'Eh, a post about video games? But Han, I thought this was a beauty blog!' Yep, you're right! I've thought long and hard about whether I should venture into writing posts about my other passions, and I've decided to go for it. Yes, I absolutely adore cosmetics but I'm a games design student for crying out loud! I love videogames! And board games, or any other game..I'm not picky. Anyway, I decided that an occasional post about what I've been playing can't do any harm. Maybe you're a gamer too and we can chat about stuff! Maybe you're not and this could win you over. Let's get cracking.
This last month I've played quite a lot of stuff actually, I go through phases where I hardly play anything at all and the next moment I'm romping through them like there's no tomorrow. There was a game coming out that Mike and I had been looking forward to for over a year, so we were suitably excited for that! For the rest there were a few indie gems for sale on Steam and I reconnected to a few games I forgot about. Let us start with the big one:
The Last Of Us
Oh wow, this game was absolutely engrossing and wonderful. I definitely haven't felt this strongly about a game and its characters since The Walking Dead and Journey. Naughty Dog has done a brilliant job of creating a narrative through character development, and without spoiling anything I'll try to explain a little bit of the story to you.
In a world very much like our own set in present day, a virus breaks out which makes most of society collapse. You play as Joel, a rough and quiet man that has survived for twenty years after the outbreak and you suddenly have the 14 year old Ellie thrusted upon you with the mission to take her to the Fireflies, which is a group of people that's been trying to save what's left of civilisation.
I don't want to spoil the story so I won't tell you anything more than that, but I can tell you that the game looks and plays absolutely brilliantly. This is a harsh world, and if you want to survive you have to be cunning and brutal. Mercy is hard to come by, and everyone is out for themselves. You do not only have to be wary of the infected, but also other humans. The dialogue is fantastic, especially between Joel and Ellie and the graphics are squeezing every drop out of the Playstation 3's power. The developers have made the game look both achingly beautiful and desolate at the same time, and every new environment had us gasp in awe. If you purchase one game for the PS3 this year, please buy this one. It's amazing.
The Last Of Us is available on the PS3 only.
Dead Rising 2
|This is an actual screenshot we've taken whilst giggling like little girls, racing on minibikes. I'm the one in the front, the one who's winning. Ha!|
Mike and I are the kind of couple that loves playing games together. It's really nice to have a passion we both enjoy, and so we're forever looking for co-op games that we can enjoy with just the two of us. Dead Rising 2 was for sale on Steam, and we decided to give it a go. I'm happy we did, this has been lots of fun! Ok so the story is horrible, the graphics are more than dated and every model of a woman looks like it's come straight from a Playboy magazine but boy, killing zombies with crazy weapons sure is awesome. The game lets you craft and combine many weapons found laying around all over the game world and they are often both hysterically funny and extremely effective. Want Wolverine claws? You can! Just combine some boxing gloves with a bowie knife. A light saber? Absolutely! Do you want to paddle on a children's bicycle in a strange cowboy outfit whilst running over zombies in a casino? Look no further!
Unfortunately all the crazy weapons broke quite quickly, and all of the missions are timed. If you fail to complete even one of the core missions in that time frame, everything basically goes to shit and they make you do the whole frickin' story all over again! Which was frustrating, we didn't care about the story one jot and just wanted to get on with the game. Sooo we installed a few mods that makes time run slower and the weapons unbreakable. Problem fixed!
I don't think this game would be much fun in single player, but in co-op it's very suitable for just poops and giggles.
Dead Rising 2 is currently available on the PC through Steam, but you need a Windows Live account to actually play it. It's also available on the Xbox 360 and the PS3, although keep in mind that the mods we applied to make the game fun was on the PC.
Reus was developed by my fellow countrymen! Abbey Games is a Dutch indie company, and because I really liked the concept of this game I couldn't help but support them. It also helps that the game was only 6 pounds or so, which makes it that much easier to forgive if it had been bad. I was very pleasantly surprised though! Reus is a god game in which you play as the giants that enhabit the planet and help to make the land vertile and inviting for settlers, reus is also the Dutch word for giant so that's where the for the non-Dutchies undoubtedly strange name came from.
The point of the game is to make your villages grow and prosper, but not too quickly! If you give your villagers too much too soon they'll get greedy, starting to attack nearby villages and even the giants themselves. The game is surprisingly deep, but it eases you into it in a very nice way. You play a few tutorial levels first, unlocking new features and new skills so you can do even more cool things. I find the graphics quite pretty, the animations are smooth and the colours are lush and vibrant which I love. You can kind of tell this game was made by a small team, but not in a bad way. It has this lovely indie game feel to it that oozes originality, it definitely has it's own style. Although Reus can get hectic at points, it's a really nice game for relaxing and unwinding.
Reus is available on Steam.
'Ohh, what are you playing?' I asked my sister when I visited her last. She answered that it was Zookeeper, that it was great and that I should play it too. And I have played it..lots and lots and lots.
This little game is available for free on the App store for all smartphones and it's dangerously addictive. The game plays quite like Bejeweled in the way that you have to combine three or more of the same to get points, only in Zookeeper VS those points go into your attack and defence for the round. You only have 30 seconds to get as many points as possible, and at that same moment the person you're battling is doing the exact same thing. The game continues in rounds of 30 seconds until either one of you is out of life points or you've reached the fifth round and one of you has more life points than the other.
This way, the game never really lasts more than two minutes which makes it ideal to play on the toilet, the train, in the waiting line, the bus. Anywhere really, but especially if you just need to kill time for a few minutes. It doesn't even matter that I'm bad at it, it's still really fun. The game tries to match you with someone of your level, so you don't feel completely incompetent all the time.
Zookeeper VS is available on every smart phone app store for free.
Another indie game, this time developed by Shiro. This game has such an interesting concept and executed it in a really fun way. Evoland starts as an 8 bit game where you can only go right, and as you continue you unlock more features such as going left, sound, 16 bit graphics, characters, inventory..the list goes on and on. The game is also an obvious ode to both The Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy, combining game elements from both those franchises and many games like them. The result is an absolutely charming game that kind of shows you the history of video games and how far we've come since then. It's really nice to unlock more features since it could be anything. It could be newer graphics, better sound or even an NPC or a shopkeeper but also a sword or another item that might help you further in the game. If you enjoy RPG's and you like a bit of retro as well, I think you'll really enjoy this game. It's not very long, only about 5 or 6 hours but I really didn't mind that at all.
Evoland is available on Steam.