Cantrip Games Journal – Week 5

School is finally out for me. With all this extra free time I was able to play more games, and for longer periods. Mostly this meant a return to competitive multiplayer online games from Blizzard. I also got around to playing some games on my back log that I’ve been eyeing for awhile.

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Games played: Ocarina of Time, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, and Consortium

Ocarina of Time

Finally getting around to playing the classic. I never had a Nintendo 64 growing up, but my friends did. I would borrow their copy of the OOT strategy guide and read it over and over. This game fascinated me back in 1998, but for some reason it took 20 years for me to play it.

 

Currently I’m enjoying it, but wishing I could have played it then. In some cases it feels very ahead of its time. There is a great variety of gameplay, and cool ideas. I really love the dungeons. But it’s also a product of its time. Large scale 3D worlds were new to gaming, and OoT is exploring those possibilities in ways that we’ve now realized are frustrating.

 

Overwatch & Heroes of the Storm

My friends and I returned to these blizzard multiplayer titles because both were featuring some cool events. Overwatch was having its anniversary event, accompanied by new character skins and other such nonsense. Heroes of the Storm was having another skin based event, but this one was based on Lucha Libre, and therefore much more interesting to me.

 

The experience of coming back to each of these games after an extended break was very polarizing. Overwatch I fell off quick because I felt it was shallow and over designed. On retiring, I still feel the same way. New maps were interesting for a little bit, but didn’t do much for me in the long run. What I enjoyed most are the new support characters, Moira and Brigitte. Supports in Overwatch were limited on release. These two new characters add more aggressive and complicated gameplay to the support role that I dig. Unfortunately, they alone were not enough to get me hooked again.

 

Heroes of the Storm has always been my preferred MOBA. It has a faster pace, streamlined characters, and higher focus on teamplay. I was nervous of being rusty on return, but when I played my old favorite characters, I found myself getting back into the groove.

 

There isn’t as much new content to me, just a handful of new characters, no new maps or game modes. Only one of the new characters was free this week, Deckard Cain. Fortunately, he was the one I was most excited about.  He was even more fun to play than I expected. His potion tossing mechanic adds an element of spatiality to your heals. While you can toss them directly on your allies, that isn’t ideal. It’s best to lay out lots of potions before a fight, somewhere they will pick them up that isn’t too far out of the way. Playing with him on your team makes the healer no-long invisible, tracking his potions locations adds another layer to your gameplay. The rest of his moves focus on crowd control, making his contribution to team fights more than a heal bot. Overall, big fan of Deckard. One of my favorite characters they’ve added to the game.

Consortium

For two years this one has been sitting in my steam library, and the back of my head. I knew it was a weird one. Consortium is an immersive sim taking place entirely in a single, small location. The game has a weird frame story where your quantum leaping into an unknown person somewhere in the future. The game begins, you don’t know who you are, where you are, or what’s going on. You soon realize that you are a special agent on a high-tech airplane. Stuff happens. The trick is to learn as much about the world and situation, while also dealing with things. NPCs talk to you like you know what’s going on. Responding weirdly will make the suspicious of you.

 

I’ve only played a little bit, but so far, it’s fascinating. I’ve heard that it’s a short game, and encourages multiple play throughs. On this first run I’m just acting as weird as possible to test the NPCs and reactions. I want to figure out as much as possible and go for a ‘cleaner’ run the second time.

 

I would like to do a more in-depth post for this game in the future.

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