Sunday, June 15, 2008

This, That and Gears of Metal

So, several things have occurred in gaming world during my Blog's absence. Most notably (to me at any rate) was the launch of Ninja Gaiden II, and of Metal Gear Solid 4.
I'll start with MGS4 because I havent played much yet, so very brief impressions.
I should open with the statement that MGS4 did provoke me to purchase a PS3, and that is exactly what I did. So far I have not been disappointed. The limited time with MGS4 has been positive overall, and the purchase of Singstar (more on that near the end) cements the confidence I maintain in my purchasing decision.

So MGS4, well it is impressive looking if nothing else. The entire interface is mind blowing, crystal clear, beautiful and utterly awe inspiring. This is a game that has production values through the roof and it's smacking you about the face with them. The game is quite simply the greatest looking game I have ever seen. Crysis may 'technically' be better looking, but the character model of Otacon continues to make me gasp, everytime he shows up on the "ear-chat" info chat-fests, the amount of detail put in his appearence blows me away.
But graphics arent everything, although for the record, MGS4's graphics are perfect to me, they in no way limit the experience and only enhance it. I am not normally a person who cares for graphics but these are quite drool inducing.
So Gameplay. You've played a previous MGS? Pretty much the same, solid sneaking mechanics, with the raw combat engine being somewhat passable this time around.
The best moment I've seen so far was when I got spotted and a troop escaped to report in and request backup. The command replied by stating "No backup currently available, make due with what you have." That blew my mind, for once no unlimited spawning enemies? In MGS? What? Of course I then minutes later found a respawning area of enemies and that illusion was crushed. But then I quite frankly dont give a shit about MGS's gameplay anyways. It's all about Snake baby, and I hear good things about this story. So I'll stick around.

Ninja Gaiden II
You kill shit, shit bleeds, alot. You will become frustrated and want to smash something (you may smash something repeatedly as I did) and you will hate this game. But ultimately the game simply needs you to push your abilities to understand how the AI fights; that is to say if you block too long you get brutally grabbed, if you dont attack you will be attacked, and if you stop moving you will die. Oh and learn to pull off Ultimate Techniques, otherwise the game will bitchslap around certain parts.
The weapons are awesome, the combat is invigorating and demanding.
Tragically I havent actually really said ANYTHING about the game however. At least not anything important. The game is fun, and hard, maybe it's harder than the First, but probably not. The bossfights certainly are easier. Simply dont use cheap moves and keep your feet on the ground and bossfights are viable. Just need to die a few times to learn what moves you must avoid at all costs.
Overall I really like the game, The enemies are for the most part interesting and it is quite enjoyable to slaughter them. Although the rocket troops are kind of a cop-out to the actual difficulty. Anytime they are around it basically prevents you from even being able to block, but technically they dont show up alot until you play the game on 'Hard' mode.
I wouldnt recommend the game to most of my friends, but they arent exactly hardcore gamers. It certainly is not casual game, at least not Normal mode. Easy mode very well could be quite generous to newcomers, I wouldnt know.
But I like it and if you like action games that only got the action right, then Ninja Gaiden is about as purist as you can get nowadays. Just dont expect a good story. There is evil shit and it needs to bleed, and you have many sharp weapons to make them bleed with.

Awesome party game. All I need now are people to come over and play with. The fact that it can use webcam to record the singing only contributes to even greater showboating.
So, like, if anyone wants to come and have a grand 'ole time singing songs for laughs feel free to tell me.

Until I remember to post again. Ciao!

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