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The Alphabet Challenge

Pieta

Very custom
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N is for Wolfenstein: The New Order

I had long planned to finish the other timeline of this absolutely stunning game. So I did.

Progress meter: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
 

ESkemp

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Validated User
Finished up Tales from the Borderlands. And, whew.

I wasn't a big Telltale customer; when they went under, I mostly felt bad for the employees who'd been put through massive crunch hell and then let go without warning, a couple of whom I knew personally. The only Telltale games I'd played previous were very early Sam & Max games and Poker Night at the Inventory and its sequel. Tales from the Borderlands is my first brush with the game style they'd get famous for, and the first real reason for me to feel sad about the loss of the games. And I don't know if I could enjoy any other one they did as much. TftB nails Borderlands, and Borderlands 2 is unquestionably my favorite FPS of forever. Music, sound, dialogue, visuals, alarming carnage humor. It absolutely feels like you're moving around Pandora doing things that happen out of line-of-sight in the core Borderlands games; doesn't hurt that all the cameos and guest stars from the main series are worth it. Plus, dang, they weren't afraid to break some extra things in the world. All in all, really happy that this challenge forced me to get around to playing TftB instead of just throwing more hours at Battletech or something. It was a great run. And I'm going to feel weird the next time I jump in to BL2 and start shooting loader-bots, that's for sure.

There's a big long list of T games in my Steam queue; same is not true for U. I have a mere four U games: a puzzle adventure, a hex-based wargame, an isometric RPG, and a weird little RPG with quirky design and a fair amount of fame. That last one, like Tales from the Borderlands, is one of the "I should have gotten around to this sooner" games that made me assign myself the alphabet challenge in the first place, so I kind of have to pick it. Which is a long-winded way of saying up next is Undertale.
 

evilmrhenry

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RPGnet Member
Validated User
For V I played Valley. (U is still in progress.) Valley is trying to do a few things, but I'm not sure how well they mix. Valley has high-speed racing/exploration bits, where you're going at top speed through a level, navigation challenges where you explore an ancient ruin or abandoned facility, and combat bits. The high-speed racing parts look nice, but many of them are only one step above holding Shift+W. The puzzle solving can be nice (it's mostly made out of navigating a complex environment to get to the exit) but it never actually gets all that complex. The combat consists of one weapon and 2 different enemy types. It almost comes together into a cohesive whole, but not quite. Still, the story is good (told through audio logs and scattered pages) and I enjoyed my time in it.
 

Pieta

Very custom
Validated User
Rushing ahead again,

R is for Rime.

What a beautiful game. What a wonderful experience. Did not expect that ending.

We played this one, my kid and me, because she wanted a game with animals in it, and this one had the cute fox companion all over the trailer. It worked pretty well, with her playing the calmer parts and me taking over in scary, confusing or too hard places. It's a lovely exploration/puzzle game with no combat, some climbing, but mostly exploring the always changing scenery of the island. It could get scary or even violent in some places, but it's never twitchy. Almost a perfect parent-child game, but for the ending.

Spoiler: Show
Once again, a game that is cute and looks child-friendly turns out to be quite dark.

In this case, by the end of the game, all your companions, the cute fox that was with you almost since the start, the huge but huggable robot that you put together and teach to walk, and all the other robots that join you later, all die. And then you find out that the protagonist, the child hero, was dead the entire time, and the whole game was about his father's grieving and his slow acceptance of that death.

That was quite a punch to the gut, that one. Right in the parental fears. My daughter wouldn't quite understand the ending - she thought the child's journey was real, just that he was lost at sea and his father misses him. But I had to explain to her, in my slightly breaking voice, why the ending brought me to the verge of tears.

Progress meter: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
 

Pieta

Very custom
Validated User
O is for Wolfenstein: The Old Blood

The nazi-killing parts are as good as ever, and there are some very impressive designs, level and enemy-wise. Love the power armours that have no internal supply, so they walk around connected to cables, for example.
Story-wise, it's not as impactful as The New Order. It's hard to top that of course, but it also feels like a lot of the interesting characters died before I got to really know them.
Still, a very good game.

Progress meter: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
 

Pieta

Very custom
Validated User
T is for Titanfall 2, the single-player campaign

Since Titanfall always sounded to me like a great game that's unfortunately multiplayer only, I can't quite believe nobody told me Titanfall 2 has a single-player campaign, and a good one at that, until I found out by random googling for mech games. It's on the short side, but action-packed and enjoyable. Loved the juxtaposition of the two "modes" of play, as the agile wall-running, double-jumping, but very fragile pilot, and the towering, ground-shaking beast of a mech.
And the section with all the
Spoiler: Show
time-travelling shenanigans
was really inspired.

Progress meter: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
 

evilmrhenry

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
T is for Titanfall 2, the single-player campaign

Since Titanfall always sounded to me like a great game that's unfortunately multiplayer only, I can't quite believe nobody told me Titanfall 2 has a single-player campaign, and a good one at that, until I found out by random googling for mech games. It's on the short side, but action-packed and enjoyable. Loved the juxtaposition of the two "modes" of play, as the agile wall-running, double-jumping, but very fragile pilot, and the towering, ground-shaking beast of a mech.
And the section with all the
Spoiler: Show
time-travelling shenanigans
was really inspired.

Progress meter: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
The speedrun is also super-neat:
 

ESkemp

Registered User
Validated User
So Undertale is pretty challenging. I don't actually want to fight and kill the enemies here, which is both good and bad -- I'm not great at the bullet hell interface for being a pacifist. Don't get me wrong, I think it's fascinating that the more peaceful, merciful path is actually hard, which isn't always true of video games. But it does have the unfortunate side effect that I don't want to play Undertale for a little bit to relax. I play Undertale to work on the challenge and to see the story, but if I want to blow off steam for 20 minutes I'll fire up Battletech or something instead.

This is why I've been a year and a half at the Alphabet Challenge and am only on U right now, in case there was any doubt.
 

Pieta

Very custom
Validated User
This is why I've been a year and a half at the Alphabet Challenge and am only on U right now, in case there was any doubt.
(-:

I feel your pain. I too sometimes clash with how a game is meant to be played, how I want to play it, whether I'm good enough to play it that way, whether I'm mentally there right then, whether it's still fun after all of that...
 

ESkemp

Registered User
Validated User
Well, the point of the challenge was to get me out of my habits, so I expect to run into games that aren't automatically in my comfort zone. I've bounced off a couple -- Magicka (had to play it solo, no go there) and Psychonauts (really enjoyed, but the Meat Circus stacked too many things I didn't want to deal with in one sequence). I'm okay with Undertale being slow going.

One thing that influences my plans a lil' bit is that I'll go to howlongtobeat.com to see the average time it takes to finish a game. Undertale's at about 10 hours; that's about where I think I'm okay with it. If it were longer and also hard, I'd probably pass.
 
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