Wednesday, April 19, 2017

April game showers

Finished up Bioshock Infinite DLC, which was a pleasure. 2 of the 3 episodes delve deeper into Rapture (Bioshock 1) and Columbia (Bioshock Infinite) and flush out some of the character details.

Dat's priddy.
Next on the list was Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, which was a pretty sweet short game, taking 5 hours or so to go through the main story and mop up. Gameplay is some pretty simple puzzles, and you control each brother with a different analog stick, providing some neat coordination. The story itself has an emotional doozy that sets it apart from other titles, but that's something to be expected with indie games.

A quick note is that I topped off Gems of War, which came out with a few more trophies along with its February overhaul.

I sat down to try Disc Jam, February's free title on PS+. It's a frisbee game that is all about timing, and my online record is 1W 20L, and I only started playing a week after it came out. It's hard not to let a horrible record like this color my opinion of the game, but it was free, so it had that going for it.

I also got to try Smite, a free-to-play MOBA that I'd been curious about for a while, and like it quite a bit. The problem is that Overwatch's April event, Uprising, is just so damned cool and taking a lot of my game time. While I'm talking about Uprising, Overwatch would be great except the players. As with every other mode, you really need to work at a team, and selfish players are rampant, trying to get as many kills as they can, forgetting about team composition and support. This is such an integral part of the game and leads to such frustration that I set much shorter match limits and game session time before I move on to other titles for the day. Fucking Overwatch.

I am Death in Reaper form...pretty cool.
Which leaves me with the last title that I have put 50 hours into, and have mixed feelings about. Darksiders 2 is an action adventure game with limited exploring, dungeons and fast-paced fighting reminiscent of God of War. I'd say it's a mixture of combat like GoW, exploration and puzzles like Zelda, and loot with stats like Diablo. It's violent, the watercolor graphics work well with the demonic tone, and the campaign is quite long and varied. So far, so good. However, the game has three things that piss me off to high hell.

Where the hell are the wrath potions? I'm at the end of the
story and there's just no
reason for this other than piss-poor game design
The first is that your character can hold 5 health potions and wrath (think MP) potions, but for some REALLY stupid reason, the vendors sell limited amounts of potions. Some jackass actually decided this was a feature of this game. So, occasionally, you'll want to top out your potions before a mission (or in the middle, you can actually fast travel in and out of dungeon rooms), and the vendor will only provide you 3 out of 5 potions, so you have to travel to yet another one to fill up your stock. Add in loading time, and the fact that some of the fast travel points are still a short walk away from the vendors and this is incredibly annoying. Especially, the Crucible. This is a 100 wave survival fest, where you have the option to take an item every 5 waves, and there are checkpoints every 25. However, there's no vendor in the Crucible, and if you die, the game saves your potion use, despite giving you nothing else. This so unnecessarily interrupts the gameplay that it's both stupid, and shows the developers don't respect their gamers. There's also a bug where you trade in this limited currency (boatmen coins) you find around the map, but if your inventory is full, or your reload to try again, you lose the weapon you traded this finite resource for. That frustration is a little less than the granddaddy of them all.

Didn't bother to load or render the floor...I shortly
fell through and the game crashed after this.
This game crashes. All the time. I keep getting to 1 or 2 Crucible battles from the next wave checkpoint and the game will crash. This is not as bad during the main campaign, as dungeons have checkpoints every 5 minutes or so. However, between the potion thing, since the game takes the perverse chance to save your potion use and then crash, you are left with a huge waste of time. I absolutely can't stand games that are made to this poor level of standard, but am so close to the platinum that I will slog on. In doing the 100 waves of Crucible, the game has crashed 10 times in the span of about 6 hours of playing. That 6 hours would probably be 5 if not for crashing, and 2 if I didn't have to leave the area, loading screen, teleport to the potion vendor, loading screen, and then walk to the vendor, and teleport back, loading screen.

At least there are cool boss fights.
Darksiders 2 is what you get when designers and programmers don't attend the same meetings, and it's even more frustrating when a game is so good in other aspects but one. That spoils the milk, and I'm glad I'm renting this and didn't pay full price for it. It's truly hard to recommend unless you have the patience of a Zen monk or played the first title and it blew your hair backwards. Otherwise, play Zelda, God of War or Diablo, which are games that were actually playtested.

Next up: Odin Sphere, a 2d J-Action-RPG!
Take that Viking Robotnik!

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