Hide-And-Seek

Happy Weekend TAY!

I’m looking forward to a fun-filled weekend with the family. We are mulling over the idea of going to a free concert with USS and The Tea Party in my town this Sunday. Siri says it is supposed to rain on that day and I don’t know how crazy it will be at the park for a free concert. I’ve seen people line up for hours for free ice-cream cones, who knows what they will do for a free show. I guess I’ll have to see what the family feels like come Sunday.

I played several games last week and finished off Sonic CD (good ending) with my son. I was pleased to discover that I still think it is the best platform game I’ve ever played (at least in regards to 2D platforming). The soundtrack (US Soundtrack FTW!) is one of the best I’ve ever heard and is always one of the top soundtracks that comes to mind when people are asking about “favourite game music”.

With Sonic CD finished, I think my son and I will mop up Yoshi’s Woolly World and then move on to either Halo 2 or Sonic 3. I suppose now that Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 is out, I’ll likely get roped into that as well. I hope the writing is a lot better this time around, I wasn’t so fond of the first season.

My solo game time was partially filled with attempts to get the original Prey (still no surround sound) and Nosferatu: The Wrath of Malachi working on Windows 10 and more modern hardware. The sound configurations of older PC games are becoming the Achilles heel if you don’t have a supported Creative Labs card.

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However, most of my time last week was spent with Horizon: Zero Dawn.

Horizon has the same tinges of tedium that I find can occur with many stealth games. You hide in a spot, make a noise, wait for bad guys to come investigate and then throttle the life out of them. Rinse and repeat until your eyes bleed. It isn’t a terrible mechanic but it does wear a little thin at times. I suppose I could change up my gameplay and go in guns blazing, but that isn’t a very sound tactic and certainly isn’t an economic choice. I use far fewer resources with stealth (either instantly killing or taming enemies) and I generally try to be frugal with my inventory.

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I’m also not very good at playing a “part”. I always play games from the perspective of “what would *I* do in that situation”? This often means whistling in a bush waiting to deliver death with the least amount of danger to myself. Oh well, I’m very patient and at least the creatures sauntering up to be slaughtered are amazing to look at.

The machines themselves might be the best part of Horizon: Zero Dawn. They look spectacular, are brilliantly animated, and are covered with an insane amount of detail. This detail also adds to the gameplay in that there are lots of pieces to knock off or weak points to exploit.

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I do wish the AI was more aggressive. In my perfect stealth game, once enemies go into search mode after identifying a threat, they would stay in search mode and never return to idle mode. I understand the reasoning for an idle mode (mass appeal/easier playability) but it would be nice if something was tweaked in the search behaviours at higher difficulties to make it more challenging. If you are patient, the game is generally a breeze. Plus, the enemies are leashed to certain areas and if things get really bad, you can just run away and eventually you’ll be safe.

Horizon is definitely fun and a considerable time-sink, but I never really shake the “been-there-done-that” feeling. It certainly is yummy to look at though and I’m enjoying the main story quite a bit.

Hopefully my weekend will be filled with games and maybe the concert. My family also has to get back to Rock Band Rivals now that the volume bug was squashed in the last hotfix. Harmonix has added “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” for DLC...all 17 minutes of it!

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So, what are you playing this weekend?

[Edit: If you own a PS4 and don’t have The Order: 1886 then head on over to the Playstation Store and scoop it up on the Flash Sale for $5 (CDN...maybe lower in U.S.) Such a fantastic game for that price!]