Average User Score: 5.7Jul 24, 2015This game is extremely long and extremely boring. A two hour long tutorial starts things off badly, but the game just never really takes off.This game is extremely long and extremely boring. A two hour long tutorial starts things off badly, but the game just never really takes off. There's just nothing here - no good plot, no memorable characters, no interesting world. IT is just dullsville.
The only thing that the game really has going for it is the graphics, but even they aren't that impressive, especially not by modern standards.
The linearity is annoying but... it isn't really the problem. But they didn't even try to disguise it, or any of the other weaknesses of the game.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.7Jul 14, 2015Grow Home is a 3D platforming game which centers around being a small robot who slowly climbs up a vine, guiding its growth into crystals toGrow Home is a 3D platforming game which centers around being a small robot who slowly climbs up a vine, guiding its growth into crystals to allow it to grow yet higher, so he can get back to his space ship and go home. With extremely loose controls, a dodgy camera, tedious mechanics, and no depth, this is a game to avoid, feeling more like a school project than a finished game.
There is very little story to the game; there are a few bits of flavor text here and there, and MOM – either an AI of some sort, or a fellow being who is elsewhere in the universe – occasionally gives you hints or makes “wry” (non-voice acted) remarks on your progress.
The game centers about climbing around the game world, slowly growing your vine upwards. To grow the vine, you must crawl up the vine to various red flowers, which you can then command to grow outwards. Each of these will sprout bouncy leaves, to help you ascend a bit faster, and additional red flowers, to allow you to grow additional vines. There are 100 small crystals hidden around the various floating islands in the game, and collecting those power up your robot’s jetpack; there are also large crystal islands, which you must direct the growth of the vines into in order to grow the main vine higher and burst through various barriers and reach the top of the map. There are also a number of things you can drag into your various telepods – locations you can teleport back to when you die – which unlock entries in a data bank.
That is literally 100% of the gameplay, and it is very dull. The controls for your robot are terrible, and carrying things around is extremely tedious, as you can easily drop them while doing other tasks. Climbing is an arduous process of alternating clicks of the shoulder buttons, and is made all the worse when the surface is uneven. Jumping and using your jetpack feels a little better, but is still very awkward, and it is easy to miss jumps and fall to your doom. A few pick-upable items – a flower which slows your descent, and a glide leaf which lets you glide around like on a hangglider – do little to spruce up the gameplay.
All in all, the game is a very tedious process of ascending the vine and growing it outwards, then upwards, then outwards again; less than half an hour into the game, you have seen everything it has to offer. If you don’t bother to collect the collectables, you could easily beat the entire game in an hour, and you’d still think it was too long. Collecting the collectables is tedious – most of environmental items you collect for the databank aren’t too bad, but a few have to be lugged large distances while suffering from the dodgy controls.
The small crystals, on the other hand, are extremely tedious to find; the only hint to their presence is an audio cue when the camera is close to them, which means that at the end of the game, if you’re missing any crystals, finding the rest of them is a matter of pure chance. Many are hidden in places which aren’t readily visible while gliding around, making this primarily a job for consulting a FAQ – if you were bothered to do it, which you really shouldn’t bother to do.
The game has graphics which would have been an embarrassment in the Playstation 1 era; they’re ugly and unappealing, and the creatures in the game look terrible. The only thing which looks at all passable is the world from great elevation; it slowly becomes increasingly spherical around the horizon, and from a great distance, the vines and islands look somewhat visually appealing. Unfortunately, you will spend very little of the game admiring this, and most of the game looking at low-resolution textures and extremely blocky polygonal vines.
There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to spend your time, let alone your money, on this game. If it was a school project, I might be impressed, but as an actual commercial release, it is just not up to snuff. It is boring, tedious, repetitive, and yet manages to annoy you even though the entire game is likely to take no more than a few hours to complete.
Save your money and your time and do other things.… Expand
Average User Score: 4.5Feb 13, 2015The Old Tree is a very basic point-and-click “adventure” game. The aesthetics of the game are decent but nothing to write home about, and theThe Old Tree is a very basic point-and-click “adventure” game. The aesthetics of the game are decent but nothing to write home about, and the actual gameplay is mostly just “find the right thing to click on”, with some very simple puzzles which require two clicks. There’s no real story, no characters, no real atmosphere, just a strange little alien creature which you guide through the game.
It only took me about twelve minutes to beat, but even though it is short and free, it still isn’t worth your time, as there isn't anything of value here.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.0Feb 12, 2015Dynasty Warriors 8: XTreme Edition is a Hack and Slash game where you control a single hero and fight your way through a vast horde of enemiesDynasty Warriors 8: XTreme Edition is a Hack and Slash game where you control a single hero and fight your way through a vast horde of enemies to single-handedly win battles. You will regularly kill hundreds if not thousands of enemy soldiers and a dozen or more enemy officers – characters like yourself on the opposing side – every mission. The game is very much about the light experience of running through and killing massive numbers of foes; while the core gameplay is decent enough, and there is some amount of character-to-character variability, on the whole the game itself is fairly repetitive as all of the levels boil down to almost exactly the same thing, just in a different environment with different orders of objectives. There is little meaningful variation in the enemy units, and thus the game is pretty samey from level to level. It is decent enough as a passing experience, but it is not much fun to sit down and spend hours fighting through the game.
The game is based on the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, a culturally-important work of historical fiction about the unification of China in the 2nd and 3rd centuries CE. All of the major characters – all 77 of them – are given unique appearances, and their personalities from the stories tended to be reworked to give them more dramatic impact. As it is an old Chinese story, in many ways it seems odd to modern sensibilities, and many important events occur between battles, summarized in telly text. The story isn't great, and isn't what you're here for - the characters are mostly flat, uninteresting, and unsympathetic, and their motivations are often very shallow and yet still confusing.
The gameplay itself is all about visceral satisfaction; you play as a single hero who wades his way through hordes of enemies, with some friendly officers and a handful of soldiers at your side who are, by and large, worthless. It is your job to do everything, your job to beat your way through the enemy lines, your job to keep your own officers alive, to complete all the objectives, and to otherwise do everything.
But that’s what you’re here for, right?
The protagonist you play has can switch between two weapons of the player’s choice, though it is always best for their primary weapon to be the weapon that they gain an ex bonus for, which grants them special attacks with it. The character can equip two of the same weapon, or can equip two different weapons to get a bit better versatility. Depending on which weapons enemies are you using, you may get an advantage or disadvantage, and because you have two weapons, you can always work out to at least be on even footing with them.
Each weapon has its own unique attack pattern, and as noted each character additionally has a special set of attacks with their preferred weapon. The character also has three “super” attacks which are built up by killing enemies and collecting dropped items from slain foes, as well as a secondary super meter which causes them to go into a “rage” and make a very powerful area of effect attack which will usually wipe out entire enemy forces by itself, killing hundreds of enemy soldiers and possible multiple enemy officers at the same time.
Each level consists of the player walking around it (or calling in their horse to ride around on it), fighting their way through an enemy army to try and capture various objectives, protect their allies, or just kill the enemy officers or general. These levels tend to mostly feel very similar; while there are differences between the levels, most of the levels are not very different in effect as the environments usually matter little (with a few notable exceptions) and the player is mostly just going from one place to another, fighting their way through the enemy horde.
While the weapons and characters all have their own abilities, ultimately the gameplay isn’t very different, and the enemies tend to feel very samey. Still, there is some satisfaction to be found in occasionally jumping in to murder large numbers of soldiers in a stage or two; it is not the sort of game to be sat down and powered through, but the large number of game modes, levels, alternative levels, collectables, and other things that the game offers means that it is possible to keep playing the game sporadically and still have a feeling of making progress for a very long time.
Dynasty Warriors 8 XTreme Edition is a game which is best in moderation; it is fun to run through and kill large numbers of enemies, but the gameplay gets monotonous after a few levels and stops being as interesting. Still, as a “sometimes food”, a game that you play on occasion, it works well enough – it just isn’t much fun to run through the whole thing in one sitting. If you’re looking for something other than mindless killing, though, like plot or challenge, you’re better off looking elsewhere.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.1Feb 11, 2015Child of Light is a turn-based roleplaying game with a very distinctive pseudo-storybook graphical style, written entirely in rhyme. Many ofChild of Light is a turn-based roleplaying game with a very distinctive pseudo-storybook graphical style, written entirely in rhyme. Many of its mechanics are reminiscent of Final Fantasy X – including some painful dialogue.
The game’s combat is actually reasonably sophisticated. The player controls two characters in combat, and faces off with up to three enemies at a time. It is somewhat reminiscent of Final Fantasy X in many respects; the player can switch out their characters at any time during combat, including replacing KOed characters with another character, and different attacks have different speeds. However, unlike Final Fantasy X, there are two different speeds which matter: the base speed of the character, and the speed at which the character acts.
There are two portions of a gauge at the bottom of the screen; the first portion represents the time spent between turns, while the second, smaller section represents the time spent charging up to attack or perform some other action. Each action has its own speed through the second portion of this, and if someone is attacked while they are charging an action, their action is interrupted and their turn is reset into some random (or semi-random) portion of the between-turns section of the gauge. As such, the player can interrupt enemy attacks, or the enemies can interrupt player attacks. There are some means of protecting yourself from such things, and some monsters will automatically counterattack against certain types of attacks (physical or magical) or against attacks made while they’re charging their actions.
The characters are actually quite varied, with each character having their own skill-set which is unlocked via a character-specific skill tree. Each character has their own set of abilities, and there are two characters who are primarily magic users, a warrior who can force enemies to attack him, a character who focuses entirely on speeding up or slowing down allies and enemies, a couple of physical attack characters, and some support characters. Gauge manipulation, interrupting enemy attacks, exploiting enemy elemental vulnerabilities, and applying the right status ailments while keeping your own party healthy are all important. The ball of light you control while navigating the levels also appears here, and can be used to slow down enemies or heal your allies – it is almost always better to slow enemies, though, as that prevents them from doing damage (and makes it easier to interrupt them) much more than healing yourself does.
Unfortunately, after a while, the battles become a bit routine; while the first set of enemies in an area are new and fresh, after a while they become very routine and can be defeated via a very samey set of actions in the same way that Final Fantasy X fights often went. This makes many of the fights in the game fairly dull, and while they’re skippable, the bosses, which are much more difficult, basically require you to beat every other enemy in the game so that you’re the proper level to face them.
The game is reasonably well-presented; the game tries to go for a sort of storybook style, with the characters appearing almost like paper cut-outs or things from a storybook, and the monsters having a similar stylized character. The music and sound are both reasonable enough, but a lot of the dialogue – delivered entirely in rhyme – is pretty awful. Sometimes it works well, but other times it falls down and is kind of painful to read.
Child of Light is not a bad game, but it isn’t exactly thrilling either. Everything about it is a decent enough idea, but in practice, it only shines on rare occasion. The game takes on the order of 20 hours to complete, and has no replay value; while there is a new game + mode, there is little reason to play it.… Expand
Average User Score: tbdJan 11, 2015The Forest of Doom is a choose your own adventure book. A so-called “fighting fantasy” book, as you progress through it you
[quote][center]The Forest of Doom is a choose your own adventure book. A so-called “fighting fantasy” book, as you progress through it you
YOU are the hero in Forest of Doom! Explore the sinister Darkwood Forest in Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy classic RPG gamebook![/quote]
A choose your own adventure book from the 1980s, this book was designed to introduce children to roleplaying. It is, quite frankly, awful. But why is it so bad?
The book starts off with random stat generation – which means that you can have wildly varying statistics. That’s right, in this choose your own adventure book, the outcome of combat events (and a few other events) is randomized using 2d6 plus a stat bonus, and you take damage. The combat system is very simple and incredibly boring because there are no real choices to be made – you either fight or flee every round, and there’s really nothing more to it than that. It is all randomized, without any meaningful input on the player’s part, thus making it rather pointless – if you have good stats, you’ll win all your combat encounters, and if you don’t, you’ll probably die.
From that point, you then head off on your adventure. You promptly run into a dying dwarf named Bigleg, who entrusts you with the task of finding the two halves of a hammer in a forest and bringing them to the dwarves, so that they can beat some trolls who are attacking them.
You then promptly end up on the front porch of a wizard, which you have 30 gold pieces to buy a large amount of equipment from. Yes, that’s right, you have an inventory in this game… and you have to buy equipment blind, as it is only useful in specific encounters, and you have absolutely no way whatsoever of knowing which encounters those are or whether or not you will encounter them.
That’s right – trial and error gameplay. And it isn’t even the worst form of it.
The second, and even worse form of trial and error gameplay is when you have purchased your equipment, you are given the choice of going west or going east.
If you go west at the start, you have absolutely no way of succeeding in your quest, as you will miss one of the hammer pieces, get to the end, and have to start over, because there is absolutely no way to backtrack in this game – you must always go north, west, or east, and can never go back to a previously visited location. If you miss one of the two hammer pieces, which are distributed in the woods in places that you may well not even run across, you will have to start the whole thing over to find them.
This is incredibly obnoxious – you choose your path more or less blindly, and one of the pieces requires two specific items which can only be found in specific encounters which you may well not run across. Worse still, it isn’t even good storytelling, and means you’re going to have to run through the book at least twice, if not more, at an hour plus per run through, to figure out how to beat it.
And what do you get for finding the two parts of the hammer and completing your quest? A helmet worth “hundreds of gold pieces” and wealth beyond your wildest dreams. You don’t help the dwarves fight the trolls; the story just ends at that point.
Such poor storytelling is endemic to the work; the entirety of the adventure feels incredibly random and eclectic, like they just randomly picked monsters out of a D&D monster manual and distributed them into the forest. Almost all of the choices you make are made blind, and you have no reasonable idea whether putting on a ring is going to give you a permanent bonus or a permanent penalty. There is no rhyme or reason to the adventure, and none of it really feels connected or satisfying.
Even the quality of the prose is pretty questionable; the writing feels amateurish, more like what a DM might write for exposition for an adventure on the spur of the moment, not a well thought-out work of coherent fiction.
There are better, absolutely free choose your own adventure books produced by random people on the Internet than this book, and frankly, even if there weren’t, this wouldn’t be worth your time – any video game or any real novel would be a better use of your money and effort.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.6Jan 7, 2015Gunman Clive is a very simple platformer/shooter which takes about an hour to beat. The game has a nice aesthetic to its visuals but theGunman Clive is a very simple platformer/shooter which takes about an hour to beat. The game has a nice aesthetic to its visuals but the actual gameplay is very weak, with uninteresting levels and enemies making it all feel very trite. There is very little to the game, and the best thing about it is how quickly it can be completed.
Your boyfriend/girlfriend is kidnapped and you must rescue them. It is an excuse plot with no bearing on the game.
The gameplay is very simple and also very poor; there is nothing wrong with the particulars of the controls, though they are sharply limited, but the actual level designs aren’t very interesting and the enemies are all very samey. You run, you shoot, and you jump on platforms, but none of the levels really do anything with it. The shooting powerups are okay, but nothing special – spread shot, a super powerful shot, a penetrating shot, and a tracking shot, none of which are especially exciting.
There are a few different types of enemies, but in the end there is very little to the game itself and the level designs don’t really have anything going for them. The game is very bland and no-frills, and each level takes about a minute to complete – two minutes in the longer levels. As there are only about 16 levels in all, the game is pretty short.
The only real highlight of the game are the four bosses, but even they aren’t very interesting – they are somewhat interesting visually, but gameplay-wise they are the same old attack pattern bosses we all know and love from the games of old, with nothing really to recommend them or make them especially memorable examples of the sort.
The game has a nice aesthetic to it, and is pleasing to the eye with its sketchy style.
Gunman Clive is a very cheap game, but the reality is that it still isn’t worthwhile; indeed, it isn’t worth playing for free, because it simply isn’t worth your time. The folks who praised this game gave it very undue praise – they compared it to Megaman, but they left out the fact that he plays like Megaman 1, with far less interesting level design, and far less interesting weapons. This would have been a weak game back in the 1980s; today, it is simply unconscionable.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.1Jan 6, 2015Noitu Love 2 Devolution is a retro side-scroller beat-em-up game with Metal Slug-esque graphics. Unfortunately, the game is both incrediblyNoitu Love 2 Devolution is a retro side-scroller beat-em-up game with Metal Slug-esque graphics. Unfortunately, the game is both incredibly simple and incredibly easy, and not worth your time.
The game’s story makes no sense; it involves some bizarre time-travel plot which isn’t really time travel… it doesn’t really make any sense, but it doesn’t need to and really isn’t supposed to.
The gameplay is very simple and is at the heart of the game, but unfortunately is also terrible. You control an on-screen reticle with your mouse, and by clicking, you attack to that spot, if there is an enemy highlighted. You can also hold down your mouse button for a charge shot, jump, move side-to-side, or do a dash attack or spinning jump attack. In the end, while these attacks are theoretically meaningful, most of the time you’re just running to the right, frequently using dash attacks to get through the stages faster to fight the bosses… where, mostly, you just wait to do your thing, or sometimes just straight up attack them as fast as possible, depending on the boss. Many of the bosses don’t require any strategy, while others require a little strategy but not very much.
Ultimately the gameplay is very unsatisfying, and there is very little “meat” to it – the game requires very little strategy and very large amounts of mindless clicking. There is some enemy variety, but most of it is fairly meaningless as strategy has little meaning with the game’s control scheme, and most of the ordinary enemies are both trivial and easily bypassed. Even the bosses mostly are not very interesting, with only a very small number requiring any sort of real strategy. On the whole, the game feels far too simple and straightforward, like you are only there to click to attack a large number of times.
The game does a fine job of emulating the era it is trying to emulate; it isn’t particularly beautiful, but it isn’t ugly either, and it is significantly better than a lot of the 8-bit pseudo-retro graphics indie games floating around the market.
Noitu Love 2 Devolution is not worth your money, but more importantly, it isn’t worth your time. You will derive more satisfaction out of doing most anything else.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.6Jan 5, 2015There's a reason they don't make 'em like they used to: because they used to make terrible games.
MURI attempts to replicate the feel of aThere's a reason they don't make 'em like they used to: because they used to make terrible games.
MURI attempts to replicate the feel of a terrible old game run on DOS.
This is not a good thing.
It isn't worth your time and it isn't worth your money.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.9Jan 3, 2015This is not a game in any real sense. While it is “interactive” in the sense that you move around the environment and interact with objects,This is not a game in any real sense. While it is “interactive” in the sense that you move around the environment and interact with objects, in truth the interactivity is an illusion; yoru movement in the environment is about as interactive as turning a page in a book most of the time, and at times is actually more tedious because you have to search for where you need to click to get to the “next page” – in the case of this game, the next bit of dialogue or cut scene. The only real “game” elements it contains is a single game of whac-a-mole towards the very end – which you do not need to succeed at to progress in the game, and which actually has no impact on the game at all, as far as I can tell – and some simplistic tile-flip puzzles which are present for the first third or so of the game. These feel wholly out of place in the game and are simply discarded later on. There is no possibility of failure in the game, and the one section that might feel remotely “game-like” is mostly just tediously walking down a hallway for about five minutes – if that. In the end, it is much closer to a movie than anything else – and most likely, should have been exactly that.
The story ultimately has four main characters. Dr. Eva Rosalene and Dr. Neil Watts are the two primary protagonists of the game, and are who the player controls throughout the length of the story. They work for the Sigmund Corporation, a corporation which specializes in rewriting the memories of dying people so that they can experience a different life in which a single wish comes true. The way this is accomplished is by entering the minds of the dying person, viewing their memories, and going back to their childhood and implanting a very strong desire to complete whatever one wish they wanted to see; because they would have a singular, powerful drive their whole life to achieve that goal, their mind will simulate them succeeding at that task (most of the time, anyway; it is implied that it is not foolproof, but that it is pretty reliable) and they will live out their dream in their mind before dying.
The inspiration from is obvious, but the game itself has a very different take on things; the goal, in the end, is very different, and the Sigmund Corporation is paid to by the dying people to grant these mental wishes. We immediately see that Dr. Neil Watts is the funny, goofy, eccentric guy, while Eva Rosalene is the competent, no-nonsense character; even still, both have their moments of seriousness and comedy, and Dr. Neil Watts is definitely a Jerk with a Heart of Gold type character, who tries to cover up his soft spots whenever he does not absolutely have to do so.
In the end, the story took a fairly long time to get through, and I got the feeling that it would have made more sense as a movie than it did as a “video game” – moving around in the environment was mostly unnecessary tedium, and the game at times went into cutscenes which showed that it could have simply been a movie the whole way through. It would have gone by a lot more quickly, and likely been several hours shorter as more of a visual novel or movie-like experience, and I think I would have enjoyed it more as such. The pacing was a bit of a problem in places, particularly towards the end when Eva sets everything up for the grand finale off-screen without explaining it to Neil (and thus, the player), creating some unnecessary tension between the two for no good in-character reason. The sequence could have been greatly shortened, made much more visually interesting, and it still would have worked; instead, it felt weird and unnecessarily drawn-out.
There were also a few moments of extreme strangeness. Perhaps the greatest is when the characters at the start of the second act of the story, unable to figure out how to get Johnny to want to go to the Moon, start bursting into Johnny’s memories at random to pitch the idea of going to the Moon to him. While the characters at this point are very sleep deprived, the mood whiplash in this section of the story is severe, as went from some fairly serious memories with humor thrown in to lighten the mood to frenetic comedic action on the part of both of the protagonists. While the humor which was interspersed into the rest of the game actually worked pretty well, the humor in that particular section felt off and too extreme; it is never mentioned again afterwards.
All that aside, the core of the story worked well enough, and while it wasn’t as good of a story as the one I made up in my mind about halfway through the game, I can’t say that I disliked it or felt like the game cheated me, and am interested in seeing if they do something else interesting with the characters in the future.… Expand