All About danish-death
I really shouldn't. I have exam in a monther (anatomy, and it's a b!tch), but this game is.. addicting. I've played both LBP1 and 2 and while the second game never really cought my attention much the first one did. It was easily one of my favorite games this gen just due to the amount of pure fun I've had with that game (LBP1).
The Vita version seems to have hit the same nerve and I've begun to create levels too, extending value of the game drastically. For whatever reason this game just clicks with me, much more than LBP2 ever did. In fact I've already poured 40 hours of my life into it within a week or a little over a week. That's messed up lol.
I'm not sure how much I'll be playing it later in the fall and this winther due to a lot of games I want, but for now it's been worth every penny, especially because the prices in the Danish PSN store are .. Weird, in a good way. The game (along with GR and MGS HD) was cheap. Much cheaper than retail - $70 retail vs $45 PSN (this goes to all GR too).
Tarsier did an incredible job with the game. Here's hoping we'll see more.
I decided to do a little write-up on some of the prominent exclusives currently available to the Playstation Vita. I consider myself fair and honest when judging games. I don't let my inner fanboi get in the way when there's truly something wrong with a game.
So, what games am I talking about? In my opinion the current "must-haves" are Unit 13, Uncharted: Golden Abyss and the obvioys Gravity Rush.
I've more or less platinumed all three of them with the excpetion of Uncharted, which required me to trade treasures via the Near function, so I decided to let it go after having almost finished it 3 times (normal/hard/crushing). Point being I've played them thorough and not just finished them on the easiest difficulty and called it a day.
Anyway, here's my opinion of them:
Uncharted: Golden Abyss
Gamespot rating: 7/10
My personal rating: 8/10
Taking place before Drake's Fortune the game is not a prequal, but instead an original, seperat story. I'm not sure if I can agree to this decision because ultimately it results in a game that does not offer much new to fans of the series in terms of background info on Drake.
It's been a while since I played the game so I'm having a hard time remembering specific names of persons and places, anyway the game starts out in a jungle like we know it from Drake's Fortune and introduces us to the main characters of the game. One of Drake's friends have asked him to come along into this digsite because he has found hints of an old and forgotten treasure. Obviously all hell breaks loose once they arrive and before you know it you're traveling the world, looking for clues where to go next. Golden Abyss does obviously not feature Elena, but instead another woman who we'll get to know during the course of the game.
The story itself is decent and so are the characters. The voice actors all perfom according to the somewhat high standard the previous titles have set. The gameplay mechanics also all work wonderfully, with the exception of some specific touch features nearing the very end of the game - the other touch features works well too IMO. All in all all sounds perfect. There's a thing though, having played the 3 previous titles it's just clear that the game isn't quite on par with the other. It also suffers from the fact that we've seen it all before, especially because most of the game takes place in forest/jungle places along with some caves. The set-pieces have also been seen before in the other games. So while it's a decent games it's really nothing we haven't seen before.
It's also a shame that the only "multiplayer" feature is a badly implemented treasure trading feature you'll have to do via Near. There is no co-op or regular multiplayer modes.
Does this mean the isn't worth playing? Of course not, but I would never pay the full retail price. I got the game with my purchase of the console, but otherwise I would've waited until the price was right or I could buy it used, cheap.
I'm hoping that we'll see another game from Bend Studio. While they aren't quite as good as Naughty Dog they certainly aren't bad either (having made the Syphon Filter games and Resistance Retribution + this).
I feel that Bend Studio was under launch-date pressure combined with Sony wanting to capitalize on the previous titles - which is why the game resembles the other games so much. Hopefully we'll get a sequal where Bend Studio has been given some more freedom and incorporated some actual multiplayer features, hell I'll even take the treasure-sharing if it's made into a proper mini-game.
I don't expect to see another "Uncharted 2" happening, but I can easily see Bend Studio making a better Uncharted game for the Vita.
Gamespot rating: 7/10
My personal rating: 8/10
Another launch title, made by the former studio Zipper Interactive, unfortunately this was also their last game. Having pretty much platinumed this game (just need to do a couple of easy clean-up trophies) I've come to learn this game quite well and also enjoyed it more than I thought.
The game is mission based third person shooter with no connecting story. The game is packed with 36 regular missions, 9 extra "high value target" missions, online co-op and a daily challenge mode. In fact the only thing I truly believe the game misses is an actual multiplayer feature with deathmatch, team death match and so on. The game would've been perfect for it. Even then though there's plenty to do, especially if you're going to "five-star" all missions (which is also required to unlock the extra HVT mission). I'd also say that the game is best played when you actually try to get the higest rating.
The missions are varies from stealth missions, to kill-em-all and a deadline type of missions where there's a timer. Lastly there's also the elite missions where you got an actual health bar and no checkpoints. If you want to get five stars in each level you'll have achieve specific hidden goals such as not killing anyone in the stealth missions, getting a good time-score in the deadline missions or not losing too much health in the elite missions. Some people have complained that you can just brute your way through most of the game with just one of the classes, but I'm having difficulty seeing how this is possible. Maybe it's just me being bad at the game though.
The game also offers up to 6 different classes, being the regular sniper, assault, close quarter and so on. Each class can reach up to 10 levels through experience gained by getting as many points from the missions as possible. The levels unlocks various selectable ingame bonuses such as more time on the headshot bonus time, better stealth and other thing. It does also unlock various weapons, some of them being only available to the class you're playing and others being available to the othe classes (you can also unlock various attachments to the weapons and various types of explosives).
In order to gain the most amounto of experience you'll have to do headshots, kill with melee, double kills, and various other things which IMO is perfect for this type of game.
All in all there's plenty to do in the game and if there would've been a deathmatch mode it would've been all the better. Unfortunately we'll most likely never see the sequal I'm hoping for now that Zipper Interactive is no more.
So, how about the actual gameplay? Most of the time the game plays well. It, as mentioned, a third person shooter which the obvious cover mechanics. The game also makes good use of auto-aim making the game more enjoyable. I know it might sound wrong, but the thumbsticks are NOT as good as the regular ones on the DS3 controller. This doesn't mean that they're bad at all, just that the developers will have to adjust the game to it (depending on the game), which is almost perfectly done in U13 Unfortunately there are some small hiccups though.I've had some weird issues in certain tight places making the auto-aim doing some weird sh1t. It can be especially frustrating when you're having a good run and the game suddenly decides to end it for you.
When talking about gameplay specific issues your character may not always decide to aim from a half-wall when in cover. I dunno what exactly is causing this, but most of the time you'll quickly just work around it and continue killing stuff.
The same issue is also applied when leaping forth from the edge of a corner in order to shoot, but it's not that much of a problem.
The enemy AI is also... an interesting enemy. I'm not sure if the game is just bugged at time or if the game is harder than I give it credit. Mostly though it feels random when sh1t goes down. For instance you might do the same thing 9 times in a row in order to perfect your stealth route, only to have the enemy suddenly noticing you the 10th time at places you've been able to pass by with no problem at all. It might also decide to suddenly hear you shoot a camera even though it normally doesn't (normally being that you've thoroughly done it a lot of time before hand). It might also just accidently see you for even though it normally doesn't.
These small-ish AI issues are what truly takes away some of the enjoyment. I'm not saying the game is completely unplayable or anywhere near, just that when you're trying to find the perfect route through a map and you're suddenly hit by all kinds of weird issues your p1ss is bound to boil. If these issues didn't excist I would've easily given the game a 8.5/10. Added multiplayer and an actual story a 9/10 making the game a perfect launch game.
One last thing. The game can be brutally hard. No only are you rather squishy at time (depending on your class), but the developers have found all kinds of tricky way to kill you (mines on the floor + RPG-shooting enemy = death and destruction even if he doesn't hit you). The hardest elite missions can also be a pain to perfect, but it's all doable. I've only been forced to check a youtube video of one mission due to the fact that even if I "perfected" the mission I only recieved 2/5 stars.
All in all I'd highly recommend the game if you're into arcade shooters with point scoring. The game has also become rather cheap and features a total of 45 missions + an additional 13 if you're into trophy hunting - in other words I feel as if the game offers a good amount of value. Much more than that of Uncharted.
Oh the truly last thing - the game doesn't feature many touch features and those in are not that bad (touch the screen to deactivate bomb and stuff like that).
Gamespot rating: 6.5/10
My personal rating: 7.0/10
This game. I dunno what to say about it. The savior of the PS Vita? Certainly not. A game that offers unique gameplay and an intersting world an charming main character? Sure.
The game haves you playing this teenage girl called Kat with mystical powers she doesn't know why she has. In fact it's another one of those games where the protagonist cannot remember who she/he. I don't mind though.
The game will soon let you fly around the city due to your gravity shifting abilites and whilr you initially starts out not being able to fly that far, you can upgrade your powers to do so (via experience points). It is, however, unfortunate that the line of sight isn't longer though because the city has a way of just disappering and not really making you see just how big and pretty it is. It's a shame, but not the bigest issues this game has.
Not long ago I made a thread on the Vita forum about some of my main issues concerning the game, so I'm just going to copy/paste them here:
The game is decent, at best, and this is mostly due to how clunky the overall combat and gameplay feels/acts. This is especially true when doing challenges or anything else remotely difficulty. The game plays fine doing the story missions because they usually aren't THAT hard, but when you're up agianst a boss or doing a challenge with a time limit you'll quickly realize how bad the combat really is.
The are just some of the problems I have:
- When sliding it's quite hard to steer and have a decent overview of where you're going. It can be easy enough in straigh paths, but whenever it gets a little tight it all goes to hell - and why the hell should we have motion based controls like that forced down our throats?! Why not give optional controls where you just push down the L and R button and steer with the thumb-stick? Ugh..
- Gravity Kicks sometimes tend to just not hit the glowing orb and instead just slide right past it. This can be done even with a sure-to-hit kick. It especially appears to occour with slim/thin targets, but it can easily happen on every monster. The game needs to be more accurate in that department, ESPECIALLY when fighting against the last hidden boss. I cannot begin to describe how frustrating it is to have your attack just slide right next to the target and off into the void.
- Completely missing the target is also an occouring problem. Maybe it's just me, I don't know, but I feel as if there should've been an actual lock-on feature. Combine that with the above mentioned problem and the combat really starts to fall apart. It's sad though because I don't think fixing those issues would've required too much effort and they really would lift the whole game to a new level.
- Being stuck/flying into useless junk, especially during speed-challenges, is super f**king frustrating. I know it's mostly my fault, but it's shouldn't be this apparent in the game. I shouldn't get stuck this easily in all kind of thrash when flying. It's hard to explain it better with details, but I have a hard time believing that I'm the only one who've had this problem. It just ruins the enjoyment of doing challenges when you have to reach a checkpoint that is placed behind some small, thine object who's only goal is to f**k you over.
It's sad that an otherwise good game is followed by equally bad combat mechanics - and it's not that I'm a bad player. I've been playing games my whole life from all kinds of genres and I usually don't give up on such thing. Some games features extra bosses/challenges or just bosses in general that are hard because that's how they were made, but in GR I've faced bosses and challenges who weren't hard because of the ramped up difficulty, but purely because of the gameplay mechanics.
At the time I wrote that I hadn't yet finished the game. I have now and I still stand by my opinion from then. Only thing that is different though is that I do now consider the story to be.. I dunno really. Not bad per se, just badly paced I suppose. Seeing the end-move it all just felt weird.
The story takes place in Heksville (this floating city) and is suddenly attacked by the black monsters. Parts of the city are also missing. So combine the two and you know what you're up against. There, however, also some main antagonists of who'm you'll get to know better during the course of the game. It just a shame though that the trully (IMO) interesting part of the game doesn't start and even more that it's never really explained much. The game clearly hints of a sequal so I'm assuming that the plan is to flesh it all out a bit more.
Even though it might sound as if I wasn't really too fond about the game I still did enjoy it. I even managed to get the platinum trophy despite some frustration.
The game just ultimately isn't as good as we were all hoping for. It's an interesting game with some good ideas and hopefully we'll see a swqual adressing some them. Whether or not it is worthy a purchase is up to you. The price on the PSN store in Denmark was.. Rather low for a new game, but apparently this doesn't apply everywher, which is weird really.
So yeah for the price I payed I was satisfied despite the glaring issues. I cannot tell you whether or not this truly is a must-have game, but a lot of people on Neogaf seems to think it is. Hell some even think it's a masterpiece. I disagree though.
Out of the 3 games I've written about now Unit 13 was easily the one I recommend the most (if you're into TPS games), however keep in mind that is just my opinion. I've seen people arguing that Uncharted: GA is the best entry so far and other saying that GR is a great game that all Vita owners should buy.
So, what is my verdict on these 3 launch titles? Great, in all honesty. The system is new and while it's been rather dry lately (where are my promised summer games Sony?!) I'd say they're all good as launch titles. There are some obvious issues with all of them, but these are all issues that could easily be fixed in a sequal and thus giving us even better games. It's just a shame that Sony didn't follow up with more exclusives (at least in the West). It's also a shame that previous launch titles such as Warrior's Lair (Ruin) and Silent Hill: Books of Memories still haven't released. Hopefully they've been delayed for the better.
I haven't received it yet, but for whatever messed up reason I've had an urge to play this monstrosity of a game. I'm not quite sure why though, but I believe it has something to do with that I'm not entirely sure whether or not to trust the reviews (lol). What I mean is, that the game is, from what I can understand, perfectly playable. It's brought down by a short SP campaign and a somewhat bland story, something which should obviously take away a few points if there is nothing else to redeem it, such as co-op for instance.
Anyway the story has never really been great in any of the Resistance games, just decent, so I ... Actually think that I have a small chance of being somewhat enjoyed by the game. I dunno how to put it. I've suppose I've always liked the Resistance series even though it was always rather mediocre, although entertaining.
The game is bought used so I got it rather cheap at $25, oppose to the retail price at $68. I will have to buy the online-pass in order to get platinum, but I'm confident that trading the game at Gamestop will make me back some of my money - I'll go to the store tomorrow and find out how much exactly.
All in all I don't think I'll regret this. Especially because it received so horrible reviews so I'm sort of itching to see how bad exactly the game is and worst case scenario it's not that long of a game.
With that said I'll obviously post some impressions in a week or two when I've had the time to play it/finish it.
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