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Archive for the category “Ouya Games”

The Walking Dead: Season Two for Xbox 360, PS3, PS Vita, PC, Ouya, OS X, Android and iOS

Ow, my emotions. For most of its run, I’ve felt the second season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead to be overshadowed by The Wolf Among Us. It’s certainly not as consistent as the first season, with a fairly meandering plot and far less direction than the original, but particularly in the final two episodes everything came together, culminating in scenes as tense as anything else Telltale has created, and they have created some tense scenes in their time.

Whatever your choice at the end of the first season of The Walking Dead, Lee is gone and Clementine is out in the world all by herself. Set a couple of years after Season One, Clementine has grown both physically and emotionally. She is no longer the adorable and naive child of the first season, with her natural kindness tempered by a streak of pragmatism and much stronger survival instincts. Clementine comes across a new group, with new conflicts and dramas, and with them sets out to continue the long trudge for survival.

That description probably sounds quite vague, and that’s largely because for much of Season Two the plotting is rather meandering and unfocused. It’s not boring or anything, Telltale’s characterisation is strong enough to carry it through this, but there’s little sense of building tension and stakes over the course of the episodes, compared to The Wolf Among Us which did this really well. Episode 3 onwards begin to show a massive improvement however, but the central fascinating conflict which shapes the finale only really begins to manifest itself in Episode 4. Don’t get me wrong, I was thoroughly gripped by Season Two, but there’s a strong sense of making it up as it goes along. When it works though, it really works, with some decisions almost bringing me to tears of tension and frustration.

Season Two plays, well, much like Season One, in that there isn’t much in the way of gameplay. The action scenes are better, more in the vein of The Wolf Among Us, but there’s even less puzzle solving. That’s actually a good thing though, the one or two times Season One tried to be a real adventure game were clunky and broke immersion. Season Two is an even further development in Telltale’s movement away from adventure games to interactive storytelling, and that’s really not necessarily a bad thing.

The art style still looks nice, but as with The Wolf Among Us it runs fairly badly. I really hope the move to the next generation consoles fixes a lot of this, as it’s ridiculous that fairly low-key games like these run so horribly. Still, the character models are better than the first season’s, and the voice acting is still absolutely fantastic. Despite the tiff character models and unconvincing facial expressions, the performers manage to sell us these characters as real people with only their voice, something very hard to do.

The Walking Dead: Season Two may not quite have the impact of the first season, it’s nonetheless an absolute must play. Clementine is one of the best characters in gaming, and spending more time with her cannot be a bad thing. Bring on Season Three.the-walking-dead-game-season-2-walkthrough

The Walking Dead: 400 Days for Xbox 360, PS3, PS Vita, PC, Mac, iOS and Ouya

400 Days is a cheap DLC pack for The Walking Dead, which contains everything that made the original so great in microcosm.

400 Days follows five characters that will apparently appear in the second series of The Walking Dead. We only gain brief snapshots of their lives, but Telltale’s characterisation is still so good that that is really all we need to begin caring for and understanding them. We pick the order that we play these stories, and they intersect and cross over each other, before finally converging in an epilogue at the end.

There’s none of the awkward wandering around busy work that marred the main game, with a simple focus on tight, intense interactive storytelling which was the clear strength of The Walking Dead. The voice acting is wonderful as usual, and the cartoony visuals remain bizarrely effective at creating this sinister and unpleasant world.

For such a low price, 400 Days is an essential toe dip back into Telltale’s marvellous Walking Dead world, offering more of what made the main five episodes so great with an interesting new plot structure to boot. With very little, it makes me attached to five new characters that I cannot wait to meet again in Season 2.images

The Walking Dead for Xbox 360, PS3, PS Vita, iOS, Ouya, PC and Mac.

I’ve been a fan of Telltale games for a long time. They have a knack for adapting my favourite things into hilarious, tricky and fun episodic adventures games. After adapting Homestar Runner, Wallace & Gromit and Monkey Island, they were cemented as one of my all-time favourite game companies. I wasn’t as much of a fan of their Back to the Future series, but it was the awkward middle part of their transition from old fashioned adventure games to a new kind of interactive story. Although I hope that they one day return to their roots, this exciting new genre is incredibly exciting, and Telltale used it to great effect in the Walking Dead, creating one of the most genuinely moving and emotional game experiences that I’ve ever enjoyed.

The Walking Dead opens with history professor Lee Everett in a police car following his mysterious arrest. The appearance of zombies, here called ‘walkers’, drives the car off the road and Lee makes his escape. Soon he comes across a young girl named Clementine, whose parents are away, and it’s not long before Lee becomes her guardian through the zombie apocalypse. Lee meets up with a small group of other survivors and focuses his attention on protecting Clementine, his new surrogate daughter.

Telltale’s leap into the dramatic over the comic is handled incredibly well. I knew these guys could do irreverent and funny, but moving and tense? They nailed it. Lee is a highly likeable main character, although I suppose depending on the player he could also be an aggressive jerk. Lee is just how characters in games like this should be; plain enough that the player can project their will on them, but also with an independent personality of their own, something even Bioware never quite managed with Commander Sheperd. Although the supporting cast are interesting and likeable, what kept me coming back was the moving and heart-warming relationship between Lee and Clementine. Lee is a man who has lost everything, even before the rise of the walkers, and in Clementine he finds the motivation to be a better man.

The actual gameplay on the other hand? Truly terrible. There are a lot of quick time events and hurried decision making, and these work well, but whenever The Walking Dead tries to be a proper adventure game it fails miserably. The terrible character animations as we move Lee around break the immersion, and the puzzles are never more than a matter of go pick up A and bring to B. Although I liked it when Telltale made adventure games, I’d almost rather they go the whole hog and abandon that element, and focus entirely on the interactive story telling. It’s rare that I’m asking for more QTEs and less gameplay, but I honestly feel that that is what these games need.

The cartoony visual style, reminiscent of its comic book source material, works well and doesn’t detract from the sense of menace. The biggest visual irritation is the poor character animations, and hopefully Telltale with their new success can afford to invest in some motion capture for future projects. The voice acting is, unsurprisingly, superb. Much like with a great animated film, you forget that these figures are just polygons and start seeing them as people, and that’s really all down to the great voice performance. The poor facial animation means that the voice actors have to pull double duty to make their characters convincing, and all of them do.

The Walking Dead is a game which creates a new genre, and one which really nails the episodic gaming concept. After a shaky time with Back to the Future, I’m on board with this new, dramatic Telltale. Telltale is we knew it is dead. Long live Telltale. TWD-game-cover

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