xannoside: (Mass Effect)
From a game design standpoint, the Uncharted games are not the greatest games in the world.  Its gameplay has been done better elsewhere, in the likes of Assassin's Creed and action-shooter hybrids like Mass Effect and Gears of War.  It's not even the most seemless action-gaming experience like God of War.

And yet, Uncharted 3, just like the two previous iterations, is one of the most fun, rewarding action-gaming experiences I've ever had whose actual enjoyment blasts it past most of those previously mentioned games as an overall experience.

Big cut demonstrating how much I love this series )

The plot is so impressive, and the action so tight, and the set pieces so awesomely huge, that they could have called this game Indiana Jones Had a Kid Who Isn't Shia LaBeouf and I would consider it a compliment.  To Indiana Jones.

Yeah, I went there.


xannoside: (Mass Effect)
Lots of folks are posting about E3 on LJ today, so I'm really only going to add one thing.

Much as I like the 50s deconstructionist/noir feel of the XCOM trailer, I'm just not happy that what could have been an awesome real-time tactical shooter still seems to basically be an occasionally cooperative FPS where you can pick up an alien's weapon and shoot him with it.

'Cause that's never been done before.

With tactical shooter games like Ghost Recon already in existence, it's truly mystifying to me why they would bother to turn an IP like X-COM and turn it into something that, despite its new setting, really doesn't seem to be much different from many other FPSs on the market.




(I should probably turn this into a new Tor article).
xannoside: (Mass Effect)
Last time I wrote about Fallout 3, it was to make a minor nitpick about how the game will occasionally force your decision-making into one or two paths in order to create a plot point, and it's particularly annoying given the open-ended nature of the regular game-play.

Well, the ending of the plot is even more guilty of this unfortunate turn of design.

Obviously, there will be spoilers in these here hills.

Don't click here if you don't want to be spoiled for Fallout 3's ending. Seriously, you've been warned. )
xannoside: (games)
http://www.peta.org/cooking-mama/index.asp?c=pcmgb08

You know, I rag on PETA a lot in person, but I have to give them major props here for doing something creative and impressively viral.

Thatm and the game is fun. I particularly like how eggs bleed and have feathers.
xannoside: (games)
I picked up Fallout 3 this past week.

Other reviewers, both major magazine reviews and player reviews, have rated this game through the roof. "Best ever!", "Amazing", etc. etc.

I think you know where this is going )
xannoside: (oi vey)
Okay, let me get this straight...

You are launching, for all intents and purposes, a game (while having source-material pre-dating WoW by considerable margin) whose sucess is still primarily reliant on bored WoW-players wanting to try something new, and you have NO TRIAL?!

xannoside: (Default)
I just downloaded the demo for the original Crysis, and I'm actually torn.

Normally, a demo convinces me one way or the other, but this time...

Immediate Pros: This game is pretty. The physics engine is absurdly well-designed, and the textures are gorgeous. This is probably the best-looking FPS I have ever played with the possible exception of CoD4, and I can only play the demo on its medium-ish settings without the framrate dropping below 30 fps.

Immediate Cons: While the rhythmn and play-style of the shooter is very solid and enjoyable, and the special abilities of the suit are well done, it doesn't seem remotely different from a generic shooter so far. Granted, the demo only gets as far as the first couple of checkpoints, but there doesn't seem much atmosphere that could be described as "the Crysis experience" thus far, especially compared to something like CoD4 or F.E.A.R.

It's PC-only, so renting it out. Any thoughts?
xannoside: (games)
Ok, I'm not going to add to the millions of other reviews out there praising Metal Gear Solid 4. By this point, every good thing that has been mentioned has been mentioned, analyzed, and praised.

And it's all true. Every word of it. MGS4 is that good.

However, there is one particularly noticeable area which, for me, is a major quibble: its narrative pacing and structure.

Look, I have nothing against the episodic narrative model. Taking the time to flesh out sub-plots in their individual arcs can work very, very well when you have a lot of material to work in.

But when each episode does almost nothing to advance the plot, all the extra time spent on those episodes makes it harder and harder to sit through each successive one, even when individual plot moments are full of awesome.

Each chapter of MGS4 is basically the same: Snake looks for Liquid, shit gets in his way, there's a few long, long references to previous game plot-threads, Snake talks philosophy with someone, boss fight, Snake doesn't manage to stop Liquid yet. Rinse and repeat.

It's pretty much the like someone thought the narrative structure of MGS2 was awesome and decided it could only be more awesome by making it bigger and longer.

So much effort went into the gameplay and mechanics that it's a little jarring how little (relatively) went into making the plot fun to experience, especially for a series that prides itself on its atmosphere and philosophical pondering.

It's especially disappointing after MGS3. One reason why I loved MGS3 so much was because the plot pacing was perfect. Every single thing that happened moved the story along, subtly building into an amazing crescendo of action and emotion that contributed towards creating the best action-game experience I had ever played.

Unfortunately, it seems like Hideo Kojima just didn't realize just how much he had improved his formula with MGS3, and the fourth game, despite its overall magnificence, suffers from it.
xannoside: (oh noes!)
Read the shocking report HERE.

When will the perpetrators of this insanity face justice?!
xannoside: (world ends with you)
In January, if someone had told me that Spring 2008's killer game ap would be a Squaresoft game, I would not have been surprised.

If they had told me it would be an RPG using a twisted, cracked-out combat system that could only be described as the unholy union of Okami and DDR with a snort of cocaine on top, set in a strange cross-dimensional other-space which looks exactly like Shibuya city, has a premise which is possibly the genetic chimaera of Battle Royale, Gantz, the Matrix, and Shojo Kakumei Utena, and stars emo Harajuku labelwhores as the protagonists...I would have said they were crazy.

No, actually, I would have said that even the crazy train had left the station, and that the only thing left was totally fucking crackers nightly express to psychotic-ville.

But it's true.

Take notice, boys and girls, the world ends with you.
xannoside: (games)
Well, the conclusion is I'm pretty bad at keeping up with LJ, and even worse at posting. In any case, I felt that this was a pretty good opportunity to get a couple more reviews in, especially for a couple of games that old-school Final Fantasy fans have been waiting for:

First up, Lost Odyssey, from the makers of Chrono Trigger, then Sepiroth and Cloud return in Crisis Core )
xannoside: (games)
This could be the start of a really, really hilariously disturbing trend.

Just imagine this approach taken with:

the Trojan War...
the Punic Wars or the Gallic Wars (or any other Roman-period war)...
the Crusades...
the War of Roses...
...
Donald vs Rosie?!


UPDATE: My god, what Christine de Pizanis wearing.... I'm not sure if that's technically ironic, but it is absurdly funny.

And they're not even bothering to name Edward III and Philip VI. They're just "King of England" and "King of France"...
xannoside: (games)
I'm getting a GameFly account. That's the only way to keep this up without spending all my disposable income.

Anyway, today's review (and the last game I'm actually buying until after 2008 begins) is of Mass Effect by Bioware for the 360.

Short version: It's almost exactly the same as KOTOR...not a bad thing )
xannoside: (games)
As I finally clear out my backlog of recently-acquired games, I have finally come to a game that I have been eagerly awaiting for at least a year (and is the subject of my icon for this entry, courtesy of Penny-Arcade.com): Assassin's Creed.

Developed by Ubisoft Montreal, the same folks responsible for the revamped Prince of Persia games, Assassin's Creed is a sandbox-play, mission-designed third-person action game with a pretty fascinating meta-twist, which, 2-3 hours into the game, has yet to truly reveal its purpose.

...
I'm trying to stay spoiler free, here.

Clearly, someone over there has a liking for Arabic bad-asses )
xannoside: (games)
I picked up Halo 3 a few weeks ago. Like many games that I pick up, I rarely have time to play it, usually fitting in an hour here, an hour there.

I confess, this is the first time that I have ever actually owned a Halo game. I have played both previously for short periods of time in a variety of places. I enjoyed them well enough and I have always been a fan of over-the-top tournament-style shooters.

Let's be clear here: if you've ever played video games more than a couple times in the last 5 years, you at least have an impression of whether you like Halo or not.

So how is Halo 3? )
xannoside: (games)
First up on the initial assessment list is Bioshock, a game which tries to answer the question of what you would get if you combined Ayn Rand with Captain Nemo and surrounded this new bizarre being with bored geneticists...no, really.

Watch the billionaire's initials )

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