete Pack – Winter Sale 2012
#20 DEADLIGHT
#21 Dear Esther
#22 Die by the Sword + Expansion: Summer Sale 2014
#23 Dishonored: Viagame
#24 Drakensang: Groupees Be Mine 8
#25 Droplitz: The Mayhem Bundle
#26 Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition
#27 Dungeon Defenders Collection: Humble Bundle with Android 5
#28 Dungeon Keeper™ 2
#29 Dungeon Siege II
#30 Dungeons & Dragons Anthology: The Master Collection
#31 Dwarfs – F2P
#32 E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy
#33 EDGE: Summer Sale Indie Bundle Day One
#34 Empire Earth Gold Edition: Summer Sale 2014
#35 Fallout 2: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game
#36 Fallout Tactics
#37 Far Cry 2
#38 From Dust
#39 Heroes of Might and Magic® III: Complete Edition
#40 Homefront: THQ Complete Pack – Winter Sale 2012
#41 Intrusion 2: Humble Indie re-Bundle 8
#42 Jagged Alliance 2
#43 Jagged Alliance: Deadly Games: Giveaway
#44 Legend of Grimrock
#45 Magicka: Indie Gala Magicka
#46 Mark of the Ninja
#47 Mass Effect 2
#48 Mirror’s Edge: Humble Origin Bundle
#49 Mortal Kombat: Arcade Kollection: Humble WB Games Bundle
#50 Oil Rush: Humble Indie re-Bundle 8
#51 Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising
#52 Painkiller Black Edition: Indie Gala Magicka
#53 Populous™: The Beginning
#54 Red Faction 2: THQ Complete Pack – Winter Sale 2012
#55 Red Faction®: Armageddon?: THQ Complete Pack – Winter Sale 2012
#56 Rise of the Triad
#57 Rise of the Triad: Dark War
#58 Rochard: Humble Indie Bundle 6
#59 Settlers 7 Deluxe Gold Edition
#60 Settlers® 2: Gold Edition, The
#61 Shank 2: Humble Indie Bundle 7
#62 Shatter: Humble Indie Bundle 6
#63 SiN Episodes: Emergence: Giveaway
#64 SiN: Giveaway
#65 Sonic the Hedgehog: SEGA Classics
#66 Space Empires IV Deluxe: Giveaway
#67 Space Pirates and Zombies: The Quickfire Indie Bundle
#68 Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
#69 Super Meat Boy: Humble Indie Bundle V
#70 Supreme Commander Forged Alliance: THQ Complete Pack
#71 Supreme Commander: THQ Complete Pack – Winter Sale 2012
#72 System Shock™ 2
#73 The Baconing: Summer Sale Indie Bundle Day One
#74 The Basement Collection: Humble Indie Bundle 7
#75 The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena
#76 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
#77 The Stronghold Collection
#78 The Walking Dead: Humble Weekly Sale: Telltale Games
#79 The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition
#80 Theme Hospital
#81 Thief Gold: Thief Bundle 2012
#82 Trine 2: Humble Indie Bundle 9
#83 Two Worlds II: Bundle Stars Indie Jam 2
#84 Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures: Humble Weekly Sale: Telltale
#85 WarCraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal
#86 XCOM: Enemy Unknown: Gift
#87 Zeus + Poseidon (Acropolis)

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Review

the elder scrolls iv oblivionThe Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is my favorite out of all of the Elder Scrolls games. It has the most wonderful atmosphere, environments, characters, and the gameplay was a huge improvement over Morrowind. That being said, there are problems. The voice acting, though better than in Skyrim, is often very plain and delivered in a sterile manner. The main quest can get very tedious at times and many of the dungeons are dull to say the least. The game crashes often and there are some bugs that potentially prevent you from finishing the main story line. The dialogue was also stripped down compared to Morrowind because all of it was voice acted in this game (which in turn I consider to be a good thing). All that aside, I always love returning to the green and lush forests of Cyrodiil. This game, in my opinion, is a classic.