Find out here. -Your Friendly Neighborhood Puar
Video Game Review/Recommendation Thread, REBORN
So I enjoyed writing reviews in the old forum--I ended up doing Bayonetta, Alan Wake, and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time--Hippo/Mac did a few good reviews as well, but I mostly remember his Suikoden II review. I figured it'd be nice to start up again here. Anyone can participate, but it'd be nice if we tried to stick to one review of each title just so we don't have twenty different reviews about one game.
The rules are simple: be straightforward. State what you liked and didn't like. Try not to veer too far into fanboy territory--yes, I prefer the 360 in just about every way but there's no real, valid reason to start the PS3 vs. 360 argument any more. Also, Evan/MD/Omega had the foresight I didn't have and suggested we mention what we played it on if it's a multiplatform game. It would help to know that the copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops that you hated so much was on the DS.
On a personal note, I'd like it if we try not to use number ratings, or even letter grades. If you write well enough, the tone of your review will be able to clearly show whether you liked it or not, unless your readers are thick as mud.
Hard Corps: Uprising (XBLA/PSN) by Anonymooo
Dragon Age: Origins (PS3/360/PC) by King Hippo
Nier (PS3/360) by King Hippo
Portal 2 (PS3/360/PC/Mac) by Anonymooo
LA Noire (PS3/360) by King Hippo
Catherine (PS3/360) by Anonymooo
Dragon Age II (PS3/360/PC) by King Hippo
Deus Ex: Human Revolution (PS3/360/PC) by King Hippo
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition (PS3/360) by Anonymooo
Gears of War 3 (360) by Anonymooo
Batman: Arkham City (PS3/360) by Anonymooo
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (PS3/360) by Anonymooo
King of Fighters XIII (PS3/360) by Anonymooo
Final Fantasy XIII-2 (PS3/360) by Anonymooo
Resident Evil: Revelations (3DS) by Anonymooo
Asura's Wrath (PS3/360) by Anonymooo
Street Fighter X Tekken (PS3/360) by Anonymooo
Mass Effect 3 (PS3/360) by Anonymooo
Street Fighter X Tekken (PS3/360) by Dingofist (a much more in-depth review)
Skullgirls (XBLA/PSN) by Anonymooo
Lollipop Chainsaw (PS3/360) by Anonymooo
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance (3DS) by Anonymooo
Persona 4 Arena (PS3/360) by Anonymooo
Darksiders II (PS3/360/PC) by Anonymooo
New Super Mario Bros. 2 (3DS) by Anonymooo
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure HD Ver. (PSN/XBLA) by Anonymooo
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron (PS3/360) by Anonymooo
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (PS3/360) by Anonymooo
Dead or Alive 5 (PS3/360) by Anonymooo
Resident Evil 6 (PS3/360) by Anonymooo
Code of Princess (3DS) by Anonymooo
Zone of the Enders HD Collection (PS3/360) by Anonymooo
Harvest Moon: A New Beginning (3DS) by Anonymooo
Halo 4 (360) by Anonymooo
Call of Duty: Black Ops II (PS3/360/PC/Wii U) by Anonymooo
Paper Mario Sticker Star (3DS) by Anonymooo
Anarchy Reigns (PS3/360) by Anonymooo
X-COM: Enemy Unknown (PS3/360/PC) by watadoo
DmC: Devil May Cry (PS3/360/PC) by Anonymooo
Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS) by Anonymooo
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (PS3/360) by Anonymooo and Joseph Luster
Tomb Raider (PS3/360/PC) by Anonymooo
Darkstalkers Resurrection (PS3/360) by Anonymooo
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (3DS/Wii U) by Anonymooo
Gears of War: Judgment (360) by Anonymooo
Hope the review is funny as hell.
I didn't know there was a Pussy Bullshit genre of games. XD
Have some time to kill. Read my shitty games blog: http://www.pixlbit.com/blogs/586/gigantor21
Hard Corps: Uprising
Available on: XBox Live Arcade, PSN
Genre: Action/Platformer/Pussy Bullshit
Developer: Arc System Works
I had high hopes throughout the entire development process of Hard Corps: Uprising. For one, it's a spiritual Contra game similar to Metal Slug--it's a follow-up to the Genesis/Mega Drive exclusive Contra: Hard Corps, meaning it's a fast-paced run-and-gun actioner that stresses quick reflexes above everything else. For two, it was helmed by Arc System Works, the Guilty Gear and BlazBlue studio famous for their anime-influenced design and habit of giving their games excellent soundtracks--these are all good things.
Contra: Hard Corps is often considered the most difficult Contra title ever made (I personally think that title belongs to the PS2's Shattered Soldier--that required accuracy!), and rightfully so. It was a brutal test of reflex combat and pattern recognition that would eat up your continues in minutes if you weren't careful, but felt exceptionally rewarding just for how demanding a game it was. I honestly wasn't expecting this level of nut-busting cruelty, but I was expecting something along the lines of Contra 4--a balanced, steady challenge that expected you to get better as you played, but wouldn't hold your hand.
But then I actually got to play the game, and for the first time in a long time I have to say that I'm disappointed I spent fifteen bucks on this.
This isn't a Contra game in name, but it tries to carry the spirit. The weapons are Contra weapons: Machine Gun, Spread, Homing, Flame, Laser, and Crush, along with some awesome new additions like an angle-based Grenade Launcher. The four characters are wildly different in looks but all pretty much play the same, a smart choice for a game like this. With the Contra spirit comes the expectation that the game isn't going to go easy on you, that it isn't going to hold your hand and make you feel like a badass because it's giving you nobodies to kill--it makes you feel like Arnold Schwarzenegger at the end of Commando because the game has made you just that good at doing the impossible and seeing the invisible.
row, row, fight the power
Let's go over a list of what you can do in the average Contra game:
Some games have smart bombs, most allow you to switch weapons, and Contra 4 had an awesome grappling hook that let you traverse both screens of the DS--it was a necessary addition.
NOW let's go over a list of what you can do in Hard Corps: Uprising:
-All the aforementioned abilities
-FUCKING REFLECT BULLETS BACK AT ENEMIES FOR 1.5x DAMAGE
Okay, fine, the game's premier mode is Rising Mode, which has steady RPG-like progression with upgrade shops and the like to build up your character and make them stronger for the challenge ahead. Fine, this is Easy Mode, whatever. But then I go into Arcade Mode, which is supposed to be "a true hardcore challenge," and see the most egregious offenders of all:
THE WHOLE FUCKING POINT IS THAT YOU GET HIT ONCE AND YOU DIE
The Devil May Cry games take pity on you if you suck, and offer Easy Automatic Mode, where enemies have less health and combos are done on their own for the less-dexterous gamers out there. The Ninja Gaiden games call you a pussy and offer you Ninja Dog Mode if you suck, making you agree to demeaning statements about yourself and forcing you to wear a Pink Ribbon of Shame on your Badass Ninja if you somehow won't improve at the game. Hard Corps: Uprising forgoes this by taking out the one thing that makes playing a Contra game worth it: the risk of dying.
The whole point of classic-styled, hardcore action games is that they're difficult. Not everybody gets to the end because not everybody has the patience to try, try again and actually get good at the game. They're a niche genre for a reason, just like how top fighting gamers only play fighting games and not much else, they demand a very specific skillset and ask for your time as well, in order to really understand what the game has in store for you. By ASW giving their new game a "hardcore" moniker and image, and by taking the style and spirit of what's probably the most truly hardcore traditional actioner available, there was a lot to live up to.
I honestly would've had a lot more respect for this game if ASW hadn't pushed the image of "hardcore challenge" so much during the game's development. If they had said "we're gonna make a Contra game that everybody can play," I probably would've supported it--shocking, I know. But I feel cheated. I feel like the great Christmas present I'd been hinted to and teased about all year ends up being an ass-ugly sweater that's not even my size. It's a nice thought--I do get cold, and I do wear the clothes people get me, just like I'll support companies and franchises I like.
It was nice of Konami to partner with ASW and put out a new Contra-type game.
But for fuck's sake, don't pretend that it's something it's not.
Good to see the old thread rise anew in old glory. So let me join in on the fun.
Given that tomorrow is the release for Dragon Age 2 i will review Dragon Age Origins in this post.
Name : Dragon Age Origins
Release : November 2009
Genre : RPG, Action-RPG
Platforms : PC, X-Box 360, PS3
Developer : Bioware
Publisher : EA
Dragon Age Origins (from here on on shortened to Origins) was Bioware´s take on a dark and gritty fantasy RPG and the so called spiritual successor to Baldurs Gate II and it´s addons. It sold pretty damn well and saw several additions in form of DLC over its lifespan (one so called Expansion in Awakening [more on that later] 7 content DLC´s [Chronicles of the Darkspawn, Leliana´s Song, The Stone Prisoner, Warden´s Keep, Return to Ostagar, Golems of Amgarrak and Witch Hunt] which i´ll drop a few words on as well and some equipment stuff [Feastday Gifts and Pranks].)
I played the PS3 version of the game including almost all of the DLC (with the exception of Chronicles and Feastday stuff) and at least some of my criticism is based on me playing the console version which by all means is inferior to the PC version. Furthermore i´ll discuss both Classes and the Weapon styles but feel free to skip over that in case you are not interested. But enough of that for now and let´s get into the meat of the review
One of the distinct features of the game is that depending on your choices in the character creation you´ll start the story in one of 6 distinct Origins Stories that let you experience how exactly you ended up in the main story. Here is a short summary of the Origins (as spoiler free as possible) and my take on them.
Human Noble : You are the youngest child of Teyrn Cousland (a Teyrn is a high Nobleman) and are tasked to watch the Keep while your Father and Brother are taking your troops south to battle the darkspawn at the side of King Cailan.
My take : This Origin story fits in best with the main story overall. There are no real differences between playing either gender. The story itself is neither bad nor good in my book.
Mage : You are an apprentice of the Circle of Magi in Ferelden housed in the Tower near Lake Calanhad. Your time of Apprenticeship is almost over and only your last trial awaits you before becoming a full fledged mage.
My take : This is the only Origin story open for mages (for both elves and humans) and once again there is almost no gender difference except for a bit of flirting with different NPC´s. The story in itself is rather unremarkable and plays hardly a role in the main story (i will explain this in more detail in the conclusion of the Origin story part)
City Elf : Today is the day that you marry. An arranged marriage organised by your father like almost any marriage between the Elves living in the Alienage (Alienage is basically the Elven Ghetto). A happy day all around until the son of the locan Arl interferes.
My take : Probably my favourite Origin story of them all especially because the character lines can be really snarky. Way better to play it as a woman than a man in my opinion. Once again only relevant to a tiny part of the main story.
Dalish Elf : You are a hunter of you Clan. The Dalish refused to take up the ways of the Humans after they nearly destroyed their Kin in an exalted March and rather spent their life as Nomads preserving the lost lore and beliefs of ancient Elvenkind.
My take : Probably the least connection to the main plot from all the Origin stories and the story itself isn´t all that great but i like their culture and backstory. No real gender differences here either.
Dwarf Noble : You are the second son of Kind Endrin Aeducan and are now awarded your first command over a number of troops. You prepare with your second Gorim for this occasion
My take : The Dwarfes have possibly the best Origin stories in my opinion and are heavily referenced in that part of the main story. Other than that there is once again no further connection. The story are pretty damn nice although as standard there is no real gender difference to be found (with the exception of one sexual encounter for males)
Dwarf Commoner : You and your sister are casteless the lowest of the low in the Hierarchy of Dwarfs to the point that you aren´t even recorded in the Memories. But even those who don´t exist have to live as you do odd jobs for the local crime bosss Berath to bring your family through the day.
My take : Great story in itself. Same amount of ties with the main story as the other Dwarfen Origin. No real gender differences except for a few lines.
Conclusion : The stories are a nice touch at handling introductions to the player character and in itself well done. My main point of criticism is that they hardly matter and despite the ongoing racism against elves or the general feelings of disgust against mages they aren´t really incorporated into the main story. There are hardly any changes in behavior according to your Origin by NPC´s outside of it. For the Dwarfs that is fine since they are pretty secluded and the Humans and Elves living outside hardly grasp what is going on with them. But this doesn´t work with the Elves or Especially the mages. Even most of the Templars outside the Circle itself are totally friendly with you even if you are a mage and even if they don´t know that you are actually allowed outside the Tower itself. This is in my opinion one of the weakpoints of the whole system. Note that i exempt the Human Noble origin of this as that one really shows at least signs of what could have been done. Obviously i wouldn´t ask for the same NPC (in that case Nobles) to react to my other characters but have other NPC´s react to me.
Neverthelss they are still well done and a nice addition to Roleplayinggames in general. There could have just been more but there isn´t always Budget for everything.
Let me leave a few words on the different classes here. You can play as a warrior, rogue or mage and more or less freely choose your talents to suit your needs. Further down the line you can specialize in different ways of combat (or to be more exact give you more talents [4 to be exact]).
Warriors are usually the meatshields in any party. Their general skillset revolves a lot around threat management and is 8 talents strong organized in two 4 talent chains. Further they can invest talent points in S&S for a more tanking focused build (if played to archetypes obviously) which focuses on damage avoidance and defense boost as well as some stuns via Shield Bash etc. They can also invest into using 2h weapons which are great for burst damage and crowd control (and has one of the most invaluable skills in Indomitable) but they are also slow as hell and almost dependant on haste by a mage or good talent chaining to counter the slow animation. If these two don´t fancy you. you also have the choice of going for dual wielding which is basically the highest dps you can achieve adue to the sheer amount of hits you can squeeze out of it. Lastly there is archery which in the main game at least is utterly gimped but still playable. You get up to 3 A.I warriors in the game and you can usually set them up easily enough.
Rogues are my favourite class in the game. Their general skillset consist out of 16 talents splitted into 4 chains a 4 talents. Two of those are for unlocking, stealth while the others are geread towards improving your backstab potential. Rogues are basically shoehorned into backstabbing and despite having access to archery as well are usually better of dualwielding. And even there you hardly use any talents except for Momentum and the general passives since backstabs don´t trigger of abilities as far as i can tell. Another thing rogues get is a Skill every second level which is nice since there are some quest that require those on your main and obviously only you have access to the persuasion line. A.I. rogues however are garbage since they require lots of positioning and you can´t do that on the console at least (No problem on the PC however).
Mage are by far the most overpowered class in the game. They have a massive number of different spells. Spell combinations for devastating damage, Crowd control, instant mage killing spell and with the Arcane Warrior a specialization that allows them to become a tank better than any warrior (simple said nigh indestructable) by giving up on spellcasting more or less because their mana is occupied by sustained abilities. It goes even so far that peopled dubbed the game Dragon Mage Origins. A.I. mages are easy to set up obviously. They are still fun it just that they make the game far easier that the other classes (till the Expansion at least...)
The Combat uses the same system that KotoR used e.g. a more or less round based system. It can get pretty taxing sometimes but is overall decent enough. Obviously there is far better combat to be had in other games but for an RPG it´s par for the course. But that doesn´t mean it´s free of flaws. Whoever thought it was a good idea to bar tactic slots from the player until they spent valuable skill points just in order to be able to set up the A.I probably is a god damn moron. Once again the PC wins out here due to mods to get rid of this bullshit. Another problem for console user is that you cannot position your allies without taking direct control of them and given your luck your MC doing nothing or running into the enemy while you navigate one of your allies. Bioware thus made the game easier for console crowd by reserving Freindly fire for hard and above wherein the PC version has friendly fire on normal in addition to hardwaret limitations since the console version apparently can´t display as many enemies as the PC can.
The companions you get during your travels are quite interesting characters in themself and have good voiceacting (in English at least; <3 Claudia Black and Simon Templeman). The Banter they have with each other while traveling is quite funny and nice to listen too although you often have to stop in your tracks to hear the end of it since the points that trigger banter aren´t placed that well or sometimes aren´t loud enough and background sound overpowers it. The only bad thing i can say about the companions is the Dwarf companion. Why give us a typical 08/15 Dwarf we´ve seen so often in fiction and games when almost everything concerning Dwarfs is atypical to the usual settings just why? It´s even worse because he returns for the Expansion -.-
The Main story is typical Bioware stuff. Good quality all around and fun to follow to. It´s just not what was advertised at least in my opinion unless you understand blood and gore under dark and gritty because storywise it was heroic fantasy all the way. There were certain threads that if fully explored would have made incredible sense in a dark setting but alas they are either dropped (the racism in most part for instance) or completely nullified through a third option that is the best of both ways (happens at least twice). Furthermore there are hardly any concenquences to what you do during the game safe for a few decisions and short of a reaction of your companions or an NPC connected to the quest everyone treats you the same way no matter whether you kill a child for instance or not. Most sidequest are without consequences either so you can happily work for assasins, thiefs etc. and noone ever cares not even your companions apart from very minor approval shifts. Worst of all is that most consequences that your actions are the source of are resolved or presented in 5 to 10 lines during the epilogue text which quite frankly sucks. So in short it is neither dark nor low fantasy and you do well in not expecting it no matter what people write in their review (obviously that is just my opinion). It is however a nice and mostly well written heroic fantasy story in itself with at least a slight touch of darkness and lots of blood. Only annoyance are two mandatory dungeon crawler parts that are far too long (not to mention one of them solo) without adding significant things to the sttory thread you following in short filler material and dungeon crawling better stay with Diablo and co because they do it far better.
The Graphics at least on the console look dated and old in comparision to for instance Mass Effect by the same company but also other stuff then again that might be because of the different settings. Given that i´m hardly a graphic kinda guy it was good enough for me to say the least.
One of my main problems is that a lot of areas feel incredibly lifeless. Denerim (capital of the country the game is playing in) has only a couple of people strolling around. Same for the backalleys and other locations. Given certain things you are going to do in the game (obviously spoiler and thus not mentioned here) there is an incredible lack of connection between what you saw and are told to believe. Then again it might be better on the PC and can be written down on hardware limitations. The Soundtrack was unremarkable to the point that i don´t even have a favourite track of the game or remember one in particuliar. Other than those bits that have to do with the scale of the conflict the amosphere in party camp or while chatting up companions is fine. One minor annoyance is the Blood splatters. They are retarded in that they have only a single patter whether you slew a mice or a Dragon and cover your whole body even you face through the helmet you are possibly wearing it was just silly and takes a lot of atmosphere with it during certain cutscenes. Best to toogle it off in options.
On the PS3 there is a memory leak while playing the game (might be on 360 as well) which causes looting and conversation triggers to take minutes if you ever play a longer session. It can be resolved via restarting the game but is still annoying.
Given that almost anyone now buying this game gets the Ultimate Edition which includes all DLC anyway i´ll give a short opinion on each one i played.
The Stone Prisoner : This DLC was given free to new copies of the game when first bought and includes one new companion with recruitment mission and personal quest. The Character itself was fun and has lines in most situations including banter with every party member. The quest however feels quite lacking and is generally unremarkable. For free it was fine and the character certainly is nice but 15$ for her would be quite a step.
Wardens Keep : A short quest and some history on your order is alright. Some nice equipment came out of this one and a storage box to get around the stupid inventory limit. Still not worth the money one had to fork over for it in my opinion.
Return to Ostagar : Nice followup to the first part of the game. Good equipment especially a bugged glove that make archery halfway decent. It fits in the game and thus is worth the cost. One has to wonder where the snow comes from cause a bit further down south is a swamp...
Leliana´s Song : Backstory DLC for one of your companions. Gives some nice quipment (see a trend here?) but contradicts the setting in should have (according to what said companion said during the main game) in order to reuse the same mansion and roads that´s already ingame. Only really worth it for the equipment not worth any money in my opinion since the few lines dropped by that certain companion including her quest is more than enough.
Awakening : Awakening was the so called expansion to Origins but quite honestly it´s a half finished and lazily done sequel at best. It lacks any quality that would make it an expansion : The new skills, talents and specialization are all restricted to only be used in Awakening. In short it doesn´t add a damn thing to the actual main game and just continues the story. I call that a sequel you can call it what you want. The new companion banter system is no real fun imo since talking to them through certain objects on the road might be natural but still isn´t a real replacement for camp conversations. The story itself was done to death and things were just given different names or so it feels to me. The new talents are incredibly broken and take almost all challenge out of the game (Archery becomes so loving broken and all you need to do is put your points into dex and have one talent that being Accuracy) to the point that i have to wonder whether they were actually playtasted. The pack was also incredibly buggy upon first release. Still the companions are fine and the banter still good as is most of the coice acting. Once again however i hate the consequences being only shown in epilogue form instead of ingame. If you can get it for free or really want to see the story go on (which is a good enough reasons) or simply want to feel overpowered in combat get it otherwise hands of.
Golems of Amgarrak : One challenging boss fight. Some equipment absolutely no choice or story bearings. Not worth it unless you like the combat in this game to the death.
Witch Hunt : Good resolve to the story of the Warden although it seems only natural to one specific ending in Origins (those that played the game know what i mean) for the others it is rather forced in my opinion as you have no real incentive to look for that certain character at all. Still probably the best of the DLC together with Return to Ostagar as they have at least a connection to the main plot.
Good RPG by Bioware that has its fair share of flaws (which i mostly highlight here, for the good stuff there are so many review that throw them around) but it a nice throwback to older times of Roleplaygaming (and with the second game going in a more Mass Effect kind of direction might meone of the last of its kind) Just don´t expect an actual dark Fantasy game or a focus on decisions (it has some but as i said most of them are instant and afterwards forgotten by everyone till at most the epilogue).
Thanks for reading through this behemoth
Dragon Age was a nice follow-up to the Baldur's Gate style of roleplaying, and I really appreciated it for that despite its numerous technical flaws. It was more or less A Song of Ice and Fire with more overt fantasy elements (which seem to have been toned down in the sequel) and the game gained a lot of atmosphere and life because of that inspiration. It's nice to see a truly in-depth review of an RPG sometimes. XD
I really appreciated Dragon Age as well despite my tone in some sections up there. Played through it couple of times as well. For me it´s just that i find flaws much more readily in games i like (and played multiple times) than things i only played once. And while i easily forgive technical flaws as annoying as they might be i will never understand some of their story decisions. I mean that had almost all the things for a perfectly dark story (in terms of hard decisions) and more often than not give you a third way, all are happy way out (don´t want to spoiler anything but those who played the game know exactly what i mean). Not to mention that the last big decision will almost surely get a sequel and thus invalidating all the other choices you can make there. I would be surprised if that would not be the case. Surprised and happy though.
More of that discussion has to go into a different thread.
Anyway new day, new review from me
Name : Nier
Release : April 2010
Genre : Action-RPG
Plattform : PS3, X-Box 360
Developer : Cavia
Publisher : Square-Enix
Nier was the last game by the now defunct studio Cavia (of Drakengard "fame") which basically follows what happens after Drakengard batshit insane Ending E but there is no real knowledge needed of the previous game so don´t worry about it in case you don´t want to go through it. If you like Let´s play here is a link to a Drakengard one from Dark ID on the Something Awful forums, nice read and better than playing that game at least imo. Now let´s get back on track. Nier in itself is a fairly straight forward Action RPG that follows the story of Nier (or whatever you want to call him) who lives with his daughter in a post apocalypic world (the result of Ending E mentioned above) and fights Shades (the main enemy type of the game).
The Graphics of this game are passable but nowhere near high grade. As said before these things don´t bother me really unless they are really bad. The Character design is okay and typical JRPG in some ways and in others the total opposite for instance you play an ugly as sin old geezer instead of your typical youthful protagonist (Japan got him^^).
The Combat is bare bone ActionRPG stuff. You can Attack, Dodge, Block and have some magic attacks to spice things up a little. But apart from the three weapon groups (last two open up after the first part of the game) and the new magic spells after the first few bosses there is little change over the whole game. Boss fights are nice and change thigs up a little (and engage in Bullet Hell segments with the difference of you having Health and stuff of course) but apart from then it isn´t really a strong point of the game and given how it makes up a good part of the game can be a deal breaker to alot of players.
The World in Nier is also quite lifeless in the same vein as in Dragon Age with the main difference that Nier is a post apocalyptic world and thus has a reason why it´s pretty empty at times. OTher than that the Atmosphere is fantastic. The Soundtrack is marvelous and a big plus in my opinion is that the game was developed bilingual. Meaning they wrote the script at the same time in English and Japanese and fiddled with it so long till it fits both languages without sounding akward. The end result is that dialogue feels natural and flows easily and people seem to behave like normal people do (in a post apocalyptic wasteland would do). The Banter between the main character and sidekicks or the dialogue between Daughter and Father grows on you by default because of this. Then there are the loading screens that are actual Diary entries of your daughter with are quite heartwarming. I just wish more games would go with this approach to script writing.
The main story is really good although at times drawn to greater lenghts through mandatory oddjobs (so you see the rather limited world) or dungeons that are a bit too long (mainly because the combat isn´t all that fun after the first few hours if it even takes that). Can´t really say more about it because it would probably utterly spoiler things and that would be a waste in my opinion. Suffice to say is that it pays homage to a lot of old school gaming genre´s over it´s course which i won´t spoiler here either.
Most sidequest are a literal pain in the ass and couldn´t be more of a fetch quest or bullshit grinding. The thing is the character know this and one companion in particuliar mocks you for doing those oddjobs. This doesn´t save those sidequest at all but is a nice addition and the banter is comedic gold more often than not. The good news is that Cavia is really lenient for once and you don´t have to do any sidequest if your not willing to do them (there are only 3-4 quest that award weapons which are needed for Ending C and D) and the only thing you miss is a trophy. So if it is a pain simply skip them. OCD will make you hate the game.
Nier is a medicore game that has an amzing story and soundtrack and great lifelike companions at times which makes it a blast. It however suffers from a rather limited world repetitive graphics at times, Sidequest that are quite a pain more often than not if you do them (due to grinding) and combat that isn´t all that great. The boss fights are fun. The change in genre from time to time is refreshing and a nice hommage to those genre´s (there is a Textadventure for Christ sake). In short if you can get through rather repetetive combat segments this game is worth the price because you will fall in love with some of the characters and the story is going strong. Not to mention the SOundtrack which should only be looked up after playing the game since some tracknames tend to spoiler things.
With The Arrival, I've been sucked into Mass Effect 2 once more, so I might do one on that and every single piece of DLC released for it. Yes, every single piece. I think I've spent a grand total of like $80-90 on this fucking game. XD
Other possibilities for my next reviews: Henry Hatsworth and the Puzzling Adventure, Bulletstorm, Splatterhouse, and Infinite Space.
Porbably going to review DA 2 next and it´s not gonna be pretty. The less i say at this moment the more of my rage i can bring nito the actual review while still trying to at least be somewhat nice to the game on the points it actually get right. But first i have to finish the game. Amazingly the game is so medicore that i can´t even bring myself to finish it T_T
I probably spent 130 Bucks or so on ME 2 due to buying it for both X-Box (where i have no hardrive so no DLC) and for PS3...
Available on: XBox 360, PS3, Steam for PC/Mac
Genre: First-Person Puzzle/Adventure/Comedy/Suicide Encouragement
Valve needs to make a bad game. And I don't mean that in the sense of "they need to make a boring third-person shooter like everybody else is doing," what I mean is that they need to make a game that's such an absolute turd so I can stop ejaculating over every single product they make, because it's like the company can't help but make incredibly high-quality first-person games. I mean, their only real low point is the overwrought and sometimes overthought Half Life 2, and even then it's still held up as one of the best games ever made, it being a massive, epic science-fiction adventure in a dystopian future.
But there's something to be said for a 3-4 hour game thrown into a bundle as an extra, that just happens to come out as an absolute gem. The Orange Box was one of the best gaming deals of the last few years, including Half-Life 2: Episode 2, which everybody was waiting for, Team Fortress 2 which everybody was whining about because of the cartoony art style, and some weird physics-based game called Portal that we'd only seen in trailers and didn't really know much about.
Cut to now, where hardly anybody even mentions Episode Two, Team Fortress 2 is one of the most-played games online, and Portal gets a bigger, crazier sequel (this time backed by Valve's entire development team) and packed to the gills with more puzzles and even more elements that make you think--not just with portals, but with fun new toys like Repulsion Gel (basically blue Flubber), Excursion Funnels (tubes of energy that can move objects), and Hard Light Bridges (solid beams of energy that can double as walls), and a few other new tools, gradually introduced throughout the game's roughly 8-10 hour campaign.
But even with its mind-bending gameplay that forced your brain to work in ways you never really expected it to, what stood out the most in Portal was its writing, and that hasn't changed at all with its sequel. Portal was an excellent example of less being more, focusing only on mute test subject Chell and the auto-tuned voice of GLaDOS, where most of the (surprisingly dark) story was shown, and not explicitly told to you, leaving you to draw your own conclusions about the terrible things that took place at Aperture Science.
What we do know: Chell--well, you wake up in the Aperture Science Enrichment Center and begin testing with the Aperture Science Portal Device. Because that's really what this game is about: you making your way through GLaDOS' testing chambers and progressively getting more comfortable with the puzzles, GLaDOS becoming increasingly mean and threatening towards you, and finally you beating her at her own game and dumping her malicious ass in an incinerator. Of course, defeating GLaDOS was all for naught, as you're knocked unconscious and put in stasis by a Party Escort Robot, while Aperture Science surrenders to nature and falls into disrepair.
But as ten thousand screaming idiots on the internet will tell you, not only was the cake GLaDOS promised you a lie, but the sociopathic AI was in fact Still Alive. Alive enough to interrupt your escape from Aperture Science and throw you (and your new friend, a bumbling personality core named Wheatley) through a new series of harrowing tests, and--well, that's really all I can bring myself to say. Portal 2's single-player experience brought me all the great ups and downs of the original and was an absolute blast to play, only now I had hours and hours more to go through, and listen to, and get berated by GLaDOS almost the whole time.
The only real problem I can think of with the single-player campaign was that the freeform feeling of the original Portal didn't show up much. In the first game, many situations could be solved in different ways, whether you liked to slingshot yourself through portals or just find a way to creatively open up a door next to your objective, but this time around Valve has vigorously playtested and retouched each testing module so that it feels like there's only one way to solve each one. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, it just means that on some of the tougher modules you'll just stare at the walls until you go "AH HAH, that's what I was missing," and then solve the problem in ten seconds. This leads to a problem of replay value, though, where I'm only going to replay the game now to listen to the Developer Commentary, then move back to co-op where the game shines brighter on the merits of its mechanics.
Portal 2 co-op shows that you can in fact force multiplayer into a solid single-player experience without it being bullshit. You just need smart developers and the right genre. In this case, Portal 2's co-op gives you problems that can only be solved with two portal guns (meaning a max of four portals at any one time), and in many cases, creative thinking is rewarded over picking the one right path the developers wanted you to take. The replay value on co-op is hilariously high, teaching you which of your friends are the kind of cockfaces who will repeatedly throw you into spinning blades because it's funny, and who will repeatedly try to solve everything on their own only to realize that they need your help to get through. Once again, Valve makes co-op players depend on each other, and the results are excellent.
But is it better than the original? Yes and no. The only meme so far from this game has been the "Space" personality core, who is simple and fun and kinda cute, so it'll take a while to wear on me, as opposed to "the cake is a lie" being repeated ad nauseum. But even with all the annoying bullshit spawned from the game, the original Portal and its Still Alive add-on are so inventive and devious that their total five-hour run time is filled with surprises each time. I'm gonna have to wait a while to pick up Portal 2's campaign--or just keep playing co-op with friends.
Valve apparently seems hell-bent on giving this game away at extravagantly low prices, but then again, that's what Valve does because they're a good company.
Find a deal you like and check it out. It's worth it.
Portal 2 has dropped to $40 at most places and, with PSN finally back up, you can nab a PS3 copy and get a free copy for Steam!
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