[Game: LUFTRAUSERS, Vlambeer, 2014]
99 Arcade Luftballons:

3 Major Pros and 2 Minor Cons of Vlambeer’s Bullet Hell Arcade Dogfighter LUFTRAUSERS

 

Introduction:

I am very sparing in my use of lists on this site, and have only written one list article before now (on 5 writing tips that can be derived from Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo), but this is not because I necessarily dislike them. They have their place, but they are generally overused.

In the case of LUFTRAUSERS, I have a mixed-yet-positive opinion of the game after the many hours I have spent with it, and would like to use list elements to cordon off the good from the bad. LUFTRAUSERS is a game that offers a great challenge that looks and sounds great, too, and is a stellar title (with only a couple notable exceptions).

LUFTRAUSERS screenshot with normal mode activated - pros and cons - Vlambeer

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[Game: LUFTRAUSERS, Vlambeer, 2014]
99 Arcade Luftballons:

3 Major Pros and 2 Minor Cons of Vlambeer’s Bullet Hell Arcade Dogfighter LUFTRAUSERS

was last modified: June 17th, 2016 by Daniel Podgorski

{Guest Post} [Game: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, CD Projekt RED, 2015]

The Witcher 3’s Worst-written Characters

or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Enjoy the Game

 

Introduction:

Let me get this out of the way to start with, The Witcher 3The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - CD Projekt RED is undoubtedly going to be the best game of 2015 for me. CD Project RED definitely succeeded in creating a western-style RPG that delivered greatly on all fronts, especially in terms of the character development. It is the standard to which new RPGs will be held against.

I am a huge fan boy and like all huge fan boys I am now going to be overly critical. The very heights they achieved with their well-crafted characters only lend to highlight all the ones that fell short. This is evident in more than just the side or one-off characters; this problem extends into the main cast as well, particularly the villains.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt bad characters - CD Projekt RED

Fig. 1: Bad characters

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{Guest Post} [Game: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, CD Projekt RED, 2015]

The Witcher 3’s Worst-written Characters

or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Enjoy the Game

was last modified: April 6th, 2017 by Alec Brouillette

[Game: Shovel Knight, Yacht Club Games, 2014]
As From a Time Machine:

How Shovel Knight Rises Above its Capacity for Nostalgia

 

Yacht Club Games’ Shovel Knight is a game whose Kickstarter campaign‘s success may be attributable to, above other merits, nostalgia for the SNES era of games whose aesthetics and gameplay Shovel Knight promised to deliver. It’s a winning formula, and one on which many other projects have been happy to capitalize: sell the gaming population its own childhood.

Such projects, often full of wry nods toward and inside jokes from NES and SNES titles, wear the clothes of classics. They have pixel art as a matter of convention, and scrolling text as a matter of principle. But Shovel Knight is a special game, because it does not merely wear the clothes of the classics; it is a classic, every bit as deserving of acclaim and status as are the titles whose trappings got it funded.

Shovel Knight Screenshot - nostalgia - Yacht Club Games

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[Game: Shovel Knight, Yacht Club Games, 2014]
As From a Time Machine:

How Shovel Knight Rises Above its Capacity for Nostalgia

was last modified: April 9th, 2017 by Daniel Podgorski

[Game: Spelunky, Mossmouth, 2012]
Platforming Perfection:

The Incredible Design and Even Better Execution of Mossmouth’s Spelunky

 

Introduction:

Derek Yu’s Spelunky first appeared as a freeware game in 2008, and it soon became a beloved piece of software for many gamers in the know (including acting as one of the two biggest influences on Edmund McMillen’s design for The Binding of Isaac). Yu then turned his attention (enlisting the help of Andy Hull under the Mossmouth heading) to a ground-up HD remake of Spelunky, and its release garnered a victory in the design category of 2012’s IGF, followed by PC Gamer naming Spelunky‘s Steam release their game of the year for 2013. That second accolade resulted in a lot of controversy, with gamers all over the internet commenting concerns about how a simple 2-D indie game could possibly beat all of 2013’s massive studio releases, with each franchise’s fans arguing their case.

If you know me well, you’ve already got a pretty good idea of what sort of remarks I made toward those negative reactions. Mostly, I wondered whether most of those commenters were merely judging the game by its cover art, as it were, and had not actually played the game. As it stands, I would not only concur that Spelunky was the best game released in 2013, but I would go yet further and say that Spelunky is one of the best games I have ever played. To explain why, I will now compare Spelunky to the original Super Mario Bros. games.

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[Game: Spelunky, Mossmouth, 2012]
Platforming Perfection:

The Incredible Design and Even Better Execution of Mossmouth’s Spelunky

was last modified: May 16th, 2018 by Daniel Podgorski

[Game: Costume Quest, Double Fine Productions, 2010]
Masked by Charm:

On Double Fine’s Costume Quest, the Shallowest RPG I’ve Ever Played

 

Introduction:

Until now, you might have started to get the impression that I’ve never met a game I didn’t like. Every one of my ten game articles thus far (considering everything from the low-rated, humble Wizorb to the universally praised, grandiose Dead Space) have been positive reviews. You’ve learned a lot about what I like—innovative gameplay decisions that guide design, satisfyingly high difficulty, and aesthetics that meld with gameplay to produce a compelling atmosphere.

Now I would like to talk about a game which I would not recommend—to anyone: the original Costume Quest, a game made by Double Fine Productions and released five years ago. In another version of reality, I could have spent this week’s article talking about Double Fine’s wonderful game Psychonauts, a masterful 3-D platformer which would comfortably find a home in a list of my 30 or so favorite games of all time (perhaps I will one day write about Psychonauts). But it’s high-time I talked about a game that goes wrong, and there’s really no better place to start than with Costume Quest, which I maintain to be the shallowest RPG I have ever encountered.

Costume Quest screenshot with attack animation - bad RPG - Double Fine Productions Continue reading

[Game: Costume Quest, Double Fine Productions, 2010]
Masked by Charm:

On Double Fine’s Costume Quest, the Shallowest RPG I’ve Ever Played

was last modified: June 28th, 2016 by Daniel Podgorski