Hey everyone! I didn’t play nearly as many games as I did for the last Gaming Landscape and that was on purpose. As the first real Gaming Landscape for me of 2016, I decided to try and stay current with the games I play and January has been a great start in that regard. I played a good amount of new releases these past two and a half weeks, and these are the first collection of games I have an impression of. So here’s my Gaming Landscape as of January 29th, 2016: That Dragon Cancer, Pocket Mortys, and A Boy and His Blob.
I played through That Dragon, Cancer in two heart-crushing hours. This is the most painfully personal game I’ve ever played. I cried three times while playing it, twice in one section alone. The struggle the family goes through is portrayed in a reflective yet raw manner that makes you get lost in your own thoughts as well as woefully depressed. The various areas you explore, as well as the random mini-games help you contextualize the helplessness, hopefulness, and banal grind of it all.
If I do have any complaints, it would be that the emphasis on religion as the game goes becomes more and more alienating as it starts to become more foolishness than faith. This is actually addressed in a way in the game itself but I would argue that it isn’t displayed as just a means of coping well enough. Also, some gameplay sections I couldn’t figure out how to control and it just seemed to end without me understanding what I was supposed to do. These small setbacks aside, I think it’s important to play That Dragon, Cancer. I can’t say I recommend it as this game will put you in a depressed state for awhile, but if you’re in the right state of mind and you can appreciate the artistic expression shown in this game, then you owe it to yourself to play it. I wrote a review of the game for Middle of Nowhere Gaming so if you want more of my thoughts on that game, please check that out.
I don’t do a lot of mobile gaming. In fact, I barely do any at all. However, I want to expand my gaming horizons a bit and decided to start giving some mobile games a shot. I watched Rick and Morty for the first time over the Christmas break and loved it. Fresh off my discovery of the show is this new mobile game called Pocket Mortys. So I downloaded it onto my phone and played it for actually quite awhile. Honestly, the game isn’t bad. It’s a rip off of the Pokémon games and has you catching different versions of Morty from various dimensions. You then use them to battle other creatures and Ricks from different planets. Combat is good and the presentation is decent if unimaginative.
However, the problem with this game is the pacing. You essentially battle other “trainers” to level up your Mortys but you can’t return to a health center without getting wiped in battle. Furthermore, you’re in desperate need of items all the time since it only takes three to five hits to take out a Morty and moves run out of uses quickly. This game does have microtransactions so my guess is you’re meant to buy more in-game money so you can buy more items that will heal your Morty’s and restore their moves. Because of that, the game became a chore by the time I was going for my fifth badge so I gave up and uninstalled it.
I didn’t play A Boy and His Blob on the NES and I didn’t pay attention to it when the reimagining was released on the Wii. However, the reimagining has recently been released on PC and I’ve heard some good things about it. It’s a puzzle platformer, which I didn’t know, and since I like this genre, I thought I would enjoy it. By the second stage, I was fairly bored and stopped playing. A few days later, I decided to give it a fair shot and played through the first world. The boss fight was interesting, in that it was a real time puzzle to kill it, using your blobs abilities quickly to take out this huge creature. The puzzles had also become a bit more interesting in the later stages.
I took a break and returned to the game a week later and went through the second world. This is where I stopped. The game’s pace became way too slow and the puzzles became tedious. Some of the puzzles were also broken. An enemy was in my way so I went around it, turned my blob into an anvil and then push the anvil against the enemy. I kept pushing, moving the anvil and the enemy together. I pushed it down a slope and at the end, the enemy just exploded. Welp. I guess I did it! I’ll admit; it’s not a bad game. The presentation is wonderful and it has a relatively good start, but the game is boring and gets monotonous.
Rounding out the month, I played Rayman Origins, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India, Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen, Resident Evil Zero HD Remaster, and Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, as well as some random games I didn’t spend more than 20 minutes on. Some of these games I’ll talk about the next Gaming Landscape, and some I won’t. If you’d like to read my immediate impressions of games as well as other random opinions and brain farts I have, follow me on Twitter @Colorwind. That has been my Gaming Landscape, so tell me yours in the comments below. Peace and Love, Gamers and Players! Colorwind out.