Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Rocket League: not good for the heart

I have tried to play a number of PS4 games, but I find it difficult since as soon as I turn on my PS4 the Rocket League icon is sitting there.  To play anything else, I have to scroll past it.  I frequently don't.

It's a tense, exciting, thrilling game, played in short ten-minute installments, and I think I'm getting better at it, albeit slowly.  Last night there were a couple of games which I was particularly pleased with - including this one.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Pokémon Picross: you are not allowed to have too much fun

I am nearly done with Picross e3, which will mean a purchase of Picross e4 in the near future.  In the meantime, though, I was pointed the way of Pokémon Picross, a free-to-play 3DS game which uses the same mechanics as the e* games but with puzzle solutions based around Pokémon.  Obviously.

It's not quite the same.  The backend is the most different - rather than just selecting from a menu, there's a sort of story attached, where you have to travel from area to area, solving the puzzles and collecting picrites.  You get a certain number of picrites for solving puzzles, but also for meeting various conditions - enabling certain powerups, meeting the time limit, and so on.

Powerups are another difference.  You can equip a certain number of pokémon, who will then give you things like a random row reveal, freezing time, or showing you where moves exist - like in the e* games, with blue colours.  To be honest, I don't really use these - except you are forced to do so in order to get the maximum number of picrites.  It would make more sense if you got more for not using powerups ...

But maybe not from a financial point of view.  Your powerups can only be used a certain number of times before needing to be recharged - basically, they're out of action for an hour or so.  You can always pay picrites to recharge them quicker.  You have to pay a certain number of picrites to access the next area, but there aren't enough in the puzzles themselves so you have to do the daily challenges - earning a few each day.  Or you can just buy picrites for real money,

So everything seems to be geared up to get you to spend picrites.  It feels like you're constantly being badgered to give the game more money, or wait for another day or another week before you're allowed to have any more fun.  Have lots of fun!  But only a certain amount each day!

The odd thing is that there's an option to buy a bundle of picrites which are unlimited, which would effectively make the game a standard pay-for title.  But I resent paying for that, and instead am chipping away at the daily challenges in order to open Area 4.  I think it may be because even when using a virtual currency, buying things in-game always stresses me, so I don't like the backend structure of a game that's based around that.

Finally, an exercise for the reader.  I had trouble with this - where is the valid move?  It took me 20 minutes to find it, but there is indeed a definite place to go.

Assassin's Creed Revelations: a long tutorial

It doesn't seem like a year since I played through Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, but it is and so it's high time I continue the series - in an attempt to make sure that I'm only four years behind the curve and no more.  I mean, when I finish Revelations I'll only have III, III Liberation, IV, Rogue, Unity, Chronicles and Syndicate to go.


So, Revelations.  I know that I will get to play as both Ezio and Altäir, since they are both on the cover.  I know that I will struggle to adapt to a slightly changed control scheme, since they've moved the ranged weapons button.

I know that I will get completely lost in a new city for ages, and will take some time to work out the best way to run away from the guards.  I know that I'll quickly get distracted by opening shops and chasing down thieves and looting the bodies of dead soldiers.

I know all this will happen.  Why in the future?  Because as of now, a few hours into the game, I'm still playing through the tutorial.  It goes on forever.  I have had to complete some basic missions to learn about the new eagle sense, to learn about the ranged weapons options, to learn about bombs.  I finally have a bit of freedom now, but it's taken so long.  I mean, it took over half an hour to get to the title screen!

It feels like a refined version of Brotherhood so far.  I appreciate the better control over throwing knives, I find the reformed eagle sense a bit annoying, and I find the odd Animus Island a bit odd.  It's almost as if they're running out of ideas for the modern-world story.

I'll report more soon.