Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Catherine is frustrating, Kinectimals is cute, Dance Central is great

Catherine could just as easily be renamed 'Tower of Ragequit'.

I decided to take a dabble into the world of Catherine, the new game from the developers of the Shin Megami Tensei: Persona franchise. A survival horror puzzle platformer dating sim certainly sounds like a new experience. But does it work?

Monday, July 25, 2011

XBLA Weekend: Torchlight, The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile, and others

Torchlight is an excellent dungeon crawler.

Saturday evening turned into a bit of an XBLA proving ground. I downloaded a whole host of titles in my continuing mission to find a game worthy of my 800 points. In and amongst the games were a few choice highlights and a very certain lowlight. Winner of the night – Torchlight.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Summer of Arcade: The Kid loaded up Bastion, and it was good (XBLA)

Bastion looks new and familiar all at once.

After much hype and fuss since I first heard of its development, SuperGiant Games’ Bastion finally saw release this week, as part 1 of Xbox’s Summer of Arcade season. If the trial version is anything to go by, this is a very impressive little title.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Alice continues to dazzle and delight; Alan is barely awake

The swift justice of the Vorpal Blade really shows off A:MR's visuals.

After another week of playing, I’ve seen even more of the alphabetically prime Alice: Madness Returns and Alan Wake, the latter of which I finished last night. Asides from that, I took some time to try out a couple of releases; some new, and some not so new on the XBLA Marketplace.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

First Impressions: Alan Wake (X360)

Alan ain't afraid o' no ghost.

Last weekend, Amazon delivered two new bright young things to Notre maison d’amour numérique: Alan Wake and Alice: Madness Returns. I spent the week mostly engrossing myself in the psychological thriller that is Alan Wake, and took a backseat to watch my girlfriend work through Spicy Horse’s sequel to American McGee’s Alice. Both games deal with eerie worlds in almost diametrically opposed ways.
Alan Wake plays like a television series – the game goes so far as to even be split up into ‘episodes’, whilst Alice: Madness Returns is a more whimsical affair, though its cute and colourful visuals look to belie a serious, blackened core of a story. Essentially, both of the protagonists in these games are disturbed by their thoughts, and suffer in varying degrees as victims of their own psyche. Whilst running and gunning certainly has a time and place in terms of good, clean fun, I have always found myself to be most drawn in by a good story, and if there can be even so much as a dash of suffering, I’m on board. Let’s take a look at Alan Wake first-off.

Friday, July 8, 2011

New Adventures in XBLA

Journey isn't on XBLA, but it represents how I feel when I sit at the Marketplace menu.

A recent change in both location and situation has left me with substantially more free time to spend playing video games. Laden with such time, my first port of call was my list of older games I wanted to catch up on, and after some deliberation I chose to start with the serially-delayed Remedy joint, Alan Wake, of which many good things were heard. Having then placed the order with my good friends at Amazon, I opted to pass the waiting time by delving into the cavernous realm of Xbox’s Game Marketplace to try out a few mostly-recent demos. Here are my impressions on them: