Tag: Steam

The Best and Worst Video Games of 2016

For the listening pleasure, here is Tanner’s best and worst video games of 2016. Should be a few surprises as well as some well known favorites. Please like and subscribe for more and I hope you enjoy.

Tanner Reviews Layers of Fear

layers_of_fear_cover2016 has been a weird year when it comes to video games and certainly not in a good way. While the holiday season is quickly approaching, the majority of this year can be summed up as a bunch of Triple A let downs and a slew of decent indie games. Sure XCOM 2 and Dark Souls III came out. But even those were considered to be decent, but mainly forgettable at best. 2013, this year is not. While I hope to get a good review of XCOM 2 before the year is out, now I am stuck to reviewing indie games on Steam that my friends and I stumble upon to create a semi decent best and worst of 2016. With that being said, let’s talk about Layers of Fear. Ever since Amnesia: The Dark Descent came out, there seems to be a steady stream of copy cats and re-creators out there who are looking to capture the terror and lightning-in-a-bottle fear that that game managed to create. The exploring a random spoopy house when shit starts to go horrifically wrong whether it be by stalking evil creature or by hallucinogenic paintings, these things seem to be all over the damn place. While Layers of Fear is certainly not the worst offender of this list, the game presents a decent showing that comes part and parcel with tropes that have already been done to great extent in the past. Continue reading “Tanner Reviews Layers of Fear”

Tanner Reviews Firewatch

downloadWell I finally finished it! After months of playing and delaying I finally completed Firewatch. It has been a long time coming, but I am quite happy to have finished the game and boy am I certainly happy with my experience. While this year has not been a stellar year of video gaming, it is still quite an honor to be counted as one of the best games of 2016 which is exactly where Firewatch finds themselves today.

Firewatch is the story of a man named Henry. After his wife, Julia, is unfortunately diagnosed with early onset dementia, Henry takes up a job in a firewatch tower in Wyoming. While there, he meets Delilah, his boss, over a radio chat. The two begin to hit it off, isolated in the woods. However, it is soon discovered that they are not alone. It turns out that there is someone following Henry as he goes out on his excursions and is listening to their radio conversations. The two then have to discover who it is that is stalking them and why. Continue reading “Tanner Reviews Firewatch”

Tanner Reviews Oxenfree

download (2)So back to Steam with my latest dose of indie gaming. It truly is one of my favorite places when it comes to reviewing things. I typically enjoy them for one and if I don’t, they are at least somewhat memorable. But this time, thanks to a sit around the table, drink, and play video games sessions with my friends, I was able to get a look at a new Steam Indie Darling, Oxenfree. Oxenfree is an interesting little game that takes a few pages out of Until Dawn’s playbook and sprinkles them with just the right amount of Silent Hill  and Double Fine Production animation.

Five teenagers travel to a small island known as Edwards Island to be rambunctious teenagers and party. Alex is our main character, complete with blue main character hair. She has recently lost her brother, Michael, and is looking to spend some time away from it all to wind down. The rest of the party includes Alex’s new stepbrother Jonas, her life long stoner friend Ren, Ren’s crush Nona, and the former girlfriend to the late Michael, Clarissa. After the group explores a strange cave, a large green triangle appears and all hell breaks loose. They wake up disoriented, scattered, and the island abandoned. The kids then must unravel the mysteries of the island while they try to find their own means of escape. Continue reading “Tanner Reviews Oxenfree”

4 Ways Triple A Gaming Loves to Exploit Gamers

Triple A Gaming has become a joke. Sure there have been a few games (emphasize FEW) that have been good since the next generation slinked its way onto the scene, but for the most part it has been crap, on top of crap, loaded with more crap, and now the crap has started to spill over into our computer gaming! Triple A video gaming has gone from giving us the best games imaginable to something more reminiscent of a deranged despot who believes that what is truly in everyone’s best interest if you, the peasants, shower them in gifts and praise while they continue to throw worthless tripe at you for the privilege of being abused by them.

I have discussed before why video gamers today should be playing video games from the Independent scene (which you can view here) as a way of sending some tough love to Triple A Developers that shit needs to change or you will eventually lose your customers. But in that article, I only alluded to the major problems with Triple A gaming. So today, I will give you the list of the Top 4 Ways Triple A Gaming Love to Exploit You!

Before I start this list, just keep in mind that this list is my opinion based on my viewing of the Triple A Market. If you disagree with the list, please comment below. I love a good argument. With that said, let’s get started. Continue reading “4 Ways Triple A Gaming Loves to Exploit Gamers”

Tanner Reviews Thomas Was Alone

Thomas_was_alone_coverWe find ourselves again in the strange realm that is the Artistic Video Game genre. I have delved into it a time or two with other video games. Games such as Journey, Rain, The Stanley Parable, and Mountain have all found their homes in this genre. All of which strangely only have one title. Maybe it is an air of intrigue or just pretentiousness, I’m not entirely sure. But today we are looking at a very bizarre game driven by a strong narrative and focused on nothing more than mere shapes as our protagonists, Thomas Was Alone. To say that Thomas Was Alone was an interesting play would be an understatement. To say that it was not enjoyable would be a lie. This game is certainly unique in its style of storytelling that it is something to truly behold. It is a deep and thought provoking story told through what is by all accounts a simple platform/puzzle game. Continue reading “Tanner Reviews Thomas Was Alone”

Tanner Reviews Toribash

logoWell this certainly is an interesting game to say the least. It is definitely unique and I can safely say that I have not seen anything like it in recent memory. Toribash may be one of the most simplistic, complicated, and fun free to play experiences that I have ever come across in my years of playing video games.

The concept of Toribash is somewhat difficult to describe. What if an entire fighting game was nothing more than the fighting tutorial? Well with that mental imagery I think you can kind of tell where we are going with this. In each phase, you have two white figures covered in balls and shapes each marked with a part of the body. You click each part giving it directions in which to attack your opponent. One hit is enough to finish off a player, but you have to ensure your opponent hits the ground before you do to win the match. The success of the move is dependent upon the actions you gave your character to do with all parts of their body, making it a very simple idea, but a very complicated process to get what you want just right. Continue reading “Tanner Reviews Toribash”

Tanner Reviews Mountain

mountain1-640x640I never thought I would see this… It looks like we have finally reached the point in video gaming where the concept of ‘playing a video game’ can be an optional choice. I never thought I would see the day, but here I am staring it right in the face as it mocks me with its mildly interesting graphics. I am talking about the new ‘video game’ that decided it was too cool to be a video game, Mountain. Coming from the mind of Irish-born film maker and artist, David O’Reilly this ‘game’ as I am forced to call it is one that boasts such features as 50 hours of gameplay, no controls, an audio on/off switch, and shows things growing in natural progression. In other words, you can gain more enjoyment out of watching grass grow then playing this ‘game.’

I have said it before that the video game industry is starting to dive into the more ‘artistic’ direction with games like Journey and Heavy Rain being created. So I do see it going the same way as film, that there will soon be a sub genre of ‘artistic’ focused games. But this most definitely is not the way to go about fucking doing it. Be artistic, be creative, think outside the box, all of these are good things to do when you are trying to innovate an industry that looks at innovation as if it were a leper. But there are some basic things that all games, whether a big and flashy Triple A title or small time independent art project need to have when it comes to being a video game. First and foremost, games need to be fun. Also you need to be able to do something besides look at a moving picture of a mountain for several hours. Mountain fails at both of these simplistic concepts.

I would tell you about the plot or even what the game is about. But there purposely is not one. Nope you are simply a mountain… That is it. You can’t control anything, you can’t do anything, you cannot play this game, all you can do is sit back and look at the mountain from several different pretty angles floating in the nothingness of the universe. Continue reading “Tanner Reviews Mountain”

Tanner Reviews Unturned

600px-Unturned_Steam_TrailerI never understood the allure of early access games. I guess I can understand the feeling from a person’s perspective. It used to be only a handful of select and reclusive people got to play the beta version of a video game before it was released onto the market, making that person some sort of strange enigma in the gaming community. But now thanks to the speed of technology and the birth of early access, beta versions of games are being handed out to just about anyone who wants them. Some people are even paying to play these unfinished versions of games. So as a developer, why should you create a completed game when you can make money by selling the ‘unfinished beta’ to the clamoring masses? I suppose I can see it from the perspective that developers can get real fan feedback to improve the gaming experience, but I can see this whole plan going down the tubes and really fast for that matter. The day that I see a ‘beta’ version of a game that is being sold for full price is the day I will probably just give up on video games all together and curl into a ball and cry while clutching my old Super Nintendo. That being said, a friend of mine turned me onto a free to play early access zombie survival game on Steam; you know since those are so rare, called Unturned. A simplistic Minecraft-esque (More like Minecraft only with less crafting) game in which you as a survivor in this world is dropped into the middle of nowhere where you have to collect weapons, food, water, and so forth to keep yourself alive from the ever encroaching zombie hordes, simple as that. Continue reading “Tanner Reviews Unturned”

Tanner Reviews The Stanley Parable

Stanley_parable_coverSo after looking through my line up of video games and movies that I have yet to play/watch this year, it quickly came to my attention that I will not cover nearly enough that I need to in a month before the Best and Worst of 2013 that will come in January. So with that considered, I am going to bring back my Saturday reviews so I can cover as much ground as I can.

So with all that said, I thought I would start with one of the most unique games to be released in recent history, The Stanley Parable. After its humble origins being the project of 22-year-old Davey Wreden and its later remake, the video game has quickly found itself on the fast track to being one of the most critically acclaimed games of 2013. But does it really deserve all the praise that it is receiving? In my opinion… Yes, yes it does.

The funny thing is though, you really cannot talk about The Stanley Parable in any lengthy synopsis without giving away spoilers. The best I can say about the game without giving away too much is that it is the ultimate game of choices… And with that let’s get into the vague as possible pros and cons. Continue reading “Tanner Reviews The Stanley Parable”