Portal 2 : Game Clear Impressions

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http://image.gamespotcdn.net/gamespot/images/titles/product/3/991073.jpg

Well, I've completed the single player campaign last night, and all I can say is that it was freaking epic. The story and the humour are just amazing, plus I think the campaign was more than decent in length (it sure as hell felt a lot longer than the official "6 Hour" statement to me) and is very satisfying.

Of course there's also the co-op campaign, but unfortunately I won't be playing that since I don't have Live or an extra controller. (T^T)

Still, is great to know the game has a great deal of content.

But if I had to complain about something, I guess it would be that the puzzles didn't seemed that though to me. And obviously the end song is nowhere near as great or charming as the original's "Still Alive". But let's face it, we all knew it was going to be hard, or more like impossible, to top it.

All in all, amazing game. And I don't say this often when it comes to current gen games. This is the first game in a while that made me want to replay it right away after clearing it, and I'm actually doing it for a change!

I'm sure there'll be lots of DLC coming for this game. So I really hope they release a Game of The Year Edition/Portal Box, or something along that line for those of us without Live.

Anyway, I just have two final words for this game : Must-Buy.

Oh, and by the way... On an interesting note, I noticed the credits mentioned the song Still Alive which I don't remember hearing in the game. I really hope they put it on hidden around somewhere, and of course I hope it's on the single player campaign.

Now Playing : Portal 2

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I just got the game and it kicks arse. I only played the game for a little bit, but I totally loved it, and it's even more hilarious than the original, which I played on the Orange Box.

I only hope the game is a bit longer this time around. And of course you can bet I'll be playing it all night long since there's no work tomorrow.

So anyone else's currently playing this game?

Oh, and by the way, there was also Mortal Kombat but I didn't picked up. I never did liked the MK series.

My PC Busted :(

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Yesterday there was a brief power outage where I live and unfortunately my PC took a hit. Now it can only remain on for a few minutes before it turns off on its own.

This couldn't have come at a worse time since I was working on a couple of articles for my retro game blog. (T^T)

The good news is that my sister has loaned me her Dell Inspiron mini 1018 notebook with Windows 7 starter. At first I thought the notebook was gonna be pretty lame, but to my surprise it's actually better than my lousier PC.

I've tested some of the game emulatos I use (I need them for screen captures, there's no way around it) and they work about as good, if not better than on my PC. I still need to test if the Daemon Tools Lite works on notebooks, and if it does, then I guess I'll make do, at least in the mean time.

Now, my real problem is that I need an image editing program. A long time ago one of the old users here on GS shared Photoshop CS2 with me and obviously it was the only image program I've used ever since.

I really don't want to stop working on my blog since I just started writing again. So If anyone knows of a "free" quality image editing program please let me know.

Finished Crysis 2 : My thoughts

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Well, I've finished this seemingly highly anticipated title on the highest difficulty setting, (the game isn't that hard really) and here are my final thoughts about it.


The Good :

・Long, gratifying single player campaign has some truly awesome and memorable moments.

Overall, the main campaign of Crysis 2 is the best FPS campaign I've played since the original Bioshock one. It does take a bit for things to get started but once they do it's one cool ride all the way to the end. It's just unfortunate that the game has so many bugs to deal with.

Great graphics, music and voice acting.

Well, as far as I understand the graphics are one of the highmarks of the Crysis games. To tell you the truth, I think the graphics are really good. However, the noise effect the game uses and the constant texture pop-up that plagues the game can undermine the graphical experience at times. For example, I was really looking forward to seeing a rainy environment in this game but the noise effect made the rain not look as great as I was expecting.

The Bad :

Stealth gameplay mechanics feel underdeveloped.

Seriously, it's Metal Gear Solid 2 all over again. From the way you can just keep up piling up bodies in the same spot, to the way enemies act like nothing happened in spite of all the killing you just did. The enemy A.I. is just dumb and feels like it belongs in a last generation game.

Hell, at least the Metal Gear Solid games have that alarm status to punish you for being seen. Crysis 2 doesn't even has that. You can pop in and out of stealth with little to no consequences. On some instances the enemies might call for some extra reinforcements, but they're just as dumb as any other enemy in the field, so it hardly counts as a discouraging factor.

Nano suit upgrades aren't that interesting.

I was really expecting a lot more of customization options in this game, but there's actually very little in the way of upgrades which is disappointing. There's even an upgrade that's only mildly useful for taking down the 4 or so cloaking enemies at the end of the game. What a waste.

The Ugly :

What else? Crysis 2 has the EA seal of bugginess stamped all over it.

But in all seriousness, Crysis 2 is the buggiest FPS game I've played in years. The first few stages had some game breaker bugs that pretty much forced me to kill myself and restart (the game lacks a restart from checkpoint option). After that the game breaker bugs went away but they were replaced quickly by other annoying ones.

One of the most irritating bugs I found is that sometimes the weapon's graphics won't load up at the ammo crates. They can be picked up but you have to move around until the pick up command shows up.

Another annoying bug is that many times the Cephs can get stuck at an obstacle during their running animation. This of course messes up their walking patterns.

I still can't believe that such an anticipated title like this was shipped with so many annoying bugs. I can only assume that the game was rushed to meet the release date.

Final Comments :

Crysis 2 is definitely a great game but it feels a couple of steps away from epicness. Still, I had a lot of fun with the main campaign in spite all the technical shortcomings.

Honestly, I wasn't really looking forward to purchasing this game in the first place and I don't think I will. I purchased Dead Space 2 (used of course) because it convinced me it was worth it, but Crysis 2 is just too rough around the edges, and as cool as the main campaign was I can't envision me playing it more than a two times at most. I really wish the game had more unlockables that enhanced the single player campaign, but as far as I can tell all unlockables are just gallery-type stuff.

For those of you not interested in the multiplayer aspect of the game (which I'm totally clueless about), I'd advise you to wait for a price drop, or at least for a patch. The game definitely needs one, badly.


For those interested, these were my campaign stats :

Campaign Playtime : 11hrs 43 mins 8 secs (to me it felt like more, but that's what it says)

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Recruit Progress : 19/19

Soldier Progress : 19/19

Veteran Progress : 19/19

Super Soldier Progress : 19/19

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Nano Suit Upgrades modules : 8/12

Weapon Attachments : 7/13

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New York Souvenirs : 6/18

Dog Tags : 3/17

Car Keys : 4/11

E-Mails : 5/10

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88.65%

Now Playing Crysis 2

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This is another game which I never really read anything about. I actually heard more about the first game's graphics and system requirements, so I found hilarious that the first achievement you unlock in the game is called "Can It Run Crysis?".

So can anyone tell me what exactly makes these Crysys games so special?

I haven't gotten far in the game, the gameplay seem solid so far, though I'm still not sold on the premise. I really like that you can actually lean out of cover. Is that really that hard to do for every other first person shooter that comes out? Because almost none of them have this feature that one would think should be basic.

The enemy A.I. doesn't seem that smart. I'm playing on the hardest difficulty setting (Super Soldier I think) and during one of the early fire fights the enemies killed themselves with one of their own grenades. The graphics look good but also seem forced at times. There's also a lot of pop-up, at least with the game installed.

Also, I think I should mention that first person is my least favourite of the shooting game sub-genres. I'm just not very fond of them, and I specially can't stand those with real-life military themes.


Updated Impressions : The game is certainly fun, though it takes quite a while for things to get going.

The game also as a heavy Metal Gear Solid vibe to it. The enemy A.I. is really lame, but in a fun way like in Metal Gear Solid. Half the time these guys kill themselves without me doing anything. And it's just extremelly easy to get out of their sights and then act like nothing happened. To be honest, I was expecting something a lot more realistic from the enemy A.I., as their behavior is certainly very unrealistic, even ranging on silly, and more proper of a Japanese game. But like I said, the enemies make the game fun, so it's all fine for me.

What I certainly don't like is that the game has a whole lot of game breaker bugs which leave you with no other option than to restart. One time the whole floor disappeared and I fell underwater. Another time a scripted event that was supposed to happen didn't. And in another the vehicle I was driving wouldn't move forward no matter what.

The game doesn't have a restart checkpoint option, so the easiest way is to kill yoursef. Funny thing is that most of the times you're in a two story building, your grenades will clip through the floor.

Well, I guess it's back to retro gaming

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As soon as I'm done playing Dragon Age II I think I'll be logging off current gen gaming for a while and try and get my retro game groove back. I wanted to put my shiny new LCD HDTV to good use and mission accomplished, but now I'm getting bored again. Of course there's still many current gen games I'm very interested on, like Skyrim and Catherine, but they're still months away.

Also, I've purchased a lot of retro games in these past months that I've yet to try. Seriously, I have a huge backlog of retro games that have piled on me it's not even funny.

As for my latest current gen HD experience, it's been bittersweet to tell you the truth. I'm really not digging all these DLConline nonsense in the least. Suddenly it seems that $60 is not enough for the poor game publishers to make a profit, so they try to scam $5 here and $7 there with their DLC, many of which should've have been on the disc (or is actually in the disc already.
and

I mean, if the publishers think $60 is not enough for their game, then charge $65 or whatever they think its fair but make it worthwhile. I'd very much prefer that over dealing with DLC, because you know what, sooner or later games are gonna go up in price anyway yet we will still have to suffer unhinged publishers offering DLC on day one.

I have always noticed how people that didn't experience the 8-bit and 16-bit generation themselves have a sort of messed up conception of how those times truly were. They'd love to think that everyone cared only about the gameplay, that graphics didn't matter, that their favourite games that ruled their respective generations weren't considered mainstream and weren't dissed around just like they do with the mainstream games of today.

But while these people might be wrong about many things, something that is true about those days is that most of the times publishers and developers (both big and small) did went the extra mile to make their games stand out as much as possible. Nowadays even with great games, it seems they are content with their games having only acceptable content charging you for any deluxe or extra stuff.

If Bayonetta had been published by EA for example, Jeanne and half of the unlockable costumes and weapons probably would have been a pre-order exclusive DLC, while Little Zero and the other half of the unlockable costumes and weapons would have been regular DLC.

Sure, many people would say that it's only EA and some other companies that are ruining everything, but the more those companies continue to make a decent profit, the more they are going to force others to follow suit. That's how it usually works. I mean, do any of you actually think that this DLC trend is gonna slowdown? I can only see DLC growing and becoming more openly shameless in the future. Various Japanese companies like Capcom and Namco-Bandai have already embraced DLC in full.

The worst thing is that this new generation of gamers is growing up thinking that this is normal, and that is ok for publishers to overcharge them. Unfortunately these companies know too well how to appeal to our materialist side, therefore they led games to believe that DLC gives them the edge or makes them more "hardcore" if you will.

This is very bad, because like I said, before they would've at least made the effort to put it in the game. Now even shooting games like Raiden IV which the media in general cosiders lacking in value (I've actually been saying this about shooting games since the days of the Dreamcast) are blatantly cutting corners. I mean I still can believe they'd make you pay for extra DLC ships. And it's the same thing with Otomedius in Japan. They both have less selectable characters/aircraft than in previous installments, yet they make you pay more for their game and even more for the DLC. This is where you start to realize it's all going down to hell.

Oh well, this is the industry we have today I suppose. I don't think publishers or these new batch of gamers would care much about my opinion. I'm just glad I'm from a different generation and can fall back and enjoy the games of my time.

My disappointment with Dragon Age II continues...

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I hate to sound like a broken record, specially since I already made my point on my previous post. But it has been quite a while since a game I was highly anticipating came crashing down like this. So bare with me as I vent some anger and frustration.

It's not only that there's no race selection and customization for your allies. Or that the story is not great and the locales are limited and get reused over and over. The more I play the game, the more I am truly getting a real idea of how restricted the game truly is.

It seems you can't dual-wield unless you're playing as a rogue and even then they can only dual-wield daggers (gone are the axe, longsword etc. combos). If you equip a longsword, the game automatically *forces* a generic (and magical since it's not even in your inventory) shield on you. Archers were also fun to play in Dragon Age Origins and they had talents that allowed them to handle pretty well in melee range, but in this game if you get in melee range *again* the game forces a set of magical daggers on you. Even worse is that the weapon set switch was ditched completely, so you can't even substitute them with your own unless you go into the inventory screen, which in Dragon Age Origins was accessible even from the radial menu.

Oh, and the save data transfer feature is totally glitched. It loads just fine then for some reason it can get corrupted along the way. Why didn't Bioware made a save data transfer utility like they did in Mass Effect 2 is beyond me.

And of course the game lacks an auto-attack (which exist on the PC version). Of course its silly to think that this alone turns Dragon Age II into Dynasty Warriors Age (the DW series wished it worked like this), fans are just overdoing it in this aspect. But yes, the lack of auto-attack can be somewhat annoying at times.

Honestly, I just don't know why Bioware went and change what didn't needed to be changed in the first place. I mean, we don't get anything positive out of this at all. All we get in Dragon Age II is a way more restricted and dumbed down player customization and gameplay mechanics.

It's just too disappointing... (T^T)

Another disappontment? *DA II review up = less great than the original"

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Well, I was really looking forward hugely for Dragon Age II. But I just couldn't wait till the bought the game to the stores here, (I know those of you in America got the game today didn't you?), and that means at least a few days till it gets here.

Anyway, I got around playing the game last friday, though unfrotunately I haven't got a lot of spare time lately, and at least my initial reactions are mixed.

I admit I never actually read too much into previews, so the lost of the races came as a huge blow to me that I've always enjoyed playing as an Elf Mage in these types of RPGs.

If I had to judge the game from just the intro sequence alone I would say the game is a big improvement over the first game, yeah it feels more action/button mashy, but at least it looks cool. But after that, and although I haven't got very far, it seems they've taken out a lot of depth from the system, and you know Dragon Age Origins wasn't the deepest RPG in the first place, at least not compared to Bioware's own previous work.

That they have downloadable content from day 1 is also lame in my opnion.

I don't know, I'm getting more and more convinced that it just isn't worth purchasing Xbox 360 games unless you have Live.

I have to play the game more to truly get a more accurate opinion on it, but maybe I just hold on purchasing the orignal copy until they came out with the Ultimate, Game of the Year etc. edition, or whatever.

UPDATE : For all of you wanting this game, you should definitely wait for reviews or more info to come out. There's a lot of tinybits I'm really not digging. I really don't think this will live up to the enjoyment I had with the original, which in spite its flaws, I really liked it from the very beginning.

Personally, I don't see why so many people disliked the typical silent protagonist, compared to Hawke, I take my Gray Warden.

Conversations do flow better, but it's more due to the new system than because of the actual speech. They would flow just fine without it.

You know, before it used to be that sequels were supposed to have more. Bigger, better, badder. That's how Baldur's Gate II was compared to the first one.

I was expecting a lot more to what was available in Dragon Age Origins, but instead it seems Bioware is focusing in making their games fancier and more appealing than giving them more content, customization and depth.

So far in the game most of the customizable gear is restricted to the main character. You can't even outfit your companions. Lack of races, now this. The spells and talents at least from the description, don't even have any negative effects on the caster this time around.

If it wasn't clear with Dragon Age Origins, now it's more than evident that Bioware is trying to make their games as appealing as they can be to most everyone.

I didn't mind that Mass Effect 2 was turned into a shooter because even so its one of the best ones around. And in reality most of the stuff outside of the main campaign in the first game was meh. The sequel is without a doubt the better game.

But for Dragon Age II, I was expected more stuff for the dedicated RPG player. I mean, it's not like there's a whole lot of choices around, this was supposed to be it.

GS REVIEW EDIT :

I knew I wasn't alone on my reactions towards the game. GS pretty much hit the nail in the head (in my opinion) about some of the game flaws. It's just not as great as the original, and its instantly noticeable.

It's a good RPG no doubt about it (and lets face it, it's not like there are many great new ones around on consoles), but good sequels should be an improvement, and Dragon Age II just isn't. Dragon Age : Origins, as ugly as it might look, and with its silent protagonist, is the superior game.