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myepitaph Blog

AC4 - Come On Now!

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Good day ladies and gents, hope your all doing well today.

Today's topic is going to be AC4.

After finally getting the game at Christmas, I pushed through it as quickly as I could (which isn't very fast) because I was so excited to play a new AC game, but also because, well, bloody pirates, and I wanted to keep the whole game clearly in my mind so I could write this. Who doesn't want to sail the black flag, robbing ships of their booty and living by your own rules. This premise offered AC4 a whole new landscape to play in, and I was super excited.

Off the top, AC4 isn't a bad game. That's what I'm going to say - that's it. It wasn't bad and it wasn't great. It was different, lets move on to what I really wanna talk about, which is everything that drove me nuts about it. I'm going to put the story aside for the most part because it wasn't bad, if and when you could heard and understand what the heck was being said.

Glitches. Holy crap. How often did some of you try to run across a fence only to get to the end post and have your character stop and start turning 180 then 180 again uncontrollably? Or stuck under a tree, or on top of a rock?(I actually fell knee deep into a rock??) Perhaps you shot an individual and he kept on walking for a few more seconds? Did any of you actually fall through the game floor map into the underworld nothing? I did once. All semi common in my experience, but what wasn't, was the frequency of these glitches. Hence the complete frustration at some points.

Or how about just bad game mechanics in general. I forgave you Ubisoft for such things in AC3 because it was a new engine but honestly I feel like this game held more glitches and bad mechanics than AC3. I'm serious. How come Edward can't figure out to run up a pillar or column and instead insists on trying to lean in and hide? I wanna climb! For the most part moving and free running worked fairly well and did what I needed and wanted the character to, but more than once I failed a mission or some such thing because my character simply kept trying to do one action over the buttons I was actually pressing. More than once I went to throw my controller because of odd issues with actions not occurring as I press buttons or different unintended ones, and I am not that kind of a gamer - really.

Overall AC4 is not a bad game as I said. It has a wicked cast of characters, an excellent new setting and slightly different premise. Unfortunately Ubisoft did not seem to come together to bring this game to what it really deserved, despite all the hype around it. As I said before I'll forgive you for these shortcomings in AC3, even though you had a perfect set up for an excellent assassin excursion in that one and yet chose to squander it(just one game?). AC4 has all the delights of AC3 with much more grandeur and adventures on the high seas, but it also comes with its fair share if not more of the defects as well.

I'm also going to give honours for likely longest credits. I started to write this as the credits rolled and they are still going at this moment.

To end this, please Ubisoft, go back to what made Assassin's Creed not Good but GREAT - well thought out characters, story, locations(you still got those). Excellent combat(wrong/no action), smooth game play(run up the wall damn you!), with long and interesting cinematics, all in a game the player can see and hear clearly(I honestly dunno what happened in AC4).

Sincerely, a huge fan of a wicked set of games that I don't want to have to have to despise later in life.

Dante's Inferno

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Good day ladies and gents.

Today's review is about EA's Dante's Inferno.

In Dante's Inferno you will play as Dante(duh?), fighting your way through the various circles of Hell, working your way down, down, down to finally come face to face with Lucifer, and save your beloved, Beatrice, from his clutches.

For those of you that have played any of the God of War series, you will notice right away that with game very much works and feels the same. The buttons, controls, camera angels and even the environment design very much takes from the GoW series of games, which some may dislike, but I found to work quite well for this game. But to each their own.

The first aspect of this game that I liked was its basis. I have yet to read the actual text which this game is based upon, but just by reading the short excerpts that appear after you die, you'll get a feel through the elegant wording, of the world which you are traversing through. And always, having a game that is based upon something already existent, can always help to capture or ease some gamers, which can be comforted by the fact that the game isn't just something made from scratch.

While travelling through the bowels of Hell Dante will have the option to Punish of Absolve creatures and other lost souls he comes across, allowing him to acquire Souls, which the player can then spend on purchasing new abilities. What was interesting about the abilities was that there are two different paths a person could follow, either the Good of Evil Path. Both have differing moves and actions which you can unlock and use, and I suppose if a player really wanted, you could try to unlock both sides. Although getting enough Souls to fully unlock everything may be fairly difficult.

The buttons and combos are also very much modelled after Gow, where the player can pretty much mash one button and pull a combo, and if you were to hold a certain trigger and mash some buttons, you can pull a different combo. Fighting is rather straight forwards. Using the Scythe of Death, you will carve your way through Hell and its minions and keep digging deeper.

Along the way you will encounter various characters from Dante's own life, including his father, mother and brother in law. Since you are finding them in Hell, you can guess that aren't doing all that well. Along your travels you will also be guided by Virgil, who is basically an ancient Soul who has been sent to help guide you through the Seven Circles and Limbo. Virgil won't do to much other than offer explanations about creatures, characters and insight into who enters what types of circles. But with that said, talking to Virgil can sometimes reward relics, which the player can equip and upgrade, to help Dante during his trek.

As you descend into Hell, short animated cut scenes will emerge to help explain and further the storyline. You will also come across a Dark Shade or your beloved Beatrice. Sometimes together, sometimes alone, but no matter the instance, you will likely yell "BEATRICE!" almost every time, and you will try and convince her to leave this place, but she cannot, as she made a deal with the Devil, and you as Dante broke your wedding vow of commitment to her and her only, essentially forsaking your vows and your love, hence why she's trapped with Satan.

In the Grand scheme of things your here to save your love, but as things unfold it turns out (spoiler) that as you ascended, you have actually released Lucifer from his chains in Hell. That's right, fighting your way into to Hell you actually let him lose, and apparently he has been waiting on you all this time. By this point you've already saved Beatrice and released her, but your pissed, so Lucifer has to pay. Ultimately your fight ends up being futile, as Lucifer explains, you cannot defeat him, and that no Soul may leave this place. But then there is the kicker. You've been Punishing of Absolving those that you have come across, and those Souls will help you to re-trap Lucifer in his icy cage, and absolve you of your own Sins, releasing you to the Kingdom of Heaven to be with Beatrice.

Overall, Dante's Inferno is a decent game, with interesting characters, creatures and very unique environment design (fire farting va-jay jays?) and is definitely worth a solid play through, especially if you are a fan of the hack and slash action genre. Overall, I'm giving Dante's Inferno and 7.5 out of 10. Check it out people.

Till next time, take care people.

Joshua Coker

Infamous (the first)

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Hello people.

So today's blog is going to be about Sucker Punch's Infamous (the first).

Awhile back, as some of you may recall, Sony tried to sue some people over some things they did with their PS3's. In retaliation, Sony's PlayStation Network and websites were attacked and shut down for over a month by various groups including the Anonymous group.

As a slight re-compensation from Sony to their customers, Sony offered owners either a months free use of the PlayStation Plus Network, or 2 free video game downloads.

Well I didn't see much point in having PlayStation Network Plus for a month, so I decided against that. Instead I downloaded Infamous. I didn't even bother with a second free game, as the others really didn't seem that great (good effort Sony)

So Infamous it was, and infamous is NOT what this game will go down in history as.

In infamous (much like Prototype) your character, Cole, is changed against his will, into becoming some super powered being. The big difference here from Prototype is that it's like X-men powers rather than a Resident Evil sort of mutation type power.

You'll follow Cole as he travels through 3 different sections of Empire city, which has been quarantined from the rest of the world, because of the "Terrorist Attack" which you unknowingly commit, making you the initial bad guy.

Throughout the game you'll have choices; to chose whether to be a good Hero, or continue the path of the evil Villain. Following either path will allow you to unlock abilities for either your good or evil character, and will slightly change how the game plays out and how people in the world see you, and is a welcome addition to the game, but overall, does not add alot, but without it the game would be very lacking.

The game graphics are decent enough, although I wish they had of done something more for the video cut scenes, not to mention that people in the game move kind of awkwardly, and watching them talk seems like watching a vantriloquist dummie's hard wooden mouth bob up and down.

The story to the game really doesn't hold much. Your character will spend most of his time talking to people through radio communications, and doing various jobs for them,aswell as side missions for others you can find around the city. Every now and again your character can watch the TV to see small clips from the News of Underground Broadcasters, in which you will get some slight info about what is happening in the city, but overall, the story is straight forward. What happened? Why? and by Who? (Again, like Prototype)

The bad guys will change in appearance and in strengths as you progress throughout the game, which is nice, but offers little more than a different target to aim at, and the bosses, well they all sort of look the same in my opinion.

Overall, Infamous is a B game. Worth playing if you aren't too picky about how your games look or feel, and really just want to run around a ruined city destroying everything in your path.

Lets just say that if Sony had never pissed people off and consequently been shut down like they were, they would have never had to offer games to bring their audience back, and I likely would have never played this game, ever.

So I suppose in a roundabout way, thank you Sony for trying to stomp on the little people. And thank you little people for fighting back and getting me a free game in which to blog about.

Infamous (the first) gets a B- from me. Far from the worst and very far from the best.

Later peoples.

Joshua Coker

Kingdom's of Amalur: Reckoning Demo Review

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How fitting that the background for Gamespot today would be Kingdom's of Amalur: Reckoning, because that is precisely the demo that I tried out, and the one I am about to write about. Coincidences, how funny.

Anyways, Reckoning gives users a new, open world Action/RPG that seems to be a meld between Fable and Guild Wars.

Visually the game looks great, with lots of bright colours, middle age looking buildings and deep dark forests. Atleast, thats what I saw in the demo so far.

So visually, Reckoning seems on par with what most gamers would be after with a game such as thing.

Now, for the game itself. The buttons and actions all seem quite smooth while your actually hacking people up with your swords or throwing fire at your enemies using a mages staff. The actions you and your opponents will go through feel very fluid and natural for the most part, obviously every hero needs some sort of over the top, unrealistic action to perform though, and from the looks of the skill trees, it would seem that eventually players will be able to just this with advanced skills and acquired moves.

So, so far, awesome visuals and game mechanics are pretty straight forward and easy to manage.

Now here are my beefs.

I realize that this was just a demo version but there were alot of problems when I was playing. First off was the sound. During my time playing sound kept cutting in and out. All of a sudden characters had no voices, or my character wasn't making any noise even while hes chopping his huge sword through a enemies guts. So ya, missing sound effects and missing voices.

Number 2, was the act of speaking to other characters within the world. I'm not sure if the developers did this on purpose to hider certain elements of the storyline, or if it was just some really bad glitching. For a few different characters, every single dialogue option I chose was hastily rushed through, without me being able to read anything that was said. It was like the characters really didn't want me to know what the convo was about.

So, missing sound effects and voices, aswell as the game speeding through dialogue so I didn't even have the opportunity to read what was being said.

And my third and final beef with this demo. After some exploring and getting fast the first areas you come to the first town. Well, I entered one of the buildings just to do some exploring and everything was fine, it was when I left the building that everything went wrong. Upon exiting the building I noticed my character was standing on a pure white ground, which I know wasn't there before. I started walking forward and my character started leaving permanent shadows of his actions on my screen, like when you take a roll of photos and place them overtop of on another to create a kind of ghost effect?

It was after running around a bit, and hoping the problem would correct itself, when I realized it wasn't so I shut off the game.

So, sound effects and voice issues. Dialogue problems with various characters and texture and mapping problems within the world. That's alot of problems in a short amount of time. I'm going to assume these errors are only due to its being an uncompleted demo version, but who knows.

I am very excited about this game.Story and game wise it does look and feel like its going to be a really good game, but this demo has certainly left me with some mixed feelings. Lets just hope that these problems don't persist once they actually launch the full version.

Take care people.

Joshua Coker

Final Fantasy, How I love, drop, forget, restart, thee

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I wasn't like most gamers, that started out when they were about 12 and somehow always got their hands on some of the original FF games, I started playing them years later, on Final Fantasy 10.

I was wandering EB craving something new and had heard all kinds of raves about this Final Fantasy game.

So I bought it.

I took it home and immediately played it, and within 2 hours of my character(s) being slaughtered, I quit.

I like games because I can usually pick them right up. This game was not that way and so I shunned it. Until one day a year and a half later I was bored and picked it up again. 1 year roughly lately from that, I finished Final Fantasy 10 and let me tell you, to finally kill that fast bastard sin, I was so happy. After that I decided Final Fantasy was definitely worth my time.

Since then I picked up Final Fantasy 12, and unfortunately, history repeated itself.

I was doing quite well in XII and enjoying it immensely, the problem this time was rather that I bought a PS3 and moved onto new game graphics.

I love FF 12 for its excellent new combat system. I am a huge fan of building character brains, but my characters seem to be lacking something, so they aren't great mashers yet.

Recently I started researching FF 12 again, looking up game guides about items and armour and I think, once again I'm going to pick up a Final Fantasy title. And hopefully once again I'll smash the crap out of more visually fantastical creatures and bosses, and finally put this awesome game under my belt.

We'll see :)

Darksiders

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I just wanted to make a quick point out that already darksiders has 2 critic reviews.

The game is not out yet. Why must you try to ruin the surprise?

All Time Greatest Game Hero

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The All Time Greatest Game Hero seems to be coming to an end, and it seems Gordon Freeman is destined to shoot down the Legendary Mario. Unless perhaps Mario is able to find a star any time soon, and become Super Mario, and crush Freeman under his gigantic boot.

Although Im quite surprised that Mario doesn't seem like he's about to win the contest, I'm also not that surprised aswell. Ultimately Mario isn't the most kick ass Hero, really. He does get to go through alot of fun and colourful adventures, but stealing a racoons powers and then being able to shoot fire balls. What?

But I guess stranger things have happened in games though.

I can't say I really know much about Half-Life's Gordon Freeman, because I've never fully played a Half-Life game.

And obviously peoples favourites here will win. So although I'm upset my favourite Hero, Link, didn't win, well its down to popular voting, and Link still made it to the quarters.

If you have to ask why, then take for example, time travel,the moon colliding with Earth,changing races(wtf?). And not to mention always alot of very fun toys to play with, and a babe to save.

Fallout 3 Preview

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I just felt like writing a quick preview to what Ive seen watching my close friends play this recent creation from Bethesda.

Last weekend I visited a good friend of mine and we swapped a few games, so I have a few new to try. Fallout was obviously one of them. Im watching a close friend now play a game he had saved from a previous renting of it now.

Im fairly caught up on the main theme of the game, and I really enjoy the setting. So far so good, lets just hope it lasts longer with me than did Oblivion.

Fallout 3 review after I have a whirl through Prototype. Others to come soon though hopefully. Later