Reviews by ghmoose
Very Good Story, Nearly Non-Existant Gameplayghmoose | June 28, 2013 | Review of The Walking Dead
Honestly, the title mostly sums it up. If you've played many dialog heavy RPGs, imagine those without that pesky gameplay portions. All dialog, all the time. OK, not quite, there are brief interludes of shooting and fairly lightweight adventure sections that are approachable and serve to communicate the story nicely. There's also the occasional QTE - "press this button now, no, press it more!" - which I could do without but aren't used so much they annoy me terribly. I thought there were a few too many discussions with timers as well. That being said, I think it's a good modernization of the adventure game genre, and it's about time that happened.
Make no mistake, the story is a good one. Very engaging. The worst thing I have to say about it is that some of the dialog broke my engagement with the game because there were a few options where I couldn't really express my desires accurately. Also, it just doesn't branch as much as I'd like so the replay motivation just isn't there. My score reflects the plot almost exclusively - which I think is only appropriate because my favorite adventure games have been more 'interactive fiction' than 'game' to me anyway.
Good Concept, Questionable Executionghmoose | June 28, 2013 | Review of Galaxy on Fire 2™ Full HD
I really felt like this could've been very good but just didn't quite make it. I was tempted to give it a higher score because it's well done for a port of a mobile game. The menu interface does feel occasionally like it was made by somebody who has never used a PC, but it doesn't really creep into gameplay controls. The graphics are good, better than I was expecting given the game's origin. The game design is good as well, although it's nothing innovative it falls right into a Freelancer-style niche and makes itself at home. I'd prefer something more story-driven than this, but the more open-world style is also fun too.
Unfortunately, the gameplay is what it is. It's not terrible by any means, but it just doesn't feel good to me. Again, I think it's remarkable that it's as good as it is for a mobile port, but that's not really saying much. It just doesn't feel like I can do much. I've played a lot of space sim games over the years, and the feel is just too...disconnected. I don't feel like ability to pilot has any measurable affect on the outcome of a fight. I mean, yes, I was pulling the trigger and zeroing in on targets, but it just didn't feel like I mattered or that there was any room for me to get better.
Ultimately, that gameplay killed the game for me. I'm open to the design, but the combat core needs to be far more interesting for that kind of random and repetitive design to keep my interest. A much stronger story would've left me with a better opinion of the game with the combat as-is, but I would've preferred they tweaked the combat more and left the design as-is. That being said, it did kill a few hours for me and if you catch it on sale it's worth grabbing.
Fun Game, Great Styleghmoose | June 28, 2013 | Review of The Darkness II
It's mostly a FPS game, sure, but the twists that are added in the form of your monstrous snake tentacles are quite fun - it's kinda like playing a game where you've got 4 hands, except the extra hands are bloodthirsty demonic monsters with a taste for gore. The gunplay itself feels pretty uninspired, but it was functional enough and I thought the snakes livened things up enough to be interesting. The story is quite good in video game terms - definitely horror-comic inspired. I wouldn't call it groundbreaking, but it's satisfyingly dark and interesting enough. The graphics have a good comic book feel, but it doesn't feel as ham-fisted as many cel-shaded games. Overall, it was a very pleasant surprise for me as somebody who is largely burned out on shooters.