Tuesday, 19 December 2017

2D or not 2D

Well, the answer is Not 2D. I had an old version of the file that was all in Russian and didn't seem to do very much. I looked around on the internet and found a newer version and an English translation on a Russian site, so downloaded that, but now my virus scanner won't let me open it. Not sure if it's because it's from a Russian site and it doesn't like it or if there's genuinely something up with the file, but it doesn't look like it wants to play nice. From what I saw of the early version, it doesn't look that stunning, so I'm not too bothered about giving it a miss. Next up on the Doom series is another slightly odd sidetrack, Doom the Roguelike! It's quite an old-school Roguelike, so I'm not sure how long I'll spend with it, but I'll give it a go. (I probably should have split these out from the official Doom series, but hey!) I want to try and get through a bit more of C5R first, though. I've made a bit more progress on the world map and have a couple more members in my party. I have to admit it hasn't really grabbed me yet, though, and I keep getting distracted by other things - I blame a reader of this blog for getting me a single, innocent pack of Magic cards recently, and getting me completely addicted to M:tG again through Forge. I'm hopeless!

In other news, I've also finished off a PlayStation Mini on the PS3 called Hero of Sparta. It's a cheap and cheerful God of War knock-off that first appeared on iPhone. You play a bloke (backstory unimportant) who needs to wander through various levels hitting monsters. At the end of each level you collect a new weapon or piece of armor, but to be honest they're all much for muchness. There was mention of weapons leveling up, but I never saw any evidence of this in the game. There were also various moves for each weapon, but to be honest, you could just hold down the attack button and have it auto-target the nearest fiend and belabour it. Every now and then (more now than then towards the end) you'd encounter a tougher monster that you could perform a QTE death move on to earn extra health, which was a pleasant enough diversion for a while. It's nothing special, a 4/10 game in almost every category, but what saves it is that it's easy enough and quick enough to consistently progress through it, and the environments and monsters are interesting enough to want to see more. There are a few boss monsters that are more of a challenge and keep you on your toes. The biggest problem was the ending, which was a massive let down - I didn't expect much, but I expected more than that. Ah well, onwards!

Monday, 11 December 2017


Gosh, has it really been a month since my last post?! Final Doom is done and dusted. I actually finished it last week, but haven't got around to writing this yet. The game consisted of two self-contained parts, both 30-level Doom map packs, so it's been 60 levels of pure Doom overall. That's a lot of Doom. There's a few different graphics sprinkled here and there, but essentially these are just new maps built upon the old Doom 2 engine...but what maps. These are excellent in design and execution, and I'd probably put The Plutonia Experiment maps above those in the original Doom 2. They're harder, for sure, but have an amazing depth of innovation  and confidence in the engine. Never unfair (...okay, sometimes unfair), but always surprising, the levels build in difficulty, piling on traps, monsters and masterful scripting techniques to produce some of the best Doom levels I've ever played. Too many chain gunners, though. I hate chain gunners.

Of course, that's not the end of Doom yet, there's plenty more to come. Next up is Doom 2D, which I think is a homebrew 2D platformer take on Doom. No idea what it'll be like. I should really do a bit more of Challenge of the 5 realms first, though. I've made a start on it and have finished the first town and made my way out onto the world map.

In other news, I've also done with another couple of PS3 games. Snakeball and Sky Fighter.
Snakeball is some kind of futuristic sports game based on, you guessed it, the old mobile phone game Snake. You zip around the arena picking up coloured pods that are added to the tail end of your ship, making it more difficult to control without hitting things. You score by taking (or firing) these pods into the goals and score more points the more pods in your tail, so a little bit of a risk/reward strategy. There's more to it than that, but that covers the basics. To be honest, I didn't really enjoy it at all - it was hard to control and hard to see what your next target should be. It would be better with ore familiarity and more players, but my patience only lasts so long. Sky Fighter was a little better, and I actually finished the
campaign missions. It's a 2D arcade flight game set in a roughly WW2 era. You fly your little plane about, shooting down enemy pilots and bombing ground targets. You fly different planes depending on the mission, but I think there were only 3 or so planes in total - a light fighter, a heavy bomber, and a multi-role plane in the middle. There was nothing that exciting about it, but the game was fun enough and the missions were short enough that it was easy to fit in a quick blast every now and then, and to just about hit that "one more go" sweetspot.