@pokecharm Be warned the controls are a bit slippery even for xbox controllers. But yes I am totally ready for Max Payne 3, just need to hunt down the Fall of Max Payne which I hear is excellent as well
Hey guys it's been such a long time since I last blogged. So no, I'm not dead, despite what I might feel from the insanity that was this last semester of school. But I did quite well academically, so I can finally enjoy my holidays without the pervading dread of low markings. But most importantly I can start blogging again!! I noticed that as time progressed, my entries have become far too academic and lengthy for my (and undoubtedly others) tastes. While my last entry on graphics was an issue that I held dear to my heart, subjecting people to a two parter was a bit much I have to admit. I'll still put out the occasional meditative musing about the video game industry (with a touch of pretentious for good measure), but mostly my entries will consist more on issue that I don't have to write a book in order to discuss and updates on what I'm actually doing (ya' know because it's a blog after all). So what better way to jump into this holiday season than to discuss what I plan on playing over my break.
I have started playing the original Final Fantasy, although to my surprise the game was surprisingly archaic. In fact it wasn't even a traditional RPG system, with action-RPG elements scattered into the mix and other oddities such as easily exploitable health potion drops and so on. After four hours of mind numbingly boring combat I noticed the source of the problem. I wasn't playing the original FFI!! It was Mystic Quest, the game famously decried by Final Fantasy fans as being a dumbed down beginner's RPG in every aspect. In fact the game isn't even a Final Fantasy entry, it simply shares the name for marketing reasons. With that minor gaffe I popped in the right FFI title, which I have enjoyed much more. The combat lacks spectacle, and the enemy selection is a bit strange (then again so was FF7), but other than that its a very solid title that I look forward to playing through.
I also beat the cult-favorite Nier for the 360. I can see why the game didn't fare so well critically. The controls are very loose and the combat animations lacking, in fact everything just feels incredibly off. However once one looks at the entirety of the game, I can see why this is the case. The game switches between multiple game types seamlessly throughout the adventure. One moment you will be fighting in the standard 3rd person perspective 3d combat, then switch to a Diablo-esque above-head view, to shoot-em up gameplay (with your magic shots replacing bullets), to a host of countless other camera angles used for dramatic effect. This hodgepodge of camera views grant a great variety to the gameplay, however no particular mode feels optimized enough to feel like a polished action title. Jack of all trades, master of none. This is disappointing since beside the lacking combat and limited scope of the environments you visit, the story and the characters are quite good. I was practically kissing the screen when I realized that I wasn't an angst filled teenager unwillingly tasked with saving the world, but was instead a father with the sole purpose of saving his daughter. The fact that I didn't have to save the world again for the umpteenth time, made this new theme that much more potent. Add that with a kid with a medusa-like condition (ala Rogue from X-men), and a dirty mouthed hermaphrodite, all leading up to a crazy last chapter twist and a creative use of game saves to accent game themes (something I've never seen done) and you've got one hell of a game. I was so pleased that I may even review the thing, but no promises. Play the game if you can overlook its flaws.
I am also playing through Max Payne for the first time in honor of the third entry coming out in the indefinite future. I wasn't particularly excited for yet another Rockstar title, since their open world titles tend to be far too unfocused, which leads to my interest diminishing overtime. But their linear single player experiences are top notch, as evident by this fantastic title. The noir feel to the story is just so repressive and thick, that it pervades every pixel of the world rendered in the game. From the sleazy strip-joints, to the stained bed spreads, the drugs, the organized crime the violence and the sexual deviant undertones throughout creates a coherent world of sleaze that the noir genre is known for. I also like the apocalyptic themes inserted throughout—a very nice touch. The gameplay also holds up quite well. It still has the typical Rockstar white dot reticile, this time however aim-assist is nowhere to be found, making confrontations that much more tense and challenging. In fact I wish current games wouldn't be so terrified about letting the player fail. Gamers, at least the adamant ones, are not deterred by being defeated, in fact it propels us. It's almost as if we want to wipe the smug indignant look off the game's imagined face and reclaim our battle worn honor. Which actually segways into my enjoyment of Bayonetta. The game can easily ravage the unsuspecting player, yet it provides the tools to vanquish (huh, another example) those cheeky little angels into hellish oblivion. But Bayonetta is a can of worms (see bottom image) that I will cover at a later time (yay more controversy!)
Well happy holidays, for whatever religious/philosophical denomination or lack thereof that you subscribe to. I pray/chant/will into existence that the turkey will line your tummies and that the festivities will wash over you into exhaustive submission. Feel free to share what you guys are planning to play this holiday.
Others stuff I'm playing:
Metal Gear Solid 4 (PS3)
Metal Gear (MSX2)
Final Fantasy VII (PS1)
WipeOut 3 (PS1)
Evil Zone (PS1)
"Hirasugi!!!"—the Cheesecake bandit