#WarGames – What’s the most important rule of making a game?

I normally try to review games and tell people why they should or should not be playing them. It’s mostly a subjective task and I can’t make a single review for 100 percent of the people. At least most of the time.

As for #WarGames, I can say, this review works for every single person. The fact is, #WarGames is only being mentioned here because it’s so horrendous. I wanted to take a look at a few games similar to Her Story, and about a month ago, I picked up #WarGames in a sale for 3 bucks because Sam Barlow, who is known for Her Story, also worked on it.

To me, 3 bucks isn’t that much money. If a game can keep my attention for 60 minutes, it’s done its job and 3 bucks is a fair price.

#WarGames lasted less than 10 minutes. Why? Because #WarGames is broken, and I don’t mean “I don’t like it” or “Something is wrong.” But it is flat out broken on Steam. I downloaded the game, I opened it and the main page has no episodes to play, with everything locked.

What’s worse is the developer Eko seems to have disappeared. People are saying the game is free to play on their site, which it appears to be but after spending money on it and getting a broken game, I struggle to find the desire to try again.

So what is the most important rule of making a game? Make sure it works, Eko hasn’t done that, and for that, I am forced to give it the obvious score.

1/10

It’s broken 2 years after it’s launch, there’s no reason to buy it, and while you can check it out on their website, personally… I’m over it.

Plus when trying to quickly play the game on the website, you’re now streaming video instead of playing it off your hard drive and that experience is about what you would expect. Sorry, there are better choices out there.

If you enjoyed this review and want to see more from me, including more in-depth reviews of select games, check out my youtube channel at youtube.com/c/KinglinkReviews.

Death Stranding Design Review – Showing what went wrong with MGS V by doing it again

I’m Kinglink and this week we are going to look at Death Stranding. This was originally on the PlayStation 4, it has come to the PC and it’s time to talk about it.

Though, I do have to leave a little disclaimer here. I worked at Sony for about 6 years on MLB the Show and left Sony about two years ago. I want to be upfront about this because you should know if there’s any potential bias, but I can say I don’t believe there is. This is just for you to best judge my opinions.

There was a little overlap when I reviewed games and was working at Sony, but I chose to review Steam games to avoid any potential bias, and sure enough Sony has now come to the PC.

 

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Resident Evil 2 – Teaching people how to remake games in 2020

Resident Evil 2 is a remake of a classic survival horror game from 1998, but fully remade and released in 2019. It’s changed from the fixed camera angles of the original to a third-person view which is more familiar to players of Resident Evil 4 and beyond.

As a remake, Resident Evil 2 had a massive legacy to live up to. Resident Evil 2 was quite beloved, and the fact is, the remake has captured much of the classic design and style while still creating an improved experience for players.

The story in Resident Evil 2 is similar to the original. Claire Redfield and Leon Kennedy arrive at the police station in Racoon City and must try to find out what’s happened and escape with their lives. Players can choose either character to start with, and both characters will have a slightly different path through the police station, though mostly it’s due to a different key being available to Claire and Leon as well as which secondary character they meet.

The combat has also been improved, with the third person over the shoulder view being preferable to the strange fixed cameras of the original game, and the less said about the tank controls of the original game the better.

However, the combat in Resident Evil 2 is not what players might expect. Zombies are aggressive and players have limited resources to engage enemies. I found on my first playthrough with Leon where I tried to shoot zombies I needed to get out of the way in the head, I was quickly running out of supplies.

This creates a more tense situation, but after checking online I found that the better solution was to shoot zombies in the leg. On the second playthrough with Claire, shooting zombies in the leg, and I was suddenly swimming in ammo by the end of that playthrough. This is something that bothers me though because it feels wrong to not teach players the right way to play your game.

If the designers wanted the leg to be a better spot to hit, that is fine. However, correcting the players’ misconceptions is important. Shooting zombies in the head is a pretty universal trope, feels like the game designers were purposefully hiding something that could have been shared. Or perhaps the leg takedowns are an unintended benefit.

Much of Resident Evil 2 is about traversing the map and trying to solve small puzzles while dealing with the horde of zombies, and in this Resident Evil 2 does well. The tension of the mounting horde is great, and the enemies who harass the player both feel dangerous, and manageable at different times, and players get the feeling there is danger around any corner because there usually is.

The bosses too are great, even if it’s mostly the same enemy attacking the player over and over. The feeling of a growing power differential between the player and the boss as it grows and becomes overwhelming is incredible and it’s a highlight of the entire game.

One of the best parts of the original Resident Evil 2 was the ability to replay the game and see the same story with the other player. This is possible in Resident Evil 2’s remake, however, I find this to be the big problem with Resident Evil 2. I played as Leon the first time through and experienced the game as it was meant to be. I was quite excited to play through the game a second time as Claire and see what has changed.

The fact is, not much has changed in the second playthrough. Claire entered through a different door, and there was a small amount of content to get to that door. As mentioned the Claire and Leon have different keys so there’s approximately ten percent of the game that Claire sees that Leon won’t, and visa versa.

The problem is for much of the rest of the game, Claire goes through very similar motions as if she was playing through the main story. Claire has to open the same doors she would and fight the same bosses.

Claire and Leon fight the same three of the same bosses in the same arenas. While both characters have different weapons, it’s not a big enough change to make it a different experience. Both characters do have a fourth boss that is unique to their playthrough and there is a final boss, at the end of the second playthrough, but having to fight the same bosses, characters, and enemy on a second playthrough doesn’t make for a better experience.

What’s worse is that Claire and Leon rarely cross over. I believe they only have three scenes where they can even see each other, and that limited amount of connection is made even weirder at the end of the adventure where they look at each other like they have made a connection. Granted they both survived through horrible circumstances, but the way the playthroughs are set up and the limited time that our characters have spent together really make this a strange system.

And I realize that Claire and Leon were both playable in the original game, but in 2019, I would expect this to be improved. Imagine if Claire saw some sign of Leon or Leon saw signs of Claire as they progressed through the game. If the second playthrough had some moments where players would remember what happened on their first playthrough, or puzzles that had already been solved instead of made harder, players might have thought fondly of their original time.

Instead, the second playthrough gimmick feels like a weak experience when it should have been one of the strongest parts of the game.

Ultimately Resident Evil 2 is a great game. It reminds people why this series was thought of as the very best in survival horror. It’s a perfect example of how to remake a game and please both fans and new players, something that other games struggle with

Though I do think that Resident Evil 7 is my favorite game in the series so far, but Resident Evil 2 is solid, if flawed.

On my arbitrary scale of arbitrariness, I’ll give this game a

7/10

It’s solid, but the second playthrough dulled the excitement of the first playthrough. I felt like I was experiencing the game on a slightly different difficulty, not seeing a second story. And I even found the second playthrough a bit easier at some points.

If you enjoyed this review and want to see more from me, including more in-depth reviews of select games, check out my youtube channel at youtube.com/c/KinglinkReviews.

Humble Choice August 2020 Review – One of the best months yet

I’m Kinglink and it’s time for a look at the August 2020 Humble Choice.

It is my birthday month, so I guess as a gift to me there’s a slight change this month, where subscribers at the classic and premium tiers get all 12 games. I think this is great, especially because I needed 11 games this month. It probably is limited to just this month of Humble Choice, but the good news is you can get them all.

There are a LOT of games, including a bonus game from last month, and three additional DRM free games, so we’ll get started with

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Devolverland Expo – A great replacement for E3 2020

E3 2020 has been canceled for quite some time and every puzzle has scrambled to deal with the event closure in their own way. Yet the publisher that I always look forward to hearing from for the past 3 E3s has surprised me yet again. Devolver Digital has had a trilogy of press conferences that have been talked about not just for the games but the presentation and style. If you haven’t seen them, you definitely should fix that.

But this year, we get something different. Rather than just another amazing press conference, Devolver Digital took the experience to the next level. Not only do they have a normal press conference, but they have released Devolverland Expo, a playable experience that tries to simulate going to a convention.

Though instead of long lines, desperation, and people trying to get your attention, Devolver Digital presents players with a chance to break into the Los Angeles Convention Center, fight security bots, and check out new games.Read More »

The End is Nigh Review – Hard but fair. Challenging but enjoyable

In an effort to write more and make less videos, I’ve started writing reviews for games on Steam, as such here’s a review on The End is Nigh with far more coming soon.

The End is Nigh is the spiritual successor to Super Meat Boy. It’s everything a sequel would be but lacking the name, and the character. Yet once again Edmund McMillen challenges players to go through many many challenging platforming.

And also, it’s once again, a delight. There’s something wonderful about the way Edmund McMillen designs a level. The End is Nigh isn’t simply a hard game that will insult or laugh at the player, but instead gives the player a fair challenge that is probably higher than their perceived skill level.Read More »

SUPERHOT: Mind Control Delete Design Review – What SUPERHOT should have been, a great rogue lite.

I’m Kinglink and this week we’re doing a design review of SUPERHOT Mind Control Delete, with the bonus of being able to talk about the entire family of games here.

If you already own SUPERHOT before the release of SUPERHOT Mind Control Delete, on July 16, 2020, you already own a copy of Mind Control Delete, and you should check it out after this video.

SUPERHOT was a pretty good game from 2016. I enjoyed it quite a bit but if I had to give one complaint, it’s that it was a bit short. I liked it but I wanted more at the end of SUPERHOT. and yet at 25 dollars for the entire experience, I have to admit I felt it probably should have been longer. The good news was that a promise of free DLC, Mind Control Delete was made. This would be a rogue-lite mode with the same gameplay of the original. I was interested but it slipped off my radar.

 

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Persona 4 Golden: Design Review – A JRPG that hides a major dating simulator

Hello, I’m Kinglink and this week we’re doing a Design Review on Persona 4 Golden.

If you’re new to the channel, this is a design review. Rather than just saying the graphics, story, and gameplay are good and assigning an arbitrary score to the game, I look deeper at the gameplay systems and try to analyze what works and could be improved on in a game, usually using examples. Persona 4 Golden though is a massive game so there’s a lot to talk about with just it so I’m going to mostly focus on this one game this week.

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Kongregate: Site Review – A Eulogy for the home of incrementals and more.

Hello, I’m Kinglink and this week we’ll be doing a Site Review for Kongregate.

If you’re a fan of Kongregate, we’re going to reminisce about it, but if you’ve never heard of it, let me quickly explain the site.

Kongregate is a video game portal, at least that’s what it’s called but really it’s a site for hosting web games, much like youtube is a host for videos. Developers can upload their flash games and players can browse, play, and enjoy any game for the minor inconvenience of a few ads.

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