Gonna be a short post this week (and late). But it’s been a long week due to work stuff and being a dad. So, here’s a few games I like, that I hope you do too.
Probably one of the most fun and engaging twin stick shooters I’ve ever played. Controls work exactly as you expect it to, left stick moves you around, right stick aims and shoots your weapon. Hold the A button down and your gun goes into a kind of overdrive auto aim mode that is extremely useful when you’re getting crowded by enemies, and you will get crowded, and the trigger unleashes whatever power-up you’ve collected, be it a static turret, a bomb or homing missiles.
There’s a leveling system and with each level gained you get a point to spend on a upgrade. But the great thing here is you can change the way your points are distributed at no cost and at any time so if you regret upgrading one thing, you can immediately change it to another, letting you refine your play style on the fly. This lack of restriction on upgrading your ship really gives you a great amount of freedom to experiment with the system without having to worry about min maxing or getting it wrong.
As you can imagine the pace is frantic, when you’re not dodging waves of enemies or hammering at shields, you’re looking for enemies to kill so you can keep your score multiplier. But it’s not just a high score chaser. There’s a story in there and while it isn’t directly linked to the game-play it still manages to feel woven into the game, a decent achievement for an arcade twin stick shooter!
The last thing I’m gonna talk about here is the score. The sound track is one of the best I’ve ever heard in any game, let alone a twin stick arcade game which usually run on the same 2 minute loop of requisite beeps and boops. Each stage has it’s own thumping track, mixed to perfection. The quality of the mixing is way above par (As is the quality of the recording, for the game I believe it’s at 320Kps) and the tracks themselves are memorable and morish. I have the soundtrack and play it on loop when I’m coding myself. As a full fledged sound track, it works perfectly as an album outside the context of the game which is another achievement in it’s own right.
If you even vaguely like arcade games or twin stick shooters, do yourself a favour and pick up Bezier.
I’m not going to be able to say as much about this game as I’d like to because I’ve not given it as much time as I’d like to, what with life and all. But even in the little time I’ve played it, it’s really struck me as an excellent game.
If you’ve not heard of it, it’s a turn based stealth ’em up with an isometric perspective. On the surface it’s fairly reminiscent of Shadowrun Returns but any similarities end there. This game is very much focused on the stealth aspect of missions and there’s not a lot of room for error when things go wrong. But this focus on the stealth aspect of things has really paid off. This is one of the tightest games I’ve ever played.
While everything very obviously works to a very specific set of rules, that doesn’t take you out of the game at all. And every few rounds the tensions are increased as the game makes things harder for you. It’s a great mechanic that pushes you to make every move count and while you might agonise over a turn, you’re not wasting time and turns trying to make sure everything is perfect before you make your move.
The art direction is excellent, everything lends itself so well to the motif and feel of the game you’ll feel like you knew the game before you even finish seeing all it has to offer.
This is very much a game that will suck you in, and I recommend that you let it.
Another entry into the Grid franchise. The first revolutionized the racing genre, for me at least, adding in the ability to rewind if you made a mistake on the track (which has since been used in many other games, my favourite being Forza), and the driving felt much more connected than any games that had gone before. The follow up didn’t do much for me, it was as lackluster as it was unambitious. I didn’t hold out huge hopes as I’d felt the Grid series had really done all it could for the racing genre in the first game. Thankfully I was mistaken.
It hasn’t come up with any more ground breaking mechanics but it seems the team have raised the heads and tried to make a game as connected as the first one felt, and extend that throughout the rest of the game, not just the driving.
The menus do feel a bit clunky, and while I wouldn’t say they were poorly designed, they could definitely do with a bit more work. But everything you do in them feels connected to what you’re doing when you’re on the road.
One thing I really liked, that I wished more games would do, is that it detected that I had a second monitor and asked me would I like to use it. No fiddly set up. I checked the box and straight away a model of my current car was spinning in it, no messing about with resolution settings or any guff like that (My monitors are a different resolutions which makes it all the more impressive). Unfortunately while in races it doesn’t show more of the track around your car, just a bunch of stats like placement etc but that’s still pretty cool considering how little I had to do to get it working. It’s definitely a feature that could be improved upon but it’s great that it’s there and I hope more games take it up in the future.
The racing of course is where it’s really at. And it is excellent. Typically you start at the back of the pack but unlike so many racing games it really feels like a struggle to work your way up the pack. A little frustrating sometimes, but the best kind of frustrating, every place is earned, the AI is really well done here, making it feel like your racing again more than robots following a line. Other cars will happily trade paint with you and frustratingly try to block you from overtaking, the way another player might, and force you to get a bit more clever about how you take your turns and overtake other cars.
GRID Autosport is also usually in the big Steam sales so you can usually get it for a tenner too. I got it in a humble bundle for less than that along with most of the DLC, so it’s an easy game to get. And to be honest I reckon it’s worth the original asking price too, so don’t hesitate if you’re even thinking about picking it up!
Well, I said it was gonna be a short post and it ended up being one of my longer ones. I was gonna keep going and do another game but I’m going to go and play some Bezier instead and see if I can get somewhere decent on the leader0board. I was 7th on the board pre-Steam launch (I had it on itch.io) but now it’s been available there for a while I doubt I’m anywhere interesting on that board at all anymore!
***Edit*** I’m still on the board at #9! That’s pretty good 🙂 ***Edit***
And actually, if you know of a twin stick stealth race em up let me know, I’d love to play it.