Theme Park World

Lately I have been in a nostalgic mode and therefore I have been playing some classic games. This one from 1999. It’s available on PlayStation 1, 2, PC and Mac. This is the ultimate game for kids ever made and playing it as an adult is fun, at least for an hour or two.

In the game you build your own theme park after different themes, like Halloween, Space and Wonderland. To get access to some of these parks you must win keys and collect golden tickets. The keys unlock a new level and the tickets can be used to buy special rides. With the help of an assistant you will hope to run a successful park, or it will all crash and you will go into bankruptcy.

This game was marvelous in the old days and it was everything a kid could dream of. Considering it’s age I think the game holds up fairly well even today. It can still be plays on your old PS1 or 2 and it works at least on the future versions of Windows. It looks good and the gameplay and atmosphere is perfect for kids. I would still say that this game can still be a six year olds dream even in 2013. But how is it for an adult?

I would say that it doesn’t quite succeed in being as fun there. Why? It is simply because we are to smart. The game gets repetitive and while it is great for kids it is just annoying for an adult. Some of those features can be turned off but that does not increase the playability by far. It does get boring after a an hour or two. So it is a fun nostalgic experience for a while before you never want to see the game ever again. It is also not challenging at all as a grown up and like I said, you are too smart and the game can be completed in a few hours.

Still I will judge this game through a kid’s eyes. If I would have been an adult, it would have been a five, but since I am that six-year-old again the game is actually a 9/10.

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Remember Me

Here we have a game for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The game is set in future Paris  (Neo-Paris) and you play as Nilin, a woman with no memories who after escaping a facility must fight to get her memories back. The biggest thing this game got going for it is the originality. The plot very is different tough at times it can get confusing.

Neo-Paris

The gameplay usually have a great flow. Tough awkward camera angles are a reoccurring annoyance and even though the game is usually clear about where you are supposed to go the camera angles can sometimes make it hard to see these directions. Another thing that is quite of a struggle is the combat, I found it to be pretty hard and even though it looked good it was not so fun to play those sequences. The main reason is because of how much time it took, some boss fights lasted almost 30 minutes and I think that is a bit excessive.

The game does have originality and like I said it is the best thing about the game, the graphics are great, the setting for the game is marvelous and they manage to incorporate many different styles throughout the game. The highlights of the game are defeating the bosses in many different settings and the remixes you do on people’s memories in the game. Remixing a memory is a little bit like Surgeon Simulator except it is in someone’s mind. They look great and they effectively make you know more about the plot.

Memory remixing

So even though the game has its up’s and downs I think it is a must have and the game is a lot of fun, unless you get into that long time consuming fight… 8 / 10

Tekken Tag Tournament 2

I finally feel that I have played the game enough to be able to review it. Tekken is a series of fighting games were different characters fight against each other to win a tournament. The game can be played by yourself or with up to four players at the same time. The game was released last year for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii U.

The game has a lot of plusses and minuses. The graphics look a lot better but I sometimes felt that the characters looked a bit to shiny. They managed to fit a lot of characters into the game but they were all unlocked from the beginning which I did not think was particularly fun. The gameplay is on a similar level to what it has always been, at least when you play the arcade mode. When you go online and play ghost battles here is a problem with the game. There are attacks that can drain over 50% of your characters health, but they you just get up again right? Wrong, characters can juggle you character countless of times meaning that you might never get a chance to fight pack and the “don’t kick someone who is already down” policy does not exist here.

Example of a character who looks a bit to shiny.

I can get that to a certain extent and it has been like this in many of the previous Tekken games as well, but I feel that its way more in this game and it kind of kills the feeling. In many modes one can learn about the basics of the game and it’s not impossible for a button masher to win some fights. Personally I have never really been a button masher; I don’t know all the moves the character has because I think that kills the feeling. If you have studied the combat styles so much that you know everything then I don’t think the game is so much fun, you have become more of a robot who plays the game automatically. I know some character moves, and I do my fair amount of strategical guesses when I play and don’t just press the buttons randomly. My style is a problem in this game as it wants you to learn more moves and it kind off pressures you to become a more advanced player than the previous games have been doing.

The customization is a lot of fun and you can give the characters you personal twist, but sometimes I am not so much of a fan. Sur it is fun to see the ridiculous outfits some have come up with but is sometimes feel like “let’s make the girls look like strippers and the guys look like pink fairies with wings, oh and why don’t we give the characters an ice-cream to hold in their hand as they perform an uppercut?!” You get the idea and sure I think it’s a nice addition but it gets a bit too much at times and the characters can look really tacky.

I’m not even sure who this character even is with all pinkness going on and turning a tough guy into this is just not a good match.

Panda usually wears nothing, but not anymore and he just looks sad…

I won’t bore you with my long rant so I guess you can say that I think the game contradicts itself many times. It has a bit of everything but I don’t think they mixed it in the best way they could. Still this is one of my favorite game series and I will love Namco forever for making it and just because of that this game might get a higher score than it actually deserves… 8 / 10

Amnesia The Dark Decent

Horror movies today don’t scare as many as they used to do. The question is why? My belief is that many can predict the scary moments and what is bound to happen. But there are other ways than movies to get scarred. This time it is from a computer screen while playing Amnesia…

Amnesia The Dark Decent was released by Fictional Games in 2010 and as the sequel comes out soon I figured that it’s good to write about the game now. Amnesia is a survival horror game which is the games corresponding genre to the horror genre in movies, meaning the point of survival horror is to scare the players as much as possible.

In many similar games the player usually gets limited ammo to try and create an atmosphere of vulnerability. Fictional Games have always taken this to the next level, both in Amnesia and their other games. Their idea is to make the player sharpen their senses and be prepared for anything. Now is the part where you think: This is easy I’ll just take my gun…

The problem is that in Amnesia there are no weapons, the monsters in the game are immune to any weapons and they will kill you instantly if you try to defend yourself. This has taken many players a bit outside their comfort zone since they are used to weapons in similar games. The only option you have here is run, hide in the darkness and hope you survive.

In Amnesia you are playing in first person view as Daniel, who has no memory of himself after drinking a potion. He is stuck in the castle of Brennenburg, London. In the castle strange noises are heard and something strange is haunting him. While Daniel tries to escape he finds notes with information on how to escape the castle.  Even though Daniels has no memories of himself there is one thing the player finds out quickly and that is his fear of darkness.

When he is in the dark he starts lo loos his sanity which causes him to hear scary noises, seeing disturbing events and hallucinates. This is a struggle for the player as the monsters will come closer to him which means he have to hide in the darkness, which will worsen the situation even more. If he does stay in the light from his lamp or being close to torches on the walls the monsters will also notice him easier. This strange balance makes the player extremely focused as the slightest sound might be a huge threat you must run away from. So winning the game might take you some time and once you get there you will find four alternative ways of ending the game.

The advice for all players is to play with headphones, low brightness in the game, alone and in complete darkness. If you do this the game is worse than any horror movie I have seen. The sound effects are brilliant, whether there is a monster, a random scream of help, some girl crying, or a piano starting to play itself randomly you will be almost terrified every time.

The monsters may not look that scary but when they appear they bring with them an awful sound and the fact that you have to run from them will probably have made you scared regardless of their appearances. The gameplay and the visuals are great, the storyline is decent, as I said the sound effects are amazingly horrifying and the controls are pretty basic.

The game has been extremely famous on YouTube as it makes men scream like 6-year-olg girls. So play it in the darkness for as long as you dare. Reminder: Don’t blame me for you nightmares! 9 / 10

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Mirror’s Edge

This first person game came out in 2008. It was developed by EA (Electronic Arts) and Dice. The plot of the game it set in an alternative future where you get to follow a rebel named Faith. Faith gets some different missions that she is supposed to preform and she usually has some unfortunate encounters with the police while she is on the run.  What makes this game special is that it focuses on parkour. You are constantly jumping from roof to roof and vaulting over fences in the game.

The main critique for this game is the trial and error sequences and they are many. It takes very little to instantly fall of a roof and having to start over again. It is incredibly easy to make similar mistakes over and over again and in some places on the game levels you quickly get stuck and the only way to get out is repeating the same thing over and over again until you want to slam your controller into a wall. Luckily it’s a bit easier to play in the beginning and if you devote some time into it I suppose closely to every players can manage to make at least some progress in the game.

The scenery and the visual effects inside the game is beautifully done and the effort the developers put into it is clearly seen. In between the game levels you get to see a short comic book style animated movie on the plot and an insight to why the characters do what they do.

This is one of those games that could be really interesting to watch when they turned into movies. The fact that the game was so different makes it interesting to me and therefore it will get a 7 / 10 from me.