Reviews by Lorddyran


One of the great old classics

Lorddyran | Oct. 6, 2014 | Review of Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition

It didn't look amazing when it came out, and it can't hold a candle to games now, graphically, but everything else about this game is top-notch. The writing is great. The gameplay is great. The audio design, even, is worthy of note.

It's all too common today to find an FPS with RPG elements, but this is an RPG with FPS elements. You can shoot your way through, but the game comes alive when you think your way through. You can solve every problem in a multitude of different ways - if you want, you could get through the entire game without killing a single person. You don't have to, but how often do you get the choice?

The new Deus Ex: Human Revolution is great, but the classic Deus Ex is a beast you don't see anymore. It was clearly crafted with love and care.


This game would have blown my mind five years ago

Lorddyran | Oct. 4, 2014 | Review of Wasteland 2

Let me get this off my back right away: Wasteland 2 is great. I have had a lot of fun playing it, and I look forward to continuing to do so. However, Wasteland 2 is also kind of a mess.

If you read the development blogs, look over its development, or even just look at what it promised compared to the game, it is easy to see why some people come away disappointed. Wasteland 2 is great, but it should have been mind-blowingly fantastic.

Come into this game expecting Fallout 1 or 2, and you will find yourself disappointed - it is missing some of the charm and a LOT of the utility. Come into this game expecting a solid, old-school, party-based, isometric RPG that will scratch an itch that has been poorly represented for a long time, and you'll see you can get a lot of joy out of it.


Almost worth it

Lorddyran | Oct. 4, 2014 | Review of How to Survive

This game is kinda fun, and kinda funny, but it can't hold your attention for very long because it doesn't really know what it wants to be. It's an zombie-filled, post-apocalyptic action RPG with crafting and survival elements, but it's really just dipping its toes into each of those gaming pools. It would be a much better game if it eliminated a few "features" and just focused on what was left.


Nothing new, but a competent mix of old ideas

Lorddyran | Oct. 4, 2014 | Review of Darksiders

The most common description I've heard of this game has actually been mention in the title of another review: it's Zelda meets God of War. Strictly speaking, that's not a bad way to put it.

This game is perfectly serviceable in just about every way. The gameplay is good but not great. The story will keep you playing, but you'll barely remember it when you put the game down. The art design is good but tries too hard to too little effect.

It's fun, but it's light fare. It is, basically, a fast food video game.


Cute and affecting

Lorddyran | Oct. 4, 2014 | Review of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

As a game, Brothers is not really effective; as a story-telling work, it is quite well-done.

Gameplay-wise, there is little challenge or anything interesting. The only thing Brothers has going for it is the twin-stick mechanic, allowing you to control the two brothers simultaneously, one with each stick. It's neat but not as precise or interesting as it could be.

Graphically and audio-wise, it's no powerhorse but it has a rather well-done, consistent art direction that makes it feel quite good. It's pretty and sounds good, but it isn't fantastic and not much will stick with you after you get done playing.

The story, though, is where the game redeems itself for any other missteps. It's very bare-bones, but it ends up feeling almost like a fairy tale. Don't expect a deep plot, but instead expect to feel the journey of the two young men; from start to finish, it's easy to be absorbed into the game's reality.


A great sendup of tabeltop RPGs and a great game by itself

Lorddyran | Sept. 25, 2014 | Review of Knights of Pen & Paper: +1 Edition

When I was a kid, my older brother used to play D&D, but I never got to join in. I would watch him be a dungeonmaster and imagine myself in his shoes; I would see his friends playing the party through the dungeon and imagine myself in the hero roles. It seemed impossibly glamorous to a young kid with stars in his eyes.

As I got old enough to actually do these things, I had a few occasions in real life, but the reality of it always fell a little short of those wonderful imaginings - especially since I had to choose player or dungeonmaster, and then I had to deal with all those other inconvenient players.

With this game, though, I get to play both roles - the DM and the players - and it almost approaches what I wanted all those years ago. Add in the fact that the story is well-written and the amusing pokes at D&D culture, and you have yourself a rare gem of a game.


A gaming mistake

Lorddyran | Sept. 17, 2014 | Review of Deus Ex: The Fall

Did you play Deus Ex: Human Revolutions and enjoy it? Did you want an uglier, awkwardly-controlled, short version of it that ends on an ineffective cliffhanger? Then your prayers have been answered!

On the other hand, if you want a game that's good, especially something that feels like the earlier Deus Ex games, steer clear.


Solid all-around

Lorddyran | Sept. 16, 2014 | Review of Star Wars The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition (MAC)

This game is fun; really, that's all that there is to be said. The story is good but not great. The action is frustrating at times but mostly empowering. The enemies are just smart enough to provide a little challenge but just easy enough to make you feel powerful. The force powers are well-implemented but limited. I left the game feeling good, and by the next day, almost the whole experience was gone from my head.

In the end, it was worth the time and money but nothing to rave about.


Solid platformer with aspirations of more

Lorddyran | Sept. 16, 2014 | Review of Rochard

Every once in a while, I got the feeling this game desperately wants to be another Portal, and it's not. That said, it is a solid, entertaining game of its own. It's funny at times, the puzzles are satisfying, if relatively easy, and the combat is serviceable.


Fun, funny, and kind of frustrating

Lorddyran | Sept. 16, 2014 | Review of Goat Simulator

Goat Simulator is hilarious - let's just get that out of the way. In terms of emergent gameplay, it's amazing. You'll laugh, you'll "wtf", you'll find all sorts of crazy things to do.

The problem is, there isn't really a game here. I am a gamer, and I like to have story, plot, goals ... all you have here is challenges and absurdity.

In the end, I'm not its target audience. I had some fun with Goat Simulator, but only go in if you are willing to accept this as an experience rather than as a game. If you can do that, you can go in, tool around, and laugh your head off. If not, you'll laugh for a little while and then shut it down while feeling vaguely dissatisfied, like I did.


An affecting story and some odd gameplay

Lorddyran | Sept. 16, 2014 | Review of To The Moon

Good music, an emotionally affecting story, and some weird gameplay choices all combine to make an odd, but enjoyable, experience. Play this game for the story and you'll come out satisfied and feeling melancholy. Play it for the gameplay and you'll probably stop shortly into the game.

The first time I came at this game, I thought of it as ... well, as a game, and I was sorely disappointed. I played for, maybe, an hour, and then decided it wasn't worth my time. It doesn't help that it takes a while to really set up the story. I kept hearing positive things, though, so eventually I ended up dragging myself back and trying again, soldiering through the intro, and then I couldn't put it down.

It's a short game, sure, but I still ignored real life to finish it in one sitting, and at the end I was both glad to be done and sad it was over. It stuck in my head for a while, and I found myself trying to convince people to play it just like they had done to me.

As a game, it's not worth playing, no ... but as an experience, it's one that I cannot help but recommend.


Gorgeous art, good story, good gameplay

Lorddyran | Sept. 16, 2014 | Review of The Banner Saga

This game fills a hole that I didn't know I had. It explores the Viking mythology a bit, which is a nice change of pace. The art is stunning, in a style I've never seen before in a game. The story is interesting enough to keep you playing, but the gameplay is where things really shine.

Unfortunately, it's also where it falls short of greatness. The battles are fun, the management is interesting, and you will find yourself absorbed; however, the world will never become entirely real. It's just a little too limited in the interactions you have, just a little too game-like to suspend disbelief.

Playing through this, even while I end up enjoying it, I can't help but think how much I am looking forward to seeing what they do NEXT, hopefully learning a bit from this outing.


Decent RPGMaker game with a few missteps

Lorddyran | Sept. 16, 2014 | Review of Victim Of Xen

RPGMaker games are pretty big right now, and this one doesn't really do anything to stand out from the pack. It's fun in the same way all of the old-school RPGs are - slaughter your way through enemies to grind up your level, talk to all the NPCs for little bits of story, silly dialogue, or (most often) no point at all, and - in this game - try to make yourself a guy again.

On the good side, the game isn't really misogynistic, as I feared it might be - the main character just wants to go back to his own gender, and there isn't really anything to say that being a woman is WORSE, just not who he is inside. On the negative side, it also doesn't use the setting to say anything at all.

In the end, it's pretty much just a light, fluffy, old-school RPG to kill some time and not much else.


Gorgeous and interesting but ultimately lacking

Lorddyran | Aug. 22, 2014 | Review of Betrayer

This is, by far, some of the best art direction I've ever seen in a game. The black and white world, with touches of red, is simply stunning. Unfortunately, it's also lacking in variation a little, so you'll never really match that first vista ... but that's OK, even once is more than many games manage.

The story is interesting, too, with a wonderful atmosphere, but it suffers from the same problem. There just isn't enough there. It feels very bare-bones. It's an interesting skeleton, but it really needs to be fleshed out.

The gameplay is well-done, where you can definitely handle 1-2 enemies but you're quickly overwhelmed if you get surrounded. It does a great job of making you feel just the right amount of weak. Once again, though, there isn't a lot of variety - you have a few weapon types, but they all work pretty much the same.


Beautiful and fascinating

Lorddyran | Aug. 22, 2014 | Review of BioShock Infinite (NA)

This game has gotten too many mixed reactions because so many people focus on the twist, but the twist isn't the point. It ties up the game in a complex, interesting, fascinating little knot that is a pain in the ass to untie, but if you focus on it you lose sight of the great game that supports it.

If you can look past the twist, you find a believable world (unfortunately, populated by empty drones); you find a fun FPS experience; and you find some memorable characters who will really drag you in. You find a gorgeous city, with some wonderful skyboxes. You lose yourself, for a short time, if you let yourself.

It's what games are meant to do.


Best deal in gaming

Lorddyran | Aug. 22, 2014 | Review of The Orange Box

Half-Life 2, the main game and both episodes; Portal; and Team Fortress 2. You get several instalments of one of the most beloved series ever; you get the epitome of comedy puzzle FPSs; and you get a tightly-crafted multiplayer shooter experience. What more could you ask for?


Great grandaddy FPS

Lorddyran | Aug. 22, 2014 | Review of Half Life

This is where FPSs became modern games. Wolfenstein 3D and Doom have their place in the annals of gaming history, and they invented the genre, but Half Life perfected it. It's dated now, but just like the Mona Lisa will never stop being an impressive piece of art, neither will Half Life.


A flawed beauty

Lorddyran | Aug. 22, 2014 | Review of BioShock (NA)

Sometimes models and beautiful women have beauty marks - imperfections that just make their good looks stand out more. This game has its flaws, but the quality just stands out further, despite or even because of them.

Gameplay-wise, it's a pretty tight shooter with some neat powers and character-building options. It also has a silly "hacking" minigame that many point out as a flaw, and it has Vita Chambers (basically save points) that are too forgiving. Don't come into this game looking for a raw challenge, but enjoy the finely-tuned shooting, setting on fire, possessing, freezing, and other powers.

Story-wise, it's very basic but incredibly well-executed. The atmosphere is engrossing, the audio journals let you decide how much you want to be involved in the personalities, and everything complements very well. You probably know there's a twist, but it's one of the best twists I've come across, in gaming or otherwise.

Presentation-wise, it's gorgeous, with well-executed sounds and graphics and exceptional art design. There isn't much bad to say at all.

Long story short (too late), the game is absolutely worth playing.


Very good, but not the best ever

Lorddyran | Aug. 22, 2014 | Review of Half-Life 2

When Half Life came out, it was amazing and mind-blowing and did all sorts of new things. When Half Life 2 came out, it didn't do much new, but it did everything that its predecessors had, only it did it better and more polished.

Now, there have been plenty of games that have come out since that are even better, but that doesn't necessarily diminish this game. A gamer who played it when it came out will get the warm fuzzies, and a gamer who hadn't will enjoy it but think it was overhyped.

Of course, if Half Life 3 ever really does come out, then this will 100% need a revisit.


Shockingly good

Lorddyran | Aug. 18, 2014 | Review of Teleglitch: Die More Edition

When I saw videos and screenshots of this game, I was uninterested. I picked it up only because it was cheap and I kept hearing good things, and I am damn glad I did.

It's very hard, but not really unfair. The graphics, primitive though they are, are well-implemented. I never thought I would be so worried about the safety of the couple boxes that make up my main character. The item combining feature is pretty awesome, and the text is well-written.

Very much worth the price.