Suburban Timewaster

I play video games and review them.

Archive for the tag “PC”

Game of Thrones Episode 2: The Lost Lords (Steam)

After Ramsay Snow murders Ethan Forrester and hands their livelihood over to their rival house, The Whitehills, the family struggles to maintain their once great house.  Fortunately, Rodrik returns to become the new Lord under dire circumstances.  Meanwhile, Mira Forrester secretly plots to overthrow the Whitehills while working as Lady Margeary’s handmaiden in King’s Landing and Asher, the exiled Forrester, is on his way home from Meereen with an army of sellswords.

I should warn you; this is the second episode of a TellTales game, so spoilers are unavoidable.  For instance, Rodrik supposedly died in Episode One and then came back in Episode Two, his death turning out to be an exaggeration.  Personally, I felt that was a cop out that they centered so much drama around Lord Forrester and Rodrik’s deaths, forcing Ethan to be the new lord.  Then they destroy all the drama surrounding it by revealing that Rodrik’s alive and he can take over as the New Lord.  I’ll admit, I actually liked Ethan and his struggles with having responsibility thrust on him at a young age.  This was why I wasn’t happy to see Ramsay kill him at the end.  I think it would have been more dramatic to keep Ryon dead and see how the Forresters truly struggle.

Mira Forrester’s scenes are some of my favorites, partly because they include Tyrion, who’s my favorite character in the show, other than Daenarys.

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Don’t get me wrong, I actually like Mira, her struggles and how you can make her a total badass, if you so choose.  Though I think Tyrion might have been a little sloppy in his assistance.  Let me put it this way, this is the same man who told Lady Stark that, if he were to plot an assassination, he wouldn’t hand the assassin a dagger that could be easily traced back to him.  When Joffrey’s killers frame Tyrion for the murder, he points out that, if he were to murder Joffrey, he wouldn’t do so in a way that leaves him standing there holding the cup.  Tyrion also had to see who Cersei’s spy was on the council, so he deliberately told each member of his plan to betroth Myrcella to a different ward.  I think that, if Tyrion were to ally with Mira, he would do so in a way where his alliance would not expose her or himself.  For one thing, he approaches Mira while she’s with Sera, the other handmaiden, and not asking to speak to Mira in private.  Tyrion also failed to dismiss the Lannister guard before bringing Mira to the meeting.

Speaking of Sera she has a small part in this and it’s something I actually like.  She is a bastard and, while we see many male bastards in the show and learn how hard life is for them, we never learn what it’s like for females.  In the world of Game of Thrones, no matter how bad things get for men, women always have it worse.  Therefore, you can bet that life would be worse for a woman bastard, something I wish the show would explore and, I hope the game will take the chance to.  No matter how bad things get for men, they always have the Night’s Watch as an option.  I’ll admit, it’s not a great one but it’s better than nothing.  How would a woman bastard be able to cope in Westeros?  In the case of Sera, she needs to secure a marriage to a man of high rank in order to establish her security.

Gared joined the Night’s Watch and he hasn’t fared well.

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I don’t know what the popular opinion about The Wall is, but my mom absolutely hates it.  She finds it dull with only a few matters of interest.  Personally, I like The Wall but that’s because I’m in love with Jon Snow, who gets to make an appearance in this game and advises Gared in life as a member of the Night’s Watch.

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So far, nothing really happens except that Gared gets into a few fights and has trouble getting along with many of the other recruits.  Gared also talks to Jon Snow, the one redeeming feature about The Wall, about the Red Wedding.  They even discuss why Gared wants to be a ranger.

We heard about Asher in Episode One, but we never really get to meet him until now.  I’ll admit, I like Asher’s journey as well as his companion, Beshka.  You can tell that they’re both good friends who’ve seen each other through the good and the bad and are trying to survive in a harsh climate.

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They both made a living as sellswords and have quite a few enemies to deal with.  I was happy when Malcolm comes to get them and tells Asher the plan to save House Forrester.  I already said their plan is to hire an army of sellswords to take back House Forrester, but what will they hire them with?  Sellswords cost money, which they don’t seem to have in abundance.  Maybe they plan to pay them with Ironwood, which is their livelihood, but you only get to keep half of it if you managed to convince Ramsay that the Forresters are the better craftsmen.  Even then, you give over another half as dowry to convince Elaena Glenmore to marry Rodrik.

I particularly loved how Episode Two ended.  Talia sings at the funeral for Ethan and Lord Forrester and the former’s last words influence the lyrics in her song.

I found this particularly moving not only because of the beautiful song, but also because of the shift of scenes to the other Forresters and Gared dealing with the aftermath of their own decisions and their own struggles to save their family, even if they don’t live at Ironrath anymore.  It’s enough to make you cry.

The game play is typical of TellTale games.  You make dialogue decisions for each character you play and the game compares the more important ones to what the other players decided.  I’m just going to say right now that your decisions don’t really matter.  For instance, there’s one scene where you have to choose whether Rodrik kisses Lord Whitehill’s ring out of respect in order to let his younger brother, Ryon, the Whitehills’ hostage on Ramsay’s orders, attend the funeral for his father and brother or refuse and allow Rodrik to keep his dignity.

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No matter what choice you make, the outcome is inevitably the same.  So don’t kiss the ring and let Rodrik rule the house with his head held high.  You can also explore scenes with the character you play and collect items for your inventory, even if that doesn’t really accomplish anything.  There will be quick time events where you have to press the right button, so don’t drop your guard for even a second.  The Wall also has a game play event where you can demonstrate Gared’s skills in strength, swords and crossbows.  I’ll admit that I actually liked that part, even if shooting the crossbow is a little tricky due to the constant movement.

This game is intriguing yet doesn’t seem to explore its potential.  I give it 6 out of 10, a bit of a letdown but maybe it will get better.

Game of Thrones Episode 1: Iron From Ice (Steam Store)

It’s a time of darkness for the House of Forrester.  House Stark has fallen and Ramsay Snow, the illegitimate son of Roose Bolton, sided with the rival house of Whitehill.  Can the House of Forrester survive Ramsay Snow and restore themselves to former glory?

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This is HBO’s second attempt to enter the gaming world, the first one being The Sopranos video game, which was a failure.  Now Telltale attempts to bring Game of Thrones into the gaming world, HBO’s new cash cow.  The game starts out at the Red Wedding, which is where, as many Game of Thrones fans know, Rob Stark dies.  Since the lord of the Forresters and the main heir perish as well, a child inherits the responsibilities.

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Sadly, that’s usually how things went down during the time period the game models itself after.  Apparently, boys who haven’t gone through puberty made better rulers than fully-grown women.  Though I do like how the game shows that things are changing and how hard it is for Ethan, the new lord, to follow in his father’s footsteps at such a young age when all he wants to do is keep playing with his siblings.  Even if his fate is unavoidable which, I admit, almost made me cry.  As for what that is, keep in mind that you’re dealing with Ramsay Snow.

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For those of you unfamiliar with Game of Thrones, Ramsay Snow is someone who skins people alive in his spare time.

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Definitely not someone you want to get on the bad side of.

As I mentioned, Ramsay Snow makes a few appearances throughout the game.  Let me tell you, he’s not the only Game of Thrones character who does so.  One of the Forresters works as Lady Margaery’s handmaiden, so you can bet that you’ll be seeing much of the Lannisters.

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I’ll admit, I knew that characters from Game of Thrones make an appearance but I thought that it would be as cameos.  I had no idea that they would be a huge part of the storyline.  However, I will say one thing. As scary as Cersei and Ramsay are on the show, having to deal with these people makes them far more intimidating.

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The game play is standard Telltale Games.  You make choices for each character you play with some of them supposedly having a huge impact on the game.

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I’m not sure how big yet, since I’ve only played the first chapter.  I’ve already told you that one of the characters has an unavoidable fate, no matter what you do.  At some points, you can explore certain places and read the codex for background information.  Unlike other Telltales games where you only take control of one character, this one let’s you control different members of the House of Forrester at different times.  So far, their situation and personalities seems very similar to the Starks but I’m hoping the game will expand on the Forresters so that they’re more than just Stark copycats.  You can even compare your choices with those of the other players though, let me tell you, I’ve found myself restarting the game many times over fear that I’ve made the wrong choices.

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This game is intriguing but emotionally overwhelming.  I give it 7 out of 10, a promising start for Telltale’s Game of Thrones adaption.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 3: In Harm’s Way (Steam Store)

After being kidnapped by a ruthless man named Bill Carver, Clementine and the rest of the group try to escape from their prison. Can they find new allies and flee this place without incurring Carver’s wrath?

I loved this chapter and the inclusion of the characters. Carver was actually my favorite in this one as he justifies his actions. True, he is a tyrant, but he believes that he’s doing what’s best for the group. I’m not saying that I agree with him but I do see his point. This is a zombie apocalypse and you do have to be ruthless to survive. However, pure ruthlessness is not going to save the day. I also love Carver’s interactions with Clementine as he compares her to himself. An amateur writer could have easily turned Carver into a pedophile. Instead, Carver admires Clementine’s strength and will to survive. She is what Carver wants the next generation to be and what he wants his supposed child to be. I don’t like how the characters from 400 days were demoted to cameo appearances with the exception of Bonnie. I do like Bonnie’s portrayal as she starts out weak and slowly gathers her strength.

The game play is the same as any other chapter. You make dialogue choices for Clementine, only what you pick doesn’t affect the story as much. You explore the area at certain times as well. You can also take part in quick action scenes where you have to press the right button at the right time. Failure to do so will kill Clementine.

This game is addictive but a little rushed. I give it 7 out of 10; they really need to focus on their characters a little more.

Classic Adventures: The Great Gatsby (Bigfishgames.com)

When Nick Carraway visited his cousin Daisy, he was just hoping to make it big as a bonds salesmen.  He had no idea that he’d get caught up in so much mayhem.

Anyone who’s read the book or at least seen one of the movies knows how the plot plays out.  I’ve done all three and had to play this game due to The Great Gatsby being one of my favorite novels.  For those of you who know nothing about the story, it’s pretty hard to sum up while avoiding spoilers and condensing it into a few sentences.  All I can say is that it’s about dreams vs. reality, the carelessness of the rich and a deconstruction of the American Dream.

The game play is that of hidden object.  During cut scenes you have to collect a certain type of object enough time for points.  You play through hidden object scenes in order to advance the plot.

You can also partake in mini games just as typing out the words as they come (my absolute favorite).

When you’re done, you can use the points you’ve accumulated to purchase decorations for your house.

This game is addictive but not really all that intriguing.  I give it 3 out of 10; unless you’re a diehard Gatsby fan, you’re better off reading the book or watching one of the movies.

The Walking Dead Season 1 Part 4: Around Every Corner (Steam Store)

When the group finally arrives at their destination, they focus on finding a boat.  Unfortunately, a man is stalking them and communicating with them on the radio.  They also have to go to a town called Crawford, a place so focused on survival that children, the sick and the elderly are shot on sight.

This is when we see just how far some citizens are willing to go to survive.  Partway through the game the characters have to go to Crawford and, spoiler alert, everyone there is dead.  It shows that you can’t create the perfect survival race and when going through Crawford we get an idea of how the citizens must have lived.  One part I really liked were the doctor tapes where he tries to convince a pregnant woman to abort her baby by telling her that she’ll be kicked out if she doesn’t.  We also discover the back-story of a new character named Molly.  What I don’t get is why the doctor would film such incriminating evidence against himself (if you play the game you’ll understand).

This game is not simplistic with anything and that includes cowardice.  The character of Ben is not well liked and I was once of the same sentiment.  He has a tendency to make bad decisions.  When he and Clementine were surrounded by walkers he ran.  After reading the character articles on tvtropes.org, I realized that I was being too hard on him.  Remember my Rule of Rose review where I called the main character, Jennifer, timid?  You may think I hated her but I thought her character was well-written and very realistic.  She was a little orphan girl who didn’t have the emotional capacity to stand up to the people tormenting her and it had disastrous results.  Ben is a guy too old for a guardian to handle the situation, unlike Clementine and Duck, and too young for the emotional maturity to handle it himself, unlike Lee and Kenny.  Yes I am aware that Molly is younger than Ben and able to handle herself with the walkers but she had people depending on her.  Ben doesn’t have anyone that needs him.  I know that many of us that watch the series fantasize that we’re going to be like Darryl or Michonne but the reality is, if we were put into a situation like this, more likely we’re turn out to be Ben.

The game play is the same as it’s always been.  You go through the storyline and make choices throughout the game.  You can explore the scene and gather items to use later.  During fighting scenes, you have to press the right button to survive.  At this point I wonder if I shouldn’t just copy/paste this paragraph instead of writing it out each time.

This game is intriguing and addictive.  I give it 8 out of 10; a fine addition to the episodic video game.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Part 2: PC Version

After finishing the Playstation version I concentrated on this one.  Ironically, this one was actually the first version I ever played.  Like the Playstation version, this also gives you the feel of being a student.  However, there are differences in this version.

In the Playstation version, Harry Potter is the silent protagonist save for when he’s casting spells (think Link from Zelda or the 10-year-old trainers from Pokemon), but in this version he says very little.  The thing is, Harry only reacted in the first book, so it actually makes perfect sense.  You also have to collect beans for Fred and George, but instead of collecting a certain type of bean you just collect 25 beans and trade them for Wizard Cards throughout the game.  You have to collect all the Wizard Cards in order to see the secret ending and like the book, Dumbledore’s the first card you get.

You also get to attend classes and learn spells.  In order to learn the spell, you have to trace a symbol provided by the Professor.  As fun as it is, there’s a ticking clock that can make you very nervous and your hand can be unsteady because of it, so it’s hard to pass the final tracing lesson.  After that’s over, you get to participate in a challenge where you try to collect all the stars hidden throughout it.  You earn points based on how well you traced the spell and how well you completed the challenge associated with it.  There is one spell you learn from Hermione called Alohomora and you even get points from her, which brings up one question.  How is Hermione able to give points?  I have no problem with her teaching a spell, but actually giving points?  Couldn’t she have just given you a Wizard Card or something?  That would have made a lot more sense.  Another problem I have is that you never have a Transfiguration Class.  I understand not having History of Magic in the game, but Transfiguration?  The only time you even see McGonagall is when she tells you that you’ve made the Quidditch team and then she just disappears.

Like the book, Cerberus is still guarding the stone (yes I know his name is Fluffy, but I’m calling him Cerberus) and you have to put him to sleep by playing the flute.  However you never talk to Hagrid about any of this, so you never find out how to put him to sleep.  You never even find out the dog’s name.  All you know is that there’s a three-headed dog guarding the door and you were never told how to get past it.  Unless Harry gained the deduction skills of Sherlock Holmes, there’s no way he would be able to figure out how to get past Cerberus.  It also makes Ron’s line about how “Only Hagrid would call this monster Fluffy,” very out of place.

Again, we have Quidditch in this game and it even gets its own separate section, but they didn’t even try with this one.  In this version, there is a mention of an opposing Seeker, but you never even see your opponent.  The rings produced by the snitch don’t even serve a purpose, except to show you where it is.  Like the Playstation version, the only way of losing the game is to get knocked out and this time you don’t have armor protecting you.

Like the Playstation version, the game is relatively easy except for the Wizard Cards.  The difference is every part of this game plays some role in the overall storyline and you even find out why Fred and George are collecting beans.  I give this game a 6 out of 10.

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