May 182015

Status: Completed Most Intriguing Idea: converting Assassin’s Creed into a stealth-focused 2D game Best Design Decision: copying Mark of the Ninja liberally Worst Design Decision: combat is too complex given how useless it is to fight Summary: Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China is not the first time AC games have gone 2D—side-scrollers focused on platforming and combat were created for Ezio and Altaïr. Chronicles: China discards that approach in favor of aping Mark of the Ninja’s design as openly as possible. This isn’t a bad idea at all, as Mark of the Ninja is among the best stealth games ever made. [Read more…]

May 112015

Status: Complete Most Intriguing Idea: Revisiting the sequence of the original Wolfenstein 3D. Best Design Decision: I am really partial to that pipe. Worst Design Decision: Zombiezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Summary: Last year’s Wolfenstein: The New Order was a refreshing blend of old-school run-n-gun FPS action with new ideas like optional stealth, cover, and actual characters. The Old Blood, its short-form followup/prequel, doesn’t reach the same heights. The brevity works against its efforts to be a character piece, as the span between a character’s introduction and inevitable horrific death can be ludicrously short. The pipe tool/weapon is an entertaining addition, but climbing The [Read more…]

Feb 262015

If you have heard anything about The Order: 1886 it is probably that the game is short. A person willing to stare dry-eyed at the screen and mechanically mow down the dozens of enemies thrown at em can apparently finish in five hours or so. With rather frequent breaks for food, playing with a cat, and occasional snark-tweets, I managed the feat in about eight. This is not important data in my view; it didn’t take me that much longer to blow through Wolfenstein: The New Order and several other games I have loved. Admittedly, I’m in the lucky position [Read more…]

One Epic Knight

 Short Take  Comments Off on One Epic Knight
Nov 132014

Status: Tried every potion and unlocked about 50% of power progression Most Intriguing Idea: Creating a balancing act between hitting things and dodging them. Best Design Decision: A clear hierarchy of empowered states. Worst Design Decision: Jumps can be needlessly twitchy. Summary: I’ve had Temple Run 2 on my phone for the longest time, but a recent update caused it to stop reading saved data entirely so I looked for a replacement. On Brad‘s advice, I picked up One Epic Knight, and I’m glad I did. Infinite runners in the TR vein have lots of action but few interesting decisions [Read more…]