All strategy games are puzzle games at their core. Even if the former are more mechanically complex, you’re still always faced with a specific problem and have to figure out the best solution to overcome it. So it makes sense that both genres would eventually be combined in an explicit way. Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes is hardly the first game to combine blatant puzzles with an overarching strategy, but it takes a very clever approach to the issue. This is a strategy game through and through, but on a very small scale, that’s only possible because the puzzle mechanics replace the large scale elements of most strategy games.
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Games might not be sentient, but their creators can imbue them with distinct personalities. Vanquish, helmed by the eccentric Shinji Mikami (the man behind innovative and bizarre games such as Resident Evil, Resident Evil 4, God Hand, and Killer7) is a playful trickster that dances back and forth over the line of parody and self-seriousness. To play it is to witness a game in conversation with its contemporaries in the third-person shooter genre. Vanquish’s campy story matches its outrageous visual style and hyper-kinetic gameplay, while also poking fun at the solemn plots of its contemporaries. Alongside all this irreverence is a game earnestly committed to learning from the advances made by previous games while also offering innovations that push the shooter genre forward. Vanquish relishes its absurdity, even as it flaunts its serious accomplishments.
Chapter 1 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 2 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 3 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 4 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 5 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 6 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 7 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 8 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 9 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 10 of Rage Quit is available in .pdf format here.
“Randal, you need to come up here right now,” PB said, without even a hello.
“What’s wrong?” Randal asked. He’d been in Markos’s cubicle and had run across the room to answer when Philip had pointed out to him that it was his phone ringing.
“Everything’s going to hell up here.”
One of the common complaints about L.A.Noire is the sense that players have of the title being more an example of interactive fiction than of it being a game. Certainly there is something to this observation, as despite having some tactical shooting elements (especially in its secondary missions), most of L.A. Noire‘s gameplay boils down to activities that do not require successful mastery of the game’s mechanics. Both the actions of searching for clues and interrogating suspects do not really have a fail state. If you do not turn up all of the clues in a case or if you fail to properly deduce whether you should trust a suspect’s response, doubt it, or accuse that person of lying, you will still ultimately resolve any given case that Cole Phelps is investigating.
Again, certainly your performance will be evaluated by the close of the case (which speaks a bit to a more game-like quality to the overall experience, as “following the rules” results in being acknowledged as a “better detective”), nevertheless, success, like justice (in the game’s world apparently), is inevitable. You can get through the entire story (barring the initial tutorial interrogation, which does require correct answers to move forward) by being the least competent detective in the world. The story will unfold, as it were, despite you.
I should establish right up front that it’s not that I don’t seriously value Wikipedia. Quite the contrary.
Those that do not—I suspect—are mostly people not old enough (or perhaps not trivia-loving enough) to remember back when gathering info on the most picayune of subjects involved a race to see if you could get to the library card-file drawers before the mice did. At least, you hoped it was mice.
If you didn’t actually feel like playing “name that mystery stain” that day, and you wanted more than the most cursory People profile on your latest pop-cult obsession, you had to go inquire of a person whose body language totally blared “I just got out of the convent, and what do you want?!” in giant neon letters. Then, of course, it turned out—once the first computerized catalogues sputtered into greenish pixilated life—that the convent had not offered IS courses.
Trust me, kiddies, it was awful.