Now, I don't really play scary games that often, nor do I play them specifically for Halloween. But for this game, I wanted to make an exception. See, this game had been removed from Steam, and denied release on GOG, because the developers had made a stupid joke about the Chinese President. And for some reason, a lot of people are shit scared of upsetting China.
Big whoop is what I think. I mean, we can freely take the piss out of other world leaders and they don't get all arsey about it. So why not China?
So I bought this game, which is called Devotion, direct from the developers when they made it available on their own site, fully intending to play it on 31st October. As it is only a short game, I figured there'd be no problem doing that. No problem at all.
Well, so much for one of my long term plans.
Along came Halloween, and off I set into the game's strange psychological hellhole. I quickly grew frustrated at how slow and sluggish your character moves. And move is pretty much all you can do in this game, as it is essentially a walking simulator. All I seemed to be able to do was slowly walk from one room to the next and do some simple puzzles by picking up items and placing them somewhere else.
Well that's all well and good, as long as the game is otherwise interesting. And to be fair, it seemed to be setting up some strange things in terms of story and characters, and I could have easily carried on, if the game had allowed me to.
See, about half an hour in, I came to a stand still. All the doors were locked, and I had no items to interact with. After wandering around for a while, I looked on Youtube at someone's playthrough, and on their game, another scene triggered which allowed them to continue. I figured my game had bugged, so I reloaded, to no avail. Then I closed the game and restarted, again to no avail. Every time I get to that point, the game does not trigger the next scene.
I suppose I could re-download the game again in case something is broken in the files. But I don't think I could be arsed to muck about much more with it. There's a chance I could come back to it and try again. Or I could just forget it and watch the playthrough. But I probably won't do anything. Got loads of other shit to do.
I've figured it out: I'm a vampire!
What are all you lot looking at?
Ahh, she had a strange taste in men
After trying Devotion I wanted to play something else that also had a little bit of a horror flavour. To get away from all the slow walking, I went with the 2004 game Doom 3, for some fast-paced chaotic fights and frights.
This was a game I'd had prior experience of, as many years ago I'd played some of it with my bro, using a weird patch that let us play it co-op. However, I can't remember exactly what happened, but at one point it bugged out on me, and our playthrough was scrapped.
For this playthrough, I used a community-made source port, called dhewm3, which made my old disc version play better on modern systems, better resolution and bugfixes etc...
Yeah, punch that turkey!
I see you skulking there
Not looking good
Just taking out the trash
Unfortunately, while I have eventually managed to complete it, I found it to be so boring, and an absolute slog to get through. I mean, I've been playing this thing for more than two months, because each time I played it, I couldn't stomach more than about 30-40 minutes.
I just got so frustrated with the gameplay. It was just full of cheap enemy ambushes, and scripted fights that made no sense. The amount of times I cleared an area, only to then get totally dogpiled on just because I'd picked up a PDA with some information in.
And holy shit, how fast do the guns run out of ammo? An FPS game, where your task is to mow down the minions from hell in a hail of bullets, is not the game I want to be constantly reloading, or switching weapons because I'm out of ammo. I want to hold down the trigger, and fucking kill things! Even weapons like the minigun would only let me kill one or two enemies before I would have to duck into cover or run away while I reloaded. So irritating.
But it's done now, and I never have to consider playing this crap ever again.
Zombie marine busts some moves
Don't lose your head
I get that reference
Right hooking a demon
One of the games Scoob and I tried recently was an action platformer called Megabyte Punch. I was up for trying this one because it reminded me of an old Mega Drive game we played years ago called Cyborg Justice. In it, you control robots going through levels, beating up enemies, and swapping out body parts to give yourself new abilities and upgrades.
The basic action platformer concept is a solid one, and there were definitely things to like here. But there were far more things to dislike. For example, you don't kill enemies by doing damage to them. Instead, you kill them by doing knockback to them. And the more they are damaged the more they get knocked back, when you do knock them back. Now, this would probably be fine, but a vast array of abilities, and seemingly all of the ones we enjoyed using, did not have any knockback to them. So we could literally pummel the enemies over and over and not kill them until we hit them with some form of knockback. It's such a stupid mechanic.
The platforming elements were also frustrating, with damaging walls, gases and explosives all over the place, especially in later levels. This was even worse due to us playing it in multiplayer. Frustratingly, the co-op mode in this game is only local and only split screen. This means vision is severely hampered. Why there's no LAN or internet connection so we could have had our own monitors I just don't know.
We tried several times to get through the last level to unlock the end boss checkpoint, but try as we might we just couldn't manage it. I even tried on my own, so I had more vision on the full screen and could collect all the bits myself. But even after gaining several bonus lives, I just couldn't get through stage 3. It just got to the point where it was too frustrating, and so we decided to abandon it.
Wailing on the boss
Something just went pop
Trying to deal with an irritating flying enemy
Another game we tried recently was Rampage on the Amiga emulator. A bunch of us used to play this a lot back on my old Amiga in the late 80s and early 90s. However, I don't remember us playing it to try and finish it. Instead, we would run around playing tig like a bunch of muppets.
Scoob joined me again for a proper attempt, and we played for what seemed like ages until it started to get really repetitive and boring. I finally checked how long this game goes on for, which is when I discovered it has no end, and just loops over and over, with the only aim of the game being to get a high score.
George tries to punch Ralph in the armpit
Ralph getting shot in the eyeballs
Ralph chows down on soldier sweeties as George smashes stuff up