I had planned to be playing a lot of games this Christmas, and I have, but while I had thought I'd manage to make some progress in games I had started, but not finished, I have instead only played games I have added to my collection. In addition to getting Donkey Kong Returns for Christmas, I have bought four games from Steam (to a total prize of 14 dollars) and three from the Wii shop channel (total prize of 28 euros). I have already reviewed Braid, I have finished Sonic 4 episode 1 and I haven't started on Phantasy Star II. Here are my first impressions on the rest:
Donkey Kong Country Returns:
(I think this level may have traumatized my sister)
I've finished the third world on this one and while it doesn't have quite the magic that DKC 2 had to me, I'm still enjoying it, and playing it co-op is pretty fun too. A few levels are a bit bland, and I don't like levels such as the one with the tidal wave, because they make me stop and wait, even though it is just for a couple of seconds. However, the levels that should be good are good. Rail carts are as fun as ever, and ploughing through stages with Rambi is nice. The level with the flying barrel was also a blast.
(This game speaks to the physisist in me)
When it comes to gameplay, the difficulty of the puzzles haven't been very challenging so far, but it is nice enough, and it seems like it is about to pick up some momentum (I recently finished the first level where I was shot at). So far, it is the setting and story that I like the most, particularly GLaDOS, who is creepily hilarius to listen to as her malfunction is getting more and more serious.
(So far, I have three of those in my party)
Now, this is a very old RPG (1988), and in some ways it shows (like how it can't display more than one enemy at a time). Some useful things like the menu screen explaining what a spell does and how much mana it uses is not displayed. The world is a bit strange. It takes place on a planet system with three planets, and is obviously futuristic, but you still use a sword, and the guards in stormtrooper-esque outfits have axes. In the random encounters you battle your usual RPG monters. I was a bit surprised when the first enemy wasn't a green slime, but they did appear later on. One thing I really like about Phantasy Star so far is that the enemies' health is shown inn HP. It isn't just a bar like in many RPGs, and its HP is not unknown the first time you encounter them. I find this helpful, but other than that, the combat has problems such as that you can't decide which enemy to attack and there are few other options than just attacking, so the strategy aspect is lacking.
The Witcher (Enhanced edition):
I've played it for about an hour and a half, and it has not been that interesting so far, neither the story nor the gameplay. The first cut-scene was great, but I have barely scratched the top of the iceberg on the story and gameplay, so I'll come back to it.
Super Meat Boy:
Finished world one a couple of minutes ago (according to Steam, I have played it for 27 minutes so far). I like the simple introduction scene which kinda parodies the stories of usual platform games. The gameplay is great. The controls were a bit hard to handle to begin with, but I got used to them pretty quickly, and I'm looking forwards to playing more and try to beat the time required to score A+ on some of the levels I've already finished. All in all, it feels a lot like a game you could have played for free on kongregate (in the simple design, the feel of the controls and that you instantly respawn when you die), but if it had been, it would definitely have been one of the best.
Nice looking choices. I have considered checking out the Witcher one of these days, I'll just have to see what kind of game it is before I make that decision.
Portal isn't very hard because its puzzles are logical! Unlike most puzzle games. If you're trying to do things quickly, though...
Portal is great, but it's I haven't finished it yet. I just got The Witcher off of Steam. It's DLing as I write this. I've been wanting to get it ever since I "pre-ordered" the Witcher 2 on Gog.com.