Last week was nice and quiet with a soccer turn based strategy game (Football, Tactics & Glory). Heck, I didn’t even need an into… This week good lord.
First, I know that Nintendo will allow anything on their eShop but apparently this is the week Sony said hold my sake cause there was a lot of junk put on the Sony store this week. Particular mention to Saboteur! which as you can see below looks like it was ported directly from the Atari 2600.
Saboteur! was just the tip of the iceberg as a late generation console trash pile seems to multiply. I am losing interest in rhythm games, endless runners, walking simulators, visual novels, retro games, and puzzle platformers at an increasing rate. This late in the generation a game really has to stand out as my backlog has ten unplayed games that do the same thing even better.
The games below are in order of interest with Pillars Of Eternity II: Deadfire the only one I could see myself running out to get. Or I would but the first Pillars of Eternity is on Game Pass and I ought to play that first. As soon as I finish Vampyr (And about ten other games).
Pillars Of Eternity II: Deadfire
I loved Dragon Age: Origins. I still love Dragon Age: Origins. I have tried to get into a smattering of CRPG’s that have come out in the last decade or so (We are definitely in a Golden Age for such things once again) and none of them have truly grabbed me completely.
I am not sure why. The lack of decent romance options? The illusion of choice in the stories. The heavier focus on combat and less on character? Is the lack of a true third person perspective? Maybe they are just too hard or complex?
Well, hope springs eternal and I always chase that dragon (both metaphorically and literally). We will take Pillars Of Eternity II: Deadfire out for a spin. I will spend hours on the character creator. Whether I leave the opening city, island, fortress, bordello, etc. before I get distracted by a shiny object is the real test.
Journey To The Savage Planet
I liked No Man’s Sky. No, not the remastered game that years of hard work finally brought to all of us and is the first thing (along with Final Fantasy XIV and Diablo III) that everyone brings up when they talk about how Anthem or Fallout 76 or some other live service fiasco can be fixed and become “good”
No, I liked No Man’s Sky as initially released. I didn’t know I was supposed to be disappointed. I found it quite chill to be honest. On its surface Journey To The Savage Planet looks a lot like No Man’s Sky. A lot. But there are some clear differences. This is not a randomly generated world. It is handcrafted goodness. And the game is not chill in the least. (In his video review below, Karak says it as if Spore and No Man’s Sky had a baby. I disagree I think it is as if Bulletstorm and No Man’s Sky had a baby.)
The game has a lot of humor that apparently is spot on (Think The Outer Worlds). Good action with lots of verticality and creative and fun monsters. They state it gets repetitive in the late game and I can see that. Overall, it looks like a fun adventure.
Journey To The Savage Planet also gets credit for generating one of the stupidest Kotaku articles ever written (and that is a high bar). And even better the article has a video (see below.)Author Paul Tamayo’s concern is the use of the word savage in the games title. Mr. Tamayo laments how the word savage has been used in the past to refer to indigenous populations, particularly in the Americas. It is a bizarre complaint. The game itself has no relation to the time period or the people involved. The word savage is a very common surname and, in fact, is a common name for many things. Heck, there are half a dozen films named Savages, including one by Oliver Stone of all people.
To make matters even worse, his objection is the use of the noun savage. But the title uses savage as an adjective. It is as if Tamayo reviewed Frogwares’ Sherlock Holmes and the Oriental rug and spent four-fifths of the review complaining about the use of the word Oriental. So not just is he giving a dated complaint (What’s next vandals? paddy wagon?) but he apparently is unaware of the different parts of speech. Anyway, the game looks like fun. Maybe hyperactive for my tastes but worth taking for a spin.
Ash Of Gods: Redemption
Do you own Banner Saga? Have you owned Banner Saga for years now? Have you thought to yourself I should really play Banner Saga and then pick up some other game? If so, why would you buy this? A slightly worse version of Banner Saga.
Well, the answer is because I will get to Banner Saga at some point I promise and this has colorful graphics and is new unlike Banner Saga which is so old it has collected actual dust in my backlog. Sure the translation is wonky, and the combat is not as laser focused as Banner Saga but it is pretty and if I buy it, maybe that will guilt me into playing Banner Saga.
Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition
Kentucky Route Zero is a point and click adventure with a magic realism bent and a visual novel style. It is also a message game. A beloved message game that everyone calls magical.
If it seems like PC players have been yacking about Kentucky Route Zero forever, that is not an illusion. The first chapter came out in January 2013 the last chapter a few weeks ago. I have stated in the past my dislike for the episodic games method of release mostly by companies such as the late Telltale games. I often have no issue with the product once it is all released but I find the release schedules to be so sporadic I have often forgotten what I was doing in a game by the time they release a new chapter. (And that is not including the thankfully rare times that an expected new chapter is cancelled.)
Now I understand that Kentucky Route Zero has a three-man team but imagine waiting nine years for the conclusion of the game. Honestly, I think console owners got a good deal getting the full package in the aptly named Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition. I wonder how different the experience is waiting a year or two between chapters, and how that wait changes your perception of the story?
Stone is a point and click adventure in the stoner noir genre. If you are understandable unfamiliar with the stoner noir genre, think The Big Lebowski.
Stoner the game stars a disheveled Koala Bear rather than Jeff Bridges so a lateral move. As far as I can tell there is no nude Julianne Moore or toeless Tara Reid during gameplay. In fact, outside of a liberal use of profanity, I could not pin down any connections between the two. (Not even a bowling mini-game)
Stone (Much like Kentucky Route Zero above) seems to tackle the puzzle free approach to the point and click adventure and also sports a character with no inventory. As someone who has a genuine dislike for the puzzles that often appeared in old LucasArts and Sierra games (Bordering on PTSD) this is a trend I can get behind.
It Came From Outer Space And Ate Our Brains
It Came From Outer Space And Ate Our Brains is a top-down twin stick shooter with lots of weapon upgrades and a nice looking aesthetic. Designed more for cooperative gameplay it looks playable in single player as well. Reminds me of some of my old XBLIG favorites.
Lode Runner Legacy
Remaster of the old Broderbund puzzle arcade game from 1983. The reviews and previews of this remaster have been full of high praise, and it is a fairly full package.
Like many games of its ilk, however, it starts off fun until veering into frustration after a few dozen levels. That said a modern update, cleaned up original and a full-fledged level editor make this one worth a look for fans of the genre.