Saturday, July 25, 2015

Mass Effect


This is an other review from 2010 that was rotting on my harddrive.
MassEffect is a science-fiction single player RPG. Early in the game there was a lot of dialogs. It really is an RPG in the sense that you what your are going to say to NPCs is going to affect the outcome of your game. The voice acting is good for a video game. The game really starts after a few hours of gameplay when you finally get your ship.

Doing my first secondary objectives in open space at the beginning was very nostalgic. When you drop on an unknown planet, you explore it with a tank and it can take several minutes before you detect enemies. Then you engage in long range combat. Sometimes you find places to explore on foot or it is part of one of your secondary objective. These mechanics made me think of some older games where exploration was an important aspect of the game. However those secondary objectives are repetitive, the maps are always the sames and you get little action for your time.
The gap of quality between secondary objectives and main quests is huge. In the main quests you get a lot of action, cut-scenes and dialog and the maps are big and unique.

The interface for managing items is bad. The game floods you with items, you can get as much as 150 in a mission and when you get to sell them, you only get a huge unsorted list.

There are a few mini games, one of them you will need complete 10000 times if you plan to finish the game, every time you open a chest, hack a computer, a door, what-ever, even rocks, you will have to play. You need to have one of your character with the matching level of encryption to play so you might want to max this ability ASAP since there are loots requiring high level of encryption right at the beginning.

Combats are Ok. There is only one zoom on the sniper rifles. Sometimes your characters sticks himself to a wall when you don't want to. There is a delay when you use an ability or change weapon where you can't shoot. You can run in combat but when all enemies are down you can't run anymore :-S. WTF I have to walk all the way back!? Sometimes tried to tell my team mates to take cover near a door and I would need push them into place so that they were covered correctly.

Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken


Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken is a 2d platformer with guns, grenades,jetpacks, crates and elevators. It is very cinematic and gives good vibes akin to those of old action movies.

The gameplay goes from very easy to hard. The easy parts are enjoyable and the hard parts make you feel lucky. Sometimes the levels are like small puzzles.

Maybe there are a little too many crate pushing and elevator elavating for my taste however. I remember falling of an elevator by accident and having to go way back via mind control grenades to activate the switch that brings this elevator down.

Saturday, July 11, 2015


Note: this is a review from 2010 that was is lying around on my computer (I have a few of these).


Bioshock is an "horror" FPS. You get to play with gunz and powers. You get upgrades and more guns/powers as the game progresses.

The gameplay is fun in the beginning but it gets repetitive. The story and setting are very good. When you die you respawn and I think its humiliating, I would rather reload and find a way to win. Overated. I will not try the sequel.

Note: The second game in the series seems too similar to the first one and seems a waste of my time, but I might try Bioshock Infinite some time

Torchlight and Torchlight 2

Torchlight and Torchlight 2 are action rpg / hack and slash games. There are many similarities between these games and the first two first Diablo games. More this later.

Torchlight Review


Torchlight is a single player game. There is one town, one main dungeon to explore and you can also open portals to some other areas. Most of the dungeons and areas are generated randomly. These dungeons and areas are packed with monsters. Sometimes  they, will come out of the scenery in great numbers.

You get flooded with items very fast, but there is a solution for this: your pet can carry items to town and sell them for you.

The graphics of the game are simple yet the art in general feels very polished. The music also fits the game very well. The game supports and has tools for modding.

The game is very polished in general, in its own style at least. The main complain is that the game is a bit repetitive. Go down, kill monster, do quests, swap gear again and again and again ... Also the different classes and skills are somewhat unbalanced.

There is a free demo of the game if you want to try:

Torchlight 2


Torchlight 2 is basically Torchlight, with different classes, multiplayer, open areas, new area types and monsters and multiple towns..

The multiplayer aspect might be the most important improvement compared to its predecessor. However, even if it feels as if there has been just as much effort put in making the game, I felt more disconnected while playing. I was just going from an area to the next, cleaning everything, swapping gear, saying ok, ok, ok to what ever npc, rinse and repeat ...

Torchlight Vs Diablo

There are too many similarities between to two series to name them all. In Diablo/Torchlight you play a grunt/ranged lady/mageguy who goes deeper and deeper in a maddening dungeon from a single town to fight whatever evil thing is at the bottom. In the sequels (spoiler!!!!!!!!!!!!), you go after the main character of the first game who's gone mad because of whatever evil (spoiler end!!!!!!!!!!) All similarities must be intentional. Some of the minds behind the first two Diablo games have been trying to repeat their success while making Torchlight, to the pleasure of some of the fans of the genre.

So Torchlight is a reboot of Diablo made in 2009 with some gameplay innovations a new skin and style. Torchlight 2 also takes a lot of cues from Diablo 2.

So what about it? Well some of the small gameplay innovations are pretty nice but, at their core the torchlight games are copy cats done years later, they can never be as ground breaking as the Diablo games were in their day. Diablo was a master piece and revolutionary for many of us. You cannot repeat this feat just by copying, you must come up with something new, fun, and involving which has its own soul.