Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Vikings Attacked

I finished When Vikings Attack on the PS3 at lunch time. It's a bit of an odd game - a very simple concept strung out to a full campaign mode. I don't know how long it took me, but it felt like it dragged on a little. The basic premise is that you control a crowd of people and have to run around picking up a variety of objects and hurling them at the enemy crowds of vikings who are doing exactly the same thing to you. That's basically it - you pick something up and throw it, pick something up and throw it, pick something up and throw it, ad infinitum. The only tactical variety is that you have a dash move that can also be used to catch objects in mid-air or steal objects from enemies when you dash into them. It's the kind of chaotic set-up that's aimed at multiplayer (preferably, same-room post-pub multiplayer), and it doesn't transfer brilliantly to a single-player experience. The campaign mode is basically just a bunch of different levels with different themes but essentially the same experience. The only real difference comes with the boss fights at the end of each level. This is usually with some kind of enemy who's immune to your standard attacks so you have to do something like bounce projectiles off the scenery to strike their unprotected areas. They're an interesting diversion, but are often exercises in frustration rather than enjoyment. When Vikings Attack isn't a game of skill, it's a game of frenetic chaos, so making precision shots like that is often impossible to do properly, and they usually end up being lucky strikes rather than what you intended. There are also issues with some very small playfields where smoke from explosions completely conceals the action meaning you'll die without being able to see what happened. It's only an issue on those small maps, but it cropped up on every single one of them and was very annoying. I'm sounding more down than I feel. It was a fun game, it just overstayed its welcome. There are numerous trophies and collectibles for it, but I'm done for now.

Next up on the PS list is Grandia. It's an RPG for the original PlayStation. I played through the second game in the series on my Dreamcast years ago and really enjoyed it. I don't think the two are connected in any way, but I'm looking forward to playing through this. I did play through the first few hours of this a while back, but lost my save game when my last PS3 died, so I'll be starting from fresh again.

In other news, I'm slowly making my way through 1893. The game is huge, but very interesting - I didn't know anything about the Chicago World's Fair before. I've also made a bit of headway in Ultima 6, but it's slow going to start with.

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