Friday, May 23, 2014

The Blackwell Epiphany and Transistor Thoughts + Impressions

I need to point out I played these games right after another and it was pretty amusing. Both games feature a female lead with a male companion who refers to the lead as "Red". It was a pretty weird coincidence. Cute though.

The Blackwell Epiphany [PC]

Ah man, completed this game and it was quite a journey. For anyone unaware of this game, this is the fifth and final installment in the Blackwell series. It's a 2D point-and-click adventure game where you play as a woman with a ghost as your companion. I don't want to reveal more of who and why simply because the story is one of the major things I loved about this series. The puzzles are usually simple and make sense most of the time.

So like I said, Epiphany is the final game  in the series and Dave Gilbert (the man behind this series) did an amazing job tying up loose ends that have been dangling since the first game. The story was amazing and full of twists and revelations. It's not only the most well written in the series but it also has the best voice acting in the series too. I really enjoyed all the new characters and locations. Long-time fans who played every game in the series will be satisfied with how this ends. 

This installment is also both visually and musically the best in the series as well. The animations have improved quite a bit and the music is great throughout. The voice cast was perfect as well. Gilbert did an amazing job directing them and choosing the best lines. I was very impressed with the VO.

What can I say? If you've been playing the series from the start, PLAY THIS. If you're interested, check out the previous games in the series before playing this one. I'm going to miss Rosa and Joey but I'm also excited to see what else Wadjet Eye Games comes out with. I salute you Dave Gilbert for creating one of my favorite adventure game series of all time. *salute*

A few people have expressed interest to me about this series after I mentioned it and they wanted to know what order they should be played in. Understandable since they aren't numbered. So here's the list:

1) The Blackwell Legacy
2) Blackwell Unbound
3) Blackwell Convergence
4) Blackwell Deception
5) Blackwell Epiphany


Transistor [PS4]

I also finished this game and it was a lot of fun. I really loved the world and characters. The art is absolutely amazing and pure eye candy. I wanted to take screenshots of every area and cutscene. Hell, even the UI is well designed. So beautiful. The music is also excellent and very haunting. It gave the world an ethereal feel.  Simply scrumptious. The VO was also quite excellent for not just the Transistor but also a few other characters as well. Really good stuff.

The combat was just loads of fun. The ability to fight in real-time AND semi-real-time was really cool. All the Functions that you can equip as secondary skills or passive abilities added a ton of flexibility to how you wanted to fight. It's really deep and complex and added a lot of replayability. Speaking of which, there's Recursion Mode for anyone who wants to replay through the game with tougher enemies. It's basically NG+ but also adds a few extra tidbits to the story that makes it well worth playing through at least once. I only played a bit of Recursion Mode but I can tell there were some alterations to the interactions already. Anyone who played Bastion's NG+ mode will probably know what I'm talking about.

The story is pretty interesting but may be a bit hard to understand because of the way it's told. I found most of it pretty easy to figure out but there are questions that still lingered after I finished it. I'm not sure if Recursion Mode will answer them all but I'm happy with the way it was presented. It's like a puzzle and I think players will have a good time discussing about it. The ending was satisfying which made me glad.

Supergiant Games has done it again. I loved Bastion but Transistor is definitely an improvement in both presentation and gameplay. The game is challenging, fun and is a visual/audio masterwork. I wonder what they'll do next? Anyway, I highly recommend it!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Child of Light, The Walking Dead S2 Ep3 + Super TIME Force Thoughts and Impressions

Completed Child of Light [PS4] and it was a good game. The graphics and music were incredible. The art direction and visuals were simply beautiful and animated really well. But the soundtrack was even better. I loved every track. It was very soothing during exploration and the combat and boss battles were epic as shit.

I have to admit that I originally played it on Hard but it was pretty hard and I found myself dying a lot. I decided to dial it back down to Normal to enjoy the story more. The combat was still fun and some of the optional bosses were still tough. It's an okay story and a bit predictable. The party members were pretty charming and likeable. I kind of wish their sidequests were more developed so they had more involved storylines. Most were pretty simple and short quests. My MAJOR gripe with the story was the dialogue. The rhyming stuff was cute but most of them were poorly written. I wish they spoke normally and reserved the rhyming to one character or the narrator. It felt like the writers were trying really hard to make things rhyme and it came off sounding pretty terrible.

One thing I need to point out were the crashes. I think my game crashed 5 times when it was trying to load a scene or event. It was pretty annoying but the game autosaved often so I never lost any progress. But still, pretty annoying.

Overall, it's worth playing for the gorgeous visuals and amazing music. I recommend it.

Also finished The Walking Dead S2 Episode 3 [PS3]. It was another great episode and had some great shocking moments. While it wasn't as good as Episode 2, it had a lot of great dialogue and I liked the new characters. I do have to say I was really annoyed with the load times on the PS3. They took much longer than previous episodes for some reason. Anyway, I'm sure it probably performs better on PC but I'm pretty invested with the PS3 version because I played through the series on this console first. Hopefully the loading issues are better in the next episode.

Overall, if you're playing it already then keep on trucking. It was good.

I also completed one world in Super TIME Force [XOne] and it's a crazy game. Full of charm and personality. The game looks great and performs great. Love the time mechanics and the weapons are fun to use. I'll be playing it more soon. Check it out.