Tag Archives: PS3

The Last(PS3 Game) of Us

10 Feb

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It’s not surprising that the team at Naughty Dog, the people responsible for the beloved Uncharted series, to pull off a game that not only keeps the player engaged with great gameplay but also legitimize story in games. In games it’s rare to come across a good story since it’s just a framing device to get the players in the game that you don’t mind sitting through but it’s different in the case of The Last of Us. At face value TLOU may look like your typical, generic zombie shooter, but it looks can be deceiving as it’s played.

In TLOU you play as Joel (Troy Baker), a middle aged man who, after 20 years of surviving the disaster of the cordyceps virus that creates the zombie-like hordes, must escort a young orphan girl Ellie (Ashley Johnson), who was born and raised in the new desolate world, to a group of mercenaries in order to get a weapons cache. The pathway there is rife with zombies and the occasional group of “sane” survivors who will shoot first and ask questions later.

Speaking of the zombies, they come in three flavors: Runners, which are basically feral humans in the first stage of the virus; Clickers, who are the iconic cauliflower, faced biters that cannot be engaged physically; and finally the Bloaters that throw fungus bombs with pinpoint accuracy and God help you if it gets a hold of you.

The gameplay is probably the best thing about the game as you have to make do with what you find in a wonderfully realized scavenger system. Everything you use from health items made of rags and alcohol to more Macguyver-esque smoke bombs made of fire crackers and sugar is crafted in real time. As for the firearms you use, it’s all up to what particular ammunition you can find and you’ll want to horde every bullet and only use it in last resort scenarios.

The reason for this being that the shooting is less arcade and more simulator, with aiming being more realistic, jostling with natural movement and the fact that it takes multiple bullets to take a human down unless you get a headshot and good luck with that.

The game also emphasizes stealth and that the fact that there is always different ways to go about different situations. All that is well and good but what about the game giving you an A.I. companion that runs around in tense situations? Thankfully Ellie doesn’t technically exist as she’ll give her position away but not make the enemies alert which is one of the smartest decisions made in game design but will inevitably make the games immersion break from time to time.

On top of all the greatness there is still room for a game that looks absolutely gorgeous. A perpetual sunset beams across the dilapidated buildings covered in luscious overgrowth and water effects that look like water and not bunches of paper Mache.

TLOU is a beautiful game that keeps its finger on the tension and applies more pressure as you explore the world in an effort to face past problems and create a more enjoyable future.

See you later!

DBSLAYER7

Injustice: God(I love this games)s Among Us

1 May

Injustice

Imagine a world ruled by Superman and all of his values were immediately flipped after The Joker goes too far with one of his pranks.

The story, which is mostly presented through a promotional tie-in comic, is that The Joker, using kryptonite laced fear toxin, tricks Superman into thinking his pregnant wife Lois Lane was his ultimate enemy Doomsday. Thinking this he subsequently kills her and his unborn child which activated a detonator linked to Lois’ heart that set off a nuke in the heart of Metropolis. Basically, in one fell swoop, Superman killed his family and the city he had sworn to protect. This leaves him with nothing but a new mission. After the tragedy Superman decides that sitting on the sidelines and dedicating himself to one city and the will of the people isn’t enough and opts to get rid of all evil in the world without due process and becomes a tyrant in order to prevent what happened to him from ever happening to anyone else. Pretty heavy stuff to be sure but this actually takes place in an alternate universe and heroes from the “good” universe we know and love are pulled over  to try and end Superman’s reign of terror.

The plot is actually an excellent framing device as to how and why characters from the DC universe would be fighting each other.

The game has been touted as Mortal Kombat with DC characters (No not that one). This makes sense seeing that the developer NetherRealm Studios were the ones responsible for the Mortal Kombat Reboot in 2011.

The gameplay take cues from more popular fighting games like MK and Street fighter in terms of controls. The basic fighting is set on light, medium, and heavy attacks and the different combos that can be executed with them for each character.

With a game like this it would be expected to have each character use the same set of moves just with a different coat of paint. In this game however each character is completely unique. While the fighting is pretty basic and similar each character has a personal set of skills and techniques that add a great deal of variety during battles. Batman uses different gadgets and martial arts, while superman shoots lasers and hovers around the stage. With 24 characters on the starting roster the possibilities seem endless.

Another plus for the gameplay is the interactivity with objects on the stage, from throwing cars on Gotham’s streets to kicking someone into Doomsday in the Fortress of Solitude. The games levels are also multi-tiered allowing players to knock their opponent into another part of the stage through damaging cut scenes giving yet another layer of comic book style fighting.

While the campaign is short at just around 4-5 hours the replay value is immense. Of course there are offline and online modes that allow you to play as your favorite character with friends on the couch or people from around the world. Not to mention a huge set of challenge battles and arcade modes can keep single players busy. There is also a mode featuring “S.T.A.R. Labs missions”, which are a varied set of fun mini games, like using Catwoman’s cat to steal gems. Doing all these things in and out of the Campaign will net you experience points used to access bonus features and other features.

Injustice: God’s Among Us is a must buy for lovers of DC and fighting games as both sides of this entry to the licensed game genre shine as bright as the sun.

I give this game two thumbs up.

This has is and always will be my opinion. Thanks and see ya later!

DBSLAYER7

 

Bioshock Infinite(ly mediocre)

15 Apr

The original Bioshock was an unforgettable experience. Players explored the hauntingly beautiful under water dystopia known as rapture. This time however in Irrational Games’ follow up Bioshock Infinite the world design has done a 180 and the new city, Columbia, floats in the sky. Infinite starts similarly to the original with our hero, Booker DeWitt, working as a private investigator who’s on a job to find a girl named Elizabeth and return her to New York to settle an unexplained debt. He is then inadvertently transported to Columbia via rocket chair and begins to explore the vast floating city for answers and gets wrapped up in a lot more than what he’s bargained for.

To say that the world Irrational has created is beautiful is an understatement. The bright sun lit streets of Columbia are awash with citizens going about their business and towering buildings bobbing on the horizon by the effects of gravity. The different sounds abound with chatter, activity, and the haggling of vendors.

So yes the game looks good. But how does it play?

The gameplay is similar to that of the original for the most part, a first person shooter with power ups that add variety as well as strategy for dealing with different enemies. The shooting portion of the game is lackluster. So you’ll be trying your best to use the power ups for a more varied experience. The power ups come in the form of “Vigor’s” which are basically “Plasmids” from the original and come in different abilities, such as sending a murder of crows to disorient your opponent or casting a magnetic shield to deflect bullets. These powers are fueled by the substance known as “Salts” which work in the same way as “Eve” from Bioshock.

The game also sports several changes to the game play, some good and some bad. The first notably bad change is that there are only two weapon slots, forcing players to choose only two weapons at a time. This was changed to give Infinite a sense of strategy but this style dissolves the strategy seeing as that you cannot predict what type of fight you might be in next.

A more positive introduction to the gameplay is your partner Elizabeth. Elizabeth has the power to open “rifts” which change the environment for offensive and defensive measures. She also revives you if you happen to die in battle. She will occasionally find and give you ammo, money, and salts when you need them and is a lifesaver during heavy fire fights.

The game as a whole is definitely worth playing and has a lot to offer in both gameplay and story. While the combat can get repetitive and occasionally tedious, but the world you explore keeps you playing until the end. And I dare say the ending alone may be remembered as one of the greatest moments in gaming. It may not be game of the year, but it deserves to be played through at least once just to see what happens to these characters.

This has is and always will be my opinion.

Thanks and see ya later!

DBSLAYER7

FARCRY 3

21 Dec

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Vaas orders you to read!

Farcry 3 is an inspiring title from Ubisoft Montreal and takes the player on a journey to Rook Island as Jason Brody. He is one of a group of trust fund junkies who try their hand at skydiving only to land on an uncharted island where they end up captured by slave trading pirates led by the psychotic Vaas Montenegro.

There’s a lot to be said about a game that quite literally takes me by surprise and this one is especially surprising. The previous Farcry games, at least in my opinion, were not that great and lacked the stuff that makes a good sandbox. Farcry 3 however eliminates the flaws of its predecessors and creates an experience unlike anything before it.

The best part of a sandbox game should be the sandbox itself and Rook island is the bar setting example for being one of the most organic game worlds ever created. Lush jungles, sandy beaches, and pirate infested strongholds give the game a great look and feel from beginning to end without a glitch to be found.

Of course beauty is only skin deep but fortunately another strength of the game is in its strong narrative presented through the first person perspective as you go from being a preppy jock to island warrior. The game progresses with the narrative and the player grows his skills and upgrades via a tattoo that also has a heavy place in the story itself. This kind of meshing of both gameplay and story is why story has a place in games, it’s supposed to influence and support the game, not be the whole meal. It’s not the greatest story and can be seen as rather messy at times but it still has a point, it’s a part of the experience not window dressing to be pushed aside.

Now to the bare bones of a video game, the actual part you play and this is the final jewel in the crown that is Farcry 3. Guns are weighty but accessible, the weapons in your arsenal all have a place in the game and it also sports some of the tightest controls since Red Dead Redemption. Even after upgrading a majority of the skills and getting your perfect load out there’s still a ton of stuff to do in both the main story and the cavalcade of side missions.

This game isn’t perfect but it holds its own and ends up being a stand out title that is worth the price of admission for the main campaign alone but it also has a pretty decent multiplayer aspect for after the game. I definitely give this game two swollen thumbs up and hope some DLC will come expanding on both the game and its story.

Ico(nic)

15 Aug

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Well there is no easy way to define this game. I want to call it pretentious but that’s what I think of all games that don’t feature more than three lines of dialogue. You see there is a difference between being pretentious, and having faith that your audience isn’t comprised of five year old’s. JapanStudio which comes second behind ThatGameCompany in the creative name of the year award finds itself to create games that are horrible on paper, but that’s why all table top games feature a dragon a some point. Ico is no exception to that theory either as it wants to be a force camera platformer, escort mission, and monster fighting adventure all at the same time. I enjoy holding a girls hand as much as the next 10 year old boy I don’t want to do so whilst fending off scribble monsters and traversing a too big to be real castle. At one point I had gotten a sword upgrade amidst  all the two by fours I had to use for shadow scattering only to find multiple swords littered throughout he game which ruined my sense of progression. I was engrossed in the experience no doubt but that isn’t always a good thing, in this game for example when you connect with the characters goal of getting out of the castle makes me want the game to over asap is what’s bad. While I applaud this game for presentation which is a given in this day in age I unfortunately have to give a thumbs down to any game that makes me want to finish it early and feel like a chore to play. I see a pattern in my reviews that I’m a little too positive but it’s all about perspective in the long run.

This has is and always will be my opinion. Thanks and see ya later!

DBSLAYER7

Lollipop(lollipop oh lollilollilollilollipop) Chainsaw.

13 Jun

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A bevy of beautiful colors, bloodied limbs, and barely covered buts; this game takes shock humor to a whole new level. The game starts with a narration by the protagonist Juliet Starling who wastes zero time establishing her character, the supporting cast, and the fact that she’s a world class zombie hunter. A former student at San Romero High school who has the appearance of Ozzy’s mutated testicle and goes by the name Swan decides to get revenge on the school and the city since everyone apparently disliked his attire. Swan decides to bring forth five purveyors of darkness which is a fancy term for five genre specific zombie rockers who make it their business to bring about their own individual brand of musical injustice. It’s up to Juliet, her decapitated boyfriend, and her entire family to stop the zombie horde. Suda51 brings his A game when every part of this experience feel s fresh, interesting, and above all else, fun. The primary gameplay is your typical hack and slash gore fest with the primary weapon being a versatile bedazzled chainsaw. The different weapons such as a makeshift rifle and an upgrade that allows the chainsaw to be used as a mode of transportation vary the gameplay and will never leave you without several ways in which to dispatch your undead foes. The gameplay is often broken up with somewhat tedious mini games such as zombie baseball which do nothing more than give you more reason to cut off the main villain’s head with your bare hands.  I was able to play the whole game, which has about an eight to nine hour play time, in one sitting but that shouldn’t discourage a buy as this game has a lot of replay potential and a ton of stuff to collect like different costumes, lollipops, and tease worthy concept art. The game also supports an amazing soundtrack which fits each and every varied level environment each with its own unique layered boss battles. The game also features an amazing cast that brings to life the characters and their hilarious and Americanized dialogue, written by James Gunn, led by legendary goddess of voice actors herself Tara Strong who from the popular comedy central show “Drawn Together” has shown that she’s not afraid to let her mouth need a good helping of Orbitz. This game gets two swollen thumbs in the air and a recommendation for its creative colorful design, its ability to make killing things fun, and by no small feat Juliet Starling who earns her spot amongst the legendary campy monster hunters like Lynn Peltzer from Gremlins.

This has, is, and always will be my opinion. Thanks and see ya later.

DBSLAYER7

Mass Effect(ive Ending) 3!

25 Mar

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I usually go into big finales with a grain of salt but I’ve learned that when the game company Bioware needs to buckle down and deliver they won’t disappoint. Not only did I believe that this was this a satisfying ending to the story of Commander Shepard it also exceeded my expectations in terms of both gameplay and story and lent itself to some legitimately tear jerking moments. This game tells the final chapter in the most intriguing way by starting you as an out of commission officer under house arrest and the threat of the reapers, a race of ancient super intelligent machines whose sole purpose in life is to wipe out not only humanity but anything else with a pulse. Earth is under siege in the beginning and an entire army of unstoppable reapers are sucker punching every planet that they can get their robotic tentacles on. It’s up to you, a gang of friendly acquaintances and your bare influence to gain the trust and assistance of every species in the galaxy, of course with the current circumstances they don’t have much choice, but fortunately you do.

Main draws to the game would be its solid third person shooting implementing a user friendly weapons managing system. Strategic RPG orientation which allows you and each squad member you acquire from the story each with their various skills and techniques to customize to your liking. More importantly the dialogue system which moves the plot along with your influence being how you the player choose to respond either as a Paragon (positively) or Renegade (negatively) to a question or situation in the form. Throughout the game you come across dozens of small debates that you can choose to influence, making the game feel that more organic and real.

This series has been famous for engaging its players with its superb writing and abstract character interactions that make you feel legitimately invested in your relationships with every person or alien you run into. Stories that follow the, “choose your own path” execution usually fail to invest their audience either by giving them too much freedom, or not enough. Fortunately the Mass Effect games give players enough freedom to guide the story whilst keeping it grounded in its own original story. . This game does suffer from the hype and expectation that leads to the fans heartbreak but should not be looked at as game made just for fans, or at least people who’ve played the last two games. That being said this is a trilogy and should be enjoyed as such, this game could be an introduction but people will have an infinitely more rewarding experience if you had played the first two and with a story this large it deserves your full attention.

While this game has faults in certain executions, and the ending that is less than satisfactory can lead to a lot of people’s disappointment. It’s used in a way that can be seen as satisfying but nonetheless the game also looks as though it’s going the route of, “satisfying everyone” but sticks to its guns in originality until the end, and in my opinion it’s the journey not the destination.