Cult of the Fiver | February 2015

It’s February, and love is in the air! Let’s celebrate human/octopus relations with Octodad: Dadliest Catch, the love between a narrator and a silent protagonist in The Stanley Parable, the forbidden loves of Satan’s daughter in Saints Row: Gat out of Hell, and the tragic love of Red’s life in Transistor.

Octodad: Dadliest Catch

Cult of the Fiver: Octodad: Dadliest Catch

Octodad is the story of an octopus desperately trying to pretend he’s actually a human. He’s married, has kids, a house and a job, but is basically just 8 tentacles in a sharp-looking suit. In Dadliest Catch, Octodad will do his best to be a dad while keeping his octopus identity a secret. In true Clark Kent/Superman fashion, everyone around him seems mostly oblivious to the obvious fact that he’s an orange colored sea creature. Each of Octodad’s tentacles controls independently, leading to much chaos and slapstick humor regardless of the situation.

Octodad: Dadliest Catch is worth your $5 because… it tells a silly and heartfelt story that actually hews pretty close to normal family life. Octodad is a kind and friendly soul just trying to do the right thing by his family. The gameplay can get tricky, but even failures are funny to watch and it’s quite forgiving in most cases.

But don’t pay full price for Octodad: Dadliest Catch, since… it’s relatively short. The challenge level never gets particularly high, unless you want to shoot for the achievements, some of which can be quite tricky. If you’re particularly uncoordinated, trying to get Octodad to do what you want might prove frustrating.

Store page(s): Amazon w/Steam DRM | Steam | Humble

Quick Tips:

  • Try to learn how to make Octodad walk early on. It’s an important skill that just takes a bit of rhythm.
  • Use a controller if you can – I found it particularly natural to control Octodad using a controller, myself.
  • When climbing, if your “feet” are on the floor, they tend to stick. You can use this to methodically move up if you’re careful about the controls.

The Stanley Parable

Cult of the Fiver: The Stanley Parable

Stanley’s job is to push buttons. He sits all day in a windowless room. He’s told what buttons to push, and when to push them. One day, the orders stop coming in. Leaving his office, he finds the building abandoned. A cheery yet ominous narrator is guiding his movements, but should he be trusted? Maybe Stanley should just stay put…

The Stanley Parable is worth your $5 because… it’s witty and sarcastic, while providing a somewhat timely satire of common videogame tropes. The narration is brilliant in both the writing and voice acting. Each of the various paths Stanley can take twists the game in new and interesting directions. There are a wealth of easter eggs and silly situations to find and explore.

But don’t pay full price for The Stanley Parable, since… it’s not much of a “game” in the traditional sense. The overall interactivity is pretty limited. You can probably see everything there is to offer in about an hour, especially if you do some internet searching.

Store page(s): Steam

Quick Tips:

  • There are a bunch of different endings to the game depending on what you choose to do.
  • Some of the achievements are quite hilarious, so check out the achievement list and try to do some of them!

Saints Row: Gat out of Hell

Cult of the Fiver: Saints Row: Gat out of Hell

When the leader of the Saints is dragged to hell by Satan to marry his daughter, Jezebel, Gat and Kinzie follow in order to bring them back. What follows is another open world, super powered sandbox romp. There’s a whole new map, a fresh set of weapons, new vehicles, and a new flight power to play with. Bringing hell to its knees? Just another day for the Saints.

Saints Row: Gat out of Hell is worth your $5 because… it’s got some new stuff to explore. The flight power in particular is a ton of fun, and a real improvement over the glide in SR4. It’s more Saints Row, and that’s hardly ever a bad thing.

But don’t pay full price for Saints Row: Gat out of Hell, since… there’s a ton of recycled content, from reused powers to rehashed side missions. The main plot missions are just collected side missions, like parts of SR4 were. There’s a lot of grinding if you want to finish out the challenges.

Store page(s): Amazon w/Steam DRM | Steam | Humble

Quick Tips:

  • Buy and upgrade the “greed” weapon from the weapon shop as soon as you can. This, with the upgraded vacuum stomp, is a good way to get cash.
  • Don’t finish all the elemental altars, as they can be useful for grinding cash and weapon kills. If you just keep killing enemies during these, they’ll just keep spawning without raising your wanted level.
  • There are several diversions that require you to drive specific cars. Since there’s not much of a reason to drive cars otherwise, they’re easily missed.

Transistor

Cult of the Fiver: Transistor

Red is a renowned vocalist in a far future utopian society. However, a cabal is attempting to take control, and have acquired a unique artifact that will change the balance of power forever. When Red and the cabal meet, she narrowly escapes with her life – but somehow she gains control of the Transistor. With it, she’ll resist the chaos that the cabal has wrought, and with any luck restore the damage that has been done.

Transistor is worth your $5 because… it’s an interactive masterpiece. The gameplay is excellent, the art is sublime, the music is extraordinary. All of the elements work together to sell Red and the world to which she belongs. Supergiant is easily among my favorite indie studios, and they’ve knocked out of the park for the second time with Transistor.

But don’t pay full price for Transistor, since… actually, pay whatever it costs. It’s worth it. It might be a bit on the short side (close to 6-ish hours if you play it through on new game plus after winning) but each hour is wall-to-wall awesome.

Store page(s): Steam

Quick Tips:

  • Don’t worry too much about the limiters and programs you choose at level up. They’ll all be available eventually.
  • Void() is extremely powerful when paired with other attack moves.
  • Health regen is only available on a few programs, so try to keep at least one way to gain health back at all times.
  • Stealth with the Mask() operator can save your skin while you’re waiting for your Turn to recharge.

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