Thursday, September 29, 2016

Priorities

I should confess that the reason that I did not purchase Forza Horizon 3 is not that I do not have the money, more that the discretionary dollars that could have gone towards it are going somewhere else. On me. I have an appointment with my artist on Sunday. No tattoos since January and I am itching for something new.

But that enthusiasm did nothing to help pass the evening two nights ago. Sword Coast Legends lived up to is below average to bad reviews. Things move much to fast to not stop the battle every round and plan out attacks. In and of itself this is not a bad thing. Way, way back in the day I played through most of Baldurs Gate 2 and all of Neverwinter Nights and its sequel that way. The difference is that the user interface in Sword Coast Legends in as affront to all that is good and holy. Painful to look at is not a strong enough of a condemnation.

It was not so much that I was killed by a radon encounter with a few wolves, it was that I did not know why it happened. The game was not good looking nor involving enough for me to investigate. Apparently I have been crankier than normal for the last few games. Cranky and desperate.

I trolled through the new releases looking for something inexpensive to play, something that I passed on because I was busy, finally coming up with Song of the Deep, the Metroid-like developed by Insomniac and published by Gamestop, of all places. It's, well, it's not bad. It's no Ori and the Blind Forrest or Guacamelee, in fact in feels like an established developer stretching out into unfamiliar territory. The quality is there but there are occasional mistakes that give away the game's experimental nature.

Having the entire game take place underwater takes away a few of the standard road blocks in a Metroid game. Gaps are never too big when you are floating. Early obstacles are now swift moving currents and it is not always obvious if you can or cannot get past them, leading to time wasted on attempting to navigate tunnels that wold be best saved for later.

Power ups are spread too far out. Ori and Guacamelee had a well timed drip feed of new abilities. Too much time passes between them in Song of the Deep. Power ups can be purchased instead of found which makes me wonder if I could grind enemies instead of exploring.

These are small complaints. The game feels just a bit off but by no means bad. Plus, it's a Metroid-like. How often do those come around.

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