Two PC games, an iPad game, and a DS game this week. I feel like I might be settling back into some sort of normal routine again!
Games of note this week:
1 - Steambirds: Survival HD
2 - Starcraft 2
3 - Ghost Trick
4 - Solomon's Keep
5 - Trine
Trine 2 is due out soon, so I figured it was about time I actually finish the original. I haven't looked at promo materials to see if any of my concerns have been addressed - I suspect that they have not, since the central story premise of the game (three characters merged into one) is also the root of my single mechanical gripe (since all characters occupy the same physical location, it's really one character with the abilities of three.)
Hey The first two hours I spent in Solomon's Keep were awesome - so many skills to explore! So many enemies to fight! I was playing with Lightning, and I found it very exciting. After I hit keep level 10, I decided it was time to try out some other skill trees, so I made a new character...
...bleh. Either lightning is the only fun way to play that game, or the skill progression REALLY doesn't hold up on multiple plays. I'll give it another try or two later, but the sheen has really worn off this one in a big way. Unfortunate, to say the least.
I bought this for my daughter for her birthday last September - I'd heard it was a bit like Phoenix Wright, but more sensible and more "investigatory" - if that's even a real word. My daughter finished the game recently, so now I'm playing through it myself.
It's a polygon-based DS game, so it has a nice flat-shaded look and really nice animations. The "puzzles" thus far have been pretty trivial - you can manipulate a few fixed items within a 4-minute time window, infinitely re-windable. The story promises to wrap up in a single in-game evening, which is a pretty strict limit on the narrative (though maybe not, with the time-travel element?)
I haven't seen anything in the game which is at all reminiscent of Phoenix Wright, so either I was seriously misinformed, or there are more game mechanics to unearth as I move through the stages. No judgements yet.
I've taken on the role of Zerg-player in our group, and I'm having a bit of trouble adapting to the new Tier-1 battle economy. Tier-1 armored units, along with the strong bonuses against armed/light some units possess, really puts some odd counters on the early game. Roaches, in particular, are pretty much an automatic win against some army configurations, and an automatic loss against others. I can't decide if they are like skirmishers in Age of Kings, or Jaguars from Rise of Legends.
Skirmishers were a ranged-unit which were supposed to cheaply counter other ranged units, while not actually being any good at the things ranged units were supposed to do. Sound confusing? They were, and they rather predictably ended up just being better all-around ranged units. Roaches are like that - in that they are almost as cheap as zerglings, but have a zillion times more survivability, ranged weapons, and can move while burrowed.
Jaguars in Rise of Legends were cheap melee/ranged units which absolutely dominated infantry, but came out pretty evenly against other medium units, and lots horribly to large units. Roaches sometimes seem like that - they slaughter anti-Zergling units, but don't really hold up in the endgame the way zerglings do.
Steambirds: Survival HD
I've played a whole lot of Steambirds (in various incarnations) over the years. This new iPad-native version is pretty interesting, but it's a bit too straightjacket-y for me. The new missions are nicely configured for various types of planes, but buying reinforcements is odd - I don't understand the formula for calculating those costs, and I feel like I'm playing the game wrong, somehow. I also miss the challenge of selecting the best plane for the job.
I do like the cockroach planes, though! An all-shield plane is a pretty sweet concept.