Other Games

Someone lent me a less shitty graphics card the other day (basically anything is better than an 8400GS), so after a good 3 months I finally got to play Party Hard 2 at a playable framerate...

I must say it's a really fun game, and executes mixing 2D pixel-sprites with 3D environments rather pleasingly, even giving sprites light cutoff on one side (i.e. they cast shadows on themselves) to simulate them being more than flat planes. Unfortunately it's a fucking time sync and a half! I've played a good 5 hours of it and I'm still only on the 4th stage - certainly very different from Party Hard 1, which was usually pretty simple to get through. I was stuck in the hospital level for about 2 of those hours as well. That's not to say that the mechanics are bad or anything, on the contrary I think many of them have been adequately refined since last time.
Chief among the refined mechanics from the first game is the police calling/investigation system. In the first game if someone saw you dun do a murder they would run off towards the nearest phone at an uncanny speed (impossible to outrun) with a ringing phone icon over their head. This time around, if people see something suspicious they will get a green phone icon, and if they actually see you do something they will get a red phone icon. In addition, instead of there being public phones in all these random-ass locations, everyone just has a cell-phone. They will usually run a little ways away, but if you can catch up with them it's easy enough to 'shut them up' before they can do anything.
There are some downsides though. For one, certain characters are just invincible. No matter how many times you stab them they just keep moving. This includes the police, the terminator in stage 3, and the dude in the bed in stage 3... who you're supposed to confront at the end, but nothing tells you that specifically... and why would that make him invincible and completely oblivious to your presence in the meantime? The cleaning lady is also invincible, but I think that can be forgiven more, because the most she does to you for stabbing her is hit you with her mop until you're on the ground. (it's even a little amusing stabbing her to wake her up, and nobody calls the police over it anyway so it's usually entirely inconsequential)

Another game I played was Combustion, or at least its demo. Combustion is a low-poly 3D game with an intentionally blocky aesthetic. It's about being an animal police officer in an animal world. It's currently on Kickstarter after having been in development for a couple of years now. After having followed it the whole time (being a long-time fan of Fredrik Strøm and all) I was quite excited to play the demo. Right away the per-pixel-shading screen filter really reminded me of Lone Survivor and Skyscraper's appearances, and the way all the extremely low-res textures intentionally have no pixel smoothing actually works fantastically in tandem with the screen filter.
In terms of gameplay, it's a mix of simple but rather engaging combat, and other side jobs like dialogue, making arrests, etc.
I did find a couple of bugs in the demo. One where I got locked into first person mode before I knew how to get into it in the first place when I tabbed out at one point. And another later on when I walked into what seemed to be a solid object and found that using first person mode from within it would let me see through most of the world.
It looks as if the game is going to at least make its initial goal, but hopefully it'll reach a few of its stretch goals as well.
The demo's free, so have a play of it if you're interested: Combustion's Kickstarter campaign

Next post is coming on 2019/04/10 at 10:00 GMT!
Thanks for reading,

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