Sunday, 25 December 2016

The Little Acre...Review?

Point and clicks are far from my forte, in fact The Little Acre is my first brief step into this genre, and so far I have been left with an impression that will be difficult to beat.

Upon entering this world you're greeted with an artistic style that has a whimsical nature to it and a soundtrack to match. Even from the menu screen it was clear that this particular game had some great effort and love poured into it by its creators. From the art direction to the voice acting, everything appears to fit snugly in place, which in turn helped me immerse myself into the magical world that awaited me.

Jumping down the almost literal Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole, you're greeted with a magical world away from the simple farm life your characters left before. Surrounded by strange plant and animal life, everything seems to have a reason to be, and if it were placed in any other world everything you see would seem threatening, but here you're filled with a child-like sense of wonder.

I spend just under three hours with the game, part of which was due to my lack of experience with the basic mechanics of point and clicks in general (how to move between scenes using the edge of the screen etc). The puzzles in the game are on the simplistic side, which honestly I was thankful for so I could experience the world without getting bogged down and becoming uninterested.

I can say that the performance of the game was sublime and had no impact on my experience of the game whatsoever, nor did the frame rate. Animations throughout were simply smooth and I never felt any slowdown, stutter or tearing.

As is expected options are extremely limited here, with just simple sliders for audio and subtitle tracks in various languages.

As someone that has great difficulty keeping focus and finishing games, I can say that The Little Acre kept me captivated throughout, which is a rare feat.

The Little Acre is available at both GOG and Steam for £9.99/$12.99 USD, a more than fair price for such a beautiful and polished gem.

Thursday, 18 August 2016


Okhlos was not a game I was expecting to be playing today, but regardless I found myself recruiting hordes of peasants and warriors alike in a mob based action beat'em up. The developer has managed to blend PS1 era looking 3D art with 2D spites, a game I can imagine looking at through rose tinted glasses if it were released back in the 90's.

The premise is simple. Recruit followers to your cause of destruction and havoc across multiple ancient Greek cities fighting mobs and bosses as you go, and the game executes this simple idea excellently. The game has multiple types of followers available from just your lowly peasant to warriors and defenders, each with their own role, benefits and downsides. You can even have stray cats, dogs and other animals follow you on your adventures.

I spent roughly three hours with game, but I certainly will be coming back for more as there are still more levels for me to explore and followers to unlock, the levels of which are semi-randomly generated but maintain a theme for each.

The game has full support for 4K and gamepad support, as well as windowed mode but sadly no borderless mode. The only bugs I encountered while playing the game was a single frustrating crash as I brought a bosses health to its knees, and a strange bug with the underwater wooden platforms that are on the water levels, my character would get stuck around the edges of the object without any means of escape.

Overall this game is a great pickup for the asking price with many hours of mindless fun ahead. The game is available on GOG and Steam for £9.99/12.99 USD.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Zombie Night Terror...Review?

Zombie Night Terror is probably best described as a lemmings-esk zombie infestation game, with your primary goal (assuming you're of the same mindset as I am) of biting and infecting as many humans as possible whilst completing the mission goals. The game has no direct control over the zombies, and just like willful lemmings they will simply walk towards whatever goal you have set for them or wander around the general area they are in.

Whilst you have no direct control over them, the walking dead are surprisingly entertaining to control through other means, even more so when you are forcing them to self-destruct, causing blood and body parts to splatter across the screen in a meatboy styled explosion, taking out other zombies and humans in the blast radius. There are several "mutations" available that will periodically unlock as you progress throughout the game, giving you new abilities to unlock and that open up more gameplay elements and strategies. There does seem to be a very loose story from what I have played so far, but I'll leave you to explore that for yourself.

Video options are simple, but to be honest with a game like this I didn't expect much. Full 4K support is a feature and the game should auto-detect your monitors resolution.

A few other options I appreciated was the ability to automatically pause the game when I placed an overlord (a sort of mind-controlling zombie for the peasant zombies), the in built game time tracking and the ability to clear my save data within the game, something that is surprising missing from a lot of games nowadays.

Controls are also fully rebindable (as far as I can tell) with the option of a secondary set of controls.

So far I have enjoyed my brief time with it, and will most likely continue streaming it on a regular basis. The gameplay is a nice mix of challenge and excitement, wondering what each level will bring and how I can overcome it, not to mention the exploding zombies, did I mention that?

Zombie Night Terror is available at both GOG and Steam for £9.99/$12.99 USD, IMO a price that is fitting for a game like this.

No Mans Sky...Review?

So I know this has been said by a bunch of people, but these are my nick-picks I have with No Man Sky after playing using a friends version of the game. I was thinking of making a video highlighting all of this, but I simply don't have the audience to make any effect, that and people have already bought the game and found these things out for themselves.

Problems I've had:

 * Resolutions don't appear matched up to what they're set to. The game appears to upscale from something like 720p regardless of what I set it to including 4K, this is especially obvious when I'm still getting 60fps at 4K and still see noticeable jaggies on my ship and trees.

 * The anti aliasing doesn't appear to work either, forcing it through the nvidia control panel helps.

* The FOV appears to be either incorrect, or the terrain and gun model is making the FOV appear much narrower than they are, thankfully you can manually edit the FOV in a file.

* Inconsistencies with mouse clicking in menus. Sometimes the menu wants a single click, sometimes it wants you to hold down..why, I have no idea.

* Ship controls are almost non existent when traversing above the planets surface. The ship appears to have a mind of its own and will randomly jerk, rise, fall and turn without any input from you. As someone who has put thousands of hours into flight sims, this was incredibly frustrating.

* The black bar thing when you get a milestone is extremely jarring when in combat or mining, mostly because it removes the HUD and now finding the centre of your screen can be difficult, came close to dying once or twice due to this.

* Inventory management is, well it's a cancerous piece of consolitous that's made it's way onto PC. Hopefully someone will make a Skyrim-esk interface mod for this game, it seriously needs it (I doubt that will happen though).

* Textures in general on planet surfaces are blurry even at full settings, I don't know how to fix this.

* Also noticed some texture pop-in flying over the planet surfaces and flying into the atmosphere. Honestly this point is expected due to the way the game is rendering assets and textures in.

I'm sure there is more that I haven't got to yet or I've forgotten about. The game is IMO a shallow impersonation of a grand space exploration game, capitalising on the resurgence in the interest of space games/sims. If you're looking for a game that gives you the same sense of exploration, or you are looking for something that is just as grand but without the pitfalls, the X series is still amongst the best there is. You can get X3 Terran Conflict with it's expansion on GOG and Steam, either that or something like Elite: Dangerous, which actually has real MP.

Right now I think that the biggest argument (beside the above) to not purchase this game is it's price tag. At £39.99/$59.99 USD it seems unjustly expensive.

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