Posts Tagged ‘review’

Wot I Think: Sorcery! Part 4

With Part 4, Inkle’s triumphant Sorcery! series [official site] reaches its conclusion. It’s still sourcing its core tale from the Steve Jackson classics, but having taken wonderful leaps away to include its own far more elaborate possibilities. And the trajectory of each game being better than the last is not broken in this fourth release, the best yet, and indeed one I now feel comfortable calling one of the finest RPGs ever made. This is spectacular. Here’s wot I think:

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Wot I Think: Duelyst

Duelyst is Hearthstone’s child. You can see the shared DNA everywhere, from the menu layout and free to play business model to specific minion abilities and hero powers. Almost everything Hearthstone does, however, Duelyst does better. I’ve spent years grinding away at the Hearthstone mill, but now I’ll never go back.

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Wot I Think: Dead Rising

I’ve always had a soft spot for the first two Dead Rising [official site] games. Soft spots are the second cousins of nostalgia, and similarly mean that I’ll happily make concessions for a series’ flaws. The Dead Rising games have rudimentary combat, horrible time limits, and dodgy AI, but I forgive them because the brutal absurdism of the series has always tickled me (except for the grimy, obnoxious third game). I’ll happily jump in just to save a couple of survivors, and while I’d get angry whenever I lost 20 minutes of progress because I died and forgot to save, I’d be all smiles again as soon as I encountered the next eccentric boss.

It’s been a long time now since the original first came out, and I wonder whether the passage of time has atrophied a game whose systems and mechanics already felt unwieldy ten years ago. And with the super-similar but generally superior sequel already out on PC for a quid less, is there even a need to go back to the original?

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Pro Evo Soccer 2017’s Master League Is Magnificent, Even On PC

Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 [official site] is a fantastic football game, quite possibly one of the best ever. On the pitch, it plays spectacularly well, with both individual players and teams expressing themselves as recognisable entities, and Master League is a superb singleplayer mode, making player development entertaining and simple to grasp.

Take it online, though, and things start to fall apart. And the PC port is an ugly downgrade in comparison to the current-gen console versions.

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Wot I Think: Halcyon 6 – Starbase Commander

One minute, Halcyon 6 [official site] reminds me of XCOM, but with spaceships as well as people, and the next it reminds me of every JRPG I’ve ever abandoned. Every now and again I think everything is clicking into place, and there’s a little bit of Star Control flavouring, but before long I find another piece of busywork to take up my time.

I keep asking myself whether the good side of Starbase Commanding outweighs the occasional bout of tedium. Here’s wot I think.

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Wot I Think: Event[0]

Futureshock: one day in some strange year to come, Event[0] [official site], a game primarily about simulating conversation between you and a possibly self-aware AI, will seem like a vaguely absurd relic of an innocent past. From my festering chair in the retirement home, I will stave off loneliness by holding convincing conversations with Google Deep Mind or AppleSoft Siri or Sony Zangief or Trumpatron 3000 Gold. A videogame in which I converse with a rudimentary AI that can only really offer canned responses to keywords? Might as well play Space Invaders.

Even so, lost in spacey / chatbot adventure Event[0] has very clever tricks up its sleeve, and hints of where videogame conversation might or should one day go. Its tinman has a heart.

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Wot I Think: Master Of Orion

Master of Orion [official site] and its sequel (the less said about the third entry, the better) spawned a horde of 4X and space strategy fanatics, sending them out into the galaxy to explore, expand, exploit and exterminate. Wildly ambitious, full of fascinating aliens to meet and kill – they’re rightly hailed as classics with a legacy that continues even two decades later. Death to the past, I say. There’s a new Master of Orion now; fresh blood with an old name.

Just try to ignore the fact that it’s wearing the tattered and worn skin of its progenitor.

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