Games I Played 2012: Episode 7- Rayman Origins

Alright duders on to episode seven of my 2012 game blogs. Here goes my customary preamble bear with me if you have read another one of the blogs. These episodes have been created as a result of the fact that I am never able to create a proper game of the year list at the end of the year because I am too thrifty to purchase ten sixty dollar games each year. Instead I typically buy older cheaper games on my radar and play those instead. So these blogs are not a top however many of these I do but rather just a series talking about the games a played this year in the order I played them. Feel free to check out the earlier episodes if you like this one. Now onto the good stuff.

Smacking Each Other in Co-op is Always a Good Time

RAYMAN!! So after hearing the 2011 game of the year podcasts and the Giantbomb’s staffs opinions on Rayman this game immediately hopped up my must play list. When its price dropped to twenty bones I knew it was going to be a definite win. This is in spite of the fact that I did not have any previous attachment or knowledge of the Rayman world. This was also a strange choice for me because 2D platformers are not really my thin. Typically stuff like Mario just frustrates me and I have no reason to keep playing (save the princess whatever). This made me a little worried but the game seemed to have many redeeming qualities that made me pursue it anyway. Such as the co-op which I thought to use to get my gf to play a game with me. Also the visuals which looked striking and the weirdness that appeared from trailers. I will be the first to admit that I should have listened to Patrick when he said do not play Rayman with your girlfriend. That it is not an easy platformer and a newcomer to games will get easily frustrated as well as the gamer for the newbie dying all the time. God damn what a bad game to play with my gf. I thought the whole she doesn’t get it thing would be fixed after a little while. I also though my own patience was good enough not to become irritated at the constant fumbles and death in game. All in all we played maybe fifteen minutes together before she and I weren’t having fun. However, this is not a point against the game at all because the co-op when executed well is incredibly fun and challenging. My girlfriends sisters boyfriend (what a mouthful) is a big time gamer and helps contribute to my trophy hunt (he is also the guy who got me Twisted Metal from earlier episode). Anyway I invited him over to help me collect more lums and pass more levels. He loved the game and we had a blast. For days we had an inside joke about getting to this platform where I was trying to explain and kept saying he has to “hop-hop”. Which was the new term of the week. I just wanted to put on record that playing with more than one person increases the games natural fun as well as makes the collectathon more manageable.

Um..I think Mr.Ancel likes his Pixies Busty..ok?

I’ll talk about the game itself which feature Rayman rescuing various pixies from evil creatures after antagonizing a couple of old people by being loud. These old people punish you by sending minions to capture the pixies and ruin your nap. The game is one of the most stunning I’ve played all year. The bright colours and interesting art style make Rayman: Origins a joy to look at. I occasionally even found myself distracted by the new art in a new set of worlds that it caused me to slow down and look at it. This game was made by Ancel who also made Beyond Good & Evil which should have told me how much I was going to like this game as I loved BG&E and it was one of my favourite PS2 era games. The collectathon that this game (and most platformers) is all about never appealed to me very much. I would often get enough of the stuff to move on and nothing more. This game almost forces you to collect as much stuff as possible even if it puts you in harms way. I felt rewarded when I grabbed a hard to reach coin which was delicately balanced between thorns and the edge of the level. The reason I felt rewarded mostly has to do with Rayman’s difficulty.

Shadow of the Colossus: RAYMAN STYLE!!

Based on the other games I had played this year I was not really prepared for a challenge like Rayman. This game is hard. Maybe I just suck but I died a lot and the game steadily ramps up the difficulty the deeper you get in. It never feels cheap, you know that you missed the jump or didn’t punch the guy at the right moment but can be frustrating when the difficulty halts your overall progression. However, when you breach the level which has been giving you trouble you feel so elated (and sorta like what huh screw you!! Got yo ass!) that previous frustrations are left behind. One of the types of levels I hated but quickly became my favourite (funny how that works) are the treasure chest levels. What these levels are is a chase sequence (Rayman after the chest) where the level collapses as you go through. Basically you run full tilt after the chest mimicking its jumps and try to stay ahead of the collapsing level behind you. These levels were such a pain that I would be gritting my teeth in frustration. But soon I would learn to love them as I came to understand these levels and enjoy them for their panic and speed.

Ok trophies. So even though I am over my own personal goal of half of the trophies I still want to return to this game and attempt the platinum. One so that I can have the plat for a game I admire and two because it would be a challenge to achieve this difficult trophy. Overall the Rayman trophies which are not collectable related are fairly easy to get. The trophy list itself only consists of like thirty five trophies to begin with. It is the complete all medals, collect all teeth, find all cages and do all speed runs which will make up most of your time. When I return to Rayman I will be on the hunt but also there to enjoy the rest of what the game has to offer. Trophies as they should be, come second to this amazing game.

So to wrap it all up with a bow, Rayman: Origins is delightful. It’s weird, beautiful and despite my tastes not running toward 2D platformers I had an incredible amount of fun. If you can find a friend (who games regularly) I think this game is at its best on the couch playing co-op. I can easily say that Rayman should be played by everyone especially now that it is so cheap!

Alright duders thanks for reading, next up in the series is…PixelJunk Monsters!!

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Games I Played 2012: Episode 6- Bulletstorm

Chugging along with blog number 6. At the start of each of these blogs I make my standard statement about why they exist at all. For the maybe one person who has read more than one I apologize. For anyone else I`m writing these blogs for the mere fact that due to economic reasons (and sensible ones) I am not able to typically play 10 new games each year. As such I miss out on the crazy (and I`m assuming fun) top ten lists that everyone posts at the end of the year. At most I normally play two or three new releases during a given year and save the rest of my money catching up on previous years games. Just as a recap in case anyone reading this wants to pick and choose to read specific thoughts on games I`ve played (not likely but you never know) so far I`ve written about (in order) Resistance 3, Infamous 2, Rage, Twisted Metal and Mass Effect 3. Now that I`m finished my boring ass preamble let`s talk about Bulletstorm!

MM Generic

What did I think, now that is a better question. One of the biggest issues in this game for me to overcome was, can I enjoy a shooter with little story and enjoy it for sheer mechanics and wit alone? For me typically shooters have to have a little something extra in it for me to enjoy fully normally it is the atmosphere or world which gets me. My example would be the Resistance franchise which I thought had a great apocalyptic atmosphere and an interesting alternate history. With Bulletstorm I couldn’t see the hook that would get me. Especially with my doubts about the silliness of the dudes. It turns out that the game turned out to be quite enjoyable (especially for ten bucks) and I found myself laughing at Grey and his compadres. The insults in that game come fast and hard which forced laughter out of me on a couple of occasions. The setting itself while being pretty (like that there was colour, no browns or greys here) was sort of just a nice distraction between creatively killing everyone in my way.

Taste Boot Fiend!!

The skillshot system and the leash are what make Bulletstorm something different and stand out amount many common FPS’s. There are so many ways to kill dudes in this game! Skillshots are basically a points system where you are rewarded more points depending on different ways you kill a dude. For example you can kick a guy into a cactus, or shoot a guy in the butt ha ha. They each have different points associated with them and some are worth more than others with the first time discovery worth more. The leash is this kind of plasma whip thing that grabs enemies and objects toward you while slowing down their movement. It is an important item which contributes a lot to the different timing based skillshots. The guns themselves are fairly awesome with secondary fires which can be pretty sweet. The shotgun has a four barrel secondary shot which obliterates things in front of it, or the sniper which you can move the bullet around in slow motion to guide it to a target of your choosing. I found the guns to be generally fun to use and ridiculous in a Ratchet and Clank weaponry sort of way. The game was not especially difficult but in this case it was alright because the game puts more emphasis on moving fast and racking up points then presenting a considerable challenge. I should mention that the points are used for upgrading and purchasing weapons and powers.

I Can't Say Anything About Ishi That the General Didn't Say Better...

The story itself is pretty much just get the fuck off this planet while a mixture of military goons and native killers just and mess up your day. The antagonist is your old general who screwed you over by essentially making you a hit squad against government enemies. Basically murderers and not soldiers. So obviously the main character is pissed off at being used and crashes the generals ship and stranding yourself as well. The general himself is perhaps the most offensive antagonist in the history of videogames (correct me if I’m wrong) and is just about the most hideously disgusting man in the universe. Which pretty makes for good killing. I think the general was the most entertaining person in the entire game and made me laugh at his verbal abuse whenever his voice was in the speakers.

There was another mode in the game outside the campaign called the Echo mode. Which was basically a level filled with some dudes and the whole point was just to rack up as many points as possible while getting a good time. This was an interesting mode to add in and I’m glad they did for all of the high scorers out there, it is not really my personal thing however. There was also an online mode called Anarchy which I did not try and am a little upset at myself. I mean I doubt I would have filled the ridiculous trophy requirements for Anarchy but I still should have tried it even just to see if it still exists and if anyone is playing.

Ok so final section trophies! Once again I must admit that I have not done Bulletstorm justice and have only gotten a meager percentage of the trophies. Typically I am not content until I have at least 50% of the trophies (its OCD and ridiculous but whatever my thing right). I can however, say to the would be trophy hunters out there that Bulletstorm is no easy plat. Even if the online Anarchy mode is still a thing you will have to play a shit ton to get the gold trophy. Also I think I have like 80% of the skillshots but some of them are incredibly hard and it will be a challenge when I pick up this game again to get all of them. So really my goal in the future (probably during a drought of games) is just to get all the skillshots and improve my %.

Alright bombers that s it for this episode, hope you have enjoyed reading. Next up is a delightful game RAYMAN:ORIGINS!!!

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Games I Played 2012: Episode 5- Mass Effect 3

Alright let’s keep on blogging! If this is your first read of this series of blogs what I am writing about is my adventures through gaming this year. As a person who needs to spend their money wisely I don’t end up getting ten current year games and as such have never been able to make a proper game of the year list. As such I pick up older less expensive games and the occasional current year game. So really these blogs are just a poor gamer who wants to be part of the game of the year fun. The games in this series are not a countdown of quality but simply in the order I played them. So enough of the preamble let’s go MASS EFFECT 3!

Wow where to start with Mass Effect? Um I guess I’ll start by saying I have a 360 friend who was obsessed with the original and ME2 and would argue that Mass Effect was why his 360 is better than my PS3. I will not bring a fanboy argument in here (although he is a major Xbox enthusiast) however, I was secretly very jealous of this Xbox exclusive. So much so that I began having serious thoughts about purchasing a 360 (it would have been mostly for ME but Halo also would have been played I have fond memories of the first Halo on PC). I am not really a person who will get into my console is better than yours argument (except with that irrational friend who brings out the worst in me) I simply preferred Playstation because I had owned a PS2 and wanted the Sony exclusives over Xbox ones (and a Blu Ray player). But at the point in the cycle 360’s were pretty cheap and I was putting a lot of thought into getting one. And then a miracle happened! Mass Effect 2 (from what I heard the superior game, argument will surely ensue) was coming to PS3, with a motion comic which would catch me up on the firsts story! I nearly jumped for joy and all thoughts of buying a 360 vanished. I pre-ordered the game (one of the few times I`ve ever done this) in part because I LOOOVED Dragon Age: Origins and believed based on what I heard about the game plus that the developer behind Dragon Age made Mass Effect that I would love it. I did, played the game back to back paragon sentinel and then renegade on hardcore. Got the platinum in record time and waited eagerly for the obvious sequel.

You Mordin..You Da Man

Mass Effect 3 was released and I kept away from everything leading up to it. Watched maybe one trailer and hid from any potential spoilers to keep the game untouched for when I played it. I can`t remember but I think I picked this up the first week of its release and once again zoned out and played it obsessively. Then when I finished I once again jumped back in to see the Renegade way of playing and how different decisions would affect the end. I`ll go ahead and say SPOILERS now so people don’t get pissed. Obviously there are numerous threads complaining or supporting the game. My personal opinion was that the ending was poor but did not in any way affect my feelings about the series itself. Which is that it had amazing characterizations, atmosphere and setting which blew my mind. For me Tuchanka was the highlight of the game. Particularly the Paragon version of it when Mordin chooses death to stop the genophage which is quite honestly the moment in videogames that elicited the most emotional response from me. I was quite honestly touched and this cemented Mordin as one of my favourite characters of all time. Even the Renegade version was moving although I felt like the biggest dick in the world. One of my complaints about the story not to with the ending was how some of the romances were handled. From what I heard from people who romanced Miranda in ME2 they felt they got the short end of the stick (which they prob deserved, who romances boring old Miranda :P). I felt this also (it seems if you did not romance a ME1 character you got a weaker romance) as I romanced Jack as my Paragon Shep (he he good guy with bad chick oh yeah) and with the exception of some funny Paragon prompts the romance itself was rather unfulfilling in this game. As for my Renegade Shep who romanced Tali it was a WAY better pay off (even though the pic was a cheap sub for her real face) and from what I hear Liara is sort of the best one (maybe when ME1 comes to Ps3, FUCK YEAH!, i`ll do a faithful romance to her through all 3 games) so ME1 player romances get best payoff. Note: I know Tali isn`t a romance option in ME1 but she is a partner character in the game and gets more development.

Damn Maw you one crazy mother SHUT YO MOUTH

This is going to be a long one I see…so I`ll quickly touch on the ending. Obviously I didn`t like the 3 dumb choices at the end as well as the deus ex machina of the citadel being a weapon which can end the war. The endings themselves did make the player think but I just didn`t like the direction of the series is going to be going. I mean I think the Earth stranded with different races on it is cool, however the whole use of the relays to travel the galaxy and explore planets seems to the series bread and butter. I`m not sure the direction the series will go now, I assume it will be a prequel of some sort or a single planet based story. I honestly would prefer a prequel as the idea of not being able to travel is a bummer. So that was my main concern, as well as the fact that 2 out of 3 of the endings feature Shepard disappearing in some sense and one in which he is (probably) still alive creates bigger issues for the series if they are going to continue save continuation. I feel like people would be pissed if their saves don`t move over but I don`t see how they can with the different branches the endings take. And the space child and the Buzz voice over were atrocious. Especially the voice over…I mean I get it but damn it just seemed out place with the quality of the voice acting for the rest of the game. Ok enough of this ending blather on to game play stuff!

You had me at keela se'lai

As far as I am concerned the game play from 2 to 3 did not vary too much which I liked as jumping in was easy and familiar. The new melee attack was cool but honestly as a sentinel if someone was that close normal I was exploding my shield and melee wasn`t something I used. Even though it has become a Bioware trope of sorts to gather allies and go to war (Dragon Age: Origins, ME2, ME3) I liked the whole galaxy at war stuff and enjoyed collecting assets for the war effort. I was disappointed that these assets did not affect the endgame cutscenes where I thought I would see Aria fighting with mercs etc. on Earth. Maybe this is something they addressed in the new ending (haven`t played it yet, might do it once I get Leviathan and Omega DLC). I didn`t particularly like the more limited squad in ME3 (I`m sorry Vega but another human why) and once again the backseat that many of the ME2 characters took. I mean they all had their story moment to shine but I would have liked one to be a permanent member of your squad. So while I`m sure people who enjoyed ME1 had no real complaint about this fact and don’t get me wrong I love Garrus and Tali I just found the squad was simply new ME3 members (EDI, James, Prothean) or ME1 peeps (Garrus, Tali and Liara) and left out some my favourites from ME2 (Mordin, Jack, Grunt etc.). A minor gripe but after ME2 where I thought they had such a great cast ME3 seemed limited in that department. I`ll finally touch on the multiplayer which I was like ugh Mass Effect multiplayer why. Then I played it originally just to get my galaxy at war to max (a great motivation to play touché Bioware) and loved it. I played it long after I was done with the story and was delighted that they added stuff to it for free (Batarian soldier OH BABY). So this was a great surprise and loved that it was typical multiplayer DM or TDM style.

So finally I`ll quickly address the trophies. If you had trophy hunted for ME2 trophies that list is very similar to the ME3 list which basically is doing everything. I personally found the hardcore trophy in ME3 to be significantly easier than ME2 but perhaps that is just me. Also ME3 encourages to play the multiplayer with the get galaxy at war to 100% which was another motivator to play it. Overall a basic list which is easy to get if you are Mass Effect obsessed like I am. It simply rewards you for playing the crap out of the game which you would do anyway.

Alright guys thanks for reading if you made it this far. Next up in the blog series is a game you Bombers helped me to choose….Bulletstorm.

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Games I Played 2012: Episode 4- Twisted Metal

Here we are at episode four in record time. I guess it’s good I’m shooting these out like nobodies business because I did play quite a few games this year and tomorrow is November already! Wow year flew by and my episodes are into February/ March of what I was playing. This game TWISTED METAL was the first 2012 game I played in 2012. Mostly because a friend of mine was super excited for this game and its multiplayer and wanted someone to play with him so he pre-ordered this game for me as a birthday present. This game was sort of intimidating to me because outside of watching a friend play I think Twisted Metal 2 on PSX when I was like eight Twisted Metal was a foreign entity to me. Although after my friend amped the game up for me I began digging into what this game would be and also got excited. The first thing I did was hop into the single player just as my friend did so we would be prepared for some multiplayer mayhem later on.

Hi Sweet Tooth, You Aren't Playing Around Huh?

The first thing I noticed as a fresh Twisted Metal player was first off the difficulty and second that there were a surprisingly amount of stuff to keep track of at first. Obviously I got the game soon enough but right away it was sort of hard to keep track of everything. My absolute first car choice was Outlaw just in case anyone is wondering which I honestly think is the best car to start with. Durable, decent special and ok speed. So I really, really liked the live action corniness of the cut scenes. I thought they were really well done and kind of wish there were more of them. Especially now that I know how many characters are in the roster of Twisted Metal. If there were maybe two to three more character sections in the game I think the game would be more interesting as far as the campaign goes. Overall the campaign was a decent mix of styles (racing, big bosses and typical battle royale) but god damn maybe it was my lack of experience but I found the normal campaign difficult as shit at times. In particular the battle against the two huge trucks which was just generally hard (cheated like a mofo with Talon to pass) and the Dollface robot who I thought was just hard to control Nuke and had weird checkpointing. So with the exception of those boss fights in the game which might just me sucking and complaining about it, I genuinely liked what story there was and the ironic wishes.

Fuck You!! Annoying as shit

Now the other huge component of the game, the multiplayer. Oh my did I have fun with the multiplayer…when it worked. I played the online pre-patch and post-patch and still got randomly booted from games, had difficulty joining games and had glitched stats and therefore glitched trophies. This made some of the longer type of game, Nuke for example which has more than one round almost unplayable. This was incredibly frustrating because from the few matches of Nuke I was able to complete it was the most enjoyable game type and the most original mode in multiplayer. It involves two teams attacking each others mascot with Nukes which take time to attain. This was a lot more involved than the typical deathmatch, team deathmatch set up which while still great because it’s Twisted Metal but not quite as engaging as the Nuke mode. I will probably return to Twisted Metal at some point and hopefully there will still be people playing. I also REALLY hope the online is improved…but I kind of doubt it. However, I played quite a bit of this online and had a lot of fun mostly because I played with friends which I seriously recommend. This game is magnificent with friends. A great group online game, clan up and have a ball.

I’ll talk briefly about the vehicles which I thought were numerous enough and enough different styles. However, the special variation was not too different for some of them in particular the bomb related ones like Meat Wagon and the pest control van which basic special is just shoot a bomb. It is in the secondary specials where you get the variation and the fun as well as the larger difficulty in connecting. Because of the fact that I am not a Twisted Metal old school fan I don’t know if they left out important vehicles or not. The complaints I did hear and had were obviously about the newest vehicle Talon. This helicopter was sort of cheap mostly because in multiplayer people ignore Talon. Talon is out of the direct sight line of most players and they ignore people playing as Talon and as such he racks up kills. It has a tiny amount of health but can easily run away and has a pretty awesome special and can murder people not paying attention. This leads to people relying on Talon and becoming a nuisance. With the exception of Sweet Tooth’s ice cream truck which can fly no one is on the same verticality level as Talon. Talon is fun to use but changes the entire setup of deathmatch games where people have to go after him or risk losing. Sort of a bummer when you just want to racing around killing each other. This is my only issue with a vehicle.

Cutscenes are awesome. Need More!!

Finally the Trophies: Wow you have to be one determined hardass to get the plat on Twisted Metal. Not only is it generally hard, but the trophies are a pain in the ass. In particular the kick in the nuts trophy is the win an online game every day for 30 days. I got to day 17 until a PSN update locked out my progress which effectively stopped me wanting to get that trophy completely. Also the stats online do not always update properly and a friend of mine went past the 50 kills with each car in the stats did not have the trophy pop. So glitched trophies are the worst so yeah. One of the few games I played this year which I have no drive to even try and get a plat in it. It’s not really going to make the game more fun. Unless you want to have one of the harder PS3 plats to get just to say you have it, I doubt you’ll have fun trophy hunting in this game. Detracting fun from this game would be incredibly detrimental because it has enough problems as is.

If this game had worked properly it would have been awesome. It didn’t but it was still a lot of fun and that is to my knowledge what Twisted Metal is all about. Sidenote: Was incredibly disappointed at the lack of coverage on Giantbomb, wasn’t sure if it was the general less coverage for PS3 games (I’m sure someone will argue but I think it’s obvious 360 is their console of choice) or if they were afraid of Jaffe stabbing them (possible) or no one on the team had any interest. Not sure but was let down a bit. Anyways duders who made it this far thanks for reading and next up is the polarizing Mass Effect 3!

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Games I Played 2012: Episode 3- Rage

So I guess I’ll start by apologizing to the couple of people who read my last blog because this is the next one and I know it’s not Twisted Metal. It is RAGE! It’s my own fault I got overly excited and went to Infamous 2 skipping over Rage which was the second game I played this year. So while I’m already out of order let us continue. For those of you not following this is a series of blogs about the games I played this year which have not necessarily been released this year. These blog posts are because I wanted to do talk about games I played this year but because I’m a poor student am not able to create a proper top ten games from this year because I can’t afford ten brand new games ha ha. So instead I catch up on last years or games from other years I have missed and don’t wanna feel left out of all the fun (insert sob) so thank you guys now on to VIDEOGAMES!! Oh and happy Halloween!

It's ok buddy, you're just misunderstood

In this episode I will discuss Rage. After completing Resistance 3 I jumped into Rage mainly because I don’t think I was ready for a story heavy game and I wanted something simple. Rage was to my surprise a perfect game to play after my disappointment with R3. I’ll start off by saying that before Rage I’d never played an Id software game before. With the smallest exception of playing multiplayer Quake at a friend’s house when I was like 11. So having barely remembered that previous experience I walked into Rage amidst the many negative receptions surrounding it. As per usual when my expectations were low the game easily exceeds them. The main issues I heard about this game were that it had a crappy story and a useless open world. For some unknown reason I heard a lot of people saying this game is not Fallout so guard your expectations. When I heard that even before I got the game I was like two games can’t be in the post-apocalypse without being compared? Seriously? Rage was obviously not going to be like Fallout minus the setting it is an FPS and was never described as an RPG dunno why people thought it might be more like Fallout. It was an FPS and maybe it was simply because I have never played an Id game before and was not expecting Quake or Doom that I thought the shooting was great, the guns felt powerful and the enemies had decent movement.

The one positive thing every reviewer had to say about Rage was how beautiful it was. It was a great looking game and that’s a plus for me but not one of the main reasons I come to games. Even though the story wasn’t there I liked the scavenger gang lifestyle and atmosphere set up by the game. The post-apocalypse never seems complete without a full complement of raiders (in this case British raiders which was even more awesome) or cannibals. I mentioned it above but the way the enemies move amp up the traditional shooter difficulty just because the enemies dodge fairly effectively. I don’t know how many times I had a mutant in my sights with a shotgun and he would jump to the left or vault over a piece of cover and I’d miss. Then he’s coming right for ya and I’m all shit now I have to reload. So I really liked that because it changed up my strategy for taking them down. The gadgets were also a welcome surprise. Personally my go to weapon when I had to reload was the boomerang weapon. It made an excellent noise and was super fun to decapitate people with. You also had the traditional turret or the more entertaining spider bot who would scramble around attacking enemies. When the spider bot would go on the offensive I was often hanging back watching him do his work and rooting for him not to get destroyed. I found the gadgets to be a welcome distraction from the traditional run and gun play style.

Dan Hagar? More like Dan Connors :D

Alright here we go, I suppose I should address the “story” or what they called a story. It wasn’t good a typical you are dude out of time who arrives into the future and must take down evil agency. Whatever. It was probably because I knew based on reviews that the story would be shit that caused me not to worry so much about it. It was just a reason to keep going and shoot more dudes which was fine. Also the story and characters have JOHN GOODMAN on its side so who can complain about that? I mean dude in game didn’t really look like him but that voice oh yeah. Also they named him Dan. As someone who watched WAY too much Roseanne growing up seeing Dan Connors mixed with Walter from Lebowski put a smile on my face. Oh and yeah the ending was shit…it just sort of goes one typical ending filled with sequel allusions coming right up! Even though that was shit and Carmack has like apologized for Rage I really hope some sort of sequel or type of game similar comes out.

Gotta Catch em All Ragemon!!

Finally I’ll talk about the mini stuff present in the game which boosted my playtime by probably ten hours or so. I have no idea why but with videogames that have a card collecting/battling minigame I go nuts and play the shit out of it. I don’t know if it is a part of Pokecraze coming back to me but in Final Fantasy IX I played the shit out of the card battling game ignoring the story on one of my playthroughs just to collect and battle with more cards. I did a similar thing in Rage in which I ran around looking for better cards and battling people for hours loving it even though the game wasn’t really complex or had a lot going on. I actually wish there were more cards and people to battle which would have made me more happy. The finger stabbing game was entertaining but a bitch to get to the highest level. The coliseum was a standard shooting gallery which it seems many games include now. The open world was useless but the dune buggy was fun enough to use and fight with, including the multiplayer which I think was bold of them not to put in a shooting aspect to the multiplayer. I have not played the legends of the wasteland missions yet which I know I should and I would be interested in hearing from people if they were any good.

Trophies: As far as the trophy list goes it was pretty decent mix of difficulty trophies, story, minigames and gadget use that made you play the game to its fullest. Which I may have mentioned before is what a good trophy list should do. I particularly liked the field goal trophy which was really weird and amusing. As well as the decapitating with the boomerang which is just something you want to do with that thing. Unfortunately this is not a plat I have attained yet, more out of laziness than anything else. I just have the legends of the waste mission trophies and hardest difficulty trophies left. I’m looking forward to coming back to Rage when I have a drought of games because I just had fun with it which was great for a somewhat simplistic FPS to do.

Alright thanks for reading and the next entry I swear will be Twisted Metal. Til next time.

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Games I Played 2012: Episode 2- Infamous 2

This series is because of the fact that as a student I have little resources to consistently buy new games and as such have felt left out (wah wah) as I never play enough current year videogames to create a proper top ten games of year list. So instead of doing that I am just going to talk about the games I played this year (whether from 2009 or 2012) in no rated order but simply in the order I played them.

Ok so despite the fact that almost all (with the exception of maybe two) of the games I’m speaking about are old news or not really relevant I will continue to share my year of gaming experience (even if no one reads it ha ha).

Infamous 2

Oh Infamous what an amazing series by one of my favourite developers (Sucker Punch). Sly Cooper and Ratchet and Clank were the cornerstones of my intermediate gaming life. As such when all of Sony’s Big Three (Sucker Punch, Insomniac, Naughty Dog, I know Insomniac is going multiplatform with Fuse) moved on to the new generation and began releasing their hmm more mature games at first I was worried. Would the happy go lucky fun of yesterday go flying out the window? The answer of course was no, Playstation gamers got 3 brand new series which I thoroughly enjoyed. Resistance I spoke about in my earlier blog but is my favourite FPS series this gen which most people will not agree with and Insomniac continued the excellent Ratchet series. Naughty Dog gave us the adventurous Uncharted series which at first I did not get the acclaim after I played the first one but has steadily grown on me. Finally Sucker Punch followed up Sly Cooper with Infamous. The original Infamous I loved, the twist ending the amazing climbing and traversal, the stunts, the story and to some extent the characters.

I Said We Were Cool Man Cheer Up

While I never really loved Cole or Zeke as characters they have been a fairly solid duo for the extent of the three Infamous games (I’m totally counting Festival of Blood). I hated Zeke at first but his annoying commentary became occasionally funny and when I went into the second game was happy to hear him again. Cole in the second game got a new voice actor (I didn’t really notice had been like two years since I played the first one) a slightly new design (SO GLAD they didn’t go with the Drake look alike design) and new superpowers. I’ll be honest and say Cole’s interactions with his new female counterparts weren’t great but then again him and Trish weren’t really that special either. I actually found Zeke more bearable simply because of the fact that Nix was atrocious. I found her incredibly irritating and it didn’t help that her powers were crappier than Kuo’s. The power to lift stuff up and chuck it at people was pretty great. I found myself throwing cars whenever possible with a smile of absolute glee on my face as it exploded causing the enemies to fly away. I absolutely agree with Brad when I say the Icicle jump move was awesome and made travelling fast and fun (the best traversal move until I got bat swarm in Festival).

The story itself I found to be lacking compared to its predecessor. While Bertrand was an ok villain the creature he turns into looks absolutely ludicrous and obviously this series isn’t about realism but a giant shrimp man isn’t exactly frightening. As for the Beast, compared to Kessler and the twist about who he was I found the twist about the Beast (dunno if it was a twist maybe someone can explain) to be incredibly obvious. I mean of COURSE it’s that other guy who came into contact with the Ray sphere and disappeared ominously. Also the seemingly arbitrary character decision swap at the end was bizarre I mean the Kuo and Nix switching didn’t really make sense to me. Maybe you guys felt different but when I got to that part I was looking for like ten seconds going wait…did I miss something? Finally as far as the endings…well in either case it seems they really split the path so if there was a proper sequel (please Sucker Punch, although new IP first :D) it would start on different paths completely. Even though the “good” ending seems final…obviously it can be continued given the lightning seen at the end of the scene.

My Very First *Wipes Tear

Trophies: So the first Infamous was my initial Platinum and started my whole crazy completionist trophy hunt. So the first game was a pain in that finding all the blast shards took forever and became irritating after awhile (GOD DAMN YOU LAST BLAST SHARD NOT ON MAP BUT ON BROKEN DOCK!!!) sorry… I still have leftover feelings about that. While that part was annoying the other trophies were fairly standard, encouraged you to play the game twice to see the different story beats (not majorly different but still) and use all the powers. The stunts in particular were a fun challenge even though some could get locked out if you weren’t careful. So with the original trophy list in mind I collected Infamous 2’s trophy list and found it not as challenging and sort of boring. No stunt trophies, you got a power to find all blast shards (which I liked but didn’t make things challenging) and the general story trophies from last time. It was good that they had UGC trophies because otherwise I might have missed out on some decently made missions but the UGC thing isn’t really my bag. I also liked the climb the fence trophy which shows that someone has a sense of humour at Sucker Punch. Typical trophies overall nothing very special.

All in all Infamous 2 was great mostly because it was more Infamous. It didn’t really expand too much (although some of the nifty new powers were excellent) and the story paled in comparison to the first game but origin stories are easy, sequels are hard. I enjoyed playing through this game collecting everything and taking over New Marais which was a better city than Empire just in that it had more personality instead if just being a jungle gym. For me Infamous is about exploration, powers and a decent story it accomplished all of these to varying degrees and was a good sequel after I had been severely let down by Resistance 3. Thank you for reading, tune in to the next installment Twisted Metal!!!

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Game I Played 2012: Episode 1- Resistance 3

So because of the fact that in a typical year I am a starving student I am unable to afford shiny games fresh out of the box. Which is why I normally have to pick and choose what current games need my money right away and which I should wait for a price drop. With the exception of those two or three new games the rest of my time is spent playing last years games that are now are more affordable. Since this the reason I have never been able to submit a proper game of the year list I will merely give my thoughts on the games I played this year whether they be from 2009 or 2012. They are listed in the order I played them not rated by preference. Oh I am also going to leave out the two HD collections I played this year the PSP God of War Collection and Jak Collection because I had played some of these before. And finally I will add a little section on each game about trophies because while not a big deal to most people I enjoy getting them and I get more of my moneys worth if I hunt them down.

Resistance 3

I started 2012 with a sequel to a series which I enjoyed very much and was not so much disappointed as I was deceived by the hype. (I realize you might be saying Resistance WHAT HYPE?? But one reviewer in particular (Colin Moriarty from IGN, I KNOW) was a big fan of the Resistance series and therefore I put some stock in what he had to say about this new game. If I remember correctly he praised the game for its story, characters and gameplay calling R3 the best in the series. So even though I knew I shouldn’t I did get my hopes up a little as Christmas rolled around and Resistance was high on my list for games I wanted. The next thing I say may cause fans of Resistance to completely disregard my opinion about R3 and the series in general but here I go…Resistance 2 is my favourite in the series. Alright I hear the groan now let me go on and say Resistance 2 was the first game in the series I played, the guns were great, the story was surprisingly good for an FPS and when I first played it I loved the ending. Ok. Then I went back and played the first game and enjoyed it, however I believe my perception was skewed because I played them out of order. I found the enemies less compelling (thought Daedalus was more interesting figure than just Angels in general) also I liked my team in R2 even though they weren’t fully developed before they began getting picked off. Also did I mention the ending? Even though it was a complete plug for another game I thought killing Hale in the final moments (not by sacrificing himself to kill the final boss) was original and interesting. Plus the moment after you kill Daedalus and shit is exploding and you have no gun I was all WTF? And as I walked toward Chimera shooting Bullseyes at me I was like um….am I missing something and then I pressed shoot…and shit started exploding out of my hands. It was great. I liked that little reward at the end of the game it was hilarious seeing Chimera just explode from hand power (if you know what I mean).

Dude What Happened to Your Sweet Hat? Scar? Muscles!!??

Should probably start talking about R3 before I lose the crowd (Ha ha what crowd? It's Reistance ZING). So the things above I had in my mind when I popped in R3. First off a small change that did take me aback a bit was the change in art style in the third series of a franchise. I was like ok…whatever I can deal with it. The way they completely changed Joe Capelli was not to my liking at all in R2 he was this surly insubordinate heavy who talked shit pretty much the whole game. In R3 they made him drop like thirty pound lose his trademark cap and gun as well as pretty much erasing his facial scar leaving him almost unrecognizable as a character from the previous game. As far as story and character progression I thought it would be more significant than it was with basically Capelli just looking at a mitten the entire game representing his drive to protect his family. There is a point there for this game, however, this idea is not really developed (Capelli doesn’t really grow) and while I am probably expecting a lot out of an FPS Resistance has been my shooter with a story or at least fascinating history to me at least. Which leads to the issue that R3 will probably be the last Insomniac Resistance and they added like nothing to mythology of the series of this game. They don’t really address the cloven (who I’ve been dying to know more about) or the Tungsten event or whether Chimera have another race that killed them in the past. There are so many threads that have been dropped that I was pissed that the entire story was one dude running to New York and then back home and that was it. And R3’s ending well…UGH. Hey I exploded that wormhole generator now the millions of Chimera are no longer a threat…um what? Maybe I’m too stupid to understand what happened at the end of the game but Capelli stopped the wormhole thing, then was reunited with his family and then the credits rolled showing pictures of like New York being reconstructed which seemed to imply that the war was over because people can re-establish the biggest city in the world? Which if that is the message they were sending was BS. Because it disregards the millions of Chimera on the planet still, the massively depopulated human race and the fact that the series is called Resistance (resist not succeed). If that is the hunky dory situation they set up for the end game with no real explanation of the events that came after it’s not only going against the theme of the series but it’s downright lazy story telling.

Why Malikov WHY!?

I realize I’ve been complaining a lot about a game that I actually enjoyed playing disregarding much of the story. I loved that they brought back single player co-op which made the campaign much more fun playing through the second time with a buddy. The guns which are always a highlight of this series were still great although I found myself getting reacquainted with old guns because of the new style of them in R3. The new enemy types were a great addition to the series (how many types of Chimera are there!?) I especially liked the Brawler who wasn’t the typical I’m a big guy who will walk slowly and shoot from far away. This dude got right up in your face and hulked out on you if he could. In addition to the brawler I also like the leapers or jumpers (not the little insects from R2) the dudes who jumped around. They were hard to pin down and made the Bullseyes tag bullets even more useful. As usual the atmosphere of the game was right where it needed to be for a Resistance game. Dark and gloomy as shit, I really liked the prison part (post apocalyptia apparently always has dudes being sickos in prison) even though that is after Malikov bites it <3. The part when they throw you in the coliseum with just a hammer I was like oh shit and actually died once which ratcheted up the intensity. Overall I enjoyed the game but it was the changes to design and what I found to be lazy storytelling and a lack of development of the series mythos that were the biggest bummers to me. I realize now that if someone gets this far reading there probably like wow dude should have done a review but I didn’t realize I had this much to say until now ha ha.

I Killed So Many People For You!!

Last part I promise, trophies. For you hunters out there Resistance 3 isn’t much of a challenge. If you were one of the fools like me who actually platted Resistance 2 (with a 10 000 kills multiplayer trophy) then an easier plat for Resistance 3 will be a huge relief. Even though by the time I was done with Resistance 2 I thoroughly hated myself and the game itself, the first 7000 kills or so were as part of duo were I worked with my bud. It was really fun and unlike most games I actually played the multiplayer, I even got fairly good at it and enjoyed competing with people who were regulars. So while I’m glad R3 didn’t have a huge kill count for the multiplayer, it didn’t have any multiplayer trophies at all. Which I suppose is fine because honestly I come to this series for the campaign.

However even two multiplayer trophies would have been welcomed just to encourage me to play a little bit more of the multiplayer. I realize some people will be like why don’t you just play it anyway? For me multiplayer is more about accomplishment and with nothing other than multiplayer awards to play for I sort of lose interest quickly. The single player trophies were well varied like R2 which was nice, however the one which was like burn freeze and poison a dude was mad glitchy and a pain to get even though a great idea in theory. The single player trophies had a quality list that made you use the numerous weapons in the game and vary your play style which any FPS trophy list should do. For any of you who made it this far thanks for reading and leave thoughts! Next up Infamous 2.

Start the Conversation

PSN Games which to buy, which to wait for sale and which to not b

Hey duders, just bought pixeljunk monsters, shooter and eden during the big sale on PSN. I'm enjoying monsters so far but also made me realise that I rarely buy PSN games. I'm interested in a ton of them and wanted to know which are must haves or to wait to get on the cheap later.

~Flow, Flower and Journey. Very interested in last two but not sure if all of them are worthwhile.

~Costume Quesr. Game looks great interested if people got significant play time out of it.

~Back to the Future, Sam and Max and The Walking Dead. Telltale intrigues me. Would like to know best starting point as a new player.

~Limbo. Nearly got this once before. The atmosphere looked amazing but wasn't sure about gameplay.

~Castle Crashers

~From Dust

~Stacking. I really want to try this game but 15 bucks seems steep.

Sorry about the stilted writing I'm typing from my PS3 which is a pain. Let me know your thoughts!

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Summer Gaming: Help Deciding What to Play

Hey Bombers, as a result of the typical gaming drought often seen in the summer months I use the time to delve into my backlog or attempt to platinum games that are still incomplete on my shelf (I know it is a terrible habit but I cannot stop!!) So I was interested in seeing what the community might think of my options and which I should play/platinum first. I would most certainly like this to be a poll but I'm still trying to figure out formatting on the site so you can vote with your comments.

I am currently playing through God of War: Ghost of Sparta but I figure that game will not take too long as well as Mass Effect 3's multiplayer as I have actually become engrossed with it despite typically avoiding multiplayer. Those are things to keep in mind when offering suggestions.

1. Dead Space: Alright I will admit several things here, one is that horror games are not my cup of tea. I am not a big fan of the typical gameplay of horror games and also am not a big fan of being scared. So yeah I am a wimp when it comes to horror games. However, one of my good gaming friends recommended this game to me and after he helped me discover Fallout 3 (which I loved) I took his word that it would be amazing. It was also a twenty dollar game so how could I go wrong? I know people love this game but it has sat on my self for like three years after I only finished chapter one. It will take some determination to pick up and play this game but I think it will be worthwhile. If I can man up lol

2. Fallout: New Vegas: As I mentioned above after giving Fallout 3 a shot on a friends advice I fell in love with the open world and post apocalyptic setting. I jumped into the game and played through the game twice platinuming it in the process. Everything about the Capital Wasteland drew me in so when New Vegas came out I was super excited for more. However, I bought it about two months after it launched and it was buggy as all hell. It crashed about 8 times in the first ten hours I played. So I took a break and came back to it andrestarted fresh and got about fifteen hours in and lost interest. I can't really even explain why. I've read a thread here that has people shouting the phraise of New Vegas over Fallout 3 and that may be true. However, the early game has not drawn me in as much as I would like and the fact that you need to do many side quests before confronting Benny or you will be locked out of certain options concerns me. (I know this is kind of dumb I should not worry about this and just play the game but I have a completionist streak and would want to do as many quests as possible before making a faction decision.) So yeah this is game I know I need to play but seems harder to get into than Fallout 3.

3. Nier: Once again after looking at these forums for a long time many users claim Nier has one of the best endings they have ever seen and that it is truly one of the most underrated games of the generation. I did not play much of Nier the first time around I will admit but it had some charm including the foul mouthed herm who i met just before I stopped playing. The game so far seemed a desolate place and the world seemed grey in general. However, I am almost positive this game will be a joy if I give it a shot I'm just no sure it should be the first of my back log to jump into.

4. Rayman: Origins: So I actually have played this game a fair amount unlike the previous games on my list. Initially I bought this game for three major reasons one being that Beyond Good & Evil is amazing and Ancel needs to be supported. Secondly it looked beautiful and charming as well as the giantbomb crew seemed to really like it. Finally I made the purchase in an attempt to find a game to play with my gf. Unfortunately this has not worked was too complicated for her even though she loves playing mario platformers of the 2D persuasion. (I guess I will have to keep searching, although Wipeout HD she loved for a long time) So I played this game and unleashed all of the fairies (or pixies can't remember) and have gotten to the point where each main world got a secondary location. I would play this game casually and to collect trophies if I picked it up again. I cannot play it for extended periods but is a good play a couple of levels game.

5. Twisted Metal: Another game that I played a large amount of but would jump back into it to be a trophy whore. This was the first TM game that I played the story of and I liked it a lot. It was difficult without feeling cheap and I loved the cut scenes because they were campy and sort of creepy. So I finished the campaign and played a fair bit of the online which was also fun. (I got to like level 17 or something the second tier). My friend bought the game for both of us to play together and as a trophy whore himself is enlisting me to assist him in platinuming it. (He is much farther in this pursuit than I am) So this game looks to be in my future and I could hop back into it, however, I was findin the online to be buggy as hell and annoying. I was also becoming rather bored in general with the online as I Mentioned not a big online gamer, and other than Nuke which was the hardest game type to find online the killing each other thing was becoming repetitive. (Just wanted to say I was disappointed by the lack of coverage of TM on Giantbomb, no review is fine but like no one played the game really based on the What You Been Playing segments of the Bombcast.)

6. Uncharted 3: Uh Oh I haven't played this game yet let the harassment begin...alright now lets say why. I got this game at Xmas with a few other games (Yakuza 4, Infamous 2, Rage, God of War Origins Collection and Resistance 3) and it was a big haul of games. One of the main reasons I did not pop this game in immediately was because I had just finished playing through Uncharted: Drake's Fortune for the second time as I finally bought i myself (first time played my friends copy). So I was sort of Uncharted out. Also the first time i played U:DF and U2: AT I thought they were decent games with excellent chracters.It took me til my second playthroughs of each game to really become engrossed in them. This is probably one of my top contenders for next game to play simply because I am fully invested in the series and it is somewhat fresh.

7. Yakuza 4: Are you guys still with me lol? On someone elses blog post I commented my love for Yakuza 3 and it's insanely amazing story and characters in a setting that i am fascinated with modern Japan. I cannot wait to play through this game and learn more about Kazuma and be introduced to the 3 other protagonists who will be joining his crew. My main reasoning for holding back on this game is because it is a huge time investment for me. In Yakuza 3 I did all the substories and played a ton of the minigames (thought I could get the Minigame Master trophy NO WAY) as well as goin through the story twice once on extra hard (With that unlimited gun which made me feel both cheap and a monster :D) I Know that I would be the same with Yakuza 4 and am no sure ifI'm ready to hop in yet any useful advice would be appreciated.

There are other games I still have on my mind but these are the main contenders. If you managed to read through all of my blathering your opinion would be appreciated. Also I apologize for any typos as the keyboard I am using is terrible. Thanks duders!

EDIT:

8. Bulletstorm: I ended up buying this game after the many helpful suggestions from the bombers on the site. It also helped that it was only ten dollars. This game seems like a blast and I enjoy playing decent shooters as a palette cleanser. This is now one of my top candidates.

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