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14th July 2021: What A Senseless Waste

I have been feeling a little bit rebellious lately as I'm starting to get somewhat worn down by people screeching on the internet and trying to dictate what other people can and can't like in their entertainment.
In my opinion, you can like whatever you want as long as it's not illegal. After all, movies, games and the like are completely fictitious and fantasy, and are supposed to be about escapism. Last thing I want is shitty real life issues being brought up all the time, when all I want to do is get away from all that crap and enjoy myself.

The first game I played in this little "stand up to the online censors" segment is called Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story. This had people attacking it purely because the main character, a young woman named Mei, is fairly endowed in the chest department. I mean seriously, as if there are no women out there with big boobs. These people need to grow up.
You've also got to take into account that this has fairly manga-inspired visuals, and is set in a cyberpunk future where it's established that cosmetic surgeries are commonplace. On top of that, pretty much every other female character (and at least one guy I saw) was bigger up top than Mei was. Just proves that these critics didn't even look into the game at all.

Well gladly, the developers basically told these weirdos to go to hell, and that's why I decided to support them.

So what is the game, and what is it about?

Well as established, you play as Mei, someone who finds herself seeing things through her cybernetic eyes that nobody else can see, such as supernatural events and spooks. She finds herself trapped in an apartment block that has been sealed off from the world for the best part of a century (I think) and learns that she must exorcise the spirits and ancient evil from the building in order to escape.

The gameplay is very much like a point and click exploration game, but without the mouse as an interface. Instead you just use the keyboard or a controller. Unfortunately, I found it a janky and not very smooth experience, especially in terms of animation. I mean, the backgrounds scrolled by and animated in other ways very smoothly, but the animations of Mei and the other characters seemed very jittery and stiff, especially in faster motion such as running.

And there were bugs. Holy shit there were bugs. Even in the first few minutes there were obvious things like dialog seeming to skip or repeat. And the inventory, map and journal system was infuriating, as it reset each time rather than remembering where you were last time. And the map always loaded at the first floor, even if you were on a different one. Quality of life things like this should never be skipped from the development of even the simplest of games, yet they were here.

But the main issue I had was at one point I figured I'd got to use this key making machine, as I had got the code for it and could seemingly do nothing else to progress, but the game just wouldn't let me, so I turned it off. Then when I tried again later it immediately let me use it. Which was dumb.

Later on in the game, combat elements are introduced, but these are maybe the worst part of the game, as the fighting is laughably bad and clunky, consisting of pressing a single button to swing a sword at the right time, almost like a light QTE.

Overall I found the game quite disappointing, and definitely not worth what I paid for it. But this is because the game itself is pretty bad, not because of the proportions of the character. I actually think there was nothing wrong with the art style at all, and many of the characters were very cool looking. There were also interesting things going on with the story, though I didn't really get my head around a lot of the folklore that is alluded to throughout.

The ending was also a bit of a let down, despite the fact that quite an interesting thing happens, which is you playing as another character who is trying to figure out what happened to Mei while she was in the building. They could have done something really cool with this as you go through and piece together the puzzles, but everything just kind of stops and fizzles out and doesn't go anywhere.

Oh well.

The developers probably anticipated what was going to happen

The developers probably anticipated what was going to happen

Such incredible action mechanics

Such incredible action mechanics

Get away from me creepy naked ghost dude

Get away from me creepy naked ghost dude

I don't think mirrors work this way

I don't think mirrors work this way

Battling an evil ghost prostitute doll thing

Battling an evil ghost prostitute doll thing

End boss goes for her patented 'sneaky grope' attack

End boss goes for her patented 'sneaky grope' attack

13th May 2020: Hit The Road Jack, And Don't You Come Back

This 'ere next game is one I first saw a very, very long time ago when I was still in school. My mate Scoob used to babysit for one of his neighbours, and on one occasion he asked me to join him. This was because he wanted to show me this game, which was on his neighbour's PC. I could be wrong, but that may have been the first time I ever saw a PC, as back then I only had a Commodore Amiga. I remembered not being impressed at first, as the computer was running MS-DOS, and I had no real interest in a black screen with white writing.

But then he fired the game up. And I was intrigued. Because this game was Sam & Max Hit The Road.

See, back then I quite liked silly point and click adventures like Monkey Island. In fact, my mate Dave and I even tried making one on some Amiga software called Grac. But that software was garbage and the experiment didn't go very well.

It was, however, a very long time until I would catch sight of this game again. More than twenty years in fact, when I bought it from GOG in 2015. Yes, I've owned it nearly 5 years, and it's a fairly short-ish game, so it would have been good to play before, but I've never really had the motivation to play it as an adult. I just don't like silly point and clicks anymore, mostly due to the stupid moon logic, which of course, this game is chock-full of.

In the game, you control Sam and Max, members of the Freelance Police, as they are sent to rescue a bigfoot from a power-hungry country music star. It sounds bonkers, and it is bonkers. Some of the locations and things you have to do are ridiculous, but that's just the kind of game it is.

The characters and writing are enjoyable and funny, based on an earlier comic I believe, and these helped me get through the game. Because, not gonna lie, I really needed the help. I very quickly got tired of looking at everything, talking to everyone, trying to pick everything up, trying to use everything with everything else, just to see if I could advance any one of the very silly moon logic puzzles. I even got a sore hand from all the mouse clicking.
Nor am I ashamed to admit that I had to use a walkthrough at a few points, because I just couldn't be bothered.

It really is a shame I didn't get to fully play this when I was a lot younger when I may have appreciated it a lot more. But this kind of game is just not for me any more.

Wak that rat!

Wak that rat!

Feeling a bit sick

Feeling a bit sick

Max likes bouncing

Max likes bouncing

The villains are introduced

The villains are introduced

Bungee jumping from Mount Rushmore nostrils

Bungee jumping from Mount Rushmore nostrils

24th May 2017: Goblin Up Some Games

The second game I had a go at recently, which I completely failed to finish, was Gobliins 2. I'd wanted to try and get through this for ages, ever since playing the first part of the game on my Amiga years ago. I think it was a demo on a cover disk, or maybe someone had got a dodgy copy which would only allow you to play the first area. Whichever it was, I have vague memories of quite enjoying it back in my teens. I even named my Goblin on WoW Fingus after one of the characters from this.

Fast forward to now, and holy shit what a drag. Stupid, awkward controls, especially the inventory, and the ridiculous moon logic, made this totally unplayable. Add in to the mix the fact that the sound kept throwing up stupid beeps and fart noises. These were obviously errors in the ScummVM emulator and made me mute the game, taking away the silly noises of the characters which was one of the best things about it.

It was also janky as hell. Often, if I told both Goblins to do things, whoever I ordered first would forget what he was supposed to be doing after I ordered the second one. And it crashed. A lot. I've literally just given up on it, I think after getting around half way through, after it crashed once more, pissing me off too much to bother continuing.

Didn't help that, as soon as I got through the first area, I no longer felt any nostalgia for it whatsoever.

Fingus cops a feel

Fingus cops a feel

How rude

How rude

Winkle chokes his chicken

Winkle chokes his chicken

You can't say that!!

You can't say that!!

I didn't know Donald Trump was in this game

I didn't know Donald Trump was in this game

Did this monkey just give me the finger?

Did this monkey just give me the finger?

Looks like a very happy person, considering they live in a bin

Looks like a very happy person, considering they live in a bin

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