Sssnakes Review (Cubed3)

Snake has existed in one form or another for around 40 years, now, so it would be unsurprising if the classic “eat things to grow longer” formula had worn out its welcome by now. Evidently not, as Sssnakes seeks to add more to the game than just a few extra consonants in the title. Featuring a wealth of stages, new game mechanics, and colourful, updated visuals, the question remains: is it better to leave the classics untouched?

NEO AQUARIUM: The King of Crustaceans Review

NEO AQUARIUM: The King of Crustaceans is a game about cock-fighting with sea creatures. Did I mention they’re armed with lasers? Well, they are.

Now, chances are those sentences elicited one of two responses: an open-mouthed, “Um, WHAT?!?!”, or a smirk, followed by, “Now this, I’ve got to see”. As you may have guessed, I fell into the latter camp. However, I quickly discovered that NEO AQUARIUM’s scattershot, nonsensical ideas extend far beyond its basic premise. Its gameplay, controls, and even performance are all over the place, making for an often chaotic, unpredictable experience. For this reason, I find it all the more surprising that the whole thing is so painfully mundane.

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number Review

Those of you who follow my work somewhat regularly know that life hasn’t really been the greatest as of late. Without going into the unpleasant details, let’s just say that there have been many days where getting home from class has involved a dramatic flop onto my bed, an arm draped over my forehead, and a long, heavy sigh. Surprisingly, though, I found something of a cure to this funk: horrifically graphic killing sprees. Thankfully, not in real life (I’m writing this in a Starbucks, not a prison cell or a safe-house), but in the neon-soaked world of Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number. Despite the fact that it’s been awhile since I played the first Hotline Miami, diving back into its world of blood and carnage seemed to be second nature. Unfortunately, part of the reason for this is that Wrong Number is just a little bit too familiar.

I’m Not Dead

I mean, the title really says it all, right? But seriously, I know that it’s been a while since I last posted. If you follow me on Twitter (@Olivigarden, for those of you that don’t know…hooray, self-promotion!), you may have seen my tweets about how everything basically went to hell and back. Well, at this point in my prolific (HA) games journalism career, I feel that it’s probably in my best interests to keep my personal and professional (HAHAHA) lives separate for the most part. Unfortunately, certain events have a way of making it so that focusing on anything (including being a functional human being) is extremely difficult. I’ll avoid going into the gory details, but since February 11, I’ve been dealing with some…ahem…distressing personal circumstances. Don’t worry, nobody died. But, well, something did.

Alice: Madness Returns Review

Alice: Madness Returns is a game that attempts to convey the realities of a descent into madness to the player, and in that regard, it is an unequivocal success. Unfortunately, that’s because it is one of the most maddening games that I’ve played recently. It’s a game that feels like it had so much effort poured into certain aspects, while others were left to waste away in irrelevance. And unfortunately, most of the latter were the elements that would make it a compelling and enjoyable game.

The Architect Review

Where does one start with a game like The Architect? In all honesty, sitting down to write this review is just giving me traumatic flashbacks to the displeasure that was this game. I wish I had something witty or insightful to say about it, but nothing’s really coming to mind. The music’s okay…I guess? At least, it would be, if there was more than a handful of compositions available. What I’m trying to say is that this could get messy. The unfortunate thing is that this is my first time doing an “official” review, where I was actually provided a key by someone promoting the game. If this is a sign of things to come…oh boy.

The Games I Wish I Had Played in 2016

Well, it’s officially 2017 around the world. The start of a new year. Which means that everyone’s looking back on the last year and going, “Well that was a bit toss, wasn’t it?” That is, except for the people who are taking the opportunity to look back at their fond memories from the year past, namely when it comes to video games. There were countless fantastic games that got released last year, so many of which I desperately wanted to try out. Unfortunately, as a university student, there are two things that I severely lack in: money and time. As a result, it is incredibly common that I have to watch as new releases are hyped, released, and enjoyed by the masses, while waiting patiently for the day that they inevitably go on sale and I actually have the time to sit down with them. Some of these games have been sitting in my library for months, awaiting their eventual installation. Others are on my wishlist, hoping to one day be added to my ever-growing backlog. Whatever the case, these are (in no particular order) the games that I wish I had gotten to in 2016. You can also consider this to be a “To play in 2017” list, if that’s your thing. Either way, you’ve probably all already played all of these and think I’m a pleb for not looking at them yet.

Okay. 😦

Something Something Christmas Post

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house,

Not a sound could be heard, ‘cept the click of a mouse.

I tapped softly at keys, poking them one by one,

In hopes that my Christmas post soon would be done.

Awkward Dimensions Redux Review

Dreams are weird. Well, they can be. They can also be exciting, frightening, sad, or all of the above. But they almost invariably tell us something about ourselves. Except for that one I had about Donald Trump eating a plate of pancakes. That one was just weird. Maybe I’m getting sidetracked, though…

Awkward Dimensions Redux is a short free-to-play game that takes the player through a series of short levels, each of which is meant to be a manifestation of a dream the game’s developer had. Some of the levels have small sets of objectives built into them, such as navigating a platforming challenge or taking an object from point A to point B. Overall, though, it is a linear “walking simulator”-type experience that gives you a glimpse into the psyche of a young artist. It really reminded me of The Beginner’s Guide, both in the ways in which it took me through a series of minimalistic, often abstract environments to the ways in which it used said environments to tell a story.

PRICE Review

PRICE is a game that started out with so much promise. It caught my eye on the Steam store for two reasons: its nicely realized anime aesthetic, and its low price of free. I figured that that was more than enough reason to dive into it, and I was initially very pleased with it. The opening cinematic in particular really drew me in with its haunting vocals and dramatic instrumentation. I highly recommend that you check it out if you’re into the whole “dark and mysterious anime opening” thing. Unfortunately, that’s the only part of the game I can really recommend looking at, as I found much of the rest of it to be a tiresome, frustrating chore to play.