Should I Buy? – Steam Games Part 2

Now as one or two of you may have seen, I wrote an entry advising on which of Steam’s massive library of games were cheap and worth buying. I enjoyed doing that particular one so much I decided to do a part two, partly because there were games I couldn’t fit into my list the first time around.

To be extra nice, I’m gonna put a list up the individual games here with a unique code so you can find it fast with the CTRL+F search function.

1) Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (SKOTOR)

2) Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rainslick Precipice of Darkness (SPAX)

3) Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble (SDGT)

4) Puzzle Agent (SPA)

5) Future Wars (SFW)

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (SKOTOR)

This first game is another Bioware RPG, this time set in the Star Wars universe. It’s set about 4,000 years before the events of the events of the film saga and tells the story of you, a lone soldier rising to become a Jedi Knight and leading a mission to defeat Darth Malak, leader of the Sith Empire.

Unlike Mass Effect by the same studio this game isn’t actionised. Instead, this is one built much more around choosing the best skills, feats and Force Powers. Though playing the game on easy means you don’t really have to worry too much about strategy.

The game lets you play as either a Jedi or a Sith based on your choices, and many of the characters you collect are based on characters from the films. For example, you get a little astromech droid called T3-M4 and a Wookie called Zaalbaar. The game has you jetting about the galaxy to a handful of different planets which each have unique designs and a good amount of sidequests which really helps to stave off any feelings of monotomy.

The characters, especially the ones you recruit, are for the most part likeable and well written/acted. Special credit goes to the young Twi’lek girl Mission for balancing her depressing backstory with chipper determination and HK-47 the Assassination droid for being a hilariously sarcastic & psychopathic with an overriding urge to kill all ‘meatbags’ violently.

I’d recommend this to RPG fans and Star Wars fans alike, but probably not to others. All the game mechanics are perfectly serviceable, but there just isn’t anything here to excite someone who isn’t in one of those two groups.

Price: £6.99

Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rainslick Precipice of Darkness (SPAX)

Anybody hear a fan of Penny Arcade? Here’s a quick test:

Did you like that? Yeah, it’s kinda like that. Penny Arcade is one of the most successful and long running gaming webcomics there is. They host three conventions a year, have their own charity and are so well respected by nerds that developers try to keep them on their good side.

Penny Arcade Adventures marks their foray into video games with two of what were meant to be four games. Unfortunately, poor sales killed those plans. That’s not because these games aren’t good though, they’re solid if linear RPG fun.

You have three characters, Tycho and Gabe from the comics and your own custom character to investigate and fight the rising threat of cults summoning Elder Gods to wreck the world. One nice touch is that you get to port your character from the original into the sequel. The three of you are the Startling Developments Detective Agency, and you travel through the crazy noir-ish city of New Arcadia that’s rife with magic assisted only by Tycho’s genius scientist niece Anne-Claire.

The gameplay is solid but offers little variation in combat, the reason to buy these games is for the humour. The comic’s much lauded writing style is in full effect here and can easily illicit full out laughter.

The combo bundle is the way to go with this, as it lets you save a bit of money and if you like one you’ll like the other, because the crazy settings and characters are the only really note worthy differences between them.

Price £8.99 (Combo Pack) £5.99 (Individual)

Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble (SDTG)

This is one of the stranger games I’ve played from Steam. It’s set in the roaring 20’s, where you take control of one of a range of rebellious girls to be your ‘Queen’ as you form a gang to investigate stuff, flirt with boys and just generally rebel.

Playing cards are a strong motif here, each character has four stats represented by a different playing card symbol. Whenever you want to get interact with someone chances are you’ll have to play one of four different games. See each stat has one associated and they’re intellectual little challenges and the higher your stat is in the required area the more leeway you have for hints and mistakes.

In a nice touch, each stat is a different aspect of your girl’s personality like their rebelliousness or their glamour. This is certainly a unique game, and although I haven’t exactly been caught up in plot or mechanics it gets points for being different. I’d see at least give it a look, it’s an interesting experience.

Price: £8.99

Puzzle Agent (SPA)

I mentioned this one back in my Layton review, but I wanted to talk a bit more about it. You play as Nelson Tethers, the sole member of the FBI’s Puzzle Research Division. There’s been an action at the Scoggin’s Eraser Factory, and the President’s erasers come from that very factory. All the FBI’s  contact attempts have been met with strange puzzles, so that’s where you come in.

There’s only about a third of the puzzles here as were in Layton but this is about a third of the price. Also there’s several repeats and several really frustating ones. Still, when they’re good they’re really good. Mostly because these are ones that don’t rely on trick wording and are just tests of your ability to think things through.

If you like puzzle games like Professor Layton, or would like to try it without paying so much then buy this.

Price: £3.99

Future Wars (SFW)

This is another turn based strategy game, something typically relegated to handhelds. To say it was ‘based on’ Intelligent System’s Advance Wars series would be generous, because it’s a total ripoff. It’s setting and visual style are unique, but this plays just like Advance Wars.

Basically, you’re a military student and you have to build an army to key locations like factories and cities and to destroy your enemies. Different units have different strengths. Only infantry-types can capture locations, only artillery can attack from a distance, tanks have good armour at expense of movement etc.

In battle, the design style doesn’t make it clear what you’re looking at in a glance, the animations for the units move significantly slower than AA’s which really drags out even the simplest of missions and none of the characters or story beats that are meant to connect the boring missions ever rose above the level of amateur writing for me. And I mean like, real amateur. Like a 14 year old’s fanfiction amateur.

Price: £3.49


1 Comment (+add yours?)

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    Jul 05, 2014 @ 19:21:26

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