Reviews by Lorddyran
A classic FPS/stealth seriesLorddyran | Jan. 15, 2015 | Review of Thief Collection
Really, there's little more to be said - the Thief series has lasted this long because it was excellent. Coming back to it today, it looks dated, but it still plays pretty damned well. Don't expect these to be like the new Thief game - that is all style with almost no substance, to a direct contrast with the classics.
If you have any interest in seeing where your favorite games came from, check out the original Thief series. It's a slice of history and quite entertaining in its own right.
I love it, but I'm not sure I shouldLorddyran | Dec. 15, 2014 | Review of The Evil Within™
You see, this is a BAD game. The graphics are mediocre. The controls are so-so. The story is nonsensical. It just so happens to be bad in a way I, and many other people, find quite enjoyable.
The game has a lot of tense moments and a lot of style. If it had been released instead of RE5 (or around the same time), I would be singing its praises with no reservations. As a game released halfway through 2014, it falls quite a bit short - it's definitely a relic of an older time.
The game is quite lucky that that time is one where my gaming heart likes to revisit, but while most other genres moved on and evolved from that period, this one clearly did not.
Try the game, and you will probably find something to enjoy; just know that it's basically the B movie of games before you set your feet down that path.
The best video game chase everLorddyran | Nov. 28, 2014 | Review of Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth
The best part of this game is at the very beginning - the world is new, you're introduced to it in a slow manner, hintings and occasional lunatic ramblings giving you glimpses of what you're in for but always in the background and always making you doubt. It's like a Lovecraft book put to a game just perfectly.
Later in the game, you have guns and weapons and shoot your way through mythos monsters that should just destroy your mind simply by being close to them, and at that point it's just a decent video game.
It never actually gets bad, mind you - but if it had been able to keep the atmosphere of the beginning, and if it had more moments like the chase scene, this would have easily been a 100-rated game.
So much squandered potentialLorddyran | Nov. 28, 2014 | Review of Darksiders II
I quite liked the original Darksiders, but it was very awkward; it tried to cram a lot of things into a small space and it came out with a good game that didn't exactly know what it wanted to be but still had some charm.
Darksiders II took a look at the last game and said "What this needs is even more crap crammed in".
If you've ever watched a movie and just known it was focus-tested into a highly-polished, joyless state, you'll know the feeling this game will give you. Individual parts are quite, quite good; the ingredients are top-notch, and some of them go together well; and the idea as a whole looks and sounds like it should be amazing. However, by the time you've spent a few minutes with it, you find yourself feeling empty and disappointed.
Best played with a friendLorddyran | Nov. 13, 2014 | Review of Magicka Collection
If you play this game by yourself, it's a lot of fun ... for a little while. You play around with the magic, try a few spells, slaughter some innocent townpeople, laugh at the silly cutscenes ... all good stuff. And then you come to a large collection of monsters and they slaughter you mercilessly. Suddenly, it's not fun, just frustrating. You may still slog through and get some enjoyment, but the gameplay is meant for multiplayer.
If you play this with a friend, you will still be frustrated at parts, but you'll get over it when you freeze your friend solid and then shatter him into a million pieces and then he comes back and makes you wet before electrocuting you.
In the end, definitely a worthwhile play, but be prepared for some frustration.
Good but doesn't stand outLorddyran | Nov. 7, 2014 | Review of Survivor Squad
It's a top-down shooter with some survival/strategy elements. The graphical presentation is underwhelming but serviceable. The gameplay works but does nothing fantastic. The writing is just enough to keep things moving along but not actually interesting.
It's very middle-of-the-road, in other words. Get it cheap and you'll be able to enjoy it for a little while. Don't get it at all, and you won't really be missing anything.
Unique, fun gameplay, over-the-top story, and a dash of crazyLorddyran | Oct. 26, 2014 | Review of Typing of the Dead: Overkill
Let me get this out of the way right away: this game is not as good as the original Typing of the Dead. The original Typing of the Dead was just as weird but took itself seriously, and that made it much funnier.
This sequel has the same basic gameplay, and there are no complaints there - but it misses out on the story side. It tries to be ridiculous and over the top, and it ends up seeming just silly, and not even in a fun way. Thankfully, though, the mediocre story is made up for by the gameplay, and it on the balance ends up being a lot of fun.
Another gaming classic resurrectedLorddyran | Oct. 23, 2014 | Review of Slave Zero [Playfire]
Back in the day, I loved this game, but I could barely get it to play - texture popups, tearing, entire stages made of only black void ... it was pretty trippy, honestly.
Eventually, I got older and figured out computers, and I got a computer that could handle it, and it was still a pretty great game. It was one of the earlier games to really take on the vibe of an anime. Run around as a giant robot, feeling massively powerful, and fight armies in a massive, ruined cityscape - it was everything I could have dreamed.
Coming back to the game as an older gamer, with more experience under my belt, the holes in the experience show - it doesn't look like a living, breathing city anymore, and the gameplay is good but not great.
All told, though, I still enjoyed revisiting this world; it really does make you feel like massive and powerful, in a world that is out to destroy you.
Worth paying full price forLorddyran | Oct. 23, 2014 | Review of Middle-earth™: Shadow of Mordor™
This game doesn't really do anything new; what it does do, however, is bring together a large number of highly-polished gameplay elements from other games. Take a dash of Lord of the Rings, add a pinch of Assassin's Creed, and dump in a whole heaping pile of Arkham City, with RTS seasoning to taste, and you've got yourself a recipe for a fun, compelling game that just might look like Shadow of Mordor. Sneak around and pick out guards. Indiscriminately slaughter entire armies of orcs. Brand bodyguards to entice them to betray their chiefs when you most need them. Pick healing herbs and hunt bats. It's a little bit of everything that ends up being a heck of a good time.
A great mix of old and new FPS stylingsLorddyran | Oct. 23, 2014 | Review of Hard Reset
If you grew up in the days of Duke Nukem 3D and Deus Ex, this game will fill a nostalgic little hole in your heart that you might not have even known was there.
It's a pretty, tight FPS with old-school shooting action. Light on story, heavy on explosions - it's an '80s sci-fi movie brought to life. Watch Johnny Mnemonic and then play this game and you'll find yourself feeling an odd sense of deja vu.
Basically, if you understood any of what I'm saying, you owe it to yourself to give this game a try.
A fun puzzle-rhythm-RPG without a lot of storyLorddyran | Oct. 23, 2014 | Review of Dungeon Hearts
This game is pretty interesting - it's a puzzle RPG with rhythm elements, and it's surprisingly difficult once you get to the later levels. The combat is intriguing, and the art design is simple but good.
The biggest flaw in this game is that it's pretty much gameplay only - once you get past the central conceit, there's not a lot to keep you playing.
Good for a little while, but it's hard to sit through the entire game.
Heavy-handed but amusing sendup of DLCLorddyran | Oct. 21, 2014 | Review of DLC Quest
The name gives you a very good idea of what to expect - it's a funny idea stretched out into a full game (albeit a short one). The idea is enough to carry it, barely, but there is nothing other than the initial impetus (and a few achievements, if you care about those) to really keep you going.
Competent but lacking a pointLorddyran | Oct. 18, 2014 | Review of Canyon Capers
Platformers are a special genre; it's fun to bounce around and collect things and kill enemies no matter what. However, if there's not something special - a compelling plot, unique gameplay, amazing level design, something - it quickly loses its luster.
Canyon Capers does not have that something special. It's not actually bad, but I can't imagine anyone old enough to remember the SNES spending much time with it. Probably good for someone younger who hasn't seen it all before, though.
Pretty but unengagingLorddyran | Oct. 7, 2014 | Review of Fly'n
When you first start up the game, you'll be a little excited; it'll look gorgeous and the play is decently interesting. As you continue to play, though, the initial excitement will fade and there won't be much left to hold you to the game. It'll still look nice, but the gameplay - while challenging - just doesn't have any draw, and the "story", such as it is, is barely even worth mentioning.
One of the great old classicsLorddyran | 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 agoLorddyran | 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 itLorddyran | 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 ideasLorddyran | 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 affectingLorddyran | 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 itselfLorddyran | 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 mistakeLorddyran | 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-aroundLorddyran | 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 moreLorddyran | 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 frustratingLorddyran | 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 gameplayLorddyran | 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 gameplayLorddyran | 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 misstepsLorddyran | 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 lackingLorddyran | 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 fascinatingLorddyran | 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 gamingLorddyran | 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 FPSLorddyran | 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 beautyLorddyran | Aug. 22, 2014 | Review of BioShock (NA) - not live
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 everLorddyran | 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 goodLorddyran | 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.