So how do I decide what I’m going to review? Well, I pick games that interest me. I know that is a horrible standpoint for someone to review games but its the truth. I should jump on any game that scurries by and give it a chance, which I would love to do. However, most of the time, I find myself staring at the screen whilst inner dialogue is something a lot like two children arguing about why we should, or shouldn’t play said game. I will try anything once, and I am more than happy to demo any game people say I should look into, but I find it hard to force myself to play a game because that is the current awesome game that everyone else is playing. Honestly I could care less what everyone else is playing. I game so that I can have fun or that WE can have fun, we being the group of people I am currently with. Isn’t that why you game? Why would you sit down with Ghost Recon if you despise first person shooters? Why would you pop in some Final Fantasy if you hate RPGs? Why would you go become a Zoo Tycoon if you hate animals? *By the way, if you’re reading this and hate animals I’m sending the flying monkeys to beat some sense into you, seriously! What insane person hates animals?!*
My point is that, unless someone says hey give this a try, we usually go around doing stuff that we are fairly certain we will like. The point of the rant is this. I am open to playing anything, if you want me to play it, however, you HAVE to let me know, otherwise I will stay in my happy little bubble of games that I think suit me.
Now that you are all confused, shall we begin this week’s review?
Zoo Tycoon ~ Xbox Demo (Xbox Live Name: CrymsonPleasure)
So I’ve been playing the Zoo Tycoon games since the first one came out. I adore sim games, not all of them, some are pure nonsense, but I enjoy most of them. If you like them as I do, you will know that 90% of them are computer games. I truly believe that is where they belong. From Tropico to The Sims, playing them on a console has always seemed unnatural and a very frustrating hour of me either yelling at the controller or at the screen (or both). So I went into the Demo with my bar at the floor. I knew they had adorable graphics, which of course they do. I knew that you would only be shown the best parts of the game, which they did. I mean any Tycooner knows that the true playability of a game is when you are out of money and your guests are unhappy. Then it turns into a game of ‘How likely am I to throw my computer screen out the window’ on a scale of ‘Just breathe and maybe walk away’ to ‘CRYMSON SMASH!’. Of course we didn’t encounter any of that in the demo and I was left feeling lost. On general principle I wouldn’t buy it because its a console Tycoon game, which is more then likely to lead to me smashing something. However, I loved the interaction, the fact that I couldn’t run over my guests in the buggy they provided and you really get up close views of the Zoo animals. You have a first person type view as you walk around the park and you have the over head view that you are used to from other Tycoon games. I do feel like it glazed over a few of the really important aspects of the game, though. Is constructing an exhibit a monumental task? Are park guests impossible to please? Are there flying monkeys? These are just a few of the questions I was left pondering at the end of the demo. However, it is still an adorable looking game that promises some entertainment I can’t just the frustration factor from the demo alone. So, I end with a big old undetermined if I plan on buying this game. I may if I have an extra $60 laying around or I may wait until the price drops significantly and I don’t have anything else to play.
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII ~ Xbox Demo
First off, if you know me at all, you know I have a love/hate relationship with Square Enix over this franchise. Final Fantasy on the NES was my first game and my first console gaming love. I was a wee little thing and I used to play it with my father, who would help me get through the hard parts, or I would help him. It was awesome and amazing and super irritating. I played every single one I could get my hands on, leading up to my beloved Final Fantasy VII. I still go back to it. I put hundreds of hours into it, getting the Knights of the Round materia, the perfect Chocobo, crying over Aerith, exploring everything until I took down Sephiroth in a glorious battle that may have nearly given me a heart attack (it also got me in a ton of trouble because I was standing on my bed screaming at my TV the entire battle). I played 8, 9, 10 and even 10 2. Now 10 2, to me, was the beginning of a deep slope down a bad rabbit hole. I didn’t play 11 or 12, nope nope nope. 13 came out and everyone was excited and there was much talk of how they were making a come back. I was just bored. WAIT! Hear me out! Yes it was beautiful, breath taking! Where are my explorable towns with quirky towns folk with which I can chat? Where is my awesome, majestic air ship in which I can sail over the landscape boasting about how epic I am? Why am I seeing the same scenery over and over again as I try very hard to just get through this damned section? Why is a bird living in that dudes hair and why am I the only one that finds that gross? I felt like I was just dumped! I was heart broken! I turned it off and walked away vowing never to fall in love again (which was a total lie to myself I loved so many games after that).
So fast forward to now. I begrudgingly downloaded the demo. Its beautiful, I wish movies looked that amazing (hint hint Hollywood, hint hint). I watched the cut scenes in awe of how lovely they had become. I recognized a couple characters that I knew from playing previously. I still don’t know how I feel about changing clothes, felt a bit girly. I LOVE that I could change into a Dragoon! Some of the outfits were beautiful modern renditions of my first love! The controls seemed easy enough after a while, some button mashing and the like I’d have to get use to… but. I am going to go out and buy FF13. Its obviously continuing a story. I will finish FF13, I will buy and defeat 13 2 and come around to Lightning Returns. Maybe I was too harsh of the first game, maybe now that I am a little older and a little more open to games I will come around and love it this go.
Folk Tale ~ PC via Steam (Steam Name: Crymson Pleasure)
Fantasy Castle Sim for $19.99, I was so looking forward to this game. I haven’t played a good FCS in what feels like years. I got the game, downloaded it and tried really hard not to get pissed off. Firstly, the controls are confusing. You would think that a company would research other sim games and model their controls similar (not exact but over the years I’ve noticed there are only slight differences from one game to another) but they didn’t at all, making the process of relearning a bit annoying but that is something I can get over. They have a section for a Sandbox mode but they don’t actually have a Sandbox mode as of yet. If you are making the same frowned brow expression I am just wait, it gets worse. Nothing tells you how much it costs! To train a peon you have to just keep sending him into a building when your money increases and HOPE thats the right amount! You also cannot play buildings where you want during the tutorial, if you don’t play them exactly where the tutorial tells you to it won’t count to complete the current objective. Women cannot be trained to do anything except work in a tavern but they are more than able to build whatever you are trying to build. So I’ve got a ton of women running around my village that I can’t do anything with until more men arrive to move in? Can you guess how loudly I was cursing at this point? Then the game CRASHED! I go back in and since I haven’t finished the tutorial I have to go back into tutorial and from there and there only can I load my tutorial game that I thankfully saved. Let me point that out again, you cannot LOAD a game from the start menu. WTF! All of this lead into a CRYMSON SMASH moment where I knew I had to walk away before I hurt my poor computer who did nothing wrong. This game sucks, there I said it. It sucks! I wish I could get my money back but Steam doesn’t do refunds which had me rolling my eyes a bit but I understand. All and all? I’m pissed and won’t be buying anymore games off of Steam without a trial first, no matter how good they look or awesome they sound. At least I only lost on $20, it could have been worse. So my response, don’t buy this game!
** So I am doing an after note. After I read this review to my husband he said it sounded a bit harsh for a game that was still in Beta. So I looked up other reviews for the game and found one from a year earlier that I read to him. The reviewer complained about the exact same things I am complaining about here, from a year prior. To me that says volumes about what to expect from this game**
Elder Sign ~ Board Game
I love love love love love Elder Sign. This game is based on H.P Lovecraft stories of our beloved Cthulhu. You start as one of several investigators wandering around a museum. You have to go into changing rooms of the museum to finish challenges in order to collect items you need to stop the Elder Gods from rising. There are several different Gods to chose from. You need to collect Elder Signs (the number you need is determined by which God may awaken) in order to stop it. You have a clock that moves forward with every player’s turn and a doom track that tells you how close you are to getting eaten. Now when the God awakens you still have a chance to send him back, but its a small chance and it hurts a lot. I can’t say enough good things about this game! 1 to 8 players, takes about an hour to play. Exploring a museum, taking out monsters, weird weapons, the necronomicon, Elder Gods and times against you. What more could you want from a game?
Loot the World ~ App review
If you play Borderlands 2 then you should really have this app. You can scan barcodes and QR codes and you get random loot. You have your own QR code that people can scan to see what kind of item you are. As example, I am a shield. You can connect this app to your account and send anything you think nifty right into your game. Sounds awesome right? It is! The only down side is we are not finding a lot of items that aren’t common. I think we’ve found two so far. Cool enough is the system saves the information you scan, meaning if your friend scans the same QR code they will end up with the same item you received. The app really is that simple, scan stuff, save or delete it, send it to yourself in game. Super nifty and good for making you look like a lunatic at your local Best Buy. (Which I was doing while looking for a new computer)
Now I’m off to play more games for next weeks review.
Ta Ta For Now