“Fire really is bad! Who knew?!”

Sometimes I lament that I purchase complete packs with DLC and never use said DLC ever.

As was the case with the recently purchased How To Survive (at a ridiculously good price) where I have a new character, fireproof suits, and other game modes. Yet how did I start? With one of the original characters and without any kind of modifiers whatsoever. However, in the case of the fireproof suits, I would play without them as I would prefer the purist experience the first time out. Hence the title. As I might go through the game thinking fire is nothing to worry about when really it is deadly without the fireproof suit.

I guess I’ve been thinking about purchases a bit more since the last Steam sale where I didn’t really interact much with it, nor want much, and it bothered me immensely. One thing I would usually pick up is DLC as that’s usually much cheaper when the base game is 66% or 75% off (or higher if you’re lucky).

One thing I did pick up was (the previously discussed) Lords of Xulima.

Now, don’t get me wrong- I still think Lords of Xulima is a great indie title and an enjoyable experience. But there is something to be said for the non-linear approach they take in progressing the story and available areas. In some cases I’m finding areas much later that are ridiculously easy to explore and in others I am finding areas much earlier than I should. I know that’s their thing but it’s often a little disorientating as you never really know where you should be. Or what has now opened up. Whereas, in a lot of older games, you would usually be restricted by some object that required a particular item to bypass, in this you’re kind of free to roam and get lost.

This is particularly annoying in the opening sections where there are many tough fights and you slog through them without realising, just to the north, past the forest, there’s a whole area perfectly suited for you. While some of these areas I simply don’t get. They aren’t available until now… but all the fights are so easy they’re not even worth the time?

It definitely feels like there was some division on the difficulty and progression.

The game itself doesn’t really do a particularly good job of explaining anything to you and while a number of quests open up, the enemies are usually too strong, or the area is too high level, so you’re unable to do them when you get them. Which always leaves you wondering why those areas you didn’t find until too far late weren’t implemented for quests instead.

Initially I had felt these things were just me being out of practice or something. Then again I did play Legend of Grimrock II and really enjoy it. I’ve also really enjoyed dipping in and out of Rogue Legacy, Full Mojo Rampage, and How to Survive. So what’s the deal with things like Lords of Xulima and Shadowrun Returns? Why do they bother me, or, rather, why do I not enjoy them as much as I likely should? That’s the kind of thing that I wonder about.

I guess this is where the initial lack of interest in Steam sales and the like came from. There were some really good choices and some really great titles out there while there were also some really good but not quite enjoyable titles, too. But such is life. There are no guarantees and when there are it’s usually a terrible deal.

Have a nice week, all!



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