Monday, November 26, 2012

DooM Retrospect

 This is kind of a review but more of a look back at what makes DooM and DooM II so great. So Thanksgiving... great sales ... needless to say I picked up DooM 3 BFG Edition from Steam for a great low price of $15. Keep in mind I already own the original release of 3 and have owned the first two for a very long time. So long and short. I picked it up primarily for the new campaign with 3 but besides that I figured I would play through all games in order from start to finish. So I fire up the game and then choose DooM from the menu, that is after doing a fun little play (1 hour) of DooM 3 to see if I could tell the rendering improvements they have made. As far as I can tell, the looks are still the same but the rendering itself has been improved as in optimized. Oh it can now be played in 1080 without modding the config files (most awesome). So DooM 3 plays and feels like a DooM game but now it comes time to load the first one and start my journey. 

Dead silence fills the dark halls, pistol in hand, semi lit rooms, ambient zombie moans. The first few levels of Episode 1 Knee Deep in the Dead are very simple to help you build up the courage to play through the rest of the game. The level design, enemy and item placement, top notch. The game is not super dark to scare you, the ambiance created through the sounds and gritty imagery keep you at edge. The enemies let off their painful moans or their hellish sounds, edge building cause you know they are there you just do not know where.

This is where I will make a small comparison between 3 and the first 2, 3 will, most of the time, spawn an enemy in from silence to give you that at the moment jump from pop out. 1 and 2 both let you know that the enemies are there but keeps them from you or has them hidden in a corner. This also allows you to sometimes sneak up onto an enemy. But 3 only seems to have the zombies placed and all hell based enemies usually spawn into the combat instead of being engaged upon. To be fair Doom 3 was meant to be faster paced and try a new scare tactic, which did work very well, but it is not DooM and DooM II style.

I love all 3 so I have no favorites. I just felt that little feeling of hopelessness and major accomplishment while playing through the first that I did not really get when playing the third. Maybe it's the sounds and dingy GFX that the game was made with, maybe it was the magic that ID had back then. But needless to say and regardless of why, DooM and Doom 2 have a feeling that overtakes you while you play. Doom 3 gives a very good thrilling experience.

So the summary of what you should take from this is that even if you came after the first 2 installments and have only played through the 3rd, play the first two. Trust me, it is well worth the experience. And it will let you fully appreciate where first person shooters are now today.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

They Bleed Pixels Review

They Bleed Pixels, one word, … beat your face in .. (ok, maybe more than one). This is a pixelized platformer by Spooky Squid Games. Controls are pretty simple but take a little to perfect. And the graphics are pretty good for pixel art. Now about what the game is... a platformer with some crazy jumps and obstacles that require precise timing. Creatively killing enemies and finding hidden items and power ups. You get graded at the end of each dream sequence for the amount of blood you spilt and how creative your kill combos were. The check pint system is also very unique in that you collect blood from your kills and after you have collected so much you can then stand in place to cast your check point.

Gameplay : 9 – A jump and an attack button that uses some good directional combos to perform different moves. Simple but takes a little to get used to.
Graphics : 8 – A mix between pixel art and paper and ink styles. A very neat blend.
Sound : 6 – Nothing special to help make game darker but then again the specialness of this game is the unique gameplay and visuals.
Length : A lot of time. A single stage can take between 20 – 40 minutes. Has about 40 stages or so.
Price : $9.99
Recommendation : If you like good challenging platformers then this is for you. If you get nerd rage easy, this game is not recommended.

Home Review

As I promised here is a nice little batch of reviews.

Home, a story adventure game by Benjamin Rivers. Gameplay is very simple. Left and right arrows move you, up arrow holds your light source a little higher …. pretty straight forward. So what is the game? Let me answer that. The game starts off by your character waking up in a strange house and can not remember what happened previous. The rest is obvious .. explore your surroundings, make decisions about if you keep items or let them be. Play out the story and have a hauntingly good time.

Gameplay : 10 – Very simple controls.
Graphics : 7 – Very simple pixel art with a very cool filter to give it that creepy edge.
Sound : 8 – Keeps you engaged and kinda creeped out.
Length : 1:30 – 2 Hours
Price : $2.99
Recommendation : Definitely, if you enjoy a nice little story with out demanding controls or game play, this is for you...

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sorry for the Long Inactivity

Played a bunch of good stuff and have been very busy with Enguised Studios but this week I will put some much needed time aside to do a couple reviews and posts. Games that may be reviewed...

Warhammer 40K Dawn of War
Warhammer 40K Dawn of War II
They Bleed Pixels
Age of Empires III
Dungeon Defenders
and possible others...........