A-Z Challenge: Puzzle Agent 2

When I got a hold of Puzzle Agent 2 as part of a Steam sale, I was pretty excited.  The first game was a nice treat… while it was a bit on the short side, the story was quite interesting, and the puzzles were mostly challenging and fun.  It also ended on quite the cliffhanger, leaving me guessing as to what exactly was going on.  For a game I got in a bundle that I had little interest in, it really grabbed my attention.  So, after getting the sequel, I had some pretty high hopes for Agent Tether’s second puzzle filled trip to Scoggins.

…And I’ll be damned if they weren’t thoroughly dashed.

Everything started kind of rocky–After one simple and another overly obscure puzzle, everyone’s favorite agent returns to Scoggins to figure out what exactly is going on.  After the event of the first game, I don’t blame him… the last he (and the player) sees, some supposed garden gnomes kidnap the man he was trying to find the whole time.  However, everything in terms of the story goes quickly downhill.  The garden gnomes are actually aliens, and little that comes with that revelation makes any sense.  It’s really a shame, too… with a slightly better presentation, or more coherent writing, the story would have come off a lot better.  I understand that everything is supposed to be mysterious and off, but there’s a limit.

To make matters worse, you’ll be spending more of your brain power wrapped around the awkward story than you will on the puzzles themselves.  Simply put, they’re too easy.  I’m far from a puzzle freak, but I’m able to solve most of the puzzles easily, the few that I couldn’t not because they were hard, but because the instructions were too vague.  Not only that, but many of the puzzles repeated themselves… a problem that was somewhat apparent in the first, but was forgivable because the puzzles slowly got harder and harder.  However, this time there’s no scale to the challenge, and solving the same five puzzles over and over is far from fun.

Is Puzzle Agent 2 terrible?  Not really, but it’s not as great as those that played the first will be hoping for.  Then again, it’s not recommended that you play the second one without playing the first one first; if you jump right into the second, you’ll be lost as to what’s going on.  In the end, I don’t suppose it’s terrible… it’s just disappointing.

A-Z Challenge – Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony

I’ve never been the biggest shoot-’em-up fan.  Dodging tons upon tons of bullets, twitching your finger to keep them away from your tiny hit box… my hand-eye coordination simply isn’t good enough.  Jamestown isn’t my first foray into the shmup genre… but it’s probably the first time I’ve really enjoyed the experience.

The story to this game’s pretty crazy:  Set in an alternate version of history when settlers were just moving onto Mars.  The Spanish and the martians are none too happy about this, and set out to destroy the colonies.  As Sir Walter Raleigh, you fight to save the colonies (and yourself), as well as uncovering the secret behind the disappearance of the Roanoke colony.  Yeah, the team behind this game really chose an interesting setting.

Of course, it’s always about the gameplay, and Jamestown holds up wonderfully.  There are quite a few difficulties to help newbies and veterans alike get into the game, and the way the game requires you to beat the stages on higher and higher difficulties help those learn how to become better and better at the game.  It might frustrate those that simply want to rush through the game, but it’s a good tool to force people to get better.  In addition, the various ships you unlock (with four more if you buy the cheap DLC) allows lots of play styles, and the right ship for any situation.

As for unlockables, there’s a ton of them.  You can buy a new difficulty, and alternate humorous retelling of the story, challenge stages, and more.  It provides a fair reason to not only play beyond the main story, but to get a high score and earn more money to unlock stuff.

All and all, it’s a pretty neat little game… and since it’s on Steam, I picked it up on a sale, making it worth every penny.

Can I Just Have The Treats?

Ah, Halloween–a wonderful time filled with costumes, candy, and stomachaches. To others, it’s also a prime time for horror… Halloween also tends to bring out people’s need for a good scare or two.

However… that’s not for everyone. Frights and scares? I’m not a fan. I’ve never really gotten in the horror genre, be it video games, movies, or even television. That must mean Halloween’s a terrible holiday for me, right? Oh, no, I still have a ton of fun! If you’re like me, and not a horror fan, then try out these games… they’re still quite in the spirit of the frightful holiday, but without terrible creatures chasing you with pointy objects.

Luigi’s Mansion

Okay, so Luigi’s Mansion is about navigating a ghost infested abode, which is a not uncommon horror setting. However, it’s far from scary. In the game, you suck ghosts up with a vacuum cleaner, of sorts. It’s more about exploring and finding stuff that it is about the scares, and that’s what makes makes it a fun Halloween game. It’s pretty cute, even, with Luigi and has general lack of courage exploring a place filled with ghosts. With a Luigi’s Mansion themed mini-game in Nintendo Land and a sequel coming to the 3DS, you can find even more faux, Nintendo brand horror for next year.

Costume Quest

What’s Halloween without trick or treating? Nothing, of course, and that’s what Costume Quest is about! Well, that and kids being kidnapped by monsters, but it’s far from scary, I swear. In it, you play as a kid whose brother or sister got kidnapped by a sweets-loving monster, and you have to save them. To do so, you have to get more costumes and candy, and enlist the help of the neighborhood children. Interestingly enough, this is an RPG, and whenever you get into a battle, the children transform into awesome versions of their costumes. Who knew running around town begging for candy could be so much fun?

Gotham City Impostors

Batman’s Gotham City isn’t exactly the most cheerful place. So many baddies, and everything’s so dark… kind of a spooky atmosphere, you could say! And what better way to celebrate that than by dressing up as your favorite dark hero (or jester villain) and beat the crap out of each other? That’s a good bit of the Halloween spirit right there (and a bit of a comic convention’s spirit, too)! Gotham City Impostors is a multiplayer shooter, not unlike Team Fortress 2, with different classes to try out and objectives to complete. The best part is, is recently became free to play on Steam, so there’s no reason not to download it and give it a whirl.

Darkstalkers (Series)

Darkstalkers is like Capcom’s forgotten little fighting series. Well, maybe not quite… I’m sure everyone knows who Morrigan is by now, even if they don’t know where she’s from. Anyway, it’s a 2D fighter based on having the typical horrors fight each other. You got vampires, succubi, werewolves, ghosts, and even Little Red Riding Hood duking it out for… well, whatever reason, it’s an early fighting game. Instead of spooky, though, the games come off as typical fighter fare, with some crazy looking characters and locales. Sometimes it’s even more humorous than it would be scary. The series gameplay still holds up pretty well, too.

Decap Attack Starring Chuck D. Head

This one’s sort of in the middle with it comes to scary games… while its 16-bit, generally colorful graphics and atmosphere doesn’t relay a spooky mood, some of the stuff in this game is just plain weird… which, who knows, might be a little startling. Decap Attack is a platformer, with an odd premise: When your odd mummy creature attacks, he throws his head. Don’t worry, there’s a face on his torso, so he can see just fine if he loses it, but it’s odd nevertheless. The game has some slippery controls, but is nice to boot up for a few minutes to see if it’s worth the time. The Genesis game found its way on a few collections, too, so it’s not too hard to find.

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These games should keep the faint of heart occupied for the scariest night of the year, without any screaming or fainting! Got more games to recommend? Think I’m a pansy because I can’t even play Silent Hill during the day? Let me know below!

Gaming Overview: September 2012

Another month has passed, and my blog has mostly been quiet.  Why’s that, you might ask?  Well, I’ll get to that in a bit… but first, it’s time for my (day late) gaming overview!  Remember, I grab most of my information from my Backloggery page, and let’s jump right in!

Any new games?

There was a lot of purchasing at the beginning of the month, but it suddenly tapered off… but of course there was some buying!  This month I grabbed Kirby’s Dream Collection (He’s the star of the show!), Darkstalkers Chronicles: The Chaos Tower (fighting history!), Gurumin: A Montrous Adventure (So cute!), Alan Wake’s American Nightmare (Sequels!), Final Fantasy VI Advance (The laugh that haunts my dreams!), Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked (eight days!), Alundra (PS1 Classic!), Blazblue: Continuum Shift Extend (more characters!), Tales of Eternia (PSP importing!), and finally Guild Wars 2 (My life is over!).  Also, I picked up Humble Indie Bundle 6, but I only got two new games from it (Rochard and Vessel).  Finally, I got two free games: The first was Transformers: Fall of Cybertron (I won Game Podunk’s Prize Vault of the month), and the second was Chester (for signing up for the Indie Game Stand early).

That’s a lot of games… but I didn’t buy anything at all after getting Guild Wars 2 on the 19th!  I think it might mean something…

What did you beat?

Uh…

  • 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors (9/07) – Great, intriguing visual novel.  It can be a bit of a pain getting a non-bad end, but everything really comes together  during the true end.  The puzzles add some actual gameplay, too.
  • Transformers: Fall of Cybertron (9/25) – A more fun third person shooter than I thought it would be.  Provides some interesting back story into the Transformers universe, and the gameplay is solid and promotes multiple playthroughs. I wrote a review here.

That’s it.  Yeah, I blame Guild Wars 2.

Any other accomplishments?

At the beginning of the month, I started the A-Z marathon by Backloggery user WhiteLayer.  Due to it being retroactive from about a year ago, I’ve actually already beaten nineteen of the twenty-six games for the marathon, but I’ve yet to write up updates for all the games yet.  In fact, I’ve barely written anything for this blog this month.  That’s because I’ve been focusing on my studies as well as my blog on GamePodunk, The Dusty Corner.  Over there, during the month I wrote a post about Loot Crate, a geeky subscription service, as well as a follow up post about what I got in said loot crate.  In addition, I wrote a review about the Transformers game, that I linked above.  Finally, I wrote a post about my gripes with Golden Sun: Dark Dawn.  Lots of reading material there!

As for actual gaming stuff, I’ve just been playing Guild Wars 2, really.  My Mesmer’s level 27!  I’ve joined a guild and all that too.  However, it’s nothing interesting unless you play the game, so I won’t bore.

And that’s it for this month!  Next month… heck, I dunno what’ll happen.  I’ll write posts, hopefully.  See you then!