Tag Archives: Role-Playing

What’s Gus Playing? Deadlight!

The mighty mite of meandering muses on melancholy moods ~

Lloyd Sabin, 15 April 2018

Sometimes games just click with us. There’s no break-in period, no giving the game “a chance,” no mucking around…we love it right away.

That was how it worked with me and Deadlight, a side-scrolling, zombie-killing, puzzle-solving adventure game built in the Unreal engine by Tequila Works. Most players clocked in game length at around 5 hours…I got very close to the end between 5 and 10 hours, and then got stuck on one part where the acrobatics involved were just too much for my slowing hands.

Up until that point, though, the game was great. I loved the story, I loved the setting (Seattle and the surrounding area circa the mid 1980s) and I loved the gunplay and survival components. Players get s small variety of weapons to use including a shotgun, pistol, and ax.

The mood created by all of these facets combined was palpable…the player really does develop a sense of hopelessness, which slowly recedes the better the player gets at the game’s mechanics, which can get a bit complicated.

Certain obstacles and levels also featured the developer’s sense of humor, especially when you come across them the first time and get slaughtered…left to think ‘how the hell am I supposed to beat that?’ It also didn’t hurt that the game is now roughly six years old and I picked it up for a dollar. Literally. So I easily got my money’s worth x 25, at least, even though I didn’t quite finish the game completely.

As you can see below, Deadlight is one of those games whose visuals speak for themselves. So this week I don’t really think captions for each shot are necessary, which will allow me to show off more shots than usual! Plus I’m feeling pretty lazy today. Enjoy the below and if you can pick up Deadlight for 1, 5, 10 or even 15 dollars, it’s definitely worth it if you enjoy platformers, zombies, survival games, moody lighting and the original Pitfall game by Activision…with an edge.

GrogHeads Reviews Underrail

Airboy dives into the bowels of Underrail to see if it’s worth taking the plunge ~

Avery Abernethy, 14 April 2017

Computer RPGs often have an excellent design concept but poor execution. Other RPGs have a great design and good execution, but play balance goes off usually later in the game. Your characters become so powerful that almost nothing presents a challenge. Very few RPGs have a good concept, and game mechanics while retaining challenging (but not impossible) play throughout the game. Even fewer RPGs manage to do this while enabling different effective play styles. Underrail is one of a handful of games I’ve ever played which hits all of these benefits.

GrogHeads Reviews The Quest

RPG on the go?  Sure.  But how does it stack up against PC games ~

Avery Abernethy, 23 January 2018

The Quest is a light RPG which is playable on your phone, tablet or PC. The game has a single person viewpoint and you cannot gain party members or henchmen. This design choice will drive most characters to develop both fighting and magic skills. The graphics are state of the art 1990s and reminded me of Might and Magic 6 which was released back in 1998.

You start out as a first level character with the seemingly impossible mission of finding out what has happened to the Governor of a large province. Of course, the Governor is far away and inaccessible to your starting character. Your character then solves a bunch of quests, kills a bunch of monsters in the wilderness and gains levels which allow you to become more powerful.

What’s Gus Playing? Episode 14

GrogHeads’ own half-height harbinger of horror turns horny ~

Lloyd Sabin, 15 January 2018

It’s cold as balls outside (read: extremely cold) and my driveway is a glacier. Which leads me to think of Vikings and Viking-themed games. In this installment of What’s Gus Playing, I’ll cover some of my time with three Norse-irific titles: Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, Vikings: Wolves of Midgard, and Expeditions: Viking.

Expeditions: Viking is just as well produced as Vikings: Wolves of Midgard (probably moreso) but takes its Scandinavian history more to heart, and a bit more seriously.

Full disclosure: I got about half way in to Hellblade and covered it in more detail in the last installment of What’s Gus Playing. It eventually drained me and I had to move on to something else a little lighter to save my sanity, and that was Vikings: Wolves of Midgard. It’s a Diablo-clone, but a well done one set among the myths of the Norse world. Your avatar is customizable to a point, the enemies are varied and numerous and the game runs well, with attractive, bloody graphics and cartoonish violence.

At first the difficulty almost seemed too easy and I was going to bump it up to ‘hard’ until I hit the first boss. I tried to defeat this boss seemingly 100 times and even after LOWERING the difficulty to ‘easy’ I still could not do it, at which point I just shouted ‘f this!’ and moved on to Expeditions: Viking.

Expeditions: Viking is just as well produced as Vikings: Wolves of Midgard (probably moreso) but takes its Scandinavian history more to heart, and a bit more seriously. Like its predecessor, Expeditions: Conquistador, it is a story-based, historically accurate hybrid of tactical wargame and RPG. 

What’s Gus Playing? Episode 13

The bantam-weight banterer of badassery battles in a bygone Britain ~

Lloyd Sabin, 8 January 2018

I obviously try to keep this column as light as possible, but some games are just heavy. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is one such heavy game.

Just be warned – I would not recommend playing for extended periods of time. Hellblade seriously changed my mood, and quickly.

Giving the player the opportunity to play as Senua, a female Celt, in Dark Age Britain, Hellblade is much more than a game of exploration or first person combat. These aspects are there, but Hellblade, first and foremost, is about fear…fear generated through mental illness.

Ninja Theory, the producers of Hellblade, consulted mental illness experts to create the game and state they wanted to make as accurate a portrayal of mental illness as possible, so that those lucky enough to live without it could have some idea of what it’s like. They did a fine job, because Hellblade is terrifying, confusing and infuriating, by design.

I found myself panicking, getting angry and frustrated, and finally having to step away from the game for a breather…about an hour of Hellblade is all I can really do before it becomes too much.

This is not a knock at the game itself – it’s awesome, well-produced, beautiful to look at and takes its content very seriously. Just be prepared to be affected. That’s the best way I can think of to describe it. Hopefully you will be able to see some of what I saw in the screen shots below. I also have to mention the audio design. The sound, maybe even more than the visuals, are the real terror drivers here. Play Hellblade for just an hour and you will see what I mean.