Mini-reviews #2: The Walking Dead Season 1& 2, Retro City Rampage DX and Flockers

Telltale’s The Walking Dead Season 1 & 2 (Xbox One):

I didn’t write about my experience with Season 1 so I will put both of them together. My first exposure to Telltale’s style of more recent games with Game of Thrones and I’ve enjoyed that a lot, going back to The Walking Dead I can really see where the style came from and how it evolved between the two seasons and then on to Game of Thrones.

The more important thing I guess is the story here and despite not knowing much about the series whether through comic books, TV shows or anything else I really like how its done, the story moves on quickly and the pacing is excellent. It’s important to have something interesting happen every episode to make people want to play the next one much like in a TV series but with such bite sized chunks of content its impressive how well they manage to do that.

My least favourite episode was the 500 Days one from the end of Season 1 which was used to bridge the gap as it felt unfocused but both seasons are great and well worth playing, I enjoy the choices you have to make and then seeing the consequences for those choices as you move forwards, with all the different options at the end of Season 2 I’m not sure where they will take it really but it ends on a great cliffhanger.

Once again though, they run terribly, the second season is worse than the first (somehow) with big pauses where it seems to stutter but you don’t miss any of the scenes, it’s really bizarre and quite infuriating just how terribly it performs.

Outside of that though it’s really good and I like the series a lot, I feel that although the scenes are very contained and quite limited in what you can do it’s not a problem but it keeps them action focused and with links between scenes and you can generally tell when something is brought up from a choice you made earlier in the game.

I don’t often feel like I do when I play Game of Thrones with my choices though, The Walking Dead always has a sense of making you feel like you’ve made the right choice where Game of Thrones feels like everything you do is always wrong but thats not a criticism so much as just the different ways in which the worlds are themselves.

Steverulez Recommendation: Must play, The Walking Dead fan or not.

Developer/Publisher: TellTale Games – Platforms: Xbox One (Played), Xbox 360, PC, Playstation 4, Playstation 3, PSVita, iOS, Android

Retro City Rampage DX (PC)

This was not a game I enjoyed really at all. It’s an 8-bit retro inspired open-world game set in an easter egg filled world full of various video games and pop culture references but I felt that was about all it was good at.

I knew what to expect when I went in to playing it, its style wasn’t a surprise to me, I’ve played Shovel Knight recently which is a similar era game and I loved that but where I felt that was an incredibly tightly designed game that translated well to the player, I just felt this seemed a fairly mundane experience, it controls terribly, the game is awkward and uninteresting to me and it was a shame to me that I did not enjoy it more.

I found it almost entirely unplayable with a keyboard and mouse and plugged in my controller almost immediately and whilst that made it better it still felt pretty bad to control, even with lock-in for shooting or using the right stick instead didn’t make it better, it’s just something I didn’t really get on with.

It’s a shame I did not enjoy Retro City Rampage really, I was hoping I would but I just didn’t feel there was much more to it than pop culture references, it was kind of fun driving along roads and running people over but that’s something I like doing in games like GTA, Saints Row, Sleeping Dogs and other open-world games of its kind and not necessarily it even does right on its own unfortunately.

Steverulez Recommendation: Give it a miss, better games out there.

Developer/Publisher: Vblank Entertainment – Platforms: PC (Played), Xbox 360, Playstation 4, Playstation 3, PSVita, Wii, 3DS – Price: $9.99/£6.99

Flockers (Xbox One)

I bought Flockers for £5 in the christmas sale, I played the first level, decided I hated it and then didn’t touch it for 5 months which was quite unfair really. When I finally picked it back up I really enjoyed it, it’s a 2D strategy simulation where you need to get sheep from A to B which sounds easier than it actually is particularly in the latter levels.

The level design is really good, it has a decent curve of difficulty, gives the players multiple options for how they can complete a level and you don’t need to save every sheep, only as many as they say you do which will allow for some unfortunate casualties on the way. You are aided in your quest to get the sheep home safely by tools such as blocks in which you can stack sheep, bombs to blow them up (which can trigger things or send other sheep flying), super powers to give sheep superhero qualities and combining these aspects with the layout of the levels was quite enjoyable and I regret being so harsh on it now in the beginning as I really did quite like it.

With its smart level design there are many hazards along the way which will kill your sheep if you aren’t careful, I often used the pause and fast forward buttons to help me along the way which was good because im quite a novice at the game really, to master it would take a lot of impressive patience that wasn’t for me unfortunately but I did enjoy the experience all the same.

That will teach me to judge a game by its tutorial.

Steverulez Recommendation: Enjoyable and a challenge, worth playing.

Developer/Publisher: Team17 – Platforms: Xbox One, PC, Playstation 4 – Price: $24.99/£19.99