Roguelikes? Uh, Spelunky says hi. Well, really it says WRAUGHTRLRLRERNRRR!!! and then hi. God damn Spelunky.

Many finishings!

Papo & Yo:
We stayed up until 1:30 in the morning finishing this game in 2 major sittings. Then we sat around and talked about it. It’s that kind of experience.
For all the negative reviews, I was expecting something a lot less competant than we actually got. Sure, maybe a lot of the puzzles don’t have some kind of metaphorical bent… a switch can just be a switch. It’s OK guys. If this wasn’t a game about son/father relationships everybody would just call it Ico an nobody would think twice about criticizing the mechanics.

As it stands, really solid work from the auteur to your brain. The game is highly personal and as been said before on the box, basically defies your attempt to put a numerical metacritic score on it. Just reading reviews it’s easy for me to sort of draw a line and think “unrelatable childhood” “”unrelatable childhood” “sympathetic childhood” “unrelatable childhood” down the line of the reviewers. I think if you’re tone deaf to the part of the game where the author is trying to explain his feelings to you, the audience, then maybe this game isn’t FOR you. I don’t get much out of your average chick lit or Can lit book either, and I have no problem thinking that maybe these aren’t FOR me. If you rated this game a 60, well… yeah.

Me, I thought it was well done and moving, expecially the ending. I’m glad that the author took the time to exorcise his demons in a public way. So strange, but I’d certainly like to see more of it.

Rain Slick 3: Finished the game with both “true” and “bad” endings. Ended very abruptly, but I was still impressed that they were able to do something that essentially resembled FF VI at least in mechanical terms. Had a few larffs, enjoyed myself for the duration of the little quest. It’s over now, decent effort from Zeboyd even if it ended abrubptly on a cliffhanger without much resolution.

Dust: Elysian Tale:
Started this, played it for 45 minutes or so, enough to know that
1) It’s really top-grade A quality stuff. For serious though – metroidvania with crafting, slick platforming and a fun technical battle system that rewards skillful comboing without penalizing button mashing or more casual players.
2) Beautiful art style! So pretty! But furries…why?
3) I HATE the squeaky chirpyvoice of your Navi analogue. Argh, no. No no no.

Sleeping Dogs:
The bomb diggity. If I hadn’t balked to go watch the Woman in Black last night I probably would have been up waay too late. It’s everything it’s been described as: GTA Asia in Hong Kong with Batman style combat and rediculously thorough leveling up trees.

Liked Wei Shen immediately. This is the kind of protagonist I can get behind. Also immediately charmed by the game’s habit of just injecting Cantonese into everything, including mix-and-matching words randomly into sentences. Hey man, let’s [cantonese: haul our asses] to the night market and get some of them [cantonese: awesome] meat buns. Sure, why not? As expected, almost everyone is Chinese (duh) and the intricate network of filial obligations, honor relationships, historical he-owes-me-a-favor cash ins, dragon heads, red poles and whatnot is dizzying for a gwailo like me to try and get his head around. I’m lost some of the time, but in a good “man, this sure seems like it’s got some Chinese versimilitude” way. Also, I feel for the poor cops who are doing the stakeout work with the giant “The Wire” style photo board. Dog-eyes Chen, happy grin Chen, Lucky Chen, Li Pao, Mother Pao Chen. Randy. Shit, no wonder everybody has a nickname in china. Cellphone conversations are fucked up.

Love the little Asian flavor details. Offering incense at shrines (clap clap, bow) to increase your health max, getting into accidents all the time because for some reason it took me an hour to realize I’M DRIVING ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD, duh, and cars’ steering is on the right too. Something nuts like 4 seperate skill trees (cops, triad, martial arts and “face”) all leveling up independently. I like how acting like a straight cop (not injuring innocents, following procedure, staying in touch) earns you shields you can spend on Cop Things (better and less obtrusive ways to break into cars, better car chase perks, unlocking weapons in police car trunks) while being a scary-as-hell motherfucker levels up your triad terror skills, making it easier to shake down people, ram heads through air conditioners and do “that thing you do in battles when you start being so Bruce Lee terrifying that enemies cower and scoot away from you on their butts at high speeds and jump out windows to get away from you”. Satisfying.

Also “FACE”: Great stat. Basically your rep and pimp presence. Level it up by doing cool things for the community, helping people out. Getting known as a serious player in the neighborhood. Clothes are a big deal, collecting specific sets of them (hats, shoes, pants, whatever) give you bonuses, but you need certain FACE levels to pull off certain outfits. I have a pair of shoes I found in a collectible box that belong to the “Master Negotiator” set and I can’t even equip them until I hit face level 9. Instead, here is Wei Shen slumming in a knock-off bootleg p-diddy t-shirt and baggy jeans (“minor thug set” +5 hand-to-hand damage) that I bought from some scabby merchant behind a fish stall. Because face level 0 is all I can pull off with my worthless reputation. A loser is me. Oh, also everything, EVERYTHING is bootleg knockoff. At least in my awesome world. Chick at noodle place won’t even give me the time of day. Straight gangsta.