Saturday, December 29, 2007

Quick Impressions

So havent actually finished any games yet, so i'd rather not give full impressions just yet.
Also I'll reveal my scoring system. Or the lack of one. I dont want to quibble over numbers. So i Have a simple tier based system. However I'll also explain which type of gamer will fit into that. So any strategy
gamer will enjoy Company of Heroes; But Total War does not appeal to them all.
Buy It - Games that almost all fans of games can enjoy.
Rent It - Games that may be worth buying if you especially enjoy the genre, but for most its a better bet to rent it, or wait for a price drop.
Skip It - Mediocre games that are usually Movie/TV tie-ins. Unless you are a hardcore fan, you probably wont be able to look past the glaring
 issues. But hey at least these games are usually playable. Unlike the next category. 
Toss It - Buggy unplayable games. That you should actively seek to destroy. Developers should be rediculed for making a game like this. Or at least flame the publisher's email, since they probably rushed it.

Mario Galaxy: Controlling an upside down/sideways character is suprisingly difficult. Yet so unique. Great controls, although the timing on the jump combos is different from Mario 64... which i had nailed.  Also jumping on enemies is borderline impossible upside down. Its a pretty short game. But the quality is excellent.
Too bad about some minigames. I've never really liked shitty uses of the Wii remote's motion sensing, and the minigames in Galaxy continue to make me hate motion sensing on anything but Wii Sports. Granted this is best i've seen them aside from Wii Sports. The Ray surfing is almost tolerable. But turning by wrist tilting is far too sensitive, and since i naturally tilt my hand to play the game, any game that doesnt let me define the dead zone on the motion sensing is not going to feel good. The balling rolling is fun, but "finicky", if you will.

Mass Effect - Its a good fun romp. The graphics will blow your mind, the presentation in general is very very good. Too bad combat's a nuissance. Its either stupidly easy, or tosses so many enemies from 6 directions with no cover that its stupidly hard. There is no middle ground. The inventory system is borderline pointless. You basically get loot based on your level. Which is to say that at level 30ish you will recieve Mark IV - Mark VI gear. almost all of it looks the same, with maybe 3 skins for each weapon type, with 3 colors for each skin. Whoop dee fucking do.
I would have prefered it if they just dropped the whole system of items for this game. They dont serve any purpose. Also... Money. WHY IS IT IN THIS GAME? You dont need to ever buy weapons. The combat is not that hard that you even need to buy the "better" gear from the merchant. And the enemies give you so much gear it blows my mind. The story and the universe that has been crafted for this game allows you to
forget these massive shortcomings. So if the story ends well, it may just end up being a buyer.

The Witcher - Utter sublime gaming brilliance. Better RPG than Mass Effect. Everything about it is done better. And just goes to show how "consolitis" can weaken a game. There is variety in the things you do, and your actions actually have consequences.
If you dont protect that bimbo on her way home. She isnt gonna be able screw you the next day
The combat is sorta repetitive but you're constantly switching your styles, changing targets and saying focused on when to click so that your combos keep connecting. This gives the combat a great deal of substance and makes it very meaningful.
You feel like you are actually killing these vicious monsters (or ugly ass thugs). It certainly doesnt hurt that the animations in combat are motion capped and look amazing. The graphics in general are amazing. Especially considering this is the engine that built the Neverwinter Nights and KotOR and Jade Empire; Albeit heavily modified.
I've barely scratched this game's surface but if you like PC RPGs then go get this game already, its the best Single-player rpg i've played in years.
Need convincing? Your character has to kill demon weeds, and in order to get more money for the task he drinks the NPC under the table until he gets a better deal. You then have to kill the weeds while piss drunk. Then walk back into town teetering around with the best drunk person animations i've ever seen. Go get this game. Now. I think it can be bought online from like direct2drive or something. Go. Now.

Okay so more to come.
The Witcher; Mario Galaxy; Mass Effect; Alien Shooter Vengeance; Hellgate London (just while i listen to podcasts), And Team Fortress 2 if i feel like multi-player.
Watching: Arrested Development Season 3.
Reading: Jurassic Park.


Monday, December 24, 2007

My Top Games of 2007.
I've decided to catagorize because i feel like it.

Oh, and these are in no particular order. And if i havent played the game it wont have a description or may be left off the list if i havent followed a game. For example, i dont have a PS3, and do not care much for the Ratchet and Clank series, so you will not find it below. I simply have not tried it. It could very well be a nice game worth time.

Best Shooters
Call of Duty 4 - Same old, same old; But it nails its elements perfectly. Multi-player is fun, but i'm not sure why the level cap is 55. You cant exactly go raiding in this game once you max your level. So once I hit 55 i havent played it since. If you dont have any other multi-player shooters however i could see it getting more play time

Orange Box - 3 games. One price. Woohoo. Yes Portal is brilliant. Half-Life Episode 2 is very cool. But Team Fortress 2 is what will keep you coming back for more. Balance is perfect, and if you're teams losing a match there is something you can do to fix it. ( Well unless some clan stacked the teams. Pub stomps, are the work of sick minds, and a weak clan.)

Bioshock - Its just crazy, the atmosphere this game has will pull you in like a good book. The story is intriguing and the gameplay is actually quite good, even if it does end up being slightly too simplistic. Its effective at least. Get to Fort Frolic and behold true gaming greatness.

Halo 3 - Its Halo. Great balance, shitty controls. I'm a PC Gamer through and through. So i just played for the singleplayer portion. It was excellent. Until the last 3 levels. If the beginning campaign had not been so great i would not have finished the game. These levels are that bad. I suppose if you like fps games with a gamepad, this could be your multi-player game for a long long time. But for me. Nah. I might jump on eventually. But i've got other games to play.

Mass Effect - Mmmmm Bioware tastiness. A shame they built a mediocre real-time combat system. I would much have preferred the old D&D turns system they used with the KotOR and Neverwinter Nights games.
But regardless of mediocre combat, the story telling is top notch, even if the decisions you make ultimately dont really seem to have too much of an effect on whats going to happen. Still the game is amazing.

The Witcher - Basically what Mass Effect missed, this nailed. Cool new, unique combat system, decisions have impact. And a really cool universe. (Mass Effect does have a sweet universe, i love reading that game's back story via the Codex)

Persona 3 - A gem of uniqueness. How many games let you summon a powerful spirit thingy by shooting yourself in the head? Not many. The game has a really interesting blending of japanese life sim, and dungeon crawler. The life sim aspect makes the game feel very very broad, that you arent forced down any specific path besides the main plot that hits every full moon. Unfortunately i believe this game is now very difficult to locate.
Also i never got it but i've heard good things about Odin's Sphere. Another unique and now rare game that came out this year.


Mario Galaxy - Its A Me! Yep, he's back and he's as good as ever. Tragically this game awaits me under the Tree.
I'll post a full review for it after i've gotten a better opinion of it. But i have the faith.

Metroid Prime 3 - Samus is back also, and damn if she doesnt show how interesting a first person adventure game is. This time around the game becomes much more action oriented but I still argue that it is an adventure game. Good use of Wiimote, and doing many new things, particularily things you might not expect from a Nintendo game. Voice overs? Woah thats new.

Underdogs/Guilty Pleasures
These games are games that are admittedly not the best game to come out this year, but still have some aspect thats drawn me to them (read: addictive)

Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn - Its Fire Emblem, the game's so tough you might very well never finish it. 
Especially if you use those oh so tempting strong units you get early in the game. 
But thats part of what makes Fire Emblem so great. The challenge, and this is a game that will test you.
I myself havent picked it up in a month, i gotta play it in bursts when i can get past the punishing difficulty.

Hellgate: London - ZOMG, London is invaded with demons. Kill some demons, then kill some more, then some more. Thats pretty much all thats going to happen. Built by the Diablo 2 team, with an interesting subscription system that is currently an utter waste. Still, killing lotsa demons is suprisingly fun when the combat system is good.

Alien Shooter: Vengeance - You shoot aliens. With a vengeance. Read the hellgate london blurb above, replacing demons, with aliens. And Built by a team with a pedigree, to built by the team who made Alien Shooter 1. Apparently i find shooting stuff fun, especially lots and lots of stuff.

Expansion Packs
Dawn of War: Dark Crusade - Two new races, a cool new singleplayer campaign, and lots of new strategies.  Perfect expansion pack? Pretty much. Very worth the price of admission. This may have come out in 2006... i cant remember. i played it in 2007.

Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts - Two new sides, and new singleplayer stuff as well. More Strategies result, go figure. This seems to be a theme... well this was made by the same company, Relic.

Medieval 2: Kingdoms - Go on a crusade. Or repel a pesky crusade. Or declare the Milanese your blood foes and wipe them off the map for being so damn greedy. Its your nation. Go do whatever you want, with giant armies of Knights and other medieval type units. Just remember, the details matter.

Well that pretty much sums up my gaming experience in 2007. Good year. You might be wondering what i was playing until all these games came out though. Well mostly Warcraft 3 total conversion: Defense of the Ancients. really fun multi-player game. Dont play it at all anymore though.
That'll do.

In the future i plan to get a review of Mass Effect, Mario Galaxy, and do list some of my anticipated games of 2008. So stay tuned.
Oh and comment.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Um Hi, Introductions and Intentions.

So Hello. And welcome, however you found this blog. Although i find the likelihood of that questionable at best;
I can at the very least amuse myself to some extent
I suppose i need to talk about something, so I've wanted to get started on this blog dealy thing for quite some time now.
The idea behind it is a "sober" opinion, that would be my opinion, on the video gaming scene.
I really do not want to talk about personal issues. Suffice it to say that i'd like to keep this blog on a specific topic.
Gaming specifically. Well and other geek type stuff, like comics, anime and TV/Movies. Maybe a lil music. But since i mostly spend my time absorbing gaming tidbits, thats pretty much what i know best.
Specifically PC Gaming. But i try to follow the whole industry.

I'll think I'll try to start with a teaser for my next post. I'll do a Top 10 games of 2007. And by 2007, i mean the last 5 months of 2007 because honestly any game that comes out between January to June gets forgotten in the glut of holiday gaming goodness.
Evidence: Resident Evil 4.
So theres the Teaser, for the next post. 

But before i go, I'll toss out some personal details. 
I'm Ryan, from Canada. In Alberta. Thats enough geographics for now.
I'm currently in University and study History, mainly military stuff, but general history is nice too. 
For god knows what reason, I suppose i really do enjoy the courses, but thats not gonna help once i start job hunting in 2009.
I currently work in retail, more or less smashing my face into the counter for shits and giggles.
But sometimes i get to inform the less informed masses about video games, and try to keep licensed games out of their hands.
Apparently i'm a very distant person. But i'm actually just shy and dont want to break the ice.
Oh and I live a "clean" lifestyle. Thats sorta where i grabbed the Blog's name. I wish i had a decent reason for why i dont drink or do recreational drugs, but i dont, I just think its sorta stupid, so I dont do them. Dont mind people who do though. Long as they dont try to force them on me.
But thats enough about me.
So Goodbye.
Hope i remember i created this.
Really hope people actually read this.
That be cool if people did.