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    Curses 'n Chaos (PS4)    by   jp       (Feb 21st, 2019 at 19:48:12)

    I can't say I played this A LOT, but I got a strong sense that this wasn't the kind of game I'd enjoy - and it also seemed like a game without a lot of depth.

    As far as I can tell the entire game plays like the first "level" (area? zone?). It's a single screen beat-em-up with a variety of different enemies. Sometimes enemies drop single use items (mostly special weapons) you use to get a special attack. You can always hold one, and by summoning an owl "hold" an extra. Better weapons/things drop when your combo streak is higher and...that's it. I think it's 10 waves before a boss and presumably after that it's a new area with...more of the same.

    For me, this would be fine for an arcade game - short playtime, make it hard, that's ok. But on a console I just felt like there wasn't enough there to keep me interested. There aren't any real special attacks that matter, it's always the same area and the items can be fun - but it really sucks that they're single use...and there's no progression system as far as I can tell. So, why bother continuing? I guess there's going for the combo streak/score...but that's usually not my style or interest.

    Weirdly, there are hints of deeper things to look at - you can craft new items, you can buy items, you get coins...but it all seems for little payoff. Spending a lot of coins for a single use item that isn't that great (basically the same as the things monsters drop)...and the crafting? Never did it, but my guess is that its just for slightly better items? That, again, use once and they're gone.

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    Tempest (Arcade)    by   kedwards       (Feb 20th, 2019 at 19:32:50)

    I played the game for several sessions using a unique spinning knob to revolve the firing mechanism around the wire frame top down tunnel which was the main interface.

    I actually found swift movement, spinning the dial actually worked well, and wondered if this was indeed a replication of the original arcade interface. On searching this appears to be the case.

    It felt very much a game of physical dexterity with a heavy unique knob and was refreshing to get a sense of game designed, almost in a physical way, like a pinball machine.

    Eventually I managed to progress through several levels.

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    Wuppo (PS4)    by   jp       (Feb 17th, 2019 at 23:58:10)

    This is going to sound mean, but this game is now my go to example for games with crap art that are still fun/good to play. I mean the art is REALLY, REALLY, simple. It has a certain aesthetic, but not that much even. Animation is good, so that helps a ton. AND, there's a day/night cycle in which everything changes color. Significantly. I was a minute before I realized what was going on - I played a few dark areas at night and it was...too dark.

    It's a fun little game and I've enjoyed the combination of exploration and platforming. There's no real combat outside of boss fights (there are a lot of these!) and the difficulty spikes rather unevenly here. For my skills, most fights were punishingly difficult UNTIL I discovered a cheezy strategy (for all but one, but that's only 4 or 5 fights). The cheese consisted in finding a safe spot to hide (usually the edges of the level) and then just being patient with the different attacks - waiting for the moment to move in before rapidly retreating.

    It's a weird game, it feels European in its comedic sensibility (which I enjoyed) - there's a character you steals your TV, and when you find him later on he's running a store. You face him, but he's like "whatever, I don't care". If you shoot him, then he gets all apologetic and pays you some money for your TV. Ha! Mostly the game is exploring with some puzzle-solving along the way. It really mixes things up (so far) - with a sneak quietly mission/puzzle (I stole a train card from some old people, but I had to sneak into their room without knocking over the dishes) and a few finagly bits (getting trapped in a gum bubble that needed to get sucked into a vent was...uh, tricky). But overall, fun!

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    Absolute Drift: Zen Edition (PS4)    by   jp       (Feb 17th, 2019 at 23:33:45)

    Thankfully I could get to the end just my racing around the overworld/map.

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    Killzone Shadow Fall (PS4)    by   jp       (Feb 17th, 2019 at 23:32:34)

    Finished it over the course of a few days.

    It was fun, but surprisingly less polished than I'd expect from a game by Guerrilla. I think it might have been a (rushed?) launch title for PS4? That might explain it...or maybe it's FPS games that have raised the bar since (Destiny, CoD, etc.)?

    Either way, it was fun to get back to Killzone...and a universe that is truly messed up at this point. I don't remember this from the last game I played but Helghan was completely destroyed. Apparently, the solution to peace was to split Vekta in half with Helghast living on one half and Vektans on the other. It was obviously never going to work - especially since the "transition" (as depicted in the game) was a complete mess with Helghans basically killing Vektans as they moved out/tried to run away. The whole story doesn't really make a lot of sense - and I think it might be because they didn't want to try something really new (e.g. oh no! we must joing forces to fight some aliens that appeared) and rather tried to make the best of the current situation? (ok, what else can we do in which they're all still fighting each other?)

    You play as an orphan (guess whose dad died when the Helghast moved in?) who fights for Vekta and is a sort of super-covert-op-sneaky-infiltrator agent. So, you wander around killing people. Not a lot of sneakiness to be honest. You have a cool drone that you can send out to shoot and stun enemies which I enjoyed using but I also found myself dying a lot until I just learned to stay back more often and to never, ever, rush in.

    Along the way you meet a Helghan super-infiltrator-etc., but she's got an actual stealth cammo suit (think, Predator). I think the game would have been a lot more fun playing as her, to be honest.

    I guess, in all, it was "fine". There were a few moments that got really frustrating for me - the last fight before the "bad guy". And there were also a few moments of ludonarrative dissonance. There is an evil scientist who is working on a virus to kill all Helghans, then it's all Vektans, and I lost track. I was supposed to protect her, but I really just wanted to shoot her. I could, but she wouldn't die.

    I think the coolest moment was the ending. You get shot dead by your boss (who also saved your life as a kid). Then credits roll.

    After a few names roll past...everything glitches out!

    And there's one more (secret? bonus?) mission! This time you're the girl, in your super stealth suit! You're in Vekta and need to sneak around to switch off some cameras and stuff, pick up a sniper rifle and then get revenge!

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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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    1 : jp's Curses 'n Chaos (PS4)
    2 : kedwards's Tempest (Arcade)
    3 : jp's Wuppo (PS4)
    4 : jp's Killzone Shadow Fall (PS4)
    5 : jp's That Dragon, Cancer (PC)
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    Dungeon Siege: Throne of Agony (PSP)    by   jp

    Very confortable gameplay, but way too easy so far...and no, I'm not that good.
    most recent entry:   Monday 3 September, 2007
    Finally finished it. Fortunately, the 2nd chapter was shorter than the first and the 3rd was in turn (much) shorter than the 2nd. Overall I'm surprised by how little I understand what was going on in this game.

    In particular. I spent a lot of time towards the end wondering about the experience system in the game. It seemed that sometimes I would gain a lot of experience while at other times, rewards would be pretty rare. So, how are experience points assigned in this game? I have no idea. I know that it's tied to defeating monsters, but it doesn't seem to be uniform. For a while I thought that you got more experience from killing a monster that damaged you. After that I entertained the idea that you earned more experience when all your followers have been killed (otherwise, experience would be shared). Truth is, I don't really know and it doesn't really matter because the game was waaaay to easy as is. So, why bother to learn the nuances when they're not necessary?

    I did, however, learn a few things from the manual and GameFaqs AFTER I finished the game. You can also chalk them up as interesting tidbits that are useless because the game was too easy:

    1. There are two different attack modes! If you button mash you get frequent, but less powerful attacks. Keep the button pressed longer and you get slower, but more powerful attacks. I button-mashed all the time.

    2. I'd been collecting these "Crossover Tablets" for a while with NO idea of what they were for or who (NPC) I should given them to. It turns out you can turn them in to one of the characters in the main town for "cool" items. (cool stuff, but not so cool when you've already finished the game and already have better items). It turns out that I hadn't ever talked to this character because, since he appeared in conversations with another character, I thought I was talking to him (both) already.

    3. It's easier to finish the game the wrong way than it is the right. At the end (spoiler!) you have to choose whether to sit in the throne or destroy it. You are given an explicit choice to sit on it and if you run up to it, you automatically sit on it. It took me 3 attempts to destroy it, which is what I wanted to do originally (you have to run up to it, but stop RIGHT before it and attack)

    4. Once you finish the game you can unlock "Elite" mode. I WISH I had been able to start the game on this mode! Sigh.

    5. Next to each mission there is a number. I had wondered about what it meant. It turns out that it's the recommended level your character should have for the "optimum" experience. Sheesh. I wish I had known that beforehand! Not that it would have made a difference...but still. (I have no idea if I was overpowerful for all the missions I did)

    In all, the music was great (I really enjoyed it), the game was so-so...It really would have been so much better if it was harder.

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