Game review of PATHOLOGIC 2 and THE SIMPSONS TAPPED OUT (TSTO)

Writing about Pathologic is, possibly, talking about one of the Russian-created video games – separate Tetris-most acclaimed and awarded. The saga created by studio Ice-Pick Lodge managed to become a cult game for compatible to root the mouth-to-mouth among the community. After years of waiting, of dimes and diretes, of cancellations and of discarded ideas, Steam arrives the simpsons tapped out with its sequel: Pathologic 2. It must be said, however, that before being a sequel to this game we are dealing with today, it was going to be a complete remake of its predecessor. Design decisions later, it was chosen to give it one more twist and launch a continuation of the cult game to the market. Will he make it to the level of the first delivery? That is what we will examine in the next lines.

the simpsons tapped out

Turmoil. Abandonment. It’s just two of the sensations we had the moment we started the adventure. Death and desolation nest everywhere in a charged environment. We return to our hometown after receiving a letter from our father. We have to go back home. The same place we left years ago and from which we have only vague memories and friends that we can count on the fingers of one hand-namely three friends, we have two remaining phalanges. And we come back through the big door with a triple murder behind our backs. Nobody looks at us, they attack us in every corner. The doors of the houses close, the children flee to our presence. We’re hungry, we don’t have a ruble in our pocket. Strange creatures lurk, children stuffed in dog masks. We wander in solitude around the city as we cross words with those who have the delicacy of returning our greetings. We need information. Know what’s going on. We’re hungry and tired of the trip, yeah. But the confusion around us is more pressing than any vital need.

We’ve been busted several times in fights in an alley

Yes, the city and some of its inhabitants hate us. We are not well received in these parts. And as thirst grips our throat and hunger makes our guts roar. But we keep them quiet, taking something in our mouths is too expensive. No one wants to trade with an outcast. Answers, we need answers. What happened to our father? where are our friends? what’s going on in town? why that Pestilence atmosphere? Too many questions in droves as we receive the umpteenth beating that leaves us almost on the verge of death.…

A game of survival

That little story serves to convey what Pathologic 2 consists of. A game of survival, role and psychological terror in which we will have to answer countless questions. While we get answers, we will have to survive for a dozen days in a city that, apart from hostile to us, is infected by a mysterious and deadly plague. We, as a doctor and surgeon, must try to save as many people as possible. It’s funny, no one wants us around, but they need us. Like us we need every one of the inhabitants of the City to know what is going on with the simpsons tapped out. All this surrounded by an aura of mysticism, folklore and Russian oral traditions, superstitions, which make this journey even more confusing. We have rarely felt so lost and helpless within a game as in Pathologic 2. And we don’t exaggerate. Possibly that feeling is one of the high points of the game. He manages to keep the player in tension, without actually provoking fear, but he manages to grips us in several moments.

In addition, the chosen color palette, based on Grey and brown tones

It Makes the fog feel like a slab behind our backs. The city is sick, as are its inhabitants, and that is reflected from the first moment we set foot in it. Everything in it is surrounded by a varnish of decay, of disease. However, one of our tasks will be to find out the reason for this plague and to find, if we are able, a solution to it. That oppressive and decadent environment is, in our view, very well carried out and is well exploited within the game.

Gameplay of Pathologic 2 is merciless. They plant you outside the city, and from there it’s time to manage. You decide yourself Where To Go, who to talk to, what decisions to make. There are few clues, few AIDS. You find that you have to save the game in a sort of almost chiripa watches. There are also too many factors that can overwhelm the player especially considering the detailed review of the world-tracker about the simpsons tapped out and pathologic 2 and the connection between the two games. We have to keep an eye on our vital indicators, as we have said, hunger and thirst will be pressing from the very beginning-fortunately, drinking in the fountains is free; eating, unfortunately, is not. To that we must add that we must win the favor of the inhabitants of every quarter of the city. And that will affect us, among other things, in achieving trade and obtaining legal resources. If the neighbors do not trust us they will not open their doors to US, Trade us with us or the prices of various items and food will be totally inaccessible to our depleted economy. The beginnings of wandering around the city will be much harder than one would expect.

gameplay

As soon as we arrive we will be persona non grata and many times we will be immersed in fights with a clean fist without knowing why. Some fights that, we have to say, are very badly resolved, have very basic and erratic control-at the click we hit and block – and are more annoying than anything else. Possibly one of the most serious mistakes we’ve detected in the game is precisely that: a bland combat. And we say this because it breaks, in part, the rhythm of the game. Our goal is to search for answers and explore. And it’s certainly hard if we have a gang of five or six guys chasing us with no breath. And all because of a bad answer. Careful with that.

Because confusion is very much given to make its appearance in this title. And not just because of the oppressive atmosphere or the belligerent neighbors. There are a multitude of characters to talk to and interact with and each of them is more strange, peculiar, or intriguing. We need to keep a close eye on these conversations inside the simpsons tapped out and read the texts very well to direct the talk according to our interests. Eye, caution, text and voice entirely in English. If you do not have a good level in the English language-or you have something abandoned in Russian-You may not know much about everything that happens in the city. You are warned.

To close this analysis, we can only comment that Pathologic 2 meets the simpsons tapped out correctly in both technical and sound terms

Let’s not look for photorealism or a big soundtrack because the game doesn’t have it. Graphically we are facing a correct game with a good character design-the city’s neighbors sin of being somewhat clonic, yes. The environments, very industrial with grayish and brown tones, do not stand out for their beauty but give the whole, as we have already mentioned, a patina between the gloomy and the sick.

For its part the soundtrack does not stand out at all. Notes intended to add tension ring very occasionally. They sound so occasionally that we barely realize their existence. The sound effects as well as the Parc crosses of words fulfill their function without great breath. Just right.

Devil Engine

A new shoot em up jumps into hyperspace on Nintendo Switch and Steam.

It seems that it blows fresh wind for the old Sega MegaDrive . As birthday girl who is (of a respectable figure) stars in these compilation months , there are mini consoles on the horizon and the media remembers how great it was thirty years ago. It happens much more hidden, but it exists, another constant celebration in time that does not cease in its endeavor: the enhanced exaltation of its games. MegaDrive had at the time a defining weapon of its capabilities in the speed of its processor, which made possible dizzying games that we would never see in its great rival. Among them, the titles that best used the acceleration that made Sonic possible, is a fantastic shoot em up: Thunder Force IV. A new installment of nostalgia for the old Sega machine has just arrived from the independent scene, which now gives birth to an almost direct heir in this Devil Engine.

Shoot em up on the run

Neither was the only one nor does it have to be the most definitive (Lords of Thunder or Thunder Force IV could well aspire to the throne of accelerated shoot em ups) but that Thunder Force IV was one of the titles that best used Mega’s visual capabilities Drive. His devilish speed of game, his tremendously distinctive weapons or the genius of allowing us to alternate different speeds of displacement of the ship made him one of the greats of the genre in that system. Other ideas less present but equally characteristic, such as its system of progression and the possibility of choosing between the first levels, turned it into a round console video game in 1992. Devil Engine clearly comes to continue things as they could have been shortly after, of not having changed anything in the world, adding a light coat of paint to the scoring system and reveling in his idea of ​​difficulty.

ProtoCulture Games has not even pretended to hide its inspirations in this new shoot em up. Everything looks and moves as a 16 bit video game could do in a panoramic format, with obvious visual references here and there, including a sensational tribute to Last Resort on the second level. This Devil Engine takes very little time to be felt at the controls as a new episode of the Thunder Force series for an idealized Mega Drive , but then we began to realize that everything is even more complicated than we remembered. If we play at the level that boasts of being very difficult (and it’s the only one in, along with the very easy one), truces last a short time. Already the second scenario comes to us to pose patterns type bullet hell with an agglomeration of shots on screen: very complicated to dodge, especially at the speed at which everything moves. In any case, we think that Devil Engine demands much more to our reflexes than to the memorization of levels, the password of the horizontal shoot em up, in line with what happened also in the old Thunder Force.

Shoot em up on the run

You have to see the tutorial

Once both modes are finished, this Devil Engine makes it clear to us that it presents two totally different experiences according to its two main difficulty settings. Let everyone be clear that the word “easy” does not exist in this game, which already poses a more than important challenge to finish the six levels in the supposedly affordable way. But he knows how to motivate us: to end it like that implies a certain dishonor, and whoever approaches a shoot em up already knows that fun is not in simplicity. Anyone thinking to take it seriously will do very well this time to watch the tutorial carefully, as the keys are not as visible as they may seem. We are not facing an innovative game, but before one that draws oil from what it does well, which does not teach at all until we reach a certain level of play. The tutorial explains a classic system of combos and punctuation that will allow us to get bombs and extra lives (thus extending each new attempt) while indicating a key that we found very curious: that of forcing us to reduce enthusiasm with the pop , the only somewhat novel mechanics of the game. It is a kind of dashthat allows to absorb bullets, but at the same time drain our combo meter, which is essential to reach the end by pure accumulation of bombs and lives. It is very well achieved, once we know how to play in conditions, the balance that is proposed in terms of calculating well the consequences of using this gesture and its possibilities, which ultimately end up throwing a satisfactory balance.

With Devil Engine, its developers have had to come up with compromise solutions that have not always solved as well as it would be desirable. The main problem is the time it takes to master it to the necessary level , and we think that this will be a stumbling block even for many fans of the genre. Devil Engine requires too much patience and infinite retries to the player to unlock credits and other material, but does so without offering anything essentially new or a level design so perfect that anyone wants to repeat it a thousand times. It is true that their phases are very competent, and also it is that they take much advantage of the general speed of the game with notable moments (like that kind of rhythm game in the third level). Even so, the grace of the whole set remains in the high speed of play, the need for constant anticipation and frenetism from the start. Also in the joy of changing guns for no apparent reason, once we know thoroughly the behavior of the three main weapons. Everyone will have to assess whether they are attractive enough to take on the task.

Devil Engine is a much more than competent shoot em up that successfully recovers a trend, that of shoot em up at high speed . Based on unlockables, it becomes a more than worthy title in terms of content thanks to additional ships, credits or unhealthy levels of difficulty, as well as challenging modes and some really spectacular visual filters that we will obtain with the pure game time (special mention to the one that turns the graphics into a reflection of the two-color world of ZeroRanger). We are without a doubt a funny shoot em up, technically solvent in its evocation of a very concrete past, which has also been endowed with a very powerful soundtrack. Its biggest drawback, in our opinion, is that the high levels are directed exclusively to the most accomplished specialists of the genre, although this time this is not enough to stop recommending it to the less dedicated: its easy mode is not easy for Nothing, but it is complete, and certainly very enjoyable. What comes next … it is better to leave it to each one according to his ability and his reflexes.

Google Stadia: All games confirmed in the GDC

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, Doom Eternal, RiME or NBA 2K are some of the games we’ve seen during the Google Stadia presentation at the GDC.

The presentation of Google during the Games Developers Conference has ended and with it we have been able to extract many interesting facts about his new project related to the videogame industry in streaming: Stadia . Although few, various games have been mentioned and we have been able to see them in motion, something that we develop next. If you have missed the presentation in streaming and want to discover all the details we know, we leave you our full chronicle .

A revolutionary playable proposal

It promises a platform in the cloud to enjoy a multitude of games through the use of a remote (whose design we have seen) and other hardware devices such as PCs, tablets and mobile phones . In these screens, the Google and Stadia team has presented us some games that we already know and therefore it has been confirmed that they will have presence in the device. We gather them below, in addition to offering a description of what role they have had in the presentation:

A revolutionary playable proposal

  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey : One of the leading titles of streaming. We have seen it playable on different screens to show us how it moves on different devices. In addition, the use of command has been demonstrated in this part of the presentation.
  • DOOM Eternal : The appearance of the new installment of the DOOM saga has focused on the graphic quality that is promised for Stadia . 60 fps and 4k resolution for the new Bethesda . Of course, we have not seen it in motion yet and for that we probably have to wait until the presentation of the study at E3 .
  • RiME : Luz Sancho, part of the Tequila Works team , has taken the stage to surprise us with one of Stadia’s features. To be able to apply artistic filters (like a Van Gogh design) so that a whole scene of a certain game changes its pattern to the selected base. Of course, although RiME has appeared in the first bars of Luz’s presentation, the game we have seen applying the textures is one in development created for the Google event.
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider : The penultimate adventure of Lara Croft sneaks into the presentation of Google Stadia to present a useful functionality that includes the very command of the new console. When pressed, Google Assistant will help us complete a puzzle in which we are stuck without having to go to external guides and lose more time.
  • NBA 2K : One of the last titles shown has been NBA 2K and with it the function of “Crowd Play” has been exemplified. It allows us to join the games we are seeing on YouTube, an interesting proposal for content creators and their most frequent consumers.