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PC Trilogy

A trilogy of interesting PC games have come out lately. I say trilogy because they are three video games on the PC that I have played. I get to decide what the trilogies are. I call where they land. You listen. Got it?

 

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The first was a game called DEVIL DAGGERS. Holy shit, what a title. This game is somewhat of a callback to two unlikely candidates for a SICK marriage. 90s style FPS, so Quake and Doom yeah? And Geometry Wars.

So it’s a first person shooter wave-based score chaser with leader boards that provide in game replays. You are first dropped into a floating island in a black abyss. A pillar made out of bones and flesh appears and begins to spit skulls that float around and chase you. In that cluster of skulls spawns a horned skull, or a ram, which roams the arena aimlessly until you get too close. You’re weapon is your hand, and you shoot devil daggers. If you click mouse 1 you shoot a shotgun spread of daggers, while holding mouse 1 shoots frequently like a rifle. You can upgrade this weapon by collecting red gems, which only drop when killing enemies like the ram, or after taking down the spawning pillars which all have their own weak points illuminated by an embedded red gem. The gems are collected automatically, but they only hone in on you when you are not shooting. Collect ten, and instead of using two fingers you get to use three, producing more projectiles thus more stopping power. The upgrade path continues down that way, where adding more and more red gems gives more upgrades that vary. I’ve seen video of guys using honing shots that spread amongst the shotgun, for instance.

A strong aspect about this game is that it tells you nothing. You’re dropped in, and enemies start coming. Waves aren’t defined either, however with practice you begin to see how these waves go, being that they progress the same every time. As you play (and watch replays of high scores) you begin to see the merits of shepherding the skulls. They follow you quicker than you can move; a surprising feat given your quake levels of bunny hopping, double jumping, and rocket jumping. However they cannot hope to capture a good strafer, and as you circle strafe around the skulls you can begin to guide them into bigger hoards that can then be dispersed quicker and safer. You want to take out the pillars so they stop dispensing enemies (and so they provide gems) but you also want to make the arena safe so that you can do so. It’s a game about exploiting enemy movements.

The game scores you on how long you survive. I have only reached 90 minutes. Runs last quickly, giving you the expectation that you can do one or two runs. After twenty, you start to realize you’re foaming from the mouth. But when you look away, your mind begins swimming with skulls. You begin to realize that your own face houses a skull, and you start trying to unhinge your own jaw so that the skull can come out.

You can’t shoot daggers out of your hand. Don’t do this. Just keep playing the game.

The best thing is the presentation. There’s no music. The enemies make the music, with their disgusting noises. You can hear when a pillar emerges from the abyss. You hear the enemies as they close in on you. When the bigger ones emerge, like the giant spider draped in too much shadow to be visibly seen, you hear their squirmy cries so that you instantly understand you must shift your murderous focus. The sound design is so good. Also, the visuals do their part in looking like a late 90s FPS. It’s a great video game perfectly falling in line with my interests without being derivative of its inspirations, and without falling short of its inspirations. Also, it’s five bucks.

While very different, I must say the new Doom has strong competition.

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The second game is SUPERHOT SUPER. HOT. SUPERHOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPERHOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPERHOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPERHOT. SUPERHOT. SUPER HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPERHOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPERHOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPERHOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPERHOT.

SUPERHOT is the most innovative first person shooter I’ve played in years! Time slows to barely a standstill—enough to where you can see bullets moving, but not much else. You move time when you move. That includes looking around. In that time you must plan your course of action, because they are always outnumbering you.

superhot red dudes.png
They Being Red Dudes

Like Hotline Miami, your attackers die in one hit, and so do you. Attacking with your fists or other melee items require three hits except for the bat and the sword. Guns have short clips. You run up, punch the weapon from your attacker’s hands, grab the weapon out of the air, kill them with their own weapon, then spin around to throw the weapon at a new attacker who then drops their weapon as a result of you throwing that last weapon at them. You pick up their weapon, kill them, and repeat. It feels like a puzzle, because you have to focus on the largest threat, and you have to strategize what you will throw, attack with, and when you will move. Sometimes the only course of action is to jump, because while you jump you can slow time and aim better or dodge incoming bullets. You really have to articulate where you are shooting, even with a shotgun or an assault rifle, because every bullet counts unless you want to die quickly.

I’ve already completed the story mode. It was really good, and really short. I liked the shortness, but I was definitely left wanting more content. They provide an endless mode which offers arenas differing in layout and full of constantly spawning red dudes. You attempt to see how many people you can kill, and that amount unlocks other arenas for endless mode. It’s fun, but it’s not the same as the story mode levels, which drop the player into carefully planned situations in an intensely stylized manner. You also get different challenges for levels, adding to replay value.

The in-between-bits are structured as if you were using a computer running DOS. I will say no more, because this bit actually merits surprise when usually spoilers make plot points better. Actually usually better. That’s the message, you cry babies. Spoilers are not the end of the world and should not be the end of your enjoyment of a story. A good story is a good story. Surprise shouldn’t be a factor. When your interaction of that story gives the story more meaningful purpose, then I understand when the spoiler soils a story. Otherwise, you can just wipe up your tears and carry on to PLEASANTLY ANTICIPATING WHAT COMES NEXT.

Sorry, what was I talking about? Oh.
SUPERHOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPERHOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPERHOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPERHOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPERHOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPERHOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPERHOT. SUPER. HOT.

Easily the best 2016 release so far.

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In contrast to SUPERHOT, which I have beaten already, I have barely dipped my toes into the new farming simulator ale Harvest Moon. Stardew Valley was developed by some of the same guys that did Terraria. The game is inspired by Harvest Moon in that it is a pleasant, relaxing experience about building a farm. The game also include lite social aspects where the player attempts to build relationships with NPCs in the neighboring town with the ability to eventually marry and produce offspring. It’s got great visuals and music, and like Terraria the controls feel comfortable and simple on the PC. My only issue thusfar is that I have accidentally given my character pig tails, but a trip to the barber will cure that issue. When I find him. Or her. I’ve only completed about an in-game week, but I can see this becoming an addiction if I let it. Just like fucking Terraria.

My time with these fantasy farming simulators is slightly limited. I’ve dabbled with Harvest Moon, specifically the GBA title Friends in Mineral Town. I feel that, this game being a Steam release, would make me feel better about myself once I begin dumping several hours at a time. There’s something about Friends in Mineral Town that left me feeling guilty. Perhaps, it was because I WAS PLAYING A GAME ABOUT FUCKING FARMING. But hey, we’ll see how this one goes.

I like picking up stuff like this and seeing how knowledge of the game develops. Unlike most games, I may play without seeking help from the Internet, but for now I’m just enjoying it as a relaxing experience. It’ll certainly be something I can listen to podcasts while playing. Which is something I like to do because I am always on meth.

These three games came out within a week of each other (Devil Daggers last week, SUPERHOT and Stardew Valley this week) and they were all interesting, and unique enough to get me away from my other video game obsessions. Those I will possibly discuss during the next week’s trash segment. If I don’t decide to review Devan for the second time. Or write another endorsement for my main manduck DONALD DUCK SEE YA.

DONALD DUCK 2016

2/27/2016

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