Another October is done and gone. I finished up the Alien Breed trilogy I was playing through, which was… not as enjoyable as I remembered. They are solid games, just not very complex, and come off as extremely generic. No new gameplay mechanics are introduced in the last two games, which is really disappointing. But at least they are mildly horrific! For the season, I mean.
Speaking of, I also played Slender: The Arrival, and Outlast for a little while. The former drove me off with its “collect 8 things in the wilderness with no guidance” gameplay, since if you get collect 6 out of 8 it can be very difficult to find the last two with no hints, all while Slendy is on your ass so tight that you’re forced to constantly run, not allowing for proper time to explore and examine the area. The latter, Outlast, honestly might be too scary for me to ever finish. I’m all for horror games, but I don’t handle jump scares well, and it is a game designed almost exclusively to maximize jump scares; the key mechanic being that you can look over your shoulder as you are sprinting away from the nightmare that is chasing you. It’s an instant classic, though - incredibly polished, modern and smooth controls, great visuals and atmosphere, etc. It is a shame it uses the crutch of mental health stereotypes to tell its asylum story.
Deathspank and the two other games in its universe are among the hundreds of titles I’ve “filed away” over the years to come back to later, and the first was good fun. Ron Gilbert’s humor is slathered all over it, but the voice actor for the protagonist (Deathspank) doesn’t do it for me, and I found myself speed-reading the subtitles so I could skip through his incessant banality.
It’s worth noting that I played 5 out of these 6 games entirely in Steam’s Big Picture mode in my living room. I’ve got a nice set of surround sound cans (Astro A40s) but my living room sound system is far superior, so I’ve been spending a lot more time in there. I am on pins and needles waiting for SteamOS to drop, but I’m afraid it’s going to be delayed well into next year, and the conspiracy theorists will say it was planned that way all along. Regardless, Valve is really onto something with this - but Big Picture mode has plenty of room for improvement, which is exciting.
- The Stanley Parable (completed, PC)
- Alien Breed 3: Descent (completed, PC)
- Castles in the Sky (completed a few times, PC)
- The Wolf Among Us: Episode 1 (completed, PC)
- Deathspank (completed, PC)
- Gone Home (completed again, with commentary!)