Sometimes I half-jokingly tell my friends I think gaming is a degenerate medium. Obviously I cannot claim to truly believe this as I spend so much of my time playing games. But really I think the lived experience of most games is that, played in excess, they are an affront to the human spirit and mind. That is because many games require you to repeat a certain enjoyable task over and over, training you to be dumber and less expectant of creativity and originality in the fictional world.
No Man’s Sky is engulfing the gaming zeitgeist at the moment with every message board and news website drenched in discussion of the procedurally generated space exploration game. In this desperate attempt to get Pietriots badly needed clicks by posting about something topical, I’ll oversimplify the issue by distilling it down to what are essentially the only three responses the game has evoked. In fairness, the reaction to any game can be distilled down to the same three but the absurd about of hype around No Man’s Sky has amplified the effect. It is impossible to have a neutral opinion on this game, so, which category do you fall in? Continue reading “The three (and a half) reactions to No Man’s Sky”
Inspired by the Jules Verne novel Around the World in Eighty Days, 80 Days is a choose-your-own-adventure game. You play as Jean Passepartout, the recently employed valet of English gentlemen Phileas Fogg who wagered that he could travel around the world in 80 days. As Passepartout, it’s up to you to pack Fogg’s bags, plan his itinerary and manage his belongings throughout the journey. Developed by British studio inkle and written by Meg Jayanth, 80 Days drenches Verne’s novel in feminist steampunk with a twist of romantic orientalism. Originally published on iPhone, 80 Days was ported to Andriod in late 2014 and eventually arrived on PC/Mac in mid 2015, this review was played on desktop version. 80 Days’s excellent writing, vibrant art and unique gameplay combine to deliver a polished game that comes highly recommended. Continue reading “80 Days”
Last year Nintendo surprised us with their very own humble bundle but region locked the games to North America. As an affluent Australian I bought it anyway, directing the money to charity, just to support the concept. This year though, no doubt inspired by me, they ensured the bundle was open to Nintendo customers in Europe, South America and Oceania so I was excited to actually be able to play it. I’ve got some quick impressions of most of the games to share and there’s even a download code for one game to give away if you’re too stingy to buy the bundle. Continue reading “Friends of Nintendo Bundle”
It’s Sunday afternoon, I have no pending deadlines, the weekend chores are done and my partner has offered to cook dinner. I have hours ahead of me I want to dedicate to playing a game. I go to pick one and… can’t. A paralysis of choice. I have too much to play and if I’m not decisive, I’ll fritter away the next three hours, playing nothing, with only a vague recollection of internet memes to remember the day by.
Pokémon Picross is Nintendo’s latest free to play puzzle game. I’ve been enjoying playing it over the Christmas-New Years break while travelling through southern Western Australia. My review could be simply ‘it’s picross, with Pokémon and free to play,’ but I’m going to write a little more explaining what picross is for those unfamiliar and detail my frustrations with the free to play economics of this particular title. Continue reading “Pokémon Picross”
Despite being one of the most popular sports in the world, cricket has rarely been reproduced in anything resembling a fun video game. The last good cricket games I played were the Beam Software developed Super International Cricket (SNES) and its followups on PC. Since sport sims embraced the third dimension cricket games have floundered, with only Codemasters and EA sporadically contracting third string development teams to churn out buggy, unplayable affairs. This is a shame because the first time I played an N64, fresh off my experience with Super International Cricket, I imagined a three dimensional cricket game with a dynamic camera and footwork based shot selection. After almost twenty years, Big Ant Studios have realised my dream.
Roland complains about his family before finally sharing his first impressions
Getting my feet wet in Mira, the world of Xenoblade Chronicles X, took a lot more effort than usual. Although recently unemployed, with limitless freedom in front of me, the game’s release coincided with my partner and I packing up for a month away from our cosy inner-city apartment. Arriving at my parent’s house in the flood prone swamp lands of Busselton, I discovered the internet speeds of my hometown have not kept up with the developed world and have intact regressed due to the ageing copper interchanges slowly rusting away. It took over 30 hours to complete the 20GB installation, 30 hours I mostly spent complaining to unsympathetic ears on Miiverse where people told me to “just buy a physical copy” or “get a job”. Compounding matters further there’s only one television and my Mum hates video games so I didn’t get any game time in until everyone went off to their respective workplaces this morning. The four hours I did get to play though, were spectacular. Continue reading “Look and Feel: The first 4 hours of Xenoblade Chronicles X”
Holy shit do you think you could ever prepare yourself for World of Subways Vol. 4? The thrilling game where you accelerate and decelerate trains as they travel under the ground!
If you haven’t wet your pants in excitement yet then check out this trailer for World of Subways Volume 4 which makes it clear that even train conductors are taking part in an exciting zombie murder mysteries against time. Don’t worry if you haven’t played volumes 1-3, I’m sure the story will make sense.