Weekly Game Time #2

This week, I talk about five different games, Indigo Prophecy, Lost Planet, Moto GP 13, Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, and Portal 2.
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Indigo Prophecy

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Once I started getting into the game I couldn’t help but think it could have been named “Heavy Snow”, being the predecessor of Heavy Rain and it’s always snowing. I expected a decent game from what I had read about it and had seen, but I definitely wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it is. It’s an older game and it shows. While the graphics are noticeably dated, it’s also just easy to ignore because of the cinematic camera work, the story, and the music. I really think it still holds up very well with its beautiful aesthetics. I’m enjoying it just as much as I enjoyed Heavy Rain. It’s really impressive and I’ve been totally immersed.

You play as three different characters, two cops and a citizen. So far I really care about two of the characters, not so much for the black guy. Sadly he is totally a stereo-type and kind of boring because of it. I say kind of, because he is a cool dude, it’s just sad what they did to him. Even when you play as him the music goes from a dark, moody yet beautiful sound, to 80’s hip-hop/porn music. It doesn’t necessarily ruin the character, but it did ruin the mood for me. Fortunately it doesn’t happen every time you play as him. It was just very noticeable the first time it happened. The more I play, the more I enjoy each of them. But my favorite right now is the female cop.

The game sucked me in right from the start. The opening credits were beautiful aesthetically. The music is wonderful. The story pretty much thrusts you right into a dramatic event. I always like that. I used to love stories that dragged out, but not anymore. This one’s pacing is really nice. Of course there are also slow parts. I was just glad it started fast. It’s deeply story-driven.

Getting started was a bit of a pain. The game won’t recognize the right analog stick of my controller so I broke down and modified a few keybinds for the keyboard and I was good to go. It’s working out pretty well. There have been a couple of quick-time-events that got me a bit stuck but once I learned how exactly they worked, it became easy. The mechanics of the QTEs are pretty neat and very similar to Heavy Rain. Since I’m playing on the keyboard they are a bit tricky but easy to get used to. Taking the place of the left analog stick on a controller, I have W, A, S, D as my movements. The camera moves while holding the right mouse button in most scenes, but some scenes don’t allow you free reign on the camera. You can also go into first-person mode for a look around.

During the QTEs I have the arrow keys taking the place of the right analog stick of a controller. It probably sounds awkward, and it is a little, but it works out okay because during the QTEs you don’t need the mouse or regular buttons. You have these Simon Says style colored button prompts to follow. Two different circles appear on the screen with four colors. Each circle represents each analog stick. Sounds weird doesn’t it? See the screenshot above to get a better idea. It’s actually pretty fun. And the QTE’s aren’t the typical ones you’re used to in most games. These are a mix of sequences and timed cinematic events, very cool.

For the dialogue scenes you hold the left mouse button and drag the mouse left, right, up, and down for your different choices. For some of the action sequences you drag left, then up, or right, then up, and so on. It’s frustrating at first, but it’s really not that bad once you get used to it.

If you’ve played and enjoyed Heavy Rain but, like me, you never experienced Indigo Prophecy, pick it up. You won’t regret it. If you have not experienced Heavy Rain, go out of your way to do so. Play it at a friend’s. And understand that these are interactive movies. They aren’t shooters, they aren’t hack-and-slash. They allow you to experience the story by interacting with the characters. Similar to The Walking Dead game but a hundred times more interactive. This isn’t the kind of game you will jump into and just play. It’s for when you’re in the mood to experience a great story. So you’ll want to be patient and ready to sit back and enjoy.

Since it’s old, you may not want to pay $20 for it. I think it’s definitely worth it. But I’m also a super cheap gamer. The game goes on sale maybe twice a year for $5. So when you see it on sale, just pick it up for the next time you’re in a mood to enjoy a kickass interactive story.

Lost Planet

It took me awhile to finally pick this up. I read plenty of reviews that practically sold me on the game, but then I’d look at it and I would think it does look cool, but it also looks like just another shooter. It is just another shooter, but it’s just another good one! I’m only a couple of hours into it but the story seems pretty decent. It has me interested. The aliens are crazy freaking awesome looking. And they’re huge! Of course, the aliens come in assorted sizes. Some are bigger that a skyscraper, others are bigger than a house, and then some are human size or smaller. Most of the ones I’ve encountered so far are pretty big. I’m loving it!

The game mechanic for health is interesting. I’m still not sure how it fully works. It’s been explained in the game already but I have a terrible memory and I just don’t care about the abilities names and such. I’m sure I’ll start to remember it as I continue playing. You have a shield that’s a part of some energy power you have. It slowly drains itself no matter what you do in the game. It’s also depleted quicker by the damage you take from enemies. You replenish it by picking up energy from the enemies you kill. You can actually collect a whole crap-ton of this stuff and get a really large shield built up as long as you keep killing enemies.

Being able to get inside of a mech is also really cool. Besides the cool mech aspect, you have a Bionic Commando style grapple-hook. I haven’t had to use it too much in my first few steps in the game, but I think it’s pretty neat so far.

I just realized something I think is funny. This is another game with a lot of snow. While you can tell the graphics are dated, some of the in-game scenes I’ve seen early on are pretty dang amazing.

Moto GP 13

I haven’t played a motorcycle racing sim since I was in my early teens. I can’t even remember the names of the ones I had played back then. This was an unexpected nice return to the genre. Of course, I wouldn’t have played it if it wasn’t added to OnLive cloud-gaming platforms PlayPack. This is their optional monthly subscription plan. If you want to know more about OnLive, feel free to read my article on it.

This isn’t a game I would normally buy nowadays. Not because I don’t have interest in it, but because I don’t have as much interest in this type of game as I used to. I have enough racing games to play already and if I’m gonna buy a new one, I’d prefer one with more impressive graphics. Not that this game doesn’t have nice graphics. I just wouldn’t call them impressive.

With all of OnLive’s new releases, I just throw myself into it and see what the newest game on the platform is like. I was surprised at how much fun I had in this one. It’s a very serious technical racer. The fact that you need to use two different brakes threw me off quite a bit. But it also intrigued me. That was new to me, and I liked it. I still don’t really understand how the brakes are supposed to work, but I have come to experience that using the front broke over the rear brake gives better control. That might depend on your riding style though, I’m not sure. I’ve only tried one riding style so far. There are several to choose from. I cannot explain them. I have no idea what they even mean. I just read the descriptions of each and picked the one I thought sounded neat.

It’s definitely not a racing game I’ve been used to, since I haven’t played a real sim in so long. Going from full speed to almost a full halt is weird. But I definitely like it. I still prefer my arcade racers and crazy play-style in games like Pure and MX vs ATV but I’m really liking this one so far. I’d appreciate any tips. I use the front brake as my hard brake and it usually works out well, but if I use it too late I tend to have the rear of my bike come off the ground and end up in a crash. It’s pretty funny but I’d like to play better. I do alternate between the two and use both at the same time, but I still don’t really understand how it works. When I use both brakes I, slide out of control often.

Call of Juarez: Gunslinger

I made a brief return to the game. I’d completed it not long after the game was released. It’s a wonderful game. If you haven’t read my review on it, have a look.  I was just in the mood to do some shooting, and I wanted to do it in style. I love cartoon/comic-book style graphics in my games. I’m an artist so that style is special to me. I also hadn’t started a New Game Plus yet since I completed it the first time.

I played about half an hour of New Game Plus on the True West difficulty. It’s pretty neat, and definitely hard. I had a laugh at myself when I ran out of ammo and had no idea. Then I couldn’t even get a new weapon so I had to start the mission all over again. I hadn’t played in so long that I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t pick up two guns. Apparently I was trying to hold two different guns of the same type, and the game doesn’t let you do that. For example you can only hold one type of pistol, shotgun, or rifle. But for some reason the dual-wield hand-held shotguns count as pistols and I didn’t realize that. It had been awhile since I played though so I forgot some things. Or, maybe it was just bugged? I dunno.

One of my first steps back into the game had me killing three dudes at once with one shot from each of my duel-wielded shotguns. That was awesome. This game is a real blast!

Portal 2

Seven and a half hours slipped by without my knowing. I hadn’t played the game in a month or two and I wasn’t in any particular mood, I just wanted to play a game. So I figured why not play some Portal 2? I still haven’t completed the first game. I got very far but then I just stopped. The reason I decided to move on to Portal 2 was just because the Steam Trading Card system offers cards for it. I will eventually return to 1 and finish it.

I always forget how awesome these games are. I’m not a big puzzle game fan. I don’t mind puzzles or anything, but they’re definitely not my favorite type of games. I really liked Portal, but 2 is ridiculously better. I cared about the robots in the first game, but now in the second game the creators have made me care even more. I even care for the super evil master robot. She makes me laugh every time she talks. They all do though. It’s some great entertaining stuff. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as much as I have during this game as I have playing any other game. It’s a pretty clever game. There’s a nice mesh of puzzles that actually make sense, and puzzles that make absolutely zero sense at all, forcing you to think “outside of the box”.

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Extremely passionate about video games.