Little Inferno PC Video Game Review

Little_inferno_title

Tomorrow Corporation is selling gadgets world wide. Somehow a freak snowstorm smothers Earth. So they ship out “Little Inferno” and suggest people burn their stuff to stay warm. They do and then they run out of stuff. So Tomorrow Corp finds a way to let them burn things they order Tomorrow Corp and help them make money. In turn they buy more and then burn more, etc. etc.

I like this game, but it’s one of the most exceedingly weird games I’ve ever played. While it is a puzzle based game it does have its fair share of uselessness for a sandbox game. It falls along the lines of The Incredible Machine, but you set it all on fire. Regardless it doesn’t have much of a story. It seems like its going for a anti-consumerist and anti-pollution statement, but it is rather bland due to there not being enough backstory, or even a story to promote said message. You can watch the trailer and pretty much surmise that’s what they’re talking about.

You get a few characters who pop in from time to time. Who give some back story, but are mostly useless. Like one lady who turns out to be your neighbor, Sugar Plumps, but she doesn’t say much more then Hello and then asks for items. She eventually gets weirder as the story goes on, but its nothing unusual if you’ve already accepted the dreary world. Then there’s the Weatherman who is virtually useless. He gives the forecast for the weather for the next few days, but since you never go outside I don’t see the point of him at all. Sure his character could be hinting at the anti-consumerist and anti-pollution statement in the game, as mentioned before, but I’m not interested in politics when I play a game unless they are vital to the story like Metal Gear Solid.

Many of the puzzles are damn simple. It combines almost a match the objects and a reverse pictionary game, where its words instead of pictures, and you have to guess the combination of things to burn. Like in the first book in order to solve one puzzle you have to find two things to burn simultaneously that match the theme. In a way its like poetry for pyromaniacs. They’re fun, but they aren’t required in order to play the game. In all honesty the game isn’t possible to fail. So you can play it as much as you want or as little and avoid the puzzles all together. The thing that distracts from the puzzle is the disturbing nature of some of the puzzles. Some when combined you can hear whatever it is scream as its set ablaze. Or the explosion will be so bright it will wash out the screen for a bit.

The graphics and art style are probably the most notable things about the game. They are consistently dark and mulled. The crudeness of the figures are almost reminiscent of those ‘troubled kids’ you see in all horror movies. You know they draw ugly frightening bears and they come to life or something. Some would even say it’s reminiscent of Tim Burton’s art style, but his has a round features to it while this has a crude grease pencil look followed by someone’s tormented 5th grade scrap booking project. Sometimes the creatures are too damn dark and it seems that the artist forgot to use his white crayon to highlight details on the item. Other times it gives you a odd cozy feeling while still feeling mildly disturbing. Now since the things you buy to burn come to life and scream in pain while you’re burning them it just makes it that much more creepy. Its like the items want to be burned. It sounds evil in a way, but its funny/odd to observe.

I can’t recommend this to everyone, because it’s a weird puzzle game. I like these kinds of things, but it has maybe 4 hours worth of play time total. So if you can stand a mild morose atmosphere and teddy bears crying as you burn them alive then this is at least worth a try. If you can find it for $5 I’d say it’s worth it. There isn’t any replay value, but it is a fun and very creepy experience. I wish I could give it a higher rating because it is really a fun game, but it doesn’t have enough story for me to warrant it.

6.5/10

Advertisements

Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards: Reloaded PC Video Game Review

LeisureSuitLarry

WARNING: Spoilers and stuff. Things.

There isn’t a nice way to say it so here it is: Leisure Suit Larry is a schmuck. A womanizer. A skirt chaser. A manwhore. His goal for this evening is to get laid. So he scoots around town trying to find a woman. He makes a few enemies along the way and even assaults a whale. But all the excitement ends in a hot tube.

For those who weren’t born after the 90s Larry has been around for quite some time. Apparently this time he’s jumped into a time machine and went back to relive his first game. Regardless, the dork is out for you know what. Its a fun romp to live again in nostalgia-ville and listen to some jokes of yesteryear. The good thing about it is that it’s like playing a old favorite game, or even a favorite movie. The down side is that it seems like it’s missing some of the cursing and nudity. Yes, it’s kinda schmuck-ish to complain about this kind of thing, but that kinda added to the charm of the original. To use a modern day reference it would be like if Glenn Quagmire (from the Family Guy TV show) got his own videogame and he wasn’t as gross or out right disgusting. The whole appeal to Larry is that he was the underdog who you, after a while, cheered for when he has a smutty good time.

Most would morally object to this game and I understand that. However, Larry is the kind of schmuck that everything just about bites him in the ass in a hilarious way. So I would even recommend this for women who hate misogynistic men. To a certain extent it might be a weird dream for women like Anita Sarkeesian. Another cool thing about him is if he dies, which can happen a lot, you are immediately brought back to your previous position. But in all honesty it isn’t as shocking, or bad, as some of the other things that has come out through out the history of time. To say the least the controversy that’s always surrounded the Larry games is absolutely unwarranted. This game is like a wet fart during someones speech in class. It pokes at the silliness of sex while not showing any.

The graphics are great. It’s has some stale cartoonie details that aren’t animated. However it doesn’t take away from the story itself or the atmosphere. Which is another thing: the atmosphere almost gives a kinda fun vibe to it being a game about sex. Yes there are some blatant sexual themes to the artwork, but its very smoothly done so that there isn’t any nudity. Its almost done in style of a perverted cartoon shown on HBO.

Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards: Reloaded isn’t a totally forgettable experience. Its just that it is the exact same as before. The humor is the same. It’s the kinda smarmy tongue and cheek jokes that some will love and some will hate. The graphics are even more wonderfully cartoonie then before and the voice acting is still top notch. If you can find it for cheap I’d recommend picking it up if you haven’t played it already.

6.5/10

Guise of the Wolf PC Video Game Review

2424257-cover

WARNING: MILD SPOILERS

You’re start out in a random country side and your carriage gets attacked by some unknown creature. You wake up in the middle of a wintery forest area and start to look for your carriage driver. You eventually venture into the abandon castle to find out you’ve been bitten. As it turns out the Lord of the castle called upon you to create a cure for this curse that plagues the castle.

The story is so so. It slowly draws you in and will put many to sleep at the same time. It gives little to no character development and still leaves holes in the story even at the end. For a ‘horror’ based game there is very little horror to the story seeing as it’s either laughably bad or easily defeated. They did take some unique turns in making a monster story, like making potions and cures. But it ends slightly cliché, even with two different endings. Don’t get me wrong the endings are nicely done, but you’ve probably seen them before.

The graphics are terribly dated, but that’s nothing new with Indy games. Even with dated graphics many have found a way to make them artistic looking or add some different qualities to enhance their limitations. One good example is Papers, Please. It’s a very stressful take on living in a 3rd world country as a boarder security guard. The graphs are utter crap. However shading and simple design help bring the game to a very dreary vivid world. With Guise Of The Wolf it very much reminds me of Theif 2, except it lacks most things. In many areas where a shadow would be cast on someone it shows them in regular lighting. Also many of the characters appear to be BRIGHTER then the surrounding area for some reason. Then when I’d load the game again it would do a 180 and show the complete opposite of what I stated above. Another thing that stand out is that many of the characters have very very limited movement. The guards of the castle seem to have 3, a women you meet in the kitchen seems to only have 2, and the main bad guy only has 4. Now sure it would be different if they were 2d, but this is a 3d world that would probably be a few more hours of coding to be a little lusher and it drains away from the submersion aspect of video games all together. To a certain extent the graphics set back the experience all together.

The controls are wonky to say the least. They start out smooth, but it seems there are too many unfinished parts of the game. So despite how many times you smash down a button it becomes more and more difficult to wiggle out of a glitch in a piece of scenery. Many times I found myself falling through the world or I would get stuck on invisible pieces of something that would render all the controls moot. Other times I would hit a button to perform a action and it just didn’t work. Like say if I wanted to take something. It wouldn’t grasp a clearly graspable object, but when I hit the same button seconds later it would pick up that same object.

In the end this was just a bad game. It was a good attempt for a indy developer. However due to the graphics and story it would have probably been higher rated if it was released years ago and put more time into it. With dated PlayStation 1 like graphics and bland story I can’t recommend it, but can’t say you shouldn’t avoid it either. Although I will say the things that they did well, like some of the voice acting, doesn’t do enough to redeem it completely. However for the more ADD ridden gamer they’ll find themselves bored and frustrated. So if you can get it for cheap buy it. It’s worth a few hours if your really bored. Unfortunately in the end it’s easily forgettable and a mildly regrettable experience.

2.5/10

Devil’s Attorney Android/IOS Video Game Review

Background_02

You’re Max McMann, a attorney in some random city in the USA. You start out in a slum defending basic criminals. Through various trials you get to know your clients and defend their…uh…well you make a boat load of money. In doing so you get to buy upgrades for your house, your clothing, and car. In turn they give you various powers and abilities in court. They, like most RPG-ish games, help or hinder your performance in court.

This is one of the best games I’ve played on the android OS. It’s funny and the game play is addictive. It spoofs the 80s TV crime/drama kinda thing and throws in a bit of romance. However it does it in a way where it pays tribute without fully giving into the cliches. This is complimented by how it addresses cliché subject matter in the TV dramas but use different and witty dialog. The character development, while small, is still funny to see develop and establishes enough for each character without making them into a wallflower like in Silver Linings Playbook.

The puzzle/RPG aspect takes place in the court. You use basic numbering system to defeat your enemies. They start with a certain amount of life, i.e. credibility, and once you brandish them (i.e. drain their credibility to zero) you win the match. Simple right? Nope. You are set with a low health and you can hit the opponents hard and they can hit you just as hard. The odd thing is that you can play the same level multiple times find multiple ways to beat it and multiple ways to lose at it. Since the attack points system seems randomized its never guaranteed to kill you nor you kill them. That makes things interesting later in the game.

The artistry that goes into this game is something different. It has stencil style cartoons as the characters while making everything else 3d and allowing the shading to give that 80s feel. They make various caricature of famous people as the clients of Max McMann without making them too ugly. The thing that impressed me is that with all the detail it didn’t bog down the android. This is a MAJOR problem with just about any game for the Android. Either it jams or it completely slams to a screeching halt. Anyone who has played The Simpsons Tapped Out knows what I’m talking about. Also every transition from cut scene to the next stage very smoothly.

The story is a great tribute to the cheesy love stories from the 80s. The graphics are lovably cartoonie while not bogging down your android. The puzzles will make you brush up on your basic math and might send you into cellphone snapping frustration. This is a great game and if you love puzzles you should probably consider buying it. It won’t last long, get mildly repeditivie, and has ZERO replay value, but it’s a very enjoyable 8 hours.

9.0/10

South Park: Stick of Truth PS3 Review

south-park-the-stick-of-truth

The boys are out and about playing pretend and decide to role play as some sort of hybrid fantasy world. They string it through where ever they go, into Canada, and it even covers the entire town. You are the new kid in town, nicknamed Douchebag by King Wizard Cartman. For whatever reason the kids hold some random stick as some sort of ultimate power in their kingdom. Yet it’s just a stick. Anyway, some guy from the Elvin district steals the stick. King Wizard Cartman orders you to go find the stick and return it.

The story stays to the true nature of South Park’s themes. It’s wacky, it’s weird, and it has a steady pace of humor, story, and quality character development. It completely goes out of its way to make it a rich environment to explore. It also takes its time to bring in various characters. The game either brings them in as dispensable backup characters during battle or you get to interact with them in some form that references various parts of the show. Another neat fact is that some of their interactions unlock achievements or are just Easter Eggs.

The Stick of Truth is a inventive look on RPGs and adds all the comedy someone could want that is absolutely lacking in most games labeled ‘funny.’ However, it lacks what most games are about: gameplay. It isn’t so much a RPG as it is a quick time events, a mixture of point and click, and filled with weird fetch quests. Most special moves are instantly accessible. If you’re good at quick time events then any battle ends really damn fast, even boss battles. The other half of the time if you have armor that matches your level and enough food, then it doesn’t matter what weapons you do or don’t equip. I was still able to take on most battles easily on normal. Also if you wonder about like I do, just to check out the town, you’ll be swamped with Money. It’s just stupid how much you can get. Sure all this takes the grinding out of the RPG, but that isn’t a bad or good thing. In all honesty it seems like they had a idea, then completed half of it. If not, then it seems like they just need to improve it more. The new-ish RPG style is there, it just drastically needs improving.

The puzzles mostly consist of shooting things in the environment to trigger something else. Simple search and click tactics are prominent in many of them, like in the older point and click adventure games on the PC. Others consist of luck and involving your character to land on whatever it is that is most needed to carry on. All puzzles seem to be of a medium difficulty and don’t change over time. I’ve noticed that paying attention to detail will save most people a lot of time, but backtracking is required for many of the puzzles. This is the only downside to the puzzles, but they are fun due to the various character I got to interact with.

The biggest weaknesses of this game are very blatant and repetitiveness of the game. Like there are basically 3 or 4 major songs that play in the background during the whole game. If you play this game all the way through, including side quests, then it gets really boring and unfunny. One of the major songs is Cartman saying “dumb….dumb…dumb jews….nien!” Now don’t get me wrong it’s done in a creative way and offensively funny the first time you hear it, but after hearing it for the zillionth time it losses its impact. That being said every other RPG that releases a soundtrack either the songs are memorable or if you hear them throughout the game it’s somewhat welcome since it sets the mood and atmosphere for the game. It isn’t grabbing your attention with the obviously mocking lyrics.

Another issue is the continuous glitches and poor loading quality of the graphics in the game. For whatever reason the game takes forever to load from scene to scene. If they don’t take forever they jump and jitter when they finally load and if your decide to walk around. Other times it completely froze and I had to restart my game. I would be fine with that if it looked like Tomb Raider, or even Hotline Miami, but it looks like you’re playing a version of the show and, even after some 10 seasons, it still looks like they make it with Adobe Flash. My PS3 shouldn’t be failing at rendering very basic animation when it can render various other games flawlessly to a point of almost looking realistic. Good examples of this are Beyond: Two Souls and The Last of Us.

South Park: Stick of Truth is a fun romp through the town of South Park. Its bright, beautiful, and cinematically impressive cut scenes and the story is worthy of a entire mini-series within the show. However the humor, graphics, and gameplay are something to be desired. The humor goes from soft funny humor to something completely rancid within seconds. It doesn’t make the humor ‘bad’ but it is rather jarring, unlike the show where there is usually a balance. The graphics continually stall or just flat out freeze the game up completely. The game play is so simplistic that I hate to label it, but it’s best labeled as a ‘casual game.’

Despite all these blaring flaws it is still a quality product and is representative of the South Park brand of quality story telling, no holds bar comedy, and character development. If anything its a great tribute to the 15 years it’s been on TV.

7.0/10

Lucius PC Video Game Review

lucius_PC_Game

Warning some spoilers.

Lucius is about the son of Satan. He’s come back to take over the world. In order to go concur the world he, for some reason, has to kill off his family. While he’s killing off whoever the family slowly starts getting paranoid as to whos killing everyone. Some have emotional breakdowns and then the police get involved. The lead detective bumbles about and tries to piece it all together. Every once in a while Satan will drop by and give Lucius power ups.

This is one the few games I really really wanted to like. For once you play the ultimate bad guy and there are weird justifications for doing tons of gory bad things. Then you get to read his journal entries and shows the mindset of a terrible person for once. However it doesn’t do much else. The story is so frail that it doesn’t really explain why its a good idea to kill off your family, nor how he was going to go about ruling the world. Think about it. If he kills off his family he’ll be a penniless orphan and will only go on to kill other families. On top of that there is zero time for character development to make the player care about the people who are being killed and much less why they are killed.

Now murdering them all is a mixture of grotesque and unique. This portion of the game is pretty much a stealth puzzle mixture and all the combinations are interesting to figure out. Although some do die in cliché ways, although the setup is always different. This gameplay as a whole isn’t too difficult. It’s a lot like some of the older point and click games where you take everything that isn’t nailed to the floor. After that you explore the house to find the special spot to use it.

Also some of the best power ups that Satan gives you come really late in the game and you won’t be able to use them except maybe once. Like it you eventually get to wipe peoples memory after they catch you doing something bad, which would be hella useful in earlier parts of the game. But it’s only introduced after 3/ 4 ths of the game is complete and since you’ve already killed some 10+ people there are less people in the house to catch you. So it doesn’t really serve a purpose unless you really suck at stealth. Or better yet, you don’t get the ability to conjure fireballs till the second to last level. How awesome would it have been to just go around smokin mofos left and right with this ability? Well guess what? It isn’t happening.

This wasn’t a great game and it wasn’t what I hoped it would be. The graphics are OK, but not great for this generation. The voice acting is sometimes just terrible, or feels like a bad B movie. The characters are sometimes completely cliché, like the only butler in the game is British. On top of all that a lot of the story is just stupid. It basically amount to “go out and kill everyone just because!” and then it doesn’t give you a option not to kill them or give you a better explanation.

So if you do pick it up try to find it cheap. It’s a short experience and there is little replay value. Sure there are two bonus levels, but they’re hard, boring and serve no purpose. Also the story is going to be too bland for some people. Hopefully they’ll make a sequel seeing as they could easily fix things and adjust the story and game mechanics.

4.5/10

The Cave Video Game Review

the-cave-game-cheats

Format: Playstation 3

Difficulty Played: N/A

Some spoilers ahead folks!

You chose 3 of 7 characters to spelunker in a mysterious living cave. The Cave, this is the only name it identifies itself as, is the narrator of the story. It exposes all of the characters most wanted desires. Not only does he make it feasible for them to obtain their wants and desires, but it lets them choose their own path to obtain them. Along the way you’ll run into puzzles based upon moral choice and ethics.

This was made by Double Fine. They have always made strange art games. So this production isn’t any different. The reason I point this out is because I hope this review will encourage people to pick it up or at least consider it, because it does have flaws and yet is still a great piece of story telling. This is a cross between most modern moral choice games and cause and effect theories, like the Butterfly Effect. Why? Because The Cave is alive. As described in the synopses it talks to you through the whole game. The Cave even plays with your emotions some to make you wonder what’s going to happen to the characters and other people you meet along the way. It exposes the characters for what they are and lets you decide their fate. This is hard to do considering most of the people are just terrible somehow. Many of them rely on acts of murder, lying, stealing, or even arson to get what they want.

Yes. You read that right.

Various sins are major themes of half the game.

The cute fluffy exterior is completely misleading to the underline themes and subject matter. At the core of half the game it’s about revolting selfish people who are terrible that do anything to get what they want. To a certain extent it’s like looking at the 7 deadly sins playing out their greatest fantasies. The even more revolting thing is that many of them live happily after committing these various atrocities, without punishment or remorse. One instance a guy looses his mind because some woman didn’t fall in love with him so he goes across country on a killing and arson spree. Another story involves committing a small nuclear Armageddon so the character can become rich. The list goes on, and things can get much worse.

The fantastic thing about this is that the other half of the game is about redemption. Since you get to choose the characters fate then you can lead them down a better path. All the better paths are much more heart warming and rewarding compared to the counter parts. To the same extent it still shows the character(s) living happily knowing they did the right thing. Also all stories have a moral, consequences to the characters action(s), and with some it shows how the future treats them.

So why did I throw up the Double Fine disclaimer? All Double Fine productions have always had a odd sense of game play, style, and absolutely aren’t for everyone. Like with this game in order to get the full character(s) story you have to play the game upward of 4 times. Also in order to get all the achievements you have to play the game in upwards of 5 to 7 times. This drags out the puzzles you’ve already solved, ruins the jokes, and makes the game play bland.

It would be one thing if the puzzles changed each time you play the game. Some adventure games do this, but this games doesn’t. They are the exact same puzzles, jokes, everything in each extra play through. It get’s boring and repetitious. So I don’t know if it that was their intention, but it kinda reflects the telling of morals or common knowledge. The most basic ideals of understand, or of what’s right and wrong, are often repeated.

The repetition kinda hurts in a way once you hear some of the same jokes multiple times because it really is a witty game. The dark humor oozes out like a Tim Burton and Disney collaboration. However it does it with more subtly and its a little darker at times. On top of that since half the game involves murder the game does all it can to make light of those situations in very colorful ways. It has it’s own wonderful charm, atmosphere, sense of direction, and soft tone brought on by the cartoonish way things play out and are less violent/realistic then they could be.

However the game play wears on the whole experience. You’ll often find yourself dying because you jumped the wrong way or didn’t jump to the next ledge at the right time. Well you can’t actually die, but that’s kinda irrelevant consider most games if you do die you just start over and continue on. However, when the characters already run at a incredibly slow pace and the cave is IMMENSELY large then it hampers your problem solving and the pace of the game. Like you’ll have to do various back tracking to bring a item from spot A to spot B. That may not sound bad, but what if spot A was in America and spot B was in England. Somewhere in the middle you die and it starts you back at spot A. That incredibly pissed me off multiple times.

You could be at the last little bit of whatever puzzle and after you solve it you can move on to the next room. However if you die you could delay yourself by minutes just by all the backtracking. If that doesn’t piss you off enough the item you have, since your characters can only carry one item at a time for some reason, might not even work at the sight of the puzzle. So you’ll be running back and forth between point A and point B a lot!

Sure the difficulty of the puzzles eventually results to basically thinking of whats around you and you can figure it out once you put things together. That’s easy but with the first few times you enter a cave’s section(s) you can easily get confused and lose tract of where everything is. So you could be walking in the completely wrong direction for 2+ minutes and not even know it until you reach a dead end, which this game has a lot of for some reason. After a while even The Cave (the narrator) will give you some hints in the way he talks in order to help you out. It won’t lead to many of the achievements, but it will help you progress with the stories at hand.

Another thing about the game play that I thought was odd, or maybe irritating, is that you’ll learn eventually that all the characters have a singular special power. To me that is just damn neat. Unfortunately throughout most of the game the powers are useless until you come to certain character specific location. Sure they’re fun to use, but ultimately useless 90% of the time and don’t add anything to the game play. To me this is odd since every other game out there if a character has a special ability then they can use it whenever and it successfully interacts with the area around them. The only reason I can guess that this was undeveloped was that is because Double Fine‘s style of game play has always relied off you to use your brain more, and the area surrounding your character, then the powers of a character. Like in Psychonauts (9.0/10, by the way) your special ability are mostly only used during combat. Regardless I think they could have expanded upon it a little more.

The graphics are ascetically beautiful. Some parts of the cave is alike a ever changing canvas and you’re characters are changing it. I know this is a simple game, but the amount of detail put into simple areas of the cave is nothing short of wonderful. For example: you can play as a monk and when you start to climb a mountain it starts to rain and the wind blows. This gives a wonderful distant exploration feeling to climbing the mountain and makes you feel really damn small. These are small details that enhance really mundane tasks. Even with something as odd as running across one of the roof tops of London, England the meshed green and black hues of the background add a dreary sense of unforeseen terror. Heck, there are even funny bits that add to the tremendous style of the game. Like there’s one spot where two fossilized dinosaurs can be seen in the cave walls having tea. I know many of them are cartoonish, but adds character to The Cave (the narrator) and the actual surroundings of the cave itself.

In turn the glitches are few and far between. Unfortunately the few that are there are completely game breaking. One instance I was the adventurer lady on some Ferris Wheel and when it made a full loop she went into a falling animation loop, but she was in the middle of the ferris wheel’s cart. I couldn’t move her out and she would only spin left and right. Regardless it was one of the few times I had to restart the game in order to complete the area. Another the camera didn’t move with the character so it got stuck to one section of the cave ans since I couldn’t see what I was doing I had to restart the game. The rest I’ve actually forgot, but they are super rare to run into so I wouldn’t worry about them. Also they are mostly self fixing considering you can just restart the game and the characters will be at a different location and behave normal from then on.

All in all I love this game, but it absolutely isn’t for everyone. It is a great throw back to the old point and click adventure game genera. The atmosphere, lighting, sound, and character development is supreme. The major pain for many will be getting the full story of the characters. As stated before in order to get the whole story you have to replay the game multiple times in order to unlock all of the story segments. This isn’t as bad for those who’ve already fell in love with the weird charm of the game, like me, or simply love adventure games. However, it will be a trying task for many others due to the slow pace and large level design.

At this point it’s totally worth the $15 bucks if you love good story telling and a ominous narrator playing with you, but the game play will wear on you if you’re not ready for it or use to the adventure genera. So you might need to break up your game play in order to fully enjoy the experience, because this really is a experience you will enjoy.

7.5/10

72/100 – Metacritic – Critic Score

8.2/10 – Metacritic – User Score

BUY AT:

Steam (PC/Mac/Linux)– $14.99

Amazon (PC/Mac) – $14.99

Playstation 3 Store – $14.99

Xbox 360 Store – 1,200 MSP