Since the last Editorial Miscellany, I have completed Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy, managed to not play another second of Stick of Truth, played more of Tomb Raider, and tried Legend of Dragoon for the first time. Thus dictates the direction of my article this week. Oh. Right. I also tried the Ouya for the first time, so how about we start with that?
So… I Played The Ouya
Yeah, no. It actually comes so close. The interface is great, and it is so exciting to be able to try absolutely any game and that the developers have the freedom to choose both the direction of the demo and the manner in which the user can pay for the game. During my time with the console, I tried out a fun game and the owner of the system decided to buy it. This was possible from within the game itself and it asked the user to pay what he thought the game was worth, starting at a minimum of 99 cents. It felt like a direct and honest exchange between user and developer.
The quality of the games was not the major problem that so many like to claim it is. A rating system, coupled with the aforementioned ability to try the game coupled with fair pricing made it a good place to collect a range of worthy titles without getting duped into buying garbage. The relatively cheap price of the console with only these points make the Ouya actually sound pretty appealing.
Unfortunately, the console itself does not work well enough to make any of this worth it in my eyes. The controllers are wireless, but they might as well not have been because of how close I had to sit to the console to get the best responsiveness, and even then, most twitch-based games became virtually unplayable. I tried an incredibly interesting variation of Tetris with my girlfriend and while the concept was awesome, I was reminded of Mario Kart 8, a game with incredible design made irrelevant by the blue shell. It did not matter how well the game was designed because our inputs were not registered fast enough, sometimes even lagging for a second before catching up. Why play a game I could not properly play?
Towerfall admittedly worked much better and provided a fun four player experience, but my girlfriend and I discussed afterward how we still noticed a lack of polish in responsiveness that the big consoles provide. If anything, playing the Ouya was a pretty good advertisement for Towerfal: Ascension which I immediately purchased on my PS4 when I got home.
With better execution, the Ouya could actually be a big hit, providing a nice supplement to the traditional options. As it stands, I will pass with no regrets.
Impulse Purchase Paying Off!
So the PS4 costs 50 bucks more in Canada now. What the crap is up with that? I might have no games to play on the console, but at least I bought it at its original price. I also bought an extra controller just before the unexpected price hike, so that was also good timing. But man, if I want to play 4-player Towerfall I will have to drop 130 bucks on controllers now? Fuck that shiz.
I Guess I Have A FEW Games To Play
I tried a little more of Tomb Raider last night and while I still get annoyed at its obsession with melodrama (psst! Developers! It is possible to set-up extremely dramatic scenarios without the characters being one-tone. It is true! The Last of Us has been out for a while and can be studied! It is an excellent resource, use it!), the gameplay is actually turning out to be intriguing. Plus, it is the best-looking PS3.5 game I have seen yet, so I think I will continue to use it to tide me over until Infamous: Second Son is released in… wait… TWO DAYS?!?!
Infamous Had Better Be Fun
Yes, the cutscenes look like they have far better direction than before and perhaps even possess some of the subtlety missing from the first two games (I use “subtlety” relatively), but I still worry that Sucker Punch got too caught up with their concept and the PS4’s power and forgot to make the game fun. The first two Infamous games were such pleasant surprises because of the pure joy they provided from a gameplay perspective, and that is the reason I am excited for Second Son, not its attempt to feebly tackle the whole using-mutants-to-make-a-point-about-racism thing that is worth pursuing if handled expertly, but forgive me for not trusting Sucker Punch to have the nuance, perspective, and writing chops to handle such loaded concepts. Please let the game be fun.
Layton Is A Champion
I am very sad to see Layton go as a character, but his send-off was excellent from a character perspective even if I was a little disappointed that the direction of gameplay strayed away from its usual focus on an over-arcing mystery. The game hints heavily at who the star will be of the series going forward and I have to admit that its possibilities are certainly intriguing.
Look at that, I did not even get to Legend of Dragoon! I suppose I should play more before I speak at length about it anyway, but the jist is that I feel that the music must have soured a lot of people on the game without them even realizing it. For now, it is time for me to graciously rid you of my presence. See ya!