I’m very scatterbrained this afternoon, so rather than trying to focus on one topic, I’m just going to move around as I see fit.
1. In my last post I said I was glad that I didn’t have to review Beyond: Two Souls. But as it turns out, I ended up finishing it on Wednesday, and now I’m reviewing it for the NYVCC, and so I’m hoping to get that turned in by early next week. I’ll save my larger analysis for the review proper, but the key phrase in this paragraph is that I finished the game, which is more than I can say for Heavy Rain or Indigo Prophecy. It’s easy to see why it’s divisive, and even though I liked it I can’t necessarily defend it. I appreciate its ambition, even if I’m a little turned off by its pretentiousness.
2. I meant to sit down and play a bit more Shadow Warrior last night, but I ended up getting sucked back into The Stanley Parable for around 3 hours. I played the original mod and liked it very much; this new, “official” version is a spectacular remake. As I did with the original version, my first playthrough was spent following all the narrator’s instructions, and then each subsequent playthrough was spent picking various spots to make detours, while keeping tabs on other spots to try next time. It’s very funny and witty and smart, and it can be more than a little unnerving to see how the narrator is following along with your thought process as you attempt to break the game; and at times the game is genuinely, sincerely beautiful; and there’s one path in particular (the one where you answer the phone and get taken to your apartment) that hit me right square in the face. I took a bunch of screenshots during my time with it last night, but I’m sorta reluctant to share them here, as they might be spoilery (even if they wouldn’t make much sense without the proper context). So I’ll split the difference – if you want to see them, here’s the link to my Steam profile.
3. All my love for The Stanley Parable should not indicate that I intend to neglect Shadow Warrior, though. I finished the first chapter on Wednesday (as a palate cleanser after finishing Beyond) and it is fan-fucking-tastic. Two quick observations:
- I’ve played most of my games this year on the PC, but Shadow Warrior is the first time in years that I’ve played a first-person shooter with a mouse and keyboard, and it’s making me very nostalgic for my Quake 2 years.
- The whole thing is very nostalgic and old school – lots of secret areas, incredibly fast action, a very goofy sense of humor (the game was co-written by my buddy Scott Alexander), and lots and lots of blood and gore.
I highly recommend it if you’re in the mood for this sort of thing; I didn’t realize that old-school shooters were an itch that needed scratching until I booted the game up, and I got hooked almost immediately.
4. Meanwhile, my obsession with all things Picross has now found a home on iOS, thanks to Paint It Back. It’s perhaps not as elegant to control as with a DS/3DS, but it gets the job done, and the puzzles are not without a certain sense of humor. I’ve also found myself getting sucked into Angry Birds: Star Wars 2, which had been sitting on my phone untouched for no good reason. Other recent iOS pickups worth mentioning are the gorgeous Type:Rider, a gorgeous platforming game that also teaches you about the history of typography; Pocket Titans, which is a hard-to-describe puzzle/combat hybrid that I’m still getting the hang of; and I also continue to be kinda disappointed by, but also compelled to stick with, Marvel Puzzle Quest.
5. I’m also kinda getting into GTA V Online, though I’m still hesitant to really dive in full-bore. I guess I kinda miss co-op stuff, like the gang hideouts in Red Dead. Sure it’d be great to do heists, though I suspect they’ll add those in at a later date; but I’d be really disappointed if they are simply locking co-op missions for higher ranks. The whole point of an online GTA, for me, is to explore the world and to do things with friends together; if I just wanted team deathmatch I’d go and play Call of Duty.
What are you playing this weekend?