Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Crashing Cows

Yup, it's another crasher. I'm not entirely sure that Crazy Cows was really much of a single-player game, anyway. It's a funny old thing, a turn-based strategy game a la X-com, but you don't get to choose your roles. Instead, you're plonked on the map with a group of cows. Each cow has one of three roles, normal, ninja (short-range sword attack) and soldier (long-range gun attack). As you travel around the map, you might find weapons on the ground - swords or guns - that allow the cow that walks over them to turn into the appropriate role. So, a standard cow that picks up a sword becomes a ninja. I think those are the only roles available. Otherwise, it's a fairly simple game - you begin in one area of the map, with the remainder of the map covered in a black fog of war, which is uncovered as you walk through it. As you reveal the map, you'll discover enemy cows (with exactly the same roles). I think that the object is to destroy the enemy base, but there appears to be a bug in the game where it crashes as soon as I kill an enemy cow...which kind of spoils it. So, unfortunately, I wasn't able to get off the first map. Apparently, a sequel was made a few years back, but luckily I don't own it. Onwards to something that maybe won't crash!

Next up on the randometer is...Grim Fandango! Ooh, there's something I haven't played in a while. I could have sworn I had the remastered version...Ah, turns out I do, but it's for Android. Maybe I'll just play the old version on PC, the box is around here somewhere.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Lost Enthusiasm

Just a quick note about Lost Valley. I had a go at playing it a couple of times over the weekend, but it kept crashing, and I just can't face another super-buggy game. I can't really complain, it's an old Windows homebrew game that I'm trying to play in a modern operating system, and to be fair, when it does work, it works fine, but after a few minutes play it'll spit an error message and lock up. Otherwise, it could have been quite fun - it's an action RPG split into two main parts, an overworld map (top-down) and dungeon exploration (side-on). It's obviously inspired by Zeldas of old. In the map sections, you run around bashing baddies and looking for cave entrances that will either give you some information or open out into a dungeon. There are also plenty of unpassable areas that require some kind of item to get through. So far, so Zelda. When you enter a dungeon, it changes to a side-on perspective and introduces platforms and jumping. You perform the same essential task of baddie-bashing and searching for items/equipment to help you to proceed, but it's a lot more action oriented. And...that's about as much as I can tell you, as it always crashed before I could make much headway on the world map beyond the first dungeon. Graphically, it's all good and colourful stuff. Apparently it's all sprite rips taken from other console games, but I didn't recognise them and it's done very well. According to the internet, it's quite a long game with a huge map (and it certainly appeared that way, comparing what I'd explored on the map screen with the amount of blank space still to fill), unfortunately, I'm unable to get any further with it. Onwards!

Next up on the randometer is...Crazy Cows! ... which I have absolutely no idea about, so it'll be a fun one to explore.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017


Ack, enough of that. I literally can't work out at all how I'm supposed to control it. You'd think a fishing game would mostly consist of the simple pleasures of casting your line and winding the reel, but I can't get any of that going here. Obviously, this is deep-sea fishing, not fly-fishing, but you'd think the basics would be the same. So what did I manage to do? Well, I went to a shop and bought some random things (no idea what really) from an ugly man. I hired a boat. I went to the map and planned a good fishing spot (no idea if it was a good fishing certainly didn't net me any fish), then I sailed out there and sat, rod in hand (ooh err), staring out of the back of the boat. I seemed to be able to move the rod up and down (ditto), select the bait (I think...there was a metre with different fish on it), and throw bait in. Other than that, I didn't see a single fish or really work out what I was supposed to be doing. Maybe I was too impatient? Maybe I should have sat there for an hour or two waiting until there was a sudden frenzy of activity, resulting in a huge marlin and the most exciting game experience ever. Maybe not. Whatever, I'm going to call it done. It was going to have to do something pretty special to grab me anyway, so not doing anything was never really going to work. Onwards!

Next up on the randometer is...Lost Valley! Looks like a slightly random home brew action RPG. I'll give it a go and see how it looks.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Monsters Someways Altimes

I finished off Always Sometimes Monsters last night. I didn't get the good ending, which I was a bit miffed at, but I had fun with it. It's an RPG Maker game, so has quite a basic feel to the controls and graphics, but the writing is excellent. It pulls you through the story and keeps you interested until the end. Essentially, it begins with you losing the love of your life (a year ago) and your job falling through, then you get a wedding invitation to your ex's wedding and have to work (literally) your way through a number of different cities earning enough money to reach the wedding in time to... well, it's your choice what you do when you get there. The game sells itself a lot on choice, giving you the feeling that the decisions you make throughout the game will affect the final outcome. I'm not sure if it's true, but a walkthrough I looked at after I'd finished said that the majority of the ending was actually decided by one conversation late in the game, which I answered differently to the way they recommended. If that's true then that would be a bit rubbish, but there we go. Anyway, I did enjoy the game - there were parts where it lost its way and veered too much into gameyness rather than telling the story, but in general it stayed true to itself and built up a convincing world for you to explore and work within. I'd be interested to know how much actual choice there was throughout the game, but I'm not going to play it through again to find out. As I say, it gave a good illusion of choice, but it might have been one of those cases where whatever you chose would have taken you to the same point anyway. It was probably a little too long for what it was, but I'd recommend it as a different experience to the majority of games you can find out there.

Next up on the randometer is...Big Game Fishing! Looks like a fishing game from the early '90s. Ah well, I'll give it a go, I guess.

In other news, I also played through Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix over the weekend. I didn't complete it with all of the characters by any means, but I got my boy Ryu's ending movie and a bad case of Street Fighter's Thumb, so that's enough for me! I also discovered T. Hawk is my nemesis. I always thought that guy was rubbish, but he wiped the floor with me on far too many occasions. Had to temporarily switch to Guile to beat him, then back to Ryu for the rest. Darn him. I've also made a start on Fallout New Vegas, but not made a great deal of headway yet. Just enjoying having a bit of a Fallout break, but I'm sure I'll be back into it soon.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Finally, Three Fell Out

After what has seemed like an age, I have finally completed Fallout 3. If it weren't for the constant crashing, it would have been a great game. As it is, I feel I have to downgrade it to Mostly Great. I think a lot of it was down to it just not running that well under Win 10, but it meant having to restart the game every few minutes, which got old really, really fast. It's a testament to how good the game is that I continued to slog through it. That's not to say it's perfect, though, by any means. Let's backtrack a bit. Fallout 3 is the first of Bethesda's FPS takes on the Fallout universe. Mostly, it succeeds, the post-apocalyptic '50s feel is still there, and there's still a blend of humour thrown into the dour-faced struggle for survival in the wasteland (though perhaps not as much as the earlier games). There isn't as much world-building and atmosphere as the old games, though, and a lot of this is down to the people that you meet and the conversations that you have - I also felt there wasn't such a good sense of place here, everywhere felt a bit samey (not helped by the constantly oppressive grey graphics). There are a lot of people to meet, and some of them are memorable, but to be honest, most of the people that you meet and quests that you perform are forgettable. Also, an awful lot of it is missable. For example, I never encountered Dogmeat, Fallout's most iconic companion, at all on my playthrough. I had to look up where he was in a walkthrough and go and find him after I'd already completed the game. In fact, I didn't have a companion at all until the very end of the game, whereas other people get companions as quickly as possible and play through the entire game with them. I think this is partly down to the fact that I avoided doing the main quest until the last minute. I wanted to explore the wasteland first, so I spent the vast majority of my time wandering around picking up quests and murdering savages, and not bothering with my poor old missing dad at all. It was only after I'd hit the level cap and couldn't earn any more experience that I decided maybe I should take a look at this main quest thing. I'm quite glad that I did do it that way, as the main quest was disappointingly short and rail-roaded. I couldn't really believe how quickly it was over. If you'd decided to just follow the main quest after picking this game up, you'd have a terrible time. As it is, I spent a very enjoyable time travelling around righting wrongs and lugging loot. It did get a little boring towards the end (and the crashing...I know I've already mentioned it, but God, the crashing!), but it was a thoroughly enjoyable game, and one that I'm very glad I've finally played through. Next up in the series is New Vegas - based upon the same engine (I think), but written by the RPG specialists at Oblivion. By all accounts, it has much improved story and dialogue, so I'm looking forward to that. I might just have a break for Always Sometimes Monsters before I make a start on it, though.

In PS3 news, I also played Crash Commando at the weekend. I didn't realise, but it's primarily a multiplayer game, so there wasn't really much to get my teeth into. The premise is kind of taking Team Fortress and putting it on a 2D plane and zooming out until your avatar is tiny and you can see most of the level. Oh, and giving you a jetpack. You then have to run and jump around various levels, shooting bots (or Real(TM) bad people) or mostly getting shot yourself if you're me. It controls like a twin-stick shooter, with one stick for movement and the other for aiming your gun - of which there are many to choose from. It took a little while to get into the swing of it, but it was quite good fun after that. It did make me realise how slow and rubbish I am at those things, though. Without the multiplayer element, it's just a slightly boring bot, nah.