Retro Game Friday: Bastion

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with a real classic. It’s Bastion!

Plot Synopsis: In the immediate aftermath of the Calamity, a catastrophic event that suddenly fractured the city of Caelondia as well as the surrounding areas into many floating pieces, disrupting its ecology and reducing most of its people to ash. The Kid awakens on one of the few remaining pieces of the old world and sets off for the eponymous Bastion, where everyone was supposed to go in troubled times…

Plot: The plot is pretty great, not super intense or deep, but good nonetheless. Along with the fact that the constant narration is pretty freaking hilarious at times.

Characters: The cast is rather small, but it’s not bad. Though I have to admit I like Rucks the most, if only because of his voice.

Gameplay: The gameplay plays a lot like a Diablo game, with the player defeating enemies from an isometric view. That being said it also is a bit like classic 2D Zelda games in that you can only choose to use two weapons at a time, although unlike Zelda you can’t choose to switch your two weapons except at specific areas. All the while you hear the narrator speak about what you do in the game, which is pretty funny sometimes.

Music: The music was awesome, and that’s really all I’ll say about it. I enjoyed the hell out of it and the voicework, especially the narrator.

Art: Being somewhat 2D and cel-shaded the artwork has aged rather well, which is always a plus for me.

Overall: If you’ve never played Bastion, you ought to go do so as soon as possible.

For those who like: Action, Adventure, Drama, Awesome Narration, Good Plot, Fantastic Gameplay, Great Cast of Characters, Excellent Artwork, Spectacular Musical Score.

Not for those who don’t like: All of the above, but how can you hate all that?

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Video Game Tuesday: Mods and Achievements

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering a topic I’ve been thinking about recently. It’s all about Mods and Achievements!

What?: So I’ve been thinking about how most PC games when you install a mod automatically disable any achievements so you can’t earn them when you use mods. I personally think that it really depends on the mods used because some mods are not at all impacting gameplay at all. Some are just for fun, like replacing Skyrim’s Dragon’s 3D Model with Macho Man Randy Savage, which is both disturbing and hilarious. Others are game breaking mods that make you a god, literally in some cases, and completely break all game balance. That’s just how it is with most games.  But should installing a mod at all automatically disable achievements? I tend to think no, firstly because most achievements in games are pretty easy to get, and just require you to perform certain actions in a given scenario. World of Warcraft allows for tons of mods, like Deadly Boss Mods and they don’t disable achievements upon installation. Of course mods for World of Warcraft are much more restricted compared to a single player game like Skyrim, because it’s a multiplayer game and you can’t make a mod that automatically plays the game for you. That would be outright cheating and everyone knows that.

But mods are cheating!: Are they really though? I mean just changing the 3D Model of a Skyrim Dragon to look like some WWE star isn’t really impacting your game. If anything it’s a hindrance because you’re laughing too much and get roasted by the Dragon. There are also plenty of difficulty mods that up the difficulty of the game in question and allow for players to really have to work for progress.

They’re still cheating!: I mean we could go over this all day, and I’m too lazy to do so. But think about this, is a mod that improves texture resolution or heightens the difficulty really cheating? It’s not in my book, and even developers would be hard pressed to say that they are in my experience.

Mod’s can enable achievements!: Yep there are mods out there to do just that for many games that disable achievements upon mod installation. Skyrim and Fallout are key examples of that.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below!

 

Retro Game Friday: Indiana Jones The Infernal Machine

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a game that I can barely remember playing. It’s Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine!

Plot Synopsis: The story of the game is set in 1947 and depicts archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones returning to his digging career after his involvement in World War II. Sophia Hapgood, an old friend of Indiana and now a member of the Central Intelligence Agency, visits him at his dig site in the Canyonlands, and informs him that the Russians are excavating the ruins of Babylon.

Plot: I’ll be frank I don’t remember much of this game. I remember having fun, but that’s about it.

Gameplay: I played the 2D version of this that was made for the GameBoy Color, so despite it being a port it was actually the full game. It was however really frustrating to die and have to restart a level, and I’ll be honest puzzle clues were pretty non-existent. These are pretty much the only things I remember, probably because I got so annoyed at the game.

Art: It was purely 2D so it’s aged alright, but it’s also not that amazing.

Music: I don’t remember it at all, sorry.

Overall: Probably worth skipping playing, but if you want the story you can probably watch a Let’s Play on YouTube or something.

For those who like: Puzzles, Frustration, Indiana Jones.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Retro Game Friday: MechWarrior

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a real oldie. It’s MechWarrior, the original 1989 game!

Plot Synopsis: The story follows a mechwarrior by the name of Gideon Braver Vandenburg. His family has been murdered and the chalice that proves he is heir to the throne of his planet, Ander’s Moon, has been stolen. Without the chalice he is exiled. Gideon must develop a force of mechwarriors and battlemechs, find those who committed the acts against his family, and take his revenge within five years or all is lost…

Plot: The plot is okay, but not super amazing either. That being said that wasn’t really the point of the game.

Gameplay: Honestly it played a bit like Battlezone, just a bit more complicated with various classes of mechs ranging from quick types to hard hitting types with tons of weaponry . There was also a sim portion to it that revolved around purchasing and repairing your Mechs as well as negotiating contracts with various factions. It was pretty fun, but it was heavily limited by the hardware.

Art: It’s aged really poorly, but that’s to be expected from a game made in 1989.

Music: I don’t remember any of it, if it even had music.

Overall: A fun game, but later entries in the series would probably be more appealing to more modern gamers.

For those who like: Sci-Fi, Military Games, Mecha, Action, Drama.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Retro Game Friday: Crysis

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a game that was the benchmark for graphics in gaming for a while. It’s Crysis!

Plot Synopsis: The game begins on August 7, 2020 when North Korean forces led by General Ri-Chan Kyong take control of the Lingshan Islands. A team of American civilian archaeologists, led by Dr. Rosenthal, send out a distress call indicating that they have discovered something that could change the world. A week later, Raptor Team is dispatched to the islands, with the core mission of evacuating them and securing any valuable information that they have. The team consists of Nomad, Psycho, Aztec, Jester and team leader Prophet (all under code names); they are outfitted with Nanosuits, which help protect them from gunfire and explosions, as well as giving them superhuman strength and abilities. As they perform a high-altitude jump onto one of the islands, an unknown flying entity disrupts the jump by smashing into Nomad, and the team is separated.

Plot: The plot is okay, but it’s not super amazing either. That being said it wasn’t terrible either. It just was, and while Mediocre isn’t quite the right word I want to use, it’s the best I can come up with at the moment with a splitting headache.

Gameplay: This plays like a lot like other FPS, the big “gimmick” for Crysis though was the ability to switch between various power armor modes. There was Speed, Armor, Strength and Cloak. Frankly I preferred Speed as I enjoyed getting reloading faster, but that might just be my personal preference for speed archetypes in almost every game.

Graphics: This game’s max settings were incredibly expensive to be usable at the time of release because of how much strain they caused. You might remember hearing the question “Can it run Crysis?” as a way of determining how much of a powerhouse your PC was. So yes, the game looked pretty damn amazing. That being said it still aged not particularly well, but a hell of a lot better than Halo CE did, although that is a game from the previous generation of gaming.

Music: Honestly don’t remember it, and frankly I might not have ever listened to it as I was using a roommates computer to play it during college.

Overall: A good game, but mostly famous for being a graphical nightmare for PCs if you didn’t have a powerful enough computer.

For those who like: FPS Games, Sci-Fi, Military Fiction, Drama, Action, Awesome Artwork (especially in the day).

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Retro Game Friday: RollerCoaster Tycoon

Hey all I’m back with a game that I only remembered due to some stray conversation a while back for this week’s Retro Game Friday. It’s RollerCoaster Tycoon!

Gameplay: The premise of the game is to complete a series of preset scenarios by successfully building and maintaining amusement parks through business ownership as a theme park entrepreneur. The key to any park is building a large amount and diverse range of rides for the visitors. Players can choose from dozens of roller coaster types and can also build log flumes, carousels, bumper cars, haunted houses, go-karts, Ferris wheels, and swinging ships, among other rides. The intensity and type of rides must be balanced, as visitors’ preferences vary significantly from person to person. For example, some guests prefer exciting rides and have high nausea tolerance levels, while other guests are just the opposite.

In other terms it’s a basic Sim game. It was pretty interesting and I remember scheming to get ways to keep park goers kept in the park indefinitely. At least I think I remember that correctly it’s been a long time, it might be a different game. If I had been feeling irritated that day I might design my coasters to cause severe nausea.  More sadistic minded players could design rides that caused fatalities though that was more often not a good idea if you wanted to do the scenarios successfully.

Art: The art is pretty simple, and while it’s not aged terribly, it hasn’t aged well either. That being said for being done by one person by themselves that’s pretty damn impressive.

Music: I don’t remember it at all, though it’s probably fairly campy.

Overall: A game that can be fun for a little bit for more mature audiences, but younger ones might find it much more entertaining.

For those who like: Sim Games, Construction and Management Simulation, Roller Coasters.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Retro Game Friday: Kingdoms of Amalur

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering the only game made by the infamous 38 Studios. It’s Kingdoms of Amalur!

Plot Synopsis: A mortal known as the “Fateless One”, who, having died before the game’s outset, is revived in the experimental Well of Souls by the gnomish scientist Fomorous Hugues. The first and only success of the experiment, the Fateless One must escape the facility when it comes under attack by the Tuatha Deohn, a subsect of the immortal Winter Fae, who are currently waging a “Crystal War” on all the mortal races in the name of their new god “Tirnoch”.

Plot: The plot is okay, and there are plenty of sidequests, however it’s not completely original enough to be truly noteworthy to me. The fact that there is obvious and blatant nods to actual Earth mythology is a big demerit for the writing. That being said the story was enjoyable enough.

Gameplay: This played a lot like both Skyrim, in the freedom aspect (mostly although not like Breath of the Wild or Metal Gear Solid V), and Fable in the button usage and combat system.  There was enough customization to feel like you your character was unique and special for you, but not so overwhelming that you are required to spend 10 hours to get the perfect look. Although I suppose almost any game with a customization system could count as such if you want to be really picky. The combat was frenetic and fast paced, and it felt like if you put World of Warcraft and made it a single player console game. Sort of. That’s just the feeling I got from playing it.

Art: The art is okay, and while it’s aged somwhat poorly it’s not as bad as games from the 90’s or 00’s in terms of aging.

Music: Pretty standard fantasy fare, not too amazing or too spectacular though.

Overall: This is a fun game, although it has it’s flaws. Worth a shot playing it if you can find a copy.

For those who like: Action-RPGs, Fantasy, Drama, Frenetic Combat, Good Plot, Decent Artwork.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.