Howdy Ya'll. I've been awfully busy doing nothing and updating my backloggery. Ya, decided to finally updated it, although I got it a long time ago, I never updated it. So without further Apu, My backloggery: http://www.backloggery.com/lostleader . Also ya finally posting the midway point of my 60 game year challenge! I assure you though, I have gotten much further and continue to strive to complete this challenge! Also will try to update this little blog a little better, but I'm sure we all heard that one, ya?
Ďsplosion Man Ė Date Beat May 13
Ďsplosion Man was simply a game I heard about amongst forums, and honestly didnít pay much mind to it. That was till a faithful holiday season when it was on sale for 150 MS points. I mean, itís a game worthy of praise being sold for pretty much a candy bar, hell ya Iíll try it! And well I didnít like. Well that is to say when I played through it, I didnít like. I mean it seems from the 1st set of levels that its pretty much just Ďsplode and venture through some random labs. Certainly not something that gave me much to look forward to or care about. So I decided to just drop it, and move on with other games and pay no mind to it. Then during this 60 year game challenge I picked it back up, and learned to love Ďsplosion Man.
Iíll admit, it took me some time, playing this game time after time and barely just reaching the midway point in the game, and it clicked! The game is tough as nails but its forgiving, challenging but fun. However there was so much more to just the Ďsploding. Really what first turns out to be a simple mechanic turns out to be a wonderful device for some very clever platforming. I canít imagine another point in time in my life that I had this much trouble with a game, let alone a platformer. It wasnít really that it was annoying me, or it felt unfair, but rather it was just, in general, challenging. Like I was back to the old school days of games and all the charm was packed in a newer coat. Really there is so much quirkiness to this game and charm that it just ends up growing on you. It really captures a spirit and some of the music is just really, really catchy! I have to say by the end, I love Ďsplosion for what it is, quirky over the top platforming goodness. And frankly I wouldnít want it any other way.
Conclusion: Ďsplosion Man captures the spirit of old school platformers by both being hard and incredibly quirky. Luckily its far more forgiving compared to its older cousins, but sometimes it does feel rather trying and the fact it doesnít really explore any other environment, save for a lab, is rather disappointing. But mostly Iíll remember the laughs.
PixelJunk Shooter Ėdate beat May 18
Having a few extra bucks from buying Skull Girls on the PSN I occasionally look to see the daily deals and when I saw the PixelJunk games for a dollar I was shocked and interested. So, of course, I bought them all, and for a mere 3 dollars no less! 4 new games, all from the PixelJunk series, a series I didnít really know about but I was interested in. After playing them for about 20 minutes each, I came to realize I wasnít exactly ecstatic about my purchase, maybe I needed to play them more? Maybe I just donít get it, but then I finally played PixelJunk Shooter! This is the PixelJunk game that clearly stands out as the best. The story is interesting, the gameplay is fun, and the puzzles are inventive. Just everything about it just stands out to you and says play me! The music will also get you in a bit of a bouncy mood, which is nice compared to the other ones, which currently seem absent in my mind.
There isnít much too really complain about with PixelJunk Shooter, aside from nitpicking, but it does have problems like every game does. For one thing, the game doesnít really punish you, itís pretty much a walk in the park compared to the rest of the PixelJunk series, and itís not a hard series to begin with. You can literally kill the people you are trying to save and still move on, and even if you donít save enough you simply restart from the same screen you were at. There doesnít seem to be a real game over screen either because you can just keep dying and it doesnít matter, you respawn at the same point and try to solve it. This really takes down the challenge a lot in this game, and to have some sort of punishment may have made this game last longer artificially and given it more of a sense of accomplishment, but perhaps that isnít exactly better for some. As well the game is rather short, it honestly didnít take me that long just saving the survivors at all, and getting most of the treasure only held me back for another hour or two. But really itís a great game, and any complaints I have donít really matter much to me, I had lots of fun, and I think everyone that plays this game will too. It's a simple game that uses the elements to solve puzzles, simple concept, but effectively making it an good game.
Conclusion: PixelJunk Shooter is certainly the one PixelJunk game you want to play if you only play one of PixelJunk games. With an easy difficulty, a lot of fun, and inventive puzzles this game will make anyone have a good time, and especially make them bounce to the music.
Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin -date beat June 12
Portrait of Ruin continues what SOTN, and Dawn of Sorrow left off, Classic 2-d Metroidvania goodness. There is a new cast of characters to play as like Charlotte, and Jonathan as well as a few that are unlocked once you beat the story, like the sisters and Richter from bloodlines. But all in all itís pretty much just another Metroidvania game. Other than the fact there is additional character with you at all times and there is some team work it's just more of the same. Teamwork stuff and power moves affect the game so little that it really isnít as noticeable as you would think. In fact most of the time I left my partner on the side lines because it was far more useful to have them come in for a power attack rather than have them drain my meter to perform special attacks. Overall I donít understand why they tried to make this mechanic and just instead developed the characters more then what they did. Both characters seemed interesting at first, but they just donít interact throughout the story like you think they will, no real bonding points or cutscenes really make it clear. Other characters in the story have this problem too, but the main characters where really lacking in development and its sad because they did have the potential to be interesting.
I also have to wonder why Dracula was really involved with this game, the story didnít really call for it and frankly I would have loved to see Charlotte and Jonathan just travel the world rather than thru portraits. Its fun going to places other than Draculaís castle for once, and PoR really did bring that part out. However all these segments do end up suffering in lack of detail or exploration and in turn make Draculaís castle the same. There doesnít seem to be much detail in either sections and thatís because they are trying too hard to deliver two things at once to players when really they should have focused on one or the other. I didnít feel like I was exploring Draculaís castle once again, but rather just jumping from point A in the overworld, and finding point B in it only to do the same thing I did in A, but in a different location. Also save points were often scattered far too much and that tended to make the game annoying when exploring newer areas. But not everything is all bad, once you beat the game youíre reward with tons of new stuff to play with, like a sisters mode, cap levels, hard mode, boss challenge, and a bunch of other cool stuff. It can at least be said that Portrait of Ruin does deliver content and for that I admire it. I canít say Portrait of Ruin is my favorite Castlevania game, but itís far from the worse.
Portrait of Ruin really could have been better if we didnít actually return to Draculaís castle. However that is not the case, and while itís not a bad game, a lot of potential was missed. Still Portrait of Ruin offers a lot to players and I think if youíre even remotely interested in Castlevania you will have fun with this game.