Sims 4 – The exhausting world of feeling too much

Today we will be taking a step back on Adventure point and click games and check out Sims 4.

I’m not sure whether you are a fan of these games, but since day 1 that I’ve been playing this.

I remember playing Sims 1 forever, trying out different house shapes and putting my awful Feng Shui to practice. We didn’t have a lot of choices and the Sims all looked the same. There were awful loading screens and the game was so hard that I eventually would cheat to move to a better house or just to have money to have kids. After some time, it got boring, because let’s face it, there wasn’t a lot that could be done.

sims1

I can barely remember Sims 2. I’ve recently read in some reviews that it might be the best one of the series. I know I’ve played it but I can’t really recall.

sims2

Then came Sims 3 which is my favorite one so far. The graphics are great and there is so much to do that you can play it several ways. I love the Open world. I have the feeling that I really am part of the community. I’ve read in some reviews that this Open World feature is a headache for many players who have slowness and glitching issues.

sims3

I can’t say the same. I have some worlds that are unplayable. They just freeze and annoy the crap out of me. Then I have the Bridgeport world, my favorite. But every time I play I need to use the reset sim command, because my sims always get stuck on elevators. But there is so much to do there, so many ways to play and so many details.

I love all the expansions, ones better than the others. I like world adventures but I have no patience to wait for the loading screen. Seriously it takes me more than 10 minutes to leave my world and go around other places. I have to say that the best one for me is Seasons. Going through the different seasons and having a fest for each one is so relatable and it makes us aware of the passage of time. I like my life simulation games to be as much alike normal life as possible (minus the werewolves, fairies and stuff)

I could do whole post about Sims 3 and how amazing I think it is, but that might be for another time. Now we’ll see Sims 4.

I have to say that I was terribly excited to play this game. My boyfriend got me the base game for Christmas and I could barely wait for the installation time. For me this would be like a continuation of Sims 3, but with brand new cool stuff.

The first impression was WHOA nice graphics!!

sims 4

I didn’t mind the CAS being gone and not having that many many choices that we had as creating a sim. I realize this was a base game and it was normal not to have a lot.

 sims 4 CAS

I’m also a very simple person. I can’t have many choices otherwise I will get lost. It’s the same when I got to a supermarket. If it’s too big, I can’t seem to buy anything. Too many choices! So when sims 3 gave me the change to even paint some parts of the sims’ hair one colour and the rest another, I thought that it was really going too far.

So the beginning was fine. I was ok with the creation of the sims. Then came the house. There is a big change on this part. It is soooooooo simple to create buildings on sims 4. And they look amazing! Again I didn’t mind not having that many choices. In sims 3, I ended up not using most of the stuff. There were so many! Also the bar that showed the objects was so small that I couldn’t actually understand what the hell it was. And I have no patience to check all of them one by one. In Sims 4, this was resolved so it was a pleasure to build lovely houses.

sims 4 houses

I had my family, I had a house, I was ready to go. And then it all started to go downhill.

First of all, there was no more Open World. I now could go down the street, but that’s it. To go to different buildings I had loading screens. They were extremely fast but they completely ruin the experience for me. I ended up staying at home most of the time, since I wanted to have a continuous paced game. When my sims went to work, they disappeared and I thought ‘Come onnnnn EA, didn’t we get through this already? Why on earth are we back to this again?’

I can only control one sim per time, which means that if I send one to a community place, I have to follow him all through this time. The other one stays on the house like nothing had happened.

A cool feature that works is multitasking. I can now proudly read my book while sitting down on the toilette. Jokes aside, this is actually one of the things that I miss when I play sims 3.

I also felt like my free will was taken. In Sims, we don’t really have a guideline and we do as we wish. On this one I felt like I had to do what my Sims wanted me to. I had to follow his string of emotions. I felt like I was playing a tablet game. ‘Do this, now go here, do that, follow that and great, you’ve won!’

And it was all so easy. If I had a Sim with the cooking skill, he would progress so fast on the Cooking job that it was ridiculous. I wasn’t expecting Sims 1 difficulty, but come one, let me play a little. Don’t give me everything.

Emotions are the most important features added to this game – Emotions. My opinion on this is

vleak

It really sums up what I think. I mean it’s great and all that they get inspired and paint an awesome painting or get angry and drop an angry poop. But it doesn’t really get you anywhere different. These emotions are so easily influenced that it gets a bit ridiculous. I mean, it only takes a hot shower for the sim to get flirty. During one single day the sim can have all of the emotions that exist. It must be exhausting.

sims 4 emotions

My sim could wake up fine, then get sad because he saw a dirty dish, wash it up and feel confident, start to cook breakfast and feel inspired then get extremely focused for 5 seconds and then finish off by getting out of the shower felling flirty. It’s too much!

I don’t think it really added much to the gameplay. It’s good to see sims change depending on their moods, but honestly, it’s only entertaining for some time, then I want to play.

And that’s where this game is failing. There’s nothing to do! Really, you visit the ridiculous few places that you can (while enjoying the loading screens) and that’s it.

Since I played for quite some time Sims 3 with all of the expansions, I thought that this might be my problem. I was just used to have so many things to do. It would be unfair to compare a base game to an Expansion full one.

So , when the first game pack came I anxiously bought it. Outdoor Retreat was good and brought a lot of things, especially considering that it wasn’t that expensive. But I still felt like this wasn’t what I had envisioned for Sims 4.

I gave it a last try and bought the first expansion ‘Get to Work’. Again, it was great. But I couldn’t shake the negative parts. I don’t want to play with only one sim at the time. I want to play with all my sims. I want to follow them to work, but not get stuck there for the whole day.

And I gave up.

When the game was launched there was a lot of discussion about what was missing from this base game, simple things such as swimming pools (now added), toddlers and dishwasher. For me that is not really the problem, although it adds to it.

I just couldn’t shake the feeling that this was not want I wanted from Sims. It looks awesome but it feels hollow. There is no Story Progression, there are no seasons, I really don’t feel like I am in life experience. The game was transformed in an all chicks game where the feelings are what matter.

My problem is that I was spoiled with the all of the possibilities of Sims 3. For me, the only way to go next was to take this one as a starting point and go up.

Whenever Origin allows me to, I will try to play again to see if I can get used to it. BTW, Origin sucks big time. There are so many updates that need to be done and then the games won’t work. There are a lot of workarounds, but the last time I tried I wasn’t able to get anywhere. I had to wait until the next update to see if it would work and until then I couldn’t access the game.

It did work…till the next update for sure.

The Sword is not Broken – Review

 

Not many spoilers ahead but still approach with caution

So I have a problem. I’ve recently signed up to GOG.com and now I receive newsletters of the Sales. The last one I received was about sales to celebrate the Fall or whatever, and I bought the whole series of Broken Sword! This is getting serious…..

So as I had already mentioned on the previous:

https://obscurasomnia.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/geek-alert/

I’m not that big fan of Broken Sword. I appreciate but didn’t love them. Now that I have the complete series, I’m hoping to change my mind.

Against my typical behavior I started from the last release of the series:

The Serpent’s Curse

bs cover

We meet again the American George Stobbart and the pretty Frenchwoman Nico Collard. I remember in the past, not feeling a connection with these characters, and on this game this wasn’t an exception. I actually enjoyed Nico more, but George stayed bland.

We start with a murder and a theft of a painting called the Le Malediccio. As we can imagine, the painting turns out to be more than expected, with an obscure dark significance.

Graphics

I love cartoonish games! Off with 3D and all of those high tech stuff. Bring me back 2D and cartoons!

All of the places that we get to visit are beautifully colorful.I loved it.

BK1 BK2

Gameplay

It is a basic point of click, which is fine by me. That’s how I like that. None of those stuff of keyboard + mouse. I’m an old-fashioned gal.

Puzzles

I found them easy. But that’s just something that I noticing in recent games. It appears that developers don’t want the gamers to stay stuck for long. In this game, we have complete hints. They appear in a style that I was already used to with UHS hints (not sure if you know this), and are only used if we wish too. But still, too damn easy.

Also, at any time George explains us what we need to do by speaking with himself or Nico. We can do no wrong. We can’t go to a place before the games wants us to. We can’t do an action before we are supposed to do. We are merely a pawn in this game.

bk3

Story

It felt like another Broken Sword game to me, from what I recall. It seems that it all ends up in using a map or a painting to solve the quest. We just need to follow the leads there. Which is fine. Just not surprising. I found the whole story about the Agnostics and the Dominicans extremely interesting and I ended up googling it to understand if it was really true. It’s great that it is.

bk5

All in all

I really enjoyed the game. I wasn’t expecting to like it that much. I loved the pace of the game, the dialogues, the switching from Nico to George and the re- encounter of familiar faces ( Yes Goat, this is with you) and places (Nico’s apartment). Really surprising for them to do a game like this in this day and age. Nowadays it seems that everything needs to be over the top and this one seems just about right.

bk6

I’ll be playing the rest of the Broken Swords in due time.

The Sins of the Beast Gabriel Knight

I’ve decided to give it another go to the Gabriel Knight series. I’ve loved them so much in the past that I was wondering if I’d still feel the same way. And since I had just came across the new redone first game, I decided to start off with that.

Attention spoilers ahead!!

Gabriel Knight 1 – Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition

1_New look

The first thing I thought was that it looked great. I was able to distinguish objects on the scenarios, which sometimes was kind of difficult with pixel blocks. The video sequences are great.

You can check for yourself the differences between Gabriel’s bookstore from the old and the new edition:

G1 20th anni VS olfd

Further down the game, I became annoyed with the controls and the way that Gabriel walks. I’ve also didn’t appreciate to be locked in the set. In the old game we were free to explore several sites before we could actually do anything on them. I felt free. On this one, I could go exactly where I had to go. No more and no less.

The game also had several glitches that made me load previous saved games or just redo what I had just done.

Then I got to the park part which has a sequence that we must do with a mime and a cop on a bike. The mime has to follow you. It took me so damn time to correctly get the mime to follow me till the cop. He’d get distracted with everything, and since the walking part is rather slow, it seemed that it took forever. I eventually got it and he mime distracted the cop as I wanted. But then the game just stopped due to a glitch and I missed the opportunity to complete the puzzle. And since I didn’t have a close enough saved game I just quit.

I hate glitchy games. It’s really annoying. And they already had the time to redo it properly. Why does it still have problems?

I also appreciated the art of the new scenarios, but it seemed that it was missing some soul on it. So I came back to the original one.

Gabriel Knight 1 – Sins of the Fathers Original Version

This one I was able to finish, even though I had some difficulties on some pixel huntings. It is still a great game. I loved the story, the whole environment that seems that we are really in New Orleans, and also the voices from the characters. Gabriel was great at his macho men good-looking guy part. I also think that the relationship with Grace was portrayed in a believable and funny way. She didn’t have a relevant part on this game, but she was memorable.

The music is good and the graphics are fine for that time.

The puzzles are a little annoying in some parts. How the hell should I solve the clock puzzle without a walk through?

I also used a walk through to finish the game. I felt rather stupid doing so, but actually I wouldn’t be able to finish it since I kept dying! I hate dying in these games! But at least it made sense, not like in other games such as King’s quest, where you almost die of just sneezing…..

All in all I still loved the game. It was great getting to know more about New Orleans and the story of Voodoo.

Gabriel Knight 2 – The Beast Within

2, cover

Right after finishing GK 1, I started GK2. And the first though was “WTH, bring me back my pixels!” Who in the world thought that Full Motion Video was a good idea??? Come on, raise our hand so I can spank you!

The things that annoyed me:

First of all, Gabriel seems to me like a caricature portrait of the Americans that we see on the movies. Seriously, his looks and way of speaking just got me on my nerves.

garbiel_2

What the hell happened to Grace?? On the first game, she was sarcastic in a funny way. Now she’s a bitch. She annoys the crap out of me. If I were Gerde, I would have sent her to find a hotel. She is just so nasty and jealous without any reason what so ever.

2 grace

About Gerde, in the first episode I got the feeling she was older, sitting down peeling potatoes for days. Here she is a blond assistant to the Schattenjäger, who spends days sitting at her desk…..probably with some potatoes hidden in the drawers.

gerde 1 and 2

What’s up with the German outfits? You cannot tell me that they use the traditional outfit every day! I’ve been there and besides Oktoberfest, I haven’t seen anyone with those clothes. And what’s up with all the rain coats?! It didn’t even rain!

raincoats

I have a feeling that the developers of this game were severely mistreated when they were in Germany. They depict the German characters with such rude features. The guy at the Gasthof at Rittersberg looks snotty and sarcastic. The one from the town hall just dismisses Grace’s effort for German and told her to speak English. The woman from the Ludwig’s Museum! She was nasty and made fun of the way Grace tried to speak German. Hey at least she tried!

I suspect that Germans feel about this game as I feel about the movie Love Actually and the portrait of Portuguese there. It’s rather insulting! In some other life, Jennings suffered at the hands of the Germans.

I also felt that they just threw a sex scene in there just because the game was missing a fling. The beginning of episode 5 was rather disturbing.

2 awkard

Von Glower is a very generous man and it appears he likes to share his ladies. Because ladies are just objects happily willing to be shared around men. ANYWAY…moving on….

The ending puzzles, what despair they were! The Opera, the smelling around and closing the doors. Just kill me already. Put my wolf out of my misery!

And then I didn’t even get to finish. I was unable to make my wolf jump at the correct timing Sierra wanted me to. I tried so many times that I got tired of watching Grace nod her head. I even put my game screen next to a youtube video so I could watch the exact moment that I had to jump onto Von Glower. Still couldn’t. I just watched the ending scene on youtube and that’s that.

Things I liked:

I like that they have everything in German and then the translation on English.

I liked the München parts and absolutely loved Neuschawanstein. I’ve been there myself after playing this game and it is crazy how some parts are so similar.

reality game

The music was the absolute best.

The story was good. Werewolves were the hip trend few years ago, but I still enjoyed it. It was great to travel around Germany and learn more about King Ludwig II.

Conclusion:

After finishing the game, I have mixed feelings. I remember quite well truly madly deeply enjoying the game, even with the annoying stupid graphics. I can’t say the same now. Gabriel irritated me. I was expecting a womanizer, selfish but brave Schattenjägger and I got bozo, the clown.

Grace was annoying half of the game, the other was ok. I couldn’t really appreciate the sense of belonging that she had with Gabriel. On the first game, it was a normal relationship, and while she enjoyed doing research, it wasn’t as fanatical as on this one. I just wanted to kick her groupie ass out of the game.

I still found the story great. The connections between characters were done beautifully. I just hated the fact that there were no subtitles and I couldn’t speed up the whole dialogue. Sometimes I would fast forward a dialogue, just because I wanted them to finish the sentences faster, and I ended up with the whole scene skipped.

The high score of this game is the Baron! He’s just great! 😀 Can Von Baron be the Schattenjäger, pretty please?

VonGlower1204x768

´von glowervon glower and bozo

Not like Gabriel the Bozo….I have no idea why they put him like that. The real actor is actually handsome:

gabe gabe 2

My personal conclusion was that you should never go back where you have been happy. It isn’t the same the second time around.

In the end, Life wasn’t that Strange

After much anticipation, I’ve finished Life is Strange!!

If you haven’t played and want to, don’t read more, because there are spoilers ahead.

The last episode….how can I say this in nice word….well that was a lot of boring talking, that could be summarized into: “I love you Chloe. I left you for no good reason when your father died and decided not to speak with you for years, but you’re in my heart. I am also extremely annoying and want to help everyone, EXCEPT when it endangers you Chloe, the person who I haven’t talked in years.”

lis3

ARGH. I excepted so much more. Can I choose to kill Chloe AND Arcadia Bay? We can’t, so I’ve chosen to sacrifice Arcadia bay.

I shed tears for all of the episodes. Shouldn’t this be the one that would make me cry the more!? Comme on! I cry with puppies in commercial ads! It’s not that hard to make me cry! The closest I came to having my eyes watery was when I realized that THIS was actually going to be the long-awaited end of the game.

Life is strange is a good game. I’ve already mentioned previously that I’m not sold on the whole episodic release game. Mostly because of what happened just now. It took me I don’t know how many months for this episode to be released (I think 2 or 3). I built up my expectations, joined discussion groups, and mostly awaited to be rewarded for my patience. And for me it was a flop.

It actually took me a while to get used to playing LIS again. For instance, I totally forgot how to save (you don’t…it saves itself), so I didnt’t know when I could quit the game without having to rewind the whole boring conversation again….Seriourly, does Max have a fast forward gift? It would be great.

So let’s summarize everything in episodes:

Episode 1 – Chrysalis

It was a good slow-paced beginning. We get to know the characters in our own time. The music is one if the first things that called my attention. I’d love to have the soundtrack of the game.

LIS1

Max struck me as just an annoying teenager and I don’t much appreciate to play a teenage game. I was lucky enough to have only known that this game existed when the 4 episodes were already released. I don’t think I would continue playing if I had only played the first and had to wait 2 more months for the next one. I’d have forgotten all about LIS.

Episode 2 – Out of Time

Great episode. Really relatable with nowadays. It’s on this episode that I understood that this wouldn’t be just a teenager game. Loved the interaction between Chloe and Max,even though Chloe was a bit over the top.Great emotions with Kate MArsh! And I felt such joy when I was able to save her.

Episode 3 – Chaos Theory

It was the episode that we were presented with the consequences of Max’s powers. The investigation part of good. Probably the most adventure game feature in the whole game, on my opinion.

When Max goes back in time to save Chloe’s father and then discovers that she probably did more bad than good, was the highlight of the game. In the end, the bus trip and the music going on in the background and then the revelation of what changing time had meant, was a tear-jerker for me.

Episode 4 – Dark Room

The darkest of the episodes. It seemed that I was reading the Girl with the Dragoon Tattoo (the edited version for teenagers, probably).

The game just took another twisted turn. I still hoped for Rachel Amber to be alive. That hope died in the end of the episode. Mr. Jefferson….WHYYYYY WHYYYY?!

Episode 5 – Polarized

I had to wait long for this episode to be released, so my theories ran wild. Chloe had died so many times, in so many different ways, that I knew already that the Universe wanted Chloe dead. I suspected that it was because she repeated so many times Hella! I also thought that Mr. Jefferson and Nathan would be somehow related. But nope, just two random guys who happen to share the same passion for weird photography. Other people’s theories were more out there: Rachel was a time traveler. Mr. Jefferson was a time traveler. Warren was actually the bad guy.

In the end, my theory wasn’t that far off, which also disappointed me. I wanted to be surprised. Everything in the beginning of the episode was so predictable.

I enjoyed the whole Alice in Horrorland atmosphere from the nightmare . And the changing of the rooms depending on the perspective. That was really nice. Graphically the episode was great. The details were amazing. We still have the absence of emotion on the characters’ faces but hey we can’t have everything. And everything else is so good, so I have to forgive them for that.

And then, there came the choice, Chloe or Arcadia. I chose Chloe. Don’t know why. Just wanted to see if they would kill everyone. They did (if not everyone, at least the most part). Which was disappointing as well. I mean, I kept saving Alyssa’s butt, for her to die?! WTH! So why would it take me the whole episode to just screw Arcadia and all of the people, because I want my best friend with me.  Max is going to have a busy life, because in a week, Chloe got killed a lot. Imagine the rest of her life. She’s going to be destroying a lot of cities, since obviously Chloe is very accident prone!

Also, how could Max go back in time with the butterfly picture? She wasn’t in it. I have to go back to the forums to understand this. (Update: I did get back to the forums and now I understood. The picture has Max’s reflection on it. Uff that was really far fetched)

Lis2

All in all, it was a good game altogether. I so wanted to play LIS again to pick different choices just to see what happens. But the thruth is that nothing would really change. If I chose to Sacrifice Arcadia Bay, all of the choices I’ve made will be destroyed with the tornado. Everyone will die, so what was the point on spending the whole game trying to save people?!

Since I still wanted to believe that this game was great, I went back and chose to sacrifice Chloe. and there I had it. My beautiful and touching game.It all made sense. Comparing to this ending, the other one feels rushed and emotion free. Come on! Who blasts a city with all their family and friends there and speed up into the sunset. Killing Chloe restored my faith in the beauty of this game. It left me heartbroken actually.

It turns out that if I sacrifice Chloe, the choices REALLY don’t matter, because you went up in a reality were they haven’t been made yet! So……..what exactly was the point of choices? I really enjoyed them, but if nothing comes out of them, I feel a little bit stupid…..

I think I will go back to King’s Quest and the Gabriel Knight’s Series, which I am replaying and then I’ll rethink on playing LIS again.

 

King’s Quest VI or The Love story of Prince Boring

I’ve found a sale on the Series King’s Quest, so I’ve bought them all!

I have a vague recollection of playing King’s Quest VII, but never finishing it. So I’ve decided to play the whole series, starting by the VI, the one that has the highest praise.

First of all, the graphics are fine for a 1993 game. Sometimes I had to use a walk through because of some pixel hunting that I wasn’t able to see.

The Music is ok. Sometime it was annoying, but still better than most of the games from this time.

In terms of story, I can’t say that I am into this type of stories. It’s too prince and princess for me. Cassima is too nice and don’t even get me started on Prince Alexander. Even his goody two-shoes voice made me cringe. I like sarcastic and funny characters. These were none. I also didn’t like that women always needed to be saved. We can’t save ourselves. In the beginning it seems that Cassima had a plan, but nooooooo, she was depending on hero, the annoying Prince Alexander.

I did enjoy the classical stories that were inserted on the plotline such as Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland.

I would prefer to have speech AND subtitles. I’m not native English, so sometimes I would miss something from the dialogue (Mostly because I was almost falling asleep due to the boring speech of Alexander and Cassima).

Even though I am in favour that Prince Alexander dies, I don’t really like that we can die pretty much of everything. I know it’s a Sierra games thing, but it really affects the continuity of the story. There were some parts that I understood that it was dangerous and I could save beforehand. There were others that just annoyed the crap out of me. One time I died because I missed the step on the Isle of the Sacred Mountain. I wanted to go down, and because the game has those pixelized graphics I clicked on a thing that appeared to be a step. It wasn’t. Gimme a break. We have to save almost every time we do something.

I also don’t enjoy death ends. By this I mean, when you don’t do something a determined time or forget to pick up an object and then reach a point that you cannot go any further without that. Come on. If we don’t guess the correct lamp and we don’t have the mint leave (and there is nothing indicating that we should have. In fact, it took me a while to go into that cavern, in fear that I once again would die), we reach the very ending and you die. WTH!

I appreciated the fact that there are different endings and a short and a long path, but I actually liked to have known that I was doing a choice. I didn’t. My dress got burned, so no more choice for me. Here comes the long path.

The puzzles are ok. Not too hard and mostly logical. The timing puzzles were also ok. I don’t like them, but they were fine actually. Easy enough.

All in all I can’t seem to understand why this game is so well-considered. I found it entertaining and I will play the other games from the series. But nothing more.

King quest4

King quest

 King quest2

Blackwell Series

Following up on the previous post that I wrote about this: https://obscurasomnia.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/geek-alert/

I’ve finished the Blackwell Series! 😀 and they are good! I’ve really enjoyed them!

Why?

I can’t say.

That’s the issue that I had with the Blackwell Series. The graphics are terrible. I get the whole vintage thing, and I do prefer 2D graphics, even if they are crazy “pixelized” (I don’t think this is a word). But if this is such a recent game (the first one was released in 2006- It’s recent for me), you can do it better.

I mean…..

Blackwell 1

Come on!!

Moving on to the story. It’s good, complex enough for me, but not that much to keep me hanging onto the next game. I like how we got to understand the different relationships that Joey had with the different members of the Blackwell family.

At first I hated Rosangela, the main character, mainly because of the voice. She grew on me, but it not as much as her aunt Lauren. Lauren was great. I really enjoyed her complexity as a character. We get to see how this “job” gets to her. She losses all emotion and can’t feel anything anymore.

The puzzles are not difficult. I had to use a walk through to some, but it was mostly because of the “pixelized” absurdity of some scenes. I couldn’t actually see that there was something there to do.

Each game is really short, but nice enough to leave us satisfied. The ending was understandable and it made sense considering the development of the story.

All in all, I really liked it and I felt like I was playing an old adventure game. I was thinking that I would like it more than I actually did. But I can’t really put my finger on what didn’t go well.

I would really love to hear some opinions on this game. Still hoping to find someone to share these things. 🙂

Blackwell Legacy

blackwell Legacy

Blackwell Unbound

blackwell 2

Blackwell Convergence

Blacwell 3

Blackwell Deception     

Blackwell 4

Blackwell Epiphany

epiphany