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    Sonic Mania (PS4)    by   jp       (Aug 5th, 2020 at 18:54:24)

    I'm really enjoying this. Well, assuming I can get past the final boss of Act I in Studiopolis. It's a really annoying fight I've lost 4 times so far simply because I didn't know what to do. It also has a strange variable speed scrolling that has thrown me off, making it harder for me to avoid enemies. Perhaps I'm missing something?

    I would not have known this was a new Sonic game due to how well it emulated/resembles the original/older games. It's pretty uncanny. I've enjoyed the random stuff that's thrown in there. For example, one of the "boss fights" is actually a match of Puyo-Puyo! (or, as I remember from the genenesis - "Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine" - which I loved playing on emulator back in the late 90s).

    So far, the game's a joy but hard to get into after the precision of Celeste. Sonic definitely controls quite differently and I have a hard time with his static jumps - both the timing and controlling the landing. Perhaps I'll get better soon?

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    Space Hulk: Deathwing (PS4)    by   jp       (Aug 5th, 2020 at 18:50:47)

    I started up the 2nd mission earlier today. It did not go well. Perhaps the most frustrating thing about the game is not dying/losing - but rather the really, really long loading times. Embarrassingly long. So much that I'm not confident I'll want to get back to playing. I'm spoiled for choice, with a drawer full of games.

    I do think the slower paced FPS is an interesting design choice. There's not stealth just shooting - in narrow and confined spaces (so far). This makes it hard to plan and see what's going on and I'm not sure what "skillful play" is supposed to look like. It's super hard not to get hit, so is it mostly about managing the powers and teammates?

    I learned today that the apothecary can't heal infinitely - he eventually runs out. Which was a bad thing to learn when I learned it (and the main reason I lost that run).

    I guess I'm also not a fan of "here's your objective" type missions in which you complete said objective only to get another objective (that's far away). I understand them narratively, but why not just make it another level/mission? As a player it always feels like a let down - oh, that accomplishment I was happy about doesn't mean anything because you still haven't finished the mission. Oh, and the games that drag that out more than once? Those are the worst.

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    Celeste (PS4)    by   jp       (Aug 2nd, 2020 at 20:27:10)

    All done now!

    In all it looks like I spent 9 1/2 hours with the game, which is pretty nice. I'm ready to move on to the next thing. Yes, the end got really challenging at times and I'll admit that I turned off (on?) a bunch more things to make it easier.

    I wonder if there was any outcry/whining about the difficulty system? Now that I think about it, I could easily go and collect all the berries and hidden things and so on (e.g. to get all the trophies), but - what's the point really? From the trophy percentages - it looks like not a lot of people have bothered. I still wonder if there was any whining about "making things too easy" and that sort of misplaced complaining....

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    Psyvariar Delta (PS4)    by   jp       (Aug 2nd, 2020 at 15:41:22)

    Played the co-op and, as far as I could tell it's still essentially the same game. I know I haven't unlocked/played all the different levels and bosses, but I'm not all that interested or excited to do so. I've been really trying to get through the backlog of games...so, on the shelf this one goes! It's got quite a few cool design things I learned about, but now I'd have to really chase scores and try to get good at it.

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    Celeste (PS4)    by   jp       (Aug 1st, 2020 at 21:49:20)

    Ok, I'm done with 6 levels and it looks like I only have one left. The last one I did was quite annoying. There were fun and interesting parts, for sure - but I really felt like it overstayed its welcome. My son was watching as I played and said as much. He wasn't impressed.

    During lunch I was asked what was challenging about the game and I had to think about it, but here's my answer:

    Celeste's main source of challenge comes from two things:

    (a) Hand-eye coordination and reflexes (executing jumps, grabs, dashes, etc. at the right moment.

    and

    (b) Puzzle solving.

    For the latter most of the areas require that you figure out how to traverse them - and some are quite clever. Do a dash in this direction, grab that ledge and wait for X, and then...and so on. I enjoy the screens with these elements more than (a) above. Though, to be fair most of the screens challenge me on both.

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    GameLog hopes to be a site where gamers such as yourself keep track of the games that they are currently playing. A GameLog is basically a record of a game you started playing. If it's open, you still consider yourself to be playing the game. If it's closed, you finished playing the game. (it doesn't matter if you got bored, frustrated,etc.) You can also attach short comments to each of your games or even maintain a diary (with more detailed entries) for that game. Call it a weblog of game playing activity if you will.

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    Random

    FEZ (PC)    by   dkirschner

    Amazing. I love the perspective shifting. Map is a bit difficult to navigate though.
    most recent entry:   Wednesday 31 December, 2014
    Fez oozes charm. I adore it. You play as Gomez, a little creature whose 2d world gets turned into something in between 2d and 3d. You see environments from one side as if they are 2d, but then you can rotate them to see each side in turn. So think of it like you are walking around a square house. You only see the side you are facing. You can walk around it to see the other sides. Anyway, all the environments are like this. Gomez has to traverse a giant world filled with probably a hundred individual areas collecting cubes. I’m not exactly sure what the cubes DO, as the game is light on formal narrative. You just collect them, and when you get enough, you can open locked doors, until you go into some weird dimension and wake up in your room again. Roll credits.

    Fez is all about manipulating the screen to find and collect those cube bits. The puzzles are clever and fun. Some are quite challenging. There are vines and ladders that align when you rotate the screen just right, allowing you to climb higher, and platforms that rotate the world themselves when you stand on them. When I beat the game, I was nowhere near completing all the areas (finding all the cubes, secrets, treasure chests). I started a new game + and I think I can go try and finish collecting if I want, but I probably don’t.

    The map is a pain to navigate. This was my only complaint with the game. Individual areas are connected by doors. Some areas will have 6 or 7 doors branching off, and some of those will have even more doors. The game is like an exponentially expanding universe. What happened to me is I was given the in-game goal of finding like 6 cubes to go through this one door in the beginning (then you need like 18, then 32). I just started exploring and didn’t return to that area until I had over 30 cubes. It's not that I didn't want to go back and unlock the door, but I just kept discovering new areas! When I finally returned, I simply unlocked every special door and unexpectedly beat the game 5 minutes later. Anyway, the map shows all these branches, but it doesn’t show which door connects to which area. There are literally like 100 areas, so it is a royal pain in the ass to try to return somewhere you have been before. There are a few nice teleportation devices, but the difficulty of revisiting areas killed my motivation to find more cube bits and secrets.

    Find the secret with the QR code. My girlfriend came in when I found it, and I said “Is that a QR code?” She said “I think so” and pulled out her phone to scan it. We were both like “awesome.”

    That’s about it. Pretty straightforward. Definitely play this!

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