Category Archives: Review

BioShock

I bought BioShock years ago because several friends recommended it. Finally started playing them, only to have the remastered versions all come out! Oh well, no point in buying them again.

When I first started gaming a couple of years ago, I was such a wimp. I got scared so easily while playing and would either not be able to finish the game or only play 10-30 minutes at a time. Playing BioShock barely scared me at all now, though I know even a year ago it would have been much harder for me. So that was pretty cool! In real life too, I notice I stay more calm during frightening or stressful situations than before.

While the age of the game showed a little bit in the graphics, it was definitely bearable. It didn’t bother me too much. However the mouse and keyboard controls seemed incredibly clunky to me but again, I could handle it. It was just difficult to switch between the different types of guns and plasmids, and between the guns and plasmids.

I also did have a little bit of trouble following the story. When it’s told through audio logs that play at the same time I’m exploring or fighting, I just can’t focus on both things at the same time. Sometimes I could stop and listen but often I’d come under attack and would miss part of the audio log.

That being said, I still managed to put together most of the story and read some summaries online to make sure I got the whole thing. I’m excited to continue on with the series, since I started BioShock 2 last week. And thank goodness, my XBox controller is compatible with it!

Although I did just find out that I received the free upgrade to the remastered version of BioShock 2. I’m about an hour into it, so if I have to restart I won’t have to replay too much. I didn’t know I was going to receive the upgrade, so that was a pleasant surprise when I logged on to Steam today!

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Undertale

This post will contain spoilers for Undertale.

After the urging of many of my friends, I played Undertale. It’s not my usual type of game and I didn’t enjoy it very much at first. In my opinion it had quite a slow start and I had trouble getting into it. With a lot of encouragement however, I finally got through it.

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It looks and seems like a very simple game at first. To me, it was very reminiscent of Pokemon Blue version. You can only walk around very slowly and run into monsters every once in a while. The thing is, I was told not to fight anything, both by the game and by my friends. It was all about trying to find ways around fighting. At first that got quite annoying, but once I figured out how to avoid fighting certain monsters I could get away from them faster.

There were also a lot of puzzles to figure out, including ice puzzles that once again reminded me of Pokemon. I didn’t particularly enjoy the game mechanics.

What really made the game for me, was the characters. There really are some great ones, and I understand now why I see so much fanart and cosplay of characters from it. I really can’t choose a favorite.

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While the game mechanics are not what I’m used to or what I enjoy, the story and the characters were great once I got into it. The graphics weren’t what I’m used to either, very pixelated, but they were charming. The soundtrack was amazing too. I would recommend this game, but be warned that there are specific ways to do things that make it a lot easier. You can’t know though unless you look things up or have already played once.

One of my other favorite things about the game is it knows what you’ve done before. References might be made to having fought or been killed by a character before. It really makes you think about choices you make. It can get really tricky too. There are times where it makes you think the game crashed or it will close on its own! The first time it happened I had just completed a difficult battle, and was really upset. Then I opened it back up, ready to go through it again, only to find that it was supposed to happen!

Like I mentioned, I played without killing anything. This is called the Pacifist route. There were times though that just got so frustrating I was ready to give up. What I ended up doing was giving it a try 3-5 times, then taking a break and trying again at least a couple of hours later. I finally made it through every time.

There’s also the Genocide route, in which you kill everything. I considered doing one, but I just couldn’t. I’m too attached to the characters.

Despite the slow start, stay determined and get through it for great characters and an interesting story!

 

Half Life 2, episode 1

This post will contain spoilers.

To continue on with Half Life 2, I have been playing the episodes. So far I’ve finished episode 1. It wasn’t very long but continued the story from directly after the main game. I loved getting to use the overcharged grav gun some more, but unfortunately not for much longer.

You start out having to stabilize the core so that City 17 doesn’t explode. There were some fun puzzles involved. The beginning was my favorite part of this episode.

The next chapter, however, was my least favorite. It’s called Lowlife, and was quite scary for me. I had a hard time getting through it, as there were lots of jump scares as well as a new kind of zombie: the zombines. The zombines were very annoying to fight, because they are tougher than the regular zombies and will also make suicide runs at you with grenades which will kill you in one hit. At the end of this chapter, you have to fight off a massive horde of zombies and zombines while you wait for an elevator. It took me so many tries but I finally did it.

Next was Urban Flight, which was also a lot of fun. While it was one of the longer chapters in this episode, it went quickly. My favorite part was fighting zombies and combine in a hospital we had to get through.

Finally, Exit 17 was the last chapter. This was a quite challenging one, but still fun. I had to help escort a bunch of civilians to an evacuation train, all while fighting off combine troops. Then I had to fight a stryder, and Alyx and I finally made an escape ourselves. As we left City 17, we could see it exploding. Next is episode 2, which  I guess is a direct continuation of episode 1. I’m looking forward to it!

 

Half Life 2

This post will contain spoilers.

Guess who finished Half Life 2 today? I did! I really was concerned I wouldn’t like it after I couldn’t get through the first Half Life. I’m so glad I tried 2 because I really enjoyed it. It was so much more varied than the first one and the graphics were a big improvement, so both issues I had with the first game didn’t bother me in the second.

I was also worried I wouldn’t make it through Ravenholm, because I am such a wimp with anything that remotely fits into the horror genre. Well, I guess that’s been changing because while I was scared while playing through it, I still had fun. In fact, it is actually one of the more memorable parts of the game for me.

Some parts of the game got a little frustrating. There were a few parts that I felt dragged on too long, or too much backtracking which always makes me feel like I didn’t make much progress even though I did. But there weren’t too many of them and I made it through whenever it did happen.

Allying with the antlions was also fun! I liked having my little army of them to send at my enemies.

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Learning to use the pods to control antlions.

Another memorable part was fighting the stryders, which I enjoyed. Any time I get to use the rocket launcher was fun for me.

Every time I saw Alyx again was nice. She’s such a cool character, and I was glad she and her father were safe at the end.

However the best part of all was getting the supercharged grav gun. It was so overpowered it really didn’t matter that I lost all my weapons. I wouldn’t have been using them anyway. I had so much fun just tearing through enemy troops and shooting fusion cores at them. I almost felt bad some of the time by how brutal and quick the grav gun could be.

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Ready to fire a fusion core.

Finally it was time for the final battle. It took me two tries but I didn’t mind too much because it was so fun. All I could do was keep firing fusion cores until I finally destroyed the portal that Breen was trying to open into another dimension.

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Once I did, everything else froze, and a mysterious man appeared and spoke to me. I don’t even know exactly what happened but I understand now why people want a third game so much. Well, at least I still have the episodes to play!

 

Life is Strange

This post will contain spoilers.

I think this is the first time I’ve played a game within the same year it came out! After hearing so much about it, I just had to play it. I was not disappointed.

Life is Strange is about a girl in her senior year of high school, studying photography. She returns to the town where she grew up to study at the school there and develops a power to go back in time. She also reconnects with her childhood friend Chloe, who she didn’t talk to at all while she was living in Seattle.

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Life is Strange is an episodic point and click/RPG game. This was my first experience with either type of game. I’m glad I waited to play it all until all the episodes were out; I can only imagine how hard it must have been to get to a cliffhanger at the end of the episode and have to wait for the next one to come out. And there were some incredibly suspenseful cliffhangers!

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I quite liked the episodic aspect of the game; they lasted about as long as my play session usually go which is between 2 and 3 hours. The dialog option layout was also quite familiar; it was just like the Mass Effect series. I loved the role-playing part of the game.

However I was not such a fan of the point and click. While I think it was well done and the thoughts of Max, the protagonist, sounded very natural as you explore her world, I guess I would have preferred more action. The world was very fun to explore. In my opinion, the places you could go were very nice to look at. The only times there was more action it was stealth-based. At least if you were caught you could rewind time and just try again, so it wasn’t too hard. I just don’t think that stealth games are really my thing.

Like I said, I had never really played a point and click game before so the controls took me a little to get used to, but I finally got used to them. I managed to get my PC to work with an XBox controller, and I much preferred using that over mouse and keyboard with this game.

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The RPG aspect pretty much made up for my ambivalence towards the point and click and stealth parts of the game. Just because of the rewind function, you could go back in time to try another option if you felt you said the wrong thing. There were some really tough choices to make too! I love making those choices, and it’s fun to discuss with other people what they chose and why.

By far my favorite part was the story. There were twists and turns I never saw coming. I highly recommend this game, but I will warn you that you will cry. I thought I’d be fine and would be well prepared to deal with it, but I wasn’t. While it hurt, it was still amazing and I had to make one of the hardest choices I’ve ever had to make in a game.

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I also loved the fact that you could have Chloe and Max be a couple. They were so cute together and it’s nice to see for a change.

Thanks for reading!