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The personal site of Jamie Knight, an autistic web developer, speaker and mountain biker who is never seen far from his plush sidekick Lion. View the Archive

Topics: Autism Development

Game Reviews: Forza 5, COD: Advanced Warfare, Monument Valley

I have played more games in the last year or so than in the previous 5. I’m not entirely sure why, but it has had one nice side effect. I have opinions about games again!

Here is a collection of mini reviews covering the games i have played recently which i enjoyed.

Forza 5.

I’ve never really been a Forza person, the last big driving game i completed (well, 89%) was Grand Turismo 2! I like to play them from time to time, but i have not had the time to get deep into them in recent years.

Happily, this has changed a little. In an effort to reduce anxiety, i have started to spend more time at the weekend setting myself gaming tasks. With forza on the side, i figured it would be worth a go.

Overall, i like it. It goes without saying its very pretty, but it’s also lots of fun. I’m working my way through the various leagues, but its also very enjoyable hammering around the Top Gear track in a rented Arial Atom or F1 car.

For me, the balence of enjoyment is to have a more stable car (eg, traction control and ABS on) but faster opponents. I found the full simulation mode just a little too frustrating. Perhaps as i get use to the mechanics of the game i will disable the aids further, but for now i am happy.

If i had one complaint, its the number of unskipable cut scenes. When starting and ending a race, precious time is lost waiting the same damn animations to be run over and over again. This gets boring and annoying. At the end of the race, i want all the scoring out of the way quickly so i can go to the next event.

I would much prefer the game to start loading the next level immediately in the background.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

I tend to play COD games WAAAY after release. I think modern warfare had been out for at least 3 years before i tried it. This was normally because i didnt like the idea of spending 40 on a game so i waited till they could be picked up second hand for 10 or so.

For COD: AW, its a little different. Like Forza, it appeared in my home over the weekend as my partner brought it. However, i have been able to spend a few evenings playing it while he was at work. Score.

I’m enjoying it. I’m about half way through (i think) and its been fun. For AW there are a whole array of new toys and tricks. I don’t have a great twitch response (i always die fast in human multiplayer!) but i do like exploring the toys. My favourite is the threat grenade. When deployed, all the enemies on screen turn red which makes them MUCH easier to see. This has transformed the game for me. From something i would move through slowly, to something far faster paced.

Like all COD games the scenarios and acting is way to farfetched and overblown, but it is what it is. It’s probably my favourite shooter out there.

Monument Valley

Monument valley is a puzzle game on iOS. I have been playing it on the iPad and have found it to be extremely enjoyable. You guide a mute princess around various reality bending 3D puzzles. Its all EXTREMELY pretty and well designed. Even the typography is beautiful.

I really like this game, interacting with the puzzles makes very pretty noises. The tone and feel matched my slighly spaced out surreal mood when i was playing it as well, so that worked out nicely.

It came to my attention as there has been some backlash when they introduced an option to buy the sequel as an in-app purchase. For an extra 1.59 or so I think its a bit of a bargain. I proceeded through the first 5 levels very quickly, so I am going to leave it a short while before I go back to it to get the most out of what is offered.

Final words.

All three games are very enjoyable. Much like the Lego Marvel game (the last game I completed) they have a unique character to them. COD is pretty mindless it its own way, but the addition of interesting toys adds a new dimension. Forza 5 is all about delicate balence and gentle inputs into the controller. Monument Valley…. it just asks you to reconsider what is physically possible! All in a great bunch of games for whiling away the winter evenings.

Published: 15 November 2014 | Categories: Permalink


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