xyzzysqrl: (Sqrl-Bit.)
So these were more ambitious but also had some interesting issues.

Paradox Lost is a metroidvania sort of game, big on exploring somewhat boxy maps. The gimmick is that your gun can warp you to the past, present, or future if you bounce a shot off a crystal and back into the gun. This in practice means you have to navigate between three maps that sort of resemble each other, and while this was a huge pain in the ass at the start of the game it eased back a little as the game progressed.

My biggest problem is that 100%ing does nothing. My second biggest problem is that the button bound to "view map" in Assassin's Creed Origins was here bound to "kill yourself", so I would suddenly drop dead because I got the urge to look at where I was. Oops.

These are slightly ironic issues, given the next game:

End of Line is a block-pushing, vaguely Lolo-esqe puzzler where your goal is for your little Mega Man style robot to die without being brought back by a repair device. In practice this means "smash all the devices" is high on your priority list, meaning "get to them first" is the basis of the puzzle screens.

Unfortunately, there are optional objectives, and it's very easy to miss one. The only thing you can do about that is to play the game over from the beginning again, or watch the 'good' ending on Youtube. I did the second one.
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
Two more games from this retro collection.

GAIA-ttack only twigged with me when I realized it was supposed to be a four-player multiplayer PvE Smash clone. Your small elemental sprite (in single player you control a different one each world, I don't know how it works in MP) appears at the bottom of an arena and enemies will stream in. You knock the hell out of those enemies with a simple moveset and you climb up as the screen scrolls vertically. Eventually you'll reach a boss, which you defeat.

It was cute and I liked the sprite designs but not hugely engaging. Air-juggling bosses was fun though.

Wub Wub Wescue however was a stone-cold butthole of a game that I oscillated rapidly between loving and hating. It's a very early 1980s-style single-screen puzzle-platformer, along the lines of something like Donkey Kong Jr. or the like. Your pug wants to rescue its owner from the clutches of evil jungle people. To do this, you navigate five acts of something like six screens each.

Your pug can awoo songs from record players scattered around the jungle, each of which negates or alters one hazard: One song puts deadly snakes to sleep, one song makes bats carry you instead of kill you, one slows time to make the timing window on vanishing platforms infuriating instead of impossible, etc.

By the later levels, with tons of hazards salted around the screen and a single sane path between them, I would glare and huff and then stop and check the timing on something and I can do it faster, better, right there if I just ... no that's another death because of the STUPID ARROWS that was my fault try again...

It was tightly designed, infurating, and I never want to play it again but that doesn't make it bad. That was the exact experience it was trying for, I suspect.

But I still never want to play it again.

This seems to be becoming a series. There's three games left I haven't played, let's see if I decide to beat one of those next, or what.
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
Retro Game Crunch is a package of seven retro-y NES-y-flavored video games bundled into a single launcher sold on Steam. At first I was going to consider the entire seven-game package as one game and only post about it once, but the two I've tried easily crossed the Manos Threshold(*) and were suitably playable games in their own right, so I figured I'd split them out to pad my game count for the year give them their appropriate due.

Of the two games I finished, Brains & Hearts is absolutely the lesser. A combative card game between Einstein and a robot in which you compete to make ascending or descending runs of numbers using at least one of your opponent's placed cards. It took me a while to work out how to win it, and I still don't think I could do it reliably, but I did declare victory once so yay for me.

The other game, Super Clew Land, is an exploration-style platformer with some ideas that feel a little underbaked but a good challenge all around. You begin as a sort of gel mass and eating lets you evolve your body (in a fixed way, no EVO shenanigans here) until you're at Peak Gelsquoosh Power. Then you flap around collecting things, fight a final boss, and win.

Eventually. That final boss is a toothsome heap of spikes and purple that slaughtered my goo-poo a few dozen times before I nailed him by dint of him just not using the moves that killed me so often. Took a little over an hour, so it was a well-invested bit of time.

I'll probably return to Retro Game Crunch a few more times. The games in here are good and fun.

* The Manos Threshold, strongly implied but not explicitly defined by a cute reader/blogger Celine, is the point in a game blogger's play when they reflect upon a topic, realize "I've written more about less than this, so I might as well..." and resign themselves to knocking out a couple paragraphs.
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