By Sparky_Buzzsaw 9 Comments
Well, that was shorter than I expected. I decided to take a vacation from my troubles a week or two ago, thinking I'd take a sabbatical of sorts from all the things stressing me out. It's been a tough year, but sitting around and whining about it isn't going to do me much good, so I'm back on the site full-time (well, as full time as I've ever been, anyways) and ready to crack down on you forum-destroying godless heathens. Oh, and bullshit about video games, hamburgers, and big ass ramps. Good times.
Obligatory GTA V Block o' Text
I've been playing a lot of Grand Theft Auto V lately. I'm split between loving and hating that game in equal parts. I'm not going to bother you with why it's such a fantastic game (and it is), but I do want to touch on some of my problems with it. First and foremost is the appallingly small fonts. It's absurd to me that this is still a problem in 2013, particularly from Rockstar who have had a long history with this precise problem. I've sent them an email regarding it twice now, and will continue to do so until I hear from their technical support that it's at least been acknowledged. Their mini-map is godawful too, utilizing certain colors that blend into each other (such as missions that require you to follow a black blip on a slightly less black grid). I damn near sold the game back to Amazon within an hour thanks to an early game chase mission involving a motorcycle that would have kept me from enjoying the game were it not for the option to skip missions after failing them repeatedly.
There's also a sense of aimless decision making in GTA V. While some of the series' best ideas are introduced in this game (multiple protagonists and heists), there are multiple instances where the world design seemed to want to flip flop between the seriousness of GTA IV as opposed to the silliness of its predecessors. The jokes are tired, recycled, and uninspired, and in a post-Saints Row: The Third world, they just don't stack up. The music stations lack inspiration as well, and seem far too eclectic and thrown together for the series, which has usually done a fantastic job of music selection.
I'll also admit to being appalled by certain missions and cutscenes, particularly the torture mission and the cutscene wherein it's heavily implied Trevor kills two innocents for no reason whatsoever other than to push forward the idea that he's a psychopath. That's entirely a personal choice, however. I get that I'm being a bit stodgy here, but I just don't want to play as a character who does that sort of stuff.
I'd also appreciate more thought being put into the post-game content. More assassination missions appearing in the post-game would have gone a long ways towards keeping me interested in playing it beyond the story, but as it is, I'll check out the multiplayer and probably call it quits soon in San Andreas.
-Didn't much care for Gemini Rue. I can't quite pin it down, but its whole never seems to quite match up to its parts. I should like its sci-fi Blade Runner-esque setting and plot. I should like the hardboiled noir characters. But I just don't. And maybe it's a problem of my mindset over these last few weeks, but I don't think so, mainly because...
-I do care for what I've played of Resonance. While it could use variety in its locations and pixel-hunting gameplay, it's a solid game with a lot of good ideas. It's got spirit, which I didn't really feel was the case with Gemini Rue. Neither game is as entertaining as the Blackwell series, which I'm told by friend of the pimp @slag was developed by Wadjet as opposed to just produced as was the case with Resonance and Gemini Rue (correct me if I'm wrong there, Slag).
-I beat Defender's Quest sometime in the last couple of weeks. That's a really terrific tower defense game with some fun RPG mechanics (skill trees, y'all!). I wish it blew up to an actual full screen size instead of just letterboxing itself, but that's a minor quibble. Really, give this one a go. It's a lot of fun.
-I've dipped my toes into Radiant Historia and really like what I've seen so far. It's a quality RPG with a focus on its characters and world-building, which I enjoy immensely. The combat feels terrific too, though I'm admittedly not far into it.
-And lastly, I've been playing some Bioshock Infinite after a recent Amazon sale dropped it to $25. So far, I'm surprisingly divided on it. On the one hand, I like that we're seeing hints of the world outside of combat and general Bioshock craziness, but I never feel like that potential world-building is met. I've said this beore, but I really feel like the Bioshock series would feel much better as a giant open-world game ala Fallout or Skyrim, or at least with less of a focus on its FPS aspects, which are fairly dull and repetitive. Expect more on this next week. I've had the ending spoiled for me (boo!), so I'd like to delve deeper into what I'd like to see Bioshock become as opposed to discussing the game itself.
All right, you scurvy dogs, that about wraps it up for this week. I'm still going to be dealing with a few niggling issues from these past couple of weeks, but I'm more or less back to good and should be around more frequently. Thank you all for letting me have a bit of a breather.