Spring break is over and I'm back to doing college work. Not stopping me from playing video games, though.
I had actually played this game last year, but not all of it. The disc I got from Gamefly would lock up at the end of Act 2, so that was as far as I had played. A few weeks back the game became free for Playstation Plus members, so I made sure to get it immediately. After finishing Metal Gear Rising, my next plan was to play through this game. Certainly it would be done quickly given the length of the game, though I was sidetracked by other things that I only got around to finishing the last two acts yesterday. Regardless, I've played through the whole game and I like it a lot.
I very much dislike dual analog controls for shooters. They just never feel as good as a mouse and keyboard for these type of games. Very often I find myself rushing up to guys and punching them to death because I can't rely on the controls to provide good aiming (Uncharted 3 comes to mind where I used the melee A LOT). Vanquish, oddly enough, feels really good. I mean, I still would prefer having a mouse to aim and stuff like that, but for what the game is, Vanquish probably has the best controls in a TPS I've ever played. The game itself moves very fast, yet you are able to use slo-mo to allow for a finer aiming and stuff. It's all very impressive.
One thing I really like about this game, and it partially comes from the development blogs for the game on Platinum's site, is the game's influences. Mikami had stated in the past that Casshern was an inspiration for Vanquish, that he wanted to make a game like that. Obviously it's a shooter, and most people unfamiliar with old school anime wouldn't recognize it, but there are moments that evoke that seem sense of speed and mobility that Casshern has. Sam moves incredibly fast, and flips out of everything. The Casshern influence is most noticeable in the quick time events involving bosses. More graceful diving and flipping through the air while taking on gigantic robots. If that robot dog concept actually made it into the game, the resemblance to Casshern would have been more awesome.
I had briefly mentioned the bosses, and that was one part that was especially fun. It is a weird thing to say that, because boss fights in shooters are incredibly hard to make fun, because of the nature of the game and the limited actions you have, unlike a character action game. Yeah, you still shoot and take cover in Vanquish, but you have the ability to boost, slow down time, throw grenades and shoot them in midair, and all the while, the game continues moving at an incredibly fast pace that makes them feel exhilarating especially with the final boss(es). Almost makes me think western game designers don't know shit about good boss designs. Kind of a shame really, since I can't think of any good bosses in a western game I've played recently.
It really is interesting how Shinji Mikami, whose known for survival horror with Resident Evil, is able to make really great action games that don't feel anything like their contemporaries. RE4 had the laser sights and it's slow, methodical combat that was very rewarding, God Hand took the RE4 engine and turned it into a bizarre character action game that controls well, and now Vanquish allows you to move at high speeds while slowing things way down in a cover based third person shooter. It all feels really unique, and even if Zwei is the last project Mikami says he's going to direct, I hope he still finds himself involved in other games that have a unique take on action.
And the Rest
I told myself when I got a Wii U that I would replay through my Wii games because I did not feel like going through the transfer save process. Played through Skyward Sword again, and felt like I got more out of it by not going for the minimum path. And then playing a few hours of Twilight Princess afterwards for comparison made me appreciate Skyward Sword a hell of a lot more. There was quite a bigger difference than I had remembered.
I had bought a Diablo battle chest several months ago in a store I frequently finished, so I decided to open it up finally and start playing. Cool thing about all this is Diablo 1 is now the second game I've used my Windows 95 Virtual Machine for. Oh, and the game is neat. It's old and dated, but it's still neat.
Last week was me spending more time playing video games and watching the VGCW during spring break. The latter was becoming something of an addiction, but now classes have kinda stopped that for me, otherwise I'd be performing way worse and not doing my work. It's so dumb, but fun to watch. Especially with a chat to go alongside it so you can see people's reactions as events happen.
Biggest news to come out since my last post, however, is that I have been accepted in DigiPen. I had completed my application about a month prior and was just waiting on whether or not it would be approved. With that news, not only will I be going to the school I ACTUALLY wanted to go to instead of UAA, but now I can plan for another trip to PAX because I'll be in Washington state anyway. Very exciting news all around for me.
And that is it for this week's entry. It'll be another two weeks, but since Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory just shipped from Gamefly yesterday, I'll be able to fill that time in between posts to play the game and write about it next time. Perhaps the same for Diablo 1. Again, we'll see in two weeks.