By Video_Game_King 7 Comments
Red Dead Redemption( You know, I think I finally realize why the hype for this game was so damn big!) It's because there are no cowboy games out there! In fact, let me name all the cowboy games I've heard of, which is already being overly generous: Gun. Wild Arms. Sunset Riders. Wild Gun. Gun.Smoke. That one part of Live a Live. Custard's Revenge. Wow, I feel like I could name more than just 6.125 games (I'm counting the Wild Arms series, to be fair). Why aren't there more cowboy games? It's the closest thing America has to any cool mythos, given that (you think) it was like the Dark Ages with the added benefit Mexicans.
Wow, that was off-beat, even for me. Back on the beat, Red Dead Redemption begins with a rural blond girl who has become utterly bored with her boring, boring life. Then in comes this outlaw with a physical deformity, looking for some action. However, this is where the Bonnie & Clyde jokes end; instead of starring in what I assume is low budget redneck porn (that was the best non-Willy-Wonka clip I could find, since everything else was the bullet-bukkake finale), you pick up the adventure as John Marston, a gruff (but not too gruff (love that about him)) badass on a quest to kill off some friends from his old gang. Why is he killing his friends? Because the government told him to, something I wish I thought of doing long ago, simply because I love the idea of pitting my own citizens against each other. However, Rockstar clearly wasn't going for that, since they're going for themes on disappointment and the role of government and stuff. I'm not insulting them or anything, as they've done a wonderful job with the story and the characterization, I'm just saying that I'd do different things. OK, I was kidding; now I'm insulting them. The story's a bit one-minded and long-winded, its strategy being to drill one story element into your brain until you declare shenanigans, at which point it switches to another plot element. Just like me!
Let's stop beating around the Burt and get straight to the point: Red Dead Redemption does not know how to be a sandbox game, which is sad, because we all know that there's potential here for a great sandbox game. OK, not as much potential as you'd think, obviously; it's the Wild West, so vehicle variety is fucked. You only get three types of vehicles in this game: horse, two horses, and four horses. Hey, I can use math to predict where that pattern is going: it'll suck! Add any number higher than zero of horses to the mix, and things start to get a bit stiff and delayed, and the cruise control goes away, for some reason. (I didn't even know that horses came with cruise control.) Veer off the road with one horse, and you're fine; veer off the road with any number of horses greater than that, and things get rougher than an Atari game looks. That probably explains why the game almost always makes you ride shotgun when anywhere near a damn group of tied up horses, destroying the point of an open world.
OK, maybe that's a bit harsh, since it implies there was something to destroy in the first place. Staying true to the tradition of the Wild West, the world of New Austin is pretty much bustling towns surrounded by depressing nothingness. (I'd hate to see what Old Austin was like.) Don't be fooled by the flowers you can pick, or the random crimes you happen upon, as there is nothing to do. As I've implied, it at least tries to give you things to do; the problem is that none of it is interesting. You can get drunk, but like that drug farm scene in San Andreas, it's for absolutely no purpose; you just get a bit hard to control, pass out for two minutes, and then wake up with absolutely no sign of a hangover. Walk into a card game, and you'll find that the mini-games range in quality, horseshoes being a low point, but they all have one thing in common: they're hard to win, like real gambling. But that's just the stuff in-town (not including side-missions, as they're obvious)! Venture into the wilderness, and you can....skin an animal? Oh, god! What the hell is wrong with you Rockstar, that shit's horrifying! Killing animals is one thing, but cutting them open for their meat is scary cruel! Seriously, what worse acts could a cowboy commit in a video game!?
Custer's Revenge( I just haaaaaad to open my fucking mouth, didn't I?) Well, not my fucking mouth, as I'm not into oral sex (it just doesn't taste that good, girls!). No, I'm talking about in the above paragraph, where I was disgusted at how Rockstar let you skin animals in their game. It seems as though the game industry took that as a challenge, and at the end of the day, we're left with a game about rape. Predictably, nobody is pleased. Ever.
Now I know I've said this time and time again, but I don't find rape funny, which is why I've only used rape analogies in.... two blogs. Rest assured, I will not make a single rape joke in this blog, mainly because no actual rape occurs in this game. I know that you're confused and willing to flame me worse than a Frankenstein-esque horde (which, need I remind you, didn't really happen in the book), but hear me out: you're not supposed to enjoy rape, something I know from experience (see those two links up there? That.). The girl tied up in this game seems to enjoy the shit out of this, which leads me to suspect that this is some weird fetish of hers. If you're confused by such a suggestion, well, me too. Everything about this game is confusing.
Like the actual gameplay. "What's confusing about it?", you ask, not at all surprised at my last paragraph-ette. "Just walk up to her and feel an overpowering sense of shame, right?" Well, you're halfway there. Try walking up to her, and you'll succeed in walking up to her, but Custer will stand there confused, because he apparently has enough of a conscience not to fuck a naked girl tied up to a pole. You have to mash the....button....to get him to fuck her. I'm already ashamed enough that I'm playing this game; now you actively make me rape this girl? Who designed this game, that Saw puppet? Other than that, I don't have much to say about the game, really. You just fuck her and dodge the arrows, because otherwise, you jump out of your boots and lose your erection. But I don't have to explain that to you, right? I mean, we've all been in that situation: you're about to glue your girl's insides shut, when suddenly, a bunch of arrows fly out of nowhere! Ashamed and emasculated, you sit on the side of the bed and cry yourself to sleep that night.
Of course, by mentioning boning, I have to answer the big question: does this game make you horny? Usually the question concerns whether or not a game is fun, but I think we can all agree that rape is not fun. If you disagree with that statement, stay where you are, resistance is futile. The cops are already en route, you are screwed. For everybody else, back to the horny question: no, this game will not make you horny. I know that it may be considered biased that a guy who does not understand erotic gaming is playing such a game, but two things: first, I imagine Ajay Raz refused this game, given that it's not Japanese. Second, I'm into some dirty stuff. Keep in mind that I lost my virginity to myself (it wasn't masturbation (remember my powers)), yet this game was still unable to get a reaction from me. OK, it did get one reaction: one somebody knocked on my door while playing it, I had the same reaction as I would've had if I was just playing masturbating. So to sum up this affront to all, Custer's Revenge is masturbation without all the good parts about masturbation. Continuing with that thought, I give this game the Vasectomy Award.
- Do I really need to?
- Seriously, why do I need to do this?
- Fine, here: don't play this game.
Back to Red Dead Redemption....( Where was I?) You know, before I spoke about something more horrifying than Girl Beck (is such a thing possible!? ( No.))? Oh, right, exploring the world! Or, rather, how there isn't much reason to do so. Hell, you can't even take out your rage on the regular townsfolk, as this game is literally less forgiving than all five Sonic fans with a brain. Kill a dude or two in a GTA game, and you merely get a few cops on your ass (unless you activate the cheats and go psychopath all over the place); try that shit in the world of Red Dead Redemption, and the law(s)(somehow, you can be arrested in Mexico for crimes you committed in America) will come down on your ass for a 20 mile radius. But that's just the beginning! Everybody remembers; people look at you funny and shopkeeps charge more unless you pay for your crimes....with money. Worse, though, is that doing any of this will destroy both your fame and honor, because apparently murder makes you less famous.
Just what do fame and honor do, exactly? I have no idea! I finished the game with enough honor to be considered a protagonist in the next Fire Emblem, and the best thing I got out of it was that people didn't mind when I jacked their horses out from under them. You could make the argument that you also get discounts in shops as a result of both, and you'd have a point, given that the game tells me just that. However, here's my problem with that argument: I never really bought much in the game. It's not that the items are shit, as I used what little I bought; it's just that I didn't have much of a reason to buy them, even though I usually had enough money just to buy my way to the ending. All of the items were generally useless (why would I buy a horse when I can wrangle one up for free!?) or their uses are already covered by the game. They're convenient to have, but when you discover that your Dead Eye refills automatically over time, snake oil suddenly starts to feel like a waste of money.
And so we come to my favorite part of the game: the shooting. You may be wondering why I gave the game an 8.1 if I have all this bad stuff to say about the game. Well, this is why. (Why it didn't get the extra .1 point is because aiming on a horse is a bit weird.) You've a large variety of weapons and options, in terms of how to handle your enemies. Do you just shoot them in the face? Do you go into Dead Eye and tag their face for slow-mo what I said earlier? Do you hogtie them and stick them on the back of your horse (don't worry, these guys have perfect balance, somehow)? Do you shoot them off their horse and flip them off into the sunset? Actually, none of those; most of the time, you just blast the piss out of things from behind cover. But I'm fine with that, even if you slide into cover like you're Mega Man! The Wild West was a place where tables were made from a magical bulletproof wood just for these occasions, so the inclusion of a cover system comes off as realistic and satisfying. Hell, you're gonna need all the cover you can get, since most gunfights take place against the combined populations of China and everybody else. The only major flaw I found is that you can sometimes come unstuck, somehow, but even then, you're still crouching, so it's kinda the same, right?
I was expecting more from you, Red Dead Redemption. No, not in terms of length (you already cocktease your ending about five times before just giving up), but in terms of bugs. There were two things that people were talking about when I mentioned this game: a level of hype so high that you'd think it's the second coming of Fire Emblem 4 (soon, Nintendo, soon...), and the massive amount of glitches. In my experience, I've only seen, like, three, and only one of those could've had any affect on the gameplay, maybe. All that happened was a buggy disappeared, and I don't even think that was a bug; it was probably the game realizing how much buggies suck horse balls. (Oh, I should probably mention that you will see horse balls at some point in this game.) What I find weirder (but I understand why, mind you!) are the animations. Specifically, when you're riding or walking with somebody...and you both have the EXACT SAME WALK ANIMATION. Don't get me wrong, just look up; it's just that it ends up breaking any immersion when I see stuff like that. OK, this thing is getting too long, even for me, so let's round things out with the Blog that Matches the Game Award. It would've gotten some Horse Pop with it, but I was unable to find a decent Red Dead version of Shut Up Woman, Get on my Horse.
- Notice how all the commercials for this game hype up how awesome the story is. There's a reason for that.
- I'm not saying the game's bad, it's just that it has no clue how to do sandbox.
- But it does know how to shoot shit, even if it assumes you don't when you enter Mexico, for some reason. Please tell me why it begins with a tutorial for something I've already learned how to do.
*chuckles a little before being able to say anything*
Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse( Yep, it's a threebie special!) A few reasons why I decided on a third game for this ONE AND ONLY time. First, you guys never recommend any games I should replay. Second, well, I needed to round things out, since things would just look weird if I ended on a winky note. Third, I also needed some game that wasn't about tits (not that you could tell, looking at the image gallery), even if doing so prevented me from making my blog title "Sexuality be damned!", or something to that effect. Fourth, shut up, I need to write a blog.
Given that the last Castlevania ended with the main vampire slayer dying, this one is more of a prequel, set in the 15th century. Dracula's just getting the hang of this whole "world domination" thing, and he seems to be a quick learner. (Or maybe it's just that a plague-stricken Europe isn't that hard to conquer.) Europe needs a hero! Unfortunately, they only have Trevor Belmont, the town weirdo they kicked out of town until the exact moment they needed him. I think we can all think of, like, 9 stories exactly like that. Also, I'm sure we can think of a few Castlevania games exactly like this one, since Castlevania III is pretty much Castlevania I, only two more than that. Not that it's a bad thing, since the first Castlevania was pretty good, but it seems like lazy sequelage, especially since Simon's Quest at least experimented with the Castlevania formula.
To be fair, though, Dracula's Curse experiments, too. With new weapons and control fixes and stuff, right? Not really! Instead, imagine entirely new characters. You get Alucrard (yes, THE Alucard), Grant Imahara (who can climb walls, somehow), and Sylpha, the lone girl. Me being an idiot and the game being sexist, I soon found out that Sylpha sucks. I only found one special attack for her, and at best, it had the range of Trevor's whip. Compare this to the other characters, who can climb walls are turn into bats, making the level design cry in the corner. At least that's what I've heard, because as soon as I recruited Sylpha with a hearty handshake, Grant and Alucard refused to show up, perhaps sensing the stupid waves emanating from me after choosing Sylpha. This is not how you do replay value, Konami! Why don't you take an example from....Castlevania III? The fuck? Oh, right, diverging level paths. They're only around until you hit the castle, granted, but they still provide a decent reason to replay the game time and time again.
You know why else you should replay this game time and time again? Because it's awesome. Don't believe me? *kicks you in the nuts* Stop being so wrong. Hell, just look at the level design. Everything after the "so cluttered, it looks like the game glitched on me" first few levels takes more risks, and in doing so, is more awesome than it ever was. Seesaw puzzles, enough swinging pendulums to put Big Ben to shame (Big Ben has pendulums inside, right? Right?), water....how does Dracula own a castle that's not only so awesome, but can afford to be upgraded for future awesome? More importantly, though, how can the levels end in such an anti-climactic way? Of course, I refer to the bosses, although calling them that is being a bit generous. They're all so easy that about half of them literally start the battle dead. Dracula's pretty much the sole exception, given that his main attack is quite literally a middle finger, allowing him to earn the Best Attack in Any Video Game Ever Award.
- It's exactly what you'd expect: Castlevania 1, only more of it.
- New playable characters drive off all the better playable characters.
- Probably the best Castlevania on the NES. Not that that's a hard thing to accomplish.