Post mortem: Nier

There are great games, and then there are games that are great despite actually being rather poor in the “game” department.  For some reason flawed gems like Nier (Mass Effect is another) end up becoming some of my favorites because they managed to overcome their shoddy implementation to tell a phenomenal story, and thus leave a lasting mark on my gamer soul.  I played through Nier twice in order to see the (first) alternate ending, and I almost never play a game more than a single time.  It was just that gripping. Nier puts you in the shoes of a [... read the rest ...]

Post mortem: Radiant Historia

It has been nearly twenty-five years since I played my first JRPG, Final Fantasy, and as time has gone by I’ve played fewer games from the genre every year.  Although I like the formula that these role playing games bring to the table, there is no denying that innovation within the genre is all but dead.  I probably would have given Radiant Historia a pass if not for Jeremy Parish‘s enthusiastic review on the now defunct Active Time Babble podcast.  I’m glad that I picked up a copy – this is a Nintendo DS game that JRPG fans cannot allow [... read the rest ...]

Post mortem: Machinarium

A couple of years ago I tried the demo for Machinarium and was not impressed.  After playing the three demo levels I was left with a bad taste in my mouth, and never even considered spending money on the game.  It turns out I didn’t have to – after gifting Lost Horizon to one of the hosts of the GameBurst podcast for a job well done, I was repaid with a generous gift of the Humble Indie Bundle #2 and #3, and specifically Machinarium.  Not wanting to be a prude, I fired up the quirky little puzzler and played it [... read the rest ...]

Post mortem: Dungeon Siege III

Back in my university days I played the original Dungeon Siege.  It was a passable roleplaying game – I remember the world being generic and the combat being slow-paced – but not special enough to warrant the purchase of the sequel.  With that history in mind, I never would have given Dungeon Siege III a second glance without the mini-revolt that diehard fans of the series started when details of the third game started to surface. “This isn’t a Dungeon Siege game – it’s more like Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance!” the complaints went.  That got my attention.  My wife and [... read the rest ...]

Aug 222011
Post mortem: Bayonetta

I’m having a hard time deciding what to write about Bayonetta after polishing it off last Friday because, after all, I’ve already written nine hundred and twenty two words about the game’s demo. I played the game at an incredibly leisurely pace which was completely at odds with the cadence of the game’s content; the twelve hour story mode took me nearly two months to complete (but that was mostly a result of the beautiful summer weather and should not be taken as an indictment of the game).  In almost all respects, Bayonetta’s demo was an extremely accurate portrayal of [... read the rest ...]

Post mortem: Lego Indiana Jones 2

Back in late 2009 my wife and I played through Lego Indiana Jones and had a blast. Thus, it was with significant excitement and lofty expectations that we approached the sequel.  In a lot of ways it would be easy to say that if you have seen one Lego adventure game then you have seen them all, however the developers have steadily iterated on their core concept and changed a lot along the way – not always for the better. Lego Indiana Jones 2 is a platform/adventure game that takes the player(s) through the plot of the “Kingdom of the [... read the rest ...]

Post mortem: Super Scribblenauts

Super Scribblenauts is the sequel to the flawed but innovative 2009 title, Scribblenauts.  While I did not play the original, it was maligned for its awful controls, excruciating platforming, and puzzles that could be solved using the same toolset almost every time, robbing the game of its challenge.  5th Cell seems to have taken the criticisms it received to heart, because Super Scribblenauts is a fantastic vocabulary puzzler that is perfect in almost every way. The premise of the game is that you have to solve small puzzles in order to earn stars and unlock levels, which allows you to [... read the rest ...]

Post mortem: Star Wars - Knights of the Old Republic

Back in February I asked for help in choosing my next big game, and the overwhelming choice from the options that I gave was that I should play through Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR).  Released in 2003 by Bioware, KOTOR seems to be particularly beloved by fans, however gaming expectations have changed in the intervening years, and the new normal does not always favor the classics.  Of course, some games – like Valve’s first Half Life – are still wonderful to play even now, but games like that are the exception, not the rule. Star Wars: KOTOR [... read the rest ...]

Post mortem: Final Fantasy - The 4 Heroes of Light

As a general rule, I only play the main line Final Fantasy titles; I’ve been burnt far too many times by bad games in the spinoff series (most notably the abysmal Crystal Chronicles atrocities).  After hearing a few early previews claiming that the latest entry in the franchise, The 4 Heroes of Light on the Nintendo DS, was a throwback to the old school NES title that kicked everything off, I decided to break my own rule and spring for a copy.  It was an excellent decision. After popping the cartridge into my DS and firing up the game, the [... read the rest ...]

Post mortem: Uncharted 2 - Among Thieves

Three weeks ago, hot on the heels of polishing off Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, I came home from the mall with a copy of Among Thieves.  Upon seeing what was in the bag that I handed her, the conversation with my wife went something like this: Me: “Look what I bought! Uncharted 2!” Wife: “When are you going to play it?” Me: “Well, I….” Wife: “Now. You’re going to play it now!!” And so it began again. Like with the first game, I was not allowed to play Uncharted 2 without her in the room watching, and even more than the [... read the rest ...]

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