Monday, November 13, 2017

Another Fall Gaming Spree

a little subtle South Park reference action
I'm on fire! Over the last month, I've taken a chunk out of backlog indie arcade games, including my 2017 To Play list. The biggest barrier to getting the Platinum on SteamWorld: Heist involved collecting hats that appear randomly. This meant grinding easy kills with overpowered characters for a handful of hours before realizing that the $5 DLC significantly decreased the grind. Since I liked the base game anyway, I was happy to part with the funds and finally finished up both the base platinum and the DLC trophies in a quick 5 hours.

Ride the jetstream
Next up was Abzu, a beautiful undersea exploration game very similar to Journey. In terms of difficulty, it was very chillax, and the road to completion is 5-6 hours. The game is gorgeous, and really atmospheric, so play it in the dark with your sedative of choice! This game was free for PS+ members in May this year, so hopefully you already have it.

The graphics are as great as they need to be
Everybody's Gone to the Rapture was superbly mundane. Recently, I'd seen Transformers: The Last Knight, which is a dumb story about how the Knights of the Round Table are connected with the Transformers, the robot aliens from some other planet. Rapture is a stark contrast to this. You're in a super ordinary but abandoned town, and you collect memories that clue you in as to what happened to everybody. There's not much of a twist, as you learn pretty quickly that some strange light-cum-virus took whisked people off to a strange dimension that you don't really get to explore. The voice acting is compelling, the very average town is graphically crisp, clean and realistic. It's a slow-moving game, but the path to platinum can be completed over a weekend. This was another free PS+ title in the last year or so, and I recommend it if you're tired of getting your ass kicked at games!

*Ahem* Coarse language *straightens necktie*
Basic AI, basic towers, pretty simple
Continuing my theme of relaxing, low-difficulty, cheap-or-free trophy hunting, Royal Defense was a $2 impulse purchase for me. It's a very forgiving tower defense game, and can be completed in a weekend as well. The game crashed twice, one time actually erasing my saved progress. Luckily it was an hour or so of progress, and I memorized the tower placement, catching up pretty quickly. My advice for this is that every 10 levels (there are 60), you might pop out to the XMB and upload saved data to the cloud, and continue playing. It's a bit below average for its genre, but $2 for a weekend and some trophies worked for me.

Hue is a bit of a creeper sometimes
Next up, Hue, a free PS+ title this month. Hue is a puzzle game with a handful of headscratchers out of 60 or so tasks, meaning it's not very difficult at all. You start out in a black and white world and slowly discover colors, while learning about a person who periodically leaves notes for you. The main mechanic is turning the background a certain color, which vanishes blocks, lasers and platforms as well. Fuchsia boulder tumbling furiously at you? Quick, change the color and it disappears past you! Looking for a door? Maybe the orange background is the same color, so you have to shift. That's what Hue is all about. I did everything in about 10 hours, as there is backtracking that makes you re-solve a bunch of the puzzles.

Last but not least is Oceanhorn, one of my most looked-forward-to indie titles all year, though it was released in 2014. The game idea was sold to me as a Zelda clone. Sold! The only complaint so far is the direction isn't very straightforward, so I spend a lot of time revisiting the wrong places, trying to find new access points with my new items. Ahh well, besides looking and playing like a Zelda game, there is also an exp-based leveling system, so that's neat. I've barely put 3 hours into the game, so will be working on that in November.

This list of games did great damage to my backlog, though only 2 of them were free, so I lose some frugal points there. I hope to gain those back, as one of my best friends just loaned me The Witcher, Final Fantasy XV, and its DLC.

Game on, people!

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