Due to there being cricket on over the last couple of weeks, and with me having other distractions too, I haven’t had time to make any posts recently. So I thought I’d just do a quick one to recommend a couple of games I’ve been playing, during the time when I should have been writing more posts. Somewhat strangely for me, I actually bought them both at full price, rather than waiting a while for the price to drop as I usually do.
The first game is the Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition. I actually pre-ordered it from Amazon because, not only was it a decent price, it also came signed by one of the development team, which I thought was a nice little extra. The fantasy setting, with wizards, elves, dwarfs and such, isn’t something I usually go for, but I’d heard a lot of good things about the game so I decided to get it. And I wasn’t disappointed.
The game isn’t without the odd niggle, but the gameplay in general is top-notch. It’s quite difficult, even on Normal, and especially so near the start. But I found it eased off after a while to the point where it was still challenging, but at the same time I wasn’t dying every five minutes or getting frustrated.
The game has a very strong story, which has you make several choices along the way which affect the plot considerably. I would say it has the best branching story of any game I’ve played since Alpha Protocol; the bulk of the second act is entirely different depending on what you did in the first. I’ve only played through it once so far, but I hope to play through it again choosing the other path.
The second game I’ve been playing is Fez, on Xbox Live Arcade. With the weekly sales on Live Arcade content, it’s quite rare I pay the full price any more, instead waiting for it to be cheaper. But I made an exception for Fez, which was another game I’d heard good things about. The game is a puzzle platformer played like a 2D side-scroller , but the levels are actually in 3D, and you have the ability to rotate them about the y-axis.
This mechanic forms the basis of the game’s easier puzzles, where often you can see where you need to get, but not how to get there. Later in the game however, the puzzles get much harder, with you having to decipher various clues gathered throughout the game in order to advance. I don’t want to say too much about this though, as much of the enjoyment comes from figuring it out yourself.
As well as the gameplay, and pleasing 8-bit style graphics, something that really stood out as I played was the soundtrack. I can’t really remember playing anything else where the music seemed quite so prominent. Some levels feature a striking change of colour palette, which is matched with a similarly striking change in the music, and together this produces some of the game’s most memorable moments.
So there you go, two recommendations in one quick post!