Tag Archives: AZERTY

First Impression: Giana Sisters – Twisted Dreams (PC) ~ Rip-off With A Twist

Giana-Sisters-reviewOfficial website

Sadly enough, my week off is nearly at an end. I enjoyed my time off quite a lot. But at the other hand, I did some work for my personal life. The consequence of that is that I could barely play games… But hey, I will have more time in the (near) future to write articles again. I also promised to write two articles this week. Perhaps three even. In any case, before I’m going to take a look to this title, first some small history lesson. This game is a spiritual successor to the original Giana Sisters. Why is it not the real sequel? Well, it’s more of a reboot of a controversial series. The original PC game was a Mario rip-off. It was called the Great Giana Sisters. I linked to a Wikipedia article that explains the gist of the history behind this game. When I saw this game on Steam (a while ago), I was impressed. I thought it would be a sort of HD remake. But it’s far from that. This is a reboot with new gameplay ideas, story and it’s own personality while not loosing the charm of the original. But what did I think of it…? Let’s find out, time to write a first impression after playing the first few levels. And as usual, feel free to leave a comment with your opinion on the game and/or the content of this article. 

Kickstarter

2015-10-11_00002Like a more famous game called Shovel Knight, this game started out on KickStarter too. From what I read, this game was actually a re-imaging of a remake that was made of the original Giana Sisters. Which makes this even more interesting, since the remake was released on my favorite platform of all time: Nintendo DS.

When I found this game on Steam, I was quite interested since it was different from what I played on the DS. In the DS game, it was more a sort of hard Mario-ish game with sisters instead of brothers.

The atmosphere was something else, the story was kind of basic… well, it was so similar to your typical Mario story it kinda hurts. But in my opinion, platformers like these have no real need of a story or can be excused when the story is rather at the generic side. Yet, the story in this game threw me off the hook. Like in the original, the story is barely explained. You had to make it out from the scenery and from the introduction cutscene. This left a lot open for the imagination of the player. How they did it, probably just good game design, the developers of this PC game made it work in Twisted Dreams.

The big twist here is that you can play as both sisters without having to depend on a power-up. In the original game, you had to find a candy hidden in a block (like a mushroom in Mario.) to change into the other sister that could shoot fireballs. Well, in this game, with a simple tap of the button… You change into the other sister.

Changing

2015-10-11_00001Changing in the other sister changes up the gameplay quite a lot. Not only the visuals change from bright & happy to dark & gloomy… The music changes and the whole atmosphere. I got the urge to try to look for a deeper meaning. If a game can pull this off, that means it’s drawing you in. Which is a damn good thing. I usually get easily bored of platformers. But when there is an interesting mechanic involved, well… That gets my attention.

Yet, there is a major flaw with this game and the are the keyboard controls. It might be a lot better on an usual QWERTY keyboard, but on an AZERTY keyboard it bugs out. The following issues I have with the keyboard controls:

  • The up arrow is JUMP. (Which is a crime in itself.)
  • The “W” key is to swirl around. On my keyboard that’s the “Z” key… Why display the “W” and confuse me?
  • A very handy feature to switch from sister to sister is missing from the keyboard controls. (It are the trigger buttons on a controller.)
  • The game showed the wrong buttons often. And what I mean here is that the tutorial showed how you can control the game with a controller…. While I was playing with a keyboard.

At first I thought, you weren’t able to change the controls. But it appears you can. You can change them from the splash screen. Kind of hidden, but okay… I might have gone off on a ramble there. In short, this game is best played with a controller.

The other stuff


2015-10-10_00001This game has two styles. This is a very interesting concept. From the games I have played, I haven’t seen many games do this. First let’s start with the visuals. This game looks very nice in my opinion. Both the colorful and dark side. It gives each sister their own personality. While I would have switched the styles around for the sisters… It works real well.

The level design is brutal in some areas. This gives the player a nice challenge. The developers where kind enough to not work with a life system but with a death counter. The amount of times you died, counts to your final score on that level.

Gameplay wise, this game is a platformer where you switch between two sisters. Each sister has her own abilities and uses. Sometimes you need to switch between the sisters to solve interesting puzzles.

This game has also a mindblowing soundtrack. It’s something I would seriously listen to from time to time. It’s catchy and melodic. I love how one song can sound so good in two different tones. (Like I said earlier, the music also changes when you switch between sisters.)

I would like to say a bit more about this game, but I’ll leave that up for the review. What I personally think of this game right now is that it’s an amazing game and that I can’t wait what they do for the sequel. But I truly hope that they don’t mess up the controls. If you like a platformer with some good challenge and an interesting switching mechanic, this game is right up you alley. I just hope that only AZERTY keyboards got this many issues with the controls… If I’m wrong, play this game with a controller, just to be on the safe side. Oh, and I reported the controls issues to the devs on the Steam forums. Who knows, maybe it’s fixed in a patch rendering my issues with the controls something of the past.

In any case, I think I’m going to wrap up this first impression here. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I hope to welcome you and another artilce. Also have an amazing rest of your day and game on~!

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Rant #009: 10 things that I dislike about games. (Part 1/2)

not-sure-if-trolling-or-just-bad-game-designIt has been quite some time since I ranted right? It’s time to change that actually. I have started writing this article multiple times. This was a very difficult article to write. Since I always changed my opinion mid-way. But now that I gave it some thoughts the last few days, I finally came up with 10 things that irritate me in the world of games. Be warned, since this is a rant, this list is highly personal. Feel free to leave a comment with your opinion and or your hated things in games. Without further ado, let’s get started. 

#10: Unable to map buttons – AZERTY?

I put these two together since they are problems with the mapping of buttons. I live in Belgium. It annoys me when a game shows me an “Q” when I mapped the button to “A”. There are still a few countries that use AZERTY. But I get really pissed when it’s a big company that has offices in the EU.

There are games I refused to play since I couldn’t remap the keys. I’m very strict about these things. I have a set of keys I always use for playing games. And since the button lay-out is different for each game, I want to be able to change it.

Oh, and a neat thing is when you can add more then one button. But if that isn’t present, that’s fine. The way to change keys is the most important to me.

#9: Tutorials

I don’t need to repeat myself I think. Read one of my previous rants about this by clicking on the image.

programming-tutorial-fi

#8: Invisible walls

So, you want to know what happens if you jump off that cliff? Oh, wait. You will never know since the game designers just placed an invisible wall there.

In some cases, I can understand invisible walls. They can be used to make the world feel bigger then it is. This can help people having a bigger immersion in the game.

Yet, there are games that use this to give the illusion that you are able to explore a vast open world.

But in Pokémon, it got a whole other level of annoying. There are people that stop you from going somewhere. For lord’s sake. Let me experience that I shouldn’t go there. Just don’t force me into a linear way of playing when you set-up a world you can explore.

How to fix this issue? Just put a cliff or something among those lines to avoid killing the immersion.

 #7: Connect to social networks

Farmville nopeThis mostly annoys me in mobile games. Yes, I do play mobile games. I have to admit as well that I played and enjoyed Candy Crush. But when it got updated to the version you needed to log-in with Facebook, the game lost all charm for me.

All these games that require a social network to be played, is just silly. The game relies on how many people accept your requests. The fun is in spamming your friends with requests and invites.

You found a nice item? Well, you can’t open it, a friend needs to do it for you. I understand the idea behind it, but it’s just lame when it’s the main focus of the game.

Thank lords that Facebook introduced a feature where you can block apps. I nearly block every Facebook game. Yes, some got my interest but the fact that you need to connect your wall with it, is just … lame.

Look, you can fix this easily. Make a new social network for these games. Like an online arcade hall. This way you can play to your heart’s content. You can post things on your wall there. It’s meant for that. Other social networks, most of all Facebook, aren’t meant for achievements in social games. Don’t forget that some bosses of companies look at your Facebook profile before you can have the job. Wouldn’t it be a shame if you lost your chance on a job?

#6: Grinding, sometimes

Bravely-Default-CharactersOkay, let me say one thing here. Grinding is the worst thing in games. I understand the idea behind it, that you need to work hard to achieve something, like in real life. But here is the thing, your game progress comes to a crawling halt. Since you do the same thing over and over again.

Now, in games like Minecraft, I don’t mind grinding. I mean here, when you want to grind for XP, you can look for a spawner and set up a farm. So yeah, there are tricks and such that cut down on your grinding time.

When the grinding is fun, I don’t mind it. Yet, I’m very strict in it. I nearly stopped playing Bravely Default because of the grinding. I don’t want to be stopped by a level cap. It feels a too cheap way of making the game longer.

End of part 1.

To avoid that this article gets too long, I cut this article in two parts. I hope you enjoyed reading the first part. I’ll publish part 2 as the next article. I hope to release it as soon as possible.

I’m not done yet with this subject, so keep your eye on part 2.

Rant #007: First Impression: The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures (PC/Steam) ~ Major Letdown.

AVGNAdventures_Header

Steam Store link

As a big fan of online video of gaming like AVGN, I was really looking forward to a game of him. When I pre-ordered it on Steam, I tried to not hype myself up. This way I could go in with an open mind as possible. And when I saw that one of the YouTubers I follow posted a screenshot on his Facebook fan page, I knew the game released earlier then it was planned. And man, that’s maybe what the letdown of this game is. Maybe I don’t get the humor that hold up this game but this game has various flaws that really break the game for me and make it a whole let less fun. I’m even doubting if this is a game, rather then an ode to James Rolfe. With the game next to me, I’m going to do the article in a sort of “First Impression” style. But list it under rants. Let me as a Neko Nerd rant about this will ya?

Overload of AVGN.

steamworkshop_webupload_previewfile_136246834_preview

I wouldn’t be surprised that many people will disagree with me and like this game. But hey, let me remind you that opinions differ. I might hate a game you like. But let me know in the comments what your thoughts are on this article and the game. The first issue that I have with the game is the terrible scripting.

If this is a game to honor the work of James Rolfe, I think they made a serious design flaw. But it was a difficult thing to do. Do you make a terrible game like the one James always reviews? Or do you make a great game with terrible games in it? They went for the last option but clearly, the execution is more leaning to the first.

I get that James is sucked into a shitty game but that doesn’t excuse the  overuse of bad words that public television has to censor. Each one-liner is in this game. And without the voice of James Rolfe to give it character, the annoyance factor kicks in fast.

The first issue is already present at the option screen. This option screen is terrible to work with. Also, this game doesn’t offer any setting to customize your keyboard settings. And the lay-out is laughable. It’s a shame to admit that I have an AZERTY keyboard and I promise you, the lay-out of the keys makes the game even harder then it’s already now.  In addition to that, I have something nitpicky. “Clear Save DataX”. What in the name of game design is that “X” doing there? And why are the stats on that same page? -Sigh- This is going to be harsh.

Unpleasant feelings

AVGNAdventures_MushroomKingdom

It didn’t take long or I finished the tutorial level. One thing I have to give this game credit for is the fact that this game is really good with it’s source material. But like I mentioned before, they gone way to much overboard.

Graphically, the immersion in the game isn’t really working. While this game gives off a 8/16 bit vibe, the exploding enemies and various other animations are more modern. Also, many things are changed as a reference towards a review of James.

This game is extremely difficult. I love myself some challenge, and I often play a platformer but this game just isn’t my slice of cake. You barely have any room to move around or carefully plan your strategy. Everything goes way to fast. And the instant death blocks are just a pain in the ——! There are way to many of them.

There is something I like though is the music. The is extremely well done. I love the soundtrack to this game and in some levels I even want to rip it from the game and put it in my music library. And the sound effects and all that are pretty great too.

But then I go back to the other stuff. While the controls are pretty responsive, the pause menu is a bit frustrating. When you open the menu, you can continue with the same button you opened it. But when you want to exit the level, you need to go to the option for it and press the action button instead of that menu opening key.

Dirty game

steamworkshop_webupload_previewfile_136246834_preview (1)Be warned! There is a nudity level in this game. And it’s shamelessly using the games James reviewed in that one Atari episode. Playing it just made me feel unpleasant. Like the level design. It’s great yet way to full of enemies. Not clear which one you can kill and which ones you can’t.

And I sometimes was even able to kill an enemy and later in the same level, it couldn’t be killed. Like the bubbles. Well, that brings me to a major level design flaw in this game. This might maybe be just me but remember what I said about overdoing it? Well, the levels are named after some popular reviews of AVGN. That’s great. Just, you see more Mario type things suddenly appearing in a CastleVania level? What happened here? A game cross over?

Another plus is that the game doesn’t go back to the desktop when I clicked here on my browser to continue writing the review. I’m so glad they added that feature.

Also, I’m disappointed in the fact that everything is a platform level. At least, every 10 levels I played. There are also other characters but I have yet to unlock them. And I haven’t used the power-ups since I barely find them. Maybe that’s because I’m playing on a certain difficulty. At least there is level selection and check points so that makes my pain a bit less hard to bear.

In conclusion I can say this. This game is a mediocre game. It’s not worth the current price. Nearly 15 bucks is a bit too high. The game isn’t that good quality for that. A price like 7,5 would be way better. This game needs some polishing. Like adjustable controls and a revision of the level design. Is a worth a play? Yes, it’s not terrible, I’m enjoying it but even with the low expectations, I’m disappointing. I feel that they could have done a lot more then what is in the game. It feels lacking in terms of content. Since it’s only platforming. Also, the high difficulty might be a turn off to some. But I’m sure that the nudity level is one of the biggest turn offs! There is nothing wrong with nudity but a whole level and presented like that is just overboard.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this little rant of mine. I’ll do my best to finish and beat this game so I can fully review it. But this game’ll not be beaten soon since I have a minor disliking for it like shown. But I’m starting to add to something I finished. Jonez out.