Some Favorite, Disappointing, and Interesting Games from 2017-2021 Part 2

Chris

Pathfinder: Kingmaker: In many ways Pathfinder: Kingmaker is like an ultimate successor to Baldur’s Gate – it adapts a well-known, popular tabletop system, has a wide-ranging campaign, lots of side areas to explore, companions to recruit, and the now-typical CRPG base building is present (thematically a main focus, in this game, although your interactions with your kingdom may feel pretty stilted).

At release it was notoriously buggy.  When I played a few months ago, it still ran slow, but I encountered only a few crashes.  I like Pathfinder: Kingmaker a lot, but the vast variety of classes, feats and spells available, to say nothing of all the magical artifacts, is positively intimidating. … Read more? No, I’ll read it all.

Some Favorite, Disappointing, and Interesting Games from 2017-2021

Resident Evil VII

There is so much to love about this game. I love that it is an unashamed homage to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and to a lesser extent The Blair Witch Project and other “found footage” films. I love the RE Engine, which looks gorgeous while running well on all modernish hardware.

I love how it feels both new and old at once. The first person perspective and overall tone are different, yet it repurposes classic Resident Evil gimmicks (ie. the villain who stalks you throughout the game), and it is still plenty goofy when it needs to be.

RE VII was a sharp way to revive the series, pushing it in a slightly different direction that doesn’t abandon the series’ roots.… Call me game-shmael.

Some Favorite, Disappointing, and Interesting Games from 2012-2016 part 3

In this final part (part 1 here, part 2 here) of this series looking back at the years videolamer spent wrongfully imprisoned over a trumped up jaywalking charge, I look back at the many games that left an impression on me. Just not enough of an impression to have more than a few paragraphs to say about them.

Virtue’s Last Reward

Virtue’s Last Reward disappointed me on multiple fronts. The tone of the game is different from its predecessor 999’s because, according to an interview, the overt horror theme hampered sales in Japan. And so VLR tones it down. This is a big blow to the game; 999’s plot is stupid bullshit, yet it managed to be compelling because of the palpable tension.… One must imagine video games happy.

Rare Loot: The Games We Treasure – Pat Edition

Welcome back to Rare Loot where I quiz the ancient beings that rule over videolamer land about the treasured gaming stuff they’d sell their own children and or body parts for. The inaugural Rare Loot was with videolamer’s own Captain Picard, so it made sense to pick on a bearded womaniser next. Say hello to Pat who has beamed in from a planet made purely of pocket lint to tell us about one of his treasures.

Cunzy: Before we start proper, how would you identify your collecting habits? We know from Jay’s rare loot you co-own the Library(tm) but does this extend into trading cards, full body pillows, and giant Pokemon plushies?It’s dangerous to read alone, take this.

Exclusive Details on Rumored, Still Unannounced PlayStation Plus Tiers

Sony’s recently announced changes to their Playstation Plus platform was met with mixed reaction by industry analysts and gamers. The service will be available in three tiers: Essential, Extra, and Premium.

Luckily for those of us unenthused by these announced tiers, the rumor mill is abuzz with likely extra tiers Sony will be making public some time this week. It is unclear if these additional tiers were always in the cards or quickly developed to save face after a mediocre showing last week.

Rumors for additional tiers are flying quick and loose but we stake our reputation as a news outlet that at least all of the following tiers of PlayStation Plus will, in fact, be rolled out this year.… Tony Hawk's Pro Reader 3

Final Fantasy VIII is a Weird Game

There are countless examples of games that were trashed at release, only to have their reputations rehabilitated years later upon being (re)discovered by retro game enthusiasts. Usually this is because the game in question was misunderstood or otherwise ahead of its time, both revelations which are only revealed with the hindsight and context provided by the future.

On the flip side, there are games that were beloved at release, only to be trashed years later as retro gamers discover that it didn’t age well, or that launch-day opinions were misinformed, or whatever the case may be.

But there’s a third option as well, one in which the initial impression of Game X was accurate, and remains accurate once it hits retro status.… Devil May Read 2

Games As Work

One thing that’s not so much changed in the last ten years but has certainly been amplified is the popularity of games that, for lack of a better phrase, “feel like work.” Games that focus on things like:

  • Getting loot
  • Playing through the same content to get said loot
  • Being at the mercy of some random number generator
  • Aren’t really about skill, strategy, creative thinking, teamwork, etc. and but rather repetition and memorization
  • Require the player to spend lots of time (on the order of hours or days) doing these repetitive tasks in order to get a reward of questionable utility (due to the RNG)

There used to be a time where this kind of style was almost exclusively the realm of Blizzard games like World of Warcraft.… Zero Escape: Nine Hours, Nine Authors, Nine Articles

Review – SaGa Frontier Remastered

The SaGa series has been on a remaster/remake/rerelease kick lately – in part because the series seems to have strong advocacy within Square Enix because of a successful mobile game (Romancing SaGa Re;Universe, which pains me to type) which helps cross-promotion, and likely in part because it makes money. While the cynic in me would say these are probably low-effort cash grabs, so far these games have been more accessible and better than the originals. So this is at least a medium-effort cash grab. Not bad!

Just like the good old days.

I’ve mostly been a “SaGa-adjacent” RPG player, primarily because many of these games didn’t make it over.  The ones I did play either didn’t have the SaGa label (Final Fantasy Legend), or were among the few that made it over during the golden age of RPGs – which is, of course, when I was mature enough to enjoy them and had the time to play them. … A delayed article is eventually good, a rushed article is all we post.

Rare Loot: The Games We Treasure – Jay Edition

Despite much of modern gaming firmly being digitally entrenched, there’s a large chunk of gaming still very much locked in the physical world. From companies specialising in limited physical runs of digital-only games to statuettes and steelbooks, from luxury vinyl soundtracks to custom arcade sticks it looks like physical gaming stuff (A.K.A. pile of plastic tat) will be with us for years to come. In this column I interview gamers about a much loved, maligned, or sought after item from their collection. Welcome to Rare Loot!

This week’s looter(?) is videolamer’s own Jay. He asked me to write for the website a while ago. He likes video games. He’s sort of the Leonardo to the mutated reptile videolamer crew except he doesn’t lead, or have swords.… Apply directly to the forehead.

2022 Gaming Resolutions part B

Continued from part 1 of our 2022 gaming resolutions, which are completely a real thing.

Cunzy

I took a long hard look at my Backloggery progress from last year and was once again upset (-34, 14 games beaten) despite firmly deluding myself into believing that I stick to ye olde rule of “I only get a new game once I ‘beat’ a game I already own.” ‘Beat’ here, meaning hitting the credits for the first time. This year, and perhaps a pseudo-public declaration might help me stick to these resolutions, I want to, have to, must to beat these three games.

Ghost of Tsushima: A beautiful game and one I was trying to play in the spirit of an old samurai movie.… Uncharted Waters: New Horeadin’s