Second Thoughts with the Chick – Terraria

On Monday, I reviewed Terraria for PlayStation Network/Xbox Live Arcade.  I said that I did have fun playing the title, but I didn’t recommend it because it was too glitchy and unfinished.  I also said that I had lost interest in the game.  Since then, there hasn’t been a review up at my blog.  Why?  Because I’ve been busy playing Terraria.  So allow me to eat some crow and do a 180 here.  Terraria IS worth your time, glitches and all.

By the way, even more annoying glitches have popped up over the last few days.  The game froze after we defeated the Eye of Cthulhu, crashed while I was harvesting meteor ore, and Brian got a really weird one that forced him to start a new map, then exit that map and reload the old one.  Naturally, the one that required that was “our world.”  The one we built together.  The one that has all of our shit in it.  We were seriously worried that we had lost access to it.  Apparently, it has something to do with the placement of the bed in the house.  Who knew this game was one of those weird “feng shui is real and you must obey it” weirdos?

Starting next year, you'll be fighting pelicans instead of hornets.

Starting next year, you’ll be fighting pelicans instead of hornets.

But, despite dozens of bugs (some of them game-enders), I’ve been pressing on.  I figured Terraria was a possible life-ender, and I was spot on.  When a game like this owns me, my only choice is to “get it out of my system.”  Brian’s heard that term before with me, but this is the only time I’ve dragged him along for the ride.  It’s okay though.  We’ve both made projects for ourselves.  I’ve been focusing on exploring the sky.  Brian is alternating between building our house and mining Hell itself.  He also built an elaborate trap that we use in the event of a goblin army attacking.  Of course, said attacks are rare.  Mostly, his trap just kills innocent bunnies.

We named this "Rabbit Season, FIRE" after watching a dozen bunnies off-themselves using it.

We named this “Rabbit Season, FIRE” after watching a dozen bunnies off-themselves using it.

It was sometime a couple of days ago that Brian asked me “do you want to reconsider your review?”  After thinking it over, yes.  Yes I do.  I still stand by all the complaints I said in that review.  Terraria is clearly not completely finished and needs a lot of work.  But I can’t deny the sheer scope of things you can do in this title.  It’s insanity.  It’s consumed my thoughts and utterly devoured my free time.  I had a seizure earlier this morning (completely unrelated to the game), and since then all I can think about is “I hope I feel good enough to play Terraria later.”  It’s single-handedly crippled my productivity here at Indie Gamer Chick.  It really says something about a game that, after forty hours, I’m still anxious to dive in.  I make no apologies for it either.  Look at this game I’m supposed to be writing a review of.

This is Short Circuit for XBLIG by developer Jason Yarber.  Jason's a cool dude, but his game is so fucking boring.  I've always been bored silly by Lights Out, since the moment Santa Claus put one in my stocking when I was ten years old.  And this version doesn't look paticularly engaging.  It has that lazy XBLIG font that makes me break out into hives.  Now, I can either spend hours trying to be snarky over this, or I can spend them fighting monsters and harvesting rare ore.  Hmmmm.. sorry Jason.  For what it's worth, your game isn't total shit or anything, but I can play Lights Out for free at any number of sites.  I can also take a handful of sleeping pills and feel the same stimuli.

This is Short Circuit for XBLIG by developer Jason Yarber. Jason’s a cool dude, but his game is so fucking boring. I’ve always been bored silly by Lights Out, since the moment Santa Claus put one in my stocking when I was ten years old. And this version doesn’t look paticularly engaging. It has that lazy XBLIG font that makes me break out into hives. Now, I can either spend hours trying to be snarky over this, or I can spend them fighting monsters and harvesting rare ore. Hmmmm.. sorry Jason. For what it’s worth, your game isn’t total shit or anything, but I can play Lights Out for free at any number of sites. I can also take a handful of sleeping pills and feel the same stimuli.

I haven’t really paid too much attention to recent XBLIG releases.  Over the past couple days, a couple of titles have hit that will be reviewed over the next seven days.  Well, maybe.  When a game utterly owns me the way Terraria does, I can’t make promises.  I don’t take back anything else I said about Terraria, except the part where I said I can’t recommend it.  I can, and I do.  Put it this way: I got the new Bioshock earlier this week and was enjoying what I was playing, until I started playing this.  A little $15 indie game on PSN is completely dominating my game time.  And now I’m like one of those evil drug pushers, encouraging players to just take one hit.  Come on, one won’t kill you.

LogoTerraria was developed by Re-Logic

Seal of Approval Large$14.99 said crow taste quite bitter in the making of this review.

Terraria is Chick Approved and shame on me for not realizing that three days ago.

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About Indie Gamer Chick
The most read Xbox Live Indie Game critic in the world.

15 Responses to Second Thoughts with the Chick – Terraria

  1. Jamie Popay says:

    Finish that Bioshock game missy 😡

  2. andregurov says:

    I spit my Pepsi out when I read the blurb “Starting next year, you’ll be fighting pelicans instead of hornets.” As a New Orleanian and a Hornets-cum-Pelicans fan, that inside joke was deeply appreciated. Major props!

  3. NVO Games says:

    You don’t have to feel so bad about reviewing this game rather than an XBLIG. This game was written in XNA*, so it’s like an honorary XBLIG! 😉

    *Initially anyway, who knows if it’s still XNA now… I can only imagine the tons of new bugs you’ve ran into were introduced with a rewrite to another language / API.

  4. this game looks great

  5. Gryzor says:

    I was loving Terraria to the fullest up until my first goblin invasion, which the game’s relaxed pace had left me completely unprepared for. I had been having enough fun to let a lot of obvious (but minor) flaws slide; but there was no ignoring anything anymore.

    Totally steamrolling over the player for (literally!) half an hour without relent is hideous enough; but the situation also makes nearly all of the game’s minor gameplay problems stand out dramatically. The floaty jumping, mushy feeling combat, complete lack of defensive options, the lame, wholly arbitrary restrictions on healing items, not being able to manage your inventory unharassed, all of it. It’s bad enough when a game is buggy and broken; but this one makes a total spectacle out of it’s own self-destruction… and it forces you to watch every second.

    Basically, it made me so frustrated that I would’ve welcomed ANYTHING to end the misery earlier than the preposterously large preset time/kill limit required it to last. Was dying 20 times in annoyingly rapid succession not enough to clue you in that you’ve put me into a situation I can’t handle, Terraria? Fuck you.

    I guess I wouldn’t have as much of a problem with it if the game did *something* to prepare you properly, though. One thing I love about games like this and Minecraft is the fact that they explain so little and can thereby maintain a wonderfully mysterious and unique atmosphere. Still, explaining certain things for the sake of the player is obviously necessary. For instance, it’d be nice to mention that you’re about to drive a massive tanker truck of unfair, game-ruining bullshit through my fun parade.

    • Rik Swift says:

      Killed by Goblins? Just put a dirt block outside your house so the door cannot be reached and then stand on the roof. You now have all the time you need to prepare; although all you need is a half-decent sword and an overwhelming desire to kill hordes of small mindless fucktards. I just imagine it’s Bieber’s fan club and go into a murder-trance. Relaxing.

      • Gryzor says:

        I’m sure just knowing that it’s coming is all most people would need; but even if I had been prepared, I still think the whole thing is overkill to the extreme and an outright loony choice for what otherwise seem to be sensible and talented game designers to make.

        … and with or without the sanity-bending frustration, I think even 5 minutes of that might’ve been stretching it, honestly.

  6. GreaterMuta says:

    Does this mean you’re finally going to give Minecraft a shot? lol.. Book a week off when you do :-p

  7. Harikamboji says:

    Anyone know if the XBLA version has the glitching problems?

    • I had reports of crashes on Twitter, but nobody mentioned specific glitches.

      • GreaterMuta says:

        I downloaded the XBLA version following the 2nd review. Much like Minecraft, the demo doesn’t do it justice. So i had to take a leap of faith. Turns out it was the right move and it’s a great game. I’ve logged something like 10hrs thus far an haven’t experienced any crashes. The only annoying bug i’ve found is when you have appropriate items to craft an item, but the crafting option doesn’t show up. i.e. I had a stack of iron ore, but when i went to my furnace the option to craft iron bars was not present. This is only a minor issue though and dropping the iron ore and picking it up again seems to resolve it.

  8. janhutchings says:

    Great piece, I’ve been unsure whether to get Terraria or not, but I do appreciate your second thoughts on the game. Sometimes the first impression isn’t good but the subsequent interactions actually gain traction. Thanks for this! Will be getting the game ASAP!

    And you’ve got yourself a new follower!

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