Thursday, July 10, 2014

Little to play, little to say

The summer doldrums have hit my posting as well as my leisure time. There is nothing that I am interested in playing and, not surprisingly, nothing that I feel compelled to talk about. That and I have had precious little time to waste at work for the past two weeks. The call volume is almost comical.

Anyway, a recap of the past week and a half.

Grid Autosport made it about a day past my last post about it. I don't think I was being fair to the game, but it's my leisure time, so nyeh. I didn't forgive the last Gran Turismo, as good as it was, for being a chore to play so I am not going to give Grid a pass, either. Qualifying on a track, racing on that track from the from row and then racing on the same track again from the back because you had the audacity to win is just too much of the same thing. My limited attention span is probably showing, but I could not stay awake, much less interested.

I am off of racing games until Forza Horizon 2 and Driveclub.


Desperation set in after I sent Grid Autosport back. I spent another hour trying to reach Chance's insane score in Resogun Heroes and when I didn't even get half way there I played around with the free games that I have accumulated. Towerfall Ascension is a big no, I am tired of new games that look like SNES games, regardless of how they play. Pixeljunk Shooter is not bad, it puts an interesting spin on twin stick shooters. I will play it in pieces but it is not something that I can devote hours at a time to.

Transistor or Valiant Hearts? I already had my PS4 on, so...

Transistor, just like Bastion, is a very smooth experience. The presentation and visual aesthetics are very similar: large chunks of the world are missing, it gets worse as you play, and there is a narrator guiding the player through the game. This time around the narrator is a sword so large that Red, the literally voiceless protagonist, drags it on the ground behind her. She also rarely wields it as a sword, instead setting off different skills and abilities with it. Had it been used in a real time action game like Bastion it would have felt slow and unwieldy. Supergiant had the sense to make Transistor pseudo turn based and it made all the difference in the world.

When the appropriate gauge is full Red can pause time and map out her next set of actions, each action eating up some of her next turn. Bigger attacks take up more turn time, moving takes up a lot. When her turn actually begins there is no guarantee that her attacks will hit because the enemies can move again. Good turns require prediction, turning every encounter into a little puzzle. Eventually I found an almost broken combination of skills but getting into position was never easy and using the environment for both cover and to create bottlenecks became more and more important.

And then the final boss stops time to plan out his moves and my mind was blown.

Transistor is a complete package, up to and including the kind of bittersweet ending that I am always clamoring for. It is a heck of an exclusive for the PS4, assuming it stays that way, but it was also not very long, and the summer months are barren.


Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark was not by Full Moon Studios. It would be easy to dismiss the game based just on that information, but it still looks like a (last gen) Transformers game and it plays well enough. Honestly my only real complaint is that the main bad guy is a poor Megatron replacement. Instead of a gleefully evil despot who abuses his subordinates as much as his enemies the game features a mercenary with no personality who is going to bring the Decepticons back from the past, not for evil purposes, but to make a profit from selling them weapons.

'I was well paid once, I will be will paid again!'

Really? This is the bad guy? That's more of an accountant than a warlord.

1 comment:

  1. Go buy Thomas Was Alone for $0.99 on PSN and then agree with me that the story is impressively involving but the gameplay is pretty meh.