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Thursday 14 May 2020

Left 4 Dead 2 – A Good Sequel Team Based Zombie Basic Shooter

Back when Zombies craze spawned across many media in mid 2000’s like movies and video game. Left 4 Dead is considerably as the starter pack for PC gamer who love shooting zombies with team-mates where the story-line consist of four survivors who must to travel across the city to get safe zone in order to save themselves by facing horde of zombies in abandoned city.

Unlike the first installment, L4D 2 is the major improvement than the first game which has better combat element and environment even though the game play is still the same which players need to be the one who shoot the most of zombies and surviving to the end of level, either playing it co-op with friends or accompanied by AI. 

The game has four different distinct characters and the back story that is not the really important to follow since all of them has same goals and need to co-operate to finish the level. It has 5 different levels that separated by three or more sub-levels with unique and different background. The satisfying thing playing Left 4 Dead even though just basic shooter game it’s that zombie game that has no any additional gimmick such skill progression or weapon upgrade to buy. Just grab the weapon and shoot the different type of zombie where they has no exact and same spot in every game session, its randomly generated and has surprise element that becomes the game major attraction.

L4D 2 is not easy game and hard to predict on how enemies spawn and swarm, players need to be careful in some spot because some zombies are deadly and hard to deal. Health kit is scarce and need to use carefully so it adds the intensity of game play besides using weapons wisely because ammo are randomly found in areas. The additional improvement in weapon resides on how melee combat is presented. Various melee weapons are really good to go to sweep entire zombie swarm with satisfying sound effect. 

I think the minor problem playing L4D 2 is how stage or story progression can be played randomly which is players can jump into final chapters or playing from the start. So, I played from the first chapter and continue the progression in each chapter break. So, the campaign mode is not really campaign because every level is already unlocked. Some level are too easy to play and the next one is ridiculously hard when I play with AI bots and use Hard as difficulty setting. 

Finally, As I left my L4D 2 impression is this game will be instant modern-classic zombie team-based shooter game to pick when you want to play basic zombie shooter without any investment into complex story and game play. Just pick any level, character, and weapon to start slaying with your local friend or AI bots. Its fun for the whole family. 

Rating : 8/10 
Finished : 05/05/20 
Difficulty : Hard 
Written : 14/05/20

Friday 1 May 2020

Review : The Talos Principle – Philosophical Puzzle for Brain Grilling

There is a certain stage when media becomes self aware and meta with philosophy object as the main theme. And video games is one of prominent medium to present the ideas that is exact type because its interactivity. There are a lot of video games that has been reached and poked into serious theme such philosophy and meta ideas about the existentialism itself within the world. Talos Principle is a puzzle game that deals with such heavy idea that merged with the questioning of the existence of player who act as a robot who woke in the virtual world where it needs to discover the reality of being one of sons Elohim, a god who becomes the guide to explore the world. 

The premise idea of game in simple term is about discovery of the world which consist of nature area with popular landmark such Egypt. The graphic is the realistic as possible and use of photo realistic as art direction. Too bad if players expect for a game that has fast paced with a lot action, Talos Principle is the wrong game to try. It’s a game that has ton of puzzles to solve in each area where the result is unlocking notes to find from a single computer that contains seem random message and philosophy teaching. If you aren’t interested with heavy philosophy, don’t bother to read the note and just play it as puzzle game. Each puzzle has different approach and there are 5 tools to use to help breaking the puzzle. 

The puzzle itself is somewhat easy and difficult at the same time. Sometimes, I can break the puzzle in the first try and other becomes so much frustrated about finding the right method to solve. It’s the game that requires patience, precision and persistence to progress. I don’t have to be feel embarrassed to cheat in some levels because sometimes the game itself don’t show any tutorial for new tool and another reason some level really needs exact precision and angle to get things works. So its not so worth time to spend my time one hour to do trial and error. Basically in each puzzle, its only need more than one minute to solve but strangely if you have any idea to do and try to grill your brain, you will spend more times to solve the puzzle. So except you are the maker of the game or having 4d brain. You will easily to finish the game but for us who just want to have casual puzzle gaming experience, just count on Youtube tutorials. 

Talos Principle is not that bad game for a puzzle game, its decent puzzle game to try for the lore and the story that has not so much interactivity except reading notes, answering bots question and listening Elohim speaks about world. There is no combat, stats progression, or anything that deals with typical action games even though this game used First person of view (3rd person of view is optional). Its just running into a new area of puzzle, solving the puzzle, get the reward as a sigil that is Tetris where later used to unlock new phase of area by playing more puzzle but with your Tetris sigil. 

As my closing paragraph, I would like to talk about the game idea about existentialism that its offered and taught toward the player. Its philosophy lesson for you but don’t expect to understand anything here because sometimes its confusing to think about and its really bad idea while you try to solve these confusing puzzles. It will become your brain griller instead being brain evoker for new idea. P.s: I bought the DLC as expansion game, not really interested to play since its just more puzzles but more advanced and complex to solve. The story itself is same as the setting, its about Elohims robot angel to discover place called Gehenna. Too bad nothing to explore in Gehenna except same area and environment design. 

Finished : 27 April 2020
Rating : 7/10
Difficulty : Hard
Written :: 1 May 2020

Review : The Witcher - An Opener for Skeptical Fantasy Medieval Western RPG Game

When it comes about western medieval RPG game with fantasy setting, I am very skeptical about enjoying the game since it’s usually about a warrior slashing sword in order to save the princess or war against landlord and also epic monsters like dragon. So, The Witcher is kind big deal when it’s considered as one of the greatest franchise that pc gamers need to try. I am attempted to taste the game play since it has trilogy games, I decided to try the first one to give a shot. Besides its “old” game with decent graphic and it has cheapest price to get in pc gaming platform. 

The Witcher is adventure rpg games with isometric camera that I used to dislike since the sword play is so janky and its really hard to focus combatting in the field camera view. So at first I played the game left me impression the game is really hard to master and there is a confusing quest in the earlier game about crafting potion that made me quit since the catch of playing fantasy medieval game that players need to remember the mumbo jumbo of confusing magical spell and items name. 

Fast forward when I almost finished my entire installed backlog games, The Witcher is one of left so I tried to replayed and understand the game of mechanic. Looked up into Youtube tutorials for confusing quest and then I’ve unlocked my disinterest for the game where later the game consisting of doing interesting quest with interesting dialogue and character writing which I really like the main character in order to hunt and avenge his clan which destroyed by underground criminal. 

The interesting aspect from the game that amazes me on how the game shows how the dialogue has “modern” touch which is basically each characters speaks like current modern world. Its easy to change the background setting into modern setting since as Geralt Rivia, you act like private bounty hunter with superpower mutant skill that has personal vendetta against mafia where there is clash and conspiracy in the government using secret super weapon. So the game revolves around doing quest to progress storyline, hunting monsters, and having negotiations with many NPC’s. And another plus side which made me giggle on how the main character can be a womanizer and seduce any woman to bang. Its one game that you can romance any woman. Its not obligatory quest to do but players will gave a fan service in each unlocking and defeating woman in bed, players get the woman artwork as a card. Lol. 

Back into combat section in the game, as Geralt you just use sword and magic skills that help during the battle. There is no projectile weapons and animal to use for transportation like horse which is really odd since the most portion of games are backtracking instead defeating enemies, the good side is players can find any plants to collect in order to mix them in each resting place that used mostly as cure and enhancing combat, so no potion buying here but instead players can buy foods, jewelry, and useless junk that nothing to add the gameplay combat but instead used as side quest item which mostly used as negotiation tools. 

The Witcher may be one of game that everyone is not something to enjoy too much. It has chapter breaks without counting into being open world type of game where as each chapter there is only particular area available to explore as the story progress which the next chapter players just being moved into new area. I expected the game has bigger world to explore but its not something being a problem here because having cramped world with things to get is better than open world without nothing interesting. 

As the aftermath after playing games in two week in finish (two days playing consecutively), I like the game for the storyline and character dialogue which mostly in many games I skipped, it has little bit touch of humour and wit that only adults understand. Geralt may be stiff and look boring but the world around him seems lively and the conversation is really enjoyable. And didn’t I forget to mention this game is western RPG with fantasy medieval setting, if you want to unlock your skeptical about the genre. Try The Witcher, if you like and dig it. You may open your mind to play another warrior with sword game. 

Rating : 9/10 
Difficulty : Medium
Finished : 09 April 2019
Written : 30 April 2019

Tuesday 28 April 2020

Review : Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter - Is Not that Serious

First person genre which makes PC gamers as the pinnacle of its niche and designed to play on the platform, there are some historical and iconic FPS game franchises from the dawn of gaming such as Doom that gave the influences of modern FPS gaming today. And there is Serious Sam that spawned in the early 2000s and is regarded as the best fps game of its time. We can thank the effort of the game developer for bringing the game into a new generation with the latest technology such as tweaking and remastering the game so it can be playable today. 

So Serious Sam The First Encounter HD is my next pick for digging some “old but gold” PC games that need to look up to, the result is not far disappointing. Its extremely fun and hard in same time where the game play is not so complex to comprehend since you are literally is being placed in an area where you can shoot hordes of freak mutant alien in order to hunt some artifacts in the desert of Egypt which the levels consist of vast yard of Pyramid and inside ancient building. 

The game has a humble start where the player is given a simple handgun and the job is simple, go run forward when a bunch of enemies from any sides attack you and don’t give you a space to breath. Its fast paced shooter and there is no mercy, never make enemy close to you or the will f** you up to death. Its long journey of level design with a simplistic route and puzzle to figure. More weapons will be added in the next level and the more players progress, they need to think not to waste the bullets and use specific guns to crush any enemy. 

Despite the fact this game is remastered version, the visual is pretty pleasing with graphic of the environment with ancient Egypt as the only setting, it's like visiting the virtual reality world of Egypt and having a tour there, it has a blend of old 3d model with new hyper-realistic background. You can find the audio design is dated but not making the game less fun. Don’t expect any serious dialogue here instead campy voice acting or head-aching plot to grasp. 

This game is something I agree when it's regarded for the best fps game of its time when the time was about just go and wield your gun and find a way to complete the level either you have challenge your strategic agility shooting skill or just my luck find you whenever you try to escape enemy and go to end level, also saving games constantly is obligatory. 

Rating : 8/10
Difficulty : Normal 
Finished : 27/03/20 
Written : 07/04/20

Reviews : The Bureau XCOM Declassified – A Simple Perfection of Tactical Real Time Strategy Third Person Shooter

X-Com franchise is not something I am familiar with, my first impression for the franchise is that game where you shoot against aliens with real time turn based strategy game play. The franchise has the biggest fan base and the newest game has good reception among the fans but not for me since I don’t have any idea catching up with the franchise appeal. So, I look forward and fond of games with 60s setting and The Bureau: XCOM Declassified caught my attention and decided to try to play the game. 

The basic premise is simply about alien invasion scattered around the U.S.A and as agent Carter, a detective who has military skill and gloomy past must involve himself with the bureau of secret government organization that deals with advanced tech from space. And then the game revolves around tracking and investigating some places in the U.S.A where each place is kind of a hallway where the game progress needs to advance by dealing various alien enemies in each phase which is divided into walking simulators as the story reveals into bigger threats. 

I think I can give my appreciation on how the third person shooter element mixed with real time strategy which the option is not only shooting enemies, players need to cooperate with two AI teammates with different classes that can be assigned in the first game that has a leveling system. The shooting scene is more interesting by trying some skills to defeat certain enemy by using special ability that regenerates itself but need to be more cautious and attention when its used in the right time and particular enemy. It’s a game that is hard to deal first but more easier later when players discover how things work. 

Actually I don’t expect the game to become more exciting to play since my expectation is the background and setting that is my attraction toward the game not the game play when I decide to try. The story is kind of a placement holder and since its prequel for the later installment, new players like me will get the idea on how to understand the lore of X-Com franchise. It's not complex to grasp and the character dialogue is not filled too much with mumbo jumbo of science stuff. It's basically you are about the discovery about the invasion and how the main character has the biggest role in the game setting. One thing I am taking note from the game on how dialogue has branching of choice but in the end has the same aftermath. 

One last thing I need to add, the game has a leveling and upgrade system but not too focused on collecting stuff to trade, literally in each level is easy to find some ammo and that’s it. And there are some items to discover to reveal the additional plot like audio recording from the survivors which break the immersion but its minor because in the emergency time, people on the past have little time to record their voice *wink* to Bioshock. 

Rating : 9/10
Difficulty : Normal
Finished : 25 March 2020 
Written : 7 April 2020

Review : Crysis - Finally My PC Can Run Crysis

There were the most popular PC games for the mid 2000s that the Internet made for meme material especially among the gamers. Crysis is one of them with the phrase “Can it run Crysis?” for every single PC gaming existed as the standard for high-end PC gaming at the time. Can it run nowadays? Of course we can if there is a graphic card attached on the pc with an amount of capable ram and good processor because as the most stunning video game graphic that ever existed and most demanding hardware ever. Nowadays so called PC gaming is barely able to run and play the game.

Crysis is the first person shooter game that is remembered for the graphic but how about the game play? Is it fun or is it good? For a game which has a setting in the real world that simulates the real environment with another military theme shooter where a special ops U.S army is assigned in tropica island facing the North Korean army to investigate mysterious alien phenomena. This special army as the main character has a power suit that adds the gameplay element as the gimmick where players have the ability to use super strength, super speed and super armor and also super cloak to help balance the game play. 

The game has open world-like world design with the stunning graphic which the level design consists of a tropical island as the beginning where the majority to progress the game is just going from point A to B and occasionally need to wipe clean an enemy. I think the most lack luster of this kind of gameplay is players don’t even bother to fight against all enemies, just run across passing by the enemy using the ability as long as they don't alert them and you get the objective and auto-save with finishing the chapter. There is a small part the game becomes shooting gallery like airborne chapter and later becomes more frustrating in one certain level that has nothing to do with shooting, mild spoiler its involved with alien stuff and personally it's one of worst level design ever. 

The story and characters are typical U.S saves the day trope, nothing really special since the game needs the player to follow orders to complete the objective but still have freedom to enjoy the game taking a different approach like going full shooting or becoming stealthy. Weapons do not lack luster and instead bullets are not really hard to find since the game is only full of typical fps without any additional elements like rpg or strategy. And one thing about the weapon system that it has a pre-built setting on customization of weapons like attachable items like scope, dampener and flashlight. 

As the closing the review, this game reminds me of playing Far Cry 1 where the plot is the same and probably is the tamer version of gameplay because it has additional gimmick like weapon and armor system. And turns out the developer is the same one who worked the installment. So if you enjoy the more challenging version of Far Cry 1 with the great graphic that made my 1060gtx stutter in the gameplay, try Crysis and then question everything Can IT Run Crysis?

Rating : 7/10
Difficulty : Normal
Written : 19 March 2020
Finished : 19 March 2020

Crysis 19/3/20 = 7/10

Review : Just Cause 2 - Action B-Movie meets Open World Game set in Malaya

There are too many ambitious open world action games already on the market that sub-par with the formula of typical one big city or island where usually consist of action movie elements such shooter and driving around as the player doing mission for people or group in order to progress the story line. Just Cause 2 exists and gives a new look about open world game that has anything to offer new touch in its uniqueness such playing as playing field US Agent who explore the vastness of Panau Island that is probably one of the biggest map ever made in video game ever made.

Players can do any mission with three different political faction that is already done with many open world games where the main character doing the work for them by attacking government official and building, fetching the item, and shoot the military bases by using any limited weapon. It’s a 3rd person shooter game where players use can us his grapple ability to transport anywhere faster and also various transportation to get the place they want to visit by buying any vehicles or hijack them from the residents of Panau. 

The game consist of main mission where players need to overthrow the regime of Panau Island by investigating what is the plan of new president will do that threaten the world and in order to progress the story, the chaos blank need to be filled in order unlocking new mission which means players need to do blowing any government building across the island to make chaos, and that is the interesting part of the game. There are various missions from three different faction of group who are bad people, and we play as questionably bad person here. There are native gang groups, criminal warlord, and revolutionary person who want to take control of the island and their mission are mostly consist of being a person who need to explode things, assassinate military officials, and steal their properties. Its just GTA-type game but here we fight against government militaries instead criminal gangs. 

Playing Just Cause 2 is like watching late midnight action B-movie where at some points feel like doing a chore and you don’t need to take attention to the story and enjoy certain parts that are interesting to look. The characters are hilariously “bad” and too caricatural which means something you can find any cheesy action movies, but this time you face against Micronesian government which I rarely found where it has kind of local touch with the Malayan setting and language. 

I think what I really like from the game is the setting instead of story, driving around in the tropical island with various location such cities or village and also nature such mountains and jungle to explore is the enjoyment because there are comfiness to look around the scenery. It has biggest map to explore but its not cramped type of map so expect long travel journey to takes more time than actual finishing the mission. 

Just Cause 2 gives new experience playing open world game, its probably one game you look up not for the story but something rather doing chaos by blowing anything you want and fill up the chaos bar, doing the mission are same like other open world games, and expect you are here is not superhero for a day, instead an asshole who is actually no need to do bad things for bad people to throw the regime of government. 

Rating : 7/10
Difficulty : Normal
Finished 16 March 2019 
Written 15 March 2019

Review : Saints Row 4 - A Great Direction of Franchise that break its Monotony

Open world with criminal theme has the major connection on how to be memorable franchise of decade. There is GTA franchise as the main success of formula of being criminal who can do anything we want in fictional open-world city as setting, and there Saints Row that every one look up as the knock off GTA where since the first installment the theme focus on criminal and gangster culture that is probably remembered as GTA San Andreas long lost friend. 

Oddly, I played the game with random pick with the third as my first introductory for the franchise that makes me really like the game direction with more humoristic approach and silly tone but still it has the gangster elements like taking over the entire map of Steel Port City which the premise just doing mission to defeat three different gang just like the second installment but with here I don’t play as unbearable main character a—hole attitude and surreallism the stereotypical gangsta crime depiction that makes a borderline with unrealistic physic and edgy story-line in previous installment.

So Saints Row 4 is my third pick to continue the story that has new things to explore like that has non-sense storyline about the world is blow by Aliens, and Saints Row gang who becomes a presidential and government force now instead gangster group becomes the survivor and they need to take down the invasion through simulation program on the space to defeat Zinyak, an alien overlord who just want to play along the characters. It just like the game creator probably don’t know what to do next about crime open world they used to make and then experiment things with zany and ridiculous theme that has nothing to do with previous installment and yet the game itself has self-awareness on how the storyline make connection with previous game and try to settle things what made the main character relate with the support characters which still the gameplay element is not far from typical open world mission element but there are bunch of addition that makes the game great such as kind of leveling system and super power to upgrade in order to defeat enemies, its combination of shooter but the main character are basically has super power such firing elemental attack, telekinesis and force field to stomp any enemy. It also enable to do travel faster around the city by having super speed sprinters and higher jump to fly around. It defies the physic of the game which I consider its really fits and what Saints Row no need to be more realistic game. 

What I really love from the game that they don’t have to serious with its missions that has references to many video games as the variation to break the rules of open world mission cliché. There are things to do involving with blowing the entire city as side mission that just like typical Saints Row side-mission. Guns are necessary with two different side like using real guns or alien guns which is additional for the gameplay. Say goodbye to use vehicle because its not car-jacking game anymore and its not necessary to travel across the map using car since super power is the saving grace to save times from the exploration. 

There many critics and hate from the fans who think that the game went too far from its root and the truth that the open world games has reach its peak with same boring formula, the Saints Row 4 exist as refreshment for the mundane stuff you can find for many open world games that was phenomenal with big open world and things to explore and yet people aren’t impressed anymore with the open world because what really matters are the fun game play and new ideas to dig for breaking the monotony which open world are already over-saturated games. 

Rating : 9/10
Difficulty : Normal
Finished 16 March 2019 
Written 15 March 2019

Review : Remember Me - That Nobody Remember Me?

What if everyone have a chance to trade their memory in order to gain personal or company profit in the near future, and there are contrarian who oppose the idea and want to eradicate the memory corporatism by becoming errorist that manipulate someone memory. That’s the premise about Remember Me, an interesting concept for a story background to explore with modern beat em up as the main game play. Play as Nilin, an errorist who are commanded by mysterious figure who want to stop the corporate tyranny of memory manipulation which lead and connect for her past connection.

Remember Me has stunning visual with the neo Paris scenery and building where the majority of game play consist of easy platforming from the city into building indoor as the game story progress that makes the game lost its identity and interesting point. Nilin as the main character who have martial art ability have to fight bunch of robot, soldiers and memory zombies with simplified quick time event button which players need to push the button precisely with predetermined five combo that seems repetitive but still great to have abilities which players need to concentrate between beating the enemy and avoid their attack at once. 

The game is not only about beating em up session only, it has chapter break session where player use Nilin ability to manipulate her target memory, players need to see the dialogue and rewind the story to change the way story progress by manipulating object. Its interesting at first but becomes too boring and time consuming to do. There are also some mini puzzles to figure and its not too hard to solve beside in some part, players will face some boss who are too trivial to beat, but its not wrecking the enjoyment of game since its not really hard to finish because the only thing players need to do is having great combo combination, reflex to avoid enemy and know what ability to defeat certain enemy. 

Story-wise its easy to follow with its chapter break, there are not so many complex twist to follow and personally I think the open world and outdoor building as the background has the potential to make this game looks more stunning and too bad the more I play, the setting becomes more grounded and limited setting. The visual itself its really stunning, I love taking the screen shoot of Neo Paris buildings while doing plat forming, the camera movement know how to pick good angle for the setting. The music score is describing the memory corruption by manipulation by giving the glitches music here and there, the dialogue and voice acting is not so bad but also not so good. 

Concussively, Remember Me has the title that leaves the impression for people who thought this is kind of drama wise or heavy story of video game at first, but its actually decent beat em up games with its potential with the theme and world building, it leaves a sour but still great feeling for one shot game to pick and finish at once. 

Rating : 7/10
Difficulty : Normal
Finished 1 March 2020 
Written 16 March 2020

Tuesday 11 February 2020

Review : Saints Row 2 - Another Fun Mindless Open World Games for HD Generation

To think about Saints Row franchise, gamers will remind themselves the game as knock of GTA franchise. The elements of open-world with violence crime as the major plot where the seconds installment of Saints Row relies on gangsta culture that foreshadows GTA San Andreas as its competitor. Some think that Saints Row 2 is long lost brother of GTA SA sequel with better HD graphic and ton of open world elements that involves major crimes that attract raging hormones teenagers as the player base. 

Saints Row 2 is the second game I've played after the third installment that I have finished and left me major impression that the second perhaps has the most enjoyable gameplay while some glitches happen here and there, sometimes the glitch helped players the difficulty becomes more easier such enemies dont react when getting reached or lack of spawned NPC around the city. And there goes the storyline and characters which are so annoying, try-hard, straight a-hole while playing as literal unstoppable force main character as Saint Row gang leader to take over three faction of criminal gangsters around the city as main mission while to progress players need to play some mini-games to fulfill the requirements of mission based on "respects" level where mostly involves around city crimes that garners a lot of cash to spend on stuffs like buying house, weapon, clothes, and cars. 

The game based on fictional city and considering the game perhaps is not really exist and has no place on real world, it tries to convince you to think you are in U.S.A where there are some walking sterotypical ethnicities as your major enemy is not really believable. Its so other-worldly. I think what is another aspect I really enjoy the most it has radio stations that probably if you live around mid 00s, there are some popular pop-punk songs that is not really fitting with the game itself, there are other typical open-wold radio station that feel wholesome with many genre to enjoy while roaming the city. 

One thing I notice how the physics is not strong point in the game realism but somehow the presentation of story violence tends to be gritty and edgy while these things may bothered politically correctness which this game was kind of product of its time where mindless violence is kind of selling points for open-world video game around the time, its also the game featured a big university as one of its background which kind of like a game for "bro culture". Its not offending me but to think that the game has weakest point in story and characters, you may play as the another open world crime game where noting is important happen except you are playing greedy bastard who seek after money and power from other gang, they dont accept your action and kill your homies, and then you just mad and doing revenge. The end. 

Rating : 7/10 
Difficulty : Normal
Written : 11 February 2020
Finished : 9 February 

Monday 20 January 2020

Review : Her Story - A Detective Video Telling Game

There were questionable choice back when I was pumped to collect more video game back log on my Steam account, my mark set towards some “good indie” and affordable cheap game first before piling up into AAA games title. And About Her was my pick when I read this game was won from many awards. Ofcourse my pet peeve when picking title I don’t watch the gameplay for not spoling the fun. Just see the store page, it has 90% off and then bought the game while I almost forgot the existence.

So playing Her Story is not like demanding effort to do, all the gameplay offer you just have this simulated old crt monitor computer, there are bunch of one minute interrogation videos that shows a suspected women that becomes the objective to finish the game because she is accused as murderer her husband while she denied the accusation and stated that he lost him.

So the focus gameplay is watching and listening anything she said and then if player where we play as detective investigator finding new word about people and location, type on search bar and there are new videos to see. Pretty neat idea but the game just revolves around watching the entire video that takes couple of hours to solve the mystery of case. Its one game that no need particular focus on anything picking any button, there is no challenging to do. Its basically video game movie. Did I mention that this game is kind of revival FMV genre? It is where video games use real life footage to set the setting and framework. 

There are multiple reasons maybe this game has won over AAA titles in best dialogue but I think the most particular one that this game has the writing as the movie that there are multiple award for its kind of genre particularly indie genre. And that’s all to sum up the game summary. 

My impression after finishing the game that after two session of sitting, it’s a decent game for people who just enjoy the narrative without working on the understanding how the game works. A pen and paper is necessary but if you are good catching any clue in each words in each video, its easy peasy game with little element surprise till the end if you figure what is this game about. 

Rating 5/10 
Written : 19 Januari 2020 
Finished : 19 Januari 2019

Review : AER Memories of Old - Yawnfest Cubism Indie Adventure Game

Somewhere in the dev office when this game idea was pitched : Yo dude, how about we make a game about fantasy world without even trying to mesh the game character in 3D with open-world illusion and leave it with polygon shape as art direction style to make a difference than similar game, add elementary school puzzle tier with long backtracking plus make our main character can travel around the world by shape-shifting into a bird while the music consist of sleepy ambient and half-baked chillwave music being played randomly, meanwhile we dont really have too much assets for many characters and care enough about the world building story by putting the main character should save the world because her ancestor did something wrong. Also, dont put any combat, score, item collecting. And make our game as walking and flying simulator. 

And that is shortest summary of the game I played that consumes 3 hours for a game that you can play before sleep to experience the greatness of yawning I have got from this game. A potential great indie game but ruined with just simple walking and flying simulator in fantasy world that reminds me of 3D Legend of Zelda game where main objective to finish all floating island in the sky that is pretty cool concept but there are not many things to do after reaching the island except solving the basic puzzle to reveal the plotline about how dark creature will take over the world except main character visiting all the shrine and got the power. The lame thing about getting the power that there is no power at all to use in combat because there is no enemy to face except in the cut scene for each completing puzzle. 

I think it’s not fair though to judge an indie game having combat element and its become full player exploration experience, but the thing game don’t give too much instruction what to do or simple quest tracker is pretty off. There countable NPC in your base that gives the clue what to visit but considering this game is meant to play as chilling session, I end up wandering back and forth and almost made me quit. 

Note : I got this game for free years back on Steam

Rating : 5/10 
Difficulty : Elementary school tier level
Finished : 22 December 2019 
Written : 20 January 2020

Sunday 19 January 2020

Review : Street of Rage 1 - A Start-up for Classic Beat em Up

Street of Rage is the one old-school beat em up you may not miss even though its the weakest the franchise when it comes in minimalistic game play mechanic and the game was the early of selling product in Sega Genesis console which there were many beat em ups spawned in home console era. I was the one who saw how this game popular around my neighborhood back in mid 90s, back in the day there is no save button and how one game made people to keep playing without finishing the final boss because the difficulty of game itself its ridiculously hard and difficult. 

I re-played and bought the game in Sega Mega Drive collection on my PC, considering Sega gives their player base with emulation version, the emulation version is the saving grace how I can finally played and finished the game till the end. In the emulation version, save state and re-wind button is my savior to beat the game with many trials and error.

The story is simply about three fighter that player can choose with different basic stats where there are 8 levels to beat in facing thugs and bosses that took over the city. The control has three only button, remember when I mention this  installment is the weakest and probably worst version, its because you can only jump, attack and doing special move (where you call a car that shoot missile in the area) once without any dodging button or slide away from attacking enemy instantly, 

The control is really stiff and literally you are controlling a tank here, dodging enemy is kind of impossible and enemy always find the spot how to punch you mercilessly, even the boss consume half of your life bar once they touch you. Glad there is rewind button in this version so the game becomes a turn-based strategy for me instead beat em up. Literally, players need to know what timing to punch or attack first before enemies attacking you from any direction.  

There are some pick ups such health and weapon like throw-able knife or pipe that damage twice as your punch, doing aerial attack is stronger attack than punching any enemies who can counter by grappling you instantly. There are also some money to collect that adding your score which in certain point give you a life bonus and that is a crucial to keep yourself from dying in the stage because each boss in any stage literally can insta-kill players with their own move, some are really difficult to counter and some are easy to beat if players how to pick a spot in the area.

One thing I observe in each level, the more you progress you are basically facing with same enemies but with different color, the enemies are basically have double and triple life for the next level, but if you know handle each of their own it would not be a problem.  

I think the music is the most awesome thing to listen, its techno music that surpasses the possibility of the console. Also, the music is considered for something that is ahead of its time. And that makes me adding one points for this game. I always coming back to listen the original soundtrack on Youtube because personally I think its one of electronic music that covers in video game that has been made particularly.

So, if you like playing really difficult old-school beat em up game while adoring the music, Street of Rage is what you can get. As for my recommendation, play with emulation and use rewind and save state as many as possible, its not cheating because the game cheats with you. 

Side Note : Played as Adam and finished the game in one sitting (1 hours) with frustrating trial and error beating each boss.

Rating : 7/10
Difficulty : Normal (with Rewind feature)
Finished : 19 Januari 2020
Written : 19 Januari 2020

Saturday 11 January 2020

Review : SimCity 4 Revisited - The GOAT of City Builder on PC

Sim City 4 is probably the greatest city building simulator game I ever played. Its a game in the early era of decent 3D visual that spawned in 2000 where some games are bit out-dated and hard to run in newer system, this game runs well with some bugs that for me as saving grace to stop me keep playing. Its a game when you understand how things work, you probably can't stop zoning and micro managing the dream city you want. 

There is no ending for this kind of simulation game and there are some maps to work with based on biggest cities but players can create their own map with terraforming's feature, there are many mods to try to fix the game that is for me leaving the challenge making a balance and well-made financially the city. Literally things that players have to do make balance zoning between housing, office and factories that needs to be carefully taken to maximize the profit through the tax players get during the game. The challenging part when it comes the city starts growing and needs public services like education, security and health building that consumes the expenses. Transportation is crucial important to grow the wealthy residents where in game visual show as the building looks clean and pleasing to see. 

In age of tap to win games in order finish the building process and DLC, this game is pure perfection with its bug that sometimes occur whenever you start outsmart the financial system and become the richest mayor. And there is no auto-save feature discovered yet, so playing this game needs to save often whenever you are done zoning or city starts growing become more complex. 

I think the easiest trick to play this game is making zones based on each city where there are multiple lands to pick, one particular need to be build the industry, and besides the city the residential where office is really hard to build in big scale since it needs proper public service available to boost the demand. Demand is the key factor to know what games to progress winning the game. 

As my personal note, for me Sim City is kind of my dream game back when in elementary school I like drawing buildings of city map in my notebook and there is a neighbor Playstation 1 video game rental had a game called Sim City 2000. Its the moment there was a game built for me. Of course since its on console, the game apparently existed since the dawn of early computer video game. And yeah, computer was expensive in the late 90s so I just found the pc version on high-school. 

Rating 9/10 
Written in 10 January 2020

Friday 10 January 2020

Review : Metro: Last Light - A Better Sequel for Post Nuclear Russia Game

After finishing Fallout 3, I am interested to play games with post-apocalyptic nuclear blast theme. And my attention for my next playlist for the genre is Metro franchise. I finished the first installment and got mediocre opinion about the game and not expecting too much considering and comparing this game as par Fallout which probably have similarity theme fallout and its fps type game, the core storyline is different while the game play is linear not dont have RPG element.

Metro Last Light is kind of example how a sequel game improved slightly in the game play that hooked me to keep playing with its interesting new story line about what's left from first installment where this game is based on the novel which there is too many thing to explore about the lore. Its basically Russian people who lived underground in the metro bunker-like where they have to survive from mutants, bandit and militia faction. And our character is just simply got involved for the politic while the bigger threat resides outside their residence.

The game is simply fps with little bit upgrading the weapon by bartering ammo, surviving out-world with gas mask with limited time, walking simulator for each chapter break while enjoying the atmosphere that is probably a nightmare for claustrophobic. And its wrapped in the linear story-telling that is the world building is the key factor why player bother with the story line.

Even though I expected this game as RPG game. I like with its simple fps game trope, the combat is challenging and unexpectedly fun where the game difficult setting can be choose as stealth game or just shooter blaster. The enemies are varied from human to mutant, the environment sometimes pain in the ass to figure for progressing the game (oddly its linear game but players must have to figure something for rooms to access).

I think Metro Last Light just leave me an impression that this game has stunning graphic that made by Non Hollywood studio but they just follow the action type of movie tropes in story telling, its not the problem. The problem is ending I don't expect since this is not a movie with single ending, but a game where its has different ending and players don't have the idea to get proper ending except replaying the game and read how stupid the requirements to get better ending. But I am satisfied with the ending I have got.

Rating 8/10
Difficulty : Normal (Spartan Mode)
Finished : 9 Januari 2020
Written : 9 Januari 2020

Thursday 2 January 2020

Review : Bionic Commando - A Bland of Remake of Old-School Franchise

Bionic Commando 2009 is flesh-out of long sequel from long 8 bit franchise from NES console that turned into 3D video games in the sequel. A simple action action game where our MC has bionic arm that can be use to swing around facing against soldier and robot mecha in the waste-land city where he explore and want to find about his wife fate meanwhile doing task for a government.

To be honest, this game is conceptually want to follow the serious tone that happened in many games around the time where every video game needs to be have realistic story-line and it fails the deliver because based on the story in the making, this game is intended to be have more humouristic that blends with brainless action story, this is why I found some part of line in the game looks supposed to be comedic rather being serious. 

The story it self is kind of typical action movie tier where characters have to explore linear world that involves using swinging. For the most of game play is just consisting of going to the spot object, hack it to read some info about story and later then progress into same object with different location. 

The difficulty of enemy sometimes is challenging and literally satisfying to face by using the throwing stuff using the bionic arm into enemies, there are some basic weapon to use but its just fun killer. Oddly enough, you don't have to bother some minion to kill to progress, just ignore and swing into the end of destination, and that;s all. Some boss requires stuff to open Youtube walkthrough because it has no guide how to beat the boss so player may stuck facing the boss because its so ambiguous to figure how to do the damage. 

And I think the fatal mistake of this game even though it has short game play, it has no level progressing, weapon and item to buy ( to upgrade), and reward to kill the enemies. The game is just offering advancing the level through simple game play (maybe this kind of resemblance NES version type), but still I really enjoy the game especially the swinging part through location. 

Rating : 7/10
Difficulty : Normal
Finished in : 2 January 2020 

Review : 1979 Revolution Black Friday - A Piece of History that made into Tell-tale Game

Video game is one of greatest medium as learning tool in the digital age, whether it can be as history re-imagining in many fantasy video games or history revisionist based on the company agenda to re-write a piece of history for pandering. 1979 Revolution Black Friday is nor any of them. Its a tell-tale type of video games that shows the experience of the Iranian Revolution in 1979 based on real character and the history book. 

There are not many things to do in Tell-tale video game except watching each chapters about the plot line where players play as civilian who happened being involved the mass protest who use his camera to capture the condition of Iranian society at the time, so players require to do bit exploring and take some snap-shot of pictures that resembles of real life photography. There are also minor action involving quick-time event in action sequence. The game is mostly presented through dialogue and many characters, some items are also becomes an additional fun fact about the background history. So, if you are interested in learning history especially Iranian revolution, you may check the game. 

The game also have a choice of dialogue that is mostly makes the difference outcome but it will be intertwined into the final ending that somehow a cliff-hanger but still I can learn some stuffs after playing the game and reading some texts related to the event and listening audio log. 

I think this game is made for sake of history learning and its clearly there is no bias of propaganda that mostly happen from "woke" video game company today. Its just kind of an interactive story-line that set in Iranian revolution and made by Iranian for gamer who love learning history. 

Rating : 7/10
Difficulty : None (Just playing along with the narrative)
Finished in : 31 December 2019