Murder Dog IV: Trial of the Murder Dog (PC): COMPLETED!

Murder Dog Day Afternoon

Imagine if Phoenix Wright consisted only of the courtroom bits. And the graphics were all photos of plasticine and paper characters. And Phoenix Wright was a murder dog who had murdered thousands of people. And you can murder the jurors during the trial. That’s Murder Dog IV: Trial of the Murder Dog.

No, I don’t know if there were three previous games.

The aim of the game is to get Murder Dog acquitted of his obvious crimes. He is defending himself, and also appears to be narrating the game at the same time, so it’s a little unusual to follow. He can examine and present evidence, or destroy it. He can question witnesses, go on a killing spree, and lie through his teeth. It also appears that Murder Dog used to be a police dog whose job it was to murder people. Bad people, presumably.

I played through it twice (it’s very short). I was executed the first time, and had my conviction overturned the second time. I didn’t get away scot-free that time though, as I was jailed for 5 years on a lesser charge of tampering with evidence or something.

‘Tis a silly game.

Nekopara Vol. 0 (PC): COMPLETED!

Catatonic.

What. The. Hell.

Nekopara is a barely interactive “story” about a load of cat girls and the mundane things they get up to while their master is out of the house. Such incredible events such as making lunch! And cleaning!

There’s supposed titillation when it’s bath time, but it’s just awkward and creepy. Maybe that’s the point.

I did get all the achievements though, with most of them being for petting the catgirls. That’s pretty much the only interaction this “game” has. Should I bother with Nekopara Vol. 1, which I also have?

BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode 2 (PC): COMPLETED!

I’m Batman

Who’d have thought that Episode 2 of Burial at Sea would end up, essentially, being Batman in Rapture? Batman as in the Rocksteady series of recent titles. Well, it is. As Elizabeth (spoiler?) you sneak around in the shadows, generally avoiding combat. You use air vents. You get a vigour which essentially gives you detective vision.

burial at sea

Not only that, there are some large rooms where you have to hang from gargoyles, or something. And drop down behind foes and silently dispatch them. Hmm.

That said, it’s the story that’s the main point of the game. What, you were playing it for the mechanics? You’re doing it wrong, in this episode especially. It’s not about the fighting, it’s the sneaking and finding and getting to the end.

Little of which I can talk about because of big spoilers. That, and how I’m not completely sure what actually happened at the end there. I did like the link back to the original BioShock and how this tied in with it though.

And that’s BioShock all done.

BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode 1 (PC): COMPLETED!

Darling it’s better
Down where it’s wetter
Take it from me

Erm. Well that was a thing, wasn’t it. I was expecting the fight at the end with a Big Daddy, and I think I was right about who Sally was, but I didn’t expect… Booker. Wow.

But is he that Booker, or a different one? Is there an unending list of Bookers and Comstocks throughout the multiverse? And which Elizabeth is she?

And what does this mean for Episode 2? So many questions.

BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode 1 (PC)

Just a quick mention of this, as I’ve only played about 90 minutes and it’s supposedly less than twice that long. As I enjoyed BioShock Infinite, and I found a cheap copy of the DLC, I thought I’d give it a go.

It’s confusing. Elizabeth doesn’t look right. Plasmids and Vigours have become mingled into one thing. Rapture feels weird.

think that Sally, the girl we’re looking for is basically Anna from Infinite (and therefore Elizabeth), so presumably this is a parallel universe retelling of the same story? Maybe?

Also: Cohen is a bad, bad man.

Monster Loves You! (PC): COMPLETED!

Monster in my spawn pit

Uh. I’m really not sure what to make of this game. It was pretty funny, so there’s that. The story was unusual, following the decisions you make on your life’s journey from tiny swimming lifeform to fully grown monster, but there wasn’t a lot to it.

monster loves you

The closest game to it, that I’ve played in recent years at least, is Hatoful Boyfriend. There’s the similar story-and-multiple-choice-reaction thing going on, and the many ending resulting from this. Most choices affect one of each of your monster’s stats: Ferocity, Kindness, Cleverness, etc., and the events involve interactions (and possible consumption of) cats, children, other monsters, and so on.

At the end, you’re tested to see if you can ascend to become a monster elder, or whether you’re destined to dissolve and become one with the spawning pool for a new generation of monsters. I ended up with the latter.

monster loves you

Bioshock Infinite (PC): COMPLETED!

Them being “Tears” is funny because one of them has Tears for Fears playing in it.

Warning: here be Bioshock Infinite spoilers. Read not further if you wish to remain in the dark about the plot and ting.

Those OK with spoilers, proceed.

Bioshock Infinite

Remember in the first Bioshock game when that “Would You Kindly” reveal made you go woahhhhh? Bioshock Infinite doesn’t have that. Not to the same degree, anyway. Part of the reason is that the backstory and twists, if you could call them that, are drip-fed to you in mainly in the form of audiologs supplemented by the odd happenings regarding tears you come across and some seemingly out of place dialogue here and there.

The first suggestions that things aren’t what they seem come about in the form of music, where a barber shop quartet stops by to sing some Beach Boys, and a brass band strike up with an instrumental version of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. Not in keeping with the 1912 setting. Coupled with Elizabeth’s ability to open tears – one of which shows Paris in the 1980s – it becomes obvious some sort of time and/or dimension jumping occurs and technology (like many of the guns) and music are pulled through.

Bioshock Infinite

Later, you jump to alternate realities yourself, with Elizabeth’s help. With exposition from the “twin” Lutece scientists the game essentially becomes an series of episodes of Sliders.

So what I have pieced together, is this: DeWitt has a baby daughter, which he gives up to pay off his debts. He forgets about this, however, although part of him remembers her – Anna – died, or was lost, or something. The baby is given to Comstock, who is the “prophet” who creates the flying city of Columbia, and grows up to become Elizabeth, the daughter of the prophet.

Bioshock Infinite

Now, other places no doubt have a full breakdown of everything, but ultimately (in my ending, anyway), it is revealed that DeWitt is Comstock. Rosalind Lutece and her other-reality “brother” Robert have made Anna/Elizabeth into a conduit between realities, and they are able to travel freely between realities to further their aims. The city flies based on one of their experiments too: An audiolog from Rosalind says she made an atom levitate, and if not an atom, why not something bigger – like a city. In fact, it doesn’t levitate. It just doesn’t fall. Erm.

Confused yet? Well, what about when Elizabeth opens up a door into Rapture? Here is the killer line. No, not DeWitt’s “A city under the ocean? Ridiculous” which was funny. The other line, from Elizabeth: “There’s always a lighthouse. There’s always a man. There’s always a city.” BOOM.

Bioshock Infinite

That’s right. My reading of this, is that Rapture is just another reality’s Columbia. Andrew Ryan is just another reality’s Zachary Comstock. The reason the whole game felt like the same damn story in a different place, is because it was the same damn story in a different place.

Woahhhhh.

There’s more to it all than this, including who was from which reality, but that’s my take on it. Other places explain more. Once you know DeWitt is Comstock, some things make more sense too. Slate, for instance, is incensed that Comstock proclaims he was at the Battle of Wounded Knee. He says he was not, and DeWitt (who was there) agrees. But since DeWitt is Comstock, it makes sense.

Anyway. That’s the plot. What about the game?

Bioshock Infinite

I’ll put it this way: Bioshock Infinite is a great story punctuated with pointless, annoying combat sections. The wonderful trap-setting from Bioshock 2? Gone. What remains are horrible skyrail-heavy fights, mostly useless “vigours”, and never enough ammo. Honestly, I think Bioshock Infinite would have worked much better as a straight narrative discovery game.

Still, I did enjoy it overall and will look out for the DLC being on offer.

Bioshock Infinite (PC)

To infinity, and, well, there’s nothing past infinity.

Finally, after much configuring and tweaking and getting a wireless adaptor for the 360 controller, I managed to get my Steam Link working both reliably and without cables all across the lounge. Which means, in my mind, I now have a new games console and an instant library of hundreds of games I’ve collected over the years and barely played.

Bioshock Infinite is one I picked up ages ago, probably in a Humble Bundle (that’s where most of my games come from), but was still on the lookout for a 360 or PS4 version to play on my telly. Now, I don’t need to!

bioshock infinite
Not creepy at all. Uh uh.

I’ve played about 4 hours of it so far, working my way through Columbia, rescuing Elizabeth, taking photos of toilets, that sort of thing. It looks very pretty, especially since I realised my iMac can handle running the game on the highest possible graphical settings, with blue skies and stuff, but there’s something I can’t quite put my finger on that’s missing from the game.

It’s all a bit linear so far, with “free roaming” only bolted on for those who wish to explore. There’s quite a bit to explore, but the rewards are pretty poor. The “vigours” I’ve collected up to now are pretty dull – one is a grenade, essentially, and is useful, but the other two are very underpowered. “Murder of Crows” seems to do little but distract, and the possession vigour isn’t a patch on the berserk darts from Assassin’s Creed.

These are negative points, but minor in the scheme of things. I don’t know what is making it feel a bit poor, but hopefully things will improve and it’ll go away?

bioshock infinite
Everybody’s dead, Dave

Another observation about Bioshock Infinite is that it isn’t Dishonoured. I remarked when I played that game that it felt a lot like Bioshock, and the world of Bioshock Infinite feels a lot like that of Dishonoured. So far, Bethesda’s game is the better of the two despite coming an year earlier. We’ll see.

As for where I am – I’m just working through Soldier’s Field. It’s been very easy until now. Does it get harder?

bioshock infinite
“He’s on fire!”

Oh! And I think I’ve figured out why they exist already, and why The Prophet can “see” the future, but hearing the barbershop quartet singing Gold Only Knows by the Beach Boys, and a brass band playing Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, when the game is set in 1912, was a little… awesome. And confusing. The way it just permeates your subconscious and you realise what you’re listening to. That bit where Tears for Fears plays though – that pretty much explains it.

Viscera Cleanup Detail (PC)

Am I missing something, or is it really this dull and tedious? Funny as it might appear, dragging bits of carcass around and using the worst mop ever is actually dire.

Putting stuff in stuff is an excercise in futility since the controls and physics combine to make every manual handling action catastrophically imprecise. No sooner have you put a leg in a biowaste bucket, you’re cleaning up as it flails comically, spewing blood everywhere and leaving you back at square one.

Things I’ve been playing recently

All games. All the time. GAMES.

Well, where “recently” is “any time in the last couple of months” and “things” is “games I’ve not completed as I’ve already posted about those”. In no particular order:

Spec Ops: The Line (Mac)

This was free, but only if I played it enough to get £1 credit back from Green Man Gaming. At first, I really struggled as it misdetected my PS4 controller and everything literally spiralled out of control – see this video, in particular from the 7 minute point:

With that fixed (I used a mouse and keyboard instead), I then worked through the first level, or mission, or whatever. It’s OK, but nothing special. It’s also difficult to play with an Apple mouse, because you can’t click the left and right buttons at the same time. I don’t know if I’ll play it more.

Paper Mario Sticker Star (3DS)

A lot of people seemed to be quite negative about this, but I’m really enjoying it. It removes almost all of the RPG elements (perhaps this is why it has the reputation it does), but the story and the combat are great and it looks lovely. Also, that Wii U one is out now and I thought I’d do this while waiting for that to magically appear in my possession.

Letter Quest Remastered (PS4)

Incredible Boggle/RPG hybrid. You’re given a bank of 15 random letters, some worth more than others (sort of Scrabble-like) and you make words out of them. The more powerful your word, the harder your attack is on your foes. You can level up abilities, making 6 letter words worth more, or double letters more powerful, etc. and it’s very addictive.

Assault Android Cactus (PC)

I set my Steam Link up again and this is one of the titles I played, having heard good things and getting it for virtually free in a recent Humble Bundle. It’s not bad, but I don’t think – so far at least – it deserves all the praise. It’s just a quite bland twin stick shooter with average graphics but with some great characters. I’m enjoying it, but not as much as I expected to.

Lego Dimensions (PS4)

I actually bought this a while back, but still had Lego Marvel Avengers on the go. With that finished (although not 100%ed) my daughter and I broke it out and yes – it is excellent. Jumping from world to world (we’ve had The Simpsons, The Wizard of Oz, Ninjago and Doctor Who so far) is great, and the references to other Lego games (such as the Joker Titanbot rematch) are awesome too. Playing shuffle-the-characters on the portal is less fun, though, but we’ve negated that a little by moving the portal to the sofa between us.

Pokémon Y (3DS)

With over 70 hours on the clock now, and still about 30% of my Pokédex unfilled, there’s a lot of game here. Not least when you consider I “completed” it at around the 35 hour mark.

Beware Planet Earth (PC): COMPLETED!

I can moooove moooove mooooove any Martian

I continued playing this again a few days ago having “paused” almost exactly a year ago. I think I’d struggled on a level and lost interest, but it is actually a very good tower defence game. I resumed it part way through Autumn (the game is split into four chapters, one for each season), and quickly progressed to Winter, where I ran into difficulty.

Beware Planet Earth

It’s just so damn hard. In the final season, you have to deal with your weapons freezing, and although you get an item to help negate this later on, it’s not cheap and uses up precious space on the map. Eventually though, I made it to the end boss who was surprisingly simple – or not surprisingly, considering a power-up you’re given right at the end.

I can definitely recommend Beware Planet Earth, especially if you like this sort of game. And it has a toilet in it, so what more can you want?

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Gone Home (PC): COMPLETED!

2015-10-26_00007Gone Home, the game I kept writing “Grow Home” as over and over again, was in my Steam wishlist ever since I completed Dear Esther. Then, one day not so long ago, it was on sale and when I went to buy it, I discovered I’d owned it for months. Tch, eh?

Like Dear Esther, you walk around and discover what’s going on by reading things and looking at things. Gone Home includes minor puzzle elements, but for the most part, you’re exploring a slightly spooky house during a thunderstorm reading notes and letters left strewn around the rooms. The plot goes that you’re returning home after a backpacking trip round Europe, to a house left to your father by his “psychopath” Uncle. Only your family have vanished.

2015-10-26_00010Reading journal scraps and messages left by your sister, you uncover secret rooms and compartments in the house; catching up with her explorations through her kept record of what she’s found. There’s a suggestion Uncle Oscar is haunting the house, and all was not well in the bedroom between your father and mother. No doubt her new job, with long hours, and his failed novels have contributed to this.

2015-10-26_00020Eventually, you discover what has happened to your sister, but nothing conclusive about the rest of your family is shown. At least, I couldn’t find it if there was something. It’s a massive spoiler, but here’s what I think has happened:

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

Anyway. It wasn’t as good as Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture (but then, very little is), it was perhaps on a par with Dear Esther, and waaay better than Proteus.

Here’s my full (and so spoiler-filled) complete playthrough:

Things I’ve been playing recently

Been a while since I did a roundup, so this covers several weeks…

Stan_Lee_is_a_bloody_liabilityLego Marvel Super Heroes (Wii U)

My daughter and I completed this some time ago, but the post game mop-up is huuuuge. Not only is there the usual Free Play of levels, but there are loads of other smaller levels you unlock, and hundreds of events around the world map. We’ve 230/250 gold bricks now, so the end is in sight.

LEGO® Jurassic World™ Demo_20151003154452Lego Jurassic World Demo (PS4)

Oh god I think we need to get this. We’ll probably get the Wii U version though, because co-op screen-each play is the way to go on Lego games. I know the PS4 version looks better, but screen-each!

WVW69iYicg80ANCGpGPuzzle & Dragons Z (3DS)

Slow going on this. I only do a single level every now and again, so although I’m getting there, it’s taking a while. I am enjoying it, though!

_t__PS4share_httpt.coZ6fVvHoVayThe Pinball Arcade (PS4)

Picked this up when it was on sale. It’s not something you can complete, but it’s pretty good. I got the first two “seasons” cheap, and although some are recycled from Gottleib Pinball on the Wii, it’s enjoyable. Some more than others, of course. One thing which is annoying, however, is that your users on your PS4 can’t share leaderboards, making the leaderboards essentially useless.

Pix the Cat_20151004141202Pix the Cat (PS4)

Saw this described as Chu Chu Rocket x Pac Man Championship Edition, but it’s not quite that close. In fact, the main arcade mode isn’t really interesting me and I was pretty disappointed… but Nostalgia Mode? Bloody awesome. It’s more puzzle based, and a lot of fun. So mainly I’ve been playing that.

Uncrowded (PC)

Some sort of Minecraft looking but more survival based game. Which appears to literally be a reskin of some Unity asset pack demo game released as a “new” title. Cheeky. And utter tripe.

The Stanley Parable (PC): COMPLETED!

2015-09-27_00005I don’t know what the one true ending is. I don’t know if that’s the one I reached. I reached many endings, most of which involved the death of poor Stanley, but one, the final one shown in my spoiler-filled video, seemed to be “the end”. I found the credits at least, anyway.

2015-09-27_00011To describe the game gives too much away. What I will say, is that it is genuinely hilarious, as the narrator tries to tell you what to do and when you veer from his path, the berating is priceless. My favourite moment was finding the broom cupboard (about 7 minutes in on my video), and refusing to leave. When I finally did leave, I returned later to be berated again, and a third attempt presented a boarded up door. Excellent.

Caution: Video contains many spoilers.

Spoiler Alert (PC): COMPLETED!

2015-09-19_00003I had no idea what to expect when playing this, as I’d never heard of it before. In fact, I only own it at all because it came in a Humble Bundle I bought for other reasons. I have to say, it was a bit of a surprise.

First off, it appears to be an endless runner game, albeit with an end. Like Bit Trip Runner. Only with a running chilli. Thing is, you start at the end of the game, and beat the final boss on the first level, except it’s the final level. Princess rescued, credits roll. Then credits roll backwards. And so begins playing the entire game back to front.

It’s still a not-endless runner, but now you run backwards from right to left, unkilling baddies and catching projectiles you’ve thrown, all while avoiding coins you hadn’t collected and uncollecting those you had. It makes more sense when you play, probably.

It’s short, cheap, and not especially difficult, but I had fun with it while it lasted.