Category Archives: Games

Stuff about games.

Rayman Legends

I haven’t been gaming a lot lately. It’s not due to a lack of games – I’ve found myself trying out many of the various AAA titles I’ve missed in the past few years, but nothing really stuck. Either I missed them for a reason, or I’ve just had so much to do I don’t really have the energy to delve into deep games.

Enter: Rayman Legends! A delightful 2D platformer, beautifully animated, with simply gameplay that’s still varied enough to keep me hooked. Save vikings, beat dragons, jump on pillows – and look stilish while doing so! It’s the perfect game to turn off your brain.

And that’s all the energy I have to write this post. The game’s dirt cheap and available on every current console. Try it out!

 

Final Fantasy X

(postscript: Yes I am aware nostalgia is a thing and No I do not care nostalgia is a thing)

Life has been a tornado lately (I originally wrote hurricane, but I couldn’t help but read those words to the Ducktales tune so I changed it to tornado, fyi). I’ve been working non-stop, my private life is an absolute mess, and what little free time I have I spend on the train.

To this end, I’ve bought a PlayStation Vita. Yes, the Sony handheld. Yes, the one that’s been pretty much dead for over a year. The reason for my purchase, apart from suddenly being in the blissful situation of finally making money? Final Fantasy X.

Final Fantasy X is pretty mixed as far as Final Fantasy games go, but to me, it was the last one I could consider a great game. It looked great at the time (and honestly, the remake looks stunning on the Vita), the battle system was fun (if a bit lengthy) and the setting and story were breathtaking.

Actually, they still are. Sure, the game’s aged poorly, the voice acting is quite terrible, the uncomfortable silences drive me absolutely insane, but behind it are some solid ideas – that were definitely hampered by the lack of experience with the technology they were created for.

Final Fantasy X still moves me. It’s a tragedy, a star-crossed lovers kind of story, that, themewise, is built entirely on circles. You level on a sphere grid. You play sports in a floating ball of water. Even the story, which centers around the breaking of age-old traditions, is littered with them.

Sure, you play as a metrosexual Japanese teen, one of your teammates is a giant talking cat, and yeah, the mysterious bushido plot device is definitely a thing… but to me, this game played its emotional beats precisely right. And to be honest, it’s the last time a single-player Final Fantasy game has managed to do that.

Now let’s hope XV is good!

How Heroes of the Storm wants to turn me into an asshole

Yeah yeah, I know what you’re going to say – I’m already an asshole, yadda yadda, apply water to burn, etc. But is that true, really? If you look into yourself, when have I ever been truly nasty to you from the bottom of my heart?

Okay, yeah, sure, that one time, but you had it coming.

That’s right. Admit it. I’m a cuddly little teddy bear.

Which is why I steered clear of games like Defense of the Ancients or League of Legends. In these multiplayer Moba-style games, you take the role of a hero and, along with four other players, try to grab hold of the enemy base while the opposing team tries to do the same. Not only are these games notoriously hard to master, but they’re a cesspool of verbal abuse. Within ten minutes of my first real Dota game, one of my teammates advised me that I should get neutered. That’s right. Neutered. Because I was bad at games and I would undoubtedly hand this terrible disease on to my next of kin.

So I was not entirely without reservations when I installed Heroes of the Storm – Blizzard’s take on the Moba genre. In it, Blizzard heroes from all of their universes duke it out like that absurd fanfiction I wrote in the nineties. The game sports some key design differences that make it more accessible – it uses team effort to increase the players’ levels instead of personal skill, for instance – and I really like Uther, so I figured: Why not?

So I started playing. And I sucked. Yet nobody wanted to sterilize me. Maybe they did, but they didn’t openly admit it. Someone called me an idiot. But this is the internet, so he was essentially slapping me with a puppy. I liked the game, kept playing more games, got better at it, picked a hero I really liked, started winning more games and got a feeling I had never experienced before: I was actually enjoying a multiplayer game.

And then I started noticing it. That one guy. The one who idles in base for too long. Who is jungling when he shouldn’t be. Who keeps overextending himself and dying. Whose terrible decision-making costs us the entire game. At these times, I want nothing more but to ram down on the enter key and type the best-phrased line of insults to this random guy on the internet, just because he is keeping the team down and wasting everyone’s time. And I don’t want to brag, but my eloquence would totally reduce this guy to cinders like that guy who opens the ark in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

But I don’t. Because I’m a grown-up. Grown-ups don’t call people morons. No do they tell people to get sterilized. Grown-ups know eugenics, and grown-ups knows how genetics work.

Then what do grown-ups do?

They ping the noob endlessly so everyone can look at his glowing icon on the minimap  and see for themselves what a moron he is.

(P.S.: If you still want to play with me, you can add me as Otcho#1421.)