You know how sometimes in these intros, there’s a lot of words and background info from the author? Well, not so much this week!
Even though Gamescom is taking place over in Germany, I’ve got nothing to currently say about said gaming trade fair. Since I don’t physically own a PS4, nearly all the titles they’ve been announcing will be staying off my radar for the foreseeable future. Sure, I’ve got the new Far Cry and Borderlands titles to look forward to, but since I’m cheap, I doubt I’ll actually be playing them anytime this year.
So for this week, I’ve somehow found the time to play some actual, available right now games. And in case you weren’t paying attention (and you should be), I’m currently knee-deep in piles of oldish games for my annual Backlog Challenge. But still, I found a few spare hours to break away from the ‘Log and try out some newer-ish titles.
How did I come about to squeeze in these non-owned games? One came from the library (so no cost), one from Redbox (with a free rental code), and the other is free this month on PS Plus. So, for the grand total of $0, I played three games that I probably would’ve regretted paying actual money for. Oh what fun it is to be cheap!
*Side note: this marks the first time a game has been intentionally repeated in this column. If I had known that, I probably wouldn’t have wasted the time writing up a paragraph bashing what Jason has already bashed back in February. But, since I feel it’s the public’s responsibility to call out lazy developers for tossing out barey-there, non-game games, I feel little remorse. I’m mad as hell etc etc.
Transfomers: Rise of the Dark Spark
Nowhere near as involving or interesting as the High Moon-developed titles, even though it looks basically the same. Plays more the less the same. So why isn’t is as good as War For/Fall Of Cybertron? Because it has the stink of the movie all over it. That alone should be enough to give even the most jaded of TFs fans pause. The promise of playing as the Dinobots (which I never did, since I gave up a few levels in) wasn’t enough to keep me entertained. But hey, you get to play as a samurai-bot! That’s cool, right? Meh. Once again, the Decepticons steal the show, and make the Autobots look even more like wussy goody-goodies than they usually are.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Continuing our streak of generally half-assed Activision-branded titles, we have this: while not the worst Spider-Man title (which I believe to be the monochromatic monstrosity that was released for the original Game Boy a million years ago), certainly not the most exciting either (that would be Shattered Dimensions, in my opinion). Swing around the city, while mostly in control of where you’re going. Except for when you land, then the camera abandons all hope of being useful, and/or letting you see what you’re actually aiming to accomplish. Arkham-esque combat is dumbed down even more than you thought possible. The same ‘help the citizens’ side missions keep popping up, and nearly all are intolerably boring/repetitive. The story jams in about a dozen villains that had nothing to do with the movie, for better or worse. Come for the fun of swinging around virtual New York. Leave for the mediocre voice acting (especially the main character’s), and the super predictable plot.
Just look at that screenshot: I blame this visual nightmare on Minecraft. If not for the world’s overwhelming acceptance of that titles’ 8-bit ultra lo-res textures, then I never would’ve had to endure whatever this ‘game’ is supposed to be teaching me. Speaking of which, I blame the success of Journey (the game, not the band) for allowing developers to think that roaming the countryside without rhyme nor reason equates into ‘gameplay.’ Maybe I’m missing something here, but since when does chasing animal-shaped blobs (who make musical sounds when they run away from you) count as ‘action’? I kept waiting for something to happen, anything at all, that would explain why I would want to keep running around an island filled with blocky-ass textures and musical animals. Eventually, I found some stones or whatever, led me to…another island! Or the same one! Who gives a fuck either way! This is the ‘art game’ genre gone too damn far, and I, for one, ain’t falling for it again.