Extra Credits: Games You Might Not Have Tried #4

This week, we recommend some more interesting, "under the radar" games.

Show Notes:

Games Mentioned:

 

Would you like James to come speak at your school or organization?

For info, contact us at: kate@extra-credits.net

Audio Version:
Download

Recent Comments:

  • Infinite Space on the DS. Seriously, give it a spin, more people should play this game. It scratched all my itches and is simply epic in the truest, most literal sense of the word.

  • May I suggest okami den?
    Maybe it's more popular over in the states but I seem to be the only one who has ever heard of it then... It lacks the luster of the original okami... But honestly that is one of my fav games of all time so really it didn't have much hope of topping that XD it's a beautiful game though...

    Well worth a try!

  • I've got one.
    Hatoful Boyfriend, a pigeon dating sim from Japan.

    It's not what you'd expect, believe me. To say more would be spoilers. If you can convince yourself to give it a try, I can almost guarantee that you won't regret it.

    Here's a review: http://jayisgames.com/archives/2012/02/ ...

    friend.php

  • I'm not sure if there's a better place for this, but...

    While browsing the initial offering of Steam Greenlight, I came across this game, and certainly think others should at least try the demo, as it's rather unique.

    Charge! Human Tanks: War of the Human Tanks: http://fruitbatfactory.com/humantanks/

    Several of the first-glance reviews liken it to Advance Wars simply because it has grid-based strategy combat with Weeble-like characters, however, there's really not much to compare beyond that surface glance. Advance Wars is a game (like most RTS games) that involves a complex Rock-Paper-Scissors set of matching strengths and weaknesses to different unit types, where you are constantly trying to match your strengths to the enemy's weaknesses, while covering your own weaknesses.

    The game actually plays much more like a game of speed-Battleship. For starters, it's in real-time. No unit is particularly strong against any other unit, and all hits are one-hit-kills (barring some of the multi-tile units, where you have to hit every tile on their unit before you can sink their battleship). In fact, the difference between artillery and assault tanks are merely in their range and speed. Recon units can use a radar sweep of certain areas of the battlefield, but they just have better stats for that, and even artillery can do radar sweeps, although it wastes their chance to attack, and they reveal much less terrain.

    Without the Rock-Paper-Scissors element, it becomes a very fast-paced game, and gets frantic when you have 20 to 30 units on the map. The sudden-death nature of the game means that you can lose a super-unit whose upgrades are worth more than the mission bonus for clearing a mission in a single shot, meaning that preserving your high-value units comes before actually finishing the mission in most cases.

    The game also features plenty of dialogue, most of which is highly amusing, and revolves around the nature of how utterly expendable the human tanks are. (Human tanks being humanoid robots, not actual humans, that the little sister character builds for fun in her spare time.) In essence, it's Spec Ops: The Line in reverse - the game encourages you to protect your human tanks even as the plot involves talking about how the only human tanks special enough to get individual names, "Mean a lot to [the little sister], so if she dies, she'll get a proper tomb; One fitting of a favorite goldfish!" "Wait, you mean my life's on par with that of a goldfish?!"

    With all that said, it has some major negatives, as well. First, it's got obvious Shoestring Budget Syndrome, with few sprites, almost no animation, backgrounds that are just photographs with a filter, heavily reused music resources.

    More critically, however, the game has a tech tree, which is really bad for strategy games to do, as it means that you leapfrog from nearly-useless units to units that can move three or four times as fast, fire three times as far, and detonate 5 or 13 or even 25 tiles at a time instead of the original pinpoint single tile. This introduces massive inbalances in the forces that make the strategy elements less compelling, as there becomes little serious strategy in the game when you don't have to make clever deductions of where the enemy might be, as you can simply carpet-bomb the whole map.

  • 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors is an excellent game. It's a visual novel crossed with an Escape the Room game for the DS. I would try to explain it, but I just wouldn't do it justice. Here's a really good review I found on YouTube. This review is what got me to buy the game.

Join The Discussion: