A Plague Tale: Innocence (Game Reviews)

A Plague Tale : Innocence combines fantasy and the Black Death to tell the heartfelt survival tale of Amicia (or Hugo) and Hugo (orphans). The grim backdrop of Inquisition soldiers looking for blood and thousands upon thousands of Bubonic Plague carrying rats makes the dynamic between siblings stand out. Although A Plague Tale does a great job making its young protagonists vulnerable to the dangers around them, you can only see the world from a third-person view. The stealth gameplay and puzzles are not imaginative. The stakes in this world seem low, despite it being perilous.

As mid-14th-century French nobles, the siblings never had a close relationship. But when Amicia is forced to take on the role of Hugo’s protector, Amicia quickly learns to trust each other. This theme is cleverly reflected in the gameplay, which drives the story in new directions. Hugo will hold onto your hand for most of the 17 chapters. To move faster, you can release the button but if you let him go for too long, he will scream at you and draw attention to soldiers. Except for a few puzzles I rarely felt the need or desire to let go.

Hugo can be sent to do tasks such as climbing through windows and unlocking doors, just like other “escort missions” games. Hugo and Amicia act together, which is a departure from most escort mission. Hugo is helpless but you don’t need to do much more than hold his hand. As the story progresses, this works on a thematic level. The gameplay aspect was also simple and enjoyable. Some games have a lot of annoying escort missions. (more…)

The New Atari VCS Honest Review

When the Atari VCS modern-retro was first announced on IndieGogo, it received a lot of fanfare. The first Atari console since 1990’s Atari Jaguar was preordered by many excited people. The Atari VCS’ official website claims that it “combines the best of both consoles and computers,” but the truth is that the system is a diluted combination of a PC and console. Although it does some interesting things, it isn’t unique and doesn’t perform well. It doesn’t even justify its price.

Two versions of the Atari VCS are available: the Onyx or Black Walnut. Black Walnut features a splash of woodgrain across its front. This is a tribute to the 1980s style of the original system. For some reason, many electronics from the 1980s featured a panel made of wood veneer. Although it was an older time, it is a great retro touch. The Onyx version is closer to the “Darth Vader”, Atari 2600 variant. It’s also all-black, as you can see in the photos.

Although the case for the Atari VCS is similar in shape to the original, it lacks all the clunky switches. There’s also no cartridge port. It is also smaller than the machine it is homage to. The Atari VCS looks great. It’s simple and elegant, but it resembles the original Atari console enough to earn my retro-addled respect. (more…)