It’s week five of Steam A to Z and, as this is an article which isn’t related to Fallout 4 in any way at all, I welcome the three people actually reading this! You know, a more unscrupulous journalist would scatter mentions of Fallout 4 throughout this article just to boost its prospects for those all-important clicks. Thankfully I have more scruples than you could shake a Radroach at, so that certainly won’t be happening. (Radroaches, of course, being one of the many weird and wonderful critters appearing in Bethesda’s Fallout 4.)
Obviously, this has been a deliberate joke on the ridiculous notion of commenting on an unrelated popular game in order to cynically boost an article’s visibility. I am sorry to those genuinely aggrieved, and hope that this explanation of the (admittedly laboured and paper-thin) satire can placate you. I certainly wouldn’t want us to…
A 2D MOBA with a cartoony graphics style, responsive controls, and an 80’s anthem style title song?! If I was any good at this game whatsoever, I’d love the living hell out of it.
Unfortunately, this is one of the many, many cases in which I’m too much of a casual scrub to really enjoy myself. I don’t know what it is about MOBAs, but I really am quite dreadful at them. I think it might be down to the way they’re supposed to be played, which is completely at odds with how I generally like to go about my digital wanderings.
I want to be spearheading a ceaseless frontier, mowing through those in front of me, leaving naught but devastation in my wake. What I don’t want to be doing is running up, getting a shot off on someone, and then immediately retreating like a schoolkid who just pinned a “Kick me!” post-it note to the headteacher’s back.
But hey, that’s just me.
Rating: Fantastic for MOBA fans and those who possess even a shred of competency / 10
Back to the Future: The Game
Remember when everyone was talking about Back to the Future? How great and relevant wouldn’t it have been to release this impression of the game version then? Yeah, well, whatever. I don’t care about views. Fallout 4.
The game Telltale made before the massive success of The Walking Dead, Back to the Future: The Game is a joyous romp through various whens of Hill Valley.
There’s an interesting plot, fantastic characters (new faces and recognizable ones alike), and a smorgasbord of references to the original trilogy to keep fans happy. Even the puzzles, which always risk becoming annoyingly obtuse in this style of item-use adventure game, are intuitive and satisfying to work out.
What you also get are the same engine issues that have plagued Telltale’s games before and since, with character animations looking jerky and dialogue being out of sync with lip movements. But, if you’re a fan of the franchise, or of Telltale, there really is no reason not to give this a go.
Rating: 1.21 GIGAWATTS LOOK I DID THE REFERENCE ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?! / 10
The Banner Saga
Yet another KickStarter success story, there’s a particular entrancing quality about The Banner Saga that I’m not quite able to put my finger on.
Perhaps it’s the aesthetic; the subtle animations, the magnificent landscapes that scroll across the screen as your caravan travels from one location to the next, and the wonderfully detailed Norse character design.
Perhaps it’s the narrative; the short narrated snippets giving us insight into the current state of the world, the brief moments of dialogue between playable characters that allow us to get a clear picture of their motives and their relationships with one another, and the map with snippets of lore for each and every minutiae of the land and seas.
Perhaps it’s the gameplay; the leveling system which rewards you with ‘Renown’ from killing monsters and making important decisions alike, the grid-based style of combat in which character positioning is crucial, and the way those characters have skill sets perfectly designed to complement one another when used right.
Honestly, it’s actually a combination of all of those three things. But just saying that outright wouldn’t be anywhere near grandiose enough, you understand.
Rating: Not a Bummer Saga! Oh God that was awful… / 10
The Basement Collection
The Basement Collection is a series of pre-Super Meat Boy works by Ed McMillen and Team Meat. It’s currently £2.99 on Steam, and that will get you a surprising amount of content. There’s seven games, a collection of soundtracks, five items that are unlocked upon beating some of the games, and a shed-load of accompanying commentaries and concept art.
You may not spend an awful lot of time with this because, as is to be expected, some of these prototypes are a little rough around the edges. Nonetheless, this is a great look into the output of one of the most interesting indie studios and is well worth a go for anyone on PC.
Rating: Meat Boy with keyboard controls… Never again… /10