3D Pool: Billiards & Snooker

3D Pool: Billiards & Snooker

It’s pool, what should I know? The game is pool, in the most basic sense of the word. Sound is there, although I wouldn’t say the balls have any real difference in sound which is a shame because different velocities should sound different. The four game modes are 8 ball, 9 ball, 10 ball and snooker and they’re fine, but I would have liked the ability to customize my game with things like calling my shots or using last pocket. The graphics are as basic as the rest of the game. Shadows are nice but everything else is just sort of there. The music and voice acting are reptetive and minimal. The controls are easy enough to master but are not re-bindable. In terms of variety, there are a few tables (reskins), a few different ball sets (also reskins) and 10 opponents of varying capabilities. Oh and you can play local multiplayer. Sounds like you don’t like it very much It’s not that I don’t like the game. It’s enjoyable, and for the cost you get what you pay for: a basic iteration of pool. The problem is with games like Pool Nation or even Sport Bar VR, I can’t think of a good reason to pick this game up unless it’s just to spend an hour or so playing pool and never touching it again. So what should they have done instead? In my humble opinion, trading cards and achievements at a minimum. That would have made the price tag a little easier to handle. Unlockable balls, tables, cues and foes would have been a great addition. A better audio system would...
Cibele

Cibele

Not the usual sort of game I would play, Cibele is (at least as closely as it can get) a fmv point and click adventure game. Except instead of collecting clues, items or whatnot for puzzles, you’re collecting hints for narration. The game itself is largely patterned like this:   Watch FMV footage. Log into Nina’s computer (she’s the protagonist) Read all her notes, look at images and just get a sense for who she is. Go into her MMO (it’s pretty much FFXI) and meet up with Ichi (Blake, the other character). Fight mobs while listening to the two of them awkwardly flirt. Once enough mobs have been killed, fight a boss until it runs away. This usually happens at important bits in their chat. All the while, look at and (barely) respond to emails and instagram. Do this three times. This will end with the boss defeated and both actors having made an important decision. Do this three times. The whole game is about 2 hours. So it seems like there’s a game here but largely, it’s mostly timed events that will occur. No illusion of choice is offered nor required. This game is less about being a game, and more about being art like a book or painting. The game doesn’t run at a stable frame rate but it’s not about that, it’s about the story.   So if you’re the sort of gamer looking for art, you probably already know and have played the game. If you’re not, then you’re going to want to stay away.   Myself? I was intrigued by the story that Nina had...
Little Inferno

Little Inferno

Little Inferno, from the guys who made “World of Goo”, is another game set in a world dominated by industry. But instead of going up against this indomitable machine, you face a deadlier foe: lethargy. You see in this game, you burn things. In fact, you burn everything. Burning things gives you money, which you use to order new things to burn. Combining different things gives you greater rewards, and that’s the trick: finding the best combination of things to burn. All while this is happening, you’re getting letters from a friend who as a way of finding out more about the world that is beyond the fireplace. That’s where the simple game mechanics give way to excellent storytelling.   The world is on the verge of apocalypse. Ever present snow threatens to freeze everything solid, leaving no survivors. It’s a poignant issue, especially comparing now to when the game was released. The notes you get hint that a long period of time is passing, a theme the game plays heavily upon. The game isn’t long (a casual estimate would be 3ish hours) but after reading all the notes left for me and seeing the end of the game, it feels longer. A difficult separation to describe, but one used to great effect.   Something I don’t see online, and I’ve searched quite a bit after beating the game, is what the game means. The narrative is simple enough to follow, but after beating the game I felt like there was more implied than what was given. Theories that passed through my mind were “am I in purgatory or...
Hack n’ Slash

Hack n’ Slash

There is a lot to like about Hack n’ Slash. The game feels like a great Zelda clone at first, but once you get the ability not just to hack values but the actual code behind entities in the game, it all goes out of control like a flaming wreck. I’m not going to give the game a full review because I don’t think I can but I will list what I liked and what I didn’t like about this game.   First, I loved the presentation. The storybook artwork was delightful (and also felt entirely out of place in the more tech oriented hacking theme) and the music was fantastic, especially the 56k opera. I enjoyed the feel of the game, movement and value hacking felt natural. The game itself is short, which is somewhat understandable given the nature of the game. Most of all I love the heart of the story. Your character, your friend and the foe all felt like new takes on classic tropes.   However, I disliked the fact that mechanically, the game was all over the place. Time travel, hacking values, hacking code, inventory items that had little purpose. If there was a lot hidden in the game, I could forgive all these things as tools you need but after looking at what others had done, it’s all largely unneeded. I’m all for depth in a game but it felt like none of this added to the complexity, it only was more stuff. And the nature of hacking the code behind stuff was horrible, speaking as a coder. Everything should be largely safe...
Sine Mora

Sine Mora

The child of so many arcade games, Sine Mora piqued my interest upon release. I enjoyed it so much I bought copies for friends since it was so cheap. And now, I can finally say I’ve beaten it. If you’re looking for a good side scrolling shoot-em-up game, then look no further than Sine Mora.   Like other games in the genre, you sit on the left, the game auto-scrolls and everything is set in a horizontal perspective. What sets Sine Mora apart is that it still has the challenge of the arcade by giving you very strict time limits on how long you have to accomplish tasks. To add to your timer, you defeat foes and if they hit you (and remember, this is a bullet-hell type shoot-em-up game, so there are LOTS of particles going on at all times) your time goes down.   The story is fine, although I can’t say that I was playing it to find out what happened next. The cast of furries (which seems to be a theme this week) is fine, the voice acting is excellent as the developers made up languages for the game (Correction: they use hungarian. Apologies for that inaccuracy). I’m sure that made localization much easier. The bosses are gigantic and the variety in game types is exactly what you’d expect (story, arcade, time trials, boss battles and so on). Honestly the game is fantastic and requires little introduction. If you like the genre, you’ll certainly enjoy Sine Mora and if you don’t, it won’t change your...