I love adventure games. Well, I love modern adventure games. They come in all shapes and sizes, but there’s a type that’s a sub-genre of the Walking Simulator style of adventure in which you get your narrative-focused Gone Home’s and your Tacoma’s and the occasional Firewatch.
The news is that the developer of Firewatch, Campo Santo, is getting acquired by Valve. The good news is that they will continue to work on things they’ve been working on. This news won’t stop Firewatch from coming to Nintendo’s Nintendo Switch sometime this year. They’re also promising improvements to Firewatch on every other platform in the process of optimizing it for Nintendo’s Nintendo Switch.
Campo Santo’s progresso on the new gameo In the Valley of Gods will also continue, that was announced late last year. Except now it’ll be a Valve thing, which is good for Valve because my understanding is that many of Valve’s writers have left.
The miniaturizing nostalgia shrink ray is sprayed at everything now: Cars; entertainment systems both super and conventional Nintendo; iPads; arcade cabinets… There’s also now a The C64 Mini, not a Commodore 64 Mini or Classic Edition, but strictly The C64 Mini. Apparently they couldn’t get the name Commodore 64.
This miniature device that definitely isn’t a Commodore 64 also isn’t out yet in the U.S., but it is out almost everywhere else and I wouldn’t trust an American to review it, so here is Dr. Ashens’ review:
It sounds like this The C64 Mini isn’t going to be beloved like the original unless the firmware is updated in some fundamental way and they also recall and replace every joystick. Still, it is fun to hear someone who is familiar with all of the 64 games it ships with go over each one.
The 2018 God of War game without a subtitle isn’t a reboot of the series, but it does sound like a great starting point for anyone who dropped off after the earlier games or who wasn’t interested in them at all.
This God of War wants us to see Kratos as a person, rather than an instrument of extraordinary violence. The game not only pulls this off, but turns Kratos and his son’s journey into one of the best games of recent years: a deft intertwining of relatable familial drama and awe-inspiring mythological epic.
There are probably a huge number of takes on this game from other parents, but mine is short: I probably won’t get to play this God of War for a while. As appealing as it is, and I loved the PSP games in the series, I have a very limited amount of time to play anything when my son is sleeping and I try to avoid any kind of violent games when he’s awake.
For everyone else who doesn’t have children, or whose kids are older, God of War is out this Friday the 20th on the PlayStation 4.
Their crowd-funded sequel, Shenmue III, is still on its way, but how should someone new to the series get up-to-date with the premier picking-up-objects-and-turning-them-over-in-your-hand sim? It turns out that Sega is publishing the first two game on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam for Windows.
The updated versions of the game promise a better user interface, more modern controls with the original as an option, higher resolution choices, and a subtitled Japanese audio experience if you’d prefer that over the English voice acting. There aren’t any pre-order bonuses, and no price is up yet, so it’ll be good to wait for the games to be released this year and read how the ports turned out.
It doesn’t sound like they’re changing much at all, but it’s good to see the original Shenmue games available off of the Dreamcast and the original Xbox. I’d like to take a crack at playing II, which I’ve got somewhere but never got it going on my old Xbox.
This is mostly unrelated but I’ve been watching the completely ridiculous Japanese television series Sunshine, Sento-Sake, and it is a complete trip. Unfortunately the show is only available via Amazon’s Prime Video service.
Here’s how I would describe it: A guy working as a business-to-business ad salesman is extremely mediocre at his job, but always finds a way to relax in the middle of the day at a public bath, and then gets some beer and good food. I heartily recommend it for anyone interested in seeing someone appreciate the joy of relaxing and savoring food and drink, but be prepared for lots of old butts in those Sentos.
Dan and Bianca Ryckert recommended Sunshine on their new podcast, and I feel like they’re the best at explaining the fun in the show if you’re put-off by the butt warning. Check out that episode of their podcast here.
There’s an updated version of Red Faction: Guerrilla on the way.
Unfortunately they aren’t licensing this incredible song by the Idle Thumbs, but the re-animated husk of THQ Nordic is continuing this fine year of remasters by releasing a “re-Mars-tered” edition (ugh) of Volition’s classic, Red Faction: Guerrilla.
This is one of my favorite games, and I’m glad that anyone who hasn’t played it before will get a new chance to experience Guerrilla, although I’m not sure what is going on with the protagonist’s legs in this screenshot they’ve provided:
The press release only mentions graphical enhancements to this version of the game, and it’s a free upgrade for Steam users on Windowswho already have the game. Otherwise, it’ll be $30 when Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered is released in “Q2 2018” on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows via Steam.
Here’s an excerpt from the draft to an unfinished review I wrote of the game in 2009:
It is an open-world kind of game, with missions given to you by the Red Faction, a terrorist insurgency on Mars.
Developed by the same folks who’ve brought you Saints Row, the Freespace series, and a variety of other critically acclaimed titles they’ve titled Guerrilla accurately as well; the protagonist is a thoughtfully armed and excitable guerrilla.
Some hostages have been taken by the fascist group running Mars? BLOW UP THE EDF! Afterwards, give the hostages a ride home.
There is a side-mission where they want you to a destroy some industrial equipment with only a running start, a sledgehammer, and some exploding barrels? Swing at the barrels, realize you can’t hit them easily, then get frustrated so you can RUN UP AND BEAT THE SHIT OUTTA THAT INDUSTRIAL EQUIPMENT WITH YOUR SLEDGEHAMMER!
Your buddy wants to hang out with his new 70s popular-mechanics sci-fi car and you don’t know what to do? Sure you do! Strap a turret on to it, and start BLOWING UP THE EDF!
All of this is possible due to the work Volition has put into the destructible buildings. Without that, this game would just be another mundane third-person open-world clusterfuck.
Congratulations to them for their incredible achievement, not since Crackdown have I been this entertained by an open-world game. Guerrilla takes everything that is fun for casual GTA players – getting as high a wanted level as possible and killing the local authority figures – and ramps it up to a whole new level of destruction.
Despite the improvements, though, the Vive Pro still includes some of the same basic design problems of the original. The eyepiece housing (which now allows for additional room for eyeglasses, toggled by an easy button press and slider) still ends up pressed up tightly against the front of your face, creating a thick seal that traps heat and puts significant pressure on the sinuses. Any decently long VR session threatens to turn your face into a sweaty, red mess that can lead to significant steam buildup on the lenses. Worse, the front-of-face foam padding feels decidedly non-Pro. HTC has been showing this off at press events with a custom leather face cushion, and for this price, we wish they’d offered the same option as a consumer default.
There’s nothing that sounds more appealing than turning into a sweaty red mess. The resolution bump is the best part of the Vive Pro, but is it really worth paying over twice the price of the base Vive if you’re starting from scratch? Read the rest of their review.
Time was you had to move games from one drive to another by using hacky programs that abused features of Windows’ filesystem to make virtual links from a folder on one drive to another. For Steam games that isn’t a problem anymore. Now that Steam can use multiple game library folders, maybe one for each drive, Valve have added a feature to move games between library folders.
Here’s how it works if you don’t already have a separate library folder on another drive:
Click the Steam menu, and then click on Settings:
Click on the Downloads tab on the left, then click on the Steam Library Folders button:
Click on the Add Library Folder button and add a new folder if you don’t have one on the drive you’d like to move the games to.
Click Close and then OK. Right-click on the game you’d like to move to another library folder, click on Properties:
Click on the Local Files tab, then click on the Move Install Folder button.
Finally, select the new location for the game you’d like to move, click Move Folder, and then wait:
I’ve loved Far Cry games in the past, 3 was a particular high point, but that was 6 years ago and Far Cry 4 lost me somewhere along the way. I never finished it. 5 looks to be more of the same kind of an outdoor adventure through a beautiful land that is beset upon with chaos, light RPG mechanics without the role-playing, and this time they’ve set it in Montana.
The most important difference with this game is that it once had some promise in making a statement about the current political situation. There’s a lot of things that it’d be incredible to see a game even try to talk about, but Far Cry 5 isn’t that game despite having all of the opportunity in the world to try.
Thematically, Far Cry 5 is such an inconsistent mess of ideas that there is hardly a recognizable through line at all. Instead, the game gestures towards ambiguity as if looking for a shield to save itself with.
This is a game that undeniably knows that Donald Trump is president, but cannot decide if that fact should be punchline or key plot device. When, in two different scenes, cult leaders make oblique references to “America’s leadership” or the failures of the person “who’s in charge” as proof of the American empire’s final days, the game reaches for sincere relevance. But an hour later, you’ll be recovering the notorious piss tape from a Russian spy in a pun-filled quest.
There’s probably a great story you could tell around a Christian Doomsday Prepper Cult that has you fighting them off as they prepare for the End Times by murdering everyone around them and stealing all the resources they can. That’s meat that few games even attempt to chew. But the ambitious setting doesn’t pay off in this story that seems to want to hedge every chance it gets. The end result is a story that goes nowhere, says nothing, and fails to live up to the previous settings and villains in the franchise. If you can get past that… the rest is pretty much fine if you’re up for another Far Cry game.
Far Cry 5 is up now on Steam for Windows, as well as your Xbox One or PlayStation 4. It’s also got the traditional slap in the face of $60 not being enough, and offering both Deluxe ($70) and Gold ($90) editions.
I have a stack of open-world Ubisoft games that I haven’t finished, Far Cry 5 isn’t joining them.