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Panzer_Zwei Blog

Metal Gear Rising : Revengeance

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So I just started playing METAL GEAR RISING. Not a bad game so far, yet for a ninja-type game Raiden doesn't move around as verstaile as say, Ryu Hayabusa.

The lock on system is a bit messy, and the sub-weapons are a sort of a pain in the ass to use since all the aiming and switching takes you out of the otherwise fast-paced gameplay.

There's also some running segments that makes the game feel like SONIC THE HEDGEHOG at times.

I'm playing the game on the Hard difficulty setting and thankfully the game is challenging, though parrying and zandatsu greatly help you to deal with damage.

The support cast is pretty generic and fogettable, but the codec conversations are surprisingly interesting.

Raiden also looks very different from how awesome he looked on METAL GEAR SOLID 4. I really dislike how pointy his nose and chin look. His voice acting has substantially improved however.

Overall, not a bad game, but just so not METAL GEAR. In my opnion they should've named the game differently.

XCOM Baby!

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xcom_enemy_unknown-1943730.jpg?w=940

Finally, I've cleared XCOM : ENEMY UNKNOWN on CLASSIC IRON MAN mode. Took me a while since I had to restart several times, but it was worth it.

Overall, it was a decent strategy game, the field battles were fantastic, but in my opinion the programmers dropped the ball on the base management aspect. It was too simplistic and lacking in customization and detail.

At first when you can barely afford anything the game gives you the impression that there'll be lots of stuff to research and lots of facilities to build, but by the mid game you realize that isn't quite the case. And for me at least, it didn't mattered how much I lagged behind in research and facilities in the beginning, by the mid to late game, I had a lot of money but there was nothing exciting left to buy.

Actually, the game gets sort of boring once you start taking things under control, and at one point in my original CLASSIC difficulty run, I lost the desire to keep playing. Thus I decided to give IRON MAN difficulty a try, and it did serve to renew my interest.

I think they should've stretched the research trees a bit more. For example, there's only two higher weapon tiers : lasers and plasma, (and you can skip lasers altogether). And once you've got the plasma guns, that's it for the weapons, there's nothing beyond that.

The ending was pretty cool (not to mention surprising), yet it was too short and lacked more exposure.

What's wrong with game endings nowadays? A lot of games I've played recently (XCOM, DISHONORED, HALO 4 etc.) only have these lousy 5 minute endings.

With nowadays game developing costs, long developing times, huge developing teams, and that's what we get? A lot of these games have longer cut-scenes in between, I can't believe they won't pay the same attention to the ending.

Also, I started playing FAR CRY 3 again. I actually got the game a few days ago, but I stopped playing since I couldn't stand the main character being this dumb-looking rich kid who's turned RAMBO overnight. However, after reading the IGN review (where's the GameSpot one?), I was glad to hear that the character actually changes throughout the course of the game, so I'll be giving it another chance.

Biohazard 6

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So I finally brought myself to complete BIOHAZARD 6. Honestly, I still don't know what was CASHCOM thinking while making this title. I mean, ever since the 4th entry (my least favourite of the series by the way) they made it clear that they were leaving the survival horror aspect behind, but still. Even for a full action shooting game, BIOHAZARD 6 clearly suffers from an identity crisis.

So it's ACE COMBAT in one part, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG in another. Oh, and those lame stealth wanna-be sequences were just flat-out terrible.

The storyline was also pretty lousy in my opinion, and the main antagonist SIMMONS was a rather weak and uninteresting villain.

The characters were ok for the most part, except for two that rubbed me the wrong way : SHERRY BIRKIN and ADA WONG. SHERRY felt like a clueless environmentalist group member. "Hey look at me, I don't know what I'm doing but I'm saving the world!".

The schizophrenic ADA in turn just wouldn't stop talking to herself. Personally, I found it competely irritating how she described everything she was doing or was about to do. It was like, " to who the hell are you talking to?"

Also, I'm not 100% sure but I think she was voiced by the same person that did the voice acting for the first prostitute you come across in FALLOUT 3.

One thing I can't agree with though, is the way most reviews say the game is riddled with quick time events. Sure, the game has tons of QTE's, but they make it sound like it's in the same range of NINJA BLADE (which received more favorable scores by the way), and it's just not quite the case.

I do agree however that the whole rotating stick QTE's were abused. I mean, I can dig having to rotate it when turning a handle or something like that, but why do I have to rotate the stick to avoid falling from a ledge?

Finally, the gun-wielding human infected enemies (the J'avo) were completely dumb and inconsistent. I really liked the way they would mutate depending on where you shot them, but it was a drag to fight them whilst in human form.

So, for those of you that have cleared the game, what were you thoughts?

Wii U : Not impressed

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I tried the Wii U today, and I have to say that I'm far from being impressed by NINTENDO's new system.

I mostly agree with the GameSpot article about the technical limitations of the system. I just don't see how it can be worth its price tag.

No wonder why NINTENDO is the only game company who makes a profit from selling hardware.

Also, I wouldn't be surprised if some time later they come up with an improved, redesigned console model, screwing early adopters.

It wouldn't feel like NINTENDO if they didn't.

The Witcher II

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So I just started playing THE WITCHER II, which is pretty much the best RPG I've played since DRAGON AGE : ORIGINS. However, I found the combat to be a bit lackluster.

I'm playing the game in the 'Dark' difficulty setting (the highest setting) and yeah, the enemies hit very hard, but they're dumbasses, really.

Sometimes they will just stand there doing nothing, others they will get stuck with each other. Archers will continue to shoot their arrows in a pattern regardless if you're in their sights or not, and a whole lot of lame stuff like this that makes the game feel second-rate in this aspect.

I also hate how you can't walk backwards if you lock on an enemy.

The game is great in storyline and character interaction, but the fighting and enemy A.I. plain sucks.

Ninja Gaiden II

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After nearly 60 hrs and three straight consecutive playthroughs, I've finally completed NINJA GAIDEN II on 'Master Ninja' difficulty setting.

In my opinion the game is plain awesome. I really can't believe I never bothered playing it until now, specially since I've had the game for a long time.

I also can't believe the game only received average scores at the time. The action and fighting system is faster, deeper, and just a lot better than NINJA GAIDEN BLACK.

The de-limbering mechanic isn't just for cool looks as it adds a whole new dimension to the battle system.

Sure, the game is rough around the edges, but so was the original game, if you ask me. That one had a lot more of annoying platforming action, and underdeveloped arrow shooting mechanics which really contrasted with the more polished battle system. Lousy saving/continuing system, annoying never-ending respawning enemies etc.

I think the fact that you could drown yourself in elixirs made the annoyances of the original game more bearable for most people.

I also can't understand the complaints about the environments. Yeah, I guess they weren't the best for 2008 standards, but do people actually like the generic looking city, military complex/warehouses and TOMB RIDER-esque ruins of the original better?

It's really a shame ITAKAGI left TECMO before he could release an updated and reworked version of the game like he did with BLACK. But still - all in all, I think NINJA GAIDEN II is a great game and definitely one of the best action games of this generation.

Musou Orochi 2

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After like 15 years of rehashing the same gameplay concept over and over AND over again, developer OMEGA FORCE finally did something to improve (at least slightly so) their way too worn out, yet for some strange reason, extremelly successful MUSOU game series.

I'm talking about the latest entry in the series : "MUSOU OROCHI 2" (called "WARRIORS OROCHI 3" overseas).

Most notably in recent years the MUSOU series began implementing a "tag team" feature like the one in fighting games in hopes of making the otherwise simplistic and overly repetitive gameplay mechanics a little more interesting.

While this feature has been alright so far, MUSOU OROCHI 2 brings it to next level by making it a whole lot more versatile and also *SHOCK* a lot of fun to use. And this is definitely good news because the game pretty much revolves entirely around its tag team mechanics.

An all-bishoujo dream team? Sign me up.

Basically after successfully landing a hit on an enemy you can push the LT or RT buttons to swap characters and continue the attack. If done correctly you can keep attacking and swapping characters non-stop, which as you can imagine is pretty awesome.

Tearing through the enemy's ranks whilst chaining tag team attacks is a LOT more fun than anything you could possibly do in any of the past MUSOU games, period. And personally I found it hilariously fun how you can now juggle enemy generals to oblivion like if you were playing MARVEL VS CAPCOM or a DEAD OR ALIVE game.

This wouldn't be a proper Japanese game without stuff like this.

Don't get me wrong though. Nearly all of the design and gameplay flaws that series are well known for are also present in WARRIORS OROCHI 2. The game doesn't re-invent the series, it's just that the improved tag team mechanics go a long way in making fun what before seemed more like a chore.

On the downside WARRIORS OROCHI 2 feels significantly more low-budget in comparison to the likes of SHIN SANGOKU MUSOU 6 (aka "DYNASTY WARRIORS 7"). The CGI movies are blurry and not very impressive, and there's a lot more still pictures than real-time cut-scenes this time around.

But on a postive note, it seems TECMO-KOEI have finally learned their lesson and settled for a default Japanese voice track.

After the NINJA GAIDEN 3 fiasco, I'm glad that this game was able to wash at least some of the terrible taste that unforgivable awful game left in me. Believe it or not, finally a MUSOU game worth recommending.

SILENT HILL HD Collection

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Just got the game, and boy do I miss these games. I do have SILENT HILL 2 for the PS2 (standard first edition Japanese version) and RESTLESS DREAMS for the Xbox. I also have SILENT HILL 3, but man playing in widescreen is something else.

My only complaints is the piss poor presentation and cheap looking menus. You'd think the team that handled the port would've taken the time to make two or three fancy looking menus at least. But no.

Secondly, SILENT HILL 2 seems to be missing the remove grainy filtrer option from the XBOX version (or did you had to clear the game once to unlock it? I forgot).

Anyway, these games are still fantastic even after all this time. Personally I would've taken the original over the third if I had the option for this collection, but still I'm looking forward to replaying the third since the heroine's hilarious outfits make the game a little lighter to play.

Finally, maybe it's just me, but I thought the games would look a bit better in 1080p, but the higher resolution doesn't do that much in this case. Of course I was sold on the widescreen aspect alone, anyway.

Now, I just have to decide if I should play with the new voice overs or the ****c ones.

EDIT : I've been reading some user feedback about the game and it seems they messed with SILENT HILL 3 big time. I've read that they even changed the rusty floors and toned down the overall creepyness.

If that's true then it'll be a massive disappointment, and it makes me wonder why IGN gave the game a 9.

Oh, well, at least there's SILENT HILL 2, which is my favourite game of the two.

70s - 80s anime vocal nostalgia!

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Here's some of my favourite vocal tracks from popular anime of the 70s and 80s.

MOBILE SUIT Z GUNDAM (1985) - "星空のBELIEVE"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAmUuKEFoLU&feature=related

THE GALAXY EXPRESS 999 (1979) - "TAKING OFF!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyKkl7Ar9as

THE SUPER DIMENSION FORTRESS MACROSS (1984) - "ANGEL'S PAINT"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7412SLASif4&feature=related

PROJECT A-KO (1986) - "DANCE AWAY"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DI9OepKF3Ms

"FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjbT1aHBYB4

HEIDI, THE GIRL OF THE ALPS (1974) - "OSHIETE"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXOENngYStg