52 IN 52: Fall of the New Age felled

Jul. 12th, 2017 09:21 am
swordianmaster: (supernerdy)
[personal profile] swordianmaster
Sometimes I don't want a game that is a "good" or "enriching" gameplay experience, sometimes I just wanna poke at some casual Big Fish-style shovelware shit in an afternoon.

RiseFall of the New Age is the latter.

This was your standard "be a pixel-hunting kleptomaniac, rub objects against other objects, watch things explode" deal, with a few hidden object puzzles for assembling disguises or getting past puzzle locks that were just. Hidden object puzzles. (Who designs doors like that?) It's about a luddite cult trying to drive an industrialist country into the dark ages, your usual Dungeons & Dragons low-magic stuff. You play as Marla, the Master Of Unlocking. (no, seriously, there's no less than 15 lockpicking minigames here). The cult has kidnapped your brother, and you are a bad enough dudette to team up with some swashbuckling hobo to rescue him.

Honestly, this wasn't bad... or rather, it was increasingly bad, but in a good way. Somewhere around the 1/3rds mark, the quality control on the script went straight into the garbage disposal, subtitles didn't match voices, and voices got progressively more phoned in, culminating in a villain deadpanning out "mom. mommy." as he is defeated. Your main antagonist goes for most of the game by the pseudonym "Master Lame". There's also the fact that the game throws a fake ending at you, kicking you to the main menu and saying "CLEARED THE GAME, HERE'S SOME STUFF" without actually. You know, concluding the plot or anything.

That said, there was exactly one point that I screamed in frustration and used the game's in-game "I suck at this, let me cheat" option. THIS IS NOT HOW MACHINERY WORKS.

I think I got this for a buck off an IndieGala bundle. It's about worth that; it's your average shovelware quality adventure title. It's good for what it is, but I wouldn't expect the $7 worth of game Steam is asking you to pay on normal price.

52 IN 52: Ever Oasis cleared

Jul. 10th, 2017 09:19 am
swordianmaster: (that is my fetish)
[personal profile] swordianmaster
I won't lie: I got into this one the exact same way I got into Undertale.

That is to say: I didn't even know this game existed until I started seeing a bunch of porn of one of the characters (similarly to Undertale, it's an important but ultimately unfocused-on character) and then I started looking into what it was.

What is it? Well, it's kind of a weird hybrid of a town builder and an action RPG; think Soul Blazer, or Dark Cloud. (It's done by the Zelda 3DS port guys, so I'm sure that there's a bunch of seams you can push a semi-truck through for speedrunners.) You're plopped in the middle of a world that has, since ancient times, been reduced to a barren husk of a Desert World by sentient despair and negativity known (so originally) as Chaos. You're a special type of seedling (think 'plant people') able to create an Oasis, a fertile, lush outpost in that desert.

In fact, yours is actually the last one. Turns out bad vibes are on an upswing. So you have to build Something out of damn near nothing.

What follows is a lot of running around hitting stuff with swords and recruiting people into coming to crash at your place. Fellow Seedlings can be brought in to set up shops or tend your garden, and other desert races can be brought in to do explorations on their own. (All of the characters you recruit can be swapped into your party, though admittedly that makes them kind of samey.)

If nothing else, the races are unique; in addition to the plant people, you have:
- Drauks (lizard/dragon folk, aka "my fetish???", use spears and enjoy fashion and honor)
- Serkah (weird chufty nomadish folk with... scorpions for heads? No seriously, their heads are cycloptic scorpions that move their pincers in place of a mouth. Either way, they're your gourmands and use the big hammers)
- Lagora (bunny people, enjoy "novelties" (read: toys) and use double blades for maximum edginess)

and along with the recruitable characters, you also have Noots. Noots are the best thing about this game. They're penguin/owl hybrids who dress fancy, can't talk (except in chirps), and live only to be The Perfect Consumer. They are a race of adorable Capitalism Borbs. It is the best thing and if we don't have plushies made I will be sad.

...right, I'm rambling. The game isn't perfect (I had a few complaints about the ability gating in some areas, as well as the fact that the game never tells you that the last few abilities are based on equipment, not skills) and the combat can be kind of hard to get a feel for, but it's real pretty. It sticks to the "desert wanderer" aesthetic and nails it hard, and while the soundtrack isn't on my top 10, it's perfectly functional for what it is. (I didn't find myself really cringing or humming any of it, so it's just sort of there.)

Is it worth the $40 it costs right now? Ehhhh.... mmmaybe. If you liked Recettear and can handle combat that's kind of fiddly and encourages hanging back and memorizing enemy attack tells, then it has a lot of potential. If you're looking for a game to scratch that Secret of Mana itch (since it was made by the guy who spearheaded that) then maybe hold off til it's on sale.

Still, I don't regret the purchase.
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