I realized the other morning that, over the last couple of weeks or so, I’ve dipped my hairy, Hobbit toes into several videogames that I’ve not yet brought up here on Grinding Down, and by that I mean I’ve played a half hour to an hour‘s amount of these games. Not really long enough to go too in-depth with my zany and oddly driven thoughts, but I want to still share some things with y’all nonetheless. Otherwise, given that I’ll be traveling and away for some upcoming comic conventions over the next several weeks, these could be lost to the void forever if I never return to them. And so, a new monthly feature has been born–the Half-hour Hitbox!
This is a game for my Windows 8 phone that I downloaded the day it released, because it was then free. I think it is a dollar or two now. Anyways, it’s a pretty straightforward turn-based RPG, with story and exploration completely stripped away. You control a small group of three characters and move from one combat to another. You can do things like tap a character to gain a better defense bonus when an enemy attacks though I have found it not consistently responsive. The cartoony look is very appealing and detailed, but otherwise it doesn’t stand out as anything I need to play right away. Battleloot Adventure might make for a good time-killer here and there, and nothing more.
Bit.Trip Presents Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien
The first Bit.Trip Runner was equal parts mesmorizing and frustrating. I eventually did beat the Odyssey level, but when I returned to the game recently, my progress was not saved (thanks, Steam!), so to continue on I’d have to reconquer the toughest level in World 1. Er, no thanks. Good thing Runner 2 came out when it did, and it has graciously made things easier. Not easy, just easier, with some checkpoints throughout the levels. The music is still amazing, and the level designs fun. I’ve gotten to the second world now, which is based around pirate ships and stuff. I love that you can have the main runner guy “dance” at any time, as well as using the cannon at the end of a perfect run for bonus points. A lot of fun, and I do plan to get back into this one real soon.
Crackdown was recently given out to Xbox 360 players for free as part of their “Game with Gold” thing, which is their attempt to race along PlayStation Plus. It’s nowhere near close to beating Sony’s program, but whatever–more free games for me to play or not play at all. I also have Assassin’s Creed II and Dead Rising II downloaded, but untouched. A new one drops in two days. Gulp. If there is one thing I really like about Crackdown so far, it’s that you are dropped into its open world nearly immediately, with freedom to go and do whatever you want. Which is mostly cause chaos and collect agility orbs. I’ve done both of those, but not much else so far.
Defense of the Ancients 2
Hmm, I started the tutorial–which you have to get through before you can actually begin playing real games of DOTA 2–but the tutorial is broken up into like 12 different parts because evidently it is a very complicated game, with a lot going on at one time. I did the first tutorial level, and that took like 35 minutes itself. Nothing in this hooked me, and I think I’d rather stick with Torchlight 2, even though it is not a MOBA, it has the same look and feel.
This is a strange open-world game. You can go off and practice your karaoke skills. Or you can hack security systems and arrest drug-dealers. Or you can hone your hand-to-hand martial art skills. You can also eat food and earn Face and smash bad guys’ faces horrifically into things like dumpsters or car windows. You play an undercover cop, so you dip your toes into multiple storylines, some seedier than others. I like the focus on melee combat in Sleeping Dogs over guns, but I’m not very far into things story-wise.
UNO and Friends
Another free game for my Windows 8 phone! I love UNO. The XBLA version was probably one of the first arcade games I got all the Achievements in and regularly played afterwards. This is a free-to-play version of UNO, so there are some annoying things like only being allowed to play so many matches based on how many bronze tokens you have, as well as the constant in-your-face ads to spend real money, but otherwise it works fine and is great fun. Tara loves watching me play UNO and gets really into it, too.
And I’m sure I’m missing a title or two here from my August gaming times. I play a lot of games, sometimes some for longer than others. We’ll see which ones pop up in the next edition of Half-hour Hitbox!
The Half-hour Hitbox is a new monthly feature for Grinding Down, covering a handful of videogames that I’ve only gotten to play for less than an hour so far. My hopes in doing this is to remind myself that I played a wee bit of these games at one time or another, and I should hop back into them, if I liked that first bite.