Read more “Brütal Legend”
Developer: Double Fine Productions | Released: 2013 | Genre: 3PS, RTS
This is another one I should have played ages ago but kept postponing – mostly because I was worried about the real time strategy elements that pops up later in the game. Now, that I have finally visited it, I can only slap myself silly for not having tried this truly original heavy metal game some time earlier. So many things to like – Jack Black, the humor, well directed cutscenes, lovingly weird ideas…
…and then they just had to put those dreadful RTS elements in it. More about that later.
I was playing as the roadie Eddie, voiced by the marvelous Jack Black. He got sent to sort of a heavy metal heaven, an open world landscape with dark themes everywhere, as inspired by the best heavy metal vinyl covers you can imagine. It was third person hack-and-slash to begin with, using a big axe and a guitar for attacks, later teamed up with a hot girl, and assembled an equally hot car for racing the roads.
I got a map of the world with primary and secondary objectives. Tab slabs – sort of shrines – could learn me new solos to be activated with a hot key, after which I had to hit the right notes for a few seconds to fire it off. It could be to e.g. summon the car, awaken supports, etc.
Read more “Mafia II: Definitive Edition”
Developer: 2K Czech | Released: 2020 | Genre: 3PS
I played more than 2 hours of this one before bailing out, so I decided to let it have its own blog post. The version I played was the Definitive Edition from 2020. I never played the classic from 2010 so I can’t say how much better it looks. I did play the first one, but that was more than 20 years ago. Way too long to report on its graphics now – the rose-tinted glasses get in the way.
What I can remember is that the game was a third person shooter driving in a city between mafia jobs. This second game was more of the same. I was in control of the handsome Vito, starting out with a little bit of military action in Sicily 1943. Back in the USA, Vito gets jobs from his friend Joe, such as stealing a car for Vito himself, getting money for a barber, and stealing gas stamps from a safe.
Read more “Anomaly 1729”
Developer: Anvil Drop | Released: 2015 | Genre: 3PS, Puzzle
This was a third person puzzle game with inspiration from games such as Portal and Fez. At times it also felt like a distant sibling to Tron 2.0. I controlled a robot finding my way through chambers of blocks. A hub area filled with blocks led to secluded chambers where I had to puzzle my way to an exit door.
There were three major areas in the game, each concentrated around a hub. The first was dominantly blue with square or rectangular blocks. The second was more cyan with pentagon blocks. And finally the third was blood red, surrounding a big structure with ability-draining fields that had to be turned off.
The robot could shoot orange or blue energy from each hand (mouse buttons) and jump on the blocks. Red jump pads boosted me away or blue gravity wells sucked me in, and their type could be switched with a shot. Later, blocks and platforms also floated on beams. Platforms of this kind had a certain pattern they went through, while the blocks could be started and stopped with a shot. Smoldering platforms were also used although thankfully sparingly, as they disappeared in seconds and always made me frantic.
Read more “Diary Games: Outcast”
Developer: Appeal | Released: 1999 | Genre: 3PS, Adventure
This is a post in a nostalgic series with transcriptions of my diary sessions of the many games I played from 2000 and onwards, translated and adapted from Danish. There will be spoilers in these diary sessions.
All images are courtesy of MobyGames and shows the best 512×384 resolution.
April 19, 2001
I’ve had the original CD-ROM of Outcast for a while, but my DVD drive wouldn’t acknowledge it. Now I had a plan. First I installed a 317 MB alternative version from a “collection” and ran it. It started without problems but was very limited – no speech, no movies, no CD audio music. Then I renamed the folder and installed the original CD version. As usual it wouldn’t recognize my DVD drive. I then copied the executable file over from the limited version and hey presto; I now had an original that worked with my DVD drive with all music, movies and speech intact. Then I deleted the limited version.
Played a little bit of the game. I managed to get through the training level in the beginning where I had to sneak past my teacher Jan. The game had to be run in the penultimate resolution of 400×300. The best, which was 512×384 or something like that, was stuttering too much. Somewhat disappointing on a 1,2 GHz PC, but at least it ran reasonably well in 400×300 with all graphical details set to high. The game looks old fashioned today because of the low resolution, but I also know that it’s a long and challenging game. Some reviewers say 50+ hours – try comparing that to the 10-15 hours of Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.². There are also sub quests and even sub quests within sub quests. It might make the game confusing and introduce the non-linearity I’m not comfortable with yet.
Nevertheless I will now give it a chance and then we’ll see. I paid a lot of money for the original game.
Read more “Diary Games: The Beginning of the Millennium”
This is a post in a nostalgic series with transcriptions of my diary sessions of the many games I played from 2000 and onwards, translated and adapted from Danish.
In fact, this is the very first one with the first play sessions in 2000. As is the case with so many hobbies just like this one, it started in a casual manner and only gradually became more serious. It wasn’t like hitting a switch and suddenly I was writing hundreds of lines in each session.
I started writing diaries about my life in 1996 and have kept it up since then. Games were rarely mentioned as something I played one evening. I wasn’t really into gaming until I had sort of an epiphany with Gunman Chronicles, as you can read here below. In the end of the 90’s, it was mostly about coding and composing. I did complete Rama, Sanitarium and the first three Tomb Raider games in the end of the 90’s, but their sessions were sometimes months apart and the comments very brief.
Although better for the following ten games, the descriptions are still plain and the details few. However, it gets a lot more interesting in later blog posts as I dig deeper into my diaries. Later I also started grabbing my own screenshots, but for this blog post they are all courtesy of MobyGames.
Read more “DreadOut”
Developer: Digital Happiness | Released: 2014 | Genre: 3PS, Horror
It was really a shame coming from such a nice surprise as Lifeless Planet to this frustrating mess of bad design. If I could have gone back in time and told my older self what not to play, this would definitely have been one of them. DreadOut was a horror adventure that borrowed a lot from Silent Hill – even the dark style of the inventory, with big images of inventory items. The saddest thing is that the horror atmosphere was actually quite well done. Although cliche of course, it had just the right amount of disturbing dread and jump scares, supported by a marvelous ambient background sound.
The heroine, a teenager on a trip with her teacher and school mates in a car, used a smartphone camera and its flash to scare ghosts and monsters. A red vignette on the screen indicated that a spiritual being was close (sometimes invisible so the camera had to be held up to see it) and a blue vignette that an item or interaction was nearby. Being pummeled could lead to death, and this was shown as a limbo sequence running towards the light. To make matters even worse, some monsters were “camera bullet sponges” and had to be continuously snapshot. In between there were also mild puzzles and keys to find.
Read more “Lifeless Planet”
Developer: Stage 2 Studios | Released: 2014 | Genre: 3PS, Adventure
I really liked this one. No enemies to fight, just a lot of astronaut exploration in epic surroundings on a strange and alien planet. At first I thought it had much of the same style and atmosphere as Evolva meets the planet exploration levels of the first Mass Effect. Then later, as the epic alien structures arrived, I thought about The Dig too. The long stretches and most of the frequent jumping puzzles didn’t bother me as I like that stuff. And this game sure had a ton of it. There were a few sadistic exceptions, but most of the time it was a great fun jumping across enormous chasms on house-sized boulders.
The astronaut had a default double jump ability almost from the start. Tap jump, then at the peak tap it again to jet a bit higher. In a few selected areas of the game, a pressure bottle gave me a temporary jet pack boost, making it possible to cross wider chasms with about five timed jump taps. It felt just right and I loved most of those sections. I was always a bit sad when I got to the point where the game told me the extra boost had run out. Later I also got a mobile crane arm. A first person view then made it possible to grab an item and drop it elsewhere , or tap buttons out of normal reach with the crane claw.