Pokemon X - Game View... so far

Alright, so… some people *cough cough, Gianna, cough* may have already completed the game, but I have not yet made it to the 2nd gym yet. (I know, I know. I’m slow. I blame too many gaaames. And work. Gotta work to get money for gaaaames… and life :P )

But I already have a pretty good impression of the game.

It takes Pokemon to a new direction, while still maintaining the formula which has remained successful to this date.
The more free-form camera is a welcome change, and the world looks gorgeous, fun, and interesting. However, it is a major disappointment that they only use the 3DS’ 3D option for limited things (such as battles, namely). A huge missed opportunity, and kind of jarring going back-and-forth between 3D and just “2D 3D models”. But supposedly it has to do with performance issues, which I find to be a poor excuse. I’m sure you could have taken more time to fine tune things better without losing any quality, and still giving the 3D effect consistently in the game. (But what do I know, I’m not a developer.)

Having over 700 pokemon in the game, it can be overwhelming. So it’s pretty ingenious that they’ve now split the pokedex into different sections, based on where in the game you are. Central, coastal, and likely another one I haven’t reached yet. It gives you the opportunity to better see different pokemon, in the ever-growing list of ‘mon, and better motivation to see and catch-'em-all.

Internet connectivity and interaction is better than ever. Being able to trade and battle from anywhere without needing to meet at a pokemon center is FREAKING AWESOME. Also “O-powers” let you send powerup gifts to people to have a passing interaction with them and a sense of meaning to the online stuff.

I find it odd that only Pikachu has the “cartoon voice”, while all other pokemon use the old bit-rez screeches. Either pick one or the other, but not just use one for one and none for the other. Very weak choice.

So… despite some very confusing choices made in parts of the game, this is definitely the definitive pokemon game for me so far. I’ve been avoiding spoilers, so we’ll see what’s to come. But I’m pretty happy with this game so far!

Influx - Game View

http://store.steampowered.com/app/246980/ ($10 for WIndows)

Influx was a game that seemed to come out of nowhere. I hadn’t heard of it until I found a coupon to buy it. I’m definitely glad I bought it.

It’s a puzzle/exploration game, and it’s beautiful as well.
It almost felt like a cross between Portal and “The Ball” (Except not having to worry killing anything)

The experience was sort of like the first time I played Portal. Being amazed at how the game looked, and the way things moved and controlled, almost seeming to be perfect. Along with the cube puzzles.

Definitely one of the most unique games I’ve played in a long time.

GTA V - Game View

It’s been awhile since my last update. Been busy with work, and too many games.

Much of my game time has been occupied by Grand Theft Auto 5, as I’m sure many other people have been doing the same.
I was never able to get into the previous GTA games. They just didn’t appeal to me. However, over the last few years I’ve been more interested in the more free-form, open-world games such as Just Cause 2, Borderlands 1 and 2, Batman Arkham trilogy, Fallout 3, Prototype 2, Far Cry 2/3, etc.

And of course, this new one was meant to be the “definitive open world game” type thing. And I fall too easily into the hype for new games, so I picked it up.

And honestly, I wasn’t disappointed. Perhaps I’m just more mature now than I was years ago, but I found it pretty easy to look past the violence and vulgarity, and able to enjoy the detailed world and freedom to let loose and do whatever I want, in situations I of course would never be in, in real life.

Seeing how the three characters, from three very different backgrounds and lifestyles, come together and interact with each other in the messed up and corrupt town, serves a very compelling story.

The world is huge, but it ends up not being too overwhelmingly huge. You will soon become very comfortable with the different areas, even though there is constantly something new to do, and you’ll see things differently, and end up in areas you hadn’t been in before, even though they were sort of just there waiting for you already.

I’ve spent most of my time in the game following the missions and random events. But there are tons of mini games and extra activities which you can explore. The main story and side missions are likely to keep you too occupied to bother with them.. until maybe when the game is over.

I’ve yet to reach the end of the game though. I’m not convinced there IS an end to the game. :P

This game might not be for everyone, but if you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty, and want a virtual city to cause some mayhem in, this game is worth checking out.

I’ve not yet played any of the Online mode, but that is likely going to be a source of new missions and activities (and multiplayer interaction), with the potential of new areas to explore.

I may end up getting this game for PC whenever it comes out, but playing it on the PS3 has been great. Makes me realize I need to find a better controller for my computer, since rumble is a very nice feature for console games.

Miasmata - Game View


This game.


This game has completely captivated my game-playing time this week. I’m about 8 hours into the game, and just… I’m finding it difficult to stop thinking about it.

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the MYST series. Based on screenshots of this game alone, it’s easy to compare the game to MYST.

You’re on an island. Given no information to start with about what to do. You don’t know why you’re there, how you got there.

In Miasmata, you start with a journal, and a blank map. Nothing else.
But these two items will be absolutely vital for the entirety of the game.
It’s not common where a game gives you all the tools you need right at the start, and have it work so well.

Technically, you can go anywhere and do anything right away. But you likely won’t get far without putting some thinking and careful planning into it.

Basically, you’re a scientist trying to find a cure for a plague. So you will use your map to navigate across the island, finding plants which can be used to create different medicine, and parts of a cure.

You’re given so little information to begin with. You do not interact with anyone though. Everything is told through notes you will find and add to your journal.

You will have a VERY difficult time navigating without your map. But your map will remain pretty barren other than parts that you discover through notes. You will have to rely on cartography to CREATE(or rather, unhide) the map yourself, through triangulation. It works amazingly well, and makes me want to go outside and try doing it myself.

The game is beautiful. The island is HUGE, and completely free-roaming. You can go anywhere, with no loading screens between any areas or whatnot.

But you will want to be prepared. Bring some water with you. Some medicine to stave off the plague fever, and beware of The Creature which will hunt you.

All-in-all, this is one of the most amazing games I’ve ever played. It can seem simple, but it’s all done so very well.

There’s times where I’m checking my (in-game) watch, plotting where to go next, wondering if I can make it there before nighttime hits (Where you basically can’t see anything). Wondering how fast I can go, what directly, without falling off a cliff or something.

My map shows a tent somewhere vaguely to the north-east. Can I get this rare plant there safely? Will there be a research hub there where I can synthesize some medicine I desperately need?

Oh good, there’s a known area just to the south with the last ingredient for Agent Y I need. Maybe I can go there.

OH BUT NO. I’m getting close, and suddenly I hear loud heartbeats. It’s my heartbeat. I’ve sensed that The Creature is near. I need to hide to prevent being found, otherwise The Creature will start stalking me and claw me to death.

Seriously, I hate that Creature. Whenever I see him starting to come in my general area, I pretty much think I’m doomed. Since I haven’t yet figured out how to properly evade him or hide.
But luckily I save often, every time I make it to a research station, or a tent, or a campsite. If I die, just start from last saved spot.

However, currently I’m lost in some upper region of the map, and can’t find any known landmarks in order to triangulate my position, so I am basically walking blind through the forest. Great.

I’ll figure it out though.

And that’s part of why I love this game. There’s so many ways to play it, and just being able to explore it, and it just makes you FEEL like you’re actually there. Like what you do MATTERS.

It’s definitely an experience. One I am definitely enjoying. So glad I got this game and actually played it.

Games - September 2013

Luckily for me, September is a slow month when it comes to new games. I’ll be able to keep catching up on some other games.

So many games on my current backlog, and I lose track of my ‘extended backlog’ :P

Anyway, I have not forgotten about my posts here. I’ve just not been playing any new games. I have one I’ll likely post about soon though. Otherwise, I’ve been playing bits of different games, but not really getting into any much. So right now, it’s mostly been Saints Row IV (trying to finish the story at least) and I finally get into Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, I guess as a way to get ready for GTA V coming out soon, which I’ll likely get. Not 100% sure yet. Likely will wait for the first reviews to start coming out, which are likely going to be “OMG awesome game” which will push me to click the buy button.

Oh, and then Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD comes out at the end of the month, which I’m looking forward to. But I think my brother may be more excited about it. Wind Waker is one of his all-time favorite games.

Anyway, I just finished writing a list of games I could potentially blog about. Not that anyone necessarily would care about them other than myself. But at least it gets me writing about 'something’, and keeps my mind off of work all the time.

Cookie Clicker - Game View

Sometimes a game can be as simple as clicking a single button.

No other requirement. No strategy. No challenge. No winning. No Losing.

Just click the button.

That is what Oreteil’s [Cookie Clicker](http://orteil.dashnet.org/cookieclicker/ "Cookie Clicker") is, essentially.

Then what is it about it which has captivated so many people?
What is it about it that has captivated ME so fiercely?

Maybe it’s the deceptive simplicity of it. And the silly graphics.

The progression. The desire to get MORE.

And of course, I see it, and I’m clicking and getting more cookies, and I see the PATTERNS. And I want to unravel the secrets of those patterns.

So I basically start writing down every data point, and form a spreadsheet which can automatically calculate cookies and building cost, and how long it’ll take for the next level.

And of course, since everything can change overnight, it may require “re-balancing” of my spreadsheet next time I load it up.

But it’s still interesting.
I don’t know precisely why.


So for me, it’s more than just clicking the button. It’s about finding out what to trade my cookies for, to get the absolute most efficient ‘bang-for-my-buck’

So after spending HOURS trying to find the right formulas and values and “Cost increase”, it stops being so mysterious, and now I feel like I have a sort of secret power over the whole thing. A sort of power that can help you be 'better’ than the game, without cheating.

So while I’m waiting the next 39.27 minutes to purchase my 48th Time Machine (granting me an additional 436,378.4 cookies per second) I’m here pondering why I’m so fascinated with a game about cookies.

It’s a game, but not so sure exactly what kind of game to classify it as. Not a normal game, but it’s something.

And I hear they’re making a cellphone version. uh oh.

I’m surprised how it’s just sitting there, free. (Of course, you can donate to support the site, if you’re generous)

I wonder how much success they’d have if they had a “Pay $0.99 for an instant X number of cookies” based on how many cookies you have, and how many you earn per second.

But I’m not about to get into the whole “Free” vs. “Free-to-Play” vs “Premium” debate. That’s for a COMPLETELY different post. :P

So anyway, long story short…. COOKIES.

I blame you, PiranhaBat.

UPDATE 8/27:

Of course, today’s update added MILK, so now my entire spreadsheet is off balance, since I have ZERO idea how to factor “milk” into everything. BAH!!!!

Games - August 2013

Quick list of games I’m been playing in August, or will play.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf - 3DS (Almost every day. I’ve been slowing down though, since it eventually feels like a grind nearly 3 months later. It’s still nice to be able to just pretend to live in a world where all of the day-to-day worries in your real life simply do not matter. Mad PROPS (lolpun) to propercopperhatter for always letting me crash her town to take advantage of her town’s love of pears (irony) to rake in LOTS OF BELLS. MUAHAHAHA )

Pikmin 3 - WiiU (LOVE it. Takes the best parts of 1 and 2, into one GORGEOUS and enjoyable package.)

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team - 3DS (I’ve very much enjoyed the “Mario & Luigi” RPG series, and so far this is just as enjoyable!)

Saints Row IV - Windows (Already wrote my thoughts on it. Just came out, but enjoying it so far)

Amateur Surgeon 3 - iOS (It’s a free game, you should check it out. It’s fun. Use tools such as a pizza cutter and a lighter to perform odd operations on odd characters.)

Dropchord - iOS (Made by the fine folks at DoubleFine, it’s a rhythm game that will have you twitch your thumbs. Music games are fairly common, and a mixed bag. The music is good, and it’s a solid app. I’m a huge DoubleFine fan, so I couldn’t resist picking this up.)

Knightmare Tower - iOS (Real basic concept. Bonk monsters on the head to propel yourself up the tower to rescue princesses and unlock more powerups. But there’s just something about it that I really enjoy)

Plants vs. Zombies 2 - iOS (Surely you’ve played Plants vs. Zombies. If not, what rock have you been under? Either way, this game is free, so you really ought to check it out. *dances* There’s a zombie on your lawn.)

And of course, the latest game everyone is playing. Anyone who is anyone has been playing Cookie Clicker. 407000 cookies per second. COOKIES FOR EVERYONE!!!!
And relatedly, there’s Candy Box.
I blame piranhabat. <_<

And soon I’ll get into The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. I haven’t played it yet, so I’ll reserve any comment until my write-up. Assuming I make one.

Luckily the next few months are looking to be a very QUIET for games. Other than Grand Theft Auto V in September, and October has new Pokemon game, and Batman: Arkham Origins. Otherwise, it should give me time to get caught up on some older games, and post some Game Views. (Not really meant to be ‘reviews’, but just my own personal view of a game)

It’s 3am, so I’m going to go to sleep now, rather than play more SR4 as I expected I would after writing this. zzz

Saints Row IV - Game View

Saints Row IV just came out on Tuesday, available for most consoles, and Windows. (Steam link: http://store.steampowered.com/app/206420/ )

Last summer, on a whim, I picked up Saints Row: The Third and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I had never played the first two games, so wasn’t sure what to expect.

It’s a very silly game. Tons of customization, tons of exploration, tons of killing anything you feel like killing, going anywhere you want to go, doing anything in any order, lots of satire of other games / popular things / anything, and MUCH sophomoric humor (I could elaborate, but I’d rather not. :P )

But it’s fun. It was a solid game that doesn’t take itself seriously. Just get to explore and complete the missions and slowly dominate the entire map. Sort of like Just Cause 2 which I’ve poured over 100 hours into and have STILL not completed all the things-to-do. (that’s another game I highly recommend). I almost would include Skyrim into the mix, although Skyrim is much more heavy into story, and going place-to-place-to-place, which caused me to lose interest faster than I would have wanted. Just Cause 2 and Saints Row The Third is more self-contained bits which still tie into the larger story, and freedom to explore.

I enjoy that open world, free-to-do-anything type of game. It seems hard for most “open world” games to get it right though.

I was excited when Saints Row IV was announced, and pre-ordered it (thanks to Amazon having a mega good deal on it)

So anyway, it’s finally out, and I’ve spent 7 hours playing it today, almost non-stop. (Wow, I’ve gotten this far into the post and haven’t even started TALKING about the game yet.)

Long story short: This game is AWESOME.

Back in the city of Steelport that you’re familiar with if you played Saints Row The Third, yet this time it’s all in a simulation. (Aliens have taken over and [another spoiler removed]) so you have to go through the simulated city, taking it over, causing mayhem, and just having fun. (while there’s still story to move things along if you want.)

But this game doesn’t take itself seriously at all, and that’s fine with me.

From the start, you’re able to customize your character’s looks, personality, and voice.
There’s a “Nolan North” voice option, since of course, almost no game is complete without Nolan North.
The game had me laughing my ass off right from the start, when you find yourself in the simulation for the first time. You can watch the entire segment [HERE](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAc-uoBXE3A), but you may not want to watch it if you plan on playing the game yourself, as part of the humor comes with just how DIFFERENT it is from what you expect from the game. Although I love the music that starts at 3:05 (Spongebob fans may recognize it too. :P )

And if you’re playing with the Nolan North voice, you’ll see that response at 5:04 in the video, which again made me laugh my ass off (breaking the 4th wall ftw)

Anyway, after all that, you’re left in the city simulation. Killing things, hacking things, and doing all the Matrix-ish stuff you would expect. (Running super fast, jumping through the air, flying), or stealing vehicles, killing anything, just exploring.

Lots of freedom, but it still forms a cohesive whole. Very much enjoying the game, but still needed to take a break to come down from the ol’ ultraviolence, I suppose. :P

The game is mindless fun at its core, doesn’t take itself seriously, but still end up being serious fun, with a solid story, and enough to keep you going for many hours. (Likely a 40-hour game. Even longer if you end up playing in co-op mode)

With lots of collectibles, variety of missions/activities, and customization galore, this game is likely to keep anyone entertained, assuming you don’t mind the senseless violence and sophomoric attitude.

Gone Home - Game View

First up is “Gone Home” by The Fullbright Company (Link to Steam page, for Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux.)

This was a VERY short game. Took me 3 hours to get through, although likely could be completely in much less time.

The entirety of the game takes place in a large house. You can pick up objects, rotate them, and put them back.

You have a backpack, a map, and a girl’s journal. I think you only end up with 5 things in your backpack. Two you start the game with (and serve no purpose)

There really is nothing to ‘do’. It’s highly linear. You walk around, exploring the rooms. You’re controlling “Katie” who is coming home after a year traveling Europe. You arrive to an empty house, without any sign of the Mom, Dad, or sister Sam.

Picking up certain notes will trigger a journal read aloud by the sister Sam. The entire story is presented in this matter. While you do piece together bits of side story through other objects. I say it’s linear, since half the house is blocked off until you come across some key or combination (practically thrown at you, in your face, so there’s really no thinking involved)

I was rather disappointed, as I kept something unexpected to happen or something else. But it’s really just about exploring the highly detailed 3D house, seeing bits of what happened to this family over the year Katie was gone.

The description does say:

> No Combat, No Puzzles: Gone Home is a nonviolent and puzzle-free experience, inviting you to play at your own pace without getting attacked, stuck, or frustrated. This house wants you to explore it.
>And it is certainly an accurate description. There are no puzzles. Nothing to do. You’re guided along.

So it really isn’t a game, rather more of an “Art” exhibit (for lack of any other term). Highly detailed house, which tells a story in a fairly linear fashion.

As a game, I was disappointed. As an art exhibit, I was mostly impressed, although I think much of it was lost on me, since I’m likely not the target demographic, and I kept expecting some twist. Waiting for the game to begin, or just something. Also far shorter than I would have liked.

Without spoiling it, it’s a story of a teenage girl’s struggle after moving to a new city, making friends, struggle for acceptance, self-discovery, loss, and starting anew.

There are a few parts of the story that I’m still confused about. It’s a story that is very much just about Sam, although there are bits about the Mom and Dad which I feel like I’m missing half of the story because they seem unresolved, or missing key plot points. Possible spoiler: We find out what happens to Sam, but not what happens to the parents. (Unless I missed an important detail somewhere.)

I bought it for $18 through the [http://www.gonehomegame.com/]("developer’s website"), which gives you Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux versions of the game, all without any sort of DRM. And includes a key for Steam redemption.

Despite it leaving me feeling awkward, I would probably recommend checking it out, as long as you go into it less thinking of it as a game, and more as a movie, or a book. (Gives you a good cost/enjoyment ratio expectation as well)