Tag Archives: maze

One Leaves wants you to know it’s not too late to quit smoking

I’m not a smoker, but I did try a cigarette in high school–thanks, peer pressure!–and found it to be a terrible experience. I immediately began coughing uncontrollably, doubled over, and have never smoked another cig since. Sure, I’ve had some pot and cigars at various points in my life, but those are much different beasts to me, and I’m not addicted to them so many years later.

One Leaves‘ entire narrative is wrapped around quitting smoking, how smoking is bad for your health, and how badly it affects the body. I agree; don’t do it. There’s also elements of tobacco-related death in the game, with a theme that uses statistics to relay the fact that the few who start smoking rarely ever give up. I’ll credit the game for this because it is an important message that any smoker should hear. Alas, it’s difficult to take the game’s message very seriously at all due to how it plays and treats the player.

One Leaves starts out by placing you in a cage. Here, you’ll see three other characters in cages of their own. Each of you has a door to enter, which is locked until an audio message tells you that only one of you will escape. Hence, the game’s title. The moment the door opens, you’re free to patrol the game’s confined environments at your own pace though I guess the point is to move face and with urgency. You’ll immediately see a locked gate that has some power cables running from it. The goal is to follow each cable until you meet its puzzle; solve said puzzle, and move on to the next one until you reach the final area, which is a randomized maze to navigate.

There’s no shortage of framerate issues to contend with, as well as regular crashing and kicks to the Xbox One’s dashboard, which, for a free game isn’t the worst thing ever, but it also isn’t great either. Visually, One Leaves is ugly, complete with poor lighting, bland textures, and a lackluster presentation. The game’s audio work is also subpar.

Alas, I didn’t make it through the final maze quick enough, and so I’m stuck in One Leaves‘ smoky purgatory until another contestant tries to make an escape. Until then, I guess I’ll just hold my breath.

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2019 Game Review Haiku, #38 – One Leaves

Smoking is bad, duh
Escape the maze, run don’t cough
Addiction is death

And we’re back with these little haikus of mine. Go on, gobble ’em up. However, if you want to read more of my in-depth thoughts about these games that I’m beating, just search for them by name on Grinding Down. As always, enjoy my videogamey take on Japanese poetry, even if they aren’t instant classics, such as the works of Matsuo Basho, Yosa Buson, or Kobayashi Issa. Hey, not everyone gets to be that great.

Paul’s Preeminent PlayStation Plus Purge – The Last Guy

I finally gave up on The Walking Dead with the latest season. I was so disappointed in how they ended up handling Rick’s “last” episode, and I just felt like the show was treading water and repeating many of the same scenarios, such as stumbling upon a new group of people that need saving but might not be completely trustworthy. Oh well, it had a good run, and I absolutely love the first season to the point that I’ve re-watched it several times. I also gave up caring about Telltale’s The Walking Dead adventure series after its second season. Again, oh well. Anyways, The Last Guy is about zombies, specifically avoiding ’em, which hopefully explains all the fluff before this sentence.

In The Last Guy, Earth has been struck by a mysterious purple beam of light, and everyone touched by it has turned into a giant zombie. Sucks for them. However, you are the chosen one, and it is up to you to rescue the last survivors on the planet by leading them to safety through zombie-infested streets. With a classic arcade style overhead view, you’ll have to make your way through detailed real-world cities and use your heat vision to find people hiding in buildings. Once collected, you’ll take them to the Escape Zone before time runs out.

The Last Guy is played from a top-down perspective of a city that has been overrun by giant zombie-esque monsters. Also, when I say top-down, I mean it…we’re up high, as high as a bird or a plane, so everything is teeny tiny below. As the titular last guy, you can dash, manipulate the line of people following behind you, and use thermal imaging to find survivors hiding inside of buildings. There are over 12 playable locations, including cities from North America, Europe, and Asia, and what’s really neat is that The Last Guy uses high-resolution satellite imagery from Google Earth to render these map. Each city also features a leaderboard for overall score and counters that record the number of people rescued. There are four VIPs in each city to find, which, when rescued, add bonus points to the final score and unlock additional bonus stages; however, I only played the first three levels and never found anyone, so I stink.

The Last Guy seems perfectly fine, but it didn’t hook me hard. Sure, it feels good to dump a ton of people into the Escape Zone, but then you just go back out and do it over and over again until time runs out. The zombies don’t seem too hard to avoid early on, and there are several power-ups on the map to help with your stamina or even warping you around. Getting three stars at each location definitely looks like a challenge, but it’s not one I’m going to go after. When it comes to zombies and zombie-related crises, nowadays, I’m all about keeping my distance.

Oh look, another reoccurring feature for Grinding Down. At least this one has both a purpose and an end goal–to rid myself of my digital collection of PlayStation Plus “freebies” as I look to discontinue the service soon. I got my PlayStation 3 back in January 2013 and have since been downloading just about every game offered up to me monthly thanks to the service’s subscription, but let’s be honest. Many of these games aren’t great, and the PlayStation 3 is long past its time in the limelight for stronger choices. So I’m gonna play ’em, uninstall ’em. Join me on this grand endeavor.