Try It Tuesday An Unknown Tale From My Steam Library: Broken Age

I’m glad I finally tried out this totally charming game.  It begins with the typical maidens about to be sacrificed to the Monster to save the village.

Everyone in Vella’s family is thrilled for her to be among the chosen for sacrifice, except for Grandpa.  He wants villagers to be the warriors they once were, and to defeat Mog Chothra.

The local maidens chosen to vie for the attention of Mog Chothra are absolutely not interested in Vella’s suggestions that they use objects at hand to defeat the monster.   Vella seems to be the only one who keeps thinking of ways to escape to the last.

They want to be chosen, even after they see others snatched and slurped into the monster’s huge mouth.

Vella, clever and brave to the last, figures out a way to escape.

From dutiful daughter to heroine riding through the sky…

She finds a new place to continue her adventures that isn’t the belly of a beast.

I love how casual Vella is about everything.   She’s a welcome heroine.   The cartoon style is simple but pretty.   Movement is point and click.   Reasonable puzzles for my non-logical brain.

Try It Tuesday An Unknown Tale From My Steam Library: The Witcher Enhanced Edition

I haven’t played a game in ages with such a long set of cut scene intros to the story.   It was interesting, but unexpected.

I’m still in the introductory area that shows here’s how you move, here’s how you fight.   The battles take place in what looks like an impenetrable castle.

Soon enough, bandits over run the gate and are somehow in the upper reaches of the castle as well.   My character, Geralt, seems to have (oh noooes) lost his memory of who he is, and how to fight.  The poor man had a devil of a time picking up a rusty sword right off the bat. 

I chose Keyboard and Mouse because it’s what I’m used to.   Combat is pretty annoying.  It seems as if you’re mostly supposed to wait for the sword icon that indicates you’re fighting a person to turn into a flaming sword.   It does so at intervals.  Then you click.  I’m used to jamming on my keys, though so the message “too fast” was pretty constant.

As part of your combat, you chose to fight a certain way with agile or heavy hitting combatants.  It doesn’t seem to me they’re waiting for any flaming sword thing, they just whack whack.

I could not see their health bars, or if they’re there, didn’t recognize them, so had no idea if they were going to go down any time soon or not.

Which led me to the longest fight in video game history.  (Mine, anyway).

This wizard guy starts out in his bubble.

You can’t touch him with your flaming sword, but you can push him over and stun him briefly with a magic ability called Aard.    After getting nowhere, I kill off his dozey henchmen, who aren’t fighting, they’re kind of dangling in air.

Poof, down with the bubble.   I think he’s a dead man now.  Pffft.

So, forever and ever I whack at him, and push him down, and he just pops up and teleports to another spot in the circle. 

I looked up the fight and lo, I’m supposed to use the Heavy Hitter technique on him.  I was thinking he was agile because he was all over the place. Down, at last.

The bad guys get what they came for and teleport handily away.

I level up, though, and can pick a tiny bit of talents.

I like the Witcher crew, and I’m sure we’ll be going after the bad guys.   I really need to work on having patience with the combat though.

Try It Tuesday An Unknown Tale From My Steam Library: Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell

I wanted some variety to these Try Its, and what could be more different from what I usually play than this?  It’s a highly regarded stealth game, and it was on sale.  That’s how things get in your Steam Library.

I played after getting my 110s to Eastpoint Station in Tiragarde Sound,  (Wow) so I was tired trying this out.  That’s my excuse.

It begins with a training course to see if your spy skills are as good as they used to be.  Poor Sam.  He’s a complete fool now.  Because I’m him.

The first section is jumping up walls, climbing ladders and climbing along poles.  Easy enough.

Then came a Split Jump.  The idea of it reminded me of many Tomb Raider walls where you had to  successfully leap back and forth between two walls while moving upward.  Never my specialty.

Unbelievably, I got it on the first try.

Next, you practice sneaking skills.   You creep up on a guy in the dark, then grab him and “interrogate him”.    I couldn’t remember how they said to drop him once he gave me the door code, so I squeaked it out of him a few times.  One the plus side, I could sure remember the code when I finally got to the door.

Sometimes, sneaking, grabbing and interrogating isn’t enough.  You might also want to maneuver your prey over to a retinal scanner and stick his head up against it, voila, opening another door.

No heads available? No codes? No problem!  You’ve suddenly got a Lock Pick.  A huge Lock Pick.

I don’t do well with lock picks on a timer as they are in ESO, but this for one I could just delicately use the arrow keys to move the bits.

When a game tells you to shoot out the lights to evade the camera, and you keep peeking around the corner trying to shoot out the camera, what to do, what to do?

Finally, I go, oh, doh, the lights.  Not good enough!  Because there’s one right above my head I’m not seeing.   So for a few tries, it’s busted, busted, try again.

I missed the screenshot on the next bit, where I must take out the guard, then hide his body in a dark spot.  Then another guard comes by and I have to be very quiet, he gives up, then I go pop him and toss him on top of the other guy.  Spies need all these skills, I’m sure.

The last room, but probably not the last training room in the facility, was an audio one.  There is a big thump thump heartbeat sound, and swinging microphones.  Your job is to quietly cross the room.  There’s all metal and noisy wood flooring except for a spot of carpet in the center of the room, a jump down from where you are.   I did try a running jump to the carpet.  No.   I’ll have to come back to the rest of the course.

There are a lot of commands to remember.  A lot of moves.  I can do it here, in the training facility, but you know in the open world where I’m facing a bad guy with a gun or big muscles, I’ll be all screamy and flailing my hands and it’ll be all dead dead Sam.  Sorry guy.

Try It Tuesday An Unknown Tale From My Steam Library: Dear Esther

I’ve picked out four games from my Steam Library to finally play a bit.  I’ll play them–though not all the way through–just to get an idea of this game I purchased, and to try something new.

I’ve read lots of reviews of Dear Esther.  It sounded intriguing, good story, interesting gameplay.

Technical Issues

I tried it first on my gaming laptop.  No sound, not even ambient.

Not wanting to spoil the game for myself, as I hadn’t read about it in any detail… I also thought something must be wrong because I couldn’t find any keyboard key that let me interact with objects.  Why are you putting in books and pamphlets I can’t read for clues, I thought?

My brief perusal of a game review let me know there should be sound.  A narrator speaking!  I moved to playing on my main gaming pc and it was fine, sound, music, and the narrative voice.

It turns out there is no way to interact or jump or do anything to really explore the environment.  You have to go along the path set out for you, even though, early on here to be sure, there appear at times to be more than one path.

This led me to scrawl a note to myself:  Is exploration actually exploration when you can’t choose a path?  Or is visiting an all new place enough?

The diary entries pop up at intervals.  I’m not certain if these are meant to show you you’re going the right way, or if they just appear every so often to draw you along in the story.

 I took a path that I thought would get me to the intriguing working lighthouse with it’s blinking red light.  All it did was take me away from the lighthouse, so it seems.   There’s a small cave that has a circular path through it.

Speaking of Clues.  This has a Myst like feel to it for me, so I’m noting anything that might be a clue in my ever handy notebook old school style, as I did back in the heyday of Adventure games.   I drew out this formula which appears in a shack and again in a cave.  Must be a clue, right?  Is there a Island of Dr. Moreau aspect to all this?

There’s also a picture in the cave.  Random cave scrawling or does it have deep deep meaning?

 Coming out of the cave, I start heading up a new path towards the Lighthouse.  The narrator makes me think maybe I should turn around and try to get to the half sunken trawler behind me.   I had tried moving along the shoreline on the old lighthouse side of the river (?) but the screen went black and there were these drowning noises so I backed up.   Maybe things would be better on the side of the shoreline.

 Ha!  glug glug.  Black screen. Then bounced back to just outside the cave looking just in this direction.   Worse yet, I’m stuck.  Cannot move in any direction.   That is a thing that can happen in old adventure games.  You do what you shouldn’t, go where you shouldn’t. Stuck.

It appears that you have four chapters in the game and it only saves when you’ve finished one.  If I didn’t make it past their save point, no harm no foul, I haven’t gone far at all and can start again, much the wiser.  Stay out of the water!