So, the other day I saw that Sleeping Dogs was on sale on PSN, bundled with the Nightmare in North Point DLC, so I bought it and downloaded it. And in the time since then, I put around 22-23 hours into the game and DLC, and rather than wait a month and a half and blog about a multitude of games, I decided to write a short one instead.
Given that Giant Bomb (mostly Vinny) covered just about everything there is about this game (extensively!), I'm going to assume that you already have a base level of knowledge about what it is. So since you already know that it's an open world crime game with a heavy focus on melee combat, I don't need to say that. Oops.
Anyway, I think the game is a ton of fun. For a game that I initially thought was just blatantly ripping off the Batman Arkham style melee combat, it's actually pretty deep, maybe deeper than those games (though not necessarily better). You can tap the attack button (square on PS3, but I'm not going to write out square...again, oops) to punch, and hold it to kick, or do other special attacks depending on how deep into a combo the button is held. Hold it after punching once, and it's a sweep kick. After punching twice, it's a knee attack that can stun (if you've upgraded it), and then you can do a different special by holding the grapple button to knock out a stunned enemy (again, after you have the upgrade). Then there's countering, moves that can be done after grappling an enemy (like "breaking" arms and legs), disarming enemies, and a wide variety of environmental attacks, including smashing heads into wall fans and dropping enemies down onto swordfish swords. Spikes? I mean, it's not really a sword on the front of a swordfish, because you need stuff other than a blade for it to be a sword, and it's not really a blade on the front of a swordfish...
The driving in the game is great, especially after you get access to the A Tier cars. I do have some issues though. Unlike games like Saints Row the Third, you can't just steal cars and bring them back to your garage to own. You actually have to go and buy them. I know, crazy, right? They're kinda expensive too, but by the end of the game I had millions of Hong Kong dollars, and a 40% discount on everything (because of having a level ten face, which I don't really understand and the game didn't explain clearly), so I was able to buy them all (and get the Trophy for buying all the cars). The action hijacking is great, and reminded me of a certain other game, but there's not nearly enough of it in the game. Well, I suppose you can do it just about any time you're in a vehicle (aside from story missions where you need a specific vehicle, or are driving with someone else), but there's not many good reasons to actually do it most of the time. I did get an upgrade to make cop heat disappear faster if I did that whilst being chased by the cops, but evading the cops is so easy in the game that I never needed to do that either. Being able to side bash into other cars (again, like that game) was useful.
My other issue with the cars, and this is mostly nitpicking, is the color changing. When I buy cars in video games, I usually want them to be black, because I like the look of black automobiles. I can accept that not every vehicle in the game comes in black, but the color selection process of manually going through each paint job while it loads it in is tedious, even if it takes less than a second to load each paint job. There should have been a list of colors that I picked! But the real issue is that every time I pick a car in the garage, or summon a car whilst out and about, it just comes in the default color. I think that's dumb. I ended up using a different car than I would have because it defaulted to black. In the long run, it actually ended up being a better car, but it wasn't actually the best car in the game (the second best, I think, though I'm not really sure). Again though, this is nitpicking.
The shooting in the game, well, on paper is fun, but (unless you're in a car), you have to use L2 to aim and R2 to shoot on PS3. If you're in a car, then it's L1 and R1, even if you're riding shotgun and the AI is driving (which happens a few times in the story). Luckily the PS4 (and its good triggers) is right around the corner, so hopefully I'll never run into this issue again, but it was still a bummer. At least there was plenty of slow motion sliding over things whilst shooting to make it easier, but the melee combat is still the star of the show.
The story stuff in the game is pretty good. Maybe more killing than I originally expected (both in the story and the game itself, there was more shooting than I thought), but still enjoyable. Wei Shen was a likable protagonist, as are the other characters in the game that are meant to be liked (as opposed to the numerous scumbags). The voice acting is pretty good too, but the inclusion of some famous actors with rather small roles (mainly Emma Stone, who appears about two times in the whole game) was a little weird. Speaking of that, I really like how the game handles dating, by which I mean that Wei cheats on all of them (though is it really cheating if it's never more than one date each?), but then one of them cheats on him. I thought that was funny. Also, just like in real life, going on dates reveals the locations of collectibles on your map. Or at least I assume that's how it works in real life, I've never actually-
So, it took me about 21-ish hours to beat the main story, though that was with me doing just about all of the side stuff. All the favors, cop cases (but I'm not sure if those were optional or not, because I finished them before the main story), and the races. Then I started up Nightmare in North Point this morning, because I thought it was appropriate, given that today is Halloween.
It started strong, with jokes about Chinese magic being based around anti-freeze (honestly one of the funniest things I've heard in quite some time), but overall I was pretty disappointed. It's short, the new enemy types (hopping zombies and some demon-y looking guys) aren't especially fun to fight, and it took maybe an hour to beat the whole thing. Well, I guess I didn't find all ten of the "Hell Shrines," or whatever they were called, but they weren't marked on the map, so I wasn't going out of my way to find them.
As it was included as a part of my $11.24 purchase, I had some fun with Nightmare in North Point, but if I had paid full price ($6.99, I think), I would have been quite upset. And while I kinda want to play more Sleeping Dogs, I don't think the rest of the DLC will be worth what it costs (though to be fair, it was all on sale too before, but I missed it), so I'll just wait on whatever this Triad Wars game ends up being. But if it's anything other than a straight up sequel done in the same style (ie, single player), I'll probably skip it.
Don't get me wrong though, like I said above, I really like the game. It's a ton of fun, and if you haven't played it, you probably should. Well, you should if you like that type of open world crime game. There's definitely more to it than the seven times GB has made videos of them playing it.
So what else has been going on? Well, I finished Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. My opinion didn't really change much, but by the time I finished it, I had this overwhelming feeling wasting my life away, but that may have been related to other things as well. I played some more Dungeons & Dragons, during which I ended up doing all sorts of ridiculous things like tying kobold skulls to my sorcerer staff, so that was fun.
Nothing going on in the book writing/editing front, but I may get back into that soon. The PS4 launch is REALLY close, and I'm hoping that Killzone Shadow Fall is worth buying, because as excited as I am for Assassin's Creed IV, it'll be nice to have a game that was built from the ground up for the PS4, rather than just having better water and real time plant physics added on.
Oh, and after today's announcements about PlayStation Plus for the next month, you can look forward to me writing about games like Binary Domain and Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen! Not Stranger's Wrath though. That's only the Vita version, which bums me out, because I've wanted to play that game, but not really enough to pay $15. Oh well!
So, that's it! There's my "short" blog for the time being, I'll try to write another one as soon as I have enough to say about something. I would say happy Halloween, but I don't really like Halloween, or many Halloween themed things. I could probably write a whole blog about that, but I'm not going to, because that would not make for an interesting read. I think.
Oh, and I didn't proof-read for typos, so keep that in mind! Hm... I suppose saying that at the end doesn't really help though, if you've already read a bunch and scoffed at me.
Once the Year of Luigi is over, I'll have to think up a new image gimmick. I don't really want to go back to Nolan North, not now that he's not in every game like he used to be. Going with Troy Baker would just be re-using the same joke, so I won't do that either. I'll think of something, I still have a couple months to do so.