All About ModeDude
What's right and wrong with the world of games? It's not my job to tell you that, but I might as well tell you what I think about it.
Because this is hosted on a gaming site, this blog may as well be about gaming. I'd hate to feel out of place being the blog that talks about knitting or military strategies, so I write about games.
I personally prefer new games, but I am interested in video games of the past. I do like research on the history of games, especially ones before I was born, without them, there wouldn't be today's games.
You may also want to check out my Blogger Blog http://vghabits.blogspot.com/
I have never done so much pushing and pulling in a videogame. Catherine's block puzzles were challenging and at times, maybe a little frustrating, but overcoming a particularly hard puzzle felt really good.
While they did have to be completed in a time limit, the puzzles didn't feel tense, because the game gave plenty of lives in case you died.
What did make me feel tense however, were when I was just simply watching the story unfold.
Catherine's story concerns a 32 year old man named Vincent, who has been in a relationship for a few years, but it's been going nowhere. He then meets a young woman called Catherine, and ends up cheating on his girlfriend with her.
What then happens after that is dependant on the player. The game will ask you questions, you talk to people, your actions can have an effect on the story.
Sure there are other game that do that, but this one seemed more vague when making choices, there was a binary choice, but I couldn't tell what the result would be until it happened. Because of that I was compelled to keep watching, and I started to worry. Did I make bad choices? Is this going to play out like I wanted to? At times it even felt scary.
If the game didn't even have the block puzzles, it would have still been a great game, the "social simulator" aspects just made the game so much stronger and helped it stick in my mind.
It's early in the year, the game's already been out for just over a week and I already think that it could be one of the best games I've played so far in 2012.
2011 has been a good year for gaming, I thought hard for what games I had the best time with this year, and I've decided right now. Bearing in mind these are not games I consider to be the most well put together, they are simply the games which have entertained more than any other this year. Here they are:
5 – Dragon Age 2
Now I know some people really don't like this game, but personally I enjoyed it. Sure the game wasn't as good as the first, but I felt it was still fun to play. What really took hold of me was the story, and how for the most part it didn't always rely on the "Oh there's this massive evil that is terrorising the land, go kill it".
The game felt like it was more about the people living in this fantasy world, dealing with the day-to-day problems of being possessed by the spirit of vengeance or becoming obsessed with an ominous magic mirror.
And while I have put this in my top 5, it isn't without flaws. It had the serious signs of a project being made much too quickly. Level design was hugely repetitive, the item management was over-simplified, and combat while quite exciting at times, also suffered from over-simplification. I hope developer Bioware takes note, and makes Dragon Age 3 a much stronger game.
4 – LA Noire
If one were to think of LA Noire as a simple game where you simply complete objectives in order to reach the end of each level, it is not very strong. It mostly revolves around searching for clues, then interrogating people, which merely boils down to picking A, B or C, and while it can be exciting the first time, you're bound to know it the second time. When the game also relies on its action, it's fairly mediocre.
So why am I including this on my list? Because as an interactive story-telling experience it excels, and what a story it tells! The game had great atmosphere as well, I just loved driving through the in-game city just because of the sheer amount of detail. Also, how could I not mention the great facial animation in this game that at some points does look weird, but at other times looks like the most realistic faces I've ever seen in a game. It may seem like a simple thing to talk about it, but it really adds credibility to the game as a whole.
Really this just felt like a long movie or TV series where I was going through at my own pace, which was fine, but had it had brilliant gameplay as well, it would be much higher on my list.
3 – Xenoblade Chronicles
I really love the idea of Japanese Role-playing Games, but I find it hard to sometimes get round to play and finish them, and while I admit I still haven't actually finished Xenoblade, I've spent a lot more time with it than any other game this year. Some of you will probably say because it's typical that a game of that sort will eat up a lot of time, but I've also played similar games that haven't hooked me as well.
This game managed to grab my attention because of how easy it was to get into, yet it was also exciting and challenging at the same time. This is probably the first game on this list that is probably the successful at being just simply great fun to play, without having to rely on story-telling and such to make it feel like it's a good experience.
Which is probably a good thing, as the story is pretty much standard fare for a game of it's genre. Ancient evils, chosen hero, blah blah blah. It does have its interesting moments, but nothing that raises it above the best in the medium. It also doesn't help that the game's voice-acting isn't very strong either, mostly filled with constant over-acting. It's at its worst during fights, having to listen to "YEAH LET'S DO IT!" and "LET'S NOT DIE OUT THERE!" and "IT'S REYN TIME!" for so long can get fairly annoying.
It's just as well that the game manages to hook simply because of strong gameplay, otherwise I would have probably stopped playing long ago.
2 – Bastion
This is another game where gameplay is not as strong as the story. Well really, it's the way in which the game's story is told that makes this such a compelling game. But really the gameplay is good, but not great like the story and soundtrack are.
Essentially the story is told by a narrator telling you what is happening from his perspective not from yours. Everything he is talking about is simply what he has heard and experienced, making it much more interesting. This is no objective narrator, he will insert his opinion into the narrative and it helps make him a fully rounded character, but also helping to form the other characters as well. It's really great how it all works.
Your character has no voice, the narrator is the person who speaks for you and everyone else in the game. It really makes things interesting and manages to take a story that has been done before and make it hugely compelling. It's a testament to how strong this technique really is. It also sometimes reacts to what you do in the game, making it feel that little bit more personal.
Bastion seemed like a bit of an experiment, and I think it paid off big time. It had solid gameplay to work as a foundation, but it shined overall.
1 - Kirby Mass Attack
This game is different to the others I have mentioned here. It just offers pure fun, nothing else, and it surpasses many other games that have tried to offer just the same.
Everything in this game works together to just make me feel like I'm having fun. Throwing my small army of 10 Kirbys around the place has provided great fun, and the game knows how to use it to its advantage with some outstanding level design, the highlight of which being levels with a tree that is very unstable, and will fall over if you don't move your Kirbys to either side.
The game is just simple to pick up and play and keeps me addicted for a long time. It only uses the touch-screen control, not a single button, and it works amazingly. Just point where you want your Kirbys to go and they will go there, it's as simple as that.
A game that just feels so simple and perfect was just simply an easy choice for me to put as my personal favourite of 2011.
Lets hope 2012 gives us much more to enjoy!
Gamespot reviewed the new Zelda game and gave it a 7.5. I was looking forward to this game, why did they have to give it a bad score! This reviewer doesn't know what he's doing! Everyone else is giving it higher scores, why isn't he!
That would be the typical response I've been finding on the message boards of the website. I personally think the review is fine.
There is no absolute standard procedure for reviewing between every other gaming website/magazine, with the exception of playing the game and then hiding away to write or go talk about it. So there really should be little surprise that this score is different. We can't all love the same things, that would just be boring.
I am still looking forward to the game, this 7.5 review score is not making much of an impact on that because I like Zelda, and I want more Zelda, this review basically confirms it is another Zelda game. I was still looking forward to going out and buying Deadly Premonition even after some of the poor reviews that game got.
But really a lot of the commenters and such are making such stupid remarks, they haven't even played the game just yet! There's no need to complain that "the controls are fine, he's not playing it right!" because you do not have, in your hands, the very same copy of the game.
But no, you know, because you've been watching preview coverage of the game, and it looks like it's a good game, you know it's a good game. No you don't.
Some of you probably didn't even take care to actually read the review, you just have the stupid idea that 7.5 is a bad score. And some of you don't understand the idea of criticism.
If Tom McShea had a problem with the controls, he had a problem with the controls. If he felt that the game had too much padding, he felt that the game had too much padding. Notice I still said that these are problems he had with the game and not problems set in stone, because you know, heaven forbid, people can sometimes have differing ideas.
You are all forgetting that reviews are not all visions from the future that say exactly what the game is going to be like for you. Everyone is going to have a different experience playing it, it just so happens that the one Tom McShea had wasn't perfect, but he still enjoyed playing the game.
And that's right, he enjoyed it. 7.5/10 is still a good score, it even says that beneath the score on the website, but the community fails to spot that, as they are too busy being annoyed with the fact that somebody complained about the game instead of bowing down on their knees. This may be cliché now but I'm going to say that I really do hate fanboys.
A score that doesn't conform to the rest of them is not going to put me off getting the game, because I won't know that the game is going to be any good, since I haven't played it.
-Samuel Howitt (Modedude)
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