Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Coming down

As stated both here and in the podcast, Odin Sphere was an excellent game. It took me longer to complete than I expected and I was okay with it. Backgrounds and bosses were reused often, some appearing for every character, and I was okay with it. I was even okay with each chapter starting me out at level one again. The cold hard facts show that I should not have enjoyed this game. But the cold hard facts are not animated by Vanillaware, nor do they allow me to cultivate sheep from seeds, slay said sheep and then cook up spicy pork chops that recover health and level up my maximum hit points.

It is only natural that the next game after an excellent one is going to be a bit of a let down, the next game being Jotun, a digital title purchased due to its cool name and it being discounted if preordered. Sometimes this uncovers gems like Tembo the Badass Elephant, a game every bit as excellent as its name, and other time you get Jotun, a title so dedicated to its hook that everything else suffers from neglect.

The hook of Jotun, and why I really bought the game, is the the player is very, very small and that the bosses, or jotun, are very, very big. In this the game does not disappoint. The hero almost disappears in their presence, and yes, you can roll through their legs to avoid attacks. The problem is that the levels themselves are giant, not very well laid out, and your small hero has small legs and therefore takes small steps. And the game does not let you pan the camera out to get a better view.

Navigating the giant levels is not fun. Combat is, so far, limited to dodge, dodge, attack, over and over. The jotun, as good as they look, offer little variety to their attacks. It's not bad, it's just not at all exciting, and for a game that has you fighting enemies one hundred times your size to not be exciting, well, I was ready to try something else.

So last night I played chapter two of the Batman Telltale series. It was amazing in all sorts of ways that I cannot talk about and it was bad it all the same ways that Telltale games always are, namely a terrible framerate and, even worse, parts of the scene just disappearing. But none of that mattered. From the first moment, in which Bruce questions Alfred about his past, to the last when I was faced with the unanswerable question:

Save Harvey or Selina

I was hooked.

...Oh, and I played a little of Carmageddon. It was absolute shit and I may not go back to it, not when Forza Horizon 3 is just around the corner. There is no space for terrible racing games when the king's arrival is imminent.

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