Poker Night 2

I am big fan of each of the represented franchises(except Borderlands which I never played), but I never realized how boring some of my favorite characters could be out of context. Especially Ash Williams. In the movies he just said catch phrases and shot stuff. For a game where the dialog is supposed to be entertaining he kind of makes it drag. They had to put Max in just to make Sam interesting. They are like two machine parts that only work together. Apart they just seem out of place. Brock Sampson is of course one of the coolest characters to grace cable television, but even he can't make dialog sparkle. Ash just doesn't seem to belong here. Brock is the most dangerous fictional man to ever exist. I don't think anyone moderately deadly belongs at the same table.

The nice thing about the original Poker Night was the diversity of the characters. There doesn't seem to be the same wide spread here. It was fun to see characters that would never otherwise meet hang out for a game of poker. Also I was excited and to hear how they decided to voice Tycho from Penny Arcade. When it was first advertised I was kind of expecting a Day of the Tentacle style multi-character adventure game staring the characters, but maybe Telltale is saving that for later.

Anyway despite my disappointment in the dialog, I enjoy playing poker. One of the improvements is that you are less likely to win by betting a lot every hand. Overall the game seems to be more realistic and characters are much less predictable. I often find my self playing while listening to music.

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Resident Evil 5

Occasionally when a friend comes to visit me I will try to get them to play Resident Evil 5 with me. After much pleading 50% of the time they will give in. It sucks that they made a game that is only fun if you have roommates or people who consistently visit you. I mean it's not that the game is great, but I really want to know what it's all about.

In Resident Evil 4 which is a horror game with action elements, the reason you can't run and shoot is too increase the tension. In Resident Evil 5 you should be able to do both. There is no reason not to. It is not a horror game, the zombies are too intelligent and organized for that. They drive cars and motorcycles, I wouldn't even call them infected. Just enraged.

People complained about the possible racism. If it was that big of deal they should still be complaining about it. Just because news is a few years old doesn't make it any less relevant. Just less topical. I mean I've been playing it for years, off and on. Isn't the media going to step in and tell me I'm playing a racist game. The truth is people can only be passionate about these things until they find something else to be outraged about. The easiest thing to do is to rally people by playing on their fears.

Speaking of fears this game really lacked good scares. Remember in RE4 when a flaming zombie jumps at you out of the refrigerator. That was really scary. In this game I'm playing a rail shooter for half of it, wondering when I stop relaxing.

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Catherine

Catherine was probably one of my favorite games of the year. It was creative, refreshing, and new. It took the dated block puzzle concept and applied it to something frightening and intriguing. All game-play takes place in dreams that feel like real nightmares. Your actions have interesting consequences and a lot seems to be at stake.

In a lot of my dreams I'm frantically trying to do something senseless for some reason and when I wake up I wonder why I thought that was so important. This game actually captures that feeling. The art is also great and not just the animated cut-scenes. I've seen a lot of cel-shaded games that try to blend 2D animation and 3D models, but this game was the first I can think of to do it perfectly. I'm not 100% sure what shading and lighting techniques they used but it looked really good. The ending, no matter which one you get will be a little disappointing. My feeling is they had some trouble tying up the story, but all in all it is a unique game that takes the player away from mediocre swill of generic garbage.

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Enslaved

I mentioned the hover board from this game in my Gears Post. Basically the game gives you a hover board that is only accessible in certain areas. Mainly because it would be too easy if you could out run every enemy and breeze over obstacles. That's not what bothered me. I really wished I was given a reason why I couldn't use it all the time that made sense in the context of the game. The Gears Hammer of Dawn explanation made more sense than the nothing this game gave you.

Also I hate AI partners and especially hate baby sitting them. Metal Gear Solid 3 was a good example, because you literally had to feed your companion. In Gears they were somewhat capable and only needed a pat on the back to be revived, but in enslaved your partner is a constant nuisance due to her constantly being in need of your help. On another note I had no motivation to help her, my avatar does, but I can't understand this. What happened is she puts a collar on your head that forces you to do what she says or die. I really didn't like the AI companion and I found it really frustrating that the protagonist seemed to do her bidding and take her ungratefulness in stride. Playing a game as a character who is forced to do something against their will and being submissive about it is depressing. It reminds of the indie game The Path, where you have to stray from a given path and have horrible things happen to you, with no reward other than that.

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Gears of War

Gears of War was four dollars at Game Stop. Now while I don't recommend shopping at a glorified pawn shop this was quite a deal. I made it though chapter one, but my heart wasn't in it. I kind of half-assley made it though the levels. I kept telling myself it's gonna get better. You're going to find out Marcus's past and it'll be worth it. My interest peaked when I was given a gun that called down the power of the sun. I fired a laser that fired a perpendicular solar beam at the enemy, but I was disappointed to learn that it only works when the game finds it convenient. Similar to the hover-disk-thing in Enslaved. Finally when chapter one was over I found out by a prompt in the game that I would have to start ordering my troops, since I was now in charge. This reminded of Brutal Legend. How the game started as a great single player experience but became too complicated when one had to split their attention one hundred different ways. I really didn't want a repeat of that experience so shelfed the game. I may come back some day. But probably not.

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