Video Games Played
- Split/Second; I've not got much else to add about the game that I haven't mentioned already (see: Patch Notes v0.04) but I did just want to conclude that having finally finished it I'm hopeful the game will see a sequel. A superb experience, albeit frustrating when the AI cheats, that ended in a suitable bombastic and dramatic way that caught me by surprise.
- Final Fantasy XIII; played but not completed. At Chapter 11 the game halted any chance of progression and instead forced hours upon hours of grinding XP in order to have a sufficient chance at surviving encounters with enemies. This sudden change in pace came without warning or reason which was disappointing given the linear feel of the previous chapters had helped build up a great momentum and focus.
- Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions; while the gameplay can get repetitive over time and the camera can be more of a hindrance than a help, the distinct design and different gameplay styles of the four Spider-Men and their unique dimensions is refreshing. And if you're a really big Spider-Man fan, like myself, then you'll definitely enjoy the extra content on offer that can be unlocked.
- Call of Duty: Black Ops; probably one of the most thrilling and exciting single player campaigns to ever be in a first person shooter. The game has a deep sense of intrigue too it thanks in large part to the fractured way in which the story is recounted under interrogation. The gameplay is similar to previous titles in the franchise and just like them it's equally as entertaining and fun to experience.
- Medal of Honor; could have been so much better if there had been any actual focus or commitment to take the game in a specific direction. But instead it flounders between two very familiar FPS franchises on the market and lacks a lot of the polish and shine that they have. That said the game does have some really nice lighting, environmental textures and sound effects. It's just disappointing to see that these are it's only good qualities.
- Gran Turismo 5; proving once again that good things come to those who wait. GT5 may not have the best UI or menu design, it may suffer terribly from many graphical anomalies but it sure does shine where it counts and that's in the driving, racing and handling of cars. Scoff all you want at the 'it's a driving simulator' slogan but it's true, there's just not anything else out there quite like it.
Currently PlayingJust Cause 2; I've clocked up around fourteen hours of game time and genuinely can't get enough of it. Even with its terrible voice acting, glitches and some oddly designed elements it's such an addictive game. Wanting to get 100% completion on each location you come across, trying to blow up as much stuff as possible to earn Chaos & Cash. Attaching things together with the grappling hook and awaiting the outcome of such a union. All of these things become ridiculously addictive to perform. I literally can't enter a military base without attaching a canister of gas to a soldier and igniting it causing the unfortunate guard to be dragged along like a rag doll.
The general story so far as well as the script and voice acting has been terrible but in a very B-Movie-ish way. I liken it to something like a Steven Seagal movie, you know it's not going to be up to much but you watch it anyway because it's frankly a guilty pleasure. I shouldn't chuckle when the lady giving my missions emphasises the word "endowed", "pleasure" or "chemistry" when referring to her relationship with the protagonist but I do none the less. That being said some gameplay elements leave me confused as to whether they were intentionally designed to be the way they are or if it's just problematic by coincidence. For instance most land vehicle feel terrible to drive and a small bump into another car or slight twitch on the analogue stick can send the vehicle into a tumbling, chaotic crash. The targeting often makes gunplay a bit of an annoyance, especially when the AI manage to have no trouble at hitting their targets.
All of that aside though I'm really blown away by just how much there is to explore and do in the game. Between all the locations, vehicles and faction missions I'm sure I'll be clocking in an additional fourteen or more hours getting through it all!
Below is an image comparing the size of Just Cause 2's map to some other open world games from the past.
A Few Quick Notes
- I strongly urge you all to read "A Rant About the VGAs" by Jeff Green. It does a great job of summarising what's wrong with the VGAs!
- The next Patch Notes blog will be GOTY related. So keep an eye out for that being posted sometime after Christmas.
- Top Men are brainstorming some solutions for the recent spam-bot infestation. Be patient ;)
As always please feel free to comment & critique below!