Gismos Episode....ummm 13?

Well, well, well. It has certainly been a minute hasn't it friends? About a 7 month long minute. So what do we have to say for ourselves? An inarticulate gesture with a gaping maw and some unintelligible muttering is about the best we can do. We simply got busy adulting, prioritizing other things like careers, wives/girlfriends/fiance's, artistic interests etc. You know how it is. Comparatively the whole " Hey i got a job so i can buy all the games i want....but, can't play games because i have a job" complex has been running through our minds lately as an apt comparison to our situation as of late. 

So were back, and were not apologizing for the hiatus....or the lack of news regarding said hiatus. We got the band back together, including Jordan, which is kind of a big deal since we haven't been in a room together officially, all at the same time, in...well... ever. Sure were a bit rusty but that's all part of the dazzling charm of the Evade Gismo crew isn't it? Welcome back to the Gismos friends please enjoy! Leave your whimsical comments below and sound off with any questions or topics youd like to hear us yammer about.

MICRO-REVIEW: DRAWFUL

Just about every time I've drawn a drunken room's attention to play a so-called party game (maybe the card-based Ultimate Werewolf or the mobile-based Spyfall), interest has run dry before the game even begins. I guess they can't be blamed; party games are meant to be ice breakers, and I think our drunker selves all find login URLs and convoluted deception strategies rather icy. But personally, I'm sentimental for the partygoers' toast, that moment where many scattered discussions unite under one central focus. I have found that party games lure even the unassuming wallflowers up to the social surface to make their contribution, and that's why they interest me. Among party games, Drawful draws the room together more quickly than any other I've played. It's hosted by console, displayed on TV, and played from smartphone. Open your browser and enter the code displayed on the screen. Bam. You're there. Then, each player privately illustrates a random prompt. Some prompts are cute, like "tables vs. chairs"; some are downright horrid, like "peahen eggs," or, gods forbid, "Dignity." In the next stage, each drawing is displayed for all to see, one round at a time, and players submit their anonymous guesses as to what the drawing is of. Then, players vote among the submitted answers, which are indistinguishable from the truth. The artist-player earns huge points if their drawing distinctively matches the real McCoy, while the guesser-players earn half points if they can bait out votes for their lies.

It's Pictionary-Balderdash, for witty players will quickly realize that if they can't deduce the true clue (your guess is blocked if it's exactly correct), their best chance is to submit a phrase sounding true-...ish. Other times you can win votes by charm alone, though the real test of skill lies in conceptual camouflage. I've witnessed one mild-mannered beginner absolutely wreck in this game. When I asked him what his secret was, he told me, "I guess I just know how to think like a robot." Above all, Drawful succinctly motivates a room full of idlers to entertain the hell out of other. For the simple efficiency with which it coaxes laughter, eureka's, and outrage from a diverse group of players, Drawful sets my standard for game of the year so far. 

Drawful: Always-hilarious smartphone Pictionary, on PS3, PS4, XBox One, Android TV, Apple TV, and Steam! Half-hour rounds, with a bottomless well of questions.

P / H : PARAGRAPH & HAIKU

                                                                                                                If I could turn back time...

                                                                                                                If I could turn back time...

Very few of us have the time to play every video game we start all the way through to completion. It's just a fact of life, and the sooner you accept it, the sooner you will be at peace. This doesn’t necessarily mean these games are bad, or not worth playing, it just isn't in the cards at the time. We at Evade Gizmo are not immune to this phenomena, and want you to know that it's OK, it happens to everyone, including us.  We do, however, want to recognize the games that we have sunk some time into, anywhere from 2-20 hours. Think of this column as our version of a quick look. And of course as one would obviously expect, the best way to objectively express our feelings about a game we haven't taken the time to complete, is through the use of ninth century Japanese poetry.

Yoshi's Woolly World
Wii U

Hours played : 10

                                                         goddamn is this game bright.... you may need sunglasses if you are hung over

                                                         goddamn is this game bright.... you may need sunglasses if you are hung over

Yoshi's Woolly World is a vibrant, charming and polished 2-D platformer released last fall for the Wii U console. The latest in the series is evocative of a personal favorite of mine, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, and tends to succeed in hitting most of the same notes that game hit back in 1996. The main issue i have is that this game came out in 2015, and if it weren't for the updated art style and visual fidelity, you might think you were actually playing a Super Nintendo title from 1996. Yoshi shoots eggs, flutter jumps, pops question clouds to reveal hidden paths, and tongue fucks everything and anything in his path. Indeed the whole routine is back, but now in yarn form! There are 5 worlds to explore, each with 8 stages and plenty of bells and whistles to unlock, but ultimately the whole package feels underwhelming as a full blown $70 title in today’s market. If you are really hungry for a great side scroller on the Wii U, pick up Shovel Knight or Super Mario Maker instead for unmatched value and incredible developer support.

Design recycled
Yoshi Plods through the motions
The wool looks super
                                                     “ Remember Alf (Yoshi)? hes back, in pog (woll) form!”

                                                     “Remember Alf (Yoshi)? hes back, in pog (woll) form!”

Facry Primal
X1/Ps4/PC

Hours played: 6

                                                            I found myself kneeling to pet my steel-eyed wolf friend after every encounter

                                                            I found myself kneeling to pet my steel-eyed wolf friend after every encounter

By now most everyone has heard all about Farcry Primal, as the game has been scrutinized to death in the media over the last few weeks. Much of the reason for the exhuberent amount of coverage can be blamed on the slower game release schedule in January and February, as well as the multi-million dollar marketing push by publisher Ubisoft. However, a lot of the attention the game is receiving seems to be over the speculation that Primal started its life as a Blood dragon-esque add on for Farcy 4, and somehow evolved into a full priced retail product, leaving gamers to question the value in purchasing Primal at full price. On that note, I have little new or groundbreaking to offer, instead, I echo many of the statements already made about the latest Ubi open world romp; it's a solid game for those who yearn for more Farcry. Its brutal, visceral and finds some truly unique ways around the old guns and helicopters model of the last couple games (the beast mastery is easily my favorite addition). There is very little story to speak of, you will be seeking out and killing other humans using spears, arrows, and plenty of melee combat, which can feel jerky, imprecise and unsatisfying at times. The increased focus on hunting, gathering and crafting makes Primal feel more like a survival-lite game than a true story based open world experience that we would come to expect from a full-blown $70 Farcry title. Proceed with caution, and if your on the fence, maybe pick it up used in a few months, as I would expect a short single player campaign with no multiplayer will translate into a plethora of used copies at your local game shop. 

Explore the wild
Tame your inner animal
charge less for this game

Life Is Strange
X1/PS4/PC

hours played: 3

                                                              And suddenly a picturesque picnic on the train tracks turned into a nightmare.... 

                                                              And suddenly a picturesque picnic on the train tracks turned into a nightmare.... 

Every now and then when I play a video game, I catch myself in the moment and stop to think; why am I enjoying this? What is it about this that is appealing to me? That happened to me a couple times in the opening hours of life is strange, the story about Max, a young, gifted photography student trying to fit in after getting accepted to a prestigious art academy in the eerily named Arcadia Bay. Max finds its hard enough to fit in, but when she discovers she has the ability to manipulate time, things get understandably more complicated. Early on in the first episode, there was a sequence where I had to persuade the local group of 'mean girls' to vacate the front steps of our shared dorm (they wouldn't let me in, the bitches). After exploring and observing the details of the area, I fiddled around with a nearby custodians paint can and a set of automatic sprinklers, I hid nearby making sure I had a good view of the area and used my ability to rewind time. Success! The sprinklers expectantly went off on the janitor, who dropped the paint can, which splashed onto the rude girls dress. Eureka! As the Zelda chime went off in my head I strolled up smugly and pretended to be concerned for her, earning some brownie points with the cool group to be cashed in at a later date. The satisfaction set in and I couldn't help but grin sheepishly. I sort of felt like Agent 47... if he were an awkward teenage girl with the ability to rewind time and a penchant for photography. Which brings me back to my original point… why the hell am I enjoying this so much? I'm not exactly sure what it says about me, but the combination of lovely visuals, ultra cheesy dialogue and a budding sci-fi mystery to explore is enough to keep me coming back, at least for now. The game is worth checking out for fans of adventure games, and you should be able to get all 5 episodes packaged together on sale, I picked it up on the PSN store for $10. 

Clouds toil about
We dance in the storm of time
Bitches get dealt with

Thats all for now! Stay tuned for more masterful poetry and ultra-poignant commentary!

EG.

GISMOS_10 - BEST GAME IDEAS EVER!

Well we did it. Episode 10 has been attained. I've been running around with my head cut off these past few weeks- between 14 hour work days and husbandly duties there has been zero time for any extra curricular activity save editing podcasts with bloodshot eyes. The intro ended up sounding a little tinny and hollow in an otherwise solid podcast, but damn-it anyway if i just want this episode done so i can get some rest. 

Welcome Robbie Fernuk to the conversation. Robbie is a self proclaimed 'terrible gamer' as stated personally in his article he wrote for us all those months ago here. We can all relate to being terrible at something, but to be terrible at something that you love to do takes an extra bit of perseverance and a pile of patience. Enjoy the show, lets hear what you think in the comments below!


TOMORROW'S MAN'S SKY

Got a promo e-mail from GOG.com this morning informing me that No Man's Sky is now available for pre-order at $60 -- a North American release date of June 21 has been announced, which has me vibrating with hype all by itself. But the announcement page doesn't come without its share of disappointing quirks and understated, yet crucial, details.

If you're here reading, you've surely heard about No Man's Sky, the upcoming first-of-its-kind galaxy-sized space exploration game. The LITERALLY GALAXY-SIZED game-world is populated by planets & lifeforms that are randomly generated to according to complex math, and of which there are so many that the design team programmed tiny surveillance robots to fly through the galaxy on their behalf and report on unaccounted-for aesthetic oddities. Players can quickly transition from underwater tunnel network exploration, to surface-level biopsy, to interstellar piracy, with naming rights to everything that they are the first to discover. Plus, the game's endorsed as having awesome VR support; perhaps one of the first wide commercial releases to do so with confidence. This Frankenstein project is broiling over with hype and hesitation in equal measure. Getting a release date confirms that it is really happening.

The catch is, this isn't just a release announcement: it's merch-hyping. And while I'm happy to ride this hype-train full-Steam ahead, something about the PC spaceship toy box set, the PS4 special edition art books, and the in-game powerup reward for pre-ordering feels a bit puffed up to me. Grandiose pre-order and Special Edition packages make sense for games which already have established mythologies and fanbases. But in No Man's Sky, we see the marketing indulge, perhaps too deeply, in just the excitable popular speculation about its product. Having a model of a classic X-Wing on your desk is neat; having a somewhat generic-looking, "nostalgic" spaceship is kind of random.

Is this how the singleplayer space-explorer will feel?

Is this how the singleplayer space-explorer will feel?

But what bugs me most is the offhand claim that, "Perhaps you will see the results of [other players'] actions as well as your own...". Perhaps it was naive for me to think that I'd be able to meet up with friends, however far-flung they may be, in a game that was never explicitly announced to be an online experience, but the prospect of overlapping star-maps with my brother and sinking dozens of hours into a massive interstellar journey to meet up with him was just too exciting to suppress. The blurb above cements the title's solitary gameplay, if in a rather sneaky and indirect way.

So, yeah. I think the hype got to me. I am gonna wait this purchase out.