Reviews by sunshine_avis

100

You will cry and you will love it.

sunshine_avis | Nov. 24, 2013 | Review of Papo & Yo Soundtrack & Game Bundle

Papo & Yo is an absolutely beautiful game. It is set in a Brazilian favela where you play a young boy named Quico who has the ability to re-imagine and manipulate his surroundings. The graphics are gorgeous- I appreciated the fact that there are a lot of settings in the options menu that you can tinker with, something I noticed a lot of other indie games don't aways have. The gameplay is great; the puzzles are not overly difficult but there is something where satisfying in completing them. Also, the different ways that Quico can manipulate his environment are wonderful- he can turn on gears, pull levels, and send his robot friend Lula flying causing the entire landscape to shift and bend and move....definitely awe-inspiring. The subject matter may not be relevant to all but the game does a good job making you feel connected to the characters and the storyline; you will definitely cry by the end but you will love what you experienced. While it is a relatively short game (3-4 hour), it is definitely the experience that makes this game worth the price. I definitely recommend the soundtrack; it's absolutely beautiful and worth listening to outside of the game (though of course, depends on your budget!). Overall, really wonderful game!

95

Incredibly hard but entirely enjoyable

sunshine_avis | Nov. 22, 2013 | Review of The Binding of Isaac

I am not really a fan of top-down games but I bought this after hearing so much about it. The controls are really very simple (no tutorial necessary) but the gameplay itself is very hard- you will die an awful lot of times (and also feel very guilty for doing so because the diary page that comes up is a bit sad). What's great about this game is the randomized levels; I died about a million times before making it to the second level and it was once a boring experience. The randomized levels keeps it fresh and the game itself keeps you on your toes. There are various items you can find, some are hilarious (like Mom's pad, nearly died laughing when I found it). There are also a variety of interesting characters to unlock. The story is a definitely on the disturbing side but overall, definitely a great game!

75

Good game, but could have been so much more

sunshine_avis | Nov. 20, 2013 | Review of The Darkness II

I really wanted to like this game; on the surface, it seemed to have everything I would have liked in a FPS but it sadly fell short. First of all, it was really short; I don't mind short games and I guess it was worth it for the sale price but it was a bit underwhelming in that aspect. The mechanics are great; using the darkness is very fun and if you like gory games, this one is definitely a winner. It is a very fast-paced game which is great for an FPS because you are kept on your toes. It isn't extremely hard but it is challenging enough to be interesting. The graphics are absolutely gorgeous. The perks are awesome and they had a lot of versatility in how you use the darkness. Overall, great atmosphere and mechanics. That being said, there were several things (beyond the short length) that brought down the rating for me. First off, the gameplay is incredibly linear to the point where the little darkling goes ahead of you to lead the way. Perhaps it was just the mode I played it on (definitely gonna try it on a harder difficulty) but it was a bit annoying to have this imp showing me exactly where to go and rushing me when I tried to explore the different areas (though to be honest, wasn't exactly a whole lot to explore). It got to the point where I was shooting the little critter so I could at least have a couple seconds of peace before he respawned (it was a love/hate relationship). Secondly, I was not invested in the story or the characters. Sure, I liked Jackie and I felt for him and what he had to go through but the cut scenes kind of dragged on. It might be because I didn't play the first game but I just really didn't care too much for the story or really know why I should- not a really great immersive experience. Also, I noticed a couple glitches, such as falling into a zone of utter blackness multiple times and having to restart to the last checkpoint- not a huge deal since the checkpoints are well dispersed and it can be a bit hilarious to go from the top of a building to this weird darkness but still, a bit annoying. Overall, great gameplay, great FPS but it really could have been so, so much more. Definitely worth a play though.

90

A cinematic masterpiece

sunshine_avis | Nov. 20, 2013 | Review of Mafia II

At the end of the day, this game really is a different experience. It is probably one of the only games that I have truly enjoyed watching all of the cut scenes because they were so well-written and animated. In short, it is a story-telling, cinematic masterpiece. And it is ridiculously fun to play. The story draws you in; you really become invested in the characters, which is a fairly hard thing for some games to accomplish. The mechanics are great, very smooth and easy to pick up. I've only played a little bit of GTA so I don't know how the driving holds up to a title like that but I really, really enjoyed cruising around town in a really nice car I stole. The car customizations are nice, though writing your license plate can get tedious if you were using a controller like me. The missions are a lot of fun; they are varied so you don't get bored. Best of all, the ending was brilliant; I was scared that the game would build up so much tension and than fizzle out but it was a great ending. I would have liked to have seen this game be a bit more open world in the traditional sense with side quests and more NPC interactions (which were sadly a bit lacking) but overall really great game.

95

One of the best modern games

sunshine_avis | Nov. 20, 2013 | Review of Dishonored

I've never really been into stealth games. In fact when I bought this game, I thought the stealth aspect might be a bit boring as I am quite impatient. By the end of the first mission, I was completely sold and it has become one of my favorite games of all time. First things first, this game is relatively bug free; I have yet to encounter a bug or a glitch and I have played for well over 25 hours. The steampunk style is absolutely gorgeous and the gameplay is fantastic. The variety of ways to stealth kill/rage through are incredibly satisfying and the blink power by itself sold me on the magic powers (one of the best parts of the game). That being said, I would have liked to have seen more weapon/magic options for those doing a completely stealthy ghost run. The pistol/grenade/mines are too loud while most of the magic powers are fairly useless on a ghost/clean hands run. The game does, because of the different achievements (such as ghost and clean hands), have great replay value so it definitely warrants its price. I've played through twice and I plan to play through a couple more times just to see the other endings/achievement hunt. The variety of ways to go through a level is really what makes this game great. If you play this game, make sure to explore the city and take your time teasing out the best way for you to move forward, whatever type of run you are doing. Overall, really great game!

76

A fun farming simulator

sunshine_avis | Nov. 6, 2013 | Review of Agricultural Simulator 2011

I've always been interested in farming/agriculture so this was definitely a simulator that I was very excited for. I haven't played any other simulators so I can't comment on how it compares but I can say that I have had a lot of fun. You start out with a standard farm with 2 plots of farm-able land that you can upgrade as you go. You use Euros to purchase things which I thought was very cool because I'm an American so it was kind of fun to pretend I was working on my farm in Europe (just a nice touch). The controls can be a bit hard to work with, especially if you suck at using a kb/m like me but you get the hang of things pretty fast. There were a couple other things that I thought were pretty neat: 1) using the manure from your farm animals for your fields 2) the fact that the cars driving on the road wait for you to cross if you are on your tractor instead of driving through you or something else. 3) damage to your tractors (if you keep banging into things like me). Like another reviewer said, there is a lot of waiting so I usually watch TV while playing or something else and it works out nicely. Overall, a fun sim!

82

A great introduction to Grand Strategy games

sunshine_avis | Nov. 6, 2013 | Review of Sengoku

If you are like me and haven't played any grand strategy games before, Sengoku is a great place to start. While similar to the loved Crusader Kings II, it is definitely a lot easier to pick up and get the hang of things; it's a great game to introduce yourself to the mechanics and concepts behind grand strategy games. It's also just a lot of fun in general. You start by choosing a character from different clans; you can be clan leader (easier) or a Daimyo (a bit hard, you have to work yourself up to clan leader) of a clan. The goal is to eventually become Shogun of Japan by ruling over the majority of Japan (I think it was like own over 50%- can you tell I haven't become Shogun yet?). That brings me to my next point- you can spend a lot of time playing this game which makes it totally worth the price. I'm over 10 hours in and I still haven't "beat" the game because of multiple restarts due to things like civil wars, no heir, and a bunch of other things that it took me awhile to get a hold off. But once you get over the initial learning hurdle, it's truly a joy to play;I feel like I've already played enough to warrant the price and I know I'm going to put many, many more hours in. I think this game also has great replay value: it'll be fun to see how the game plays out with different clans and even daimyos.

Thankfully, I have not run into any bugs nor heard of any. It runs pretty smoothly. But I do have a couple of criticisms of the gameplay. The one thing that I think really annoyed me had to do with dealing with your daimyos. For one, I think it's a bit ridiculous that your daimyos can hold more land than you, as a ruler (once had a daimyo with 7 provinces to my max 5); it feels like your daimyos can very quickly gain power while you are a bit stilted by your limited provinces. It is also very hard to knock them out of power; you can ask them to resign but they never say yes. You can use some underhanded ways to knock them out (like using ninjas=awesome!) but it felt like my power as a clan leader was a bit undermined. Also, dealing with the budget can get old very quickly. I would have liked to have been able to see a breakdown of the budget so that when I was in the red, I could pinpoint what to cut out. More than often, it's your military that is draining resources but I have had a couple times when I had barely any military but a budget that was constantly in the negative. It would have been a nice touch if I could manually balance my budget rather than guessing at what was draining my resources. Overall, great game and a great way to introduce yourself to grand strategy games!