A game designer raised on a diet of Studio Ghibli films and point-and-click adventures. I also contribute to You Have Been Playing.

Review RSS Feed Dear Esther
9 Review

Game Review on Jul 29th, 2012 - 1 person agrees 2 people don't

I can't recommend this to everyone, and it's not without flaw, but this is quite easily the best written and most narratively innovative game I've ever played.

You guys took a significant risk by doing something so different, and as such there are a few small flaws, such as parts where I wasn't sure whether falling down a hole would kill me or not, but that doesn't detract from the fact that this is a wonderful, wonderful experience.

Thank you.

Cry of Fear
7 Review

Game Review on Jul 26th, 2012 - 2 people agree 2 people don't

From a technical stand point, this is extremely impressive. In its finest moments, the graphics, sound design, and cinematic qualities to this mod are the best I can imagine goldSRC is capable of, and far greater than I would have believed prior to playing this.

However, as an experience, Cry of Fear is just okay, or perhaps above average, at least when compared to AAA horror titles. I really enjoyed it for the most part, but it's clear that the development was spread out over quite a long period of time; the levels don't have the same level of polish (structurally and narratively) as each other, and some genuinely feel a little cobbled together.

There are some moments of absolute brilliance in this mod, but I'd call them intermittent. Many of the puzzles require an irritating amount of backtracking and/or abstract thinking, and I often found myself wondering whether or not they were really adding very much to the level.

I was also rather disappointed with many of the boss battles. Regardless of your opinion on boss battles as a test of what you learned in that level, or simply a means to emphasise a situation and plot point, the bosses in Cry of Fear aren't great: With dramatically varying levels of plot-relevance and intelligence of design, many of them just felt like a token inclusion, although admittedly the better designed ones felt like narratively and thematically appropriate challenges to end a level with, and in reflection of this I applaud the developers for achieving in part something that many AAA titles do not.

Not to belittle their obvious talent, but do I feel the developers somewhat overestimated what they could achieve. I could easily forgive Cry of Fear for being shorter and more focused experientially, but what we have here is a game slightly soured by inconsistency: The weaker moments will stick in your mind almost as prominently as the brilliant ones, and you'll leave the game with just a twinge of dissatisfaction because of it.

Project Black Sun
3 Review

Game Review on Mar 18th, 2012 - 2 people agree 2 people don't

The graphics on this are great, as is the soundtrack and the overall idea for the project.

However this isn't a "Nintendo hard" game, it's just poorly designed. Unlike in say, Castlevania, where everything in the game is built around the clunkiness of your character and their attacks, this is just lazily put together in many ways. Being unable to move and reload, or jump and shoot are huge problems, and in general the game just feels really unfair. Most of these control limitations would be fine, if not for the fact that one of the game's most basic enemies (the bat) can just move through walls and own you. Pretty much every enemy in the game is faster than you too.

This could've been really great, but it just isn't.
Maybe this developer will get it right next time though, because the only thing really ruining this game is lousy controls and movement.

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