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    Amnesia: Rebirth (PC)    by   dkirschner       (May 22nd, 2022 at 17:32:47)

    I've sat down to play this a few times. I almost quit after the first time though! I was getting super frustrated going around in circles in the dark trying to figure out a puzzle. There is a room with a radio, but there's no obvious way inside. On the second floor of the building, there is a weak floor (you know this because your character, Tasi, comments on it and says if it collapses, that would be a quick way down to the radio room). Well, I found a huge, heavy barrel and rolled it to the weak floor. Nothing. I jumped up and down. Nothing. I wandered round and round in the dark, my eyes getting more and more tired. I wasn't scared. I hadn't been scared the whole game. It was just dark and I used all my matches and I couldn't make this stupid floor break.

    So I looked it up online. You have to roll a cannon onto the floor. There is a cannon nearby, but it's on a concrete block and missing two wheels. I didn't think I could move the cannon because it was on a concrete block and I couldn't remove the concrete block. But, I learned you have to find two wheels and put those on first. Putting wheels on the cannon makes it so you can move the concrete block. (You can't move the concrete block from under the cannon, but you can somehow lift the cannon enough to fit wheels on. Okay.) This is how I learned that Amnesia: Rebirth uses physics puzzles and that (as usual) I need to be more patient!

    I wanted to quit out of spite. "Pshh, this isn't as scary as The Dark Descent." But I decided not to be petty and forge ahead. Good decision, I think. The story is intriguing, even if the gameplay is a bit bland. You play as Tasi, a pregnant woman who is part of an expedition to the Algerian desert. The plane goes down and the rest of your expedition is missing when you wake up in the wreckage. The game is very much a "walking simulator." You'll read a lot of notes and solve some (so far) easy puzzles. The most challenging thing is navigating in the dark, but when you are in pitch black and becoming afraid, the environment turns this grey-blue color so you can see a little bit. Without light (matches, with which you can light candles and things in the environment, and your lantern, which requires fuel), you will miss interactable objects that you need. So what I usually do is try to navigate my way around in the grey-blue, and if I get stuck, I start lighting candles to see if I missed anything. It's methodical and kind of fun to know that I'm progressing mostly in the dark.

    The intrigue is that, it being the desert, and there being a Muslim influence in Northern Africa, there are djinns, spirits in the desert. An older civilization buried under the rocks and sands maybe worshipped one of them, or some goddess. They could travel back and forth between two planes of existence, and Tasi can too when she finds herself in possession of a mysterious amulet. So, as you journey beneath the desert on the trail of your expedition comrades, you also journey back and forth through these planes, following a spirit (and avoiding ghuls and whatever other nasties are out there). The stakes aren't high though. You can't die. You "respawn" feet from where you "died" and it's like nothing happened. So hiding from the ghuls, taking care not to jump from a ledge, none of it matters.

    Once I learned the appropriate frame for the game, I began to enjoy it. I now see it as a story game more than a horror game, and that's fine. My expectations were off. But now I'm looking forward to unraveling this mystery and finding out why Tasi is maybe both alive and dead, and what's up with her fetus. I feel like they're going to throw some weird curveball at me!

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    For the King (PS4)    by   jp       (May 16th, 2022 at 19:11:39)

    Ooh, super intrigued by this - played for several hours and the game is incredibly inscrutable in those first few hours because there is SO MUCH GOING ON. For Roguelikes I keep coming back to the question of how long is the intended run/session intended. I struggle with the ones that are a bit too long - Slay the Spire is probably too long for me, BUT - the game is focused enough in terms of the rules/mechanics/systems that I feel like I can continue to learn.

    THis game seems way too big for me in that sense. I was making progress, making progress, and it just kept on going. So, I had no idea if/when I was making bad strategic choices - the feedback loop might be too long there so as to know what I want to do next.

    To make matters worse - if I recall - the text on things was super small and hard to read from the comfort of my couch. I see this happen so often that I really wonder what is going on at Sony that they're not catching these things when they do approvals?

    Perhaps I'm "playing it wrong" since the game says it supports 2-3 online networked playes? Is the intended experience one where each player controls a character? (you have a party of three) I may have played inefficiently because I wasn't sure if I should try to keep them all together - send the characters off separately (riskier if combat). ANyways, they really leaned into the campaign style boardgame here and I was intrigued and interested as I played - but suddenly the board opened up in a massive way and I realized the entire map was much larger than expected and that I was woefully underpowered for the next area and I just kind of sighed, shrugged and realized that I wasn't sure that I wanted to re-start what was already a multi-hour session....

    We'll see....

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    Hollow Knight (PS4)    by   jp       (May 16th, 2022 at 19:03:42)

    I've realized I don't have time to spend backtracking all over the place as I try to figure out where I'm supposed to go next - to then die, because new enemy, and having to backtrack all over the place again. Sigh.

    This game's simply not for me. I've got too many other games just sitting there waiting to be played. Another way to think about this is that I'm just not that excited or interested to play it - there's plenty of games in the sea, as it where, why not spend the time with the ones you're really enjoying?

    This makes me appreciate Celeste's efforts for difficulty accesibility all the more - I was able to keep on going and adjust as needed. But, this game simply isn't designed that way - and I don't think it's about the "genre" (platformer vs metroidvania platformer), but about the design choice of how frequently to place checkpoints, whether or not to allow quick-saving and so on. For me, it really drags down the experience - again, that's for me - so your mileage will vary.

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    Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (DS)    by   jp       (May 15th, 2022 at 21:46:08)

    So, the reviews mostly complained that it was a lightweight game (probably compared to the console ones) and sure, that might be true - I think the game is pretty short. BUT, for a DS title I was really impressed by how well it works and how much variety there is in the level design and how the progression of gameplay elements and challenge is rolled in slowly but deliberately.

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    Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (DS)    by   jp       (May 15th, 2022 at 21:44:11)

    Oh wow, this game is so much better and more interesting than I expected!

    It's a legit Prince of Persia sands of time followup in that there are time-altering mechanics (you get the rewind pretty early, then there's a slow-down time, and there's one more I don't recall) and you have limited uses based on how much sand is in the dagger you have. So, like the same idea as the original PoP:Sands of time game!

    Visually the game is pretty interesting as well - the art direction is stunning considering that the assets are all 3D and incredibly low-poly. Like, really, really pre-PS1 era style. But, so well made that they actually communicate things pretty effectively, and the action is super smooth, and animations flow well and...it just feels like a really nice game to play.

    There's lots of levels, lots of variety between them - some are more puzzley, others more action oriented, and the game slowly introduces new mechanics and things, and isn't afraid to switch things up. There's a riding on your horse level of all things! (there might be more wild ones, but I only played about half the game) There's also a small progression system with upgrades you can buy to get more life bar, more sand, do more damage and change your outfit. You buy them with gems you find in the game - there are also often secret chests to locate - and as far as I can tell the game is pretty generous with gems and stuff.

    What has impressed me the most about the game - in addition to its smooth gameplay, is how everything is done with the stylus and it works! You move, attack, duck, jump, etc. all with the stylus! Ubisoft really leaned into the (presumed) mandate of making the game an unique DS experience and they really did a great job with the controls here. I'm super impressed. I kind of want to look up reviews for the game just to see if this is a gem I missed? I'm guessing reviews will be kind of meh and perhaps complain that the game is too easy?


    Ok, I checked and they're really mediocre! (metacritic is ~57!). I also learned the game came out on PS3, Xbox360, Wii and I guess every other platform out there. So much for me thinking it was a DS game - it turns out it's a weird handheld port? (still, the interface work is fantastic)

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    Recent GameLogs
    1 : dkirschner's Amnesia: Rebirth (PC)
    2 : jp's For the King (PS4)
    3 : jp's Griftlands (PC)
    4 : jp's Noita (PC)
    5 : jp's Amazing Adventures: The Forgotten Ruins (DS)
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    1 : root beer float at 2021-11-21 13:15:48
    2 : hdpcgames at 2021-10-23 07:42:58
    3 : jp at 2021-04-08 11:25:29
    4 : Oliverqinhao at 2020-01-23 05:11:59
    5 : dkirschner at 2019-10-15 06:47:26
    6 : jp at 2019-04-02 18:53:34
    7 : dkirschner at 2019-02-28 19:14:00
    8 : jp at 2019-02-17 22:48:06
    9 : pring99 at 2018-11-15 20:17:00
    10 : U1 at 2018-11-15 11:13:56
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    Random

    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (360)    by   FromAnonymous

    No comment, yet.
    most recent entry:   Wednesday 23 September, 2009
    I don't really see how people can beat this game, I'm already very sick of playing it. It's not that I'm offended and can't bare to watch it, I am just bored of killing people and running away from the cops. The criminal life is not for me. I think it's significant that my initial curiosity at what it would be like to be a criminal wore off pretty quickly. I understand it doesn't fade that quickly for everyone, but I think that once they try it and see a hypothetical version of what it feels like, their quench for trying it disappears. One thing I found interesting is how there are always consequences for my actions in the game. I don't truly have the freedom to do whatever I want, at least not without there being extreme consequences. The more people I run over, the more cars I steal . . . the more intense and expansive the police chase for me becomes. If ever there was an argument that didn't say the game is an awful catalyst for violence, it is that these consequences are always present in every move you make. If anything Grand Theft Auto is an excellent platform on which to discuss ethical problems, even outside the realm of the belief that playing the game is, in and of itself, unethical. However, I don't really intend to play it again anytime soon.

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