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1  General Discussion / Game Discussion / Re: TZH Game Reviews II: Sins of the Reviewer on: Today at 10:19:56 am
Recently Completed: Five Nights At Freddy’s

System: iOS

Time Spent: Not entirely sure, somewhere between 8 to 14 hours from start of day 1 to finally completing 4/20 mode.  

The Story: You are a Security Guard working the night shift in a pizza place!  A fun pizza place called “Freddy’s Fazbears” which has singing animatronic animals like a “Chuck ‘E Cheese” or “Showbiz Pizza!”  What could be more fun?  Oh yea, the animatronics are haunted or something…

The Good:

+ The presentation is unique.  The presentation and interface is first and foremost what sets this game apart from any other survival/horror type game.  “Amnesia the Dark Descent” really redefined survival horror games a few years ago by stripping the player of weapons.  Amnesia forced the player to use stealth and avoidance instead of guns to survive which raised the tension to an incredible level because the players feeling of vulnerability was so intense.  Five Nights At Freddy’s (which will hereby be referred to as FNAF because I’m already sick of typing the full title) does Amnesia one better.  In addition to having no weapons FNAF also strips away your ability to move.  That’s right, you are in a pizza place with a show stage, dining area, multiple hallway’s, a kitchen, closets, workshops, etc. but… you only ever see them from the view of your security camera while your vulnerable couch potato butt sits in your office with your fan and your tablet that you use to monitor the cameras in the building.  Meaning that if/when the haunted and homicidal inhabitants of the pizza place come for you, you can’t even run away.  Good luck.

+ Genre mashups.  These don’t always work, but in this case the whole is so much more than the sum of its parts.  What genres do we have?  First and foremost horror.  The antagonists may be cute and cuddly childish mascots but don’t be fooled.  This is a horror game.  It’s also a resource management game.  You start each night with a power bar to manage.  That power needs to last from the start of your shift (midnight) to its end (6AM).  The fan in your office can’t be shut off, so that’s a slow but constant drain on the power.  Every time you pull up your tablet to look at the cameras you draw more power, every time you turn on a light to check the blind spots outside your office doors you draw more power, every time you shut the office doors to protect your immobile and vulnerable butt you draw even more power.  (You see where I’m going with this?)  When you run out of power?  The lights go out, and very soon Freddy will pay you a personal visit that you won’t recover from.    One of the most nail biting moments of tension this game can deliver is when you run out of power sometime during the five o’clock hour and you desperately hope that the clock will roll over to 6AM before Freddy finishes you off for good.  It’s also a puzzle game.  There are only four enemies, but each can kill you and each has their own very specific behavior.  For example, three out of the four NEVER move while they are on camera.  But two of those can do something to jack with the camera feeds for a few seconds at a time so you can’t see them even if you just had the camera watching them.  Two of them can jam the doors to your office if you don’t react fast enough when they are about to enter.  One can literally teleport into the office if you keep both doors closed at the same time for too long.  One will attack you if you either watch them too closely or not closely enough.  There are specific counters to each of them, it’s the timing and execution of each counter that is the key to survival, especially on the later levels.  

The Not So Good:

-  The super simplistic interface and presentation makes for a game that is lean on story.  The developer did what he could to seed a backstory into the game that’s presented through answering machine messages left by a previous employee and clues hidden in the background of the various scenes.  Specific details in the scenes can also change (either because the place is haunted or because the protagonist is a delusional loon) which offer more clues.  It’s a very subtle way to clue the player in to the lore of the pizza place but… it’s probably too subtle for most players to even notice right off the bat, especially when they are busy opening/closing doors, turning lights on/off, watching cameras and generally trying not to die.  

-   The game relies heavily on jump scares, early on this is terrifying and effective.  Later, like when you’re trying to complete the custom level on the hardest setting to unlock the third star on your start screen (the infamous 4/20 mode) the shrill death cry of the enemies becomes freaking annoying as hell.  

-    Ridiculously hard learning curve.  I have nothing but the utmost respect for BigBug, the first person to complete 4/20 mode (all four enemies turned up to the highest difficulty, which is 20, on the seventh and final custom night.).  All of the subsequent winners use his strategy or variants of it (Markiplier is the second to complete 4/20 and his Let’s Play series on FNAF is hilarious, he correctly credits BigBug for his winning strategy.)  After being stuck on night six for a while I did some research on strategy’s and even with an optimized strategy you still need pinpoint precision, accuracy, timing and a healthy dose of luck to complete it.  4/20 mode is so hard that the creator of the game has never completed it and he initially said it was impossible.  It was only after BigBugs win lit up the internet that he added the third star to the loading screen to offer gamers some sort of reward to achieving it.  And when I said luck, I mean luck.  Success hinges on keeping your power up so that you can either finish with a smidgen of power or run out close enough to 6AM that the final killing sequence doesn’t finish before the clock rolls over.  And the final killing sequence can either be very long or very short depending on much of a douche Freddy wants to be.  So if games with a brutally hard difficulty aren’t your thing you may not be into it.  

-  The game is short.  Each night is between five and six minutes long (on the mobile versions, on PC they are between eight and nine minutes) which means you could potentially finish the entire thing in under an hour.  The time it took me to finish it includes all the replays it took me to struggle through the last few nights and also beating my head against the brick wall that is 4/20 mode.  And I got off easy.  BigBug spent over 23 hours refining his winning strategy.  Even though he had the winning strategy mapped out for him Markiplier spent over seven hours on repeated 4/20 attempts before finally achieving victory.  But it’s sort of like Dark Souls, the punishment before completion directly correlates to the feeling of achievement after you finally manage to pull it off.
Better Than: This is a case where it’s REALLY hard to compare this game to another because it’s fairly unique.  I will say I found the feeling of tension and impending doom to be more ominous and persistent than the Amnesia inspired “Outlast” which had boring sections and often predictable jump scares.  FNAF manipulates the tension and anticipation so effectively that even jump scares you KNOW are coming are still effective.  

Worse Than: Again, it’s hard to compare this to other games, especially when you take into consideration that only one guy did the entire thing but I have to give Amnesia the dark descent the upper hand here because I really think without Amnesia redefining what makes games scary FNAF probably wouldn’t exist.

Overall: B: As much as I like this game I can’t give it a higher score because of the extreme brevity and the extreme niche appeal.  But to those who this game will appeal to, I can’t recommend it highly enough.  I think it says a lot that after having beaten it on iOS I plan to replay it on PC and I already bought the prequel (haven’t played the prequel yet.)  
2  General Discussion / Game Discussion / Re: What are you playing? Episode 2: Sequel Reloaded! on: January 27, 2015, 10:18:15 am
I really liked the ending. Showing how Joel and Ellie have changed as characters, with Ellie becoming kind of the quiet, bitter one, and Joel becoming a bit more upbeat. The story was pretty great, overall.

I didn't dislike the character development that the ending showcased but
(click to show/hide)

Still replaying GTAV on PS4.  Also been playing Five Nights at Freddy's and holy crap, I can't even get past night 5.  How the hell do people do 4/20? 
3  General Discussion / Game Discussion / Re: What are you playing? Episode 2: Sequel Reloaded! on: January 20, 2015, 09:34:04 am
Oh god, I've been playing a ton of GTA V, Far Cry 4, Destiny and Minecraft on my ps4.

I got GTA V with my PS4 and just started replaying again.  I'm surprised at the amount of little touches they added from the PS3 version.  I just transferred my GTA Online character over to the PS4 and the graphical upgrade is surprising.  I'm also glad I got a chance to redo my characters appearance.  For whatever reason my PS3 character looked like someone had used her as a punching bag.  My point being that I hadn't expected to want to replay the game again but I'm having a blast.  I still need to pick up Far Cry 4.
4  General Discussion / Game Discussion / Re: What are you playing? Episode 2: Sequel Reloaded! on: January 15, 2015, 10:49:25 am
When I finish the left behind DLC for Last of Us I'll put up a review for the remastered edition.  It's taking a while since I've been only been playing it about twenty minutes a day.  My work schedule blows.
5  General Discussion / Movies/TV Discussion / Re: What Are You Currently Watching II: You Only Watch Twice on: January 15, 2015, 10:48:11 am
My wife has been watching (and by extension so have I) the show Once Upon a Time.  At first I thought it was going to be a total Fables rip-off but it's not bad.

When I actually get a chance to choose the programming I've been watching Psych.  I love that show.
6  General Discussion / Game Discussion / Re: Do you still visit gaming arcades? on: January 15, 2015, 10:46:23 am
I can't remember the last time I even saw an actual arcade.  I don't really count a bar or something with one or two machines an arcade.  Sadly they seem to be primarily a thing of the past.
7  General Discussion / Game Discussion / Re: What are you playing? Episode 2: Sequel Reloaded! on: January 13, 2015, 08:20:49 am
I was playing the hell out of Kingdoms of Amalur.  I've barely scratched the surface of the story though, spent a lot of time on the side quests and faction missions and just started Legend of Dead Kel.  Seems like a fanatastic game.  At least game that destroyed the economy of an entire state turned out well.
8  General Discussion / Game Discussion / Re: What are you playing? Episode 2: Sequel Reloaded! on: January 12, 2015, 07:21:50 am
I actually ended up grabbing it on PS4 as well, to give it another shot. My feelings are ultimately the same. I think what does it for me is just the repetition. Fighting the same few uninteresting enemies throughout the game, and walking between the fighting.

Yea, I beat it last night and was pretty disappointed in the ending.  And yes, the repetitive nature of the combat was one of my biggest issues along with the very samey puzzles.  Get a ladder, get a raft for Ellie.  One of my favorite sections of the game was actually playing as Ellie, I started the Left Behind expansion this morning and that looks like it's all about Ellie so it might be good. 
9  General Discussion / Game Discussion / Re: What are you playing? Episode 2: Sequel Reloaded! on: January 06, 2015, 10:48:40 am
Been playing the "Last of Us: Remastered" because it came with my Christmas PS4.  It's not bad but it's no where near as good as I had been lead to believe.  According to a couple of my friends who played it I should already be absolutely in love with it already (I'm a little over halfway through the game) but I'm feeling pretty "meh" about it to be honest.  There is a TON of polish since it's a Naughty Dog game and it looks fantastic.  The intro was amazing and I like most of the characters, but their is something about the combat that kind of kills the game for me.  And while I was sitting here typing this it sounded very familiar to me so I checked the review thread.  Yut wrote a review on the PS3 release last year and he summed up what I'm feeling.  Unless things drastically change in the last half of the game I don't forsee myself replaying it once I finish it.
10  General Discussion / Zombie Stuff / Re: My Papercraft Zombie on: December 17, 2014, 08:36:40 am
It really has gone quiet. Sad

Though tbh I think the time of great net forums is becoming a thing of the past.
People are more used to the fast pace of social media like twitter and face book.

The time of the mighty forums, giants of the internet, is coming to a close. unable to evolve and keep up with these smaller faster sites.
The first of the giants to die to these, new, social networks was the mighty Myspace, a being of great power, wrenching the internet crown from the corpse of older sites that fell to it.
The facebook, with its faster interaction, brought it to its knees.

Sadly I think you're correct.
11  General Discussion / Game Discussion / Re: What are you playing? Episode 2: Sequel Reloaded! on: November 29, 2014, 11:04:27 pm
I would have thought by this point when another Steam sale rolls around I wouldn't be interested in anything but I couldn't pass up Arkham Orgins and Kingdom of Amular with all DLC for ten bucks a pop.  Amular is good so far, it plays like I wish the Fable games had turned out.  Arkham Orgins is ginormous and is still downloading.
12  General Discussion / Game Discussion / Re: What are you playing? Episode 2: Sequel Reloaded! on: October 28, 2014, 07:38:10 pm
So... not sure how it happened (well really I do, paypal was acting wonky tonight) but I ended up with two extra sets of Humble Bundle 13 bundles.

So I have the following Steam games to trade/sell/whatever. (2 copies each.)

Teleglitch: Die More Edition

Tower of Guns

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet


Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs


Risk of Rain
13  General Discussion / Game Discussion / Re: What are you playing? Episode 2: Sequel Reloaded! on: October 28, 2014, 03:43:20 am
Hell yeah! If I didn't buy the Deep Silver Humble Bundle the first time around, I would have thrown in an extra fiver for Saints Row 3 and all the fixin's. But that ten bucks, worth every penny right from the get go.

I haven't got very far yet but I'm always down for some co op. 
14  General Discussion / Game Discussion / Re: What are you playing? Episode 2: Sequel Reloaded! on: October 25, 2014, 07:38:34 pm
Me!   Couldn't pass up the whole enchilada for ten bucks.
15  General Discussion / General Discussion / Re: The Anti-Peeve rides again! on: October 06, 2014, 03:52:07 pm
AP: Actually went out and had some drinks with new friends for the first time in ages. Also discovered the glory of Guinness, Jameson, and Bailey's.

I am so proud right now. 
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