The Talos Principle is a game I was intrigued by when it first came out in December 2014. It’s a first-person puzzle game (my screenshots are not in first person, but it’s optional), which always gets my attention, and I’d heard very good things about its atmosphere and themes. I’d further heard it inspires some pretty serious contemplation about life and the Self, which always makes my ears perk.
I still held off on it for almost a year. Part of this is because it wasn’t (and isn’t) a cheap game, even for a new release. I prefer to buy my games on sale even if it means waiting a while, and tend to wait until something is at least under $20. The other part of my hesitation was due to it being in a genre I absolutely love. I can’t seem to help comparing all first person puzzle games to the Myst series. A game in this style has to work hard to impress me. I don’t say that as a good thing, either. Setting my bar at, “How I felt the first time I played Myst,” is a ridiculous and unfair comparison to make…it’s just where my mind always wants to go.
The Talos Principle sat on my wishlist until I got one of the lovely (and dangerous!) emails that something on my wishlist was on sale. I don’t remember how much of a sale it was, to be honest, but enough for me to chance it. Continue Reading
Quite a few Blaugustians have been posting about the mobile games they’re playing, so why not talk about what I’ve got on my phone? As promised, I’ll keep the screenshots large.
Minecraft: Big surprise I have this one, huh? The mobile controls aren’t stellar, and it’s weird playing on such a small screen, but it’s not bad for what it is. The touchscreen is very nice for placing blocks and sorting inventory, though I’m not a huge fan of the way crafting is just picking results from a list. I can see why they’d make that change for the mobile version, but simplified crafting doesn’t feel right. If you don’t expect the full Minecraft experience, there’s worse than spending a few minutes mining on your lunch break.
One of the most interesting writing prompts for Blaugust has been Aywren’s “The Game That Changed My Life.” I’m right on board with her about Final Fantasy IV (SNES II) being one of those games, but she’s done such a beautiful job with her posts already that I’m going to pick a different game. 🙂 I considered Riven, since it’s my favorite in the Myst series, but Myst was the one that started it all. Continue Reading
Obsidian is a game I’ve been meaning to post about for some time. I’m always baffled that more people haven’t played it, even though Rocket Science Games went out of business shortly after it came out. The commercials were eerie and memorable; I would have expected more people to be intrigued. It’s definitely one of my all-time favorite games!
I’ve spent the last few days rediscovering an older game, one that I mostly missed the first time around. The short version of its history (with thanks to Dilandau3000’s Let’s Play videos and the Uru website) is that when Uru: Ages Beyond Myst came out in 2003, the live multiplayer aspect planned for it was delayed. That live online portion continued to be delayed for official release, until finally being scrapped completely. Fans of the game and beta testers managed to keep a live version going on their own servers, and later on an official Cyan server, until it was picked up by GameTap in 2007…and then canceled. Cyan eventually got the rights back, releasing it as open source on their supported servers in 2010 as free to play. There is an option to donate towards server maintenance, but it’s not required. This back and forth is why the current incarnation is referred to as “Myst Online: Uru Live (Again).” Continue Reading
Somewhere in the middle of chatting about The Secret World on a stream for another game, ’cause I’m like that, I was reminded of something I used to love in my games that doesn’t seem to happen as often anymore – the need for a pen and a pad of paper. [I suppose, light spoiler warnings for the pics I’m using later in the post. Myst and Obsidian are awfully old for spoiler warnings though, and the TSW mission is from one of the earlier missions in the Savage Coast area.]
I remember making maps for The Legend of Zelda and jotting down melodies in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. The old text games of course; I needed my own maps and notes there. The Myst games, before they added a screenshot option and less so after, were responsible for plenty of time spent writing and drawing things out. I think I took notes for most of my early PC games, there were always a few puzzles that made more sense if I wrote it out or a maze that became much easier if you drew a map.
Am I the only one who feels like participating in the game in that way drew me into the story and world of the game more? Perhaps I should rephrase since I know plenty of folks who agree with me, it just feels like games are more often made to streamline that part of gaming right out the door. Continue Reading