Destroying Iconography For Fun And Profit

Iconoclasts attracted my attention randomly and immediately when Steam happened to throw its trailer in my discovery queue one day. I had previously heard nothing about the game but wanted to play it probably within the first 10 seconds of the preview.

You play the role of Robin, a fairly typical player-insertion silent protagonist with an oddly geometric ponytail whose only established character traits are unwavering helpfulness and a talent for swinging a giant wrench.  The supporting cast, in contrast to Robin’s relatively flat character, is surprisingly multi-faceted and several of them see meaningful development throughout the game. It is very much the story of these other characters that the game is really about, with their reliance on Robin’s help being central to how they develop.  Iconoclasts also never really gets too serious, with a fair scattering of lighthearted dialogue to keep the mood up.

The gameplay itself is also fun, with responsive controls and a satisfying variety of abilities. It’s nothing groundbreaking with fairly standard “metroidvania” mapcrawling, but executed competently enough so that it remains enjoyable.  Many screens of the game are more akin to puzzles than challenges of mechanical ability to play, which is great for any puzzle game fan. The graphics themselves are colourful and eye catching, with great variety between different areas and full of little details which can actually fill in some of the story for someone paying close enough attention.

If you’re a fan of metroidvania-like mapcrawling with puzzle elements then definitely check this out.

We choose to go to Mun not because it is easy, but because it is fun!

I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of this one, both figuratively and literally.  In-game literally that is.

Kerbal Space Program is definitely more of a sandbox than a game.  A sandbox in which the “sand” is parts of spaceships and the “box” is a solar system.  Using a realistic — though simplified — simulation of space flight you hurl your creations to the sky, where they may soar gloriously to their destination… or not.

Few games, if any, leave me as satisfied or with the same sense of accomplishment as Kerbal Space Program does.  Maybe it’s the real physics the game uses, or the real(ish) scale of the game, but achieving something for the first time feels better here than it does in any other game I’ve played, whether it’s just getting out of the atmosphere, reaching a stable orbit, or landing on another planet.

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Retrospective: Child of Light

It isn’t often one encounters
games entirely in rhyme,
but such a game here is presented
which I played, once upon a time.

A little girl, the “Child of Light”
falls deathly ill, her body dying.
She then awakens, lost and lonely
soon finding she can move by flying.

Along the way she makes new friends,
discovers who she is and more.
The story much like fairy tales
delivered whimsically, for sure.

Combat is fun, characters varied,
graphics great, much like it’s painted.
The story twists, there are some changes,
some you predict, some unexpected.

A solid game for those to find
an RPG you might find splendid.
For those who might be so inclined,
this game comes highly… endorsed.

 

 

Retrospective: Sleeping Dogs

While I was away I was gifted Sleeping Dogs and quite enjoyed my time with it.  It was like GTA, but without all the silly adolescent pandering and with a much much better combat system.

Sleeping DogsOne thing this game did a great job of was in making you attached to characters. Characters that you only just met become important to you very quickly, and it just becomes that much more poignant when Bad Things™ happen to them.

If you’re a fan of GTA you owe it to yourself to try out this much improved take on the formula. If you’re not, but like the idea of the setting or the whole Hong Kong cop/Triad member story, I recommend it doubly so.

…there’s this one off-ramp on the high way though where the geometry of the guard raid can catch your car and bring it instantly to a stop. I was propelled through my windshield on at least three occasions when I got snagged by it. Be warned.

Retrospective: Beyond Good & Evil

I can’t say enough good about this game.  The characters are fun, the game looks great for its age, and the story is good enough to keep you interested.  An excellent choice if you have a few hours to kill and want a zelda-ish adventure game to explore.  Taking pictures of the surrounding fauna is much more entertaining than it appears on the surface as well!

I suppose I should write something up here about a game I didn’t like at some point… coming soon!

Retrospective: Darksiders

Another week has come and gone, and I have not yet finished Darksiders 2.  I have made progress, and have just arrived in Lostlight, but the end of the game is still not in evidence.  Perhaps after I shake up all these angels a little bit…

So that brings me to this week’s post.  In lieu of a new game finished, I will talk a little about a game I have finished in the past.  The first Darksiders seems suitable, given the circumstances.

I don’t really know what I expected from the game when I first started playing it, but it became apparent pretty quickly that I was playing some kind of God of War/Legend of Zelda hybrid.  Fast paced, flashy, visceral combat… dungeons connected by an overworld map, each with a new piece of equipment and a boss that — shock and awe — required the use of the item I just found to defeat.

Now, I’m not knocking it.  Darksiders was fun, and I recommend it to just about anyone. You can do much worse than Darksiders if you’ve got a few hours to kill.

As for the story, I found it an interesting spin on the whole apocalypse mythology, with War charging from on high only to find that the apocalypse wasn’t really happening, and being punished for that transgression. Doubly interesting is that Darksiders 2 is neither a sequel nor a prequel, occuring entirely within a subset of the first game’s timeline (…an inquel, perhaps?)

Check it out.