A Game Lost in The Woods

Website: here
Steamlink: here
Twitter: here

Night in the Woods is a game that exists in my wheelhouse. I love independent games, obviously. Everything about Night in the Woods since it was announced three years ago has piqued my interests and I have followed the game almost religiously until the release. I played and read all the supplemental material that this team has produced, I’ve watched all the YouTube interviews.

In the game, you play as a cat named Mae who has just dropped out of college and came back to her hometown, Possum Springs. Every day you go and meet your friends, (Bea, Gregg and his boyfriend Angus) and you do some sort of activity with them. You have a choice of choosing who you hang out with every day as well. This is generally how the game is structured. I love games like these where you can just chill and experience an interesting story in a comforting environment. The environments and aesthetic of Night in the Woods is very comfortable and warm. Possum Springs and its surrounding areas just beg to be explored.

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To say that I was disappointed in this game is a major understatement. Night in the Woods made me want to stop playing the game at some points, not because of the game play, not because the game wasn’t working, but because the writing and the characters annoyed me to no end, specifically the main character, Mae.

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Mae is an insufferable character everything about her rubbed me the wrong way and throughout the game, I was just hoping for her to have a breakthrough moment. She’s so emotionally guarded and likes to lash out when things don’t go right for her. One time you’re with Gregg and Angus and Mae gets mad because they’re having a fight and she goes into the bathroom and destroys the bathroom by clogging the drains. Mae is mad because things aren’t going her way at all. Eventually, Mae gets her big moment and things make more sense, but I honestly felt that the payoff happened too late in the game.

The revelation the character has, by her actually opening up, put tears In my eyes, I related to her so much! Then after that scene, it was all gone and she was the same, Mae. Much of this games’ writing feels very contrived. The characters’ background and past with each other aren’t believable and each character is given a dramatic backstory to make us feel emotions for them in such a short amount of time. The characters are used cheaply and they don’t earn their climaxes, except Angus and Mae kind of. Night in the Woods, does this a lot, it builds up to something and it concludes it with a half-assed joke or sarcastic remark. I get what the game was going for 100% I understood what this game was when I finished it. I understand this game and what it was trying to achieve.

The writing and pacing of the game are very front heavy and feels like it has had half of its’ content cut out. The game’s climax happens an hour or less towards the end than the game wraps up to its climax in a matter of minutes. We have seven hours of lead up to a climax and then the game just ends? I was baffled. I loved the twist that this game has and I loved the ending. I have seen many people online complaining about the ending, but I think that it is the best part of the game, it took a chance and executed their vision, I applaud the team for that. I’m all for alternative ways of telling a story when it works.

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Most of this game is hard to talk about without getting into spoiler territory, though.

Night in the Woods is a game that is finely tuned and beautiful to look at. The skeleton of this game is strong and sturdy, the game, drank its milk during the development for sure. Their skin; the person it became is artificial and bitter.

Night in the Woods is a game I would suggest to people, maybe they’ll get something else out of it and maybe they won’t analyze it as much as I did. This game, spoke to me in many little ways and I can definitely see how it could speak to someone else. If people tell me that Night in the Woods was their favorite game this year it wouldn’t surprise me, there will be people out there who are enamored with this game. At the end of the day, Night in the Woods was a miss for me, but it might just be a masterpiece for you.

Final Verdict
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  • Worth a buy on sale

 Hey guys, thanks for reading my review for Night in the Woods, if any of the developers read this I just want to let you know that if any of this came across as a personal attack, I’m sorry. I know how it is when you write something and put work into it and somebody has a negative view of your precious baby. 

 My twitter is: here

— Quest

The Legend of Kojima: Gaming’s Hero

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“Kept you waiting, huh?”

Hideo Kojima is an unspoken legend in the gaming industry to most consumers. Not only is he responsible for modernizing cut-scenes and voice-acting in gaming, he’s also one of the industries few auteurs.

In many fields of entertainment (YouTube, Movies, TV, Music, Books, Manga/Comics) we have projects made by a director and his team. For example in film we have many movie directors that write and direct their own material. They have creative control over their product and the movie that comes out is generally what the director had in mind. There are many film-makers that when you see a trailer for a movie you undoubtedly think, “That’s definitely a David Fincher movie,” or “That’s a Quentin Tarantino movie”. These creatives make the project OOZE with their style.

In gaming there really aren’t any directors or creatives that when you see a game you can think, “Oh that’s ______”. It’s usually a gaming studio that is seen as the group behind a certain visual look, flair and gameplay. It’s a whole team that has made one vision and their vision is a certain game every two to three years.

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Hideo Kojima develops his games like that of a movie director, he is involved with almost every aspect of the game that is possible.

Before the stories of Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear, Policenauts and Snatcher, Hideo Kojima was an Economics major in college who had dreams of becoming a movie director. During his fourth year of schooling he decided to drop out and pursue a career in gaming.

“The industry was full of dropouts, people who felt like games offered them another chance. I met many people in that same situation; we bonded together through that in some sense.” – Hideo Kojima

Kojima was able to join up with a company in 1986 named Konami and he worked with their computer division and continued working with them up until 2015. Kojima could not code and had many failures under his belt so he became some sort of laughing stock within the company. Eventually he was handed the MSX2 game titled “Metal Gear”, which was a game that the company had a hard time developing and they hit a wall with so they handed it off the underdog laughing stock, Hideo Kojima. Kojima was able to change the gameplay of the game to be focused on hiding and escaping. Originally the idea was for the game to be about a prisoner escaping prison, but Kojima got the idea of a secret agent named Solid Snake who was sent to a fortified base called Outer Heaven to destroy a nuclear weapon named Metal Gear. In 1987 Metal Gear got shipped and wasn’t received too well by gamers and critics but it began to make people realize what the MSX could do.

After successfully making a game and not completely failing Kojima was finally able to do what he really wanted to do, which was direct and write something completely unique. Soon he began development on the MSX2 title SnatcherSnatcher was praised at the time for pushing the boundaries of story telling in video games. The game had cinematic cut scenes, voice acting, writing that was being compared to a novel and Snatcher dealt with very mature themes, which at the time, was something unheard of in gaming.

Kojima began to further his craft in his following game releases, Snatcher SD, Policenauts, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake and Snakes Revenge.

The PlayStation came out in the year 1994 and Kojima had four years to develop a game called Metal Gear Solid (1998).  (I will refer to it as MGS from now on) MGS is the sole reason gaming has developed to where it is now. At the time of release there were many games that use voice acting and cut scenes, but there wasn’t any games out there like MGS. Kojima was able to use his style that he brought to Snatcher and Policenauts and make it truly cinematic. The cut scenes in MGS are like scenes from a Hollywood action film. The games’ cut scenes are directed like that of a movie, the voice acting at the time was dramatic and iconic. Kojima’s true vision of becoming a movie director has finally come true. MGS handled many topics within its story that games wouldn’t dare to touch at the time; nuclear proliferation, genetic engineering, self discovery and corrupted political climates.

After MGS came out Kojima was heralded as a pioneer and icon of the gaming industry. Kojima singlehandedly destroyed the concept of video games being just games. No longer where we supposed to get 100 points to unlock the next level, no longer where we supposed to collect 20 puzzle pieces to get to the next area. Kojima uprooted the foundation of console gaming and gave us the blue print to the future. Many games from this point on had cinematic cut scenes and had deep and intricate plots to them. Metal Gear Solid’s success showed developers that the consumers were hungry and ready for complex stories in the medium.

If we fast forward to 2017, almost every mainstream big budget gaming release has cinematic cut scenes, a unique story and a budget that compares to that of a film. Gaming has taken over as many peoples preferred form of entertainment. Hollywood is failing and video games are to blame. When a game developer can give you a 10 hour long game, that you control and you influence, with the fidelity and aesthetic of a film, why would you watch a movie? Why would you give up a personal experience that you can play?

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Hideo Kojima’s upcoming game Death Stranding (TBA)

Hideo Kojima had a dream to become a film director and inadvertently he has. Kojima created and willed the idea of video games being interactive film for himself. He created his own way in an industry that did not accept him at first, but now would be nothing without him.


 Hey what’s up guys, I haven’t posted in a long time. It’s from a good mix of laziness, school and having nothing to review. I’ve been thinking about writing something on Kojima-san for a while now and finally felt like it would be appropriate to post it now. I hope you guys enjoyed/have learned something new! Also I’ll be posting a review whenever I finish A Night In The Woods, so be looking forward to that. And then there are many games coming out afterwards that I’ll be posting stuff about. So be looking forward to that!

Follow me on Twitter: here

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Kite – Early Access Done Right

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Game: Kite
Platform: PC
Developer: Lab Cat Games
Steam Link: Kite

Kite is a cyberpunk, twin-stick shooter, bullet hell, Zombies Ate My Neighbors-lite, Soldier of Fortune-lite and early 90’s camp all wrapped into one 16-bit gaming package. The game honestly feels like it is right out of the 90’s. The one-man studio, Lab Cat Games have completely captured the vibe and feel of games from this era.  If I went into this game blind and somehow miraculously played it on a SNES cartridge with a SNES controller I would not of blinked an eye. Now, the game sure does a good job of capturing that vibe but what it also does well is modernizing the game play, mechanics and aesthetics that are usually found in these older games.

I had the pleasure to interview the man behind the game, James Treneman aka Deeps.

Questie: What was your first game?

Deeps: My first game ever was some asteroids game I played on our Macintosh off a floppy disk mom brought home. It’s funny when I answered that in the last interview I realized that makes my first game a shooter, and nearly a twin-stick. So I think that must have made a big impression.
Deeps: But on my Turbo Graffix I rocked R-Type, Bonk’s Adventure and Military Madness. And that was a really good spread I think.
Questie: Now that’s cool. It really does show in the game, honestly. So would you say that those games are the most influential ones you played as a child? Or would you say that there were other games? (Zombies Ate My Neighbors feels like the biggest influence in Kite IMO)

Deeps: Yeah you nailed it. Surely Zombies is my biggest inspiration for Kite. Second place goes to Soldiers of Fortune (The Chaos Engine in EU). Those two games are just about the best top downs on the SNES which became THE system for me after I got one sometime around ’93). But there are a lot more modern elements from games like WoW in Kite as well.

Questie: Care to extrapolate more on the WoW elements?

Deeps: Sure, I played a lot of WoW and it’s certainly the most influential game of my adult life. We don’t have to go there but the one thing that is kinda relevant is that I was just a hardcore Twinker, and I ran one of the longest running twink guilds. I only liked to PvP and had probably 6 or 7 low level Twinks before even getting to max level.
Deeps: I loved finding weird items that you shouldn’t be able to get and weird stat formulas that are super overpowered at low levels
Deeps: So I just become a big stat head, and was obssessed with mocking up builds for twinks at level 10 or 29 or 79 whatever, I was down with it
Deeps: So I wanted to bring the itemization and synergy elements to Kite, at a much lower sort of Ficsher Price level
Deeps: But also, what I loved about WoW was the PvP and it was all about kiting, so it’s a natural playstyle for me
Deeps: the controls in Kite at their heart are really no different than they are for the way I play WoW.
Questie: I’m a WoW player as well. I thought it felt a lot like how PVP feels in WoW but I didn’t think it was such a huge influence. That’s really cool. I’m a tank in WoW so I respect the people who Kite ADDs for me.
Deeps: heh nice! Yeah WoW is probably the reason I was able to make a fun combat system.
Deeps: I had a lot of iterations, at one point there were a ton more keybinds like WoW, you had literally all the weapons at once.
Deeps: The way you switch between the two Operating Systems is just pulled straight from stance dancing
Deeps: and I wanted to make the melee feel a bit like when you are in a group and land a good WW with a big Crusader proc

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Questie: When did the development for Kite start?

Deeps: Kite dev started in May I think of 2014. More accurately I started learning how to draw pixel art, program and design in May of 2014 lol. I think of it like this – how much would it have cost me to get this kind of education? Probably around the same and it wouldn’t be as well rounded, and I wouldn’t have a product at the end. When I think of it like that, Kite doesn’t really need to make a buck.

Deeps: Except that it probably does need to once I fully release lol

 


Deeps: But I had buddies playing an early prototype, maybe 2 weeks into dev and they were clearly having fun. My wife was like ‘Do it!” and so that’s when I went all in.

Questie: It’s always the wife/gf that makes men do things

Deeps: Yeah, she has been so incredibly supportive, now way could I be here without her help and constant encouragement (and playtesting)

Questie: It seems that your s/o is a huge supporter in you and your dream.

Deeps: I’m really lucky in that way, game dev is still a crazy profession and many people have to deal with parents and loved ones who don’t believe in their passion, it’s so hard for them and I hope to be a solo dev who can inspire those people. But they should know the many advantages I’ve had, and I’m still waaaaay in the red.


 

Deeps is just a normal guy like all of us, going through the struggles of life. He has worked many jobs to find what he was good at and what he was passionate about. After many years of working different jobs he finally decided to chase his dreams and become a game dev, he couldn’t be more happy about it.

This is something that I find so admirable about him, he knows that he has to work hard and do a good job at being an indie dev. And it shows. This man is willing to accept criticism and change parts of his game because people let him know that it isn’t working or needs an adjustment.

Kite is an early access game that is doing early access correctly. Sometimes devs put a game up on the market place and then they slowly update it over the years and the game has no end in sight. Deeps on the other hand has put his game out and is working mercilessly to produce a quality game. He wants his game to be good and be the best he can make it be. It is something so admirable and one of the reasons I wanted to have a sit down and just talk with the man, I respect him and his game immensely.

We have a huge problem now-a-days with early access games being published and left out for people to buy. There are many games that have over a couple of thousand concurrent players that are still in early access that have no end of development in sight. This is something that I won’t support on principal. With any type of game, be it console or PC, I won’t buy it if there is DLC planned or if it’s in early access/beta. If the game isn’t finished why should I spend my money on it? I shouldn’t. We shouldn’t. If you spend money on these games and they make a killing, we are greasing the wheels for these kinds of people and studios. But on the flip side there are people like Deeps who are using Early-Access to its full potential. He’s letting you play the game and then he asks for feed back. He wants to make his game the best he can. He is actively working on Kite. Deeps is definitely a diamond in the rough with the Steam early access model and he, unlike others, deserve your money more than anybody else.


Hey guys, I hope you liked this write up I did with the man behind Kite! It was fun working with him and playing his game and giving him feedback, definitely something that I would love to do in the future. I love the idea of helping someone make a product better. It was a pure joy. 
 

Here’s his twitter 
Here’s the link to the game: Kite

Here’s my twitter

My Top 5 Games of 2016!

This year has been a year full of many let downs. There were only a few games that I have played this year that I honestly thought were remotely good. And usually every year there are many that I play that I like. The pool to pick from this time around for me was only about ten or so games. Every other game I have touched this year has been a disappointment or just bad. Most of my gaming time I had this year has been spent on games that are older. I have nothing against old games, don’t get me wrong, but I do have a huge problem against this years many releases being rather lackluster. The five games and its runner ups are the best I played this year. In my personal opinion these five games happen to be some of the best games we have seen in gaming in many years and I hope the trend of these games continue on into the next few years.

My top five this year are games that I truly loved and games that are very innovative and push the envelope. These are the games I will be annoying people about for the next couple of years, without further ado, let’s get into the runner ups!

 


 

Runner ups:

 Uncharted 4: A Thieves End

Uncharted 4 was a very fun and exciting game. It tied up the Uncharted series in a way not many of us were expecting. Everything else before the final chapter was alright. The inclusion of Sam, Nathan’s brother that we have NEVER heard about prior, was one I was iffy on. I loved his character. Overall Uncharted 4 delivered a very pleasurable experience, one I would obviously recommend to everyone.

 Overwatch

What’s there not to like about this game? Beautiful graphics, beautiful characters, great personality, fun, engaging combat, deep game mechanics, a strong community and a great developer. I have had a lot of fun with Overwatch  this year. I just wish it had a campaign to go along with it.

 

Now lets’ get into the REAL TOP 5


 

 

5. DOOM 2016

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DOOM 2016 is a special game. DOOM originally was the series that started the first person shooter genre and was really a unique and visceral experience for the time. The legacy and history of DOOM is, well, monumental. After many years of us not having a new game from ID Software, the fans were foaming at the mouth for a new DOOM game. What we got was something nobody expected. DOOM 2016 takes the feeling of original DOOM and brings it into the modern age. The game is unapologetically visceral and fast. It is the best FPS campaign we’ve seen in years and it is one of the most FUN games I have played this year.

The thing I really loved about DOOM 2016  is its sense of humor. The game is so graphic and SO intense, but it’s broken up with sparks of humor. The game has a very specific sense of humor though. When you wake up in the game there’s a person on the over comm saying, “hey everyone we need people to volunteer for our weekly sacrifice, please let us know who’s willing to go, it would really help us out a lot, thanks.” You’re on a base on Mars that is run by religious zealots that need sacrifices to summon demons. You’re a bad ass. You’re the one dude who can stop this, the DOOM SLAYER. And you learn all of this within the first minute or so of the game. And the rest of the time is spent RIPPING AND TEARING demons limb from limb and quickly making your way into hell to kill more demons. The soundtrack is PHENOMENAL. The humor is odd. The gunplay and overall feel of the game is fantastic. DOOM 2016 is such a wild and fun ride.

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4. Dragon Quest Builders

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I literally know don’t know anyone that has played this game and it’s honestly very sad. Dragon Quest Builders is a fun, lighthearted and an addicting sim-game.
Do you like Minecraft? Yeah, cool. Okay, so add the formula of Minecraft to a game that has a cohesive story. Alright. Now add JRPG elements to that. Okay. Now add Animal Crossing elements to that. You got it? Okay. Now you have Dragon Quest Builders.

You’re the only hero in this world that has the ability to build. The bad guy in the game has cast an evil spell over the land and destroyed villages. There’s a prophecy of the ‘builder’ that is supposed to come to the lands and help the people rebuild their lives. It’s up to you to go to the different continents in the world and rebuild a city and fight that continents boss, to eventually bring light to the land. Each chapter is represented as a different continent. And each continent builds on the recipes and abilities you learned in the last chapter. The game is immense and huge. It’s a very VERY amazing and fun game to get lost in.

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3. OWLBOY

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I wrote a review for Owlboy here.

Owlboy is a hand pixelated game that took ten years to make. The sprites in this game are immaculate. Everything from the characters to the backgrounds in this game are just amazing to look at. The gameplay is fun and the characters are genuinely a treat to be around and experience. Owlboy perfectly blends a Metroidvania and Twinstick shooter gameplay into a Zelda-like game.

We need more games like OWLBOY, more games that aren’t afraid to be themselves and be unique without worrying about the qualms and needs of a triple-A gaming audience.

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2. Va-11 Hall-A

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This is the only game I have played this year that I consider 100% perfect. I wish I would have played it sooner so I could write a review for it, but alas, here it is. The only 10/10 game I have played this year is Va-11 Hall-A.

Official Story Synopsis:
VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action is a booze em’ up about waifus, technology, and post-dystopian life. In this world, corporations reign supreme, all human life is infected with nano-machines designed to oppress them, and the terrifying White Knights ensure that everyone obeys the laws. But, this is not about those people. You are a bartender at VA-11 HALL-A, affectionately nicknamed ” Valhalla.” Although it is just a small bar downtown, it attracts the most fascinating people this side of dystopia. Keep your clients lubricated and you will be made privy to the most interesting stories.

Va-11 Hall-A is such a unique game. You play the game as a bartender named Jill. Every morning you wake up and check your message boards and check your news sites then you go into work, this serves as a different view into the story and the people in the game. You serve drinks to the patrons and the patrons will talk about their lives. Through them talking about their lives and what is going on in the world you learn about the setting and story of this game. The game is set in a dystopian future. Imagine the anime Akira. Everything is neon and trashy. The economy is in shambles and there are riots in the street daily. What happens during the game is something to behold. The story that you experience as a bystander is immaculate. Va-11 Hall-A is utterly funny and quirky. It knows what it is from the get go and is not afraid to show its true colors. The game is honest, endearing and beautiful. If you have 15 dollars to throw at a game, this would be the one to do it to. The game was made by a small studio named SUKEBAN GAMES that is made up of THREE people.

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Game of The Year: The Last Guardian

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I wrote and recorded a video of The Last Guardian here

The Last Guardian is the best game I have ever played in my entire life. Never have I been more emotionally involved and attached to a character than I was with Trico. I bawled my eyes out during the ending cinematic. I cried so hard I had TEARS and SNOT running down my face and I shook and said, “NO, no no-no nonononoo” outloud in a tortured moan. Then the ending cut scene happened and I was still crying but this time I shouted, “YES” as loud as I could with a smile on my face. Trico and the boy in this game gave me an adventure I never thought I would be able to experience in my life time. The bond between a boy and his dog. Of man and nature becoming one and overcoming their differences and forming a bond of friendship through no words spoken. The Last Guardian is beautiful and it is truly the best game of the year and possibly the decade. The game gives you a single solitary experience you won’t be able to experience anywhere else in any other medium. In no other medium would this story work and be this powerful. This is truly an experience that can only be had through games.


 Hey guys, thanks for checking out my list! It means a lot to me! I really appreciate every single one of you that likes and comments on my blogs. You should definitely follow me on twitter to get more updates or you can talk to me if you want, I don’t bite! I hope you all have a happy holidays!
– Quest
Twitter:  here
YouTube: here

The Last Guardian Review (No Spoilers)

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The Last Guardian has been a game that I have wanted to play for almost a decade now. I remember back when I was in the seventh grade I read in Gameinformer about the new game coming out by the same team behind Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, I was more than ecstatic. During this time I remember vividly that I was playing Shadow of The Colossus and listening to the newest Fall Out Boy CD, Infinity On High, on a constant loop. I would come home from school and play Shadow of The Colossus listening to the same CD over and over again. I beat Shadow of The Colossus a dozen or more times on the PS2 and then once more on the PS3 when the HD re-release came out. It’s safe to say that I am a HUGE fan of these guys work. I wanted a PS3 so bad because I wanted The Last Guardian. I followed the game religiously and when it came down to it I got an XBOX360 instead of a PS3 just because the game was nowhere in sight to being released and it was stuck in development hell. The game was always rumored to be cancelled and fans/gamers always said that the game would never come out, I was in this boat. This game seemed too good to be true and I just accepted the fact that it was not going to be released. Then E3 of 2015 Sony announced the game was coming out. And they showed gameplay. And it looked amazing. The game looked just like it did back in 2009 when they showed the first trailer but even better this time around. Unlike another game that came out this year that had been held back and delayed and cancelled so many times, Final Fantasy 15, the game stayed true to its original roots.

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STORY

The story of The Last Guardian is very basic, you’re a boy who wakes up in a cave with a man-eating beast. You have the overarching narrative told by the young boy as an adult. And then you have the story of Trico and the boy itself. The way the story unfolds and the relationship between the boy and Trico is something that I have never experienced before in a game. Everything between the two characters feels so organic and earned. The story progresses in a very interesting way by showing and not telling much of it. To many gamers this may be a negative because some people like being shown more than told. As for me I like picking up little crumbs of story and piecing it together myself.

MUSIC/SOUND

The score is very good, it reminds me of a Disney sound track. The sound mix for the game is good, I really have no complaints on the sound at all. The purring and ruffling of feathers sound very organic.

GAMEPLAY/MECHANICS/TECHNICAL

Gameplay and story go hand in hand with this game. Yes, the game feels like a PS2 game, yes the main character lurches at every movement. The controls in the game feel exactly like Shadow of The Colossus and Ico, take that as you will. This game has all the same issues that those two games have, nothing more.

At the beginning of the game when you first meet Trico he is very abrasive and doesn’t listen to you at all. Through you helping him out, by either pulling out spears from his feathers, petting him and feeding him, he slowly begins to warm up to you and eventually becomes so attached to you that he cries when you move away from him to continue on doing a puzzle. Eventually you two become so close he will catch you when you fall and listen to your commands. Now with all of that said, the camera in this game is very annoying. The small cramped rooms with a big dog bird in the middle makes for some weird camera angles. Sure you have control of the camera but sometimes the game takes control for you and pushes it into a wall or blanks out and makes the camera close to your character. Is it annoying? Yes. Is it game breaking? No.

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Now the most divisive mechanic in this game is Trico himself. The animal is programmed to act exactly like an animal. The way the character interacts with the world around it is ENTIRELY up to the AI in the game. Yes, you get to shout and jump and call it over. But sometimes Trico doesn’t want to listen and sometimes Trico wants to lay down or chase butterflies. You can be want to progress the story and call him over and he will put his head down close to you and want you to pet him. I love this mechanic and I think it is the coolest and most different thing about the game.

During one puzzle I asked Trico to help me up to the second floor, he obliged and watched me through the windows as a skirted around the outside. Then I fell. Trico SCREAMED as I hit the ground with a thud, when I walked back in he was staring at me. I pointed at the window again and did my jump animation to tell him to perch himself up again. Trico decided it would be better to hop around and run in circles and not listen to me for a few minutes.

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Trico will listen to you, eventually. And he makes the game very much enjoyable. It isn’t a glitch, it isn’t the game messing up at all. Trico for all intensive purposes is a real animal stuck in a digital world. If Trico is distracted and you go and pet him a bit and calm him down he will listen to you and follow your commands. If you get him riled up by shouting a bunch of commands at him he will scream and become very confused. Most mainstream reviewers complained about the fact that Trico would not listen to them, they obviously didn’t explore the game mechanics at all.

The life and death of this game is in the hands of Trico and honestly Trico is the most polished part of the entire game.

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The puzzles in this game can get very frustrating for more than one reason. One is because they are meant to be hard and challenging. And the other few reasons are technical problems from the camera, to the controls, the physics and to Trico acting a fool (annoying but cute enough that it made me smile).

There are two puzzles in this game that pissed me off to no end. One of them is where you need to make Trico dive into the water. The button to dive/let go with the boy is X and the button to tell Trico to go down/jump is R1+X. But when I was on Trico he wouldn’t go down when I pressed R1+X so I had to be off of him and press X to dive down then hopefully not hit X again then grab Trico before he made it to the next area. Very frustrating and something that could have easily been fixed.

The second puzzle was another water one where I had to move a box to a certain pillar or Trico wouldn’t drop down his tail for me. Something that could easily be fixed as well.

These little control issues are few and far between but the one major issue with this game is the frame rate. The game runs at a consistent 25 frames a second, which is per average for movies or TV shows. It gives the game a very cinematic look, one that I love. But it also dips below that ever so often, usually during the transitions to a new area or when Trico is jumping from arch to arch and you can see all of his feathers, the dynamic effects in the game really slow the frame rate down quiet a bit. This is the biggest glaring flaw in the game in my opinion.

GRAPHICS

This game is very beautiful. The way the sunlight casts shadow on Trico’s many feathers as they ripple through the wind is so beautiful. The lighting and atmosphere of the game is very dark and appropriate. The game is gorgeous looking.

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The Last Guardian is easily my game of the year. And is easily one of, if not, my favorite game of all time. This game is truly something unique. Trico is the cutest video game character that we have ever seen in this medium. The way you interact with Trico is one of the most unusual and daring things I have seen in gaming in a LONG time. The fact that many reviewers, most of them professional ones, have overlooked so many mechanics in this game blows my mind. They get paid to review games and they don’t even look into the full mechanics of it. Then they turn around and say that the game is flawed and hard etc. At the end of the day The Last Guardian is a diamond in the rough. A true testament to video games being a vehicle of emotional and gripping story telling. The only factor that decides how great this game is, is you the player. Do you have an attention span higher than ten seconds? Do you appreciate good stories? Do you want to support and appreciate original ideas in a medium that is bloated with the same mechanics recycled over and over again? Then buy this game, you won’t regret it.

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Thank you guys for reading my review! Sorry it took so long to get another one out. I was having a really hard time finding a game that would sink its teeth into me! But hey, here I am! And there’s a video this time too! Also! I just started a play through of Final Fantasy 15 so expect that in the coming week as well. Thanks!

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My Top 5 Favorite Games of All Time!

As a new blogger I feel like nobody knows me, especially my small amount of followers. So I decided to do something, albeit boring and predictable, to let you guys get to know me better. This list is my favorite games list! My top five is honestly really not settled, the fifth game on this list is constantly changing. My top four though have been my favorites for years, so those at least aren’t going anywhere.

So let’s get right into it!

Number 5: Bravely Default
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Bravely Default is one of the best JRPGs I have ever played. I have started up and tried to finish so many JRPGs and they all usually follow the same story and the same cycle eventually. Bravely Default, ironically, broke that cycle and ended up becoming one of the most fun experiences I had ever had with my 3DS. I maxed out every class and every character. I found ways to absolutely decimate the game and grind out a bunch of gold. The game is just so fun and so open ended, it lets you do as you please. You can play any class you want mix and match any skills you want as well. It’s such a fun concept. The story is very amazing as well.

If you want to play a very solid and fun JRPG, look no further.



Number 4: Harvest Moon: Back to Nature
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The Harvest Moon series is one of my favorite. The games are so unique and quirky, they’re pretty hard to replicate. We have games now a days like Stardew Valley that do a very good job at emulating the feel of the Harvest Moon series, but it doesn’t hit the mark at all. The Harvest Moon games, for those uninformed, are based around farming. I know, sounds boring. But it isn’t at all. You grow vegetables, fruit and eventually you get to have livestock. You sell and trade all your products to make money. You can give gifts to people in the village and eventually one of them will fall in love with you and you guys end up having a child. The game is very quirky but it’s also very relaxing and there’s just something about it that I love. I always come back to this game at least once a year.


Number 3: Metal Gear Solid 2
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This was honestly the hardest choice for me. The Metal Gear Solid series is, by far, my favorite game series of all time. The whole overarching story of Big Boss and Solid Snake is so moving. These games are ground breaking and have shaped the future of gaming as a whole. I love and respect them for being different and also being trend setters in the world of gaming.

Now, Metal Gear Solid 2 is a very contrarian choice. Most of the fan base dislikes this game because of the fact that the game tricks you from the beginning. In Metal Gear Solid 1 you play as Solid Snake and you fall in love with him. In Metal Gear Solid 2 you start out playing as him and then you get passed the tutorial level and you get an amazing cinematic that pays homage to the first game and you see the main character take off his make and it’s Raiden. Raiden is a wimp. He sucks. He has the most hi-pitched annoying voice. The complete antithesis of Snake. The game then divulges into the most meta and fantastic story in the series. I feel that many fans are blinded by their distaste of the game solely because of the switch the game does. I find it the game amazing in almost every single facet and I feel that the game is the pinnacle of game play and story telling for the series.



Number 2: Bayonetta 2
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Now we’re getting to the good stuff. Bayonetta 1 was my second favorite game of all time for a while. Then Bayonetta 2 came out and I beat it in one sitting and I constantly kept thinking, “wow this is even better than the first one,” and here we are. Bayonetta 2 is something very very special. This game pretty much sums up me as a person and my personal taste in pretty much everything in life. The humor, style, dialogue, gameplay, aesthetic and music is totally me. Bayonetta is a sassy dominatrix witch that fights angels with her hair to a poppy remix jazz-tunes, the main theme song is a remix of Fly Me to The Moon by Frank Sinatra (Ironically that song is also my favorite anime ending song as well). The story is bizarre but easy to follow, Bayonetta is a 900 year old witch that has been resurrected to destroy the angels that betrayed her, her daughter and her best friend. Angels and the Pope are the bad guys. Witches and the devil are the good guys.

The game gets a lot of flack for being “too full of fan service”. Bayonetta is a very sexual and strong woman, but she isn’t vulnerable, anytime she flaunts herself to the camera it is by her own doing. The character is beautiful and independent. She is portrayed to be the ‘perfect human’. She has the model walk, the pursed lips, she’s eight feet tall, slender and has curves. She’s a walking contradiction. She’s very quirky in every sense. That’s why I love her.

The character Bayonetta pretty much is the embodiment of the game. I love this game and this character so much. There’s a reason why it’s my number two!



Number 1: Okami
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Sigh. This one is going to be tough. Okami is and will always be my favorite game of all time. I have beaten this game at least once every year for the last ten years. You know how I said that Bayonetta encompasses everything about me? Okami does this as well. Bayonetta and Okami were made by the same director, writer and studio. When they made Okami they were called Clover Studios then they changed their name to Platinum Studios. The brain behind these games is a man named Hideki Kamiya.

Just thinking about Okami fills me with emotion and if we’re being honest here, I’m having a hard time keeping myself together writing about this game.

Okami does something that all video games should aspire to do. It oozes style and creativity at every corner. The world unfolds and unravels with the story in such a seamless way. The characters are warm, loving, funny, inviting and they’re people you want to spend time with.

Okami is a game about God and how God can breathe life back into a world that has been taken over by demons and utter chaos. In the world all the Gods’ have been removed from their temples, removed from the lives of rulers and from the people. The older generation talks about how Gods’ used to be apart of everybody’s daily lives and now they’re gone and nobody has seen or heard of them for 100 years.

This is where you come in. You play as a mute wolf named Amaterasu. Amaterasu in Japanese mythology is the mother of the gods and after a 100 year slumber she awakens to all of her children being ignored and the world that she worked so hard to garner into an era of happiness is in ruins.

There is so much I want to talk about with this game, but honestly I can’t. That’s why I’m going to do an in-depth review of Okami as my next big project. I don’t know how long this will take. But I will be making a review for this beautiful and underrated game.


 

 (Thank you guys so much for reading my second blog post! I’m going to try and make two posts a week at most. They’ll probably be small little ideas I have, nothing too big. I want to make a review at least twice a month currently. Since I’m a new reviewer and blogger I really don’t get many free games. Plus I’m a poor college student so I REALLY can’t get many games. But when I do start getting them I will be posting a lot more. Trust me! I know my next three reviews are going to be for Shiness, Okami and The Last Guardian. So keep a look out for those.)

– Quest
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My last review: Owlboy Review – “I’m not crying, you’re crying.”

Owlboy Review – “I’m not crying, you’re crying.”

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Developer: D-Pad Studio
Publisher: D-Pad Studio
Platform: PC
Released: November 1, 2016

I spent a whole day in front of the computer screen playing Owlboy not because I wanted to get out my first review as quick as possible. But because I wanted to actually play this game.

Owlboy is a game that sinks its’ talons into you and doesn’t let go until the very end. The story and gameplay soar above the competition and show that NINE years of hard work and dedication that D-Pad Studio put into this piece of art have been worth every single second of blood sweat and tears.

Owlboy is a seemingly simple story about a mute owl boy named Otus, who kind of just sucks at being an Owl and his military friend Getty, who works in the military defending people against the reign of evil robot pirates. Along the way they meet up with the defected pirate, Alphonse and a very very interesting spider named Twig.

Each character in Owlboy has their own distinct abilities that get you through the dungeons and the massive puzzle-like over world.

Otus gets to fly around the screen freely, he has a dodge, a spin move and he can pick up items and his companions. His dodge in the air and on the ground gives him momentum, so you can spam it as much as possible and move very quickly around the screen.

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Getty is a shooter, he’s the main way you’ll be dealing damage in the game for the first half.

Alphonse has a big musket that shoots a big fire-ball and then becomes a lighter that will ignite torches and burn foliage.

Stick can shoot webs and can hold bad guys in their place, if you hold down the shoot button he will pull you across the screen and you will be invisible to incoming attacks.

The game is like Zelda in its’ gameplay structure. There are many dungeons that you will work your way through with the help of your friends. The way you do this is very unique though and one of the reasons I love this game so much. The main gameplay mechanic of Owlboy is you have to pick up and carry your partners around. So you end up having to drop them and tossing them aside to grab items in the dungeons or the world. It’s very seamless. The game introduces an item to you that lets your allies teleport in and out of the screen, so you don’t have to worry about where they are or if they die (which is good.)

The controls in Owlboy were meticulously crafted and tuned to a point where everything seems so flawless when you’re playing at your best.

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The game is very unique in the way that the speed of which the game is played rests highly on your shoulders as the player. You can be like me and go as fast as possible and try to be as flashy as you want, then end up getting killed a lot. Or you can be like others and take it slowly. Most games that are played fast are done so through exploits and glitches, but Owlboy has embraced the idea of total player control and really lets you go crazy with it.

The boss fights in this game are so fun and out of this world. The final boss fight is one of the coolest and visually appealing fights I have ever done. All of the fights in this game are unique and stick out. They’re all very difficult, but very rewarding. Owlboy makes you think on your failures with every respawn.

Now my only complaint about the game is actually the difficulty of the platforming at the end of the game. It was difficult to complete the level, avoiding spoilers here, but I know that it was intentionally put that way. I don’t think I agree with the choice though, the difficulty spike does come out of nowhere.

Despite that the game is phenomenal!

The pixel art done by Simon. S. Andersen is to DIE for. There hasn’t been a modern indie game ever to achieve such high fidelity pixel graphics. Many indie titles like to do pixel art and it looks good, don’t get me wrong. Owlboy does it 100% right and breathes new life into the art form.

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The sound direction done by Jonathon Geer is once again, mind blowingly good. The studio hired a small orchestra to perform the orchestrated music within the game. And the composed bit tunes that are spread out and mixed with the orchestra is jaw dropping.

The writing in Owlboy is top-notch, the humor and charisma that these characters have are well thought out and fantastic. Each character has a generic video game archetype that gets turned on its head at some point throughout and it’s exploited to go deeper within the character and progress the story. (Twig is my personal favorite character.)

The story is a complex tale that is told simply. Many of the situations that the characters get put in are generic and what we are used to as video game players and what we have come to expect from games of this ilk. But what Owlboy does different is that it turns that on its head as well and the game never ends up going where you expect it to.

All of the elements of this game come together and make a beautiful and cohesive piece, something that a lot of games have truly been missing for a while. Everything from the graphics, to the music to the gameplay have a meaning in correlation to the story of Owlboy. All the sums of the games parts come together and give you a never ending feeling of awe.

Everything in Owlboy is a message to you as the player and to the characters themselves. Owlboy at the core is a beautiful and chipper story about failure. It teaches you as the player that failure will definitely come and that you can overcome it. The game hits you over the head constantly with hard obstacles and puzzles, but you persevere. Otus fails at being a true Owl, but he continues on. Alphonse fails at being a pirate. Getty fails at being a solider.

Owlboy shows us that through failure there is a future and through our shortcomings, there are others there to lift us up. Destruction is another form of creation and failure is a new beginning.

PROS
+ Beautiful graphics
+ Heart warming and unique story
+ Tight controls
+ Amazing cast
CONS
– Frustrating end game platforming

Final Score: 9.7/10

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Personal aside: This game came to me at a perfect time in my life and symbolically enough it’s the first review on my review blog. Owlboy moved me to tears as it dropped me from the heavens into the hallowed Earth. It made me realize how beautiful my life was and how thankful and inspired I should be to press on and continue doing these blogs. Owlboy is a god send, literally, and I can’t thank the studio more. This game is definitely the best game I have played all year. And more than anything it is definitely one of my favorite games of all time.

– Quest

Please follow me on Twitter!: @Okayquest