Content of the article: "ADR1FT and The Turing Test are pretty terrible, Tacoma and Abzu are not, Remember Me was just about OK – plus two bonus non-sci-fi games!"
Continuing my recent spate of loving and leaving some very good, short, mostly sci-fi games, I recently played through Remember Me, Tacoma, Floor Kids, Abzu, The Turing Test, ADR1FT and What Remains of Edith Finch. Going from good to OK to bad and back to good:
Tacoma was excellent, and I say that as someone who picked it up for about 10 minutes years ago, thought "yeah this is great and all but where's the action?" and swore I'd never play it again, but after Observation and Deliver Us The Moon especially I figured it was probably exactly what I wanted to play next, and I'm very glad I gave it a second look because I really enjoyed it. I liked how exploring the station would foreshadow bits of the story that would be unveiled by just playing anyway and how it spends so much time making you think one thing and then flips it all over right at the end. If you liked the plot of the also excellent film Moon and don't mind a largely passive, linear experience, I'd recommend it for sure.
Abzu is another game I tried for a few minutes when I was clearly in the mood for something else then shelved indefinitely, I'm not sure what made me try it again but as above, I'm happy I tried it again and stuck with it in the slower bits – it picked up pretty quickly, as it turns out. I don't want to say much in case other people are thinking of trying it, I've seen it mentioned here a few times since I finished so maybe a few of you are picking it up or getting around to it yourselves. If you liked Journey and/or Subnautica's underwater setting and would like a new "walking" simulator to try, it's great.
Remember Me was, like I said, just about OK. I actually wrote and re-wrote a long post just about this game but I don't think anyone wants to hear all my thoughts on it, so I'll summarise by saying it's extremely pretty for a 2013 game, the story is decent, it has a lot of annoyances of varying severity but the combat system is what makes and breaks the game – until a certain enemy type shows up in chapter 6 (of 8, so almost the very end) combat is bad and feels like a terrible Arkham clone, then that one enemy type suddenly makes you realise combat is supposed to be a puzzle (sort of) and you see it in a very different, much more entertaining light. Still not great though as the move, dodge and shoot controls are really bad.
ADR1FT. Yes. It was one of the earlier VR games I tried on my Vive and it nearly made me physically sick so I stopped playing, but after all the other "disaster on a space station" games I've played recently I figured it might be yet another I should go back to (in 2D this time). I was wrong. It has below zero respect for your time, the gameplay is pretty much limited to topping up your O2 gauge and slowly floating towards very poorly marked objectives and the story isn't even good enough to make up for it, IMO. It is, however, absolutely stunning, the voice acting is perfect and the robotic voice of the station AI is a welcome change from the well-spoken AI trope established by HAL 9000, but none of these things make me regret playing it less.
The Turing Test, not much to say here except it's a very dull Portal-like that I can't make myself care about at all. I'm sure it's very clever but after getting stuck on one puzzle for five minutes (note that I had played maybe an hour of it years prior to this and must've gotten bored then too), instead of thinking "this is a good challenge and I'm enjoying solving it" I thought "this is boring and I stopped caring about four minutes ago", so I stopped playing. I won't go back. This is another game with posh AI, not that that's a problem, just saying.
I'm a huge Kid Koala fan but I historically hate rhythm action games so I wasn't too sure about Floor Kids, but then a friend made the decision for me by sending it as a gift (over a year ago). I admittedly flew though the game and didn't make a lot of effort to get 5 stars on every track so haven't technically finished it yet, but I've enjoyed it so far – easy to pick up, hard to master. If you know Kid Koala I doubt Floor Kids' style or premise would surprise you much, it's just a nice, fun game about a crew of b-boys and girls learning the martial art of breakdancing, it's got a lot of soul (but not really any depth, but sometimes that's OK) and is just a good way to spend some time between other games, really. If you don't know Kid Koala,
Finally, What Remains of Edith Finch. I really wasn't sure what to expect at all, I barely read the synopsis and just went in blind, I'm very glad I did though because the whole thing is about discovery and I think even knowing that much would've lessened the impact. It's an excellent game, very short at under 2 hours but didn't need to be any longer than it was. I have to admit it absolutely wrecked me more than once but I'm pretty sure it was perfect in every way, it's rare to see such a well-executed idea.
Send recommendations! Also thank you (again) to u/gamesandwatches, u/kujakutenshi and u/GeneUnit90 for your recommendations last time that led to me buying Edith Finch, The Norwood Suite, The Silent Age and Titanfall 2, TF2 is the only one I haven't played any of just yet (not enough space) but I imagine I'll be writing about the latter three next time. Cheers!
- What are your guys top 10 favorite games?
- Just finished I Am Setsuna, a new but classic jrpg.
- You do NOT have to finish a game if you don’t particularly enjoy it.
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