Category Archives: Blog
I’m not a particular fan of MOBA games. I’ve tried at different points in time: League of Legends, Dota 2, and Guardians of Middle-Earth, neither have really grabbed me. So when about a year ago I got into Awesomenauts, which I have from a bundle, I did not expect to get grabbed by it as well. By the time of writing this post I have more than 250 hours in the game.
This made me wonder: is it just a game-specific thing, i.e. I happened to like Awesomenauts but not other MOBA games, or did Awesomenauts act as a better entrance point for the genre? So if I replay other MOBA titles, will I find more enjoyment in them? This has interested me also because I have never really experienced a situation where I didn’t really like any game I tried of a particular genre, and then a game made me appreciate those more. And yet we as developers tend to talk a lot about that – creating games that could act as entry points for titles of a similar kind.
I think Titan Attacks is a great example of reimagining a classic game, that being Space Invaders, to a more modern gaming era (while still keeping a retro style of the game). And I think the most important part of that is how it handles progression.
(Post full of spoilers)
When I first played Telltale’s The Walking Dead Season One, back when it was released, it was an amazing experience. I wasn’t familiar with The Walking Dead franchise at all then, so it was just the game, and after every episode I’d feel like shit. Really depressed. And would get back into it as soon as the next episode was released. And I knew that something awful would happen again, that there’s no way the series is gonna end in a good way, but still had this damn hope that everything is going to be alright. And then that hope would get obliterated. And I’d get back for more. And with the release of the third season I decided to replay this, and the journey was as emotional as it was on the first run, even though I knew most of the things that would happen.
Luftrausers is the kind of game that globally speaking does just one thing, in this case side-scrolling flying and shooting, but it does it oh so well. Controls are incredibly tight, there is lots of variety due to different customization options all affecting gameplay and how you control and shoot (and there’s a little mission tree for each customization item), and what kind of tactics and strategies to utilize depending on the loadout.
And what I really like is that each customization has a layer of music dedicated to it. So depending on how you equip your rauser, you’ll hear a different remix of the main theme. I think that’s very smart. This opinion piece is gonna be short, if you like pure fast-paced action games, then I would certainly recommend it.
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Can we just talk about how amazing Valiant Hearts is? It’s absolutely freaking amazing. I mean, just on an overall design level, it somehow manages to take World War I setting, puzzle adventure gameplay, cartoon stylistic, semi-gibberish voices in gameplay, heroic ‘hell yeah’ war moments, dramatic war moments, humanizing both sides of war moments, musical vehicle levels, and put it all together in a way that works and makes you go through one hell of an emotional ride. It’s so hard not to tear up. And the dog. Probably one of the best game dogs ever. But it’s not the dog I’m going to talk about. I’m going to discuss one of the last levels in the game – Chemin des Dames, and how it drives you to the edge.
Shank is a game of good concepts but some flawed executions. The core of the game is the combat system, where you enter the state of flow by combining together all the possible moves while avoiding attacks to deal with the enemies in the quickest, and visually stunning, way (the 2D graphic style really helps the ‘visually stunning’ part).
When choosing what to write about Guacamelee!, it is natural to think of the combat system or the Metroidvania-style progression as the topics. I mean… they’re just SO well designed. Seriously, Guacamelee is a great benchmark and case study when it comes to those two things. It’s awesome. Go play it. Because what I want to discuss in this post is not one of those topics. I want to talk about the ending. Spoilers, obviously.
When it comes to critically acclaimed and/or very popular games that I happen to not like, they’re usually divided into one of two categories. One is the category of critically acclaimed and/or very popular games that I don’t like, but fully understand why so many would find great enjoyment in them. It’s a matter of taste, after all. But then there’s games that are critically acclaimed and/or very popular, but I’m just baffled by the situation and can’t understand what people find in them, and how come they say what they say (it’s still a matter of taste, but it doesn’t make me any less confused). Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is that kind of game.
UI in games has many functions and purposes. From just being something that draws players in because it’s usually the first thing they see, to providing the most comfortable means to do a particular action. One of pretty big functions UI can perform is retention. And I’m going to talk about why this is important on the example of the game AaaaAAAaaaAAA!!! for the Awesome.
The Deadly Tower of Monsters is absolutely oozing with style and atmosphere. The whole game is framed as a DVD re-release of an old sci-fi B-movie, with the director recording commentary for it. And I gotta say, from the very first loading screen when director starts talking for the commentary track before being corrected that nothing began yet, the whole style just clicks with you. It’s pretty awesome.