Nov 092015

Status: Completed Most Intriguing Idea: A Tales game where the hero isn’t a moron! Best Design Decision: Sorey’s palette of elemental attacks. Worst Design Decision: The water temple, which is just awful, continuing a proud tradition. Summary: Look. Zestiria is still a Tales game, all right? Its themes are not exactly deep, its villain has stolen his motivation and possibly his jacket from Final Fantasy X’s Seymour, and the game can barely keep its lore straight. Zestiria’s main break comes in the tactical qualities of combat. In almost every Tales game to date, it has been possible to win by [Read more…]

Nov 092015

Status: I got to this part in chapter 7 with a wheel and I just wasn’t interested in continuing. Most Intriguing Idea: A totally new kind of puzzle-platformer. Best Design Decision: The novel motion of the slime mold. Worst Design Decision: The incredible slog of chapter 7. Summary: I loved Mushroom 11. Then I liked it. Then I tolerated it. Then I hated it, and that’s pretty much where I stopped. I loved it at the start because it has a fresh and original gameplay idea. Instead of controlling a little dude, as you generally do in platformers, you have [Read more…]

Sep 152015
Boston FIG 2015

As has become my habit, I visited the Boston Festival of Indie Games at MIT last weekend, an experience I highly recommend to anyone. It’s cheap, you get to see some interesting games, and both the content and the venue are a better fit for kids than PAX can sometimes be. As it happens, I was joined for a few hours this time by my friend Eric and his young son Linus, who loves games of both the video and physical variety but doesn’t get to play too much of the former because his family has no TV and puts [Read more…]

Foundering in Skellige’s Seas

 Critique, Open World Action Games, Role Playing Games  Comments Off on Foundering in Skellige’s Seas
Aug 182015
Foundering in Skellige's Seas

With different degrees of success, Velen and Novigrad use their structure, their quests, and their storylines as an integrated whole to project Geralt’s inner life into the game world. In Velen The Wild Hunt airs Geralt’s worries that his “family” won’t fit back together after their long time apart. In Novigrad the game threatens the relationships that have already been working in The Witcher games. Once he reaches Skellige, the game turns its attention back to Yennefer and Ciri. In this region, however, the game loses coherence and as a result feels much more ordinary and even dull. Skellige’s failure [Read more…]