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.


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