Race to 100 Catch Up – February

So as I said last month I did not think my super fast pace would continue. I beat 12 games in total in January including a number of short titles but also Fallout 4. February has been a crazy month in so many aspects. Gaming wise we’ve seen the Xbox One release of the time sink that is Rocket League. I’ve spent a great deal of time on it and what a game it was worth the wait. I think I’m with a lot of people in that I’m not particularly good at it but I just cannot stop playing. That’s not to say I haven’t had some great moments.

The other slightly prohibitive factor has been the number of games I’ve been reviewing this month. It’s kind of knocked my momentum in some respects but I do still feel progress has certainly been made. I feel like I should touch on some of the game I didn’t finish but have been formative experiences in many ways. I actually previously touched on how I outright do not play RPGs I’ve spent a lot of time with Final Fantasy Type 0 this month. I picked it up for a bargain $14.99 and thought it would be worth it to at least try. This has been my first JRPG I have really stuck with and I think I may finish it! As a result of this I’ve also taken on Strangers of Sword City for review which appears to add another bewildering layer of depth I’ve not been exposed to. As a DRPG in this case it’s a very slow paced first person game where early on you seem to spend most of your time just staring at static character art telling you a million different mechanics work.. I’ve also been trying to get through Gears of War 2. Much like with the Halo series I never played Gears as I didn’t own  a 360 so I want to get through them before Gears 4 hits. I’m hoping March will have full write ups of all 3 of these as finished games.
Finally work has been hectic as hell, we’ve been going through some restructuring that seems to have largely been weighted towards me getting more work than the 3 people on our team. I’m hoping at some point I get a better grasp on this new stuff and feel a bit better about it and less like death when I get home every week.
Anyway enough with the excuses, here are the games that really matter the games I beat;


Thief

Of all the game I’ve made so far this year, this is one I the most indifferent to. It was neither great nor bad. I only actually wanted to play it so it was done as I have Dishonored sat unplayed as well and I’ve heard that Thief suffers by comparison (in fact I think on the Bombcast when talking about Warren Spector’s latest move Brad said something similar)

Lapsed Gamer Ready? It might be but it’s not particularly interesting enough to warrant the attention. It was once a Games with Gold so if you have then sure why not try it.


King’s Quest Chapter 1
I was a huge fan of point and click games back in the day namely the Lucasarts games along with the Simon the Sorcerer games. However Sierra’s games somehow passed me by. Telltale have slowly built up to where we are now with the likes of The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones etc…. Their Sam and Max games and Back to the Future brought that classic point and click adventure to the modern era but have since changed tact with their narrative driven take on the genre. King’s Quest seems to find a slightly better middle ground between the two competing takes. Christopher Lloyd is wonderfully cast as the old King retelling stories.

Lapsed Gamer Ready? Absolutely! Perfect pacing, puzzles that will get you thinking but not mean you come unstuck and have a fantastic adventure along the way.

Perfect Dark Zero
The Neverending Slog that is clearing the Rare Replay backlog continues….Perfect Dark Zero got a lot of rave reviews upon release….well time has not been kind to this. From its opening music cinematic you can tell they are trying really hard to impress. The one point I’d really like to focus in on is the games level design. Having recently played Banjo Kazooie as well I’m beginning to think as great as Rare are they actually are kind of bad at creating levels that have a flow and make sense to the point where you still feel like your exploring but make progress. So often in Perfect Dark it simply would not be clear where to go even when it slaps down arrows on the floor.

Lapsed Gamer Ready? It’s hard to recommend it to be perfectly honest, there are so many better more accessible first person shooters out there that will leave a much more lasting impression.

Dying Light Enhanced Edition The Following
This was one game and I was not expecting to play as it landed on my digital Slack desk for review. It’s a pretty long game so it definitely detracted from my progress in other games. Not that I was particularly upset as it’s a fantastic game. I never finished Dead Island as it simply got so so boring, no amount of analogue combat could break up the tedium. Dying Light added parkour and a wonderful day night cycle that adds so much tension to the experience. Death truly has repercussions in the regards to leveling up and the first few hours can certainly be a rough ride. The Following DLC somewhat flips this on the head by getting rid of a lot of the verticality but adding an upgradable buggy. 

Lapsed Gamer Ready? Arguably not, it’s hard going first few hours will leave gamers frustated perhaps one to come to once your back up and running gaming.


Layers of Fear
Another game I got for review that played through in pretty much one sitting. I’m still working on the review for it but here’s my conclusion;
Layers of Fear at first glance is nothing more than a generic horror game; with it’s abandoned house, doors ajar and uneasy audio cues. However playing past the opening ten minutes will open your eyes to a game that both celebrates art whilst showing the crippling mental effects the pursuit of perfection can have on a tormented artist. It’s this dichotomy/duality that runs throughout the game, the raw exploration of which leads to fascinating experience that will linger long after you’ve left it’s haunting corridors.
Yes that may go against the grain of what many reviewers feel but that’s the great thing about this industry especially these smaller experiences some can really resonate with you and leave a lasting impression.

Lapsed Gamer Ready? For sure its clever take on horror geometry will surprise. It’s simple mechanics and relatively easy puzzles will make playing through in one sitting a breeze.

Unravel
A game I desperately wanted to love but I found it somewhat lacking. Let’s get it straight Yarny is super cute and also very much a character despite his relative lack of ways to display emotions. He cowers when he is scared, shivers when he is cold and in one level peeks over some bushes in a way that is genuinely mischievous way that made me grin from ear to ear. However I think the general story telling was somewhat lacking even though it was clear trying to tell a very heartfelt story. I also found that the game never really progressed past its blend of yarn management, swinging and physic based puzzles, it never becomes more challenging. It almost makes me feel like the game may have been better as a shorter “walking simulation” based experienced.

Lapsed Gamer Ready? Whilst I didn’t enjoy it much as I expected to I think the story certainly resonates and makes for a interesting experience.

So pace continues fairly well, again some shorter experiences but also one tent pole larger game? I’d like to leave you with a question does Final Fantasy XV Episode Duscae count as a game towards my total? Now I assumed not as it’s just a demo but now I’ve been lead to believe it’s a separate stand alone episode that won’t be the main game so perhaps it is something I’d add to the list when I beat it
Current Total: 18
Current Pace: 108 (slightly down)
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