Posts Tagged ‘reviews’

Wot I Think – Amphora

Plenty more fish in the sea

A few weeks ago I was posting about Amphora because it had dropped a delightful trailer on the YouTube landscape, albeit a baffling one involving exploding space jars and Aesop’s Fables. It was released yesterday afternoon so I’ve been playing it through and investigating what actually happens.

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Wot I Think: Daylight

Daylight is a first-person horror game made with the Unreal 4 engine, set in a spooky hospital with a procedurally-generated layout, and is focused on evasion rather than combat. I turned the lights out to see what I could see.

I don’t scare easily, at least not unless someone puts dead shellfish in front of me. Or tries to stick a needle into my arm. Or starts a conversation with “have you heard the new Coldplay song?” Or asks me to perform sums. Or tells me the house is out of milk. Or inquires about what I think I’ll be doing for a living in ten years’ time. Daylight did scare me though – well, not quite scare, so much as pull me into a sustained state of dread and tension, even though I was simulatenously sneering at its tidal wave of horror stereotypes.
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Wot I Think – Warlock 2: The Exiled

Warlock II is a turn-based strategy game with roleplaying elements (players of both Civilization and Heroes of Might & Magic will be at home here), set in Paradox’s comic fantasy universe of Ardania. You play as a Great Mage, building towns, raising an army of assorted pointy-eared things and wielding spells in battle against other Great Mages.

Possibly important disclaimer: I played very little of the first Warlock, so please look elsewhere if you need an article that compares Warlock II to its predecessor. For the record, I am aware that some people feel this comes across more like an expansion pack than a sequel, but all I can do is talk about this as a game in its own right.
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Wot I Think: Child Of Light

Painted in watercolour and written in verse, Child of Light is a charming, if superficially childish, fairytale RPG. Beneath this breezy fable of lost princesses and talking mice, however, is a complicated combat system that calls back to Final Fantasy’s Active Time Battles – a dense interplay of buffs, interrupts and attacks that injects a realtime element to otherwise turnbased fights. You might call it a platformer too, but given that the heroine quickly sprouts wings, your exploration of the sidescrolling overworld is more aerobatic than acrobatic. I like all these things and yet it’s left me struggling to be enthused. Here’s wot I think.

The one good thing about uPlay misplacing my save file several hours into Child of Light is that it helped bring my feelings about the game into sharper focus. One feeling being a reluctance to play more of it than I really needed to. Another being that, since I had to, I’d have preferred the cutscenes to be skippable.

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Wot I Think – Diablo 3: Reaper Of Souls

The most interesting thing about Reaper of Souls, the first expansion for Diablo 3, is that it’s an admission of guilt. Blizzard are one of the best developers in the world not only because it makes great games, but because it prods and tweaks and adds to them after release until they positively hum with glory. But Reaper of Souls isn’t a nip here and a tuck there. This expansion is Blizzard dealing with the reality that, in many people’s eyes, Diablo 3 just wasn’t very good. But can it be fixed?

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Wot I Think: Smite

Frost giant Ymire is prettttttty cool

“Oh God, it’s like playing League of Legends crossed with Jumanji,” was my initial verdict on Smite. I stand by that assessment but I probably ought to flesh it out a bit in this here Wot I Think piece. Here goes:

Smite is Hi-Rez’s god-themed MOBA. Hang on, are we calling them MOBAs at the moment? ARTS? Lane pushing game? Lords management? Wizard-em-up? Magi-brawler? Five-a-side farming simulator? Whatever your preferred label, it’s Hi-Rez’s take on that genre. You play as one of a pantheon of characters based on the gods of various religions and mythological figures and proceed to do battle across a number of different game modes.

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Wot I Think: Resident Evil 4 HD

The problem with a classic is that it’s a classic. The medium doesn’t matter – if enough people agree something’s great, then discourse around it is reduced to little more than glowing generalisations and snarky counter-thrusts. Some consider Resident Evil 4 one of the best vidyagames ever created; others counter that, good as it may have been, the world has long since moved on from grotesque monsters, tank controls and rescuing the president’s sizeably-bosomed daughter.

Resi 4 deserves more so, with a little help from director Shinji Mikami, let’s look at the anatomy of a classic.
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Wot I Think: 10 Second Ninja

Dan Pearce won a BAFTA for his work with The Tall Trees on Castle In The Sky, a pastel-coloured platforming picture book about a young boy adrift in the clouds. It only makes sense that his solo project 10 Second Ninja, then, is about a ninja hacking his way through legions of inert machines under the command of Robot Hitler. It’s a swastika-laden game about mastery: you chain together shuriken throws and sword slashes to rid of a level of all its enemies within a ten second time limit, and then do it again to shave more seconds off your time.

Faster times equal more stars, more stars equal unlocked boss fights and new worlds, and new levels with slight twists like enemies which require two strikes, or portals which you and your shuriken can travel through. And that’s wot I think.

FAIL. Ah, wait, yeah. I left enemies on the field, and forgot to offer any critical judgement of the game I’m writing about. Let me try that again.
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Wot I Think: Democracy 3

I rename this land Graham Britain

Democracy 3 made Alec into Nick Clegg and Adam into an Orwellian nightmare, but their terms are over. Now Graham has been elected to tell you Wot He Thinks about Positech’s political policy simulator.

Democracy 3 is a game about a user interface. Look at this thing.
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Wot I Think: Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded

Note to Americans - it's pronounced 'leisure'. Stop with this 'leeesure' silliness at once.

So, to recap… Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded is a 2013 remake of a 1991 game based on a 1987 game based on a text adventure from 1981 about a guy with his head in the 1970s. Yow. Ordinarily, that would lead to the question “Why?” This time though, the answer is simple: “14,081 Kickstarter backers donated over $650,000 to make it happen, so shut up.”

There’s no arguing with that, really. But are the final results worth the faith?

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