Happy Weekend TAY!
I hope everyone has a relaxing weekend planned. I don’t have much on the docket this weekend but with our backlog of TV shows, movies, and video games, I’m sure my family will find something to do.
My son and I finally finished off Knuckles: Chaotix last week and we had a lot of fun with it. Many parts of it are broken and it is definitely more of an experiment than a cohesive game, but there is something undeniably charming about it.
My kid has been modding Sonic Mania with a Knuckles: Chaotix theme over the past year and has spent an inordinate amount of time studying the game. It was such a joy to play Chaotix with him and to hear him talk about the inner workings of the game.
On my own, I was able to finish off Ico last week as the 6+ hour game didn’t take up too much of my time.
I was glad to see Ico holding up very well, though it is maybe starting to age a little now. There is a lot of backtracking at a relatively plodding pace and this wore on me a little.
The PS3 upped the resolution of the 19-year-old PS2 version and the architectural design of the game is still staggering. However, the limited colour pallet and similar-looking textures are getting a little boring by today’s standards. I think it is this samey look throughout the game that wore on me a little as I backtracked through large sections of the game.
Still, I had a great time with Ico and I was surprised how tough this puzzle-platform game could be at times. It is a brilliantly designed game and I recommend it to anyone with a PS3...though my son made a face as if something smelled terrible during the half-hour he played it (and then he quickly put it down)...so milage may vary.
After Ico, I finally had a look at Tetris Effect on PSVR and that’s...well...Tetris.
Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of Tetris and never really understood the rabid appeal (it clearly isn’t hitting the right pleasure centers with me), but I have played a lot of it in my day on various platforms. Tetris came with my Amiga 500 and that was probably where I spent most of my time with the game. I never felt the need to get “good” at Tetris and only played it casually to waste time (unlike my mother who was a bonafide Tetris-addict on her original Game Boy).
Tetris Effect is cool, but it is still just Tetris at its core. In VR you are treated to a ton of incredible visuals that surround you and change as you accumulate more and more completed lines. However, Tetris is pretty fast-paced and I don’t know who has the time to look around while playing. I was peripherally aware of what was going on around me, but I spent most of my time laser-focused on the game board.
It is the sound design and musical experience that is well worth the price of admission here. The music tracks evolve as you complete more lines and the tracks themselves are sonically very impressive. Then you mix in the stage-specific sound effects of turning, dropping, or moving your tetromino and you end up with your own custom soundtrack.
Tetris Effect is an amazing auditory experience and the isolation of VR coupled with the music might be the thing that pushes the affair over the top; it is like your own personal rave.
I’ll probably pick at Tetris Effect as time goes on, but it is hard for me to focus on the same-old game in front of me when I want to look around at the trippy visuals. Hmmm...maybe I should just watch someone else play it, there is even a companion vibration mode. (what else would you expect from the creators of Rez).
I’m on the hunt for a new game to play this weekend. I’ve decided to put Kingdom Come: Deliverance on hold until I get new PC hardware. I wasn’t happy with the performance on my computer when I tested it out and I think I could really get into that one. I’d like to have the best experience I can with Kingdom Come: Deliverance, especially if it is going to suck 100+ hours from me.
So, what are you playing this weekend?