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Considering its age, it doesn’t look too bad, and the first few minutes were fairly enjoyable. My problem – as with all these games – is not knowing how to use the controls, so I had to give up pretty quickly when after several minutes of pressing every button and remapping the controls I still couldn’t figure out how to open the door! I think I’ll consult a decent walkthrough and come back to this later.
HeXen: Beyond Heretic
HeXen is the sequel to Heretic, hence the similarity. I could actually use the space bar to open doors in this one, so I got a tiny bit further geographically than I did in HeXen II. I’m more inclined to play HeXen II again (once I figure out how to open doors – hell, even velociraptors can do that!) than I am to return to this one, though I’m sure it was a lot of fun at the time.
HeXen: Deathkings of the Dark Citadel
The thing about these really old dosbox games is that they have a sort of intro cinematic which actually serves as a tutorial for the game. It took me a while to pick up on that, but now I pay more attention to the things. Deathkings is a fast-paced fantasy shooter, but isn’t as fun as the other HeXen/Heretic games, based on first impressions.
Left 4 Dead 2
Left 4 Dead 2 is ridiculously good fun. It just works on the principle that 100 enemies that go down in one shot is much more fun than one enemy you have to shoot 100 times. It piles ’em up and sells ’em cheap for a breathless, ridiculously fast-paced no-brainer. It’s just 100% sheer adrenaline. I had Left 4 Dead and had enjoyed the L4D2 demo, but had never actually played the full game before. I just played vs bots, but had a really fun time.
Probably the oldest game in my entire collection. It’s a point and click adventure that reminds me a little bit of Monkey Island in that you have to click on the bit of the screen where you want your character to go, and then watch him run to that point. It’s also a LucasArts game. I didn’t play it for very long because I didn’t connect with it the first time I tried to play it. I think I’d have to be in the right mood and have a pretty decent walkthrough.
Monkey Island 2: Special Edition
Deservedly regarded as probably the best of its type, Monkey Island is basically like a game version of Pirates of the Caribbean, only with sequels that don’t suck. This one has been polished up, just as the first game was, with great voice acting and new cartoonish graphics. It originally came out in 1991, and is another Loom-style adventure game, with the emphasis firmly on the witty one-liners. I’ll definitely be playing this one through.
Plants vs Zombies: Game of the Year
Probably the cutest and definitely the funniest PopCap release, it’s a castle defence game where you have to defend your house against the zombie horde with a number of plants such as peashooters (which shoot peas), exploding potatoes and cherry bombs. It gets ridiculously hard after a few levels, but is quite addictive fun. I only played one level since I was quite zombied out after a marathon session earlier in the year.
I just ran through the first four levels of this darkly comic 3D puzzle game, since I’ve got the Orange Box twice now, having picked it up very cheaply on both the xbox and PC. I’ve never finished Portal (I know, it’s a short game, but I have a shorter attention span!) but I was familiar enough with the early levels to be able to zip through them untroubled.
Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords
I stopped playing this one when I started to get sick of getting my behind kicked, so I nipped back to an earlier level and had a happier victory over a giant bat. The game is a 2D point-and-click RPG, and the battle mechanic is Bejeweled-style matching gems. It’s quite sweet and the cheesy cod-Medieval music is pretty catchy.
PART FIVE >>