I made the slightly crazy decision this year to dive into my massive and still growing backlog of older games. This decision was partly out of shame of doing all my gaming solely on my Xbox 360 while letting everything else collect dust, and partly because there were so many possibly great games that I may have missed out on just sitting on my shelf. I'm something of a collector when it comes to games. I'll pick up dozens if not a hundred or more games a year from garage sales, Ebay, flea markets and the such so my backlog is growing larger and larger every year. This will be my hopeful attempt to climb this mountain of games and someday reach the summit while allowing others to watch as I am forced to eat my Sherpa and succumb to the cold trapped underneath a landslide of Master System games.
I remember reading about this game in the OXM's of the day and how amazed I was with how good it looked. This was a day one purchase for me. Right from the start I realized that this game and I were going to be at odds with each other. My run and gun, kill everything that moved play style was not going to get me very far. True enough I had made it to the CIA Headquarters mission, 4 levels in before this game was put on the shelf never to be touched again. Until a few days ago.
A friend of mine (Jelloboy25) picked up Splinter Cell: Conviction and convinced me to play the Co-op Terrorist Hunt with him (actually little convincing was required as the Terrorist Hunt mode in the Rainbow Six: Vegas series is one of our favorite things to do together). I really liked what I was playing and decided I really should break Splinter Cell back out and finish it. My OCD Completionist gaming complex would not allow me to just jump right into the 5th game in the series, so Splinter Cell it was.
The graphics in this game still hold up pretty well. The story is pretty good compared to some recent day Tom Clancy games I've played (RS: Vegas 2 I'm looking at you). And the gameplay for the most part is pretty good. Nothing makes you feel more like a bad ass ninja super spy than hiding in the shadows 3 ft. from a guards face and taking him out without his nearby friends being alerted. It was unfortunately a few game play aspects that caused enough Checkpoint reloads that had me screaming profanities at the tv (the tv, being the true trooper that it was took it all in stride and never once cried). It was when I would screw something up and be spotted by some guard across the area and no matter where I would seek refuge in the darkness he would always somehow know where I was. The Abattoir meat packing plant level had an area in the meat locker where the rooms were filled with fog which required the use of Thermal goggles to see. The guards in the area did not suffer my imperfections as they were gifted with natural thermal sight and x-ray vision. My biggest "Screw You Ubisoft!" came during the second to last mission, the return to Chinese Embassy. Throughout the entire game when you came across a keypad, the code sequence would always be found in a data stick a nearby guard would have on him. Not so for this mission. This mission introduced the timed - use your thermal goggles to figure out the sequence or game over. I cant think of how many times I had to reload a save because I either screwed up the sequence or just wasn't fast enough. Missions end has you chasing a guard around the building using this trick on 3 consecutive keypad locked doors and doing so at speed before he either got to far ahead of you or his residue heat signature faded from the keypads. Finally my last hang up was sadly and completely due to my own inability to wall jump correctly. This was a skill I rarely if ever used in the game and the last mission required me to do quite a bit of it, right from the get go, in some attempt to make Sam Fisher the father of the Prince of Persia platformer. Needless to say, I sucked and reloaded close to 40 times in the first 5 minutes of that last level.
All in all I did enjoy alot of this game, but it will be awhile before I work up to the urge to get Pandora Tomorrow out of that backlog stack.
I have always loved the Resident Evil franchise but this game had me worried. I was turned off by the demo they offered on Xbox Live and decided to steer well clear of this game. After listening to many gaming podcast tell of how not to base the game off of that awful demo and some of them even talking about how they were on their 3rd or 4th play-thru I was beginning to come around. First off, I don't do online gaming for the most part, don't like dealing with the mass douche-bag'ery that seems to plague Xbox Live. My one gaming friend and I have directly opposite work schedules so we don't hang out and game it up as much as I would like. This sad turn of events meant that if I wanted to play this game then I was Lone-wolfing it.
I don't see any reason why Capcom kept the tank controls in the game. They were tolerated in Resident Evil 4 because the series was experimenting and trying new ideas. In 5, they were nothing but a burden and the major reason I disliked this game. Would I have liked the game better with a Gears of War style game play? Maybe. The main reason I loved this series was the Zombies. 4 took us away from those and my hope was that it was just a temporary side story and 5 would bring them back. Sadly it seems that zombies are a thing of the past with this series now. Wesker was the main focus of this game. And story wise I really think it jumped the shark. There were so many moments I just face-palmed and shook my head.
My A.I. controlled partner spent most of the game standing right next to me refusing to shoot, and wasting our herbs and first-aid sprays every time I got scratched. It was only after I really began to use her as extra inventory slots for my ammo that she really became useful. I had chosen to focus on upgrading my standard pistol for which ammo was plentiful. I never found myself regretting this decision as it turned out to be a very powerful weapon. Even though the game had clunky controls and an over the top story that I really stopped caring about I do find myself slightly interested in a second play-through only to have fun with the unlimited ammo unlocks, but it will be quite awhile before I attempt that.
Recommend only if you have a friend along for the ride.
Use your keyboard!
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