My tram-tastic experiment continues. Last time I built up Tramtown into a small city, and had begun the process of bringing everyone together with trams. My plans at the end of the last session were to build a large new residential area on the north bank of the river, to construct a second tram bridge and tram lines to allow people to travel around the whole city with only trams, and to ban cars from all commercial and industrial zones. Step one is establishing the new residential area.
Can you build a city that runs almost entirely on trams? That's the question I plan to answer with my latest Cities: Skylines production, inventively named 'Tramtown'. Tempted by a recent sale, I bought the Snowfall DLC - mainly for the trams. Unfortunately the snow part of the DLC comes as a new environment type to choose when making a new city, meaning that you must choose between snow forever or snow never - I chose no snow. There are a few snow specific mechanics like snow ploughs, but honestly the DLC seems a bit overpriced for what it offers. During a sale though, it felt reasonable given how much entertainment I've got out of the game overall... and I really did want those trams.
Hyper Light Drifter is an excellent game that I've enjoyed a great deal. The combat is challenging but satisfying, the secrets are fun to discover and figure out, and from the environment to the creatures the artwork is simply incredible. You need to like pixel art of course, but my favourite part of the game has been exploring and admiring the vistas you encounter. Apart from the central home city area, there are four other regions, with themes like snowy mountain and aquatic city - I've thoroughly enjoyed getting to know three of them - the fourth I haven't visited.
The Silent Hill games have been of interest to me for a while, but I never got around to playing any of them, until recently. I decided to start with the earliest game I could for the PC, which was the Silent Hill 2 Director's Edition. Quite a few people have hailed it as among the best examples of horror in video games, so I had high expectations on that front - though I was aware that certain age related factors (specifically graphics and controls) might stand out more for me playing the game now about 14 years after the original release, and I think 12 years after the Director's Cut edition.
I got Hotline Miami 2 on a sale recently after hearing about a release date for the beta version of the level editor. I enjoyed the first game a lot, but didn't feel an urgent need to buy the second one when it came out. It's quite an intense game, and I honestly wasn't sure if I'd want to play more than was in the original - but the prospect of creating my own levels just to experiment with the game mechanics was appealing. The sequel offers some entertaining variety and a conclusion to the story, but it still almost overstayed its welcome for me.
I recently finished my first playthrough of Undertale, which has been well received as a game with traditional JRPG stylings on the surface, but a few notable twists in the formula. Finishing Undertale made me think of The Talos Principle, which was an excellent puzzle game that - like Undertale - had consequences to my actions that I wasn't expecting. If you haven't played them yet and want to, there are probably going to be a spoilers below - for Undertale it won't be so much with the plot, but with gameplay mechanics. For The Talos Principle it'll be the other way round, with plot spoilers but nothing on the mechanics.
It seems that every time I get round to doing another post about Cities: Skylines, they've released a new patch or expansion. This time it was the After Dark DLC, which I haven't bought... yet... but we'll see a big visual difference in this AAR anyway thanks to the devs very generously including the day/night cycle in the free patch accompanying the game, very wisely helping to not split the player base and the modders between those who own the DLC and those who don't. Last time covered the slow start of my city - the concept being a big focus on public transport, and having all the main industrial and commercial areas in one big urban space, while everyone lives in smaller towns and villages spread across the rest of the map.
The basics of Beast Boxing Turbo are fairly easy to sum up. Z and X let you jab left or right, you use the left and right arrow keys to move or modify your jabs into hooks, the up key modifies your attacks into powerful uppercuts, and holding the down key blocks. Punching or being hit costs energy - without energy you don't do worthwhile damage, and you move slower. If you can get multiple hits on the enemy without running out of energy or being hit yourself, you'll build up a power bar which leads to you being 'on fire' where your strikes do full damage. Keep on punching the opponent until they run out of health, and you'll win the round. Best of three wins the match. Pretty simple, right?
I enjoyed the demo of Spintires a lot, a long time ago - so I was excited when the full game was released. I was less excited to find myself, seemingly regardless of which map I tried, starting in a garage miles from anywhere and surrounded by dirt tracks so churned up that they might as well have been swamp. In the basic truck you get to start with, I simply could not make it out to civilization. This was on casual mode, so I just gave up. Failure wasn't the issue so much as the fact that I couldn't even get to stable enough ground to explore a bit. Getting stuck on the way to a logging camp or awkwardly trying to manoeuvre through forested hills is all part of the fun, but that oppressive (and seemingly impassable to my unskilled driving) mass of mud and dirt outside the starting garages? Not entertaining. Luckily, I found myself yesterday browsing mods for the game for some reason, and came across something that just might do the job.
I've been dipping in and out of a few games recently, and I was going to write a bit about each of them. However, in the end I realized that I had plenty to say about the two above, but could sum up my experiences with the others in one sentence for the most part. Killing Floor 2 free weekend: fun enough but basically felt the same as the original. Won't be buying. Close Combat - Gateway to Caen: interesting, but I need to play more than a brief scenario and one campaign battle to get a feel for it. Company of Heroes 2: still excellent - the newly added British faction seems decent, but having not bought it I've only seen them in AI skirmishes so have no idea how they play. Regency Solitaire: it's a really nicely made solitaire game (actually I think I might want to write more about this one at some point). Now we go onwards to Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Star Wars: Republic Commando.
What's All this then?
I like making and writing about PC games - mostly strategy games. Expect after action reports, thoughts about design and gameplay, and maybe even a few prototypes.