Alright, so I'm going to start offering a weekly check in on some of the games I've been playing over the week, with my newly created feature The Week in Gaming. I plan on having this up on Mondays (forgive me this week) going forward with some quick thoughts on some things I played over the previous week. Those games may also show up on a later piece if the game I'm playing has something special. So let's get right down to it.
ReCore is the first game released by Microsoft to feature their Buy Once, Play Anywhere feature, and after putting it through some initial testing, I can assure you it works as advertised. After launching the game on the Xbox One, playing about 5 minutes of the tutorial area, thus taking 10 minutes total to play due to the atrocious load times on the console, I quickly switched over to the PC, and after installing the game on my laptop, booted it up with no problems and watched as my save synced over effortlessly. At this point I completed the tutorial and began my grand adventure. Another quick install and sync later in the day on my desktop PC and I continued right where I left off.
The game itself is fun, with some decent platforming puzzles and combat that is interesting if not entirely engaging 100% of the time. I've read that the game takes a large leap off a cliff in terms of quality after about 6-8 hours so I've been apprehensive to continue forward with the main story. I've been slowly farming items and exploring every nook and cranny for secrets, but some of them are a bit too well hidden for my tastes. I plan on trying to finish it, but if the early buzz is true it may end up another unfinished title on the pile of shame.
I have fond memories of this game's Nintendo Power issue cover (I mean just look at it!) but I have to admit, even though I did own this game with my NES, I never ACTUALLY beat it. That changed this weekend, as I was away from all other technology with only my trusty Raspberry Pi classic console to provide me with any video game playing. It wasn't even a conscious effort on my part either, it just happened that I started the game, got through the first 2 levels without incident and decided to just keep playing. A little over an hour later I finally exorcised one of my gaming demons and can now feel OK that I may have never finished the physical version of the game. As for the game itself, it's a competent action platformer with some cool elements (weapon power ups, items to recharge health, super robot suit) and even the requirement to locate a contact in each level before you can progress to the boss. They made a sequel to the game, and I've never actually played it, but that might change if I'm ever in a remote cabin with a bunch of friends again.
Cool Story Bro
I had to link to a Polygon story I read over the weekend here about a developer trying to gain access to anonymous user data from Valve users who have been posting negative reviews for the developers titles. This is related to a lawsuit the developers are pursuing to the tune of $18 million, and they are also concurrently pursuing a $10.7 million lawsuit against Jim Sterling based on his videos also portraying the developers in a negative light. This plus the recent changes to the way reviews are being considered on Steam makes me worried for the future of this type of crowd-sourced information, as only people with nice things (or even ambivalent) to say about a title would be the only thing that meets the bar.