As I sat down to right this review I took a moment to gaze lovingly at my PC. It’s a beast I’ve slowly built up over time, adding better and better components so that it can run the latest games on the highest settings. The amount of money I’ve sunk into it is…probably stupid. With all of its processing grunt and graphical horsepower, though, what am I doing with it? Playing pinball. Yup. All this powerful tech, and I’m caught up playing pinball.
On paper, Raid: World War II sounds like a good idea: four players work together to attack German forces while snagging any Nazi gold they come across, their secret work sanctioned by the army who will quietly ignore any missing loot provided the squad does some serious damage along the way. Toss in comedic scenes FMV of Hitler in a rage and the legend that is John Cleese and you have something that shouldn’t fail. Right? Wrong.
Oh, adventure games! As a colossal part of my childhood, their modern resurgence has done my heart good. Suddenly we’re back to the days of witty dialogue, fun puzzles and mad stories complete with modern graphics. The downside of this comeback, though, is that it also shows how little adventure games have really come over the years. Darkestville Castle is a prime example of this, a point and click title that has the witty dialogue, fun puzzles and mad stories complete with modern graphics, but that doesn’t ultimately feel any different from something like Monkey Island released all those years ago.
Divinity: Original Sin was something of a surprise hit, the RPG managing to once again prove triple A developers wrong by crafting a game on a budget that went on to sell extremely well. It just goes to show that if you don’t try to please everyone, gear your product toward a certain market and be sensible with your budget you can create something amazing that turns a profit. Now Larian are back with a sequel, and man is it all kinds of awesome. Best RPG since The Witcher 3? Best RPG since The Witcher 3.
Videogames don’t often affect me emotionally outside of making me annoyed or happy because I’m having fun. But The Last Day of June hit me in the feels. There weren’t any tears, yet I did walk away in a contemplative frame of mind. I was invested in the story it wanted to tell, a story of heartfelt love and terrible loss, of learning to accept, of sacrifice and of grief.
I’ve talked before about how some games can surprise you before in other reviews. Sure, it’s nice to be confident that a game is going to be good ahead of time and then to have your assumptions justified once you finally play it, but that never manages to capture the same sense of elation as a game coming out of nowhere and blowing you away can. That’s how I feel about Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock from Black Lab Games. I heard about it many moons ago, thought little of it and then was mildly surprised to get review code come through a few days before launch. I was even more surprised when I played it.
The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle: Episode 2 might just have the most amount of puns in a videogame ever. Practically each and every sentence somehow manages to contain a pun relating to a nearby item, a name or anything else the writers manage to think of. It’s wonderful. It’s stupid. It’s annoying. It’s funny. God, puns evoke such complex emotions, don’t they?