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Backlog Alphabet: There IS a letter Z!

Posted by Syntax Error, 28 January 2014 · 953 views

A friend was upset enough about my ending on the letter "Y" than he bought me...

Z is for Zombie Driver HD: Zombie Driver HD put you in the action in a city ravaged by zombies. Starting with your trusty taxi, you must race through the streets and over the undead as you rescue citizens, kill giant zombie bosses and whatever else the military has you doing. The top down graphics are suitable enough for the game's price point though nothing especially impressive (lots of blood though) and the voice acting is pretty laughable. Much of the environment is destructible so you'll tear through fences, knock down light poles and even blow up cars as you barrel through them. As you progress, you collect power-ups and accumulate cash, new weapons and new vehicles. Why the military is so grateful that you'll help them but still charges you to upgrade your machine guns is anyone's guess. I found the controls rather kludgy; the cars require a pretty wide turning radius which meant that I often wound up in someone's backyard or else making numerous three-point turns. There's also a race mode which I didn't try (see controls comment) and a carnage style mode where you see how long you and your car can outlive the zombie apocalypse. Unfortunately, the maps and vehicles in the carnage mode all require unlocks from the campaign. Zombie Driver wasn't a bad run but I preferred Nation Red for my top-down zombie slaughter.

So with that proper conclusion, I'll throw out a few awards of a sort:

Best Game That Proved A Surprise: Don't Starve. I had no real idea what this game was when I got it or started it. As I said, I figured it was some platformer or zombie survival sim. Instead I found the "start from nothing" game challenging and enjoyable even if I wasn't especially good at it.

Best Game That Wasn't A Surprise: Torchlight II. Not a great name for the award. Torchlight II wasn't a surprise in that I knew what the game was, I just didn't think it would capture my time after the first incarnation had failed. I guess it's "best game where I knew what I was getting into except I didn't think I'd especially enjoy it but then I was wrong" but that's hard to fit on a statuette base.

Game That Was Surprisingly Bad: Game of Thrones. I wouldn't have thought an ARPG based off this super-popular franchise could have been this boring and generic. Granted, for all I know the whole series/show is boring and generic but I can't imagine people wait breathlessly for the next chapter of the garbage I played.

All-Around Worst Time: Men of War: Vietnam. The many (poorly described) controls and steep learning curve meant that this game was just a slog for an hour where "challenge" was quickly replaced by tedium. I was tempted to just leave the game to idle for an hour and lie about it because it just wasn't at all enjoyable.

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