Patch Notes v0.05

Video Games Played

  • Split/Second; I've not got much else to add about the game that I haven't mentioned already (see: Patch Notes v0.04) but I did just want to conclude that having finally finished it I'm hopeful the game will see a sequel. A superb experience, albeit frustrating when the AI cheats, that ended in a suitable bombastic and dramatic way that caught me by surprise.
  • Final Fantasy XIII; played but not completed. At Chapter 11 the game halted any chance of progression and instead forced hours upon hours of grinding XP in order to have a sufficient chance at surviving encounters with enemies. This sudden change in pace came without warning or reason which was disappointing given the linear feel of the previous chapters had helped build up a great momentum and focus.
  • Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions; while the gameplay can get repetitive over time and the camera can be more of a hindrance than a help, the distinct design and different gameplay styles of the four Spider-Men and their unique dimensions is refreshing. And if you're a really big Spider-Man fan, like myself, then you'll definitely enjoy the extra content on offer that can be unlocked. 
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops; probably one of the most thrilling and exciting single player campaigns to ever be in a first person shooter. The game has a deep sense of intrigue too it thanks in large part to the fractured way in which the story is recounted under interrogation. The gameplay is similar to previous titles in the franchise and just like them it's equally as entertaining and fun to experience.
  • Medal of Honor; could have been so much better if there had been any actual focus or commitment to take the game in a specific direction. But instead it flounders between two very familiar FPS franchises on the market and lacks a lot of the polish and shine that they have. That said the game does have some really nice lighting, environmental textures and sound effects. It's just disappointing to see that these are it's only good qualities.
  • Gran Turismo 5; proving once again that good things come to those who wait. GT5 may not have the best UI or menu design, it may suffer terribly from many graphical anomalies but it sure does shine where it counts and that's in the driving, racing and handling of cars. Scoff all you want at the 'it's a driving simulator' slogan but it's true, there's just not anything else out there quite like it.
 

Currently Playing

Just Cause 2; I've clocked up around fourteen hours of game time and genuinely can't get enough of it. Even with its terrible voice acting, glitches and some oddly designed elements it's such an addictive game. Wanting to get 100% completion on each location you come across, trying to blow up as much stuff as possible to earn Chaos & Cash. Attaching things together with the grappling hook and awaiting the outcome of such a union. All of these things become ridiculously addictive to perform. I literally can't enter a military base without attaching a canister of gas to a soldier and igniting it causing the unfortunate guard to be dragged along like a rag doll. 
 
The general story so far as well as the script and voice acting has been terrible but in a very B-Movie-ish way. I liken it to something like a Steven Seagal movie, you know it's not going to be up to much but you watch it anyway because it's frankly a guilty pleasure. I shouldn't chuckle when the lady giving my missions emphasises the word "endowed", "pleasure" or "chemistry" when referring to her relationship with the protagonist but I do none the less. That being said some gameplay elements leave me confused as to whether they were intentionally designed to be the way they are or if it's just problematic by coincidence. For instance most land vehicle feel terrible to drive and a small bump into another car or slight twitch on the analogue stick can send the vehicle into a tumbling, chaotic crash. The targeting often makes gunplay a bit of an annoyance, especially when the AI manage to have no trouble at hitting their targets.  
 
All of that aside though I'm really blown away by just how much there is to explore and do in the game. Between all the locations, vehicles and faction missions I'm sure I'll be clocking in an additional fourteen or more hours getting through it all!   
 
Below is an image comparing the size of Just Cause 2's map to some other open world games from the past. 
 
    

A Few Quick Notes

  • I strongly urge you all to read "A Rant About the VGAs" by Jeff Green. It does a great job of summarising what's wrong with the VGAs!
  • The next Patch Notes blog will be GOTY related. So keep an eye out for that being posted sometime after Christmas.
  • Top Men are brainstorming some solutions for the recent spam-bot infestation. Be patient ;)
 
 As always please feel free to comment & critique below!  
  Love Hamz, XOXO 
19 Comments
20 Comments
Edited by Hamz

Video Games Played

  • Split/Second; I've not got much else to add about the game that I haven't mentioned already (see: Patch Notes v0.04) but I did just want to conclude that having finally finished it I'm hopeful the game will see a sequel. A superb experience, albeit frustrating when the AI cheats, that ended in a suitable bombastic and dramatic way that caught me by surprise.
  • Final Fantasy XIII; played but not completed. At Chapter 11 the game halted any chance of progression and instead forced hours upon hours of grinding XP in order to have a sufficient chance at surviving encounters with enemies. This sudden change in pace came without warning or reason which was disappointing given the linear feel of the previous chapters had helped build up a great momentum and focus.
  • Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions; while the gameplay can get repetitive over time and the camera can be more of a hindrance than a help, the distinct design and different gameplay styles of the four Spider-Men and their unique dimensions is refreshing. And if you're a really big Spider-Man fan, like myself, then you'll definitely enjoy the extra content on offer that can be unlocked. 
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops; probably one of the most thrilling and exciting single player campaigns to ever be in a first person shooter. The game has a deep sense of intrigue too it thanks in large part to the fractured way in which the story is recounted under interrogation. The gameplay is similar to previous titles in the franchise and just like them it's equally as entertaining and fun to experience.
  • Medal of Honor; could have been so much better if there had been any actual focus or commitment to take the game in a specific direction. But instead it flounders between two very familiar FPS franchises on the market and lacks a lot of the polish and shine that they have. That said the game does have some really nice lighting, environmental textures and sound effects. It's just disappointing to see that these are it's only good qualities.
  • Gran Turismo 5; proving once again that good things come to those who wait. GT5 may not have the best UI or menu design, it may suffer terribly from many graphical anomalies but it sure does shine where it counts and that's in the driving, racing and handling of cars. Scoff all you want at the 'it's a driving simulator' slogan but it's true, there's just not anything else out there quite like it.
 

Currently Playing

Just Cause 2; I've clocked up around fourteen hours of game time and genuinely can't get enough of it. Even with its terrible voice acting, glitches and some oddly designed elements it's such an addictive game. Wanting to get 100% completion on each location you come across, trying to blow up as much stuff as possible to earn Chaos & Cash. Attaching things together with the grappling hook and awaiting the outcome of such a union. All of these things become ridiculously addictive to perform. I literally can't enter a military base without attaching a canister of gas to a soldier and igniting it causing the unfortunate guard to be dragged along like a rag doll. 
 
The general story so far as well as the script and voice acting has been terrible but in a very B-Movie-ish way. I liken it to something like a Steven Seagal movie, you know it's not going to be up to much but you watch it anyway because it's frankly a guilty pleasure. I shouldn't chuckle when the lady giving my missions emphasises the word "endowed", "pleasure" or "chemistry" when referring to her relationship with the protagonist but I do none the less. That being said some gameplay elements leave me confused as to whether they were intentionally designed to be the way they are or if it's just problematic by coincidence. For instance most land vehicle feel terrible to drive and a small bump into another car or slight twitch on the analogue stick can send the vehicle into a tumbling, chaotic crash. The targeting often makes gunplay a bit of an annoyance, especially when the AI manage to have no trouble at hitting their targets.  
 
All of that aside though I'm really blown away by just how much there is to explore and do in the game. Between all the locations, vehicles and faction missions I'm sure I'll be clocking in an additional fourteen or more hours getting through it all!   
 
Below is an image comparing the size of Just Cause 2's map to some other open world games from the past. 
 
    

A Few Quick Notes

  • I strongly urge you all to read "A Rant About the VGAs" by Jeff Green. It does a great job of summarising what's wrong with the VGAs!
  • The next Patch Notes blog will be GOTY related. So keep an eye out for that being posted sometime after Christmas.
  • Top Men are brainstorming some solutions for the recent spam-bot infestation. Be patient ;)
 
 As always please feel free to comment & critique below!  
  Love Hamz, XOXO 
Posted by Crono11

I just bought Just Cause 2 so I'm glad to hear that you're liking it. I'm looking forward to getting into it. 

Posted by eroticfishcake
@Hamz: You up for the 24 Hour Nurburgring Charity Race Hamz?
Posted by Cincaid

I S-Ranked Just Cause 2 this summer, and I must've spent near 100 hours doing so. Truly, truly amazing and fun (see, I even bolded that word) game. Yes, the voiceacting and story is terrible, and the copy/paste of some places you visit are a tad boring...but man, I just pray we'll see a Just Cause 3 some day following the same pattern (with improvements of course).

Posted by Red12b

da reapers 

Posted by Video_Game_King

Kinda weird that chapter 11's kicking your ass; I don't remember it beating me like that. Warning, though: the final boss WILL.

Posted by Portis

Just Cause 2 was nearly all I played for a good month. I clocked somewhere around 90 hours with the 360 version, then I later bought the PC version and played another 20 of that. So good. 
 
It's the perfect 'throw on some music you like and wreck shit' game. And, seriously, how beautiful is that damn game? The water, the clouds/sky, the landscape -- that engine they used is really something else.The only thing I can ask for in Just Cause 3 is a little more structure, the story was basically non-existent and while I didn't care much for quite awhile, after I got done throwing 10 C4's on things and watching them blow sky high I sort of wished there was a story mode to play that wasn't the same 3 or 4 things over and over.

Posted by Hamz
@eroticfishcake said:
" @Hamz: You up for the 24 Hour Nurburgring Charity Race Hamz? "
Afraid not. My copy of GT5 was a rental and I've since returned it. I assume this Charity Race will be streamed live? If not someone should look into that ;) 
 
@Video_Game_King said:
" Kinda weird that chapter 11's kicking your ass; I don't remember it beating me like that. Warning, though: the final boss WILL. "
Seemed like, from the various people I spoke too about this, that Chapter 11 was basically the make or break point for many. Since my copy was rented I sent it back unfinished. Disappointing, I was really beginning to enjoy it up until that point :(
Posted by lemon360

Please keep doing these, your posts are entertaining. :)

Posted by Claude

That Spider-Man game is the one that Neil Patrick Harris just won for best performance by a human male or something at the VGAs. Was he really that good? I haven't played a Spider-Man game since 2. I thought it was pretty cool.

Posted by Hamz
@Claude said:
" That Spider-Man game is the one that Neil Patrick Harris just won for best performance by a human male or something at the VGAs. Was he really that good? I haven't played a Spider-Man game since 2. I thought it was pretty cool. "
I personally didn't think NPH deserved the award given the quality and quantity of lines he had to voice. Frankly I call shenanigans on him winning that award! But hey it's a game worth checking out none the less, Stan Lee himself narrates and even says his trademarked catchphrase, EXCELSIOR! :D 
 
@lemon360 said:
" Please keep doing these, your posts are entertaining. :) "
Haha glad to know you enjoy them. Provided they keep gathering a modest number of views and comments like they currently do I'll do my best to keep posting them once a month!
Posted by FCKSNAP

Good stuff. Never got around to Just Cause 1 or 2. Big worlds usually scare me even though I've played almost all those games in that comparison map.

Posted by dudeglove

  

Posted by TheBeast

Just added most of those games to my rental list - Shattered Dimensions sounds like it might be worth playing, even if briefly.  
 
I keep picking up my copy of Just Cause 2, but can never convince myself to play it. I really enjoyed the freeform exploration stuff, but always felt like I needed to be doing the missions, and whenever I did those - I didn't enjoy it at all. 
  
Spent some time playing GT5 on a friends' PS3 this week too, had it going side by side with Forza 3. GT5 certainly got a lot more going for it, but there's surprisingly very little difference when you get down to the actual driving.  
 
Anyway, this year looks like it's going to be the year to get a PS3 - those exclusives look awesome compared to the somewhat sparse selection on the 360. Finally time to absorb the Uncharted series.

Posted by W0lfbl1tzers

I will have your love child

Edited by gbrading

I bought JC2 today on Steam so I'm looking forward to playing that. I didn't watch any of the VGA Awards because I don't view them in any way as important, despite the plethora of game announcements. I consider the BAFTA Video Game Awards as far more significant and prestigious. ;)
Posted by Hamz
@gbrading said:
" I bought JC2 today on Steam so I'm looking forward to playing that. I didn't watch any of the VGA Awards because I don't view them in any way as important, despite the plethora of game announcements. I consider the BAFTA Video Game Awards as far more significant and prestigious. ;) "
Agreed and they tend to be far more funny as well! 
 
@TheBeast said:
"I keep picking up my copy of Just Cause 2, but can never convince myself to play it. I really enjoyed the freeform exploration stuff, but always felt like I needed to be doing the missions, and whenever I did those - I didn't enjoy it at all."
The missions are all rather similar or unadventurous but they do help you explore and gain footholds in various regions. Helpful for the moments you need to respawn after a failed attempt at playing chicken with a fighter jet.
Posted by PureRok

Since when has Just Cause 2 had bad voice acting?

Posted by Hamz
@PureRok said:
" Since when has Just Cause 2 had bad voice acting? "
It's so bad it's good? I'd say it's entertaining but lets be honest, in the course of one sentence some characters switch from Jamaican to East Asian and to an odd American twang from time to time.
Posted by Sweep

There are certainly a lot of cool moments in Black Ops, though in general I thought the narrative was slightly tacky. I often found that in the rush of playing the game it was easy to overlook a lot of it's shortcomings, but when you take a step back and think about what just happened it all starts to seem a little bananas. 
 
I love how on the bombcast, when discussing this game, Jeff explains he hates "The bit with the barrels" - and everyone instantly knew what he was talking about. I fucking hated that bit. 

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