Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Games Digest Nov-DEC 2011 Part Ichi

Let's try and talk about all the stuff I played between my last main post and now.  Including the things I had forgotten to talk about.  The first thing to come to mind is Bionic Commando (PS3) by GRIN.  It's an absolutely gorgeous game with fantastic swinging that reminds me of Spiderman 2 (PS2,GC,Xbox).  I set it down after the first boss and during the second sniper-sneaking section because the game never really seemed built for that.  Taking down one sniper meant two others locked on and fired.  I could get angry and finally beat it after thirty minutes or I could just move on with my life.

Making decisions!  That's all Alpha Protocol (PS3) is about.  It's developed by Obsidian.  That link should clear up any questions about what the previous sentence means.  The dialog is about as entertaining as drinking sand, but I have to appreciate that game's choices are just different ways to be an asshole.  There's no good/evil binary so much as choosing where to place your faith and allegiances.  Yes there is a part where you have to choose between saving the girl or saving the people.  I stuck by my choices and ended up with everyone I cared about dead at the end.  The sex scenes were almost silly and short which made them almost not embarrassing and quality viewing compared to the ones in Mass Effect.  It's a fun and dumb 15 hours and you see something brilliant in how all your decisions actually matter while not changing the structure of the game.  There's occasionally the dialog choice of "Fuck You" or "Execute".

Mortal Kombat (PS3) has the world's greatest fighting game story mode and is everything it should be.  Similarly I can't wait to spend more time on The King of Fighters XIII.  I just have all these FPSes I'm bro-ing with.  Battlefield 3 is a refreshing change from Modern Warfare 3.

MW3 is more COD Multiplayer.  I haven't touched the single player campaign in it or BF3.  I can say Spec-Ops in MW3 is probably my GOTY.  It touches the same part of my brain that Modern Warfare 2 touched in 2009 and Dog Days viciously tore at in 2010.  It feature sparkling level design (that you wish had gone into the multiplayer) and tight lovely situations and circumstances.  I'd compare it to the arena stage in any Ratchet and Clank game or Super Meat Boy.  Just chunks of wonderful game design.  If only I could convince my crew to stop playing BF3 long enough that I could play more of it.  BF3 is definitely a better game when you are playing it.  Infinite Ward is still the king of menu design. 

In BF3 you can't quit, change your loadouts, invite a friend, or even go into options between matches.  I'm really not sure what the purpose of that was.  It does feature some amazing sights.  While MW3 is definitely worth it if you have one friend to play it with you at least need 3 other friends to truly enjoy BF3.  The most common question I've had in the 12 vs 12 matches on the PS3 has been, "Where the hell is our team?"  And you won't know!  You'll be trying to defend or attack an objective and just wondering where the other 8 players are.  You need at least 3 people you can stand playing video games with in a squad with you. 

On the plus you can change it so you never hear other people talk.  That only lasts for that game though.  It defaults to "Squad" and then you have to change it to "none" when you are missing a friend (because they were in your squad but when the game started they were suddenly on the other team) and someone's crappy rap starts blaring through your TV speakers.

The sound is god damn amazing.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (Justin Lin)

In my eternal quest to get angry about film depictions of Tokyo, I've now seen The Fast and The Furious:Tokyo Drift.  It is...exactly what you think it is.  Does the protagonist have a hilarious exchange about not understanding Japanese.  Does he eventually learn the culture?  Does he see something uniquely Japanese and stare in befundlment. Does he wreck a dozen yakuza ricers and not get killed immediately?  Does he make out with an underage girl?

Yes he does!  The film makes an insistent that the mid-20s something actor is 17 and in high school.  This never gets believable despite how often they throw it in your face.  "Woah ladies he's underage."  He's got the stubble I dream of having as an age-peer.  Also he looks almost identical to the "main" protagonist of the series that isn't Vin Diesel.

Positive point: He knows how to use chopsticks and the movie never makes this an issue.

Are there plot holes you could power drift an 18 wheeler through?  Yes!  It wouldn't be a Fast movie if you didn't have the immense dissapointment that they could have made the plot infinitely more believable with just a few changes.

But the love interest's actress actually was 17 and he totally got all up on that shit.  Hey! the CG is amazingly well used and I'd rather watch this than Tokyo! .

Then again I'd probably want to sit in a Otolaryngology office for an hour in January with only an issue of People to read than watch Tokyo! .  Sure I'd probably get sick from the experience but I wouldn't be inflamed with rage over how little that movie had to do with the city.  Tokyo Drift had slightly more to do with it, or Shibuya rather.

Now I'm gonna go play the Shinjuku track in Project Gotham Racing and guffaw at all the licenses they could get but the Yakuza series couldn't.