I haven't posted in a while, so I'm afraid this might get a little bloated. Rogue Legacy
A while ago, I put this on my "desert island" list. The shine's worn off a little, but I still think it's a great game, despite it's weaknesses. The basic premise is that you explore a randomly-generated, monster-and-spike filled castle, ultimately trying to kill four bosses, and then kill a final boss. Death is permanent, and the dungeon is regenerated every time you die, but bosses stay dead, and you collect gold, which you can use to permanently upgrade your characters on future runs. It works extremely well, in terms of pacing, and the controls are incredibly smooth. Some reviewers on GOG accuse it of requiring "grinding," but
1) "Grinding" means exploring the castle, collecting gold and runes, and, you know, playing the game. It's hardly JRPG-style walking back and forth in front of a town for hours.
2) He utilizes glitches which have since been patched, but come on, look at this crazy person beat the game in under twenty minutes.
You grind as much as your skill level requires.
Unfortunately, its weaknesses become apparent the more you play. Low enemy variety, including the bosses, is a killer. The idea of randomly generating heroes to choose from falls down somewhat; the idea is that you'd adjust your play-style for each character, but gold is scarce, at least early on, and with different characters requiring different upgrade paths, I got myself locked into a situation where playing as mage characters was basically an instant death sentence (and with mana restoration being such a rare event, I'm not convinced that the base class is particularly viable no matter what you do.) And since enemies grow in power without limit as you beat the game again and again, whereas you have limited upgrades, it's less re-playable then I initially thought.
Also, on the damn Vita, it kept trying to connect to the PSN when I didn't have access to wireless, even after I told
the stupid thing that I didn't care about cross-saving, and the game would pause while it did that. Argh.
I got a good twenty to thirty hours out of it, and give it a thumbs up, but it's crying out for a major, Wrath of the Lamb-style expansion. Guacamelee!
Vita owners never did get the "super special edition that has important balancing changes but we're not going to patch the game or anything, just buy it again, will you, there's totally enough new stuff to justify buying the same game twice" version of this game. Not that I'm bitter about the way they handled that or anything (I am totally bitter about the way they handled that).
I thought the combat was frustrating and dull. I mostly liked the platforming parts, although there were places where it seemed like I was supposed to have three hands to input the right button combinations. The badguys were a lot of fun. The writing was pretty good.
Verdict: it was OK Flying Hamster
It's some stupid little sidescrolling shooter thing. I'm not sure why I bought it; I guess it was fine? Disillusions Manga Horror
I bought this knowing nothing about it, except that it was apparently a horror game and cost a dollar, and why not?
Everything about this game is completely, hilariously incompetent, but it n a way I found frankly kind of endearing. It tried hard, bless its soul. Sam and Max Hit the Road
Oh, an old PC game on a site dedicated to old PC games. Fancy that.
It was good. Not laugh-out-loud funny, but consistently amusing. Endearing characters, and (this is the important one) puzzles that almost always made sense (for an adventure-game value of "sense"). When I did get stuck, the hint book was super well-designed, nudging me to the solution without just telling it to me. Some modern adventure games have a built-in hint system to serve the same purpose, I think.
(On the other hand--PUZZLE SPOILER--rings aren't actually magnetic, right? Why would you wear a magnetic ring?)
My main complain was that I thought it had pacing problems. The way I played, at least, I spent the entire game getting and solving everything, without any clear reason for any of it, and then you get to the end of the game, and it was "Oh, I already have the four items I need, I guess that's that, then." I think the totem poles would have been better introduced earlier in the game to provide a little better structure.
I'm currently playing Grim Fandango. In terms of puzzles and controls, Hit the Road is clearly a better game. In terms of writing, although I found Hit the Road amusing enough, it's a massacre in the other direction.
Recommended to adventure game fans if you haven't played it already, certainly. Probably a good jumping-in place for non-adventure game fans as well, due to its relatively accessible puzzles.