04 September, 2011

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

I can't tell you how long I was glued to my television, playing Deus Ex: Human Revolution, because there's no timer or clock which records time and Raptr doesn't track PS3 playing time, automatically, for some retarded reason. If I had to estimate I'd say I've played it around 50ish hours at this point. Well then... graphics! Wow. Seeing some initial screens, I was a little disappointed, but coming into the game (which I got on the PS3 by the way) I was amazed. From the opening FMV to the actual game play, the graphics were beautiful. A lot of people complained about that bronze overtone, but I really loved it. It set a very desolate feel to the game and it got me into the setting a lot easier. Adam (lol at slew of Frankenstein references through out the game by the way) was very nicely done and all his actions and movements were fantastic. Some  commented how cardboard or messy the graphics were, especially for people, but I found them to be great. Sure some of the people were a bit rigid, but we can't do magic; there's only so much we can do with graphics right now and I think this game did them damn well. Those city scape scenes and flying over different lands... oh man. When you first come to Singapore.. my mouth was hanging open. Gorgeous. The music was great as well. I sort of felt like it reminded me of the more ambient music to a Bioshock or Fallout in that it really sort of sat behind everything, worming its way into your thoughts. Sometimes it lulled me deep, taking me into the 
Beautiful Cityscapes
story is a surreal way. In short; fantastic. I'll be getting the OST as soon as I can. I'd like to buy it, but if I can't find it, I'll download it from somewhere. It's so good and so well composed. Game mechanics and control. This is a two sided issue for me. First of all, why, oh, why do companies change the layout of well know controller configurations? It's annoying and aggravating and I hate it. Moving things like iron sights, sprint, and reload (to name a few) to buttons different than a slew of our established games is not innovative or challenging; IT'S ANNOYING. That being said, after the initial aggravation of a new controller lay out, I got into it pretty well. The interface is great, the weapons switching is smooth, hacking is awesome. I didn't run into any troubles dishing out my Praxis points how I desired and still having to deal with boss fights and hacking. In fact I ended up just putting points wherever because I had already got what I wanted. I didn't even put points in Typhoon until near the end because it just wasn't useful to my play style. I played it on normal difficulty by the way, but I want to play it on Tell Me A Story (Easy) because I have a feel I missed a lot of stuff because I was too involved in staying alive. I got 52% of the trophies on my first run, did a nice bunch of side quests (though I don't think I got them all and/or found their secret trophies). That being said, I still got a load of 
Take-downs are a thing of beauty
story from the game. I mean geez it's involved. Little things there and there which give you insight into the characters or just the life of people around you or in buildings. I read all the e-mails I could, all the e-books, all the newspapers. Talked to everyone I saw. I even found two quests by randomly talking to people. That's when it feels awesome... my manic OCD's granting me quests and game play. It is sweet caramel in my mind. Even now I've this desire to play it again. I did start my next cycle and am going to try to not kill anyone this round. It's already been very tough, to be honest. Mission one is down though; everyone lives. Saved the hostages, saved dudes wife, knocked out Sanders for the police. I'm an hero. During my first cycle I was forced to make some choices which were gnawing at me through the rest of the play. This time we'll see how the other choices colour my play. 

Here are some of the choices I made during my first cycle. I didn't get the new chip because I remembered Elizabeth from the first Deus Ex (a game I didn't like, to be honest, but recall the information from anyway) and anything she is promoting as a 'good thing' is obviously evil. Not only that, but it's so obvious that it's going to fuck up your Christmas if you do get it. I saved Malik, but this was more that I thought it was actually what you're supposed to do. I didn't 
Exceptional FPS combat
realise, until after I had beat the game and was checking forums, that you can actually hurry into the building and Malik dies. Whereas I'm curious how this colours other parts of the game, I'm not too happy about leaving her to die, so I'll save her again. I do like her. Talked Taggart's aid out of killing himself for whatever bizarre reason I was thinking of at the time (was surprised by surprise trophy of surprise for saving him) though I did reload and see what happened if he died. Nothing interesting, so I re-reloaded back to saving him save and continued on. I didn't talk to Taggart in the base at the end as I decided I wanted him to die; unfortunately this meant I couldn't see his ending so I guess I will see it this time. I did reload my before ending save to see all the others, though I went with Sarif's ending first as I do believe in his cause (in RL too actually). 

Hmm, can't think of other critical plot points that I did, but I've been awake a while and my mind is a smoking ruin. I recommend this game wholly. It is an FPS RPG in the truest sense of the term. It flawlessly combines the FPG mode of play with the RPG interaction and story. I wasn't going to get the game at first, because I didn't like 1 or 2, but after I read some other friends' comments on G+, I decided to give it a try. I'm so god-damn happy I did because it's incredible. Totally get this game.
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29 March, 2011

Dragon Age 2

Well, Raptr says 82 hours and Steam says 22 hours... I think Steam needs to get it's internal clock sorted out! What am I talking about? Dragon Age II of course (the PC version). With 80+ hours in, I think it's time for me to give a review about the sequel to a game I love very much. I never did a Dragon Age: Origins review and I think it was because I loved the game so much (200+ hours) that I felt reviewing it would be doing some kind of injustice. I have felt the same about the Assassin's Creed games, as well as Star Ocean. However, the time has come to lay aside those silly thoughts and try to share my love of games a bit more. And so, here is a review of Dragon Age II. As I said, I have sunk over 80 hours into the game and I can honestly say that I'm still enjoying it. So much in fact, that I have done two other play-throughs in Dragon Age: Origins so I can import those saves into Dragon Age II and see the changes which take place because of them. I'll get into that aspect of the game near the end though. Where to start now? There's so much to say. After the amusing commentary by the dwarf and Orlesian at the beginning you are thrown into the game escaping from Lothering... a place you also visited in Dragon Age: Origins. It was nice to be playing someone who escaped the Blight, to be honest. It gave me a little more of a connection to what was going on. Plus, the mini tutorial was good to experience for the changes they made. I have to say, the best change was the Target and Attack nearest Target button (I bound mine to Q). This made combat A LOT better.. it also helps for looting as well! Something I hate in any game.

There have been loads of negative reviews about this game, some of which I agree, most of which I don't... even more where I think humanity has finally gone batshit crazy. I imported my save from my Dragon Age: Origins mage first off, even though I spent the least time on her, but because I knew the character I would play was related to the mage origin from the first game (Amell being the surname). It gave a little nod to it at a few areas, but nothing too
interesting. I'm going to talk about some more basic things first, namely your equipment and inventory. I absolutely LOVE what they did! I can't tell you how annoying it was in Dragon Age: Origins to rifle through all my shit trying to find other shit to sell. And now we have an area where things automatically go into as a junk tab? Holy thank you Bioware! In Dragon Age: Origins it was painful trying to sift through it all, so I'm well grateful that they streamlined it like they did. The weapons, armour, and jewellery sections are just mint. Another thing they did was for all your companions, you don't give them new armour, excluding jewellery and a weapon. This is because you find things from quests or vendors which are used to upgrade their current armours. There are a total of four upgrade slots for each character which provides better stats and rune-slots. This is so much better than having to find new shit for them to wear. Determining which weapon and accessories would be best for them was pretty easy, depending on how you've put their talent points. Yes, my friends, this is an improvement which I was ecstatic about. I mentioned talents just there and I'm a lot happier with how they've made them. Each companion has their own tree which is specific to them. Depending on if you're their Friend or Rival, they'll give you an extra bonus, but that isn't really very significant overall. Some of the companion talents are really quite awesome. Your characters specializations, as well, are pretty straight forward and easy to understand. I found myself liking the mage a lot more in Dragon Age II than in Dragon Age: Origins because of how much better it was using the talents in combat. And of course, now combat. Not always the happiest of topics for me. It was much, much better than Dragon Age: Origins, this I have to say. I've a lot more love for how they tweaked it in Dragon Age II. The tactics were easier to get through as well and setting up strategy just felt more natural. In Dragon Age: Origins the combat was clunky, but for the time it was good and they let you pull the camera overhead for a more RTS feel to it, which did help a lot. Whereas they removed that feature in Dragon Age II, I'm glad they made the decision to make it more immersible and easier to use (RE the Q targeting I mentioned earlier). Now, encounters don't really differ from each other in a huge way (I can think of only three or four where I had to do something different than normal to beat it), but to be honest, this is how I feel in most games. Combat isn't the number one thing for me in games though; it's just a necessity to get to more storyline and RPG.

Next I want to touch upon the story and companions. Dragon Age: Origins has my life for 200+ hours and I'll be the first to admit how incredible the story and character development was in that. Did Dragon Age II let me down? Hell no! Now, I can't say for the DLC because I haven't got that yet (though plan to in a few weeks), but the other characters I felt were quite fleshed out and I felt like I understood them quite a bit. I've done both sides of their stories (you can be Friend/Rival, but also there are different paths to take which can cause you to loose companions for good depending on those actions) and I feel that some of them were even better than Dragon Age: Origins's companion stories. Especially Wynne, Leliana (without her DLC), and Sten... they didn't really make me feel like I had a part in their lives, but in Dragon Age II I felt like I personally had a part in all my companions lives... especially Fenris and Merill. This is also partially because the entire thing is fully voiced, so my voice is being heard talking to my friends/rivals in certain tonalities (based upon how I talk previously the most IE sarcastic or kind or angry), while they respond to me in different tones depending on my relationship with them. Also, the dialogue in this game... oh man. I can't even begin to say how awesome it is. There were times I just couldn't stop laughing at some of the amusing comments and also gasping at some of the really atrocious things people get up to. Another topic people are up in huffs about is the bisexual characters thing.. yea I agree that it was a bit lame how they did that. Anyone can get with anyone which was a bit what...? Even in the Dragon Age: Origins there were characters (Morrigan/Alistair) who were gender locked, but in Dragon Age II that's not the case. It would have been awesome to have a straight, gay, or lesbian only case as well as one or two bisexual characters. That was a mistake on their part, but maybe they were constrained by money and time. Isabela as a lesbian only would have rocked! For the story, it was so great. I loved being 'limited' to Kirkwall and the surrounding area. It made me feel like I lived there; like it was my home. I didn't have to go to a million different places to do all these quests for 100 different people and races and places. I was a person who lived in the city and did things for my city. It felt more tight knit and secure. That the 'final' story wasn't clear during the acts was really brilliant! Each Act had it's own story and seeing how they eventually came together was genius. First off, trying to raise the money to go to the Deep Roads was great and as the Act continued and lead into others, I found myself questioning the decisions I'd made and seeing another story which I thought was bigger. Then another Act passed and the same happened again. I loved how they kept it close at hand. Whether it was money or whatever on their part, I think it was done in a fantastic way.

I was glad not knowing the overarching story though. Each Act being it's own story, as I said, was great! It was normal! Like a person's life... you were going through the years, doing things that didn't seem to connected, but then suddenly, when it all explodes at the end, you see how your actions through the years affected everything. Superbly done and I
thought it made perfect sense. Graphics and music! Wow. There were times when I just stood on a cliff or overlooked a gorge in total awe. Everything was beautiful... even the hideous things like dwarfs and dark-spawn were a joy to look at. The animations were so clean and together with crisp music and sound effects, I was pulled into the game in a very entire way. I don't know that there is a load to say about either the graphics and the music which could elaborate more... it was impressive and I enjoyed them both a lot. Overall, I would recommend this game. It was worth the money and worth the time. I am still doing some plays of it and enjoying every minute inside the world. Seeing other characters I knew from Dragon Age: Origins come back for cameos was wonderful. Living in Kirkwall was trying at times, but rewarding. After I beat the game the first time, I delved into some great mods to alter my appearance (mostly just eyes and hair) and change the textures on some of the armours, but other than that I didn't feel the need to extensively mod the game as I had so much fun doing in Dragon Age: Origins. Maybe I will further down the line though.

I'll say one last thing. If you've played Dragon Age: Origins, you can import a save file into the Dragon Age II game which will change the way some things play out. For example... Did you put Alistair on the throne or Anora? Or did you exile Alistair? Did you save Conner or kill him? Harrowmont or Bhelen? And not just from the first, you can import your DLC saves as well. You never know what decisions will affect your Dragon Age II game or how they will affect it. It's really great to see all the little changes or hear something mentioned. I recommend trying many different combinations!

08 February, 2011


Though it's not Friday, I don't care, this is what I've been playing... FINAL FANTASY 13 FOR FUCKS SAKE. What the hell. I know. Despite the scathing review I game this game a while back ( this nonsense ) I came back to it (almost a full year later) because my younger sister decided to play it over here for a bit. I watched the Optima shifting, the fights, the music, the graphics. The annoying as hell footsteps... and I became a little nostalgic for the grind. Yes the grind. The devious devil of disaster that is the Post Game of FF13. After a year though, it wasn't too terrible coming back.
A few battles here and there and I slid back into it. A little quick research on where I was going with my weapons and some good Optimas to set up and I was back in the game. Literally. I went from 62 hours to almost 100 in like a weekend. So what have I got to show for it? I have now finished every mission there is to finish and have five starred about 85% of them I think, but I don't know that I will five star them ALL... that achievement might be a bridge too far. Besides that one, the only other achievements I am missing are hold every item/weapon/accessory, kill a long gui whatever, and fully develop every character (which I'm close to).
After the pain of going through this game once already and now having to watch my sister go through it (though I don't really mind that), I can safely say that once I have finished these achievements, I will not play this game again. My nostalgia has begun to fester into a seething resentment for the lack of any kind of replayablity in this disaster of a game.
The big deal of this post however is that with FF13's rage inducing grindfest, I have toppled over the 30,000 gamerscore mark and at this time sit at 30,209 gamerscore. It was a nice time when it happened... I just sort of scooted from 29k to 30k and hardly noticed it until I checked how many achievements I had left to get. It's nice to have an even starting number again, though it will be over soon. Back to the grind.

29 January, 2011

This Week in Gaming: 23 Jan - 29 Jan 1011

The week hasn't been the best for gaming as I've been on the doorstep of death for most of it. Story of my life, hm? I have had a good chunk of time playing, but not a wholly diverse amount of games in general.

00. Star Ocean: The Last Hope International

01. Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective
02. Persona 3 FES
03. Shin Megami Tensei III: Lucifer's Call
04. World of Warcraft
05. Dissidia: Final Fantasy

14 January, 2011

This Week in Gaming: 7 Jan - 14 Jan 1011

I decided to start this weekly thing up again as I'm not wholly addicted to only one, single game anymore. This week has been pretty hectic for gaming and I've been pretty ADD with my games. This won't be too comprehensive this time as I just want to get back into it for now. I'll start doing mini weekly write ups next week or after. It's probably no surprise what my top game is either.

00. World of Warcraft
01. Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light
02. Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles
03. Monster Hunter Tri
04. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
05. Kingdom Hearts: 358/2
06. Amnesia
07. Dissidia
08. Persona 3 FES
09. Metroid: The Other M
10. Machinarium

06 January, 2011

Best of 2010

This will be short and sweet, but I suppose I will make this post as soooo many people are asking me these things. My favourite games of 2010... I guess it had to happen. There were loads of games this year; it was an awesome year for video games. There were also a load of great games, but here I will put only my favourites. Note too that I don't play every game as I am not made of money so I will post only the ones I have played extensively and/or beat.

Sin and Punishment 2
Monster Hunter Tri
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars

Call of Duty: Black Ops
Dante's Inferno
Assassin's Creed Brootherhood
Resonance of Fate
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
Fallout: New Vegas

Boshock 2
God of War III
Star Ocean: The Last Hope International

Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light
Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth
Pokemon Heart Gold/Silver
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey
Dragon Quest IX: Protectors of the Starry Sky

I'm already tired of this! Message ends.