A guy came into my work the other day and told me he was going to go home and play Breath of the Wild. (I mean, we were talking and I asked about his plans for the night, he didn’t come in just to tell me.) But when I heard this, I confessed I hadn’t played video games in a while.
I mean, I have a first-gen PS3 as my home console. Also a Mac desktop I’m pretty sure we had before I started university. Basically, my gaming options are a bit limited. Add to that a crammed schedule and limited funds, I’m a bit hesitant to drop $300 on a system and $60 on a game anymore.
No matter how much I want to play Horizon: Zero Dawn. Or The Last of Us 2. Or BioShock 4 (with the hope that it’s actually BioShock this time).
(BioShock 2 was better than Infinite, fight me.)
But since I can’t try a whole bunch of brand new games right now, it seemed to be a good excuse to find some old gems. What are some games I haven’t played yet? More to the point, what’s been out for a while and won’t require another job to pay for? Well, I found a couple of things. Here’s what I’ve been able to play this week.
Dead Space 2
Dead Space was a series that piqued my interest years back, but I never got around to trying it. To be fair, there was another game released around the same time that had dragons. So that might’ve had something to do with it. But a lot of time on Youtube led me to stumble across this video.
“I like behind the scenes stuff, and horror’s pretty neat.” So I watch and dig a little deeper. “Huh, this is really cool. I wonder if I could find some of the things he mentioned.” One trip to a secondhand game dealer and Chipotle dinner later, I’m at home, ready to fire up Dead Space 2.
Without having the first game on hand, I went in knowing I wouldn’t be getting too deep into the story. And I wanted to find the details, the little ghosts in the code. I poked around, lights flickering and fire burning onscreen, trying to find the threads. There were some good scares and a lot of death screens, and I’d say the game definitely still holds up thematically. But I really enjoyed finding the little artistic touches made more than anything. I’m not sure if that defeats the point of a game, but hey, I had fun.
Next, we have Lost Castle. This one came to me from a close friend of mine, a man with a fine taste in oddball media. Thankfully, he also knows I’m on a rather old Mac, so the list was more or less already curated.
I don’t really play too many roguelike RPGs, at least not on my own. But I had a free afternoon and hadn’t hung out with my buddies for a bit, so we gave it a try. We rolled up characters and proceded to mess around, quickly followed by role assignment. I built tank stats while Jeff picked up a longbow and Peter grabbed potions.
What happened next was a few hours of cursing, joking, trolling, and occasional decent gameplay. Someone would purposely mess up a resurrection and someone else would stop a boss by walking straight into it. We told familiar stories through voice chat, and occasionally let out a curse as someone triggered the next horde. We’ve been gaming together for a long time, so it was nice to be able to go back and have that familiarity.
Games are better with friends, anyway.