One thing I have noticed is that over the last few months after reaching full time at work is that I have little time for music and movies and even games. My game library is rather big still and there is now fewer titles that I have yet to reach the end on. Recently with the move and the increase in rent and bills its become more of a challenge to save up for a game than it is to actually play it. I have fallen behind on television myself as well having missed the final season of the Office as well as the new seasons of Parks and Rec, Community, The Simpsons and the bulk of animation domination. I know people will tell me I am not missing much and what is wrong with my taste but I will beg to differ and cite that all these programs are fine in their own right.
But like I said, I really want to get this blog back up and running the way it used to, so the goal here is to do some brief game reviews here, another post with brief music reviews, television/film reviews and maybe just maybe get back into a bigger bulkier review. One thing I plan on doing is a whole season review for Doctor Who and Game of Thrones, with commentary on each episode but with that said here is my mini-game reviews!
Assassin’s Creed III
We are done with Ezio and his three games, now we meet Conor. The trailers made this look like the end all be all game for AC but it fell just a bit short. The opening chapters are a nice change of pace for the game but the ending shock of the first few hours make it worth drudging through for a tutorial. The gameplay doesn’t have many changes which is neither good nor bad seeing as the AC series always has had great gameplay but at times it gets redundant. The story is long but at times it feels drawn out. The homestead missions are well kind of lame. Doing hunting and other side things feels fun at first and you want to do it but by the end of the story you get tired of it and it’s nothing more than a chore. The story does incorporate American history and colonial Boston and New York are nice but it somehow feels just short. Visually the game is stunning and breathtaking at times but some of the textures fail to impress. (B+)
Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation
There is a lot to live up to with this game. The hype that it is the first or second legit you need to own a Vita game to play. I haven’t finished it yet due to the same problems it has with the previous console versions of AC. It drags on. The protagonist isn’t interesting, she’s a wealthy African-American New Orleans upper class who wants to save the slaves or something like that. The gameplay has it’s moments of greatness on the small handheld but it feels like it misses some translation from the consoles. Liberation wants to be a side companion to Conor’s adventures but misses just slightly. It doesn’t look great and while it plays nice the ending game glitch just ruins it for a lot of people and makes it impossible to finish. (C)
The most hyped up game for the last year or so just game out almost 2 months ago. I just got it a week or two ago and finding time to play has been a challenge. I have managed a handful of hours but I am blown away. There isn’t much of a change from the first game (which is great). The controls are tight on the PS3 controller just like the original. The two triggers use your vigors or your guns. The only complaint is you can only carry two weapons which while realistic makes it more challenging. Yes ammo isn’t very scarce but it still is annoying if you want to get into it. As I play further the story is rather in depth for a shooter and I love that about the game. The character is more known than the mystery fellow in the first and that is okay. One thing I thought would be a problem is Elizabeth. Instead of being like Ashley from RE4 she’s an actual helpful part of the game. She gives you ammo and health and money to buy things, I think this is a good thing. Actually a great thing. On top of the top notch gameplay and story the game looks very…sexy. Yes I called BioShock sexy. Wait for the full review someday. (A+)
Dead Space 3
They say this is the finale. The first game was great. Backtracking constantly through a space station that was crawling with undead. The second one didn’t have that backtracking and traded out for a more larger environment just to take out the same scenery. So far through the first ten hours, or half the game, I find the third to be honestly the weakest in the franchise. The story plays out nicely but it feels more like a dramatic high school romance between Isaac and Ellie and this new guy. Isaac talks and they gave him more of a personality, which is okay but it takes out the, you are really Isaac scare factor of the first. You do start off on several space faring vessels but it trades out for the snowy tundra we’ve seen, while the game looks great it features some poorly done textures that just stand out. On top of that the gameplay remains phenomenal but the addition of the microtransactions really kill the game for me. Buying items to help you get through the game with real people cash is not right and EA is putting it in all titles. I loved the first two Dead Space games but right now so far EA might be turning me off from the whole series. Sure it still scares me like mad but it’s not the same. (C)
It came out last year. I finished it earlier this year. A title that was very hyped up. It lived up to it in some way. The positives, the compelling story, well the concept. The choices. The graphics and the steampunk environment. It was a beautiful game. A cross of Fallout, Bioshock is what Dishonored is and it works. You get the choices that affect the story. Replayibility is higher in this title than other games since you can go all out slaying and then be super sneaky to get two different endings. I love the cell shading animation on the characters that somehow makes them look more realistic than other games even though they have that cartoonish look to them. The game handles the same way BioShock does but it misses the mark slightly. You have powers sort of like the vigors and plasmids but they aren’t as fun as they are in the 2K Games title but they are useful. The lack of weapons makes your dagger or sword your best friend. All in all there is very little complaints surrounding Dishonored’s soon to be jump start as an IP. (A)
God of War: Ascension
It’s not GOWIV. It is a prequel. I might be a little angry with this since that is almost all they make any more is prequels to Kratos just slaying things but with how GOWIII ended it all makes sense. While Ascension is not the best game in the franchise (it actually might be the worst) it still is a quality title. Like GOWIII it looks gorgeous, so play it on a big screen because that is the only way it will be done right. The lighting and textures make the world around Kratos and even Kratos look like they could be real people, like it’s a movie. I found myself dropping my jaw nonstop at some of the visuals in this title. The gameplay maintains that GOW style except there are some minor tweaks that don’t really warrant complaining. You only have the Blades of Chaos, but they can be imbued with different magics, Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Ares etc…you level these magics up to do more damage with your blades. Of course you can pick up spears and swords to use as alternate weapons. I found the game more challenging than previous titles or you can say just more frustrating but getting stuck in one area for an hour or two is not a typical thing for this franchise. The story gives Kratos his widest range of emotions to date and that might be a highlight if you are looking for more depth from your hero or if you think he’s more a villain. Multiplayer is a bit awkward and not well explained but it’s still fun. (B-)
I am not writing out the full title to Sony Smash. But I will say my peace on the title. I love it. It’s a fun party fighting game that supports up to four players playing as the best of the best from Sony’s library. Yes it is missing some characters but ignoring that and the lack of stages (DLC is constantly coming I hear) it’s still fun. The controls make it play like a PlayStation Smash and that may be a good thing. It’s simple enough for the new players to pick up as well. Like most fighting games there are tiers for the characters but almost all of them have either been patched or you can make them work for you. I love the 2-D stages that have that semi 3-D to them. They interact with you and change through the match. Visually its really well done, mix that in with online play, party mode and a single player arcade for each character and you should be playing it for a while. Not to mention the Vita version is just a graphical downgrade missing a few buttons doesn’t hurt either cause it comes with it for free. (B+)
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
I have been waiting for almost two years for this title. I had a PS2 near the end of it’s time so I never got the honor to try out the Sly games or Jak and Daxter or Ratchet and Clank. I had played the Sly Collection and I actually loved it. All three titles were fun and not insanely frustrating but still a nice trck through. I have only played a handful of hours on Thieves in Time but I have to say I enjoy it more than I thought. The cel-shaded visuals pop and the controls remain fresh. The new additions to the way the game is to be played with the different costumes and new characters adds that new fresh feeling to a newly revitalized franchise. I will keep my thoughts on this in the coming weeks. (B)
This is a reboot of a franchise that I never really played growing up being a Nintendo kid. I got my hands on the game not long after it came out after hearing rave reviews. I can safely add mine to the list of those that loved this game. Sure it was a little dark and grainy on my TV but it looked good. Much like with the Arkham games as you moved on Lara’s clothes showed the signs of not being able to hold up. Her pants were tearing, her tank top was tearing and her white undershirt showed more and more. She became more dirty as you moved on. It was a nice welcome. On top of that the collecting of things didn’t feel all that bad since it helped you get the whole story, which was not the best but the fact that we watched Lara grow up through the game, the fantastic character development that is surrounded by breathtaking scenery make Tomb Raider’s reboot a rival for GOTY. (A)
Right now that is all I have thought about playing since my last review. I should write some more full length reviews for some of these games in the coming weeks but next post may be a music post about some of 2013’s albums or even the movies of the end of 2012. Who knows!