When I was young, I played a lot of Battletoads, and somewhere along the line my young brain mixed up The Beach Boys with Battletoads. Seeing some weird bearded dude instead of a anthropomorphic frog just seems weird to me. Anyway! Picking up where others have laid it down, I wanted to get some good vibrations going through here. Also, googling 'good vibrations' might not be safe for work. Word of warning. Lets get started!
1.) Sniper Elite Nazi Zombie Army 2
The original Sniper Elite was one of my favorite little unexpected treats. It was like driving down the road and seeing a hole in the wall place called “Ted’s Smokeshack”, and ordering the heart attack express only to find that it didn’t make you sick, and also wasn’t half bad. I am almost ashamed to admit that I purchased the game on name alone, but it turned out to be rather enjoyable. It had a super campy soundtrack, plot, and well, everything. The really odd thing was that it elevated the mechanics of the original game into something more. A lot of features in the first were redundant or just useless - why would I need to plant and shoot dynamite as a sniper?
With the sequel, I figure that they probably will miss more than they hit, but hopes are still high. They need to fix the balance that absolutely didn’t exist in the first (more ammo is better ammo). The levels all lasted a little bit longer than I would have liked, and there were only five of them, so maybe doubling the level count and halving the length this time around.
But overall, it was a game that you couldn’t go wrong with. It was sniping at its finest without any of the stealth that made the original release so cumbersome. It plays up the blood and gore and camp or the game instead of trying to have some serious plot about subterfuge and missiles. It lets you shoot zombified testicles in slow motion. And its cheap. What more can a man ask for?
2.) Deadly Premonition PC Release
Speaking of budget games...Deadly Premonition exceeded my every expectation when it released on the 360. A super budget game, mostly marketed for its quirky sense of humor, odd cast of characters, and seemingly terrible acting and non sequiturs. Playing through the game though was an incredibly interesting experience. It dabbled in the world on the strange, but found itself often rooted in a reality that many games miss. It has odd ‘easter eggs’ thrown in the entire game that tie everything together in a way that no one would expect. It has several scenes that are some of the most emotionally gripping I have seen in recent years.
And now it is coming to PC! When I beat the game however long it came out ago - probably about two years - I knew that it was a ‘one of’ kind of game. The skydiving, eel eating, college streaking, kind of experience - you do it to say that you did it, and that should be enough. However, I found myself going back to Nier (the game that I played immediately afterwards), and enjoying that quite a bit more the second time around, so I am excited to go back through the town. Like I said before, knowing how everything ties out means that all the small clues left behind can be traced back.
Plus, I know how the mechanics work, and I feel no guilt playing on easy. Fun story from the first time around on the game: I didn’t know what the cigarettes did, and learned that you can use them to advance time. So I sat outside of my car and lit up a cigarette. After a few short seconds, a cutscene played. The skies turned red. A dog, 8 feet tall, barking, with saliva soaked jowls started to leap at me. I thought this was an anti smoking PSA until I realized the game had a ‘curfew’. Set me straight, tell you what.
Plus, this comes out about the same time as SENZA2:EB, so its going to be a fantastic Halloween!
3.) Dark Souls TWO
Oh my god guys. I love Dark Souls. If I were to make a list of top ten games of this generation, Dark Souls would easily make the list. Not sure on ordering. Demons Souls was hyped up beyond belief for me, mostly because I didn’t have a PS3. It sounded like a really cool concept, with an incredibly challenge that I wanted to sink my teeth into. When the sequel came out for the 360, I knew what had to be done. And I absolutely hated it. No paths, unpredictable traps, blatantly impossible sections, and obfuscation of essential mechanics. It wasn’t hard, it was crap. Each rage quit had me coming back, guide in hand, to tackle the next section though. I was good enough to beat it, and with my own rules. I didn’t want to use any noob play styles, so I swore off the FDS for my first playthrough. I went with full Havels and the black knight’s polearm. After 36 hours of grinding, torture, and cussing, I had emerged victorious. Then something strange happened.
I started it up again. I didn’t try the magic. Then I had to try the bows. Then the miracles. Then an int/dex build. The ideas just kept on snowballing, and challenges started to appear. The game, at its core, is possible to beat with any of the equipment. The greatest challenge is learning how to think while playing it. After 200 hours, I felt safe to close the chapter on the game. Until I could buy the DLC on PC for 7 dollars. This was my chance for redemption. If I could beat the DLC blind, I would truly consider myself a master. And I did. Easily. Now with 300 hours under my belt in the game, I am more than ready for the sequel.
What new challenges await? What tricks, what secrets, what bosses, what magic? Which invaders, which weapons, which unexpected build will be the best? And just to be part of the community that is discovering all of this is exciting. The messages on the floor will mean something again! Every wall will be tested, every jump will be made, every chest will be attacked, every phantom summoned, and every spirit broken. It will be glorious.
4.) Path of Exile is addicting!
Here, have a skilltree. No, seriously. Crazy, right?
I saw that Path of Exile was on Steam and free, so I decided to give it a go. I had played Diablo 2 in the best of all possible ways before: A pay by the hour computer bar. Those early years of the internet man, I tell ya. Eventually my brother and I split the cost of getting it on home, and played many, many characters throughout the years. I am a frugal gamer, so I haven’t picked up 3, but did try out the demo and liked what I saw.
Now, Path of Exile is actually pretty interesting. I have a character who regens something like 15 health per second, saps another 20 health per enemy hit, and deals 50 whenever he gets hit. Add in 50% dodge, 50% evasion, and 30% block, and I feel marginally invincible at the end of act 2! I am really interested to see how act 3 goes, and how the other classes are. Right now I’m running a tanky str/dex build, and really liking what I see. A lot of the mechanics are really well done compared to how I remember Diablo, but a few things are odd. No gold is one strange thing. Not earning actives by leveling is also very, very strange. But overall, it is a super cool game, and I have put in 10 hours since Thursday!
Did I mention that its free? All the microtransactions are cosmetic, so there is just pure, unadulterated, dungeon crawling in here. Next to TF2 and DOTA, this game is setting a hell of an example. Plus, the community is pretty great. I have found myself thinking that 'this chat room has a cool game attached to it'. DOWNLOAD IT! And create an FNF crew for it. I would, but...you know....effort.
5.) Deep Silver Loving
Deep Silver had its sale this weekend on Steam, so I was able to finally complete the PC trilogy of Saints Row games! I had been meaning to replay through each of them, but have been clearing out the other games from my backlog. But I have high hopes for Saints Row’s dick jokes, superpower fueled romp, along with visiting what made SR2 so special, and SR3 so mediocre.
I also picked up Risen 2 for a few dollars, on the recommendation from a cblog that I read the other week (sorry, forgot who!), which I am interested in. I also have had both Metro games in my backlog for a while as well, but I don’t think I can muster the courage to go through 2033 a second time, so I will probably just move over to Last Light first (when there’s time).
6.) Emo Games!
I have 2 games in my backlog that I have been looking forward to: Papa y Yo (which I have owned for about 2 months now) and To the Moon (about the same). I recently came off the high of Dear Esther for the first time, so I am interested to go through these games as well. Not to be too negative, but the narrator for The Stanley Parable just really didn’t do it for me in the demo that they had, so I don’t think I can jump in on that at least until there is another sale. I also have Little Inferno (which I hear gets good), and thomas was alone, but Ill be honest: those games are not for me. I think that its good that the games are hit and miss though, because at least people are trying something and not always landing on mediocre. I have heard a lot of love for those games, so they seem to be making a risk which is paying off, just not for me.
So, fellow dtoiders, whats got you riled up lately?