Saturday, February 11, 2017

Monthly Free Games (Feb 2017)

Best of the month BY FAR.
Sony's policy of "Firstish Tuesday Of The Month" is the main reason for the MFG list to be out on the 11th this month, although hilariously enough, just like last month, I have the same fucking cold that's been going around. Anyway, get Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime and poke at the rest.

Ninja Senki DX (PS4/Vita)

Your "fake NES game" indie of the month. Nothing exciting at all. Jump platforms shoot enemies die as a result of sloppy ass wall jumping mechanics.

Starwhal (PS4/PS3)

OK, this game is fucking weird. It's a sort of jousting game where you control neon narwhals. The control physics make no sense and are not explained. How damage is dealt and calculated also makes no sense and is also not explained. I have never longed for six or seven "how to play" slides more in my life. I'm not deleting it just because it's so confounding. And is mainly multiplayer.

Not A Hero (PS4)

This is your pixel art action game of the month. It's basically if Elevator Action and John Wick had a baby. It's... OK? I mean, I see what they were going for and I think they were mostly successful at it, but their particular blend of sliding, shooting, and 2-D cover mechanics didn't really sing for me. You may be different, though.

Torquel (PS4/Vita)

This is your pixel art platform puzzler for the month. It's a clever conceit. You're a dude in a cube. You can roll around in the cube. And you can "extend" each of the four cube faces to propel you in the opposite direction theat cube face is pointing, assuming it's pointing at something you can push off of. The problem is, the controller face buttons aren't mapped to a direction, they're mapped to the colors of the sides of the cube that rotates. So in order to succeed, your brain has to track which of the four cube faces is pointing the opposite way you want to go, remember which button that face is mapped to, and press it. While engaging in deadly platforming challenges. Clever, but too much for my old brain.

Little Big Planet 3 (PS4)

Little Big Planet 3 is a lot like Little Big Planet and Little Big Planet 2. It's either a platformer with delusions of grandeur, clogged up with online and create-a-level bullshit and wanky whimsy, OR it's an elaborate development tool you can devote a ton of time to, a Minecraft-esque world-builder you can, with a lot of time and effort, make do amazing things the creators never intended. I want to find these things admirable and appealing, but I don't. Which may well be a failing on my part, but I like my platsorming to be platforming and my game that also makes other games in the hands of fourteen year olds where it belongs.

Anna: Extended Edition (PS3)

This is one of those games that just poured out of Japan in the latter days. Slow paced light horror/sppoky mystery starring a young girl.  This one takes the form of a first-person adventure game of the "use X on Y" variety. Collect items, try to use every item on every interactible object, until you can proceed. It's that kind of ugly we all thought was pretty six years ago.

Lovers In A Dangerous Spacetie (XBox One)

Indie games tend to follow a pattern. They take an existing game style, and then graft onto it one or more of the following - a unique art style, a rococo game mechanic, and a story. And EACH of these has the potential to be annoying.

Lovers In A Dangerous Spacetime manages to include a gorgeous art style, a wildly original game mechanic, and a minimal story onto what is essentially a flying Metroidvania and NONOE OF IT IS ANNOYING. Now, it's possible that the mechanic, where you and either a real or AI-ordered companion run around to various stations on a giant spherical ship to make it move and shoot and orient the shield, might fail once I get past the tutorial level, but for now, they seem to be pacing the game appropriately to the somewhat indirect control scheme. And it looks fucking gorgeous.

Killer Instinct Season 2 Ultra Edition (XBox One)

This one expires in four day, and I would recommend grabbing it, because if it weren't compeltely fucking unplayable, it'd be my favorite fighting game of all time. I had the same problem with Season 1 when it was free. See, Killer Instinct is a glorious mess. Character designs so 90's and so ridiculous they pass self-parody into a whole weird area. Shouting announcers, explosions, total ridiculousness. It's just that there's zero gameplay. Half the time you don't even know what your button mashing is doing. About 10% of the time I was convinced the computer had taken over my cyborg dinosaur. But it's worth grabbing for free just to enjoy the insane aesthetic and the free original arcade KI2 that is much the same only 90's ugly.

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