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 Soothsayer's Game in Review

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soothsayer
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PostSubject: Soothsayer's Game in Review   Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:01 pm

UNCHARTED

I recently purchased the PS3 dual pack of Uncharted and Uncharted 2 for $40 at my local Wal*Mart; it was either two games for a low price, or the new Batman (game of the year addition) or the latest Assassin's Creed. Going by my opening sentence, I went with the two-for-one.

...

I should have gotten something else.

...

Uncharted is one as Playstation's "Best Of" games; it was an opening title when the PS3 came onto the market, and sold I don't know how many games; I'm sure the information is on the wiki, but I really don't want to know. Truth of the matter is, I can't see why this game is a "best of" ANYTHING.

The premise of the game is that you are a treasure hunter, following the trail of El Dorado, as laid out by your great great great great great great grandfather Sir Francis Drake, and you are trying to get to it before the bad guys do. You can swing on vines (some, not all), jump on rocks (some, not all), climb up window ledges (some, not all). You, however, cannot climb trees, most rocks, some hills, and generally anything a toddler can. That's okay, though, as you consider the fact that there is one and only one path for you to follow; no circumventing the horde of bad guys laying in ambush before you, even though the place is littered with walls and ledges and trees.

Oh, but there are guns aplenty! Let's see, so far I've come across a 9mm pistol (your own side arm), a mini uzi, a 44 Magnum, AK 47, shotgun, M 4, Dragnov sniper, M 79 grenade launcher... there's also frag grenades and 50 cal Brownings throughout you can use. The good thing is you can only carry two weapons (not counting grenades). I suppose that's somewhat realistic, but when you are gunning down literally HUNDREDS of bad guys, a little more firepower would be appreciated. I'm still trying to figure out the logistics of all of the bad guys on this small island; the story stated they were getting pissed because they weren't getting paid, but they're still hanging around... getting shot... Only one way off the island, and that's by boat, but there's only one boat on the island. Again, logistics; how is a band of pirates supposed to pirate anything if they have no boats?

And holy crap, are they ever getting shot! You can trophy points for head shots, but that's insignificant when you consider everything else. A shot in the arm does not affect their accuracy. Shooting their legs out does not affect their speed or stance. Going full auto with an AK, riding up from crotch to shoulder does nothing but make them stagger a couple steps before they dive behind cover. But shoot them in the head, and they'll go down (sometimes you may have to shoot them twice, though). Oh, and point blank shots? Act as normal shots at range... nothing beats having to shoot a guy who is right in front of you many times, while he pumps 12 gauge shot into you.

The enemy is pretty good with tossing grenades, though. They lob a grenade at my feet, I run. I go back to where I was, lob a grenade back at them, and find out I don't have the range they seemed to have.

The hiding behind cover / shooting thing does work okay, unless you are behind a pillar; if you are shooting out from the left, you have to physically move away from the pillar and adjust your character in order to shoot from the right.

Oh, and when you get shot, well... the more you get shot, the more the color fades from the screen. Eventually it'll be black and white, then you'll hear your heartbeat. Soon, you will die... unless you can run away and catch your breath for a couple seconds! Yep, that's right, no first aid kits, but all you have to do is hide behind something and not get shot or injured for a very short amount of time. Wah-lah, instant full health!

Needless to say, there's A LOT of shooting in this game. A lot more than expected for a treasure seeking type game where you get to climb (some) things. One would think there would be a bit more, I don't know, puzzle solving or platforming... but no. When you do find treasure (the game has 60 "hidden" pieces for you to collect), you are blessed with a sparkly little thing which is there to get your attention: walk on over, and pick it up.

I'm only on Chapter 13 (apparently there are 22 Chapters), and maybe things will get better. But I doubt it... heck, the storyline is rather cliche at this point as well. Going by the trophy list, this is a shooter, plain and simple. A rather poor shooter at that.

Believe me, I'm trying to think of something good to say about this game. SOMETHING. But I can't. Maybe I haven't found it yet. Graphics are average, at best (even when using opening PS3 games as comparison). The sound quality is okay, I suppose. Story is cliched. Enemy AI is fairly good. Inflicted damage is a bit ridiculous.

My rating?

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PostSubject: Re: Soothsayer's Game in Review   Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:36 pm

I never played any of these. I know there was one or two versions for the Sony Spit (get it? PSP! OMGROFL!) I think there's even one for the Vita. For the PS3 I know there's at least 3, and there's even a map/board/machine for Drake on the Pinball Heroes my Sony Tablet S shipped with.

Aside from those little tidbits, my knowledge of these games comes from E3, videos, and your review. Based on what I've seen, your review sounds accurate, but I always figured there would be more Tomb Raider-esque sneaking and such. I'm sorry your recent purchase was such a kick in the nuts.

MAYBE...just maybe... the second one will be an improvement? I seem to remember the E3 presentation from back then saying the second one was a huge improvement on graphics, story, and playability... I'll cross my fingers for you!

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PostSubject: Re: Soothsayer's Game in Review   Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:03 pm

Alright, just finished Uncharted, and so now I can give a total review of the game... oh, I should mention right away that, upon reading other reviews of the game, my initial review really wasn't off the mark!

GAMEPLAY... rather linear game. Only game franchise more linear is Final Fantasy. For a "platformer", there really isn't any alternate routes you can take.

CONTROLS... For the Playstation, L1 aims the gun, L2 toggles a hint id there is one around, R! fires the gun, L3 (or was it R3?) to switch which shoulder you are firing from, ^ to activate or pick up certain objects, O to roll /crouch / take cover, [ ] to punch, X to jump, right and left directionals to switch between 1 of 2 weapons, up directional to reload, down directional to activate grenades. Pretty basic stuff, but when you come right down to it, that's a good thing. At times the whole cover thing can get a bit wonky, and I was left frustrated a few times because I wasn't able to take cover as planned. But, being an entry level game to the PS3 system, I can't hold a grudge.

PUZZLES... What puzzles? There were, let me see, three puzzle solving areas? The puzzles didn't involve any thinking, as you were presented with your journal that, if you have eyes, made solving them rather easy. When you have an action adventure treasure hunting game and take away the adventure and hunting, you're left with an action game, which, to be quite honest, is what this game boils down to.

COMBAT... The combat, although unrealistic, is good. There's enough cover for you to remain safe, with just enough cover so that, should you feel brave or stupid, you will get shot. The enemy AI is above average, as they take to cover as well, and will move about from behind cover; however, once they are out of cover, they tend to stay out of cover, even if being shot at from a couple yards away. There's a nice selection of firearms about, with plenty of ammo.

STORYLINE... Good story. Cut scenes were nicely done. There were a couple cliche moments, but it is to be expected.

GAMELENGTH... Wasn't on the short end as, say, God of War, but it wasn't an epic, either. I'd say if one had a child and wife free weekend (or husband free, case may be) it could be beaten within that time frame. Now, if I had bought this for the original price of $60, I'd have been pissed, but I didn't, and so I'm not.

REPLAY... Yes and no. No in that the game won't have anything new to offer. There aren't new unlockables, there aren't any special features from beating the game. However, the only reason to replay this is to finish collecting all 60 hidden treasures. That's it. I suppose you could argue to replay the game to gain all the trophies, but seriously, if you can sneak up on five bad guys and beat them to death with your bare hands, go right ahead.

OVERALL... You play as Nathan Drake, treasure hunter, hot on the path of El Dorado. Deserted islands, ruined temples, jungle scenery... too bad you aren't really doing anything other than running from point A to point B, shooting at numerous bad guys along the way. This is not a platformer, this is not Tomb Raider, this is simply a third person shooter. If you expect more from this game, you will be greatly disappointed! There shouldn't be any reason why this is considered one of the best Playstation games out there, because it's not; numerous games do what this pretends to do much better.

I change my earlier rating of three stars to...

...

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PostSubject: Re: Soothsayer's Game in Review   Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:33 pm

UNCHARTED 2

I really can't post a review of this game yet, as I've only started playing it the other day. Can't really say what chapter I'm on, but I am on my way to power up the elevator that Chloe is on (if that helps at all).

And, even though this isn't a review (more like a place marker, actually), I will say that so far this game is a lot better than the first one. My only complaint so far is trying to figure out why the makers decided to redo the button configuration.

Anyway, next post of mine within this thread will be a review of the game Uncharted 2.
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PostSubject: Re: Soothsayer's Game in Review   Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:04 pm

Okay, have just finished playing Uncharted 2, and I must say, it is a lot better than the first. A LOT.

Game paths are still rather linear, but at least now there are some branches... the branches do lead to dead ends, however. There are more platforming areas, and a couple spots which left me searching around trying to figure out just how the heck I was supposed to do something. There are a few more puzzles to work out than the first (which isn't really saying much), and the puzzle difficulty has a nice range of difficulty.

The enemy AI, which was really well done in the first, is better in the second; enemies will not only take cover and peak out (ducking back if they see you), but they will also shoot blindly from behind cover. There was a kind of joy I experienced when I found a path to take me behind or along side an enemy who still believed me to be behind my original cover spot, seeing him crouched behind a blockade, rifle held above his head as he fired... my creeping up behind him...

Melee combat was improved as well; before, you had a series of buttons to use for melee, whereas this time around there is only one button for all melee combat. Pressed in rapid succession, you can perform the same moves as you normally would have by pressing three buttons in sequence. Also, as a nice feature, you can perform stealth attacks: very similar to Assassin's Creed, with pulling people from ledges, breaking necks, and so on.

The game is still, basically, a third person shooter, but this time it incorporates the elements one would expect from a treasure hunting game in greater abundance.

There are many more firearm types this time around, each with their distinct sounds, recoil, and characteristics. In most games, the more powerful weapons are saved for the final levels (including the first game). Not so here... the weapons are mixed throughout all levels although there is one in particular you can't handle until near the end. Ammo is plentiful, with a realistic limit; you won't find the ammo for your favorite type all the time, and you very may well have to drop and switch new weapons while in the midst of a fire fight.

The storyline is good, but has fallen to the same cliche as the first. I don't know if the makers were influenced by Indiana Jones, but come on, I'm sure creators can do more than fall back to the over use of Nazis all the time. The only issue I have with the storyline (not counting Nazis) is Drake's journal, his handy little pocket book he has with notes on the subject matter. Game spoiler below, but really won't alter game play as it is on the box description.

Spoiler:
 

My only complaint of this game is movement controls. Many times I found myself hanging from a ledge when I was trying to use a pillar as cover (both the cover button and the ledge drop button are the same). And this next movement complaint isn't directed solely at Naughty Dog (maker of Uncharted)... dear god why is it that if you are running in a straight away AWAY from your perspective (stick forward), jumping and leaping and avoiding obstacles, why o why must you change the camera view half way through AS WELL AS the direct we have to hold the stick? This doesn't to anything from dramatic effect; if anything, it ruins it!

Replay value is medium to high. This time there are 100 treasures to find (I found 29 my first play through), and now the treasures give you a cash value which you can use to buy / unlock bonus features... everything from new renders to a gallery to movies... weapons, ammo, special tweaks (like no gravity, mirror)... and more. I have not tried the online multiplayer game, so I cannot describe that.

Oh, the game also keeps track of your stats: hang time, deaths, number of shoots, kills, head shots, yadda yadda yadda. Total play time was 10:45:something. Total time standing still was 1:39:something. With that said, if I just played the game straight through without bathroom or laundry or phone or or or, it would have been a nine hour game; normally I hate crap like that, but there is the multiplayer online stuff, so the game isn't limited to just the single player game.

As of right now, I would rate this as

...

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PostSubject: Re: Soothsayer's Game in Review   Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:58 pm

I have all 3 of the Uncharted games for the PS3. Going off of your first review I would have chosen not to play them, however, since I have all 3 I'll have to plow through them...
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PostSubject: Re: Soothsayer's Game in Review   Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:11 pm

X-Men Destiny

I should make it a habit to check reviews of games before making a purchase.

With that said, allow me to introduce to you X-Men Destiny, a game where you "fight alongside or against the X-Men based on the choices you make" (according to the text on the back cover). Also on the back are the words "Customize and enhance your powers through branching decision trees" and "Inherit x-genes to arm yourself with the powers of your favorite x-men characters". Going by this, I was led to believe that the game was akin to an RPG, one where, depending on what you did, the story would thus be affected.

Sadly, this is not so. Here, let me break down the choices for you, in chronological order (to the best my memory permits).

1. Pick your character. You have three to choose from; medium built male raised by anti-mutant protestors, bulky male college football jock (even carries his football!), and a Japanese girl.

2. Pick your core power. Again, three to choose from: density (think Thing, Juggernaut, Colossus), energy projection, and Shadow. As you play the game, you will be confronted with four times with which you choose a different ability, each based off of your core set.

3. Assist Pyro?

4. Assist Mystique or Nightcrawler. They're both working on the same mission.

Let me interrupt this list a moment. See the last two choices? That's pretty much what you'll be doing throughout the game: either helping or declining to help an X-Men or a Brotherhood member on an individual basis (I believe there were... um... three or four of these), which will then award you X-Men or Brotherhood points, or choosing between helping one party or the other (even though they are both working on the same mission at that time), again with faction points as the reward (this was done three times during the game).

I truthfully can't figure out how the choices made grant the factions that they do. For instance, you infiltrate an enemy lab where they were conducting medical experiments of mutants; DNA extractions, surgical stuff, normal anti-mutie reseaqrch. At the end of this scenario, you can either side with Quicksilver and destroy the lab (it's wrong to let this stand! The Brotherhood will grind this place to duct!) or Colossus (come little one, we have to go and leave this place!). Seriously, those are the choices here, along those very same lines. Destroy the lab that has been killing mutants and stealing their powers turns you to the Brotherhood? Running turns you to the X-Men?!

Or how about this choice: Mystique and Nightcrawler are arguing over how to get mutant hostages out of a building. Mystique wants to blow the roof so a helicopter can't land and extract the hostages (or the bad guys for that matter), while Nightcrawler wants to bamf in and out with the hostages. Umm, I know I'm not a mutant or anything like that, but since both are right there and each plan would not interfere with the other, why not do both? Each is technically sound, and doing Mystique's would ensure Kurt can complete his plan. But no, you have to chose one or the other.

Know what? I'm not even going to add the other choices here. It won't make any sense.

GAMEPLAY - Crappy linear. Cyclops tells you in the beginning that things can be found anywhere and everywhere, so it'd be prudent of you to check anywhere and everywhere... but you can't. Can't jump on this, can't climb that. Pfft.

CONTROLS - Button masher. X is jump, Square is light attack (the quickest), Triangle is heavy attack (slower, but more powerful), and O is dodge. Left stick moves you, right stick is look. By pressing and holding R2, and then hitting one of the control buttons, you will activate one of your other choice based attacks. L2, I believe, was to reset the camera. This game allows you to upgrade / level up your abilities depending on your experience points... max out your basic attack, and there's no need to do anything else. Again, button mash.

CHALLENGE - Hidden objects appear as a bright white icon the same size as you. Posters you can destroy to gain xp you just have to walk in front of. Health packs and energy packs flood the ares. Challenge?

COMBAT - As I mentioned earlier, max out one power and you're good. Me, I maxed them all, but only used one... oh, and one power was always active, so I couldn't do anything about it. Essentially, every time I attacked someone, I gained health and energy. Anyway, combat is basic, three punches make a combo. The combat camera also sucks, as you'll have to reset it or manually adjust it all the time which in itself isn't too bad, but when you are in an arena with 50+ baddies, it'd be nice to know which way to look.

STORYLINE - Xavier is dead, killed when he and Magneto destroyed Bastion. A police force is trying to maintain peace with mutants in San Francisco, the Brotherhood is doing their normal Brotherhood stuff. An explosion happens during a mutant rally which has a lot of similarities to Brotherhood powers, thus setting the stage. No matter what you do in the game, it ends the same: the bay area becomes a new home for mutants. Supposedly a branching storyline, it isn't.

GAME LENGTH - Bought this Saturday, played for 40 minutes. Played it again Monday afternoon, from 1pm until about 7pm, with the youngest boy and I taking turns with the Playstation every other hour. Beat the game. So that what, four hours or so? FOUR HOURS.

REPLAY VALUE - Well, you do have three characters to chose from, with three base powers and four power choices. Character choice doesn't do anything other than give you a different into, so on power alone you have 6 plays (three for base power, three for picking four different abilities). Then there are the little "challenges" (arena combat, all of them), finding all the hidden stuff, destroying all the posters. But really, why would you want to go through this time and time again?

GRAPHICS - Think of a nice second generation game. Movements are puppet like, hair is static. However, the armor looks fantastic! Irregardless, for a game that was made in 2011, I was rather disappointed... even the first of the third gen games looked better.

OVERALL - Good for those who love the X-Men stuff, bad for those who want something from a game (story, plot, action, whatever, it doesn't matter). This would be an excellent choice for a child to play to kind of introduce hi or her into the world of mutants, but that's it.

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PostSubject: Re: Soothsayer's Game in Review   Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:39 pm

@soothsayer wrote:
"fight alongside or against the X-Men based on the choices you make"
"Customize and enhance your powers through branching decision trees"
"Inherit x-genes to arm yourself with the powers of your favorite x-men characters".

And here I thought your complaint was going to be that no matter how many times you made branching decisions or inherited the x-genes, you STILL did not finally manifest your latent mutant talent... NOR did any X-men appear to ask if you could call in for a day off of work so you guys could stop Mr. Sinister from cloning a batch of evil X-men.

Don't rush yourself... Remember, most mutant talents manifest during puberty. Someday you'll get the call from
Ni pirat k Fury




(ooh...FUN!)

taunt 2 Storm (lightning bolt)
pirat Nick Fury
Cool Cyclops
Image? Shadowcat
Bash Head Juggernaut (or Deadpool)
Twisted Evil Phoenix
tongue Toad
Gunz Cable
Suspect Beast

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PostSubject: Re: Soothsayer's Game in Review   Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:34 pm

@Shadowcrunch wrote:


(ooh...FUN!)

taunt 2 Storm (lightning bolt)
pirat Nick Fury
Cool Cyclops
Image? Shadowcat
Bash Head Juggernaut (or Deadpool)
Twisted Evil Phoenix
tongue Toad
Gunz Cable
Suspect Beast

lol!
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PostSubject: Re: Soothsayer's Game in Review   Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:28 am

cat Wolfsbane
bounce Speedball (I know, I know, not really a mutant)
affraid Caliban
farao Apocalypse
scratch Professor X
afro Bishop (heheheheh)
Drinks! Multiple Man
sunny Dazzler
Thumbs Down any Liefeld character
Pyrate Starjammers (drum roll, snare)
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PostSubject: Re: Soothsayer's Game in Review   Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:53 am

Heh...now that we've skipped the entire groove of this thread (sorry sooty!)...you chums have given me an idea!.... confused Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Soothsayer's Game in Review   Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:04 pm

DEAD ISLAND

Dead Island: Game of the Year Edition is available at Wal*Mart for $30. Single player / MMO.

Dead Island takes place on a resort / vacation island. You get to choose one out of four playable characters (five if you download the extra guy), each with their own strengths, weaknesses, and unique combat skill. The skills are firearms, edged weapons, blunt weapons, and the fourth I’ve forgotten. For those first starting off, do not use the extra unlockable guy (Ryder); his storyline is completely different than those of the other four, and is much harder.

Anyway, the story is this: you are on this island when a zombie pandemic breaks out. You start off with no weapons, no armor, no skills, no nothing. You must scavenge for everything, or at least until you are able to open a shop (find someone who will trade). Worry not about weight limits, as there aren’t any… carry as much stuff as you want; on the flip side, you are limited as to how many weapons you can carry. Also of special note is that you can find vehicles to drive! After driving into a few zombies (or trees of structures) your windshield will break, but don’t worry, as you clear the glass and keep on going; the vehicle will never ever explode or become undriveable.

That’s it in a nutshell… now to the specifics.

The game is fun. It’s a first person akin to the Elder Scrolls, in that it isn’t a shooter, but more of an RPG (you do get skill points to better your abilities any way you see fit). You have the main story line / series of quests, and you can discover a whole slew of side quests upon your journeys.

The quests are conveniently rated from Very Easy to Very Hard (VE, E, M, H, VH), and you can complete them at your leisure. Some quests are fairly simple to figure out, as you will talk to people and otherwise interact with them, while other quests you will find by listening to two-way radios or finding notes. I will say this about the quests: no matter your level, they are all do-able as long as you play smart! Don’t go charging headlong into things, don’t think you can escape the zombies simply by running away (they will follow you)… if you do, before you know it, you’ll be swarmed. One nice quest feature is that, on your overhead map, there will appear a dotted line which will direct you through the quickest path possible to reach your quest goal!

Weapons. You WILL need to perform repairs on your weapons. Luckily, the game actually shows weapon deterioration! Likewise, when you upgrade your weapons (greater damage and durability), the weapons will also look “better”. Throughout the game, you can find blueprints, or mods, to make special weapons.

Controls are simple enough. L1 kicks, R1 is hands / whatever is equipped. R2 brings up your weapons wheel (more on that later). L2, I believe, is block. The down directional turns on / off your flashlight, up brings you to your skills menu. X is jump, O is back / cancel, ^ is I forget, [] is interact. R3 is crouch. While in a vehicle, L1 (or L2, I forget) is reverse, while R1 (or R2) is forward… there are no speed controls, just forward or reverse. Simple enough, isn’t it?

Visually, the game is amazing. It may not be as breath-taking as some of the scenes from Skyrim, but it is amazing in its own right. There are a couple things that could have been better (example being the legs of people sitting down… their thighs / hips are weird), but that is merely nit-picking. The one real fault I have with the visuals is when you are driving; your visual range is only what’s in front of you, from the rear view mirror to the side… you have to turn your head to see past the rear view… again, just nit-picking.

Combat is effective and, dare I say, FUN. Dismembered body parts, heads caving in, decapitations, burning bodies galore! Myself, I picked the character with the edged weapons specialty, and I am not disappointed… I’ve crouched down and have actually taken out the legs of zombies I normally would not have been able to face head on. Some zombies are runners… for them, I’ll either kick in the chest (doing so will knock most zombies down to the ground) or I’ll time my sickle or machete swing juuuust right. I have to say, I have giggled quite a few times during combat . You can also pick up some objects to throw at the zed (propane tanks, crates) to knock them back. Please note that the zombies will level up along with you.

My last part of the review covers the horror aspect. I like zombies, I’m a member of a zombie society, so the fear really isn’t there. However, there are times where you will hear screams from survivors off in the distance, moans approaching from somewhere, sirens, and normal jungle sounds; the sound quality in this game is also outstanding, I might add. Sometimes you will have a zombie right in your face and you’ll have to beat it off (eww). Anyway, the horror factor for me wasn’t there as I have been just over-whelmed by the game. Soothsayer Jr, on the other hand, has jumped in the chair, has blurted out a few religious deity’s names, and has turned off the game because it was “too much.”

I have yet to play the online mode, so I cannot review that experience.

All in all, a very outstanding game! And, for a mere $30, money well spent!

There are, however, a couple complaints…

The instructions are a bit… lacking. They don’t tell you how to drive the vehicles (HINT: steering wheel is on the right side), they don’t tell you how to place weapons on your weapon wheel (the wheel is a quick access to your weapons. By pressing R2, you bring up the wheel, where you can then choose new weapons). In fact, the instructions really don’t tell you much. I don’t know if this was intentional or not (in wanting to add ‘atmosphere’) but it is annoying. You definitely learn as you play, which I suppose is for the best.

My other complaint is the lack of a forced save. The game auto-saves when you enter certain areas or upon quest completion, but that’s it. You cannot force a save when, say, you are halfway through a quest and have to head off to work. This one thing is really irritating, to say the least.

For the star rating, dare I say… 8 ½? 9? out of ten.

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PostSubject: Re: Soothsayer's Game in Review   Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:02 pm

Oh, been a while on this, hasn't it? Four freaking months since the last post! Meh gawd! Well, thanks to Game Stop now being in town, hopefully this thread will get some much needed breath back into it! Because of GS, the boys and I have been buying many a game as of late; nothing new, but rather catching up on the games we missed buying when they first came out. Today's review, which I am currently playing, is...

FRONT MISSION EVOLVED

This will make the third Front Mission's game I own: FM 3 for the PSOne, FM4 on the PS2, and Evolved on the PS3. I like Front Mission; a mech combat game, turn based strategy which allows for mech customization, various storylines / plots, replay value, and engaging story.

Front Mission Evolved changes that. It is now a third person shooter instead of a turn based, but that's it. Everything else that makes Front Mission a Front Mission game is still there. Think of this as being a lighter, more casual friendly version of Armored Core

As I've only been playing this for a few hours now (over the course of a week), I really can't say how great or poor this game is, and since I'm already biased towards FM and giant robot combat games, an honest review would be rather difficult to do. However, there are a couple of things that I've seen that really doesn't make any sense, or could have been done better; both are within the customization menu.

1. Decals. You have the ability to place decals on your mech. The thing about this is that most of the decals are really too small to see unless you already know where to look.

2. Stats. There was a time, FM3 and FM4, where when you selected a new weapon or body part, the stats for that item, in comparison to what you already had equipped, would take half up half the screen. Now that same window takes up the lower right 1/8. Additionally, previous games allowed you to select a part and see how it looked on your mech before you bought it; now, the only way to see it is when you buy it... and, unfortunately, the original part is automatically sold when you buy something.

3. Just thought of a third thing that kind of irritates me: lack of friendly fire.

Other than that, the controls are pretty straight forward. L1 fires left shoulder weapon, L2 is left hand weapon, R1 is right shoulder, and R2 is right hand. Left stick controls movement, right stick torso twist / aim. X is jump, double X causes you to hover (you can fly about for a time), a third X ends hover (if your energy hasn't run out). Pressing O causes you to "skate"... think boosters for you movement (L3 does the same thing). R3 allows for zooming in.

Unlike previous FM titles, this one has you complete missions on foot; you are equipped with a bazooka, an assault rifle, and grenades, and plays as a basic third person shooter.

There is an online multi-player mode which I have not tested.

As of this moment, and until I get more playing time with this, I will rate it...

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PostSubject: Re: Soothsayer's Game in Review   Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:21 pm

Where is your whalepunk review?!

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PostSubject: Re: Soothsayer's Game in Review   Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:55 pm

I'm not going to review Dishonored. Can't play the thing. or rather, I can, I just can't get into the game because I can't read anything... the journals, the diaries, the dialogue choice options, and so forth. The biggest thing for me in playing most games is story; playing a game that revolves around the story, one would think that being able to read things would be easier, but sadly it isn't so.

And, from googling "can't read Dishonored text", I'm not the only one to complain about this.

So... until I either get a bigger TV or the developers decide to create a patch, I'm not playing it.
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PostSubject: Re: Soothsayer's Game in Review   Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:29 pm

Bifocals? Razz

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PostSubject: Re: Soothsayer's Game in Review   Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:05 am

PORTAL 2

How to review this game without spoilers...

1. Portal 2 does not open up where the first left off, although it is a sequel of sorts: the two mai characters are still there.

2. The game has a greater length than the first (from Orange Box). There are three parts to the game (GLaDOS, Apeture, Whetley), each with their own motives / plot devices; GLaDOS wants to see you suffer, Apeture opens up the background story, and Whetley is {no can do, spoiler}.

3. There is also an online mode, co-op play, and sixaxis control. Haven't done the online, co-op is interesting, and haven't tried sixaxis.

PROS

Greater play time, elaborated storyline, more puzzle abilities (light bridges, sonic tunnels, catepults, lasers)

CONS

Greater pay time does not mean more intricate puzzels; it seems that the puzzle difficulty is less than that of the first one. An elaborated storyline does not add to the story and does not address several of the key questions; it does, however, go on about Apeture's founder and GLaDOS's origins (although, even with this last, in a round about way). Fact is, there is so much going on in-game that isn't addressed... the opening, the writing on the walls, the entire Apeture chapter (not really a spoiler: you unlock the Apeture area, but painted on the wall before the gate is a sign that reads "Sealed by the {I forget} governmant agency. Do not open." Why?) I mean, there is a lot going on in the game, a lot that has been hinted at in both the first and second, and nothing as addressed.

I cannot see how this could be a Greatest Hits game. Sure, the one on the Orange Box was great, it brought a new gaming experience into the world... and chances are, people bought this in droves because of that. I did that. And yes, I even bought it to expand the story, which the game does, but it doesn't answer anything. Who are you? Why are you so special to GLaDOS? Why are you the only one left? What's going on? At times, the story's plot seems forced, and there are things being done simply to do them. Also, one you see the scope of the Apeture area, it's amazing how such a gigantic complex can exist in the first place, and how it could have been even operational (especially when seeing the standards). The story is an impossibility, doesn't even begin to blend in with Black Mesa (as hinted at in the first, and briefly mentioned in the second).

I suppose I went off subject, didn't I?

Play it for the game, not for the story.

As far as play goes, the puzzles (as mentioned earlier) aren't all that great. They don't have the sense of urgeny as the first one had, nor did any of them prove difficult (I'm looking at you, level 18 from the Orange Box). If you do happen to get stuck, a brief look around will usually point you in the right direction. If not, you can follow what you've done, see where you end, and chances are the key is right around there.

The humor is still there, although it isn't as dark. Likewise, the subtle tones (ie, writing on the wall) isn't as disturbing as what it was.

What I think happened was the fact that Portal went from a T rating down to E to expand it's buyer base. By making it an E, they cleaned up the feeling of paranoia and doom.

Replay value is there, as there are some trophies you can only get by doing "B" instead of "A".

I'm giving this game 6 1/2, 7 stars. Stories are important to me: if I just wanted a puzzle game, and a normal one at that, I'd have played Echochrome.

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PostSubject: Re: Soothsayer's Game in Review   Mon May 27, 2013 3:17 pm

Egads, it has been a while, hasn't it?

For this installment, I would like to do a quick review of PS3's Alpha Protocol, which can be had at Gamestop for about $5.



For five bucks, you cannot go wrong with this title! Heck, in my opinion, it could be sold for four times as much (that'd be $20 if you're keeping count). Is it a great game? No, but it is a good one, better than most. It is an "espionage rpg", allowing you to select your character out of six character types... and then, after completing your first mission, you then get to select a specialization. As you go up in levels, you get to increase your abilities (stealth, pistol, shotgun, assault rifle, submachine gun, toughness, tech ability, martial arts, sabotage) which doesn't just increase your ranking with that skill, but also unlocks other abilities tied into that skill. You can also customize your character's appearance (but not the sex).

The game is a third person shooter, but there are parts that you also have to utilize quick hand eye coordination, such as picking locks, hacking computers, bypassing keypads, AND, just like with Mass Effect, there are dialogue choices which change a person's view of you (and further dialogue); unlike Mass Effect, these choices are timed. In fact, everything within this paragraph is timed.

For mission, you have more than one route to go in order to get the mission done. Locked gates, climb rooftops, take a direct route... kill the enemy troops, tranq them, stun them with hand-to-hand... stick to the shadows, go in guns blazing...

Oh, then there's the computer network from your safehouse, where you can access and respond to emails, gain new weapons / armor / accessories through the black market.

This isn't to say the game is a perfect one. It isn't. The AI sucks at times (enemy may hide from you by crouching in front of an object), sometimes people slide across the floor, may jerk about before settling in one spot to stand on... but that's pretty much it.

In my honest opinion, I say get this game. It's only $5, and even with the flaws, you are going to get your money's worth out of it.

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{EDIT}

Just wanted to add something to this review, as it relates to the enemy AI. I was participating in a rather difficult boss fight, getting my ass handed to me left and right no matter what I did. Put the game away, came back a couple hours later, tried something new. I am so glad I did! The AI glitched; instead of the enemy boss giving chase, he decided to take a direct route. Too bad for him I was on a second level, and he was running straight into the wall directly below me (instead of taking the stairs). I jumped down, proceeded to shoot, and he never moved, just kept on running into the wall.

Huh.

Ahh, but it got to a point where bullets no longer effected him. Hit / kicked him a couple times, nothing. Placed a grenade right by his feet, backed off... no damage to the guy, but now the final stage of the fight took place (he apparently had to die via hand-to-hand).

Still a good game. Not changing the rating yet.

{EDIT}

Finished the game last night, so I thought I'd add a little more to this.

Replay value is relatively high. With the choices you make in dialogue you will unlock certain features, both good and bad. There are many parts in the game where you have to make a specific choice to decide an outcome (kill / not kill, save / not save, left door / right), and depending on what you chose, that plays out differently. Additionally, there are two character "classes" that you can chose from that opens different features in the game (recruit / veteran). There are other options / choices, but I'll leave it at that.

Yes, there are bad spots in the game. Not so much in graphics, but in the physics of dead people: I kicked a guy so hard his body dropped straight to the floor while his head / neck stretched out behind him, once kicked a guy off a ledge (well, his body left the ledge). A couple boss glitches: the one mentioned above, and for a second fight as soon as the fight started, the boss just stood there, allowing me to deliver head shot after head shot.

I still give this game seven out of ten. It's a damn fine game.
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PostSubject: Re: Soothsayer's Game in Review   Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:25 am

The Mass Effect games

Mass Effect {the first}

I enjoyed this. An open world feel, customization of characters and equipment, excellent story... although one complaint I would have is that perhaps the story was too excellent. Everything about the game had a feeling of rush rush rush, hurry up. Having played games where they were on a timer, that's exactly what I did, rush. Oh, I took time to explore all the levels, but I didn't do all the side missions because of the urgency. Not complaining mind you; at least when I play it a second time, I'll know better!

This would be my fourth game where one's choices impact the story (Dragon Age, inFamous, and Alpha Protocol), and I have to admit that I haven't been disappointed with any of them. They all have their pros and cons. And, even though Mass Effect were the same people behind Dragon Age (and it does show), you can tell that more thought went into Mass Effect. Oops, one more complaint, and this one is valid. In Alpha Protocol, your verbal choices were timed, it didn't give you time to think about your reaction or how it would impact the game. In Mass Effect, there were times where I did put the controller down and try to figure out what the best possible choice would be for my character, or what may happen in the game.

The graphics were good, with the occasional glitch, with one glitch standing out above the others as it caused me to reload: there was a planet that you had to go around and underground structure to kill an ancient plant. At one point there were stairs going down into a room which had stairs on the opposite side that lead up. On the stairs going down (the way you first enter that room), just before the door, on the left side of the door there is maybe a foot or two (in game measurements) that allows you to walk onto and hide behind the door frame so you could shoot from cover. Sad part is you cannot step back out of that strip of floor! Other glitches include walking only to find yourself standing on a nearby box, arms stretched out to your side, characters disappearing during dialogue scenes even though they are still talking, characters standing there not saying anything while their subtitles read out on the screen, and so on.

Weapon selection was fair. Like other games, I found myself swapping out all my character's weapons for the same new and improved weapon, as it had the best damage / accuracy. Same with weapon upgrades... they all used the same stuff. Some weapons, like the sniper rifle, were never used. In essence, every character used the same weapons, the exact same weapon. And, it got to the point where perhaps the weapons were too powerful.

Armor was better, as only certain races could use certain armor. Too bad the designers of the game could not have done that with the weapons, as it would have added to the game.

All things considered, I'd have to give this game 8 - 8 1/2 stars. Great game, but it just didn't live up to the hype.

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Now, onto Mass Effect 2...

I haven't finished this one, but I'm already disappointed. The controls are completely changed. I've found that the choices given tend to be more sarcastic, leading my character to behalf in a fashion opposite of how she was. Given the intro of 2, the team mates you originally had seem to react to your presence in a bland manner. One part I found disturbing, which makes me wonder about the rest of the game, is when I am being questioned to see if my memory is still intact... when they asked who I chose to be on the Council. In game 1, I answered "I'll let the politicians decide". In game two, you aren't given that option... there are a few moments like that, where you are forced to act in a manner different than what you normally would have done.

And seriously, how many stores on the Citadel are Shepard's favorite store? What's the point of even having C-Sec leave your status as it is, if you're gong to advertise things differently?

Maybe things will work themselves out. Maybe not. I admit I'm still new in the game, but it seems the changes (controls, ship settings, weapon / armor) were done just to do, with no real reason other than to do it.
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PostSubject: Re: Soothsayer's Game in Review   Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:16 am

I was about to type up a review for a game I just finished when I realized I hadn't reviewed two other games: Flower and Journey (I had purchased the disc collection)  Time enough for those later, I suppose.

The game I'm reviewing today is...

Dragon Age 2

There are games I play for the sake of playing a game, and there are those which I play because I want to be entertained.  Platformers, flight simulators, and RTS games would be an example of playing a game; Assassin's Creed and MGS would fall somewhere in between; Dragon Age would be played for entertainment, for story.  Anyone who has played the first Dragon Age would know this, that it isn't really a game as it is a multiple choice movie.  Oh, there are gaming elements in it, but for any good RPG to keep your interest, it needs to have a compelling story.

Dragon Age 2 does not disappoint.  Oh my goodness, it does not.  But, before I begin, allow me to talk a little bit of the first Dragon Age (believe me, it is essential to this review).

Dragon Age takes place during an event known as The Blight, where creatures known as darkspawn emerge from the Deep Roads (ancient dwarven ruins long buried) in an attempt to take over the world (more or less).  Along your way to saving the world and ending the Blight, you meet various NPCs that you can persuade to join your cause.  The game ends one of many ways, depending on how you played / interacted with your party members.  Simple and brief, yes?

Okay.  Dragon Age 2 starts off at the same time as the first does.  In fact, you and your family "are the sole survivors of Loathering," a town completely decimated and overrun with darkspawn.  Your family makes its way to Kirkwall, home of your grandparents, where you hope to start a new life.  I won't go into any further details with this, with the exception that you really aren't playing: one of your companions is being interrogated by a Seeker, and he is relaying everything he knows.

That in itself puts things in an interesting light, one that automatically created several questions for me, such as "Why are they after me?"  An interesting hook indeed!  The game is played out in three stages (or acts), with each act having a cut scene between your companion and the Seeker.  The way the scenes play out makes you wonder just what the hell you did.  This may cause you to just play the main quest, but don't!  One of the things that the Dragon Age series does right is that it supplies you with plenty of side quests, companion themed quests, missions, so on and so forth.  Not only will these quests gain you more experience (to level up), but they also add important details to the story, whether it is through found items, character interaction, or influences the main quest.

Unlike the first DA, everything you do, every way you interact, will have an impact on the main story!  Also, let me say that the comment choices are divided up between peaceful, sarcasm / joking, and straight forward / blunt.  There will also be extra added options where you try to push your authority, or to influence people in a flirtatious manner.  Also, unlike the first one, your character will actually talk.

The character development was great!  The first DA had you hold what seemed to be forced static conversations.  With this one, the conversations seem more real or not as scripted.  You do begin to feel for your companions, and you do learn what it is that motivates them, or why they remain with you.

Combat is relaxed, which isn't a negative for me: I know I'm playing a story after all.  Also, you do not have to worry about dressing your companions.  They remain in the same outfit for the entirety of the game (they do, however, add certain items or upgrades to their outfits automatically when bought or found).  You just have to worry about what weapons or jewelry (rings, amulets, belts) they wear.

My biggest, and only, complaint is the lack of variety in scenery.  Every tunnel system looks the same, every mansion interior is the same, every hidden cave the same.  That got quite boring, but it really didn't detract from the quest.

The companions from the first game do make appearances in this one, with a couple exceptions.  A few of their appearances did seem as if they were just tossed in to keep things in the same setting, while others did play a part.

Unlike the first DA, this one doesn't go all over the countryside; it confines you to the city and surrounding area.  Some reviews complained about this, but not me.  Your's isn't that story, your story takes place and is central to the city of Kirkwall.

I'm not going to tell you about the ending (or middle).  I will say that at one point I caught myself swearing at one of my companions.  Not my character, me.  One of my companions had pushed me so far over the edge that I wanted to kill him (and yes, you do get that option)... but my character, the way I had been playing her, would not have (she'd have rather kept him alive to make amends).  Have you ever played a game where you got personally involved?  And the ending cut scene?  I can sum it up with one word: wow.

If you play this game knowing from the start that you are playing a story, you will not be disappointed.

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(lack of full 10 stars because you should have been given the ability to change companions outfits, and lack of scene variety)
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PostSubject: Re: Soothsayer's Game in Review   Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:55 am

Dues Ex: Human Revolution

Are we getting old?  Okay, I know we're getting older, but as gamers here, are we getting old as gamers?  The reason I ask this is because, quite frankly, I found this game to be unoriginal, cliched, robbing of different sources, and just plain awful.  This is the complete opposite of what review sites have rated it... 4.5 out of 5, 94%, 9 out of 10... but for the life of me I can't figure out why.

Graphics are nice, but it isn't anything we haven't seen before.  In fact, we've seen better.  Lip movement doesn't even come close to matching what's being said.  Figures talk with jerky head movements and unrealistic arm motions.  Every scene seems to be saturated in a yellow lighting; this was done for an ambiance type theme, but it doesn't work well at all.

The physics are okay; some aspects are good, others are bad.  The average width of an alley is, what, ten feet?  You CANNOT jump from one rooftop / fire escape to another that is separated by an alley, even if you do a sprint before the jump (but you can jump 10 feet straight up).  Grenades fall as they should; I've used a wall to bounce / ricochet a grenade around corners.  Even though this really isn't an issues (I'm just bringing it up just to mention it), dragging bodies is comical at times; sometimes when you click on the body to drag it, it will jump at you, other times it looks as you you're carting around a poorly made mannequin.

Controls and gameplay are a mix of being 'normal' and confusing.  While the listing here is fine, there are some buttons functions that don't make sense.  As an example, you cannot open your inventory menu to swap weapons if you are aiming.  Pressing O will back you out of hacking, but then you have to verify that you want to back out; once backed out of the hack mode, you are still attached to the computer system, and so you have to back out of that as well.  On the plus side, enemies can still find you or shoot at you if you are hacking.  You can read password information when you hack a computer, but you cannot register that password until you read it again from your log entry (menu tab).

  • L1  take cover / move left (menu tabs)
  • L2  Sprint / scroll up (if reading)
  • R1  Shoot (equipped weapon) / move right (menu tabs)
  • R2  Throw (either grenade of whatever you are carrying) / scroll down (if reading)
  • ^  Hack mode (if you are trying to access a computer system)
  • O  Weaponless take-down attack / back out (hacking mode)
  • X  Jump
  • [ ]  Active / use item, open door
  • L3  movement, crouch when clicked
  • R3  look, aim when clicked (with weapon equipped)
  • directional buttons turn on or off certain augmentations


The voice acting is over-the-top.  Everything spoken is done for dramatics....  I don't think people in the future know how to hold a normal conversation.

And the storyline, egads.  This is where I ask if we're getting old.  Are programmers that pressed to come up with a bad guy that they need to resort to the same old Illuminati shtick?  It could be because this game is a prequel, so I don't know how heavy the Illuminati influence is in the original games, but come on already.  Come up with some new bad guys!  I won't go into the story details, but man, this was so full of cliches... I can promise you, you will know exactly what will happen next.  We've seen it before, we'll see it again.  The one thing I will talk about story-wise (and it won't ruin anything) is this: you are trying to find your previously thought dead but really kidnapped ex-girlfriend (at least I think it's an ex) because you still love her and you want to know the truth as to what happened, and when you do find her, you start bitching at her, even though the three other scientists that were thought dead but actually kidnapped you believed.

The game does allow you to play the way you want to play: whether stealthy / straight up charge, kill / no kill, hack / find a different route, you will find what suits you.  

I'm giving this game an overall score of 6.5 out of 10; it's only saving grace is the "play as you play" ability, and the customization of the main character.  If it wasn't for that, this game would be much lower.

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PostSubject: Re: Soothsayer's Game in Review   Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:48 pm

Fallout: New Vegas, Ultimate Edition

I have not completed this game, but thought it best that I start this review now before I give up on it completely

Fallout: New Vegas is not a bad game, though it was prone to the occasional glitch... enough that I would play it, but then put it away because of its difficulties.  A few weeks ago, I purchased the Ultimate Edition, mainly because it contained four DLC add-ons (greatly expanding gameplay) and because the New Vegas that I had actually belongs to the oldest boy, who is due to graduate (and hopefully move out) in about a month.

I had thought that this version would be glitch free, seeing as how it was released a while after the original version.  And hell, it was in PS3's coveted red case, signifying that it was a best seller.  Surely, if the problems had persisted, it wouldn't have sold.

Pfft.

Glitch 1:  Lag.  The game lags, especially an hour or so into it.  It's very noticeable.  You'll be moving alone at normal speed, and then you'll see people begin to jump, the world moves a bit slower... and slower... and ssssllllllloooooooowwwwwwwwwwwweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.  You can still move, but it is gawd awful.  Your best bet?  This I found the hard way:  hold down the start button for, ohh, ten seconds so your menu options come up, save, and exit game.  For some reason, turning it off then back on clears the buffer.

Glitch 2:  Stop, hammer time.  Sometimes, and at unpredictable moments, the game will just stop.  Sound will still operate, but everything freezes.  No lag, no indication that this will be happening...  just a sudden freeze.  I've noted that it mainly happens when you enter a new area (house, cave, whatever), one that causes the load screen, but it happens at other places / times as well.

Glitch 3:  Misfire.  This is my personal favorite.  It's only happened to me once so far, but man, it was the worst glitch.  I have a gun rating of 100 and a perception of 7 (modified to 8 ).  Picture if you will a sniping position (elevated attack, crouching, initially hidden) and at close range.  Shooting at a cyber dog.  With a 44 magnum (I believe it is 40 damage).  VATS allows me for three shots.  BAM BAM BAM.  Miss miss miss.  Wait... they weren't misses.  Well, they were, only because I went from aiming at the damn dog to a section of the sky above and behind me.  What the heck?  tried it again...  back up, find a new spot, VATS, aim aim aim, BAM BAM BAM, miss miss miss...  but I sure got that cloud though.  I can aim with the L1 and fire normally, but VATS wouldn't work.

This game is glitchy, to say the least.  But, it is still fun.  The story line went from a normal revenge kind of theme to...  "really?  I'm doing what now?  heheheheh".  Multiple story paths are always good, the companion traits are a nice touch (although why only two?  never understood that, with any RPG game).  The DLC mods are outstanding; okay I can't say that as I'm currently still playing the first one, but still.  There is a lot of stuff crammed into this game, and even with the glitches, it isn't that bad.

That's gotta say something.  With all the glitches, the game is still a good game to play.  With all the glitches, people still bought this in droves, giving it the red case treatment.  It's be a great game, a perfect game, if it wasn't for the glitches.

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{EDIT}

Did you see where I wrote "modified to 8 )" for my Perception? Seems an 8 right next to a closed parenthesis is not what you would automatically think. Cool
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soothsayer
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Posts : 1417
Join date : 2011-06-30
Age : 45
Location : Right here.

PostSubject: Re: Soothsayer's Game in Review   Mon Dec 15, 2014 8:43 am

Picked up several games this past weekend. Went to GameStop to use my "buy 2, get one free" coupon for having renewed my subscription, but it turns out the store was holding a "buy two, get one free" sale. Went there Friday and Saturday, bought games on both days. Picked up Plants v Zombies: Garden Warfare, Alice: Madness Returns (the activation code to download the original Alice for free was still valid! yay!), and Remember Me. Next day was Nier, Resonance of Fate, and Last of Us.

Anyway, the reason I mention this is because I picked up these games because of what I had heard or seen in trailers, and because they looked interesting in concept or description. The only game I knew I was going to love from the very start was Last of Us, and yeah... been playing the shit out of that so far, time permitting. Alice I remember from waaaaay back, so I figured why not. Just went on line to check the reviews of these games, to see if I did good or not, and all in all these games didn't rate too badly, but the one thing I did notice was that reviews were all over the place.

I'm glad that we can review games from a neutral view. I mean, sure, we all have our gaming preferences, and there will be those games where we will knowingly ignore the faults of, but all in all, I think we've been doing a good job at it. We can play the games and have fun, but we can also sit back, think about the game, and go "you know, if it wasn't for -". It's stuff like that that makes me think we should all play the same games, make a shared review page with ratings, average it out, and see how it compares with the "main stream".

Or not, especially with our work schedules and gaming time and responsibilities. Would be interesting though. But to get back on track...

Checked the reviews of the games I mentioned, and all over the board. Just kind of reinforces the whole preconceived notion on game play value. How many times have we picked up a game, thought it looked interesting, but then saw how much it cost... and based an opinion that a low cost meant it was a low quality game? I'm glad I picked up Alpha Protocol for a couple bucks, giving it a chance: it had it's faults, but if you can get past them, it was a great game. Makes me wonder about the other games sitting on their shelves with low costs, or what makes for a low value game. $A game under a buck (saw a couple of those)? What about under $5? Under $10? At what cost level do you feel a game isn't worth buying?
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