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My Thoughts On: Homeworld Remastered

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Homeworld Remastered is a remake of two classic and very popular games, Homeworld 1 and 2. It's a real-time strategy space game that is basically the best one to this date with no game to overcome it, in most peoples eyes.

This is going to be a thoughts on the game, my thoughts, as a person who never played the originals, and a friend who did play them and now playing the remake. Also, neither that friend or I have finished the game, just to note.

Both of us thought that the graphics are, for how old this game is, compared to the classics, it's beautifully remade.The ship models are a lot more pleasing and awesome, same with the background (space), and the UI is adjustable which is neat, but for me that UI could have been better.

The story, for my friend has always been great, and to me it is just great. The presentation is fantastic, which include the story, the cut scenes, and the battles, all of which are awesome and emphasizes that space is scary and there's a lot of powerful forces out there, showing that to you directly opposing your power.

The only complaint so far for the game is that me and my friend thought that moving the camera around can be a pain, not hard, just annoying, and most of the other issues for the game are coming from the fact this is a remastered game, of an old game, that didn't get a makeup of modern technicalities and controls that we get in most new games nowadays, which isn't necessarily a negative thing, but it would have been great if it were tweaked to have them.

So overall the game is great, for new players and for the fans, and for the price it has, for two remade games in one, with the mixed multiplayer, it's a great purchase, and a cleaned up superb old/new game/s.

My Thoughts On: Ori and the Blind Forest REVIEW

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Ori and the Blind Forest is a high quality, one time go open world 2D action adventure platformer, set in a fantasy world where the forest of 'Nibel' is dying, and it's up to you, a furry light creature that's part of the forest, to save it.

Starting off with the most obvious, the game's graphics and art style is simply one of the most beautiful visuals I have ever seen, with amazing looking vistas, visual effects, and smooth animations, there wasn't any part of the game that didn't look amazing.

Another pillar that carries a lot of weight is the game's original sound track, going from the main menu music, to exploring and hearing the different tracks for each area, and the intense levels and battles have their own awesome track, the OST is of high block buster level of greatness.

The story and story telling is simply fantastic and impactful, the journey from start to end was entertaining and great, to the point of where one can assume it was made by the talent of Studio Ghibli. Throughout my playthrough of that story and adventure, I shed tears in a few events in the game because of how impactful it was, and that was the first time I ever had tears fall for a game.

The gameplay is smooth as butter, with nice solid controls which combined with solid and challenging platforming, brings amazingly great gameplay in finely designed levels for you to play and progress through. The game is challenging, and it gets more so the more you play through it, with more abilities and perks you will unlock to help but to also preform more of the complex platforming that's required in some areas, so the game is kept fresh throughout til the end.

The problems with the game is that wall jumping isn't as solid as the rest of the platforming goodness, but sufficient enough that you won't notice its issues down the line when it's covered in more gameplay experience and future perks. You can't select what part in time you want to re-play after finishing the game, so if you finish the campaign, and you want to reply some section or restart from the begging with all your progression, you can't, you will have to replay the whole game again and so on.

Ori and the Blind Forest is a work of legends, its innovation is its greatness. It is a combination from the works of recent Rayman games with its fluidity, in fact greater, combined with Studio Ghibli and Disney productions that are of the highest quality. It's as if all the combined powers and talents of those amazing studios were put into the creation of a game, and you get Ori and the Blind Forest, and I'd say the people behind this game are one of the most talented and imaginative minds of this generation, they have created a game worthy of being in a history book of awesome game legends, if there ever was a book like that. We now have a new studio that can compete with those top tier studios, in a form of producing amazing games, and this one is the first game of hopefully many others to come.

KSalue Certification Badge, For Earning The Right To Be Amazing

My Thoughts On: Parallax REVIEW

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Parallax is a fun and creative first-person puzzle game where you have to tackle not one, but two overlapping worlds, trying to solve each level's complex puzzle/s, in a timely fun, mind scratching, and "wait, what?" manner.

The game has a simple graphic style that's customizable if you don't like the black and white, with extremely slick and smooth, not filled with unnecessary flashiness, main menu and UI, which I really appreciate considering most games have slow responding menu and UI.

The controls are simple with normal movements and a mouse click interaction. The soundtrack is neat and fitting with how the game looks, and just overall the game has a slick smooth gameplay experience with a lot of creative puzzles that look really cool and is actually fun to play around in. I couldn't find the Vodka though.

There isn't a story or anything in the game, unless it's hidden and I couldn't find it, it's just a straight out fun puzzle game with a handful of them to finish, and I had fun solving all the puzzles, confusing at times of course, but with how the levels were designed, making me think with dimensional portals, I had a fun time solving them. For the asking price and for the creative fun content you'll play around with, it's definitely worth the purchase and playthrough.

Also, I'm hoping that the developers would think of adding a level editor and Steam workshop for community created levels, if the game sells well, and if that's the case, then buy two copies, because if it has a level editor and new levels coming in, the value of the game doubles in my eyes, so let's hope it sells well to merit a level editor.

My Thoughts On: Cities Skylines REVIEW

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Cities Skylines is said to be a "modern take on the classic city simulation" and after playing around for many hours, it is on that path and it's the best we have of a new modern city building simulator, and it's the best we will probably have for a while.
This is, to an extent, the city building game we've been waiting for, at least the best one we're going to get that's is satisfying, not buggy, not overly restricting, but one that's made with care, that's free from tiny shackles, with freedom and space to have creativity built in it, and one that's design nicely, combined with support for community support.
The look of the game is decently great, at least better looking that a rehashed game for the third time, but lowers than a heavily funded one. it's working, compared to other recent city builders, it has minimal bugs, runs smoothly, even hours after playing the game with a lot of structures being built. The restrictions on the game at its peek is minimal, exponentially smaller than a triple-A produced game of recent years, with the ability to remove all restrictions.
The gameplay is slick and smoother, with normal decent controls and a good UI, and an even more detailed view of finer data like the space need to build a structure alongside a road, a better resource and feedback view, and other new elements introduced like noise pollution with elements and tools at hand to counter it. The game uses a nice system of the industry type zoning, with placing them in specific types of land with resources, and then applying the type of work they do with the use of the district painting tool. Certainly a new way of production that I haven't seen before, and it's kind of nice and sort of makes some sense instead of having just one building produce one specific type in mass.
The transportation and traffic controls in the game is real and it packs a punch, as it was created by the same developers who made Cities In Motion 1 & 2, which was mainly focused and is specialized on the transportation systems. So if you don't have a nice road map for you city, you will probably have issues with other cervices doing their jobs and as a result having more issues to deal with, which is great.
The problems with the game consist of the game not teaching you well enough on how the systems work, but you I managed to learn almost everything to make a decently big city on my second playthrough. My first time playing the game was arguably created a horrible city, but my second playthrough was a lot nicer after having all the experience and knowledge I gained from my first go at it, and at this point it's fine tuning with my third time at creating a nice city. Not a problem, more of a nit picky thing, the monuments in the game where mediocre in it's scale and design, as I wasn't overwhelmed by it's looks or scale. Plus, the game doesn't have any sort of flying services, which left me heavily focusing on my structural groundwork immensely more so I don't screw up later on and damage my city.
Overall Cities Skylines is a wonderful city builder that I and many others needed, from the glorious days of the past, to the disappointments of modern times concerning a nice city builder, SC brings joy and hope that we finally get to have in this genre, for the asking price and for what you get and what you will get later on with support for community support, this is a definite good purchase.

Deadbolt Alpha Preview

Deadbolt is a bloody awesome and cool looking 2D pixelated action shooter, made by the creators of Risk of Rain, where you play as a 'modern' grim reaper, with a gun and other weapons you find, opening doors and whatnot, killing the undead.
Let's say it again in a different way, the grim reaper has a new look, with new ways to kill, with advancement over the centuries, like the invention of a doors and guns, grim had to modernize himself and get accustomed to these modern times, so now grim has guns and other weapons to go out and preform his job, killing people, and in terms of this game's setting, as brutally and bloody possible.
The gameplay is fun as it's a mix of the games Gun Point and Hotline Miami, with another mix of Risk Of Rain, where you knock on doors, finding weapons to use that are needed to kill, and tricking enemies so you can stab the hell out of them or blow them up with a shotgun. Did I mention it's hard? Yea it's hard.
The look of the game and its design is really nice, with smooth pixelated animations, and a moody atmosphere even though there is no ambiance or a soundtrack, just interactable sound effects, which I think give the game some charm with the way it looks and the setting it has.
Deadbolt is just a fantastic fun surprise I didn't expect to like, but from the looks to the gameplay, it's a great beginning to an awesome bloody and grim end, and I'm hoping to play it again when everything is done and more features and other technicalities are implemented, because so far the alpha was outstandingly satisfying and great to play.

My Quick Thoughts On: European Ship Simulator, Oli Oli 2, The Deer God

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European Ship Simulator:

An immensely detailed and graphically (ship wise) shiny game, one that plays easily but require fine touches and concentration. it looks great and controls great, progressing in it is nice and checking out the different ships is great and doing their specified missions, although it's a shame you can't fully move around and explore your ship aside from inside the cockpit. Although i was having crash issues, so I haven't played much to fully comprehend how good or bad the game is, but that's my thoughts on it with the little time I had playing it, and an overall look at it. Mixed Recommendation.

The Deer God:

An amazingly charming game and a great looker, but lacks direction, good level and progression design to the point where it made me frustrated and disinterested to continue playing the game, which saddens me, because it really does oozes charm, life and creativity, but even at that it wasn't enough. Not Recommended.

OlliOlli 2:

A fun and challenging skateboarding game that brought me back, to a degree, to my days of when joy was everywhere when every kid I knew were playing a skateboarding game. Looks nice with a handful of different looking colorful themes. Filled with a lot of levels to play with and a lot of challenges to complete. It's a game that's easy to come in to and enjoyable to master. Recommended.

My Thoughts On: Shelter 2 REVIEW

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Shelter 2 is a fine piece of game a that bridges an emotional connection with the player. It's a third person singleplayer survival adventure game, set in a beautiful semi-open world where you play as a mother Lynx that's trying to survive and protect her self along side her children.

The graphics, the art style is arguably beautiful, with a nice mix of different but distinctive textures, viewed in vast open areas, with all the small effects and wiled life going about, and the sound effects from birds chirping to winds flowing to grass and leaves moving, coupled with an amazing soundtrack, it brings the game to life for one to enjoy in.

The semi-open world is fun to play around in, where you have to run in its open fields and find prey to hunt down, giving them to your cubs (baby Lynxes) to eat, and then adventuring to other areas for refreshments. Aside from hunting, eating, and exploring, you also have to occasionally survive the nights, escaping and surviving from the ones who hunt you, the wolves.

The story of the game, and its adventure to the end of it, is amazingly charming and heartwarming, surviving, giving birth, protect and helping your cubs to survive, experiencing loss, and then moving forward, possibly seeing this cycle again with the same amazing impact. It was a lovely story/adventure to see and play through, one that will have different impactful results because of your actions.

The bad things about the game is the mouse controls are weirdly made, where the vertical movement is heavily limited for some reason. The other issue is small but worth mentioning, is that the game doesn't give you a clear idea on what you have to do in its open fields, when you do something that will progress the game at some point, you're not really sure how and why it happened.

Overall Shelter 2 was and is amazingly charming and adorable, I was sucked into its charm in the first 15 minutes, and then continued to be engulfed by it throughout my playthrough, throwing emotional bombs at me. From begging to end, the game was an emotional roller coaster, bringing me from true joy to extreme sadness, almost to tears. Although short, it was a quality experience with incentivised replay value, it's a game worthy of praise.

My Thoughts On: Pneuma: Breath of Life REVIEW

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Pneuma: Breath of Life is a first person narrated puzzle adventure game where you play as god in a way, but is it interesting to play as god in this game? It's a fifty fifty split.

The game is beautiful, there's no doubt about that, with all the great structural designs and the shiny colors painted on it, it's a fitting look for what the game is and the story it's telling, but unfortunately it doesn't bother paying attention to little details in its design for a player to make sense of it, and so because of the lack of detailed quality in its design, you are reminded that you're playing a game rather than being immersed in it, in the experience it's trying to give you.

The story, being god / figuring out what's in the mind of god, is interesting, accompanied with the narration of the person you play as being witty and funny, but it was presented kind of awkwardly and abruptly in the begging, but the ending was amazing and it left an impression on me, but sadly that was the only part that threw me away. It's worth noting though, that the whole game from begging to end, in a sense, is forth wall-breaking, which is kind of nice.

The puzzles are simple and fun, with most of the puzzles rely on your perspective/vision on certain parts of them, and some of them in some way puts you in a nice little ride. They're beautiful when solving it, and when solved. With puzzles, it's different from person to person, but for me, all of them were easy to figure out and solve. To put in up for comparison, it was a lot less difficult that Portal (1 or 2), and less so than The Talos Principle. I'm not seeing it's bad that it's easy, I'm just saying they are, I don't mind it, because I had fun solving them.

Pneuma: Breath of Life is not a bad game, it's a great fun game with good looks and great narration, but it, this will sound cheesy, failed to capture my love for it, with there being little to no charm to it, feeling empty with not much sense of life, and not much fine tuning in quality control to help immersion in its world. I can see how great this game is, but it lacked better execution in all departments, with all of these departments being decent but creative.

For the 'nice' but not 'great' experience I had with the game, with my two hour completion of it, I'd recommend it at half price. I'm kind of sad that my experience with it wasn't amazing, as I could see how amazing it could have been, but I'm hoping the next game, with the same topic of being god and the structure of it, has more of an impact with better execution and more charm.

Handling Big Decisions In Community Funded Games

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How should a developer handle big decisions in community funded games? Is communication with the backers a necessity, or is it irrelevant? What would be the output in both cases? I know the answers in the eyes of a consumer, of a backer, but I wanted to find answers to these questions from the point of view of a developer, but I'm not one at the moment, so I asked a handful of developers in general for an answer to these questions.

The topic arises from a recent event of when a game that was funded by backers on Kickstarter, turned a 180 from their main statement/promise months after being funded, and the promise was to be a complete purchasable game, suddenly broken/changed without warning, that it has been decided to be a free to play game, not because of issues that was forcing them to change it, but because they wanted to "fully support" the game "for many years to come". Reading some of, and skimming most of the backer replies, they were obviously not too happy about this sudden and big change of plans, not because of how good or bad the change is, but because of a statement/promises going 180, and in my eyes their unsettlement was rightfully understandable, but can the same opinion of sort be applied from the other side, from the eyes of a creator/developer? I asked around fifteen developers (13 to reply) for their views on this matter, with general questions relating to this event.

Some of these developers have had a game on Kickstarter before, and others have not, but here are their views on the matter. Four say that survivability is of utmost priority, an obligation to the backers, doing whatever it takes to keep going and make the game a reality, with two of them saying that communication is alongside survivability in terms of priority, the other two are saying that surviving is the only key, with no need for any communication with the backers, or having any hand in the creation of the game, unless promised specifically.

Three developers are along with the side of the backer/consumer in this matter, saying that doing a surprise decision, or breaking a promise and going a full flip on the promise is harsh and shady, and they would never do it. Keeping the promise, keeping communication of uncertain bad events happen.

Three developers would say that communicating with the backers with small and big decisions that would affect the backers in some way is an obligation, prioritizing it first before anything else. Providing a fair discussion on a matter.

Two developers would go with, if a hard sudden and not desirable decision rose, providing satisfying compensations or a refund, with one and presuming the other would communicate it first. One developer would say that backers would have no say in any decisions or the development of the project they have backed, regardless of promises.

This is just a super tiny research on the matter, but from most developers overall, not all, say communicating with backers is a priority in most cases, try to not go back, break, or change promises. Personally I'm glad that's the case, because how I see it, if you promise, you should keep that promise, and if you can't then say it, and say why, apologize, and see if there are other options to take, discussing it with the person/people that you have promised it with, and providing great fair and satisfying compensation or providing a (if it's related to money) refund.

So we have this event as an example (and another one, but let's talk about this one only in this article) and the results are that you have a lot of rightfully upset backers, because of lack of communication and discussion. We also have other events where there were unforeseen issues arise in another community funded project, but they communicated and discussed it with the backers, and complying with reasonable requests, the results were understanding satisfied backers.

Also, not going on about rules, but thought I'd go ahead and read some questions and answers on Kickstarter and saw this

Even Kickstarter, the most popular (of my knowledge) platform to receive community funding from, has the same answer what most backers and developers are saying, and that is the preferred act of communication, honesty, transparency, compensation, and fair compliance.

I may have screwed up in my quick tiny research, or have a somewhat wrong opinion filled with wrong ideas, if you think so then enlighten me on this area and I'll be happy to discuss it, and change my thoughts on it if it's a satisfying argument.

Game Tech Arabia Network


Game Tech Arabia Network