Monday, January 31, 2011

Enslaved: Journey to the West (PS3) & Kane and Lynch: Dead Men (PS3)

Unlike most, I left the demo of Enslaved with a suspicion I would enjoy the full game more than the Uncharted series.  I still find video games to cost way too much and got it from Gamefly.  Much like the game I played through this weekend, Kane and Lynch: Dead Men, it felt like two stories in one.

Enslaved starts with traversing a lush detailed nature-overtaken New York City.  The demo is the beginning of the game, so if you've played that, you've seen the establishing shot.  Something happened 200 hundred years ago, and now human beings are being collected/killed by robots.  Don't think too hard about which the robots seem to be arbitrarily trying to do.

I wanted to enjoy navigating these gorgeous environments, but the game felt a need to give me an unskippable fly by of every area.  This didn't one hundred percent tell me where I needed/could go.  There's several invisible walls, and the game won't let you jump unless you can jump.  I understand why they didn't go with auto-jump, because this is taken after the uncharted series, but it felt like it was playing itself.  Indeed any of the wall climbing sections I completely by hammering the jump button and paying enough attention to point my character in a proper direction.

Our cast and title and the first half are based on Saiyuki:Journey to the West which I like everyone else know was the basis for Dragon Ball and nothing beyond it.  But our Monkey has a slave helmet on that we are shown can totally kill the person wearing it if conditions are met.  Our conditions are if we get to far away or our slaver (girl-protagonist Trip) dies.  She eventually gets semi-kidnapped but that doesn't seem to hurt us that much.  Also our mind-fuck left-field ending (which game stupidly calls an epilogue) makes the slave helmets not make any sense, but who am I judge?

Before that ending the game tosses away our Journeying 300 miles west of NYC to Chinese Mountains and gives our team a need for revenge and a 3rd cast member that got his own DLC.  I almost bought that DLC but then the game was already back to Gamefly, so I guess I didn't care that much about him.  Our quest for revenge starts (I guess?) and for the second half of the game I kept asking "What are we even doing?"

Meanwhile we are witness to frankly amazing dialog:

"We did it.  We made it to the crash site.  This is where the slave-ship crashed."

REALLY? That was only our goal for the first 3 stages.

"That submarine is in some kind of hanger."

followed a minute later by.

"It's some kind of rail system."

Jesus.  Reviews talk about the excellent dialog of this game.  Well, I guess all 3 of those lines were delivered by the same person.  Also I'm glad people in the wasteland know what a god damn submarine is.  I'd probably be less scrutinous of the plot if it wasn't rated Teen so that we had gratuitous God of War Robot torture-murder and completely out of place "Shitttttttttt!"  Not of place with what's happening, but very little of this story would need to be changed to make it E.

Then again, I guess it's the first retail game ever to use the word "penis."  As in, "Your hand is on my...penis."

I'm ramming pretty hard against it, but it really wasn't that bad.  Outside of the story, the game has good level progression, and it made me mildly excited for DmC because at least this game never gave me an artificial barrier and said, "destroy an arbitrary amount of monsters to make the barrier disappear.  Usually your weak girl-protagonist won't move unless you kill them.  I don't know if that was them being clever, or a happy accident. I guess we'll see!

I guess it's better than Heavenly Sword too, as I at least played this one.  Not immediately shut off after hearing a girl want to play a game that sounded like something a child pounds out on a computer then asks if it's a real word.  (I would actually give that word if I remembered it/hadn't blocked it out.)

On to Dead Men, a game where the demo left me feeling incredibly cold to.  I only decided to play it because Kane and Lynch Dog Days is definitely GAME OF THE YEAR 2010.  Should you play Dead Men?  No! Because in that same time frame you could play through Dog Days again!  Halfway through Dead Men you'll suddenly be playing a squad based cover shooter war game.  It's weird and cumbersome and I didn't really like any of it.

There's also a "Nam Lu Parkway" which I think (There's a lot of globetrotting for international police murders) is in Tokyo and that sort of made my blood boil.  I'm glad I played this game second, because it would have had a hard time getting me to play Dog Days, which is a much better game in every way.  Yeah I guess I don't really have much to say about Dead Men

I did play through Shining Force (Genesis) this week, and that was fantastic.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hey Rudie you ever gonna talk about the Culture in that blog title.


The BBC pissed off all of Japan by making light of a man that survived the bombings of Hiroshima AND Nagasaki.  This obviously means BBC supports dropping atomic weapons and that it's really funny the man survived both.  Well, it is really funny.  It's ridiculous.  I'm with the commentator, it is amazing the trains were still working the next day.  It's amazing the dude was in both towns!  It's doubly amazing he's survived!  You would think that his family wouldn't give a shit if someone called him lucky or unlucky (he's both I suppose!)  I think it's pretty damn petty to get upset about something like that.

Should BBC have apologized, probably not.  The comedians/commentators meant nothing malicious in their statements, and it makes my eyes roll that Japan was upset about it.

Hearing someone speak about surviving the nuclear blast isn't going to change anyone's mind.  I'm not sure that's making the world a better place.  It's not making the world a worse place either.  Some people don't realize people die.  Hell, we can talk about tragedies happening in the world right now! 

Hell I don't even know what I'm saying anymore.  I'm distracted by absolutely awful Japanese Television I got at the local j-grocery for a dollar.  The worst part is they got rid of the commericals.  I'm watching most of them hopping, praying that this DVD has the commericals still.  I ended stopping the last one as I watched one dude get beat by 5 bad dudes while the main character stood their and watched.

He is the worst friend.

Mega Man I - V (GB) Final Fantasy Adventure (GB)

Partially inspired by watching Game Center CX's Arino's fight against Rockman 3, I decided to playthrough all of the Gameboy Megamans.  Eventually (maybe in 3 paragraphs) I'll talk about Final Fantasy Adventure too.

Each of the GB Megaman's are a mix between two NES games.  As a result I probably like II the best, it being a mix of Megaman 2 and 3.  It was also the one I started with, because I'd played I a lot when I was younger.  In II, Metal Blade still kills everything.  III would of also won my heart more if it didn't have a baffling spot in Dust Man (that might actually be in the 4 but I can't remember.)  It's a screen entirely composed of spikes that you need to cross and you don't have Rush Jet yet.  The solution which I looked up online, was to use Rush Coil.  That was a bit :\

That did make III stand out a bit more from IV, but then again IV uses the stages and bosses from 4 (awesome!) and 5 (sucktacular!)  5 had forgettable repeating stages and IV does too.  II through IV blend together.  I ends up differentiating itself by having 1 bosses in a every MM after it environment.  That means you can't die after the boss does.  Hell maybe I had Metal Blade.  This is the problem with these games. 

While I had heard tale that V might be one of the best MM games, I gotta disagree.  It is the only game to feature original robot masters, none of them are particularly fun to fight.  It does have a weird swing soundtrack, which was just about the only thing that stood out after 4 other games of MegaMan.  A lot of the weapons are useless.  Most of the robot masters and bosses (and this was true for IV and III) can be/have to be beaten with the Mega Arm (as oppose to the Mega Buster).  Oh there's a short asteroid dodging shooter level.  Oh and there's a gauntlet of all of the main adversary from I-IV before you fight Wily in V.  That was kind of neat, but only really because I had played all of them back to back.  So it felt like a nice closer.

So what did I learn?  That a Megaman game is a Megaman game.  Nothing in these 5 games stood out enough for me recommend them over 2, 3, or 4.  Though I haven't played 4 in a long time.  I might have to go back to that one too.  The thing that separated all of them from the NES counterparts were the unique cutscene animations before Wily's Castle/Battleship/Fortress/Death Star, and that Wily's stage is continuous.  It doesn't have the break to show the path you'll take between each part.  You still continue from the last section if you die/lose all your lives, but it feels suitably more epic to have fought 3 small bosses and the robot masters without a break.

You'll see I give no shit when choosing between Mega Man, Megaman, and MegaMan. Also italicizing all those numbers would be painful.

How about that Final Fantasy Adventure or the first mana game?  It's Zelda, but the enemies don't recognize you exist and are content to stand on top of you until you are murdered and kicked back to the title screen where you load your last save.   Zelda with no friction and RPG tropes that didn't really need to be there.  Oh and items with limited uses.  It sucks.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ys Seven (PSP) and Ys III (Genesis) Conclusions

I went back and finished Ys Seven when I didn't think I would.  The final boss's first form was a complete time draining bastard.  I ended up leveling up mindlessly for an hour, thus making him slightly less time consuming.  I also discovered I can charge attacks.  I had made it through the whole game without doing as much.  Charging attacks is the fastest way to get SP which lets you do special attacks for massive damage.

There's also parrying and blocking the game which I very rarely used, because I just used the dodge roll constantly.  Their are a few bosses you are supposed to parry against, and I did use it against those, but parrying in games is for the most part a misguided science that eludes me most of the time.  Given the camera angle and the way you move in Ys Seven , it's even more just not worth it (until you have too.)  Because if you parry at the wrong time, you're going to take double damage.

That sound great to you?

Like everyone else, I found the game had too much anime/plot bullshit that I didn't care about and was distracting me from murdering giant monsters.  It's actually pretty depressing the game doesn't even have a boss rush mode...or really any bonuses at all.

The first couple of hours are actually pretty great.  With you murdering giant monsters while dodging their giant attacks.  Then the game introduces a guy from Ys Six (haven't played), that the world is going to end, and that you need to go back through all the dungeons you just went through AND your warp system has reset.  It's not quite as bad as Devil May Cry 4 in terms of repeating itself, but you can't help but feel gypped/getting jerked around.

The bosses in the second go around aren't nearly as good either.  Also the overworld theme in the first half is this and in the second half this.  Then there is this song, which is used way too little.

I hated going through the dungeons because they weren't as good as the boss battles, and J-RPG dungeon puzzles are always brain-dead.  The story wasn't that good.  Honestly the most impressive thing the game does is right after you get off the boat you can run up and the camera will pan down to show this skyline and a giant statue in the bay.  You don't see it anywhere else and it isn't important.  It uses this shot again in the same dock to show an island you know you are going to go to later.  It was such an inspired camera angle that they really don't ever use again.

In other Ys news, I played Ys III (Genesis).  That game is precisely 90% Grind.  Ys III is the bastard child of the series, as a side-scroller as opposed to overhead.  I played it mostly to decide whether I wanted to get Ys Oath of Felegana (PSP) a remake into a normal Ys game of Ys III.  The result: I don't know maybe?  Ys III soundtrack wasn't the god's gift I was told it was going to be, and I honestly didn't like any of the soundtrack that much.  I thought Ys I and II and Ys Seven had better soundtracks.  It wasn't like the soundtrack was bad, just completely unmemorable.  The most memorable thing I gained from Ys III were some cool backgrounds to the stages, and YOU GOT HARB.

I'm pretty sure the PSP Remake don't got HARB.  I'll pick you the Ys I and II PSP set though, because that has got to be excellent running into dudes times.  No attack button, just running into dudes.  And maybe they fixed the first 2 dungeons in Ys II which are considerably worse than the fantastic 3 dungeons in Ys I.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Obi Wan (Xbox)

My dumb love of Star Wars as a teenager has not completely died.  While I am free of the heartbreaking EU stuff, I occasionally need to play Star Wars games.  I managed to miss/ignore Obi Wan for the several years I've owned an Xbox.  Still, it was there on gamefly, I might as well give it a shot.

It's not very good.  It's not awful either.  Your lightsaber is mapped to the right analog stick, so swirling that around swirls your lightsaber around.  I'd say it works about as good as any wii game.  Our sound alike for Ewan Mcgreggor is Scottish on the verge of crying.  Every line sounds like the first tears are falling down his face.  The character models are freaking hideous though.  They look worse than stuff in Jedi Knight.  A game that's at least 6 years older than it.

They did get Samuel L. Jackson I believe, to play the boring fucking part he plays in the star wars saga. 

I didn't even get far enough into the game to kill some droids.  In the 3rd stage (and all the stages previous) is on Coruscant.  I needed to jump down an elevator shaft, but because the way the game is mapped you can't control the camera.  So I couldn't look down.  So I had to do blind falls.  After about 3 of those causing my death and this being fairly early on in the game, I decided to bail out. 

Yesterday I tried a random level of Galleon.  Ended up choosing the one where you shipwreck and have to swim to shore.  I forgot how amazingly, retardedly, large the stages are.  I ended up swimming for about 3 minutes, doubting I was making progress and went to bed.  Still though, probably time to update my opinion on Galleon.  One of the forgotten games on the Xbox.  Will probably write a dumb list of awesome xbox games soon.

Friday, January 14, 2011

3rd Birthday (PSP) Impressions

By Square Enix
Time Played: 40 Minutes
Format: Strategic Shooting Action

Woah!  I wasn't expecting this to be this good!  I wasn't expecting it to be bad, but my hopes were pretty low set by Square of the past 5-10 years.  This is a tight little action game!  Here's how it goes, it's basically the same set up as the also Square-Enix out this month in US Mindjack.

Aya is in some machine that sends her back in time to New York City a year ago as it is promptly getting fucked up by tentacles tree trunks (TTTs).  She's sent back in time to random bodies.  Your weapons carry over between bodies, which are instantly switched with a tap of the triangle.  If your body dies you have about a half second to hit the triangle button and zoom to the next dude.  The cannon fodder enemies so far are a bandersnatch (RE:CV) and a Primeval Demon (Demon's Souls).  Neither are very interesting to fight.  The boss fights have been pretty entertaining.  One was a teleporting slug that I had to use my Super Attack (that refills noticably everytime you shoot something) to be able to damage, and a big monster that first time around required shooting it in the head with "crossfire". 

Crossfire is holding triangle down while a bar fills up and then hitting fire (square) to have you and the other human vessels in the area to attack at the same time for massive damage.   While you have limited ammo, most of the human vessels are National Guard and have unlimited machine guns.  So you need to position the vessels so that they don't die, can shoot.

So you need to keep jacking acrossing the field shooting the big thing, waiting for your super bar to get filled to GET EXCELLENT. If you hit the big thing at the right time with enough fire power a Triangle appears over it.  Hitting triangle I think you mind attack the beast-monster for massive damage.

It's a little bit Monster Hunter, It's a little bit Demon's Souls, It's a little bit Japan does cover shooters.  I'm excited to see where it goes.  If it starts demanding I bring it I will be impressed.  As it is you have a somewhat infinite supply of vessels coming in if your vessels die.  I haven't run out of vessels, but I haven't lost all of them in short order.

Debating now between buying the Japan version, or waiting until it comes out here.  Does it come out here?