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Ranting about ninja Gaiden 3

I have written a review for Ninja Gaiden 3 already, but goodness I just need to rant more about this title. The game is just soo interesting, so different from the previous games in almost everyway. Ninja Gaiden 3 is know as a game that almost ruined the Ninja Gaiden franchise. You can even buy the enhanced remake bran new for less than $15.00 Canadian. For a game that is three years old on now and on last generation consoles and the WiiU can sound average. But the price drop on the game can at an incredible velocity. I can remember when I first bought the game at launch paying the full $59.99 plus tax pre ordering the title thinking of the how much I enjoyed the Ninja Gaiden series. Which brings me to the purpose of the rant. This Ninja Gaiden 3 really that bad that even three years later some people... Or at least me is still frustrated?

On a technical level the game is playable and has some really fun moment. But that's completely it. Ninja Gaiden 3 lacks any redeeming factors. From everything from the level design, to the combat system, and everything in between. Ninja Gaiden 3 does some of the bare minimum and at the time released it as a full price game.

Let's start maybe with something I find somewhat addictive and that is the combat. Trust me when I say this, the combat is great, but it is fun enough to have enjoyment until the games credits role. But that is simply it, unlike the other actions that Ninja Gaiden back on the original xbox defined, Ninja Gaiden 3 borrows more elements from Dynasty Warriors. There are waves and waves and waves of the same enemies and no creative ways to dispose them. This wouldn't bother me if Ninja Gaiden 3 had more weapons, characters, large detailed maps or anything like that... But Ninja Gaiden 3 does none of that. The level design has no hidden goodies, no sense of exploration, no puzzles. Just Ryu moving to different areas and killing enemies. These aspects just left me confused. Why is there only one spell, why is there only a sword, why are the levels so barren and empty?

The question on the design of Ninja Gaiden 3 are confusing. Even on a short segment when Ryu ventures back to his home village could have been a moment to encourage world building or help personify Ryu as a character. As Ryu walks through the small village, guards are in the streets and people are devoting themselves to the art. This section is one of the most interesting because plays get a little view on how the village structures. Beyond this moment, everything else is the same combat.

Ninja Gaiden 3 also features a full online mode which I have yet to find any enjoyment with it, not to say I don't think anyone is playing it today. Not to say of you bought the game used, you need an online pass. As if the game wasn't already a cash grab. Why was any effort at all put into the multiplayer and at its core, Ninja Gaiden games are a single player experience? That is the most frustrating thing about Ninja Gaiden 3. Why wasn't the multiplayer cut in hopes to have a stronger single player experience?

Also why was there such a huge focus on the story if you aren't going to have any impact or weight. Don't get me wrong, part of the story makes sense and the action aspect and the setting is so exciting. But it is when the game tries to feel emotional where it is so terrible. When you hire an NES writer to do a current generation game, that's what you get. Ninja Gaiden 3 does have some good production values. I found the graphics really good and the voice acting to be really good as well. I love Troy Baker and Alli Hillis as voice actors.

Truth be told I still play Ninja Gaiden 3. Like I said I do find it has some fun moments. But even though I can play this game way more than I should and complain about it three years later, there is just something about it that feels addictive. Maybe it is it short length for speed runs. I guess it just goes down as my favourite bad game ever.

Thief 4 impressions

Eidos Montreal is the same studio responsible for Deus Ex: human revolution which is one of my personal favourite games of all time. So of course I had really high expectations coming into their take on the universe of Thief. Perhaps when I think back about it, a little bit too high. I guess for me I really enjoy stealth games. I think the intensity of being still and moving when the player is found, I enjoy the feeling of know one can not fight there way through the guards. And I am not the biggest fan of shooting games, which I would list as a personal flaw with Deus Ex: HR even though the gun play in was good, I just don't like shooters. But after 2012's Dishonoured, I was so looking forward to Thief 4.

Thief 4 or Just a Thief reboot, puts the player in the control of Garrett, an older somewhat creepy looking man who appears to have been thieving for quite some time. However all hell breaks loose when a mysterious plague known as the Gloom takes control of the city he calls home. The story at this point seems good enough to help carry the game through. Garrett himself is such a mysterious interesting character, just learning about him is enough narrative satisfaction in the game, as one would expect from Eidos' Montreal writing team. Unlike Deus Ex, Thief takes a more linear approach to story telling. Which in the style of game I have no problems with, after all, it is a stealth action game, not an rpg. But the added character depth may have help build personalities of the NpCs that inhabit the world.

The game takes a very dark look. But in a game about a dark plague and a thief that excels in the darkness, the theme fits the overall narrative of the game and from what I have seem thus far, it stays consistent throughout the whole game. But it is the art throughout that one would come to expect from a game made from team Eidos. The game features multiple paths ways to get from one place to an other, the option to take roof tops, or sprint from on the ground. Exploit the environment, or simply be a ghost. The choice is the players.

The unfortunate aspect about the game is that it has a series of bugs, some are next to game breaking. I have experienced cutscenes with no sound which isn't a big deal if you remembered to put subtitles on. But the worst was my mysterious missing checkpoint data, I feel like that may have been my own stupidity but I only ever experienced it in the prologue.

That all being said, I really do like the game thus, but in compared to other stealth games such as dishonoured, deus ex, I feel like Thief falls a bit short, but that is just this far of playing.

what is wrong with linear?

Call me a late to the party, but I am currently working through the game Remember Me, and I must say, it is a brillant well crafted game. If by a weird chance a developer from Dontnod is reading this, hats off to you and I hope you keep making amazing games like Remember Me.

But ofcourse with my new found love for Remember Me I wanted to see what the internet thought of it. And I was shocked to see the mixed reviews. The game mainly being criticized for its linearity. And frankly I just dont get why that is so bad.

As some my know, I personally mark Bioshock Infinite as the hallmark of gaming completely creating a work of art while also being enjoyable and engaging, but looking back, it was an other game criticized for being linear. And I dont understand why a games a beaten and bashes for being linear.

Maybe it is my own opinion but I love games that are more linear in nature and hope the constant critical nature of linear games stops

Finally Arrived. MY top 5 favourite games of all time!

So this list took forever to make. I can quite say it was easy, but after my playing, and sleepless nights, I am final able to comprise a list of my Top 10 favorite games of all time, and why they are. So with farther delay.

Number 5: Journey (2011)-thatgamecompany.

So much could be said about Journey. It is beautiful, emotionally moving, heart warming, and poetic in every sense of the word. Journey is simple, and easy to play, making it not only accessable, but gives the game that much more powerful of a narrative. Overall, Journey is my favorite game that is a PS3 exclusive, and I highly recommend this game to anyone, gamer and non gamer alike.

Number 4:Pandora's Tower (2013) Studio Ganbarion

A wii game almost made it onto the list. But nonetheless, Pandora's is a must experience. It is a captivating tale, and the best romance I have experienced since the Notebook. Pandora's Tower is a must play for those who love a good love story. Kirby Return to Dreamland (2011)-Hal Laboratory The game on this list was originally going to be Super Mario Bros 3, however; Kirby's wii adventure into Dreamland is a mystical tale, with some of the most enjoyable and richest platforming sections in any game to date. The smile on my face while playing this game never left. The Wii may not be a hardcore console, but Kirby Return to Dreamland is a joy filled experience.

Number 3: Metroid Prime (2002)-Retro Studios

It took the longest time to figure out which of the amazing Metroid Prime games I should put on this list, I knew one had to make it, but in the end, Metroid Prime is the fantastic stand alone game and the reason my I played the Metroid series to begin with. This game is a stunning accomplishment in gaming and stands as the most atmospheric games ever.

Number 2: Bioshock Infinite (2013)-Irrational Games

Bioshock Infinite is the one game that will forever stand out in the over saturated shooter market. Main reason uniqueness and and power narrative feats the game convays through a power gripping tale. Bioshock Infinite is so much more than just a shooter. It is simple a work of art.

Number 1: Shadow of the Colossus (2006)-Team ICO

This game should be a given. But in the end, Shadow of the Colossus is a game that is simply a masterpiece in everyway. From its poetic like narrative, to a dark and isolate world, to an ending that still to this day is talked about. Shadow of the Colossus is my personal favorite game ever.

Honourable Mentions.

Kirby Return to Dreamland (2011)-Hal Laboratory The game on this list was originally going to be Super Mario Bros 3, however; Kirby's wii adventure into Dreamland is a mystical tale, with some of the most enjoyable and richest platforming sections in any game to date. The smile on my face while playing this game never left. The Wii may not be a hardcore console, but Kirby Return to Dreamland is a joy filled experience.

Portal 2 ( 2011) Valve- Portal 2 took the formula for first person games, and turned them on there head with the Original Portal, why Portal 2 makes it on this list is because it was that much more of a game that I value, and will always be a game I will remember.

Most important games this generation Part 1

Since this console generation is coming to a close, I think it is safe to write up a summery of some of the most important games this generation. And trust e there is alot that could make it onto this list. But in the end, only view could have the huge revolutionary impact on the gaming industry.

 

Game 1: Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Something about this game was just awesome. Yoou had a massive world, tones of quests to do, a well written story and a good soundtrack. But not only that, Oblivion was as massive as an MMO but in a single-player format. It really shaped console westren role playing games and sandbox games in general. Now with the release of Skyrim, not may people still play Oblivion (Atleast I don't at all) But it is safe to say that because of the success of Oblivion, many good RPG's may not have had many break throughs. 

Goodness... some people.

This is kind of about games, but more about life and games in general. It started when I waas on the bus yesterday going to work, when I heard 2 guys talking about Bioshock Infinite. Ofcourse, me being the nerd who I am, listened in on there conversation. And I was rather disturbed. I do understand that there is people who don't like story in there games, or don't like games that are narrative driven, or even flat out like other games better. But these two guys missed the point of Bioshock Infinite. Maybe I love games that are different, maybe I am just a guy who studies his games to figure out meaning from them, rather than to just play games for fun.

"BUT ANYONE WHO THINKS GIVING UP YOUR DAUGHTER IS NO BIG DEAL, YOUR AN IDIOT1" I just need to throw that out there. Any man, that has to give a up a child may be messed up for a long time in his life, and my even try to frget that he even knew her. These two guys, missed the point of that who emotional build. I am not saying you have to feel for Booker Dewitt, and honestly speaking, Booker's character has been defined by the relationship with is daughter. 

Do say, give up your daughter is no big deal, I felt that was the centre point o what made Bioshock Infinite human. That's what made Booker Dewitt such an amazing 3 d character. 

 

I am done my rant, just needed to get that out.

Ok last post about Bioshock Infinite for a while.

Bioshock Infinite has been out for a while, I am sure everyone who bought the game on launch day has iit completed... well hopefully. And as far as it goes, I want to be much critical of the game that I have been. I am on my third play through actually, mainly wanting to find out, what is it about the game that I love so much, and is Bioshock Infinite actually a perfect game in my opinion?

Ok so if you haven't guessed yet, I really really like Bioshock Infinite, but I can't really pin down why. The game as a whole has incredible reviews across the board, I even as far gave the game a 10/10 in my own written review. But I don't want for Bioshock Infinite to be a game that will be forgotten. To be honest an earlier games I have played this year that I really enjoyed such as Metal Gear Rising and Dead Space 3, I quite enjoyed. But both of those games I know will pass under the radar, well defiantly Dead Space 3 will, but maybe Metal Gear Rising I will remember because of the awesome sword play in the game. But I can say Bioshock Infinite is one of those games that I will keep coming back to. 

It did for me what Shadow of the Colossus, Journey and Deus Ex: Human Revolution did. I look at all of these games and they all could have had things add to them, to make them better games. But overall, these games were pretty amazing, I would go as far to say, Perfect in my own opinion. I place Bioshock Infinite here because there was things that "could" have made it better, but it had sso many perfectly executed ideas that made them what they were. In Shadow of the Colossus, Journey, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution, it is the games narrative that in my opinion made them so perfect. From the world, to characters, gameplay and art direction made these 3 games what they are. 

I am proud to say that Bioshock Infinite is such a game. A game that I will look back on, dig out my PS3, and replay through this game, and say. Yes, that is a game I won't forget. Bioshock Infinite is an other Shadow of the Colossus of gaming. To this day, I still find myself so insanely moved by Shadow of the Colossus. I can just stand in the world, explore or simply progress through the game with a high level of immersion and emotional impact. Deus Ex: Human Revolution I will always remember the twisted world, obsure colour pallet, and the first time ever falling inlove truly with a Role-Playing game. All the JRPG's I love in the PS and PS2 era have nothing to the depth, and care that went into Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Truth is, all of our favorite, or our opinions of perfect games all leave us with a story. Bioshock Infinite is no different than the Journey released last year. 

If you havent yet, play play any of the 4 games I have listed if you havent. They are my personal favorite 4 games ever. Bioshock Infinite slowly moving its way past Shadow of the Colossus for my personal favorite game ever.

To take seriously

The other day, Roger Elbert passed away. To some he is know as the man who said video games could never be art. And he backed up his opinion with good solid argument. However, I did not agree with him, and I wrote him a letter explaining my position. I honestly do believe video games are an art. But I dont think we always should like of them like that. 

Take Twilight for example... I personally believe the book sucks balls, but regardless of how much I believe how terrible it is, it does change the fact that Twilight is an art....

Ok now back to our interactive medium of video games. I believe all video games are an art, BUT, not all of them are artistic. Lets take two recent releaase games (excluding Journey, otherwise I would talk about it forever). Medal of Honour: Warfighter and... Spec Ops: The Line. Both games are art, both show us something about ourselves and/or the culture we live in, but I think Spec Ops is what I would define as artistic. Why one may ask... 

Well mainly the concept of interpretation. Spec Ops: The Line, I am impacted by even after I am away from the screen. Much like the poetry I read, or books I enjoy, or songs I listen to. Medal of Honour, even if I wanted to, I couldnt dissect the game to the full spectrum as I could with Spec Ops: The Line. and that is not simply with good writing. This comes with the time spent with details. This added details is what makes games artistic. The hidden meaning in a game, or multiple interpretations.

I believe as our medium evolves, we should take games rather seriously. I would love to have more Journey's and Shadow of the Colossus's. Bioshock's and Spec Ops: The Lines. Anyway, this was a weirder post. Next post I wantto talk a bit more about Bungie's new game Destiny.

Ok, so if we are nt tired of it yet.... More Bioshock Infinite!

Bioshock Infinite I have been waitinng to talk about this game for a really long time, since i beat the game actually. And with that being said, I will maybe give off minor spoilers so enter at your own caution......

 

So Bioshock Infinite is everythinng I can possibly want in a video game. Actually, lets just call it an interactive medium, because there are part of Bioshock Infinite that aren't fun at all. But it is an engrossing and engaging experience the whole way through. The game has both a great story and a fantastic narrative. The story is told with great pacing, and the world is as much beautiful as it is a mystery. 

Actually lets talk about the world a little bit. Columbia is a beautiful world. If anyone has ever played the underrated game Baten Kaitos: Eternal wings and the Lost Ocean, Bioshock Infinite borrow a bit of the sky elements from that, but yet at the game time, it is incredibly unique to the Infinite universe. Bioshock Infinite has its own textures and lighting, with a heavy emphesis on a colourful cartoony colours. Because of the colour, it gives off a very, fair-tale feel to the world. It allows for the world of Columbia to unravel around the player. And because the main character, Booker Dewitt not being from the world, it gives it a greater sense of exploration. When you first land on Columbia and explore for a little bit, it gives off a very atmosphereic feel as well, the idea of being in a massive world, larger than yourself. These are all things on the surface of Bioshock Infinite's world. But digging deep into the mysteries of Columbia is where the gameplay excels.

My biggest problem with first-person shooters, and even alot of third person shooters, the emphesis on world is completly non-exsistent. I have played my fair share of shooting games that fail epically in this area, I am sure you can come up with your own examples. But a game like Bioshock Infinite, Half Life 2 Resident Evil 4 Metroid Prime and even Halo, all had the world that emmersed you, and part of the reason why they were so successful. Because the player was investing in a world, and there was time, exploration, and even lore to be found in the world that was given.

 

Thats all I mainly wanted to talk about with Bioshock Infinite, I love the world of it, perfect game, definatly should pick it up if you havent already

B

Suprised at how many games slip under the radar

So either I am born under a rock, in terms of games that have came out the past 2 years, or I have been looking at the wrong games in general. Before the release of Bioshock Infinite, I found myself digging in the cheap bin at wal-mart and also looking at older releases at EB games (basically Canadian Gamestop). I ended up purchasing two games. Spec Ops: The Line and Lolipop Chainsaw. And I have something special in referance to both of those games.

First off, with Spec Ops: The Line, it is the most suprising game I have ever played in my life. I was expecting just a modern military shooter, but my guess could not have been farther off from the game. The game is hard to play, and it is not because of the gameplay, but because of the narrative of the game itself. You see I found myself in a rather interesting place playing the game. I felt bad for buying a game to blow people's heads off.... essantailly that is why I play most shooting games, hence why I actually don't play too many of them. But with that being said. Spec Ops: The Line is the kind of MMS i have been waiting for in such a long time. An experience that goes out of its way and slaps the players and the game industry in the face. And asks some of the most profound questions that I haven't really experienced in too many games. Those questions come differently from you.... the player.

 

And the next game I did want to touch on is Lolipop Chainsaw, mainly because the game is as addictive as hell on wheels going straigh down Mount Everest. I mean, this games art style, combat system and boss battles are over the top actions. In a review earlier, I praised Metal Gear Rising: Revengance for being addictive as well, however; Lolipop Chainsaw took addictive to a new extreme. With MGR, I expected to play a solid hack n slash, over the top action game. Don't get me wrong Metal Gear Rising is a much much better game, due to the bugdet and vision of both games. I preferred Metal Gear Rising. But Lolipop Chainsaw was much more addictive than MGR, and that is saying a lot, Plus I do feel, Lolipop Chainsaw art direction, and chorky story and narrative will keep it a rather classic game, where as I feel maybe MGR may be forgetten once the two new Metal Gear games get released. Which isn't bad, but I don't own MGR anymore, I traded it off, where as I never plan on getting ride of Lolipop Chainsaw because I may never find it again new. 

Just something to think about anyway. Like I said in the previous blog post, I do want to talk about Destiny, because I am super excited for that game!

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