The Surge: A Walk in the Park Screenshots

The Surge was an enjoyable game, though some of the endgame enemies started to feel like cheap roadblocks, and there were also a small handful of bugs that really got under my skin (including enemies respawning in the third area when you exit the game and come back later, which still hasn’t been fixed). Its expansion, A Walk in the Park, on the other hand, alleviates almost all of its most glaring problems while peppering in just enough humor and personality to outshine the base game. Read more →

The Surge – A Walk in the Park: Progress Log #3 [END]

[Click here to start from the first progress log]

As it turns out, I was farther into A Walk in the Park than I had thought and managed to finish it off fairly quickly. Not that it’s obvious when it ends; since the expansion is incorporated into the base game, the story can’t have a Throne of Bhaal-type conclusion, instead ending after its second boss fight when things are only slightly less bad than they were at the beginning. Then you’re given a map to the Executive Forum, which I took as a hint that it was time to go back to the base game. Still, the fact that I found myself more interested in running around looking for things that I missed speaks to how solid A Walk in the Park is despite one or two minor issues. Read more →

The Surge – A Walk in the Park: Progress Log #2

[Click here to start from the first progress log]

The extra implant slots all of my grinding unlocked are already making a difference, as I was able to slot in something that restores 20% of my total health whenever I kill an enemy with a finisher. I’m also using an implant that increases drone damage, which complements an implant that increases the amount of energy gained after successful attacks. That way, one or two strikes are enough to get a damaging drone shot in, which is proving handy against highly armored enemies who aren’t easily staggered. And speaking of staggering, I crafted some new arm equipment with the net gain of 1% faster attacks and 15% more impact. That comes at the cost of some defense, but Warren dies quickly enough that the difference is imperceptible. Read more →

The Surge – A Walk in the Park: Progress Log #1

The Surge seemed to delight in throwing the player into a bunch of dark, claustrophobic hallways and vents, so setting the expansion in what appears to be a sunny theme park gone horribly awry comes across as a bit of a strange decision. That’s what appealed to me about it, though, because I’m all about the strange decisions; A Walk in the Park doesn’t appear to go as far as, say, Far Cry 3 did with its Blood Dragon expansion, but fighting a bunch of malfunctioning theme park mascots who happen to shoot lasers out of their eyes is simply a brilliant bit of subversion unlike anything else in the Soulsy genre, and it’ll be interesting to see whether it commits to such weirdness or settles back into its old vent habits. Read more →

Fire Emblem – Radiant Dawn: Progress Log #41 [END]

[Click here to start from the first progress log]

Endgame-5 is the final endgame chapter (and thus the end of the game), so this is going to be an especially long one full of pictures and videos. Also, I totally forgot to give Micaiah that Matrona staff that she built up her staff proficiency to use. It was inevitable that something like that would happen. Still, everyone managed to survive the entire game despite that bit of mindless stupidity, and the post-credits stats were much more in line with what I expected than those at the end of Path of Radiance. Read more →

SOMA Review

Frictional Games makes some incredibly well-received games, and yet these have been entirely inaccessible to someone like me because of their focus on helplessness. Not having the option to karate chop or minigun my way through monsters just isn’t an experience I’ve ever been able to appreciate. Even in real life, knowing that going crazy and setting everything on fire is always an available option is a strangely comforting thing (though less so to others). When SOMA originally came out in 2015, then, I had no choice but to weather everyone’s talk about this brilliant game that remained out of my reach because of its genre. That is, until now—SOMA’s Xbox One release includes an optional “Safe Mode” that renders you immune to monster attacks, and this mode has been patched into the PC version and will eventually also find its way to the PS4 version. Safe Mode changes the game in subtle ways, causing many of the game’s monsters to ignore your presence until you go out of your way to antagonize them, though a few enemies toward the middle of the game are strangely aggressive regardless. Of course, SOMA is still a thoroughly creepy experience that retains its general atmosphere of there being something horrible just around the next corner, so it’s worth mentioning that this isn’t a “make the game accessible for those who detest scary games” mode. Instead, it’s more akin to a “speed up gameplay by eliminating the need to slowly creep around monsters” mode. Even for gamers like me who avoid most horror-type games, though, SOMA delves into various consciousness and identity issues that you’re not likely to experience in any other game out there, and is well worth fighting through for that reason. Read more →

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