Tag Archives: pc

Don’t Starve – I’M WATCHING

This is a post more about watching someone else play a game than me playing a videogame.

I bought Don’t Starve on Steam quite a while ago, it’s one of the games that I’ve technically played, but haven’t spent a lot of time on. I think I have a hard time creating my own fun and thus, I seem to always have a hard time getting into open-ish games like this. I need a central storyline to keep me going when I get tired of exploring. Think more Skyrim and less GTA.

Though, as soon as I saw Joce start playing it, it looked a lot more interesting. So now I have to take a break from The Walking Dead season 2 to write a few words about THAT whole experience.

Here’s the backstory: Don’t Starve is pretty popular. I’m not exactly HOW I know that, but I have a general sense that it’s true… and that’s really what good marketing is trying to do, yes? Anyway, Don’t Starve is releasing a free multiplayer expansion soon, and since we’re always on the lookout for co-op games to play, and since I already own a copy, Joce wanted to give it a try. SO, she played it for a few minutes on my account, liked it, and bought her own. (SEE! BEING ABLE TO TRY THINGS OUT ACTUALLY DOES LEAD TO PURCHASED YOU DIRTY COPYRIGHT BASTARDS)

But, why is it interesting to watch someone else play Don’t Starve?

That’s a good question. Part of it is that it’s easier for me to take the game in, if that makes any sense. I’m able to evaluate the game’s intricacies when I’m not occupied with the minutiae of not starving. I don’t have to spend time gathering grass, I can think about how the saving system affects gameplay, for example!

Saving is an interesting mechanic in this game: it auto-saves at as yet undetermined points, you can save but have to quit at the same time so it adds a bit of tension. And when you die, the game is over – no reloads.

It’s high stakes up in here.

It’s a simple thing, but it really does ramp up the importance. I mean, the damn game is about surviving and a lack of persistent saving makes the world a heckuva lot more dangerous. Need that bit of gold (required to build a science machine) over by that huge spider? Yeah, a science machine would be nice (and necessary to keep surviving in the long term), but how strong is that spider? Will it attack you? If it does, can you defeat it?

That’s just one thing that I’ve already spent waaaaay too much time thinking about. It’s one of the issues with retro games. No user-controlled save system makes even an “easy” game a lot harder, let alone a super difficult game like Mega Man.

Side note (and lifeprotip), if you’re like me and never had the patience for those old, meat-grinder-style games, try them in an emulator. Liberal use of ‘save state’ has made some of them more accessible to me. I’ve spent some time in Mega Man X that I never would’ve before because of it. But, more on that sometime in the future.

BTW – releasing a free multiplayer update is rad.

Plus, building a science machine is awesome.

SCIENCE MACHINE, via officialplaystationmagazine.co.uk

 

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Batman: Arkham Asylum

I know I know I know. This game isn’t nearly old enough to be retro, but it’s… like… totally old man. That’s true and irrelevant.

This is a good game. Everyone likes this game.

So as I often do, I bought it during a Steam sale and didn’t get around to playing it for quite a long time. Now, a bit about me and new (ish) games these days: I tend to dislike new games right off the hop. In the last, oh, decade it almost always takes me at least a few hours to get into any game. I combat this by waiting until a Steam and targeting GOTY editions… basically I let the gaming community pick the best games for me, I buy them, and don’t play them for a year.

It’s a great system

Eventually I’m sitting around thinking: “which of these billion games do I try?” I fire up Arkham Asylum and get about 5 minutes in. “THIS GAME IS HORRIBLE!”

I know, right? Literally everyone I know who has played this game went/goes on and on about how smooth the controls were/are. It’s a great story. Blah blah blah.

One night over (many) beers I’m chatting about this with a friend and he gets really offended and starts interrogating me, wondering what was so bad about the game. “The controls are horrific” I says (you see, after many drinks I adopt a this-is-what-I-assume-people-in-the-20’s-sounded-like accent.

“WHAT?!?” says he. “That doesn’t make any sense. Are you using a controller?”

Me: “no, controllers on PC’s are for n00bs… right???”

Turns out they’re not for n00bs

So, dear readers, I picked up an xBox PC controller a few weeks ago and SWEET ZOMBIE JESUS ARKHAM ASYLUM IS AN AMAZING GAME. The controls ARE freakin’ smooth.

Controversial declaration: controls are important for maximum enjoyment of a game. And it turns out, the keyboard isn’t always the best way to handle input. Seems like they could’ve mapped the controls better… but I digress.

Turns out I should go back to Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood again.

PS – that game is damn near unplayable on PC without a controller. Seriously, try it out.