Monthly Archives: December 2011

Alpha Protocol: Early Impressions

A game can get a lot of things right in terms of narrative flexibility and character development, but if the core minute-to-minute gameplay isn’t enjoyable, then that game is not going to leave a good impression upon me. Such is the case with Alpha Protocol, at least in the early going. I’m two missions past the tutorial, and this really does feel like an action-stealth game made by people who have no real idea how to make a game in this genre. It really puts the game in a negative light when compared to contemporary games with similar mechanics, especially Mass Effect 2 and Deus Ex: Human Revolutions, that are far more competently put together. Continue reading

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Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Conclusions

The combat shines. The platforming is a pain. But after the rocky start Castlevania: Lords of Shadow smoothed out into a pretty enjoyable experience. Continue reading

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Quick Hits: Steam Sale 2011, Week 1

The thing I like most about the semi-annual Steam Sales isn’t the deals. It isn’t the giveaways and prizes. It’s that the holiday achievements give me an excuse to try some of the indie games I’ve bought and haven’t gotten to yet. And it’s an excuse to pull some old favourites that I thought I was done with down from the shelf for another go around. In that spirit, here’s what I’ve played in the first few days of the sale, and what I’ve thought about them. Continue reading

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Metro 2033: Early Impressions

I first played Metro 2033 as a rental on my 360. I liked the slow-building opening chapters, but I didn’t play very far into it. I could tell this was a game I wanted to play on PC instead. It’s not just a matter of graphics and controls. This is a real lean-forward game – something that benefits from being played with headphones and close to the screen. Continue reading

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A Dance With Dragons 3: The South

The chapters set in the South fulfill an odd, dual function. They’re there firstly to resolve some of the more egregious cliffhangers from Feast, while at the same time setting the stage for next book, The Winds of Winter. Any character development in here feels very much like an extension of Feast, rather than any sort of arc in its own right. Continue reading

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Life Intervenes: Bit.Trip Runner

It was a Friday evening. I’d had a rough week. My grandmother died, and the memorial service had been that afternoon. We weren’t particularly close, but these sorts of things always take their toll on me. So I was looking for a game to unwind with. I’d just bought Bit.Trip Beat as part of the most recent Humble Bundle (as of this post, it’s still ongoing, so I encourage you, reader, to throw some money towards a good cause, and get some quality indie games in the bargain) and thought that a nice, cheerful, quirky, retro music-platformer would be just the type of game to distract me. Continue reading

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A Dance With Dragons 2: The East

Last time I examined the North. Even though things didn’t move at a particularly breakneck speed in the North, there a definitely a feeling of going somewhere, rather than aimless meandering. This time I talk about the East, where this is somewhat less the case. Continue reading

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