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by adam mathes
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Video Game Consumption Q2 2017

I abandoned a lot more games and returned them these past few months than previously because apparently I hate video games right now, mostly.

Thimbleweed Park

Ron Gilbert set out to make a game that felt like a “lost” Lucasarts adventure and succeeded at that and beyond. It’s a great game. It may spend a bit too much time in self-aware nostalgia for some players, but the writing, puzzles, wit, and charm more than make up for it.

And also you can turn the in-jokes off with a menu option, along with changing toilet paper orientation and fonts.

Kickstarter nostalgia-fueled adventure game revivals tend to just be heartbreaking disappointments, this is the exception.

★★★★

Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice

The Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney sequel nobody asked for but turns out we all needed, and they had to brand as Phoenix Wright this time.

A 3DS-digital-download only in the US until Capcom decides to sell this on iOS for a fraction of the price, this is probably the most difficult of the legally available in the US Ace Attorney games to play (you’ll need a 3DS, but really, if you never got a 3DS go now and get a New 2DS XL, you deserve it.)

Anyway, as always, Ace Attorney games are the best things in the world and and I’m glad we exist in a piece of the multiverse with them.

★★★★★

Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth

Previously, I meant “Phoenix Wright” games are the best. “Ace Attorney” games featuring Miles Edgeworth are actually just pretty good, not the best in the world.

It’s clear they were hampered by trying to distinguish from the “main” entrants in the series, and so tried to add in some third-person adventure-game style gameplay in addition to the dialog but that doesn’t work that well.

The “combining logic” and clues in Edgeworth’s head is a neat idea, but is somewhat convoluted in practice.

But it’s still Ace Attorney – writing, wit, characters, and weirdness is all there.

★★★★

Star Trek: Bridge Crew

It’s Star Trek VR! Finally. We as a people have accomplished that.

It’s easy to get very in-character playing, as you’re talking to the crew in multiplayer. And to get loud and animated.

Star Trek Bridge Crew actually has voice recognition even in single player so you can give verbal orders to the crew! Not just multiplayer.

I mean, I wasn’t actually using that or playing multiplayer when my wife asked me what was going on with all the noise, but I could have been.

Like all of our current “first gen” VR experience we will laugh at how awkward and ludicrous they are when the technology gets better, and this is as awkward as they come. You can forgive it because it’s star trek but it is sort of objectively meh to and use a simulated touchscreen in VR with HTC Vive controls, and it’s JJ Abtrams Trek, not real Next Gen or DS-trek.

★★★

Prey

This is the spiritual successor to System Shock 2 that I thought I always wanted but the amount of jump scares from furniture and cups and inanimate objects turning into terrifying aliens in the first 2 hours made it impossible for me to continue.

At some point I think I’ll figure out a way to play this – it seems like it would be good?

?

Cave Story

Seems weird that I never completed Cave Story (I remember getting annoyed with some part of many years ago and losing interest.)

Anyway, despite buying and trying to play Cave Story+ it turns out playing the original pixelated version at 16x9 using nxengine-evo was much more pleasing.

I get that it’s pretty good, and the art, sound, and design are great – it has character, but I don’t quite see why it has achieved such a cult following.

★★★

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