By Ramone 1 Comments
The Wrath of Kratos
If there is one thing I take away from my long and frustrating journey with the first installment in the God of War franchise it's that time is kind to very few games and Kratos' original adventure is no exception. If it were to be released today the game would most likely be criticised for it's poor story, basic gameplay and it's inability to direct the player. On Friday night I found myself stuck on the aptly named Cliffs of Madness trying to find a certain red necklace. Eventually I gave in and searched for a FAQ and sure enough the FAQ read 'it's quite likely that this is about the first sentence 99% of the people using this guide have read because all they want to know is where the hell to go '. This at least made me safe in the knowledge that it wasn't just me. It seems almost ridiculous now that a game which has considerable adventure sections has no map, compass or objective marker, not even a hints system. But maybe that's what people mean when they say games were harder back then. Kratos is a weird protaganist for the sole reason that he is a complete twat. More specifcally he is mass murdering coward who killed his own wife and child then blamed it on the person that saved his life, that sort of twat. Some might see this as a bold move by the developers but I just do not care for Kratos, he is unredeemable in my eyes. In a way God Of War would have been a much better game if it had ended 5 minutes earlier however Sony decided it was better not to rule out a sequel so a silly little epilogue was tacked on. There are also other little bits of jank which build up over the course of the game. Firstly, if you find yourself dying repeatedly in the same section the game suggests that you knock down the difficulty, this may seem helpful to you and it appeared that way to me but I decided I would resist the temptation and just plough through. There is one major flaw with this system, if you die you find yourself hitting X repeatedly, to get right back into the action, but if the prompt pops up you hit 'Yes' and you are dropped into Easy you CAN'T CHANGE THE DIFFICULTY BACK FOR THE REST OF THE GAME. It seems slightly harsh judging God Of War now considering how much games have evolved over the past few years but maybe it's good to have a look back every once in a while, mainly to make sure we don't repeat past mistakes.
Alan Wakes Up (maybe) and the courier's journey finally ends (maybe)
It's rare that a game has an ending which leaves me feeling as if the plot hasn't been wrapped up. Alan Wake feels almost unfinished and the DLC just feels like a big narrative circle and you end up exactly where you started. The DLC in particular feels almost insidious, preying on the desire to see closure. You are given two chapters which provide almost no story progression and by the end of it all I was left pretty much clueless as to the fate of Alan and what exactly had been happening over the past 10 hours but this didn't actually take away from my enjoyment of the game. It was rollercoaster ride which left me confused but knowing that I had just had a lot of fun. So from one polished game we go to one of the roughest games that I have ever played. New Vegas is broke in every sense of the word, crashes, glitches and game changing bugs plague this game and threaten to destroy it. One bug forced me to massacre a bunch of dudes, which I was very much against, another caused me to be stuck in VATS for an eternity the only respite being the sweet release of the 360 power button and one freeze lost me 3 hours of progress. Maybe it speaks to New Vegas' strength as a game that despite all these problems I still look back at my experiences with it favourably and I am considering going back in for a second playthough but I can't understand how this game was released like this. I don't like to see people lose their jobs but that whole QA branch needs fired or maybe, and this could be the real problem, listened to.
Disclaimer: If this blog reads like a 7 year old's book report it's because I am tired as hell and I'm writing this in bed. Also sorry for missing last week I had work for university which took up most of my time.