The Great 2011 Gaming Catch-Up Pt.2

Fuck the internet, man. Just when I start making some progress in my 2011 catch-up list I find more ways to procrastinate, i.e buying more games, many of which didn't even come out last year. In the time since my last post I've bought Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-Tooie, Beyond Good and Evil HD and Ms. Splosion Man on XBLA, and finished just one of those. Meanwhile I still have Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Alice: Madness Returns and To The Moon to complete, the latter of which I haven't even started. The worst part is I already have copies of the Banjo games and BG&E sitting around here somewhere; I'm putting off playing games I'm yet to play by re-playing games I've already completed on another system. Urgh, anyway, on to the updates!

Deus Ex: Human Revolution (PC)

Twelve hours in and this game is really starting to shine. Now that I've upgraded my augmentations stealthing around is a lot more fun than before, and there's something highly satisfying about sneaking past a bunch of guards without them ever knowing you were there; escaping the pods ambush in Hong Kong was particularly enjoyable. The boss fights are still incredibly unbalanced, but I'm willing to let that slide, just 'cause the rest of the game is so goddamn engaging.

Shadows of the Damned (360)

It's a real testament to this game's qualities that I finished it in two sittings, despite it's many issues. First of all I loved the characters – the writing and voice-acting were really top-draw and added a great deal of personality to an otherwise clichéd story. Garcia and Johnson are a fantastic double act and play off each other nicely with some truly hilarious dialogue. The combat is pretty entertaining - if a little loose at times – while the environment and enemy design is kept original and fresh throughout.

Problems start to arise, however when the game deviates from it's core action gameplay. There are instant-kill chase sequences that are made more frustrating by the game forcing you to stop and do tasks along the way, leaving ample time for you to be caught up and, well, killed. There are also the sections where you play a 2D side-scrolling version of the game, which play horrifically due to unresponsive and clunky controls. Not to mention the boring puzzles, god awful checkpointing (with unskippable cutscenes), and occasionally buggy controls, e.g. firing a shot despite only aiming the gun, and not being able to move when charging a melee attack.

However, I persevered through all this shit that Shadows of the Damned threw at me and found a hilarious and fun action game that was well worth the £10 it cost. If you have the ability to look past a game's flaws then this comes highly recommended.

Alice: Madness Returns (360)

Unlike Shadows of the Damned, the personality of this title isn't really gripping me enough to look past the generic gameplay. The world and it's inhabitants are all nicely designed and fleshed out but I don't have any real affinity for them quite yet. Maybe I just need to progress into the game more (I've only just started act two) for it to kick into gear, but right now it's not doing enough to really engage me.

To The Moon (PC)

I've been off work all week, and yet despite all the free time I've had I haven't so much as double-clicked the desktop shortcut. You know you must be lazy when you can't be bothered to play through a four hour game that doesn't require much player interaction.

Hopefully I've gotten this game-buying compulsion out of my system for the time being, at least until I get around to finishing what I've got before splurging on a PS3 next month. Although that big green 'play now' button on the Trackmania 2 website is awfully tempting...

5 Comments
6 Comments
Posted by AverageGreg

Fuck the internet, man. Just when I start making some progress in my 2011 catch-up list I find more ways to procrastinate, i.e buying more games, many of which didn't even come out last year. In the time since my last post I've bought Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-Tooie, Beyond Good and Evil HD and Ms. Splosion Man on XBLA, and finished just one of those. Meanwhile I still have Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Alice: Madness Returns and To The Moon to complete, the latter of which I haven't even started. The worst part is I already have copies of the Banjo games and BG&E sitting around here somewhere; I'm putting off playing games I'm yet to play by re-playing games I've already completed on another system. Urgh, anyway, on to the updates!

Deus Ex: Human Revolution (PC)

Twelve hours in and this game is really starting to shine. Now that I've upgraded my augmentations stealthing around is a lot more fun than before, and there's something highly satisfying about sneaking past a bunch of guards without them ever knowing you were there; escaping the pods ambush in Hong Kong was particularly enjoyable. The boss fights are still incredibly unbalanced, but I'm willing to let that slide, just 'cause the rest of the game is so goddamn engaging.

Shadows of the Damned (360)

It's a real testament to this game's qualities that I finished it in two sittings, despite it's many issues. First of all I loved the characters – the writing and voice-acting were really top-draw and added a great deal of personality to an otherwise clichéd story. Garcia and Johnson are a fantastic double act and play off each other nicely with some truly hilarious dialogue. The combat is pretty entertaining - if a little loose at times – while the environment and enemy design is kept original and fresh throughout.

Problems start to arise, however when the game deviates from it's core action gameplay. There are instant-kill chase sequences that are made more frustrating by the game forcing you to stop and do tasks along the way, leaving ample time for you to be caught up and, well, killed. There are also the sections where you play a 2D side-scrolling version of the game, which play horrifically due to unresponsive and clunky controls. Not to mention the boring puzzles, god awful checkpointing (with unskippable cutscenes), and occasionally buggy controls, e.g. firing a shot despite only aiming the gun, and not being able to move when charging a melee attack.

However, I persevered through all this shit that Shadows of the Damned threw at me and found a hilarious and fun action game that was well worth the £10 it cost. If you have the ability to look past a game's flaws then this comes highly recommended.

Alice: Madness Returns (360)

Unlike Shadows of the Damned, the personality of this title isn't really gripping me enough to look past the generic gameplay. The world and it's inhabitants are all nicely designed and fleshed out but I don't have any real affinity for them quite yet. Maybe I just need to progress into the game more (I've only just started act two) for it to kick into gear, but right now it's not doing enough to really engage me.

To The Moon (PC)

I've been off work all week, and yet despite all the free time I've had I haven't so much as double-clicked the desktop shortcut. You know you must be lazy when you can't be bothered to play through a four hour game that doesn't require much player interaction.

Hopefully I've gotten this game-buying compulsion out of my system for the time being, at least until I get around to finishing what I've got before splurging on a PS3 next month. Although that big green 'play now' button on the Trackmania 2 website is awfully tempting...

Posted by AverageGreg

I'm still getting back into writing after nearly two years of writer's block so any constructive criticism is welcome.

Edited by C0V3RT

Best of luck to you, dude. I recently had some time to blow and took the time to take a step back and list out my backlog of games... I think we've got a sickness! :)

Keep the updates coming. I've considered doing a blog on my run through my backlog (that sounds bad...) and don't even know how to approach it. In terms of feedback... the writing seems solid. In term of readability, I'd maybe suggest throwing a few images in or something to break up the page just so its not a wall of text.

Posted by AverageGreg

Thanks for the feedback, I did actually think about inserting images into this but completely forgot by the time I came to post it. And yeah I don't know what it is but every time I see a Steam sale or cheap games on Amazon I just have to get my fix; I have nearly 300 games on Steam and not even half of those installed!

Posted by C0V3RT

I hear ya. Steam sales are simultaneously awesome and evil. Likewise with Amazon. The trapping I have with them is adding stuff to my cart, saving it for later, and waiting for the price to fall. Like I've got Super Mario Galaxy 2 just waiting and I haven't even played the original... I'm a terrible person!

Posted by AverageGreg

The problem I have are the summer and Christmas sales where everything is dirt cheap, so even if I only have a mild interest in a game I'll buy just because it's not costing me much. The end result is usually said game going either uninstalled or collecting dust in my drawer.

I should really play Cards Against Humanity; I'm a terrible person.