Freebie Fridays · Video Games

Freebie Fridays: Hard Time

Note: apparently, there are 2 versions of Hard Time - one a 2D version on
mobile, the other, a 3D game on PC. This review refers to the original 
version, released on PC.

Few games truly describe what a ‘Guilty Pleasure’ is to me than MDickie’s ‘Hard Time’. I don’t know what can really be said about the game that can’t be seen while watching someone play it, but fuck it, I’ll give it a go anyways. Hard Time is a game that WANTS to be a prison simulator, that WANTS to be taken seriously, but it’s not. It’s a game where you can make a low-poly version of Duke Nukem (without the catchphrases) that immediately¬†attempts to murder everyone in his ward, using his fists and what very little knowledge he has. In short, the game sucks for reasons I’ll get into, but I’d be damned if I didn’t say just how much stupid, stupid fun I had with this one. I almost did another cheap and shitty game from my Steam library whose main purpose is to work as a dispenser for trading cards, but I couldn’t help playing this for more than a second.

My first experience with ‘Hard Time’ was creating my character. I immediately tried to make Hank Hill, naming him ‘Pro-Pain’, and giving him a ponytail by mistake. I then quit after less of a second of playing. This was because of technical issues related to the windowed mode and my 2 monitors – which I will spare you the details of. Either way, I created a new character… the same exact one. I began my crusade through the prison with the warden. The silly dipshit was just standing there giving me orders with a machine gun in his hand. It’s a good thing for the warden that guns do fuck all in Hard Time, you can unload clips upon clips of ammunition into your victims and they will still stand up anyways. After years of unloading countless metal shells into his chest, the warden was down. Then I wandered into my cell block.

‘The warden’s dead’, the speaker said, ‘but we don’t know who did it’, it finished, despite the fact that bullets leave a clear marking and I was still carrying the only gun responsible for inflicting such harm. And then a strange man walked up to me. He said, ‘I know you killed the warden, he was a good friend of mine’. I then proceeded to unload my infinite supply of slow pain into him until somebody knocked the gun out of my hand. After numerous bursts of uncontrollable rage, Pro Pain was a growing name in all wings of the Prison block… and yet no one talked about me. No chats about how he removed 2 legs off a guy, kicked him the head 50 times, then finally finished him off 4 days later… silence.

And then I gave up. Hard Time is interesting for some time, and it does make for some genuinely silly videos or discussions, but I’d be lying if I told you that this game was good. For a serious prison simulator, it makes no sense that there are swords everywhere, or that the wardens can decide to kill each other for no reason. Its controls are stiff as all hell, it’s mechanics are broken at moments, and the camera is terrible and often times clips into objects it should stay away from. All of this is to say before I mention just how ugly it looks, who blocky and gray environments are, how character models are just so poorly done and look so janky. This was all done by one man, which is understandable, but understandable doesn’t always mean exceptional.

Hard Time, is, after a while, a hard time to enjoy. It really isn’t good, but that said, it’s also damned well fun at the same time. It’s a real mixed bag, but it’s one worth checking out if you have the time to.

Freebie Fridays · Video Games

Freebie Friday’s: Totally Accurate Zombielator

I have over 50 games on Steam redeemed via a key from Giveways. Allot of them suck, and this is just one of them.

I don’t usually like to jump on the bandwagon when it comes to popular games. When Five Nights at Freddie’s was hitting it’s abnormally massive peak in popularity, the most I’d played of the series was less than 4 minutes of the first game on a tablet – the games just don’t resonate with me. Totally Accurate Battle Simulator is one of the newer crazes when it’s comes to the indie scene… and I’ve yet to play anymore of it than I already have. Truth be told, it’s a silly joke stretched out way past it’s prime, a semi-solid premise with ho-hum execution – but that shouldn’t stop you from trying it, especially when you can get it for free right now. When April Fools rolled around, the developers decided it would be funny if they made a satirical piece about all the Open-World-Online-Zombie-Survival Games clogging up the release charts, with the majority of them not even finished yet.

It’s a funny premise, so I gave it a try. 6 minutes later, I left wondering why I’d spent my time with it at all. Surprisingly enough, when you have a First Person game where your character moves around by ragdolling in unexpected ways, the results are going to come across far lower than should be expected. The short time I played with TABZ was infuriatingly slow, and this is coming from someone who can watch 2016’s Arrival without complaining about the snail’s pacing. This is to say nothing about the games zombies, which are also infuriating to deal with. Since this is mocking a survival game, guns are supposed to be rare, with melee weapons lying around like everybody had a new year’s party by directly murdering the person next to them. The combat in this game is clunky as all hell, and I got into far more of it than I should have within the time I played it. Considering how unabashedly slow and bizarre the movement is, whether I hit an enemy or not with the Fire Axe I picked up was a total gamble, and not a fun one at that. To credit this joke-game, however, the world is quite pretty, giving off a beautiful atmosphere despite the whole thing being done as a quick gag.

And that pretty much describes it. It was made to be a quick gag, and it clearly shows. The gameplay is nothing short of abysmal, but the visual style these developers have really is something to behold. Despite it being a gag, I find it funny that this was distributed through Steam Keys, as if the devs are hoping to revisit it one day. Maybe one day, if the player base isn’t as extinct as the Dinosaurs in the coming months, I’ll revisit it and get different impressions, but for now, I dread the thought of spending another second with this.