Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

by ayashi 1.26.14

I finished Brothers today.

I started the game a couple of weeks ago and that day when I was googling an achievement I accidentally came across a big spoiler for the game. Just as a warning, don’t google achievement related items before the game is over! The spoiler was absolutely huge and it affected my desire to play the game. I ended up putting the game down and didn’t play it again until today. The whole time I was playing today, all I could think of was that spoiler.

Even with the giant spoiler though I still loved Brothers. Even knowing that this thing was going to happen ultimately did not affect how I experienced it when it finally did.

The control scheme is cool, if confusing at first. I know a lot of people say they got used to it really quickly and maybe my brain just doesn’t work that way because I still got tripped up on a semi regular basis. Thankfully though, for the most part Brothers is not a fast paced game and you don’t need to do everything in a rush.

I played the game on my PC using an XBOX controller. The left analog stick and trigger button are used to control the older brother, and the right analog stick and right trigger button control the younger brother. Each brother has a couple of limitations and special things that only they can do. For the most part both brothers will be traveling along the same path, which is part of what makes the control scheme not 100% confusing.

Brothers is an emotional ride, opening the game with the death of the boys’ mother and then their father becoming deathly ill. The two boys need to go on a journey to obtain special water that will save him. I won’t say much about what happens along the way, but the scenery is beautiful and there are a number of people they meet and friendships they make along the way. The whole game is pretty short – I think I finished it in about two and a half hours (Steam says 2 hours but I know it must have been a little longer than that). I thought it was definitely worth it though. I don’t know if I’ve ever played a game that made a single button press so meaningful. Anyone who has finished the game will know what I am talking about :)

Happy gaming!

Tags: , , ,

Orcs Must Die 2

by ayashi 1.26.14

Originally started 1/20, I only just finished writing this today.

My husband went off to Boston for the MIT Mystery Hunt this past weekend, and I was feeling bored and wasn’t sure what to do. Decided to play games with my buddy Crunchy. League of Legends was feeling rather empty with just the two of us queuing, so after our first game we decided to play something else. Crunchy suggested Orcs Must Die 2!

Chris had just bought a gift pack of Orcs Must Die 2 during the recent Steam sale, and I had picked up the original Orcs Must Die ages ago but never got around to playing it. After playing the second game I’m looking forward to going back and playing the first (and hoping that playing the second won’t have aged the first too much).

Gameplay: First big plus is that it has co-op play! It also reminded me a lot of Dungeon Defenders – enemies spawn from certain doors and will swarm you and your friend (assuming you are playing co-op – honestly no idea what the game is like without co-op). Enemies need to reach the rift, and a certain number of enemies going inside will be game over. You get an arsenal of weapons and traps to lay in order to prevent the orcs from getting there, and limited coins with which to place traps so you have to be smart about it.

My first tower defense game was a Warcraft III mod I think – not sure what the name of it was but I’ve enjoyed them ever since then, and I like the twist that games like Orcs Must Die and Dungeon Defenders put on them by also giving you characters to control, so you have something you can do to slow the onslaught rather than just pray you had good tower placement. Orcs Must Die takes this a bit further than Dungeon Defenders as you can obtain multiple weapons, and that helps add some variety I appreciated. There’s also a TON of different traps you can buy and level up.

Difficulty: War Mage difficulty (“Normal” difficulty) was pretty easy and we made it through most levels on our first attempt and managed to 5 skull a number of them as well. I had the advantage of playing with someone who had already played the game though, so he knew about some of the tricks with certain levels that otherwise we would have had to figure out ourselves. All in all it was pretty fun but quick! The latter levels could take around 30 minutes to complete, but most of the earlier ones were much faster.

Story & Characters: The story was light but funny and I enjoyed the banter between the war mage and the sorceress. My only complaint is that the sorceress didn’t seem to have very many cool costumes she could use! Lots of sexy costumes I guess, but I wanted some cool looking ones. (Granted I did not unlock them all, but the only one I thought I might actually use is the one for beating the game on Nightmare.)

DLC: After beating the game, Crunchy and I blew through the DLC. We were basically able to play through each one in an evening, maybe 1.5 hours each of play. It was all pretty fun, but just additional levels to play through without any chatter between the characters (which I looked forward to in story mode). At $5 normal price I think the DLC is a bit expensive if all you do is play through them once, but it does also add in Endless mode levels I believe, and adds in some new costumes you can buy for skulls. Anyway, you can buy the game as a bundle which basically gives you one of the DLCs for free (+$10 instead of +$15) or you can wait to buy it on sale for a bigger discount.

Overall I thought the game was really fun, enough so that I want to check out the predecessor. Being co-op is a huge plus and the game works perfectly to play with friends as long as you can sit down for a little while and get through a level. Just make sure to communicate about what upgrades and traps you are purchasing so you can create some synergy between the two of you, or else you’ll end up like Crunchy and I where we had almost exactly the same kit for one level (to our detriment, though somehow we managed to complete it).

Tags: , , ,