Yes, the well is deep, and full of nourishing video games. There’s something out there for everyone, no matter what your taste. How deep you want to go down the well is up to you!
I’m skimming the top at the moment, focusing on AAA games, but I’m really interested in checkout on games like Her Story and Act of Aggression – two games in genres that have been long dormant, but are now making a splash.
SPLASH. GET IT!? I’ll show myself out.
Friday, 2:05 pm – Gavin
Huzzah for borrowing Majora’s Mask! I shall definitely take you up on it.
It’s always so interesting when new updates to old games come out. It reinvigorates the interest in the game, to the point that Ricky graciously let me borrow his copy of KOTOR 1, which I still have never played despite being told that it’s amazing. I look forward to diving into it!
My favourite story about this is the random and massive update that went out to Thief 2 and System Shock 2 back in 2012. Someone had been surreptitiously and quietly working on significant back-end updates to those games and just dropped them off in the middle of the night. A user at the Through The Looking Glass forums found it, and the second post in the thread is just magical. Check it out! http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=140085
I’m really interested in The Witcher 3. I don’t know if I’ll drum up the motivation to play it, but I love hearing how much people love this game. My experience with massive open-world RPGs set in high fantasy is mostly limited to Fable and Skyrim, both of which have a not-insignificant amount of flaws, mostly pertaining to the side quests (Skyrim’s were particularly banal). To hear that the side quests in The Witcher 3 are actually engaging is really encouraging!
I’m really happy for CD Projekt Red that The Witcher 3 did as well as it did. It’s easy to forget that games that aren’t the most major, significant GTA/COD/Battlefield/Madden IP can still do substantial sales and can still drive and influence the industry, like when Cities: Skylines sold 250,000 copies in a week, absolutely shattering expectations.
Thursday, 9:06 am – Ricky
Welcome back Gavin! Happy to hear you’re diving back into some Zelda. I still haven’t touched Majora’s Mask yet… You’re welcome to borrow it.
So some more amazing Star Wars news came out this week. Ten years after its initial release, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic – Sith Lords has received an update on Steam! New graphical options, achievements and mod support, including the longstanding “Lost Content” mod, that restores quests and fixes bugs broken during the Xbox-to-PC porting process. I reinstalled the game but haven’t had a chance to do anything more than boot it up, admire the tutorial, and then close it.
I did, however, play four hours of The Witcher 3 yesterday. That has to be my longest single session so far with the game, not including initial boot up and save issues I had when I first got my new graphics card. I’m absolutely loving it – I played an amazing secondary quest, and get deeper into the two main quest lines I currently have active. The writing in the game is phenomenal, and with a recent update, the combat mechanics and UI are MUCH better. CD Projeckt Red are the kind of developer who will continue to tune this game, so while you may have a nagging thought at the back of your brain that says “they’re going to make it better, and you’ll have already played this less good version!”, I personally think it’s at the point now where I’ll have no problem diving in.
Now I just need the time.
Tuesday, 3:41 pm – Gavin
I’ve been hearing a lot of good buzz about Her Story. It sounds like a really interesting experience, from what little I’ve heard re details. Solving a mystery by exploring someone else’s computer and watching videos – an interesting change of pace!
I’ve been off for a couple of weeks on holiday, but when I came back, I fired up The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword again. It was one of my top games of 2011 and it had been three years since I’d touched it last, so I thought that I’d see how well it has held up. It’s generally fairly mechanically tight considering the fairly radical controller setup (and the first boss fight is still inexplicably difficult). One thing I’ve noticed is a common complaint among 3D Zelda games since Ocarina of Time: the game is constantly wrestling control away from you. Tiny cutscenes when you open a door, scripted dialogue events that occur more frequently than preferred, that sort of thing. I’m noticing it more and more this time.
The game also takes a looooong time to get going. That was an enormous complaint when SS was first released. I powered through it the first time, but I noticed it more this time. I compare that to, say, Link to the Past or Ocarina of Time, and it’s noticeable how much longer you spend on Skyloft before you can actually start progressing. In LTTP, you’re off to the races in less than five minutes, battling through Hyrule Castle. In Ocarina of Time, there are a few events you need to progress through, but you’re still going through the Deku Tree in 15 minutes if you know what you’re doing. In Skyloft, you’re up there for a good two hours before you make it down to the Faron Woods, and it’s three hours before you get to the first dungeon, Skyview Temple. SS soared on the wings of its incredible dungeon design, and that has still held up quite well, but I do acknowledge the complaint about how long this game takes to actually get going.
Also, I realize how much 1080p gaming has spoiled me, because SS (and on that note, Mario Galaxy 1 and 2) looks jagged and rough around the edges. I know it’s only 480p, but the blemishes stand out when you’ve spent time with Wind Waker HD or Super Mario 3D World. It’s not quite the same as Metroid Prime, which still looks as good today as it did 13 years ago.
The soundtrack is still fabulous and probably the best in the series. There’s a fabulous depth to the mechanics and it manifests itself in fun and creative solutions to problems, provided you can get the motion controls to behave. I didn’t have any trouble last time except for the boss at the end of the Skyview Temple, which I swear is still the hardest boss in the entire game, as it involves some serious manipulation of the motion controls in a fashion that is too early in the game to be intuitive.
I’m looking forward to exploring more in the game and seeing if my opinions still hold up! After that, I’ll likely take another dive into Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. I had some conflicting opinions about that game but still enjoyed it, so I’d like to see if my memory is correct.
Monday, 10:30 am – Ricky
Check out the gameplay trailer for Act of Aggression – it’s basically Command and Conquer Generals 2.