Thursday, April 23, 2015

Why So Serious?

We all know at least one in our life.

The one who overreacts and stops you when you get to spoiler territory. You know, the one who starts covering their ears and singing to themselves to avoid being spoil. Some people just take their entertainment way too serious.

I find spoilers part of the perils of being a latecomer. It doesn't bother me as much as the next guy. Sure sometimes I get disappointed when I stumbled into one but in this age, it's hard to avoid spoilers.

I found out John Marston dies at the end of Red Dead while I was still playing the GOTY edition. As you know the GOTY edition took forever to come out and I was taking my sweet time playing it. In this case, I was actually intrigued how he dies and the ending certainly didn't disappoint. There is a silver lining I guess but of course if it was really lame ending then a spoiler could quickly defused all interest.

If you really want to avoid spoilers then join the master race and be the first to play everything. Very difficult task as even when I buy a game on the first day, I still take my time and never finish it in one go. So don't blame the guy who tells you Brad Pitt is actually Edward's imaginary friend. Blame yourself for not getting around to watching it.

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Zap from the Past

Now I already pointed out that Revelations 2 is very similar to Zero in terms of gameplay. That nostalgic call back is ultimately its main downfall. 

As RE fans are aware, there are two types of RE games – the early fixed camera angle games and the RE4 styled games. Zero lets you control your both characters at the same time which works well in the early fixed camera angle games. You could separate both characters and place them in in different rooms. You determind which character goes to which path and does what. In that aspect, the game is light years ahead of RE5 or Revelations 2. The two characters never felt like they were attached at the hip like in the latter games.

In Revelations 2, you can’t separate the two characters and one of them is helpless but not completely unarmed. You have separate inventory for each character even though they can never be apart and one don’t actually use firearms.Online co-op would have be nice though it’s hard to imagine how much fun it is controlling a character that doesn’t fight. Using the second character to wave the flashlight around is as boring as it sounds.

Capcom wisely put the RE0 remaster on hold as they didn't want to saturate the market with another game. In retrospect they should have just remaster that and forget about this lame sequel. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

I Need More Controller

Devil May Cry is never far from gamers' minds despite not having a proper sequel for more than 5 years. It's a cult series for sure and cult followers expect more. Like retail copy more, I get that because I'm one of those too. DMC4 SE will be released strictly through digital distribution on current hardware. Looking back at DMC3 SE, it's unreasonable to think that Capcom would do more than distribute this on the digital medium.

This reissue looks largely the same as DMC3 SE in terms of content except it took 7 years to arrive. DMC3 SE only had a Greatest Hits cover despite being a year apart. I remember importing the japanese edition of DMC3 SE just for the new cover art. I dusted off the game to play recently after a bit of Bayonetta fatigue and the game still holds up remarkably well. Of course, it claimed the life of another dualshock2 controller but these imitation stuff never do last anyway.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Death Don't Come Cheap

The Evil Within is a pretty brutal game. The manual even warns you that death will come often and when you least expect it. I probably had a dozen retries on the prologue alone before the title sequence rolled. I would say the prologue is the weakest part of the game. It gave a really bad impression of what the game isn't actually about. 

Apart from the prologue, this isn't an unfair game and the death count can certainly be cut down. I think making the game any easier removes a lot of tension within the game. Mikami pacing and structure of the game is excellent, he creates space for tension and also the big payoff moments. It's never one element for too long , this isn't strictly a stealth game that seems to be trend after the emergence of The Last of Us.

Even the active cinematic moments that looked cool in other games but really all you are doing is just pushing a button or holding down the analog stick to run is different here. I won't spoil it but rest assured you need some skill and quick wits to survive these moments.  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Doggie Bites

As I was looking for something new to play on the Wii, it dawned on me that I have yet to finish Bully. It's been more than a year since I started as I vividly remember talking about it last CNY. After Red Dead Redemption, I was eager for more Rockstar and this was certainly more convenient since it was ported to the Wii.

I was a bit apprehension about the Wii motion controls but it wasn't as bad as I expected. It works well enough for the school classes mini-game especially the new classes introduced in the Scholarship edition. It gets tiring to waggle when engaging in fights which thankfully can be avoided sometimes. Overall the graphics looked sharp for the Wii version and loading time are not noticeably long. I was disappointed at the size and scale of Bullworth town but I guess it's not fair to expect GTA-scope.

At least I got this game done before any sequel was announced. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

So Bad That's Good

Deadly Premonition is a quirky game that I haven’t really talk about yet. I bought the game during a sale without really knowing what’s it about except it had some elements of survival horror. I ended up playing the game from start to finish and some more after that until I achieved the Platinum Trophy. Maybe it was a quiet period when I didn't have anything to distract me but that would be denying how great the game is.

Most game offers the player an escape from the real world but not many convey the feeling of discovering a town as an outsider quite like this.  This game is about special agent Morgan who visits a rural town where bizarre murder cases has occurred. It slowly introduces the player to the town and the job at hand but really goes into all of the daily grind that is usually not worth exploring in-game. Daily routines like checking into the hotel, deciding what to wear in the morning and having dinner with co-workers. Sure some games do that to superficially make their game feel longer and bigger than it actually is. Here there are some of the best bits of the game.

The action elements in the game is your standard RE4 shooting affair but the framerate is much too choppy to enjoy any of it. It's pretty bad to the point I would consider it a deal breaker if it wasn't for everything else the game did right. The adventure element, the quirky characters and voice-casting are what made the game so memorable. Removing the action sequence would have turned this into an all-time classic but this is the sort of  'so bad that's good' kind of game. Perfection won't have fit it as well as the final product it turned out to be.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Collector Sense

When debating about whether a Collector Edition is worth the extra dollars, even the most diehard fan will have a hard time rationalizing. To the casual observer, the extra content looks like a bunch of useless trinkets unless it's something practical. I have bought my fair share of CE and while some were great and some not so great, I don't really look at them that way.

I tend to spend on CE the same way one is willing to spend a little extra on a lavish meal on their birthday or anniversary. That lavish meal is never going to be worth the money but when you are in the mood during a special occasion, the purse just feels a bit looser. I feel that way with a highly anticipated game, it's a bit more special than the average game so spending more is ok. Sure once in a while but not every game, that would be like eating a lavish meal every day.