Okay well I finally decided to get back to the cog titles.
It's odd, I sort of forget about them for long periods, then dither about what to play next, then can't decide, then go back to forgetting .
However, today to stop the dithering I just decided to play hero's rise, the prodigy which was next on the list.
I did play through before in 2014, and remember enjoying the game more than I expected, since I am really not a fan of the super hero genre.
I enjoyed it more than expected again today, albeit that might be because I didn't take matters quite as seriously.
The writing was relatively clean, albeit rather fulsome and overly self-agrandising in parts (though that's all part of the super hero genre).
I liked the strategic mechanics in managing your power levels and health while making decisions. Npcs felt a bit thin, but I did at least get the impression that these were people who would react to what I did, indeed in general the game did a pretty good job of creating a situation which both felt very urgent and threatening, and one where where you mostly could fail at things but get through in the end. I finished with a legend score at 50, though looking at the perfect legend guide I'm not %100 sure where I slipped up, although I'll save that for a replay.
I also got the idea that while the game was essentially structured as a series of challenges and that events couldn't deviate too much, these were challenges you could succeed or fail at, and had to play to your strengths to accomplish, so while it's slightly more game than book, at least it is an interesting game.
I didn't have as much of an issue with stereotypical characters that bookrage mentioned in his review, either because I took a lot with a pinch of salt, or whether it's because super heroes are inherently an excessive projection of identity anyway, some characters like Jury, The diva and Madam vice I did find rather in your face and annoying, but how much of that was intentional I don't know.
I only have two really major issues with the game, the first is the "how dare you not tell me something which I didn't know you knew, therefore I'm mad at you!" a trope which just frankly annoys me in fiction anyway since it seems to just exist to make the main character into a winjy arse.
The second, is the romance with black magic. Maybe it was that my lady and I mistakenly read a really terrible romance together recently, but even though the writing here was reasonable, so many of the tropes this relationship employed from instant mental connection having to avoid all that boring getting to know people thing, to some blatantly trite moments, like black magic's lingerie, her resemblance to a famous actress of your choice and that rather cringe worthy moment when she cooks you junk food after making love, just felt a bit to obviously wish fulfilment fantasy and less character connection.
The moral dilemma with blackmagic's plot was an interesting one, although I'm afraid as someone who has an incredibly disabled sister, I know where I pretty much stand on that one, although interestingly enough when I played the game in 14 I still tried to maintain a relationship with black magic, where as now, with that hole thing feeling less than critical to me, I pretty much broke it off, largely because the relationship here just didn't work for me.
Actually, it's sort of interesting that my feelings about this relationship changed such a lot after! my own rather story book and fairy tale romance, though why this is I'm not sure.
apart from that though, the game was fun. Not best of the best, but easy going and just nice to go through.
also, helpfully enough, I was able to import my savegame this time (one reason why I never seriously continued with the series) so I might go on to the others, since while I'm not crazy about super heroes, this was nice for some light relief.
With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)