Back in April, I loved Dark Souls III. It had beautifully written but underwhelmingly less lore expanding story. Had some frustrating technical hiccups, but amazing feel and mechanics. And now when we know what poise actually does («hyperarmor» during attack and roll animations) a lot of issues have been fixed and some things rebalanced, the core game is better than ever. So what’s the first DLC all about?
The remake of Shadow Warrior was pretty unexpectedly good. At least for me, since the first game of Warsaw-based Flying Wild Hog Hard Reset wasn’t very good, in my opinion. And yes, Shadow Warrior 2013 did feel more like Serious Sam or Painkiller than a classic FPS, but it still also felt good. So I had high hopes for the sequel, even after it was announced that there will be randomized level elements in the game and coop and other things that pointed, that the game might go the loot shooter way, something I’m not particularly a fan of. Yet, now the game is out, I’ve spent more hours with it when I ever needed and parting with it is a bit sad. Even if it’s not a fantastic game, really, this Wang entered deep into my very being.
Ahh, The Longest Journey… Despite the original and Dreamfall being pretty flawed adventure games in their own ways, there was nothing like it in terms of stories. Mix of cyberpunk and fantasy in such a magical way that feeds your imagination. A tale that feels so unique, doing «it’s own thing» and in such a good way too, despite some clear influences. These worlds of Stark and Arcadia, technology and magic, were always something I wanted to see more of. Besides, Dreamfall: The Longest Journey didn’t really have a proper ending, with Dreamfall Chapters being planned from the start to continue from when that game left of. But those plans were shelved for… how long was it? Almost 8 years? And if you count the release of the final chapter (released just a few months before me writing this), it’s been 10 years since Dreamfall was released. And it’s such a strange feeling that this continuation is a tighter budget, community funded (via Kickstarter) project too… So, then, how is it? Is it a proper ending to all the story threads that were started before? Let’s find out.
It’s hard to write a review about The Beginner’s Guide. Not because it’s some life changing experience. Not because it’s hard to understand or describe. Not because I feel in any way emotional about it, despite quite a lot of it’s themes hitting close to my own experiences. Simply because I don’t know how to feel about it myself. About it as a game, or at least an interactive story on creation and creators and the public perception of it, that is being sold for real money. About it being… well, a product that’s being sold. And it’s not even a question of the «are games art» or whatever (especially since I’ve always felt that games are a form of art/entertainment). Rather just a feeling that it’s a nice little experience, that maybe should’ve been free instead? I don’t know… So let’s look at it in a bit more detail.
STASIS is one of those Kickstarter projects that went for the nostalgic feeling. The ones that usually get most attention and love, because they promise a return of something that wasn’t done in quite a while. Some perform way above expectations (Pillars of Eternity). Some are better than nothing. And STASIS? Well, it does deliver on a lot of it’s promises and is certainly better than nothing. But by how much?