Category Archives: Game Reviews

Catherine Review

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed any games, since I haven’t played much lately, but here’s an interesting one.

Catherine got my attention because I’ve seen quite a lot of cosplays and fanart from it on DeviantArt, and a lot of people have been mentioning how great the game is. I just assumed it was a dating sim, and wasn’t interested until I watched a short review on YouTube. Turns out it’s some sort of mix of the puzzle, horror and dating sim genres. Seemed interesting enough, and it was cheap on Amazon, so I bought it.

CatherinePs3Orig

I guess the focus of the game is the story, and a huge part of your time will be spent watching cutscenes or listening to dialogue. Basically, the main character is cheating on his girlfriend, and he’s having nightmares due to guilt. And then a bunch of paranormal stuff starts happening, and people start dying in their sleep and all that. I found the plot quite entertaining.

Despite appearances, Catherine is actually a sort of block-puzzle game where you have to climb a tower of blocks by building stairs out of them, and doing all sorts of complicated climbing tricks. I actually found it very challenging towards the end, even on the easiest difficulty setting (I suck). The mechanics allow for a lot of different strategies, and the game gives you plenty of optional tutorials to teach you some of these. On top of that, there’s also boss levels, where you’ve gotta solve the puzzles while being chased and bombarded with projectiles. The levels actually happen inside of the main character’s dreams, so the bosses are things that scare him, like his girlfriend in a wedding dress, or his future baby. I think seeing the various bosses was one of the highlights of the game.

A lot of the plot seems to change based on the player’s choices, including the ending, and which secondary characters die. I don’t care enough to play the game more than once, but I did watch the other endings on YouTube, and it seems that I got the worst ending possible (no girls, no money). :P

My only major complaint is that there’s a bit too much gameplay between story sessions. Puzzle games are exhausting on the brain, and I’d like more frequent breaks. But maybe that’s just me.

Another minor issue is that the game wasn’t actually as mature as I was expecting. There’s nothing close to nudity or anything like that; just a lot of swearing and bloody violence.  The box cover is probably more explicit than anything in the game!

Anyway, if you’re looking for something unusual to play, you should check it out. Took me around 10 hours to beat, so it’s not a huge time investment, but there’s plenty of extra stuff to do if you want to play longer. It wasn’t super-amazing, but it was a unique and memorable experience.

 

List of current events

I’m currently sitting through jury duty! It’s literally a complete waste of time!
They invite us into the court, then ask us to sit in the waiting room, and then send us home after an hour or two because we’re not needed. Plus traveling time, that’s three hours a day wasted on average, for no reason at all.

Tomorrow will be my fifth and final day, unless I actually get picked to sit on the jury, in which case I could be stuck there for a few more days…
It’s like a lottery where you can only lose! The stress!

Well, at least I’m getting up early and making friends in the waiting room.

Started learning to drive again! Gonna stick to it this time.
Almost ready for the theory test, but haven’t had too much practice on the road yet.

Tried mining Bitcoins just for fun. I’ve got 0.01 BTC after like 2 days!
One of my friends is considering getting some Bitcoin mining hardware. I’m interested to see how that works out for him.

For those of you who don’t know, Bitcoin is the latest craze in speculation!
Some people have gotten very rich off of it, others not so much.

Continuing my research into tower defence, I played through Orcs Must Die, which was pretty fun.
I don’t really have much to criticize there, except maybe that the same strategies worked too often. It didn’t really encourage experimentation so much.
Pretty much always picked knights, archers, flame traps, spike traps, wall spikes, barricades, sword staff, and whatever magic works against the current enemies.

Anyone know how Orcs Must Die 2 compares to the first one?

Played through the Warcraft 3 expansion.
I cheated to get through 2 of the levels; It got too hard towards the end!

Played through Trine 2. It’s too similar to Trine 1 to stay interesting, in my opinion.
Some of the new puzzles with the pipes and water were interesting, but they also removed the collectable power ups from the first game, and replaced them with pointless poems! Wut!
They were also a bit generous with the checkpoints right in the middle of battles. Why should I even try to stay alive if there’s literally no penalty for dying?!

The graphics were pretty though. <3

Currently playing Final Fantasy 13-2… I didn’t expect it to be good or anything; I just wanted something I could play without thinking while I cycle, and it’s pretty good for that. It’s a pretty crappy game though. Most of the monsters are recycled from FF13, the plot is even more confusing, the difficulty seems pretty unbalanced (or maybe I just suck), and it expects me to remember the events of the previous game, which I don’t… oh well.

EBF4 on Greenlight is going pretty slowly; at this rate it will probably take nearly a year to get through! ):
I might actually start working on the new content soon, just to generate more interest.
If that still doesn’t speed up Greenlight, I guess I’ll try some alternative services to Steam, like Desura or GOG or whatever.
At the very least the new content should boost sales on Kongregate.

Zelda: Skyward Sword Review

Woop! Finished Skyward Sword! Nintendo tried really hard to ruin this game, but it was still pretty awesome, despite being designed for 5 year olds.

I had two major problems with the game, and you can probably guess what those were.

So I didn’t end up completely hating the motion controls; they actually work pretty well for the sword fighting aspects of the game. It takes a while to get used to the motions you have to make for sword swings, and even then it’s still quite hard to do them correctly if you’re panicking. But it’s a pretty fun control scheme for some of the boss battles, especially that one part with the thunderbolts. It also works okay for throwing and rolling bombs.

However, every other use of motion controls was retarded. They just don’t feel right for steering a bird, jumping off ladders, playing the harp, doing forward rolls, or all the other gimmicky uses. All of these could have easily been implemented with the analog stick and some buttons, and there was really no reason not to support both control schemes anyway. Flying was so frustrating that I didn’t bother doing any exploration at all; I only visited the areas that I had to. I ended up doing zero of the optional content. Feel free to tell me what stuff I missed. I didn’t even have a shield for 95% of the game.

The motion controls are also damn inconsistent. You swing the wiimote to use the bug net, but you can scoop things up with a bottle by just pressing A. Surely they should be used in the same way? Sometimes I couldn’t even remember whether I was supposed to use the analog stick or motion controls (for example, when controlling your fall direction), so I would try both at the same time while screaming at the TV. Even by the end of the game, I still wasn’t familiar with the controls.

I guess Nintendo has to push their hardware, but if they had only used the wiimote for sword controls, then I probably would have been okay with it overall.

The second super huge problem was your fairy helper thing. She just doesn’t stop talking.

She literally spent the first 3 dungeons telling me that my wiimote batteries were low. There’s already a flashing red battery icon on the screen at all times telling me that. You think I don’t fucking know already?! How did Nintendo honestly think this was a good idea?
And why the hell does she feel the need to tell me when my health is low? Does the HUD just not exist or something?

She even repeats tutorials for stuff that I’ve done several times before! You don’t need to tell me how those spirit trials work every single time! You don’t have to mock my failure by saying words! Just stop talking!

At least she had the decency to tell me how to defeat bosses when I couldn’t figure it out. Except she usually let me take a beating first, before offering any advice. What a bitch.

Urrrrghhhhhhh….

So that’s the really bad stuff out of the way!

Don’t really know what to say about the good stuff. It’s a Zelda game, so it’s good in the same ways as all the other ones: interesting dungeon designs, new art style, lots of collectables, fun boss battles, references to the other games, etc.

I actually quite liked the stamina system, as it makes running around and climbing more interesting. It’s also a good way of stopping you from spamming sword spins, compared to randomly getting dizzy or whatever they did in previous games.

The cutscenes were pretty awesome. The musical parts, the villians messing things up, Zelda being adorable, and all that stuff. I wish there were more of them though. Sometimes you’d finish a dungeon, and all you’d get was a boring conversation with your dumb fairy thing.

It was cool that a lot of traditional items like bombs and arrows have added features. In the case of bombs, you can now put bomb flowers into your bomb bag, you can roll them, you can throw them accurately, etc.

Flying around looks like it would have been fun too, if it weren’t for the controls.

Some more minor complaints:
• There were too many lava and sand areas. There was no ice or snow area! Pffft.
• Most of the music wasn’t too memorable in my opinion. The only music that really got my attention was Zelda’s Lullaby, and that was for nostalgia reasons.
• A lot of the bosses were impossibly difficult until you figured out the trick to beating them, and then they became really easy. This is especially true of the last 2 bosses. They were still fun, but the difficulty felt a bit cheap.

tl;dr: I still hate the Wii. This game should have been on a real console, and should not have to speak to me like I’m 5 years old.