Post Tagged with: "Summer of Gaming"

Trying Out Demos: Cris Tales and Cardaclysm

After all the streams during the Summer of Gaming, I added a few games to my wishlist. Cris Tales and Cardaclysm already had demos on Steam so I decided to try them out.

Cris Tales

My husband immediately said it was game a for me based on the art style and storytelling. I loved the idea of being able to see the past, the present, and the future. It’s certainly something I haven’t seen before.

The first part of the demo is much like the trailer. Lots of story, Lots of pretty art, cute, little quests to give some life to the story.

Then I had the chance to try out the battle system. The basics of attacking remind me of the turn-based fighting of the classic j-rpgs. There is a timeline at the top to keep track of the battle order. You can pick between your attacks, defense, and items. If you press the button again at the right time you can get a critical hit or block an attack.

Sounds good, right?

Well, there is one big fight. What I saw as the boss fight. It took me over half an hour because I just can’t hit the buttons at the right time. I didn’t finish it… I’m not sure how close I was to beating the boss as there are my HP bars. But if this is the battle system, it’s not worth it for me. I’m not going to be frustrated for an hour knowing I could’ve finished if I could react better to visual clues. I’m not.

That’s why I like demos. If I didn’t try this game, I would’ve bought it and stopped playing after 20 minutes. It would’ve been wasted money. I know Steam does refunds, but I also know that I will want to try again later. Maybe when circumstances are different. But the pessimist in me already thinks that I won’t be able to do it ever.

So I’m not going to get this game.


Cardaclysm is another game that stood out to me. I love card games and I really like everything I saw in trailer. I even loved everything I played.

The card game itself is pretty straightforward. If you’ve played Magic: the Gathering or Hearthstone before, you’ll figure out the game super quick. Then there’s the overworld navigation. Your avatar walks through the world and you’ll find buffs, items, and enemies. Everything (as far as I experienced anyway) is set.

When you find fight the last enemy, you’ll hear something roaring. There’s a big skeleton knight chasing you and you have to reach the end of the level or fight him.

Having things chase me (the first bit you won’t even see him, just audio) is bad for my blood pressure. I know that’s the intention. But I don’t really need nightmare triggers in my games. I actively avoid my nightmare triggers.

I love everything about this game so far, except this. If there was some way to get rid of it (as a friendly/peaceful option), I’d play it in a heartbeat. But for now, I won’t buy it.

#SummerOfGaming: So Many Streams

Whelp! I’m used to June being centered around games, reveals, trailers, conferences, and streams, but this year — even without a real E3 — it’s explosive.

There are so many streams, I can hardly keep up. So thank you, Belghast, for making this list with all the streams and links. I’ll come back to it and make sure I watch all the streams I’ve missed so far.

I’ve watched most of them so far and I’m seeing a lot of repeated content, but the added gameplay/interview segments are amazing. It’s nice to see gameplay played by the hosts instead of someone who’s already played the game for 100+ hours because they need to test everything. I want to see players experiencing the game as newbies. Because I will be a newbie, and I will fail miserably most of the time.

It’s like seeing clothes on normal-sized models instead of size zero or two models with no boobs or butt.

So let’s talk about trailers. The streams are filled with them, but will they actually sell me any games?

What makes a good trailer (imo)?

Disclaimer: This is all my opinion and should not be taken as ‘this is the gold standard’.

Most trailers (not teasers) should include at least some of the following:

  • In-game footage
  • Gameplay
  • An introduction to the player character
  • An introduction to the setting
  • A question or hook

I put ‘in-game footage’ first. Why? Because we want to know what we can expect visually. Games are still a visual medium and thus the art style and graphics can heavily influence our decision to (not) play a game.

Gameplay! I can’t stand trailers without gameplay. That’s what we’re going to do for, who knows, 60+ hours? I need to see the combat system (if there is one) because I can handle some better than others. I need to know if it’s first or third-person. Because I can’t play anything first-person and thus the game would be a not-buy if it is.

Every good piece of marketing needs a hook. We as an audience need to care, need to have a reason for wanting to play. I wouldn’t necessarily say the question or hook is a call-to-action, but it’s part of the sales funnel. With a dozen space-related games announced across multiple genres, why would I care about your game?

This is where the introduction to the character(s) and setting comes in. Maybe this is enough to convince some players. Like the teaser for Cyberpunk 2077. I’ve heard so many players loving the setting, and most of them didn’t even care about what kind of game it was (or would be).

For some games, the character and setting, with a small bit of gameplay are enough to show what the game is about. Think about Journey. There is no textual story. It’s all told through narrative design. It makes you wonder, and that is the hook.

Solar Ash had the same kind of vibe. There was no need to introduce the story. The character moving through the world and interacting said more than words could about what kind of game it is. Based on the trailer, I would try it.

Trailers or teasers?

I saw two trailers, Project Athia and Star Wars: Squadron, which only featured video segments, although they say in-game footage. You get a sense of the graphics you can expect. (Please don’t. We all know how deceptive these things can be.) But we see nothing of the combat system, UI, or what’s actually something we will see outside of the cutscenes. I wouldn’t say these are trailers, they’re teasers. They want us to become curious about the game, but it’s not made to sell us the game.

I’m curious about what we’ll see when they’ll reveal more about Squadron later this week, but I’m not holding my breath about any new info on Project Athia.

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