Discussion in 'Geek Emporium' started by SniperHF, Oct 13, 2015.
I haven't beaten a game in awhile, been too busy .
I beat Might and Magic VIII. Great fantasy RPG. I'm a huge fan of the series and this might just be my favorite piece. Or MM6.
I rate it 9/10 and would recommend it to everyone.
Witcher 3 11/10.
Finally beat Fire Emblem Awakening a couple nights ago.
Only disappointment for me was the short length blind-siding me...it's the first SRPG I've ever actually finished since they tend to last forever...if not for doing every side-quest and over-leveling my players I would have finished this in a sound 25 hours.
Go for it, it's only 40 hours and it's no doubt more worthwhile than Fallout
What a well-spent youth that was.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (PS3, 2011)
COD4 was great, with the standout location of an irradiated Pripyat taking you on a whirlwind tour through the world of NotIraq and RussianMissileSilos but retaining a strong thread of immersion because the surrounding keeps you focused on both the story and killing whatever's shooting at you. COD4:2 ramped it up, retaining the same quality in terms of gameplay (and improving it), but adding stunning setpieces using much more recognisable and evocative locations.
COD4:3 goes from Pripyat to Washington&Brazilian favelas&Moscow to... New York, Hamburg, Berlin, Paris, India, Prague, Sierra Leone, London and the Middle East. It gets around a bit. Now, in a game set in 2016 depicting World War 3 this can't exactly be considered surprising as Russia attempts to take Europe and since America effectively held off the Russian invasion there, but it really doesn't help focus you on the story. You're in a different country virtually every mission and while this allows more setpiece moments to steal the show (guess what gets destroyed when you're in Paris?), by this point they're not shocking. It happens, you go "oh," and you move on to destroying somewhere else. Whoopee.
Gameplay wise there's not much difference from MW2. The guns all feel the same although they look different. In terms of actual combat, the location setpiece seem to be complemented by action setpieces, virtually every mission there's some opportunity to mount an automatic/explosive weapon and indiscriminately mow down some Russians. Russians who for some reason wear the same colour of outfit as the Americans, that's quite distracting. MW3 really seems to follow a common trend with trilogies, where a relative unknown can appear first and be functional while introducing a new concept. Then the second one comes with a bunch of hype and expectation and executes its core themes perfectly... leaving it nowhere to go in the third. How are they supposed to top fighting in and securing the ultimate symbols of Americana, in the White House, the Washington Monument, a chain restaurant in a suburban retail park? Where else are they supposed to go? It suffers really badly here, I think.
So, the brunt then falls to the characters to make up for it. I think the strongest characterisation in a MW game remains in the first one - although I think the inclusion of Soap in that category is more down to his inclusion in the subsequent two games since he's silent and a bit generic in the opening (although there are elements of character which shine through in that one), with a personality that's only truly fleshed out in the later games. Playing as Roach and [GENERIC AMERICAN SOLDIER] in the second and then as Yuri in the third, new characters being introduced with very little reason for you to care about them, it falls on the consistent men of action. Captain Price. Soap. Nikolai. You'd be amazed at how far a ludicrous moustache, a hat and a cockney accent can do to cover up a location design team who've got nothing left to surprise you with. In MW3 we see Price as a man focused solely on the destruction of his enemy, a man he holds responsible for the destruction of himself more than the horror he's wrought around the world. Price's need for revenge is easily the most captivating element of the whole thing. Although the structure of the game and the genre limits what can be done in terms of character development (ie you will always go through the game and experience it in a linear fashion despite being presented with the illusion of control over part of it), the sheer force of what Price does is a fine substitute. The voice acting is perfect, even the motion acting is evocative which in a game where (human related) graphics aren't that important is quite a feat. The pinnacle of this however comes in the image at the start of this piece. Soap's death is ****ing traumatising. Having experienced the things the men have went through together, in this game and in previous, to see the culmination of that on a table in a shelled building in the middle of nowhere, before they can reach a triumphant conclusion together... it hurts. One thing I never mentioned about MW2 was its score which was by a real composer and which was excellent, but the music for Soap's death in MW3 is very poignant and effective too. I often feel as if silence is underused in media for moments like this but the sudden cut from strings to the building getting bombed and having to run away, oh, it cuts. I think that in a game and genre that's criticised for a lack of subtlety (both in its execution and the majority of the target audience) there isn't enough credit given to the characters and this scene is the best example of why there should be. Captain Price is probably top five for my favourite Gen 7 characters and it's not a position I give him lightly. In a series of games where I've put a much proportionally larger amount of time into the faceless online world the story of these games is my lasting memory of them.
The last mission's a bit stupid, but you get a vaguely satisfying ending. I made the last three posts as some sort of defence as an oft-derided concept, I hope I've been able to do some justice to what I think of them. Or given you a huge nostalgia trip if you played them a lot anyway.
Act of Aggression (PC)
I never played the original Act of War, but this one piqued my interest. It reminds me a lot of Command and Conquer: Generals, with some Company of Heroes thrown in.
It's slightly futuristic (set in 2025), and boasts a wide and rather interesting arsenal. Many units are customizable in a sense, allowing you to upgrade them with different weapons, or specific weapons for specific jobs.
You can play as the US Army, the Chimera (seams to be a European initiative attached to the UNSC) and the Cartel (apparently the most technologically advanced faction out there).
The campaign is somewhat disinterested with bad voice acting, but its decent enough.
The real meat (at least for me) lies in the multiplayer, with friends.
My complaints against this game is how light the units feel. Everything dies VERY fast, and there is a lot of AoE damage that can get very tiresome when it decimates entire armies. Artillery unit bull **** is rampant. It's similar to Grey Goo in this sense, and I'm not overly fond of the feeling.
It's no golden classic, that's for sure, but a decent strategy game for anyone jonesin' for one.
The way it looked just wasn't very similar to the games I normally play but I ended up quite appreciating it. The ambient music, weird depth of field, and gradual reveal were all enjoyable. Some of the puzzles were ****ing hard as well.
Pokemon Y 9/10
Better than bw/2 but still weaker than a bunch of the other games
That being said, it's still pokemon which will always be fantastic as far as I'm concerned. Story was a little meh, but really all the stories are. I did enjoy aspects of your "Rivals", aka your friends. It was nice actually feeling like you're going on an adventure with other friends in the game as opposed to some rival you just want to be better than. Nice graphics for being the first 3DS pokemon game. Liked the variety of pokemon in the game, although some of the new ones were meh to say the least.
End of the day it's just a new pokemon game in the main series, so most people know what to expect. And what you should expect is a damn fine game that's fun to play, although not to the level of some previous games.
What did you do at the end?
I swapped the **** out of there, and immediately thought, "Damn, that was pretty harsh
Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion - Star Trek Armada 3 Mod (PC)
I've played many hours of Rebellion already (great game in and of itself - best strategy game I've played in recent memory, if you have a few hours to blow per match ), but recently added on the Star Trek mod. Fantastic mod for anyone who is a fan of Star Trek. It renewed my interest in the game for sure.
They used a lot of the voices and models from Star Trek Armada 2, as well as from the shows themselves. This mod sees the addition of hero units, which use voices from the shows. The heroes are a nice add.
The ship designs and Star Trek sounds are spot on, really. I highly recommend this mod.
Make sure that you use the included tool to unlock the game's memory usage cap, or else you might run into performance issues. The mod seems to significantly increase the game's resource usage.
A few things are still missing, like unfinished icons for Romulan and Klingon factions...but all in all, very good.
DmC: Devil May Cry - 8/10
I'm going to start this off by saying this is the first and only DmC game I've played. I know it wasn't very liked by DMC fans but I loved it. The combat was really fun and they had a decent amount of variety in there. There was enough different kinds of demons to keep things interesting throughout and the boss battles were a lot fun. The music was great and really got me in the mood too.
Also, huge props to the people who did the PC port, it was absolutely superb. Fully rebindable controls made playing the game to my liking a breeze and it ran at max settings, at 1440p and was pretty much constantly 144fps too. I think it was the first and only game that I played where I was able to max everything at 1440p and it ran smoothly at 144fps which was a nice treat.
Just added this to my wish list today. Would be my first of the series as well. Looks like it's worth grabbing on a sale!
Have you played Metal Gear Rising? That was my first spectacle fighter and I loved it, it was absolutely, 100% the reason why I bought DmC. I did like MGR more but DmC was awesome as well. I'm probably going to go on a spectacle fighter binge run for a while but I know there isn't much to choose from in the genre.
Cabela's African Adventures - xbone 5/10
Felt cheap and quickly thrown together, not the worst of the series, but closer to the worst than the best
Organ Trail (PS4) 7/10
Great idea for a game, bit of humor and choices that matter. Toward the end of my trip I was low on a few things so that added some tense moments
Toybox Turbos - 7/10
Saw this game from the Steam Codemasters sale and it looked like it could be pretty fun. It was pretty enjoyable and a good modernized version of Micro Machines. The settings & vehicles were all fun childhood imaginations brought to life. It wasn't great by any means but was just good. One annoying thing was every now and then, the game would drop some serious frames at the most inopportune times which could kill a race for you.
Assassin's Creed Brotherhood (PC)
I got this cheap on a recent Steam sale. Worth every damn cent. I don't have an unnatural fear of heights but this made my stomach drop repeatedly, swinging around corners from chained lamps.
So many outstanding aspects to the game:
Rome was ****ing amazing. I never got a grasp on it intuitively.
The quests felt pretty diverse. Yes, there was a lot of chasing bad guys down but the manner in which you did it seemed quite varied.
Loved the historical integration.
Combat was very good, surprised by the amount of different ways to die.
Thought the characters and voice acting was engaging and memorable
I was consistently amused by the non-npc comments and interaction. The guards in particular were perfectly real bullies.
The AI was very good, very tough at times with the controls.
Enjoyed building the team of assassins. Completely overpowered when fully stocked but smiled every time a square full of guards was dispatched.
So many other things I can't remember atm (oh yeah, becoming anonymous in a variety of ways )
Could have been better:
For PC at least, the movements were god awful hard to even get good at. I did the last Thieves Guild mission on the Colosseum and could barely make the time, even after 60 or so hours.
Wasn't a fan of the time-based missions. I don't think I fully synced any of them. It also felt like it just plain rushed what could be fun exploration.
Pretty basic leveling. Most of what you need is obtained very early.
Metal Gear Solid 5
Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, Jak 2, Jak 3 (PS2 2001/2003/2004, PS3 2012)
If the last five minute or so's googling has taught me anything it's that video games pre-7th gen suffer from a lack of capacity, will, technology, whatever, for being screenshotted. Part of this makes me thankful or is at least understandable since old games are not as refined and children today would baulk at the idea that playing Rayman 2 and thinking it looked good was a possibility for a human at some point. As such, I've boiled down three games with two wholly distinct art styles into one image above, as well as three games into one post.
The first game could probably only ever be topped in the nostalgia stakes for me by Gran Turismo 3. The menus, the sounds, the music, the animations, the locations, oh my word. When this collection came out in 2012, I got it on the Friday, and I finished all three games by the Sunday. I got through the first game in about six hours, and I didn't care, it didn't feel short, it was just, so, good. Childish glee aside, it is actually quite good. Platforming as a genre doesn't get enough exposure these days and here is a game which makes you yearn for it. The mechanics are all top notch and while there's not always a lot of challenge, there's a great amount of variation. There's lots of different locations which all look and feel different and present different types of platforming gameplay, and even the enemies you face vary enough to keep it interesting, as well as your Eco powerups in fighting them. What vehicle sections there are all control well, the break the game up nicely too in that respect. Even though it's short and even though the guy you play as is mute there's really strong characterisation too, all the good guys and all the bad guys are well-accounted for (minus the red/blue/yellow Sages, I suppose) and there's a great feeling of completeness about the whole experience. Until you get all the collectibles and get the hint of a next game, that is.
And hey, Jak 2 II! Who needs platforming when Grand Theft Auto 3 exists? We need GUNS! And a SANDBOX! (with floating extremely fragile vehicles in really tight streets and lots of congestion). Nah, the guns are good. The changes in gameplay are largely good, although what familiar platforming exists just ends up feeling vaguely shoehorned in, as if it's there by virtue of obligation to the name than anything else. I can't complain though, really. The nostalgia trip here is so intense too, all the environments, the missions, oh, it's good. Gameplay-wise there's obviously much more variations with weapons but you have the vehicles and you have the Jetboard too, there's missions with turrets and things and looking back on it, there's much more variation in gameplay than I realised. One thing sadly lost in the GUNS thing is Eco - no longer multi-coloured offering you new powers you have light and dark, the dark stuff makes you really angry and gives you big attacks. And yes, there is a jump-up-and-down-and-bomb-everything-in-range-at-once attack, so that's handy. I think that although the platforming element is lost somewhat it's more than made up for by what's brought to the table fresh, certainly playing the two games back to back makes II feel much fuller and more refined. Some minor details, the graphics are notably improved (compare even just the character modelling of J&D from 1 to 2), the music is notably worse and Krew reminds me a lot of Timothy Spall.
Jak III 3 comes along and it's basically the second game with a much larger area, including a desert with cars and.... every bad guy in the known universe. Drive three feet outside the gate and you're just swamped with cars driving into you. Which do drive into you because you can't control what you're in. There's not much to say of 3 that I didn't say of 2 already, aside from realising about halfway through that it would have been more prudent to not try and put three games into one post. The music's still poor, the sense of mystique and... grandness, really, comes back after being absent to an extent in 2, and I will say one thing, when you return to Haven City for the first time, that **** hits you. You're in a city that you saved, and now it's a ruin. Grim stuff. That's very good. The final boss fight (and several before, actually) is really not fitting of the occasion at all. Not remotely challenging. It's a bit of a let down considering the scale of the games before, but the rich enjoyment you got beforehand makes up for it.
Like I said there, I realised at some point yesterday that doing these three games in one post wasn't really a good idea. What playing these games again has done though is prove to me that there is a place for the legacy in video games, in an industry which is an industry which focuses on money, on technological advancement, too often does this at the expense of the achievement and creation in its past. Things like Jak & Daxter prove that old games are worth playing. I hope some sort of sense of preservation breaks into (console) gaming sooner rather than later.
SOMA - 8.5
While not nearly the scariest game I've played, it still had some pretty scary moments. The things that really stick out for me are the themes and the story, as well as how certain ideas and concepts were presented. Nice game to play for anyone getting in the mood for Halloween.
Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies - 8.5
Really enjoyed most of the cases in the game, and the characters in general were quite entertaining.
Assassin's Creed II
As noted above, I started with Brotherhood so that may have spoiled some of this game's fun. Overall it was quite enjoyable but its shortcomings were noticeable. Many of the missions just felt like "repeat task X times throughout the city." The cities weren't as impressive as Rome, nor were the chases which, in the Roman underground ruins, could be fantastic. A couple of the basilica climbs I found pretty good and I also enjoyed The Truth glyph aspect.
Roundabout - 8/10
Roundabout is an indie game on Steam that at first glance looks like some free mobile game but it has so much charm. The true value to this game is the cutscenes, which aren't pre-rendered, they're recordings of actual people speaking their scripts. It's so ridiculous it's hilarious. It 100% knows what it is itself and constantly pokes fun at itself. The game itself is pretty fun. You drive a limo that is constantly spinning and you have to move while spinning to avoid obstacles as you go to your destination. They give you some new powers as you progress through the game and it won't take long, because the game isn't long.
The cutscenes are just ridiculously hilarious. You won't be skipping these. It is just insane and it makes it so much fun. Definitely recommend the game. My favorite is the tourist you have to drive around, at first he's a Swedish guy. He's wearing Swedish colors with a small Swedish flag and a terrible Swedish accent. Then later in the game, he's Canadian, wearing Canadian colors with a small Canadian flag and he's talking about how you're mistaking him for somebody else. Then the next guy you pick up says something like, "You heard that from a barely passable Canadian tourist?!" You can clearly tell the people who made this game was having a ton of fun making it and it translates very well into a really fun experience.
Saints Row 2 - PS3 (for the bazillionth time)