It’s taking me a while to get the next part up, so I think it would be a good opportunity to talk about games that I’ve been playing recently. I was going to talk about it in a live stream, but forget it; I’m too lazy to do that.
DOOM 3 (PC, Xbox – 2004)
Some readers may find certain images in this section disturbing.
Let’s Start with a game that is part of a Series that I’ve been playing the entirety of. DOOM 3 is the only game in the franchise that I haven’t played yet, and for good reason… it is, thematically, a complete 180 from all the other games: Instead of a fast-paced, exploration-based shooter, we have a slower-paced, and much more linear horror game. I didn’t think I would like it… and once I sat down and began playing, it did take a while for the game to get running, but once it did… I did not want to stop.
Just because the game has a slower pace, doesn’t mean it loses it grip on you. Indeed, the atmosphere of the game helps keep an even stronger hold on you than other games in the franchise. The gritty and dark visuals still look great, even if the polygon count reveals the game’s true age; and even the Demons look a lot more intimidating than any of their other representations. The action is still there, and there’s still a lot of it, although, being horror based, there are more things to look out for, like ammo cabinets and locked doors that require the use of 3-digit codes found via PDAs, and ammo management [Using the right weapon on the right enemy, and not using any single weapon too often].
It plays great as well, but there is one issue with the game. The dark atmosphere is perhaps too good, as, while it builds up the scare quotient, it makes facing off against enemies the worst. The game gives you a flashlight, but you can’t have it out while you fire at the demons. You can look and be defenseless, or you can’t see what you’re shooting at. I think the idea is that you need to listen closely and use your memory to determine where enemies are, but that takes time to get used to, so if you are going to get this game, either be ready to take a lot of hits, or get the BFG edition, which grants you a temporary flashlight on your weapons.
By the way, as far as how scary the game is, I had trouble sleeping, fading in and out of a Doom 3 related dream for at least an hour before finally getting some rest. Enough said.
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA X (PS4, PSV – 2016)
What? You though that just because I started with Doom, you’d think that the rest of this list would be filled with action-gore fests? Guess again!
OK, Full Disclosure: this is actually my Twin Brother’s game, but I figured that it has been a while since I played a rhythm game myself. That and the fact that all I’ve been seeing recently is hell, gore, and demons, meant that I needed a nice little breather when I’m not playing those games.
Plot? What Plot? Hatsune Miku and her friends can’t sing without your help, so help them get their groove back! As I mentioned, it’s a rhythm based game, so if you’ve played one, you’ve played them all; but just in case, you need to press the corresponding button sequences in time with the music playing in the background. The better you do, the higher your score; that’s it. The music is, naturally, from the Hatsune Miku Discography, and there are some fun moments in-between stages. You even get to interact with the entire cast: give advice, develop friendships, and even listen in to random squabbles as well.
Game progress is done by clearing songs in different “Music Clouds”, which contain 5 songs and a main event based on a theme (Classic, Cool, Cute, Quirky and Elegant), but you get to pick the order of songs you play, by connecting to the different clouds in any order. You can only connect to a cloud once you finish all songs in a previous cloud, however, so pick the songs you want to play wisely. Aside from that, if you know Hatsune Miku, and you know Rhythm Games, then you know what to expect if you’re considering purchasing it.
Metroid Prime: Trilogy (Wii – 2009)
Because of Course I am.
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back (PS1 – 1997)
Not Every game I’m playing right now is one I’m playing behind the scenes! Anyways, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back is a Platforming game from Naughty Dog, released all the way back in 1997. As a Kid, I had a lot of fun with this game’s sequel, Warped!, so I didn’t get to play this one until I was a little older. I very much enjoyed this game, even if Cortex was such an annoying boss, that I never got to see the game’s credits, hence why I’ve gone back to finish the job. The game starts off with Crash being teleported away from his home [while he was looking for a battery for his sister’s laptop], and is then tasked with helping Dr. Cortex to save the world [yeah, spoiled your plot twist with the title, guys] by collecting crystals scattered throughout the levels… or so he thinks.
For PS1 Standards, the game has very cartoon-like, yet detailed visuals, which work to the limitations of the hardware. Control-wise, it’s tight, responsive, and yet, so simple to learn. You only need to know that □ attacks, x jumps, ○ (or R1) Slides and crawls, and that you can use either the D-Pad or the Left analog stick to move around, whichever you like. There is quite a bit of a level of challenge, particularly in the later levels, and especially when returning to previous levels to collect Gems. It’s important to learn the controls and how they work with each other, [like how crouching before jumping will let you gain some extra height], so you can meet objectives like collecting all the boxes, running to the exit within a tight time limit, reaching a “death route” to clear a higher-difficulty course, finding secret warps, or even leaving every single box untouched just to get to the goal.
The boss fights are much easier and simpler to defeat than the main levels, even if you can only take one hit without Aku Aku by your side. Thankfully, even if you do foul up, the game gives you plenty of leeway in terms of lives. Currently, I’m at the last five main levels with just over 50 lives to spare, so I shouldn’t have to worry about a game-over… and even if I do, I can always reload to my last save. Overall, I am really enjoying this game, even if the game likes to give me a run for the Gems and Crystals at points.
Oh, and as far as the Crash Bandicoot Remakes announced on PS4… after I narrowly avoided picking up the trash that is No Man’s Sky, I’m going to be waiting for the reviews to roll in before I decide to pick it up, never mind have an opinion on it.
So yeah, I’m willing to try any game that catches my eye, be it based on Rhythm, scares, action or acrobatics… just don’t ask me to play a Real-Time Strategy game, alright?
By the way, I’m not in any way sponsored by the website I am about to mention, but I’m going to be doing more of these posts in the future; I started using a website called The Backloggery to keep track of any games I haven’t beaten yet, and…
…yeah, so keep an eye out for more posts.