Posts Tagged ‘wot i think’

Wot I Think: Hyakki Castle

Hyakki Castle

It’s almost impossible to talk about Asakusa Studio’s debut game Hyakki Castle without invoking the looming western spectre of Legend of Grimrock. While this particular formula for party-based first-person dungeon crawlery (real-time grid-based movement and all) dates all the way back to Dungeon Master in the 80s, Grimrock is the game that re-launched a genre, and a solid yardstick by which to measure imitators.

Hyakki Castle, then, is Legend of Grimrock – the original, rather than the more open-world sequel – in Medieval, mythical Japan. It’s a pure dungeon crawl with only the most threadbare of stories: a team of four heroes are sent to a cursed castle to stop an evil wizard. Boilerplate, even by dungeon crawl standards. Hyakki Castle has few ambitions of its own and while it comes tantalisingly close to Grimrock at moments, more often than not it feels like a shallow imitation that doesn’t even wear its own aesthetic as comfortably as it should.

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Wot I Think: Megaton Rainfall

Megaton Rainfall‘s goal is to let you feel like a superhero. Originally created with VR in mind, the earliest build I played years back on an Oculus Rift featured what still makes up the core of the game: swooping around via the gift of flight, trying to blow up alien ships while not accidentally levelling the city around you. Released now in flat-o-vision (I’ve no idea why the PC release is non-VR only, after the PSVR release last month), I find a game containing absolutely astonishing ambition, incredible achievements, beyond comprehension scale and awe, and the weirdest sense that you’re not really being allowed to have fun. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think – Star Wars Battlefront 2 single player campaign

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Star Wars Battlefront 2’s campaign is a gorgeous shooting gallery that takes you to amazing planets, both old and new. But is it any more than that? These are my thoughts on the single player part of the game, and I’ll be following up with a review of the multiplayer after the game properly comes out this Friday.

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Wot I Think: Football Manager 2018

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Nobody listens to a word I say. I might be a legend of the game and one of the most beloved footballers of my generation but as soon as I stick my nose in at half-time, all the energy is sucked out of the dressing room.

Football Manager 2018 gives me all of the data I need to understand why the team are uninterested or unhappy, but I’m not convinced it gives me any meaningful or interesting tools to address those factors. On the pitch, I’m enjoying it as much as I ever have, but whether it’s a reflection of reality or not, I find the basics of dealing with a squad of sulks as tedious as Ashley Cole’s autobiography.

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Wot I Think: Call of Duty: WW2 Multiplayer

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Call of Duty WW2 takes the series back to its roots, stripping out the jetpacks and wallrunning from the recent futuristic iterations. As Sledgehammer Games enthusiastically say, the game is back to being ‘boots on the ground’. It’s certainly a change of pace, but I was happier when my boots were sailing through the air at 50mph.

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Wot I Think: Nioh – Complete Edition

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Describing a game as X meets Dark Souls is a sure way to invite mockery and contempt. It’s lazy critical short-hand, people will say, and they’re often correct. Well, prepare to mock. But only a little.

I promise I’m not being lazy when I say that Nioh is Dark Souls meets Sengoku period Japan though, and to prove it I’m going to use that short-hand as a starting point rather than an end-point. Fortunately, where Nioh differs from Dark Souls is far more interesting than where the two games overlap.

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Wot I Think: Hand Of Fate 2

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The great rage is dead within me. I no longer feel hatred. In the first Hand Of Fate (review), a sly and effective singleplayer collision of roguelite and collectible card game, I fought onwards primarily due to a deep and burning desire to wipe the imagined smirk off the face of The Dealer, an AI-controlled dungeon master and nemesis rolled into one, whose e’er-taunting voice was the exact sound of a perpetually-raised eyebrow.

Hand Of Fate 2 is a superior sequel in many respects, but either he’s mellowed or I have. Now, we play the game together, fond old sparring partners rather than eternal enemies.

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Wot I Think: Call Of Duty: WWII Single Player Campaign

Fully expecting another ghastly CoD campaign, I’ve been utterly surprised by the shooter I’ve just played. Be shocked – Call Of Duty: WWII is a decent single-player game. And there’s not a loot drop in sight. Here’s wot I think: Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Assassin’s Creed Origins

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A soft reboot four years in the making, Ubisoft Montreal’s Assassin’s Creed: Origins is one giant step back in time plus a smaller step forward in terms of world design, a stumble in terms of its levelling system, a sideways hop as regards combat and an exercise in jogging on the spot in terms of missions. This is exactly the kind of complex footwork that leads to messy accidents during parkour sequences, but somehow, the game keeps its balance throughout, though it’s not quite the revival I was hoping for.

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Wot I Think: Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus

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Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus does not pull its punches. Early in the game a returning villain asks, “is this what a hero looks like?” She’s mocking and threatening a wounded, degraded and broken woman. She’s about to execute that woman.

Wolfenstein’s answer is a defiant “yes”. Its heroes don’t look like any one thing because they are many and they are diverse. They are survivors and fighters and thinkers, black, white, American Jewish, British, German, male, female, disabled, disfigured and powerful. They’re also flawed – sometimes too angry, sometimes too selfish, sometimes too afraid to face up to reality – but they are the kind of people you’d want in your corner if the world went wrong.

They’re also the game’s greatest asset and its most potent weapons.

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Wot I Think: Destiny 2

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It’s 4AM and I’m whispering with strangers in the dark. I found them online through a private channel, arranged a meeting in secret, and set my alarm to wake under cover of night. We’ve already got a plan, but we need to talk it through, to get on board with each other. We need to make sure we won’t get caught this time.

I promised my wife I’d stop doing this, but these are the sacrifices I have to make in order to finish Destiny 2’s Leviathan raid.

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Overgrowth doesn’t feel ready to leave Early Access

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The most satisfying moments in Overgrowth [official site] take place in mid-air. Rabbits are typically good at jumping, but they’ve got nothing on their anthropomorphic cousin, Turner, the martial arts master and hero of this critter-bashing romp. His leaping ability borders on the power of flight. During those seconds, suspended in the skies above the game’s largely empty battlefields, it feels like anything’s possible. Invariably the landing disappoints. Sometimes fatally. That’s Overgrowth: lots of potential, rarely reached.

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Wot I Think: A Hat In Time

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Where Yooka-Laylee attempted to revive Rare’s Banjo-Kazooie formula, A Hat in Time [official site] strikes at a different vein of nostalgia. The 3D platformer attempts to split the difference between the open-ended adventuring of Super Mario 64 and the more guided point-by-point platforming of Super Mario Galaxy. The result is a work of obvious grace and imagination that never attempts to rise above its obvious inspirations, but still consistently delivers the same kind of warm fuzzies that its favorite Italian plumber deals in. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think – South Park: The Fractured But Whole

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South Park: The Fractured But Whole [official site] is essentially the show’s greatest hits, with 20 years worth of call backs, characters and gags, all built around a LARP-inspired RPG that sees the town’s foul-mouthed kids beating the snot out of each other. If this sounds extremely familiar, that’s because I’ve also just described its predecessor, The Stick of Truth.

Crab People, magical farts, obsessively collecting social media pals, Morgan Freeman — they are all back. Only the switch from wizards and Elves to superheroes, something that could have been a superficial change, manages to keep it from feeling like watching a repeat.

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Wot I Think: The Evil Within 2

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The Evil Within 2 begins by wearing its heart on its sleeve; here’s a burning house, and oh no, the protagonist’s daughter is inside it. From the outset, it yells in your face that this is going to be a Tragic Dad story, the most beloved of videogame narrative tropes. And it never really rises above this familiar narrative conceit as Sebastian Castellanos explores a horror world filled with bad science and twisted terrors in pursuit of his kidnapped daughter. It’s predictable. In other hands, it could’ve been trite. But The Evil Within 2 revels in its horror b-movieness. It embraces it, telling a surprisingly heartfelt and sincere tale of a man who just wants the best for his loved ones. Even if he has to descend into actual hell and face off against some of the most hideous monsters ever conceived in order to achieve this. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Jydge

Jydge [official site] feels extraordinary in how, well, liberal it is with its format. Over the last few years we’ve become very ysed to top-down games demanding an enormoys amoynt from ys, in varioys splendid ways. Whether it’s Hotline Miami’s brytal timing, or any nymber of games’ reqyirement for meticyloys stealth, I’ve developed a keen sense of paranoia when it comes to sych games. So mych so that Jydge’s anything-goes approach tripped me yp at first. “Oh!” I realised. “I can jyst go bonkers!” Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think – Middle-earth: Shadow of War

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I never thought I’d be playing Pokémon with Tolkienian orcs, but here I am in Middle-earth: Shadow of War, standing with my army before the fortress of Khargukôr amid the snowy peaks of Seregost.

The orc in charge is a dainty fellow who calls himself Krímp the Rhymer, and I can’t help but admire his fashion sense in this grubby world. That immaculately crafted leather jerkin. That bycocket with the two red feathers that match the shafts in his quiver. Such style. I almost want to let him be. Fortunately he shatters that thought when we meet in person and he blurts the cringy battlecry “Your fate has gone from bad to worse / You face an orc who speaks in verse!” Some crimes can’t go unpunished. Read the rest of this entry »