The Games of May

This past month the games I’ve played have moved from larger scale games that take a long time to complete to shorter more compact games. Some games on last months list I haven’t played at all this month, while others I’ve finished and moved on. I’ll mention some of the games from that list occasionally so if you want to look at that list I’ll put a link here, anyhow on to this month’s list.

PC:

1. Bastion (Everyone 10+) – I remember hearing nothing but good things about this game when it was released. Upon playing it I realize why. The game was just enjoyable all the way through. You play as “The Kid” who wakes up in the middle of the Calamity. The Calamity is basically the end of the your country. Something happened that wiped out a good portion of the land and reduced most of the population to cinder statues that crumble once you touch them.

Waking up in the middle of this your only course of action is to try to go the Bastion, which was to be a safe haven from an event like this. Only one other man has made it there though. Together by his knowledge and your power you seek to complete the Bastion and find the truth about the Calamity and attempt to survive.

This was not a long game. Depending on how much you do on the side it could easily be done in 6-8 hours. While it makes you want more to a certain degree, the length also makes you feel like everything you did was important. Every twist and revelation came at good pace and just made me feel satisfied. Throw in a beautiful art style, good soundtrack, variety of weapons, multiple endings (if that’s your cup of tea) and enjoyable narration and you have a whole package that was well put together. Definitely a game a recommend giving a try.

 2. Cave Story + (Everyone 10+) – If an indie game could go mainstream, Cave Story is probably the poster child for such an event. It started out a free to play game, but this version updates the graphics and music a little for a little money in return. I’d say that’s a good deal. The game has a retro feel and channels Metroid or recent 2D Castlevania games.

In terms of story you start off by waking up in a cave and you have no idea where you are or how you got there. Upon some exploration you find a town of Mimigas, which are peaceful anthropomorphic rabbits. You find out that they are being kidnapped by a man known as The Doctor. This background sets the stage for a journey to find out who you are, where you are, and try to protect the innocent Mimigas from The Doctor and his followers.

Much like Bastion, Cave Story isn’t a very long game to just finish. However, there are multiple endings with the best ending being very difficult to complete. I tried to get that ending, but just wasn’t able to get past the final place so I’ve given up for now since I was able to earn some of the other endings. I enjoyed playing the game, but it can get difficult and frustrating at times. If you’re a fan of the Metroid or Castlevania style of play then I would recommend this game, even if you aren’t familiar with those games if you enjoy 2D games and don’t mind a little difficulty I’d give Cave Story a try.

  • This section is to update on the PC games from last list. Skyrim was the only story based game and I was finally able to finish it. Sadly, the ending was a bit underwhelming. As I said last month though, it is a game for wanting to be involved in a massive world to explore rather than a tight story. By the time I was done with it all I was ready to move on. I’ve continued to play and enjoy Super Monday Night Combat, but haven’t played any more of Realm of the Mad God.

PS3:

1. Alice: Madness Returns (Mature) – This is the sequel to American McGee’s Alice that I mentioned last month. I’m not sure how far I am into it, probably round halfway or so at best guess, and I’m really enjoying this one much more than the previous one. The story is still more or less the same. Alice’s mental condition is better, but she still holds guilt and despair over the fire the claimed her family’s life. She is not completely better and still a bit crazy around the edges I guess one could say. Despite having a similar story angle as the first in the series, this one seems to flesh things out a little more. This story really seems to focus in on Alice’s guilt over the fire as the main cause of her insanity. A guilt that may or may not be deserved. This insanity is again wreaking havoc in Alice’s Wonderland and only she can put an end to it.

Overall I would say that this game is better in pretty much every way than its predecessor. The story actually feels like it is going somewhere, which it could lead to disappointment in the end, but just the fact that you feel like you’re going somewhere is a step above the first. The atmosphere is really breathtaking in some places. When first entering into Wonderland, it is bright and beautiful and just really wonderful looking. The controls and weapons are much better than the first game both in terms of ease of use, but also in the implementation of the weapons in the world. For example you get a weapon called a Hobby Horse that acts like a hammer and can knock down cracked walls. This adds both a sense of exploration, but also just that the weapons have some sort of purpose beyond just figuring out which one kills the enemies the fastest.

Personally if you wanted to get a twisted version of Alice in Wonderland to go look at, I’d recommend this one over the original game. It is fun, beautiful (even though sometimes it is in a bit of a dark twisted kind of way), and just a lot smoother than the original. It may be too smooth to where it isn’t all that difficult of a game, but for me a game doesn’t have to be difficult to be enjoyable.

 2. Awesomenauts (Teen) – Like Super Monday Night Combat from last month, Awesomenauts is a mutliplayer online battle arena game. So what sets Awesomenauts apart from the others. Well there are two major things I will point out. First, it is a 2D arena based game. Most of the other battle arena type games I’ve played are either top down/isometric view or third person view. This is the first I’ve played a 2D imagining of that game type.

Second, it is also the only type of this game to be on the consoles that I know of. This may not matter to the people who have PCs and can play games like League of Legends, DOTA 2, or Super Monday Night Combat but for those who only have consoles getting a game like this is pretty exciting.

Of course this is only exciting if Awesomenauts is fun and enjoyable. I’m happy to report that it is a lot of fun. Matches don’t seem as long as some of the other MOBA type games, but they’re enjoyable to play. It is also fairly easy to learn and get the hang of, but as with all of these games it may be hard to learn what the best combo of perks and teammates are the best. In terms of negatives it does seem like some heroes are more powerful than others (although this could just be the fact that I’m not very good at some of the heroes) and there are also not very many heroes to pick from unlike other MOBA games, but it is a lot of fun to play and I’ve enjoyed the game quite a little bit. I can’t say too much more about it than this, it is a fun version of MOBA and taking it to the 2D really works well. It could use some tweaking and more characters, but I’ll probably be continuing to play it for a while especially since the game is going to be supported with patches and extra characters in the future. This is only available online for the Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 though as no disc version of the game is available.

3. Back to the Future (Teen) – If you’re aware of the culture of the 80s then you are most likely aware of the Back to the Future movies. This game doesn’t retread the movies, but instead is a new adventure set after Back to the Future III. From here it needs to be noted that this game comes in two ways. The game originally started as an episodic game broken into five downloadable parts. Each part has a standalone objective, but each part is connected to the next. After all the parts were released it was also released on a disc.

I’ve only done the first two episodes of the game, so I’m not sure where it winds up going. What gets the adventure rolling is that one day the Delorean appears near Doc Brown’s house while Marty is there. In the Delorean is Doc’s dog Einstein and a tape recording of Doc. Marty eventually figures out that Doc is in the 1930s and is in jail, but even worse he is in danger of being killed. So Marty and Einstein go back in time to find out how they can stop Doc from being killed and get him out of jail. While this is successful after the first episode the ways in which Marty helped Doc escape leads to other changes in the timeline which sets up for the next adventure.

The game is basically adapted from the point and click adventure games of the past. Since this game does not use a mouse it is difficult to call them this, but it is the same basic formula. Talk to people, find items to use on the world, and do the actions that solve the problems you find. They’re enjoyable but sometimes it is hard to know exactly what you need to do next. Sometimes the solutions are obvious, but others take some thought. The graphics are also not groundbreaking for these games, but honestly they’re not that bad either. Overall, if you’re a fan of Back to the Future these games offer you some time travel fun with Marty and the Doc.

  • Last month also saw me playing, but not being finished with, Transformers:War for Cybertron, Dynasty Warriors Gundam 2, and Rayman Origins. I was able to finish up everything I wanted to do for Transformers since I got the top level in multiplayer and decided that was a good time to stop. I’ve played Dynasty Warriors Gundam 2 a little bit the past month and I’m still picking at it every once in awhile. I’ve played Rayman Origins with my wife a little the past month as well, but since we been busy with other things while we’re both home lately we haven’t gotten too much farther in it. Also I really didn’t play my PSP at all during the month of May, so there are really no updates for it at all.

So anyways these were the game of May. Overall it was a pretty good month for new game experiences for me. I got finished with some of the games that were really dragging and the new games I tried this month were really enjoyable.

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2 thoughts on “The Games of May

  1. I've kinda lost most of my passion for playing games… For a time, I was playing Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii since it's release. But after a month or two, I kinda just stopped playing. Recently got Batman: Arkham City GOTY edition for the PS3. But even that, I play here and there for minutes at a time… Started playing League of Legends again just to catch up. But still bored.

  2. I'm sure it happens. I know sometimes I really don't feel like playing anything. It hasn't happened on a large scale, but for a few days I'll just not feel like playing. Maybe it'll just be a phase or maybe not. I doubt I'll lose my passion for video games anytime soon, but one never knows.

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