Friday, September 30, 2016

newdarkcloud plays Hitman (2016) - Episode 6 - Phantom of the Fashion Show

And now, for a funny little diversion.

Though this episode does show off a little bit of what I was talking about last episode, in truth this was just an excuse to have a little bit of fun.

In case anyone thinks that Hitman is a serious game for serious people, show them this episode. Trust me, it'll teach'em.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

newdarkcloud plays Hitman (2016) - Episode 5 - "F" For Fabulous

We... look.... FABULOUS!

The feedback loop for this game is one of its smartest systems, because it encourages exactly the kind of behavior gives the player the best possible "Hitman" experience.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Kingdom Hearts Primer Announcement + Hitman Schedule Shift

Ladies, gentleman, and all other persuasions, we at Interactive Friction are pleased to announce our new project. That's right, Sam and I are back at it!

Welcome.... to Kingdom Hearts.

A long while back, Sam and I were talking about how he didn't really understand the plot to Kingdom Hearts, while I did. So, in anticipation of Kingdom Hearts 3, we decided to do a series on the plot of the series, such as it stands.

Monday, September 26, 2016

newdarkcloud plays Hitman (2016) - Episode 4 - Dressing As The Stars

Welcome to the Paris fashion show: Home to chic design and fabulous murder.

One of the things I am grateful to Absolution for is that it forced IO Interactive to seriously improve on the sneaking/stealth mechanics of Blood Money. Where we once had this terrible binary of "detected/not detected", there now exists a ton of states and transitions between those states.

Friday, September 23, 2016

newdarkcloud plays Hitman (2016) - Episode 3 - Checkmate

Today, we finish the tutorial.

There's some dispute over whether or not this section can be treated as part of the tutorial. I lean on the side that it is part of the tutorial, because it makes sense if you treat like a further escalation on the Freeform Training.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

newdarkcloud plays Hitman (2016) - Episode 2 - Simulated Drowning

Welcome to the smartest Hitman tutorial IO has ever made.

I really can't stress how smart a decision this was for the tutorial. While any tutorial can be used to introduce the basic mechanics, the mechanics themselves are only half of a Hitman game.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

newdarkcloud plays Hitman (2016) - Episode 1 - Murder Comedy

Welcome, my friends, to a World of Assassination.

I never went through the tutorial for Blood Money when doing the LP for it, and there's a very specific reason for that. Said tutorial is so poorly done that it makes my blood boil ever more than the White House mission.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

newdarkcloud plays Hitman: Blood Money - Episode 12 (Finale) - No Witnesses

Anyone who knows about Blood Money knew this episode was coming, but it is the finale and the natural place to end an LP of the game.

I'm a little disappointed, because I was prepared to go into a large tirade about how difficult this gunfight is, because I died so many times to it.

But then I went and killed everyone the first time, without need to give it a second shot, ruining said tirade.

Like the White House, it's a cool idea. However, for it to really work, the player needs the ability to mow down all the mooks with little difficulty. I'd probably have given 47 extra defense or outfitted the enemies with weak weapons that don't do much damage.

Instead, it's just the usual guards and guns. Players will probably die countless times to it before they get it right.

Fortunately, this is all just a prelude to my next project. See you next time, when we play the new Hitman, which will start on Monday, September 19th.

Monday, September 12, 2016

newdarkcloud plays Hitman: Blood Money - Episode 11: Part 2 - None Of You Are Safe

We finish the worst, and final, mission in Hitman: Blood Money today:

Last time, I wrote about how awful it was that this level runs you through a linear sequence of rooms like the tutorial.

Friday, September 9, 2016

newdarkcloud plays Hitman: Blood Money - Part 11 - The Final Contract

Today, we break into the White House to stop the president from killing the Vice President:

With the exception of the tutorial, which is only linear so that it can teach players about the game's mechanics, this is the worst, most linear level in the entire game.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

newdarkcloud plays Hitman: Blood Money - Episode 10: Part 2 - An Angel Clips Its Wings

Today, we finish up our Vegas activities.

Another thing this mission highlights is the thrill of system/simulation-driven design. Every NPC in this mission has a set routine, and the player succeeds by recognizing those routines and exploiting them, either with disguise. Though he spoke about it in the context of Deus Ex, Mark Brown and Game Maker's Toolkit did a great video on it here.

Kingdom Hearts Primer: Kingdom Hearts 1: Episode 12: Sacrifices

Today, we talk about one of the most legendary scenes in Kingdom Hearts 1:

I've talked about my feelings regarding how Kingdom Hearts' combat feels more plausible than that of its sequels way back when I thought I was good at writing game reviews without scores. (Also, holy shit, that was two years ago.) Generally, the more like DBZ fight scenes become, the more I detached I get from the anime/game I'm watching/playing. There's nothing wrong with those kinds of fights, and they look really cool, but they don't have the same weight to me.

The other thing we really need to talk about is Kairi's place in the game.

Monday, September 5, 2016

newdarkcloud plays Hitman: Blood Money - Episode 10: Part 1 - The Devil is in the Details

Today, we return to Vegas in order to have a party.

This mission is a great example of how Hitman uses it's disguise system to create interesting scenarios. Each section of the level is governed by it's own set of disguises. In a sense, you can treat each costume as a "key" to getting to a different part of the level.

Shame I screw up so bad that I kinda ruin it.

Friday, September 2, 2016

newdarkcloud plays Hitman: Blood Money - Episode 9 - The Ultimate Gamble

You know what they say: What happens in Vegas stays in body dumps!

Back when Hitman: Absolution came out, people (rightfully) got angry over some of the strange marketing decisions made. Most notable, was the reveal of The Saints, assassins in bondage suits who disguised themselves as nuns.