So I played another game on my new OUYA today. I needed a little pallet cleanser, to be honest, and what better way to do that than with a mindless, run of the mill Third Person Shooter? I'm pretty sure that's the exact reason these types of games are so popular in the first place.
Well, that's exactly what Shadowgun is - a mindless TPS. And you know what? That is OK, my friends. Sometimes - actually, most of the time - it is better and easier to be honest about what you are instead of trying to be something you're not. Shadowgun is very, very honest about what it is, and I appreciate that, even if it's a genre that I'm not the biggest fan of.
When I was playing it, my cousin walked in and asked me if I was playing Gears of War. A lot had to do with the bulkiness of the character, the hiding behind barricades and the complete sci-fi shooter theme it had going on. Sure, usually a knock-off Gears of War would be a negative thing, but considering this is coming from the OUYA and is an indie developed game, it's quite impressive that a casual onlooker would make that comparison. And actually, a lot has to be said for the graphics. Sure, it isn't the most polished game, both in graphics and AI, but compared to a $60 triple-A title, it's really impressive.
It does play a lot like Gears of War, though. It has some different game play elements that set it apart from Gears, but overall, it's hard not to make a game like this and not elicit comparisons. Again, for it being an OUYA game, I remain impressed. It's one of the games you can show people who are on the fence about this new system and maybe sway them towards considering it more than they were.
Overall, I enjoyed this game and I am enjoying the OUYA as a whole. I have no buyers remorse yet, and that's saying something, right?
Today, I added yet another system to my collection, broadening even more the scope and range of games that I can and will play for this year long project. At this pace, I could probably carry this on for several years, but first thing's first - let's get through this year before we get too ahead of ourselves.
On my doorstep this morning was a box - from Amazon.com, specifically - and inside the wonderfully packaged shipping container was something I ordered a couple of weeks ago that I have been desperately waiting for a while. I got myself the Kickstarter phenom, the little gaming console designed specifically with indie developers in mind. That's right, I'm talking about the OUYA.
For one, there is nothing, and I mean nothing, that can replicate the feeling of setting up a brand new gaming console for the first time. It's so hard to explain, but everything from the unboxing, to figuring out shelf placement and cord management, to setting up a new account and getting used to the unfamiliar interface - it's all just amazing.
Speaking of the OUYA...
So anyway, once I got all the set-up steps taken care of, I actually got to sit down and play some games on the thing. First thing to point out is that every single game in the marketplace is available to download as a trial/demo before you pay anything. This is actually the only way to obtain games, and if you decide you like the game enough to buy it, you do so right from the in-game menus. And one of the first games I decided to download and try out on this new system was the tried and true old classic trivia game, You Don't Know Jack.
I remember playing this game way, way, way back in the day on PC, over at my friend's house. Whenever I would spend the night, that was always one of the things we did every time. We always had a great time playing it, enjoying lots of laughs and occasionally learning something too. So I've always had a special place in my heart for this game, and over the years I have played other versions of it, on all the different platforms it has come to. Needless to say, I was excited to give it a go on the OUYA.
The game plays exactly how it always has, loaded with charm and wit, laughs, sarcasm, pop culture references and the legit trivia game experience. There is nothing new to report on this aspect of the game, as I could try describing all the quirks that make this game an enjoyable experience until I'm blue in the face, but ultimately, it is something that needs to be experienced first hand to fully grasp just how awesome it really is. One thing about this OUYA version, however, is the new ways in which the game can be played with multiple people.
While the OUYA only ships with one controller, and you can buy additional ones if you so choose to, You Don't Know Jack offers players a way to play with friends without shelling out tons of money for additional controllers. It has a feature that allows players 2-4 to play using their smartphones, simply by downloading the specific app for free (on-screen QR symbol points directly towards it if you scan it). Once you have the app, you just sync it to the game via Bluetooth and viola! You have a fully functional You Don't Know Jack controller in the palm of your hands!
This game is best played with friends, so limiting it to those with additional controllers would be foolish. It's nice to see the OUYA is already taking the necessary steps to speak directly to the consumers who may be burnt out on the typical gaming console experience.
I can't wait to dive further into the many games that OUYA already has available. Oh, and did I mention you can download NES and SNES emulators on the thing? Color me excited ... and overwhelmed with my choices for games to play! And to think, six months ago I worried about not having enough games to fulfill a year's worth. Who was I kidding?
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Games played for project : 365