Tuesday, June 29, 2021



I played Katamari Damacy for the PS2 many years ago, and liked it so much I tried to play all sequels/ports there were. Probably pirated copies, but it might have been one of the first games with whom I followed my “If you finish a pirate game, you buy it”

Just recently I found out there was a remastered version on the PS4, and thanks to the Summer sales it was fairly cheap. So, taken by nostalgia, I bought/finished it

It is still Japanese videogaming at its best/worst: Insanely original, but also bizarre. The basic gameplay works fine, although I could think of a number of potential improvements to controls. However, knowing how Japanese approach their designs, they probably tried them all and failed. I still feel the handling of the Katamari a bit cumbersome - specially the fixed camera - but let´s admit it´s a difficult concept to make it work in the first place, so I´m willing to think they did their best and I should just enjoy the final result

The story is absolutely pointless, and the art direction flashy, colorful and inconsistent. And that´s probably what they were trying to do in the first place. It is enjoyable, it is creative and you should love it or leave it. I chose loving it

Wednesday, June 23, 2021



I kinda remember the 1993 Syndicate as a “not my cup of tea” game. Not sure what was the issue: Maybe the controls, unclear objetives… I don´t recall. Anyway, years later the IP was in EA's hands, who decided to revive it as a FPS. Maybe it didn´t resonate on me when it was launched in 2012 because of my lack of interest on the original, or simply because it wasn´t successful

Anyway, years later I got a copy and – since I am trying to finish up all PS3 games before Sony discontinues the console – thought I could give it a try. Overall it´s a solid game. There is nothing fundamentally bad on it, just nothing truly memorable. But certainly enjoyable if you get your hands on it under full prize

On the bright side, the weapons design is very solid. All guns feel powerful and helpful in most situations. The “breaching” abilities are not amazing but they do the trick to offer some variation on the basic gameplay. Enemies are not particularly clever, but they do move a bit looking for better positions enough as to perceive that developers put some work on them. Visually speaking is very decent, probably above most other PS3 titles

On the dark side, like I said there is nothing remarkable in the game. A pity, I am a big fan of “Bladerunner´s style” stories whenever available. Maybe because of that I tend to dislike bright and clean cyberpunk (Mirror´s edge / CDR Cyberpunk) because they don´t communicate to me the feeling of a rotten society, or suffering proletariat. The story is not bad, just predictible, and the Hollywood talent don´t hurt but also won´t sell me the game by themselves

There is a fair number of glitches – I almost had to restart the game from the beginning if it weren´t for the online automatic saves, I couldn´t experience the coop mode (the servers are completely abandoned), and there is a number of weird decisions that detract from the final enjoyment: Loading times, so-so metagame, and a cuestionable choice imho over which elements to include in the normal HUD and which on the DART mode (bullet time)

Anyway, it´s still a decent shooter that should please fans of the genre or SF aficionados. Otherwise it won´t change your life

Sunday, June 13, 2021


Donut County was one of my wishlist games. That means I´m not so interested on it as to buy it full price, but if at any point it´s on sale I´ll consider it. I found it very cheap recently on PS4 and I thought to give it a try

It currently holds 75-79 in metacritics depending on the platform. That makes you think it´s a good game but not memorable. I believe I know why: There is practically no challenge. Even if you try, the worst thing that´ll happen is not progressing. The game will wait patiently until you find the next step. This is against the classic design approach of punishing players so they appreciate better the triumph of overcoming the challenge

Donut County plays in another league: There are no difficulty levels, the main mechanic – a sort of reverse Katamari Damacy – don´t feature a timer, and you can almost go through most levels just moving the cursor randomly. As such, you can finish it in 2-3 hours and becomes an easy platinum. I am not convinced that´s such a bad thing. Some gamers don´t want any trace of hardcore challenge at all, and appreciate relaxed experiences without rubbing on their faces how bad they are

The story is cute but shallow, much as its visuals, and there are little options for replayability. All in all it´s a good indie game for those on the opposite spectrum of From Software (Souls series). Won´t change your life, but it´s honest in offering a new mechanic, wrap the game around it but don´t drag the game beyond of that mechanic´s limits