Game Review: Contradiction -Spot the Liar

 

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All images are direct screen captures from the game and are copyright to Baggy Cat Ltd. I’m just using them for review purposes

 

It’s been a while since I reviewed a game, but I’ve been playing Contradiction recently and finally finished it. It probably took me longer than it should have, there was plenty of wandering around and forgetting to ask the right person about a new clue but after 5 hours (according to Steam) I finished it. It’s not the longest game to play and I was pretty sure it was longer than that but I’ll trust Steam with this. It can be found on Steam for £6.99 which isn’t the cheapest mystery game out there but I think it’s a good price for what you get and it might end up in sales at some point. It is available on PC and Mac and also available as a mobile game on iOS and I can see it working pretty well as a mobile game though I played the PC version. As far as I’m aware there are no differences at all between the different platforms.

Contradiction, or to give it its full title ‘Contradiction – The All Video Murder Mystery’ or ‘Contradiction – Spot the Liar’ I’m not sure which as both are used, is pretty much a case of it does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a mystery game where everything is done with live videos and photographs in a stereotypical small English village. There is the addition of a large house that homes a possibly cultish group that helps with business strategies that you may not find in most villages but anyone who lives, or has been to, a small English village will probably recognise the pub and village hall. Continue reading “Game Review: Contradiction -Spot the Liar”

ME, Myself and I: Computer Games

I think one of my first posts was about computer games and I haven’t really done much about them since. I’m not sure how well they fit into my blog but as computers and technology in general is something I love writing about and games are a great escape they’ll stay in here now and then. I have to say that I am one of those people who sees games, wants them, buys them on Steam and then plays them for a few hours and they get forgotten. There are various reasons for that but one of the big ones is my ME and the energy it takes to actually concentrate and play. Add in the fact that I don’t really have any friends who play computer games, actually not many friends in general due to being housebound most of the time anyway, and that some of my favourites that have been started are ones that my computer can’t handle and my list of games I can play becomes limited.

I wish I could play more computer games, I have more than enough time for it even with starting the business, blogging and volunteering for the website I do which is probably the opposite of most people. I like how you can escape into another world, whether the game is remotely realistic or not, even the most pixelated and outdated games can be a great escape. I kind of wish I could find a good Dizzy version (the 80s game with the egg) as I loved the one I had even if I did get stuck at the same place for so long. I did find a version of the old Lion King, Aladdin and Jungle Book games we had that took like ten floppy discs each back in the day. I think it’s the nostalgia in those cases, they’re games I played when I was growing up before I got ill so it doesn’t matter how bad they might be they’ll always be amazing to me.

Continue reading “ME, Myself and I: Computer Games”

Review: Don’t Starve Shipwrecked

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Image from the Don’t Starve Wiki, copyright Klei Entertainment/Capybara Games

Developer: Klei Entertainment, Capybara Games
Publisher: Klei Entertainment
Release Date: 1 Dec, 2015

I guess Don’t Starve Shipwrecked isn’t a complete game, it needs the original Don’t Starve as it’s downloadable content and counts as a game option when you start up a new world rather than being a separate game. The original costs £10.99 and is available for both Mac and Windows, though I’m not sure on the difference aside from the mouse on Apple and Windows and plugging a normal mouse into the Mac makes it the same. The Shipwrecked DLC is £3.99 on Steam and is also available for both versions so if you don’t have the original to get this would cost £15.98. At the moment Don’t Starve Shipwrecked is still in early access but I haven’t found anything wrong with it, there’s just more to come.

Don’t Starve in general is a game I really like, Shipwrecked just expands on it, sticking with the same style so some of this review counts for both. I haven’t played the original in a while though, the last time I played the underground section was fairly new so I can’t compare it to the current Don’t Starve. If you just want a list of new things then skip to the bottom, I’ll also link to the few let’s plays I’ve been watching as I think they’re probably the best way to get a feel of the game without playing it. I’m not sure that it’s possible to have spoilers for a game like Don’t Starve but I’m trying to remain spoiler free, there are a few tips at the bottom though. If you consider images of the game play spoilers then don’t read any more.

 

Continue reading “Review: Don’t Starve Shipwrecked”

Computer troubles

The past week or so my computer has been playing up then the day before yesterday it just wouldn’t start up so I had to do a refresh yesterday. Good news is it worked and I have all my documents still but bad news is it means all my apps and programmes were wiped. Now I have to get them all back on there which isn’t too bad for some but I can’t find my Photoshop card with the key on it. I’m still doing the advent each day on my iPad (when that decides to work and not freeze) so I’ll just have to do shorter posts on my iPad if I do them until my computer is properly restored. Sorry the photo quality won’t be the best until I get it back up and running but I do like the layout with the iPad pictures I’ve done.

Continue reading “Computer troubles”

Review: Dandelion – Wishes brought to you

 

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Image for steam taken from the official website http://dl.cheritz.com/en/home

I’m not sure why I like dating sim games so much, the storylines are normally cheesy and there are always characters that seem too perfect and annoy me but I complete their storylines anyway because I just want them all to be done to get all the images or achievements or whatever it is the game gives you. I know this isn’t a new game, it was released in 2012 in Korean and then later that year in English, so it’s 2 years old now but I saw the playthrough that Dodger is currently doing on her channel in this playlist Dandelion with Cry the first few episodes didn’t sell me and the ‘animals that turn into humans’ aspect didn’t help but later on it just gets so much better and kind of weirder and the character they’re playing through at the moment isn’t too perfect nor is the heroine. I found it on steam and read the reviews and felt like I had to try it, though it is the most expensive dating sim I’ve ever bought at £22.99, it’s $29.99 in the US.

The story of the game itself is that that the ‘heroine’ (the word the game uses, not me) Heejung moved out from living with her mother who criticized her and pushed her too hard with her studies and now she lives on her own. At the beginning of the game a mysterious voice appears when she is asleep and when she wakes up there is a basket with 5 animals in. From then on you have to make a choice about which character you want to start because at least one (Jisoo the black cat) apparently can’t get a good end if you have stars with any of the other characters. I’m not sure how true that is but I did find his storyline hard and had numerous bad ends part way through. After a couple of months these then turn into the more human characters and the actual relationship starts. Each has certain interactions that increase their feelings towards you, for example staring at or poking a certain part. There are also set boundaries for you to reach before you can have a relationship with one, Jisoo’s being the highest in beauty, the rest are fairly easy to achieve before they become human. This makes it different from a lot of dating sims in that you have stats to raise and ensure that pressure and stress don’t become too high, rather than the normal decision making that influences the outcome in these games.

So far I have only played the two routes; Jisoo the black cat and Jihae the silver rabbit. I’m glad I played Jihae’s first as it was a lot easier and gave me the chance of working out which activites helped raise which stats and I’m not sure Jisoo’s route would have been as forgiving. I also didn’t find how to get to the store or how to give presents until about half way through the Jisoo route so I managed Jihae without either of those and while getting hearts on a couple of other characters so he may be a good first one to try.

I’m not going to give away any spoilers but here are some general hints I’ve found helped me:

  • Buy the vision pills as soon as possible, they mean that when you look around for items on a date you see more items and this helps a lot when trying to find stamps. You should be aiming for 30 stamps for each character to unlock the special things and I only got 8 for Jihae and it doesn’t seem to matter if I start part way through to find more so I’ll have to replay his route from the beginning to get them.
  • Presents don’t seem to help much,.I didn’t gain much from them, I think it was the same as a positive interaction, and it’s better to save your money for other things that boost stats or the vision pills.
  • When the heart meter thing has become full buy the boosts for stress and pressure resistance first. The more activities there are it seems the harder it is to find some characters.
  • To get more money go to the beach and search for pearls. They’re worth $50 each and you get more hearts from the character you’re after quicker going on a date than wasting this time going to work.

In Jihae’s route it was pretty simple, I managed it without many quick saves and it was a good introduction to the stats raising aspect though I did get a bad end pretty quickly when I didn’t realise studying reduced pressure and the pressure seemed to make me faint. You do have to make sure you pay attention to Jieun, I had 2 hearts on him at the end, otherwise you can’t progress with Jihae. From what I’ve read while still avoiding most spoilers it seems his is probably the happiest ending and I definitely found it happy compared to Jisoo’s good ending so maybe save this till last if you want a happy ending to end the game on.

Jisoo’s route was harder and I had the bad ending with Heejea (the male friend with a secret crush these stories always have) a few times on November 24th even when I went back to the beginning of October for a restart so I hard to start again from the beginning and this ending happened a few times quite late in the game for me as well. The main thing I found with Jisoo is do not get any hearts with any others and don’t let your stress levels get to the point where Heejung goes out drinking with Heejea, that seemed to be my main difference between my failed attempts and the successful ones. Also quick save all the time, any time you see him in the house quick save and try to interact with him, if you don’t find him then use the quick load and try again. If he’s in the kitchen then 90% of the time even after unlocking cooking he was at the fridge and in the bedroom he’s normally at the desk when you sketch, the living room he seems to be 50/50 between the infomercial channel when you unlock it and relaxing on the sofa.

I like this game as, for a dating game, so far I am yet to find a ‘perfect’ character, they all have a backstory and their own problems and reasons for being in the situation. There are a few unanswered questions I have like who the wizard character is which makes me want to know more about the story and I think that’s a pretty good sign for a game. The art is nice and has the anime/manga style a lot of these games have and the music is fairly calm though this can get a bit repetitive sometimes.

My main problem with it has been how frustrating finding some of the characters can be, Jisoo especially, and having to do the quick save then quick load can be a bit repetitive. Some may find the fact that every time you change character you have to replay the whole beginning before they’re human though the skip feature makes this go a lot quicker and you kind of need this section to make the choice between which storyline you’re going to play. Some may find the stat building annoying and at times it can be repetitive but I liked this aspect and thought it made it a bit different to a lot of the dating sims out there. I do wish they’d made Heejea a datable character as it would have been someone different and also as he’s the only properly human male in the story so far for me it would have been good to see how the house of ‘animals’ would react to him.

If you like dating sims, enjoy this kind of art and want one with good storylines, characters that aren’t perfect, and a long play time (I’ve been playing for nearly 10 hours and only done the 2) then this would be a good one to try.  I think it’s good value given the amount of time I’ve already spent on it and the fact that I will be replaying each of them at least part way to get the bad ending just to have them all, even though I think only Jisoo’s actually gives you something more than memories. There is also a free demo which may be worth checking out first and starts part way through the storyline. This can be found on steam when you search dandelion.

Nosferatu: The Wrath of Malachi

When I was on steam looking around this game was on my list of recommended games, I suppose the amount of horror games I’ve been downloading and playing recently must have led to it. I didn’t play this the first time round when it was released in 2003 and thought I’d give it a try since it has four and a half stars which doesn’t seem to happen often on games I look at on steam.

I haven’t managed to play it very much so this is another first impressions post, at least sort of. What I’ve played so far has been fun and it’s easy to dip in and out of which is good as a bit of a break while still playing a Halloween themed game. The graphics do show its age though it is probably on par or better than some of the indie games I’ve played recently.

The weapons given are what you’d expect from a game where you are trying to kill vampires; holy water, a crucifix and a wooden stake to name a few. It took a bit of getting used to the ways these work best but the right and left clicks make it easy to use and intuitive without really having much of a tutorial. The first time I played it I was definitely surprised by some of the monsters popping up as I didn’t notice them or know what to look out for as I was walking around. This does make you pay more attention next time and after a couple of goes you recognise the signs for each one and can be prepared.

There seemed to be a bit of lag between me pressing the key or mouse button and then the actual action which was annoying when fighting any of the monsters in the game. I’m not sure if this is my computer or if it’s something that I just have to get used to and it being the fact the game was originally released 11 years ago.

The castle is randomly generated and means that the layout can change between games giving it great replayability if you enjoy the shooter element to it and the horror atmosphere, maybe not so much if it’s the storyline you’re playing for.

Overall I’d say to me this is worth the £6.99 it is selling for on steam at the moment. It’s a good game if you’re not bothered by the quality of graphics and enjoy first person shooters and horror or vampire games. If you want to play a game purely for the storyline I would say this isn’t likely to appeal to you, at least what I’ve seen so far, as the storyline seems to go along the lines of finding the missing family members. There are so many vampire based games out there and a lot of horror games that seem to follow the same sort of formula but this is different to others that I have played. There may be others out there like this, especially given the 11 years between then and now, but I am yet to play them. It would be fun to give a more recent one a try, I’d probably still die a lot just in a higher resolution.

Alien: Isolation first impressions

I’ve only been playing the game for just over an hour and haven’t played much of the storyline so this is just a short post but so far I really like it. I’ve tried to stay away from spoilers as much as possible though have seen a couple of walkthrough series on YouTube up to a point but nothing too spoilerish had happened when I was watching.

I like the graphics, especially the look of the mostly abandoned station and how it all shares the look with the movie and the technology they thought of as futuristic when the first one was made. The models for the characters are good but the animations seem a bit robotic and something about the eyes kind of creeps me out a bit though I’m not sure what it is. The atmosphere is good and creepy with a lot of tension especially when the other survivors are around though I think when the alien comes into it more they’ll be the least of my worries. A few of the controls seem a bit hard to do when you’re worried about others finding you, the main one for me is removing the clamps, I guess that’s something that I’ll get better at as the game goes on though I’m hoping the other door opening mechanisms are used more when I get each one.

A couple of other things I thought of when playing that don’t have much to do with the gameplay:

  • In the first cut scene when we’re introduced to Samuels I realized he’s voiced by Anthony Howell, once I noticed this I was pretty sure he’s going to die. Kind of hoping I’m wrong though.
  • I really need to watch the movies again, they’re on Sky so I’ll be watching them some time soon. At the very least I’ll be watching the first one, probably the second one too.

Computer games

I have always loved computer games, from the first computer we had with a floppy disk with the likes of ‘alley cats’ and ‘paratrooper’ on it and a copy of ‘Dizzy, prince of the Yolk Folk’ I have enjoyed playing them. With the improvements in technology from a rather angular crash bandicoot on the PlayStation one to the greatly improved graphics of PC games available now I’ve always found the actual design of the games amazing, the way the background looks as well as the characters themselves, and just as interesting and involving as the gameplay itself.

For the past 5 years I’ve had my apple and used windows as a bootcamped partition which works great for things like word where the file size is small enough that you don’t need a massive amount of memory to run or save your files. However this does not work so well when it comes to games or web design, especially when the partition was originally created solely for word documents and smaller files and therefore was made at just 80GB, not big enough to hold much with current games.

Recently, however, I bought a new laptop as the web design software I have been using does not have a mac equivalent and it did not work well on the small space. This large memory has the knock on effect that I can actually play some of the games I’ve wanted to play and have bought in steam but had to remove due to lack of space on my previous one. I now have a list of games ready to play, some of which I have already started if they’re the kind you can dip in and out of (Robocraft in particular was rather addictive with upgrades and short battles) but I will definitely be playing more of the more involved games now I have more time with the current course I am on.

As it is October I have decided that I will mainly be playing the horror games I have, the main 3 being Amnesia: Dark Descent (which I started but lost my save on the old computer), The Walking Dead (series 1 and 2) and Alien: Isolation which has just been released. So far from what I have seen of all three they look great, though they have 3 different art styles and settings they each seem interesting and detailed enough to be immersive for their storylines.

As I have sort of missed the past few years of games and the only consoles I have are my PS2 and Wii I will be trying to catch up on what I missed as well as any future releases so any recommendations for games would be appreciated, especially if they’re available on steam.