Suburban Timewaster

I play video games and review them.

Archive for the tag “supernatural”

Guardians of the Galaxy Episode 4: Who Needs You (Steam)

After making your choice about the Eternity Forge, Hala buries you underground.  Meanwhile, the Guardians find themselves at odds about your decision.  Can you stop Hala while repairing the damaged relationships among the Guardians of the Galaxy?

I’m sure you remember that decision you had to make in the last episode that I talked about being the strong point of the story. Now be prepared to find out that whatever decision you made doesn’t matter in the slightest.  If you destroy the Eternity Forge, Hala sucks up all of its energy and uses it to bring her race back.  So all that time you spent mulling over what to do with the Eternity Forge is useless.  Even Rocket takes the time to point that out to you, in case you didn’t come to that conclusion yourself.  This is what we in the story business like to call lazy writing.  To top it all off, everyone’s so busy fighting each other the Guardians forget that the issue is that Hala is out there committing mass murder.  Unfortunately, you don’t get a dialogue choice to remind them of this either.  Say what you want about the Final Frontier, which is a guilty pleasure for me, but the characters had enough sense to realize that they need to focus on the major problem.  Let me explain that, in the movie, Sybok takes over the Enterprise and uses it to cross a deadly barrier to find God, or Sha Ka Ree.  Spock talks about how Sha Ka Ree is not real and Kirk tells him that the present issue is a mad man took over his ship and could possibly destroy it in some mad quest.  When Final Frontier beats you in a story aspect, you really need to re-think your writing.

The story does have its strong points, such as Drax’s flashback.  I have to admit, I’m not really a big fan of Drax.  However, his flashback is one of the most well done I’ve seen and it doesn’t take away from the story.  It’s a short and yet memorable scene where Drax talks to his daughter before she has to go away for training.

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Your choices determine how Drax’s daughter thinks of him.  It also leads to scene where Drax makes the ultimate sacrifice to save the Guardians in a scene that’s almost a tearjerker.  I have to admit, it took me by surprise.  While the scene is sad, the episode is not without its funny moments.  Some of the humor can get juvenile and, at one point, the game makes an unnecessary fart joke.  However, when a giant worm eats you in a plot point similar to Star Wars, you have to make the decision about whether you want the creature to vomit you out or poop you out.  I went with the former and, in this case, I’m glad the writers realized how silly this sounded.  One of the aspects of Guardians of the Galaxy is that the writers know when to take the plot seriously and when to embrace the silly.  The CW show, Supernatural, also uses this writing technique.

However, this doesn’t mean that you can ignore the story’s weaknesses.  In the second paragraph, I talked about how everyone forgets about the threat Hala imposes on the universe.  This doesn’t change by the end where, depending on how you handle Drax, people are mad at you.  It gets so bad that people leave the group, starting with Mantis who can’t take having to deal with everyone’s extreme emotions.  Never mind that the Eternity Forge is her responsibility and still causing havoc around the galaxy because of Hala.  Then, depending on whether you let Drax sacrifice himself or not, different people get mad at you and leave the group.  They just momentarily forget that Hala is committing mass murder across the galaxy because of what they did.  No, it’s all about them; how they can’t cope with all of the drama in their lives.  I understand that your main characters need to have flaws and that no one can agree with each other all the time.  However, the moment when your heroic group breaks up is not supposed to be when the world or, in this case galaxy, is in serious danger.  These characters act like spoiled children who throw a tantrum the minute things don’t go their way.

The game play is typical Telltale with you making dialogue choices for whatever character you currently play.  However, your choices make no difference except to determine who stays with you when the Guardians break up.  There is one impact in the game about whether you get to have a sandworm companion but that’s about it.

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The game comes with its own quick time events that are addictive as always without sneaking up on you.  You also get to explore the inside of the giant worm in order to collect engines to fix your ship and talk to the Guardians while you do so.

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The game is disappointing yet fun.  I give it 6 out of 10; not the best story but still a nice little diversion.

Mystery Tales: The Other Side Beta Test

The Twola TV Company’s giving away free super TVs all over town.  Only issue is that the police keep getting reports about dead bodies in front of these television sets.  Is it a coincidence, or are these TVs deadly for viewing?

I’m sure you already figured out on your own that there’s something suspicious about these TVs.  The actual mystery is about what is up with these TVs.  In the first few minutes, you know something’s wrong when your partner, Natalie, passes out in front of hers.  That’s right; it’s the damsel in distress cliché.  The use of this is particularly grating when you discover that Natalie collaborated with you on several other previous cases, all of them involving the supernatural.  Wouldn’t she know better than to fall into such an obvious trap?  If that wasn’t enough, one of the characters is a scientist with anti-television views people haven’t had since the 1950s.  Needless to say, this incident actually makes his argument stronger.  Despite these plot issues, the mystery is intriguing and I really would love to solve it.

The game play is typical hidden object with you going from room to room collecting various items to use in different locations.  Some items require you to participate in hidden object scenes.  If you’re having trouble finding items, use a hint.  Let me tell you, I’ve only had to use the hint a couple of times throughout the beta test.  You can also play mini games that are easy to follow but, if not, you can skip it.  I’ve only had to skip one game, which is a good sign.  During the run, you collect notes and diary pages with only the former available for viewing.  You can read the latter when the full game comes out.

This game is addictive and intriguing.  I can see myself buying the full version in the future.

Left in the Dark (Gamehouse.com)

Many years ago, a ship was lost at sea.  Now the ship has returned with no cargo or crew on board.  It’s up to a detective to discover what happened.

The game starts out chilling with a mysterious hook man lurking in the shadows.  A ghost guides you throughout the game.  At the end, the hook man starts talking, which takes away any creepy appeal he had.  The ending also felt a little rushed.

This is another typical hidden object game.  You go from scene to scene collecting items for your inventory.  Some items require you to take part in a hidden object scene.  The detective will write her thoughts in her journal from time to time and a map will guide you through the game.  Use a hint if you’re stuck.

This game is creepy yet simplistic.  I give it 6 out of 10; something to do when you’re bored.

Heartstring Bugs (Unbrokenhours.com)

Elly has just finished her first year of high school and hasn’t really accomplished anything.  Fortunately, a baby virus from another planet wanting to study humans gives her the ability to see other people’s emotions.  Will this help Elly blossom into more than what she is?

Other than the cute baby virus, this is your typical slice of life dating sim.  Elly has five potential love interests in Huang, Chase, Lucas, Dimitri and Blaze.  Huang is a socially awkward geek who gets English slang confused.  Chase is the smart arrogant jerk trying to get rid of his legions of fangirls.  Lucas is the happy go lucky prankster.  Blaze is the egocentric rock star.  Dimitri is the easygoing boy next door.  Elly can also form a friendship with Tamera, Naomi, or Alice.  Tamera is the outgoing cheerleader.  Naomi is the insecure bookworm.  Alice is the shy withdrawn girl.  She also has another love interest she can pursue that you need to discover on your own.

One factor I absolutely love about this game is that it doesn’t take itself seriously.  It’s ridiculous and the writer knows it.  The game is so funny that there were times I had to stop playing so I could control myself after laughing so hard.  I was just lucky I wasn’t drinking anything at the time.  There’s one plot that draws inspiration from Twilight and as much as I hate that series, I actually enjoyed the storyline.

The game play is very similar to Lucky Rabbit Reflex.  You can date a character to help them raise their impression of you.  Some of the ways you can do so is by entering the same club they’re in, raising your scores in charm, fashion, academics and athletics enough to get good marks and experiment with different clothes to get the style the guy you’re pursuing absolutely loves.  One aspect of this game that separates it from others is that you also have to raise your impression of the people in your life.  All you have to do is click the emoticon that best accomplishes your goal.

This game is addictive and hilarious.  I give it 10 out of 10; I consider uncontrollable laughter a strong emotional response.

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