The Walking Dead: Episode 2; Dungeon Fighter Live: Fall of Hendon Myre; Amazing Alex – Review shorts
A quick-fire review summary of some of the titles we've been playing over the last couple of weeks.
Michael Plant is chief editor and writer of gaming ezine and blog GamesCatalyst.com, as well as editor of 'The Independent'’s games review printed in the Saturday supplement 'Information'. Established in February 2011, Games Catalyst endeavours to bring its unique brand of fact and satire to the videogaming community and, in tandem with 'The Independent', hopefully turn a few non-believers on to gaming while we’re at it.
Friday 20 July 2012
The Walking Dead: Episode 2
The Walking Dead video game series continues with the second installment, ‘Starved For Help’, in which, three months after the initial zombie outbreak, protagonist Lee is facing a number of dilemmas – not least the short supply of food for his weary band of survivors.
Very faithful to the feel of the original comic, the game will no doubt win over long-term “Deadheads” simply by virtue of Telltale Games’ excellent design, which brings the graphic art to life with a consistent quality the TV series perhaps didn’t quite manage. Multiple-choice conversation is given time limits, causing gamers to panic just as you might under real pressure, telling hasty lies or fumbling truths that can have deep consequences.
In many ways the game acts almost like a parallel TV series, combining elements reminiscent of LucasArts’ Grim Fandango with quicktime events. Sometimes the balance might tip a little too much towards watching for gamers with itchy trigger fingers, who might be advised to look elsewhere.
Much like the source material, this is a subtle and nuanced take on the undead apocalypse rather than a line-them-up, mow-them-down type, and it is all the better for the investment in character and storyline. Three more episodes follow in this series, with a second season already lined up for later in the year.
By Sam Gill
Format: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Price: £3.99 (requires Ep 1 to play)
Developer: Telltale games
Publisher: Telltale games
Dungeon Fighter Live: Fall of Hendon Myre
All is not well in the Kingdom of Hendon Myre, with goblins on the run and dark magic threatening the realm. Thankfully there are any number of heroes looking to redress the balance, and here’s where you come in. Dungeon Fighter Live is actually a continuation of a franchise that’s popular overseas, particularly in the Far East, but has yet to make much of an impression over here. Its fulcrum is its multiplayer, as groups of up to four players pick an adventurer (from up-close, ranged and medium types) and have at the enemy, clearing areas of monsters in a side-scrolling beat-em-up reminiscent of a more up-to-date Golden Axe. Those who enjoy the “grind” will find levelling-up, unlocking moves and seizing loot entertaining enough; however easily defeated foes and repetitive environements means it won’t be for everyone.
Format: Xbox 360 via XBLA
Price: £6.80 (800 MS points)
Developer: Neople Inc.
Ever seen those YouTube videos where boffins with all sorts of time on their hands have set up a chains of domino effect sequences, where by the pushing of a tennis ball might, for example, lead to the brewing of a fresh cup of tea? Well that’s pretty much what to expect from Amazing Alex – minus the tea – as you place shelves, balloons, boxes, books and more in a bid to help the mischievous lad achieve such goals as knocking a football into a basket by the most elaborate means possible.
As you’d expect of a game by Rovio (they of Angry Birds fame) it’s a highly polished game, though score system involving the collecting of three stars per stage (Cut the Rope-style), rather than adopting the ‘use as few parts as possible’ approach of Feed Me Oil, means Amazing Alex lacks the addictiveness and replayability factor of some its rivals. That said, its still a master class in head-scratching which only gets more mind-bending as you progress through its stages.
Format: iOS, Android
Developer: Rovio Entertainment
Publisher: Rovio Entertainment
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