Saints Row 4 The National Treasure Edition PS3 Videogame Review

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WARNING: Spoilers be spoiled

The Saints Row gang has taken over the United States of America and have somehow made their lead President. He starts to run the entire nation into the ground and calls a press conference to settle everyone down. Seconds after his public speech on how he’s going to clean it all up Aliens, called the Zin, show up kill, kidnap, destroy everything pretty much proving he can’t do shit. After a while everyone gains conscience and make some kind of stark realization that they aren’t on Earth anymore. As it turns out the smartest one there steals a ship and somehow notifies everyone they are in a ‘simulation,’ which is a nice way of saying VIDEO GAME. So they decide to do all they can to screw up the simulation and kill the Aliens that captured them.

Now usually when a series ‘jumps the shark‘ it is a giant cluster fuck of poorly written dialogue, story, jokes, character development, etc. However the group over at Volition makes jumping the shark a complete new art form full of various flavors of humor and wonderful tributes to movies, television, and even other games. Like most open world games you can run around doing dick all, or help someone do side quests, or main quests. Although after doing the seventh or so crack the code, blaze, or whatever else mini-game it’ll get repetitive, but if you want to max out your level (capped at 50) then doing all those, and some side quests, and should max you out before the end of the main quest.

I liked all of the stories told. They were entertaining and the humor flowed differently from character to character and none of it was too distasteful. However some were just throwbacks to the previous games. Since I hadn’t played any of them I had no clue what was going on. So they kinda didn’t hold any relevance and I wound up not caring sometimes. Sure that’s probably my fault, but I can’t get engrossed in a story about Matt Miller‘s wankery for his favorite TV show. Also some of them didn’t make sense. One confusing one in particular involved going to save Benjamin King from a simulation. Apparently lots of people are trapped in other simulations that make them think that all of the persons worst nightmares are coming true. So this involves a rival gang surviving and a hologram of his ex-girlfriend coming to kill him. Once the player gets him out, or to a point where he can leave, King requests that he stay in the simulation so he can kill his ex. My first thought was why does this matter?

As the story goes once someone is removed from their simulation they are kicked out of their holding pod. So simulation crashes and its assumed to be deleted from the Zin’s system. So in other words his ex-girlfriend isn’t real. She’s kinda like a AI unit in a videogame. It’s just a re-imaging of her. Once the simulation is deleted, she is deleted. Whats the point in drawing out something LONGER and get vengeance on something thats going to be deleted anyway? Besides, the ship has two really well rounded hackers on it, Kinzie Kensington and Matt Miller. Both could easily find the ex-girlfriend AI if she decided to go rogue and delete her that way.

Others are almost completely relatable on both being comical and/or nightmarish. For example: you liberate Pierce Washington from a corporate advertisements nightmare gone wild. Another makes Asha Odekar come to terms with her fear of failure. This one made me feel bad for someone who’s probably a strong headed killing machine, but truthfully its something everyone faces.

I hate to say it but most missions, beside the side quests, were incredibly easy. It mostly consists of go to x-location and kill x-bad guy. Sure the variety of story spruced things up a bit, but the game play was boring at times. I eventually found myself looking around for the collectibles considering they added some insight to the characters and gave you various powerups. Even the DLC(s) were easy which consisted of the same system of gameplay, but would only momentarily involve other aspects like doing a arbitrary task for someone in order to continue the mission. Like one involved finding all the people dressed up as animals and caging them. Fun, funny, weird, but still kinda boring.

One of the things I enjoyed the most, besides the humor, were the cameos. Sure, cameos are usually a bunch of people selling out for money, but many of the characters in this game had a purpose and are totally essential to the story telling experience. Like Keith David, one of my favorite bit actors of all time, is a main character and is apart of many parts of the main story. He even has a few good one liners later on. Rob Van Dam and Roddy Piper add a good bit of hilarious, and gruff, voice overs as well. Neil Patrick Harris is a villain and you can eventually have him join your crew. Even the Burch family, from Hey Ash Whatcha Playin’?, make a guest appearance. Due to the good amount of voice work done it adds a whole level different level of of humor to the game, makes it even funnier, and more memorable then most cameos in movies/games/tv shows/etc.

The graphics were really well detailed and accentuated the absurdity of it all. Like in some areas if a NPC stood next to a void, a open wormhole in the programming, then their eyes would bulge or arms would get scrawny. To a certain extent the game poked fun at itself by letting some NPCs walk along like they weren’t fully rendered. Other times cars would drive upside down or the buildings walls would look like they were constantly refreshing. Another cool thing is that in some missions the game would fake freeze the screen and a programming dialogue box would open up like someone was programming it as I played the game.

However the graphics were a major problem for the game. Often it would crash to a complete stop. So I had to reset the PS3 about 10 times total. To a certain extent I’m just glad it didn’t ruin my saved games files. However it was problematic if you used some of the more ferocious Homies to fight along side you. Like I’d recruit the Burch Family or Homies that were upgraded, a lot. They’d help in some of the intense fights. However, whenever we get into a skirmish they immediately use super powers on whatever enemy is around. So do the math, multiple cars, people, aliens, and your NPCs roaming about and fighting all at once== system overload. After I noticed that I stopped using them as much. This took away from the experience, to me, because the whole point of them being apart of the game is so they can help you out. Also there was a drastic difference in crashes between going solo and using NPCs. If I went solo I’d last about 9 hours of gameplay (shut up I know that’s bad), but if I used NPCs it would maybe last 4 hours before it crashed.

This is probably one of my favorite comedy games of all time. Yes, it’s a rare COMEDY GAME. Very few people in this world know what COMEDY is and how you can be funny or just fucking pathetic. Yes they straddle the lines on some of the shit jokes, but I found myself laughing so hard I had to pause the game and calm down more often then rolling my eyes. Sure the story lines kinda cluster together and some are just terrible, but for the most part the stories told are rather fun and stupid in a jovial fashion. The controls are perfect, and so are most of the graphics. The only thing that brings it down is that it sporadically crashes to the point where I had to restart my PS3 multiple times, but it wasn’t a problem for the most part. The difficulty wasn’t too challenging, but if you don’t pay attention to what you’re doing the game will pretty much run you over.

This is simply put: a great game.

8.5/10

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Farcry 3 PS3 Videogame Review

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WARNING: SPOILERS, SARCASM & WRY

A potential Girls Gone Wild video shoot gets captured by a group of pirates. The main characters wake up in the middle of a slaver camp and try to escape. Two of the college bros manages to escape, uh, kinda. Later he meets up with the local resistance on the island that tries to end the drug/slavery cartel. He learns of their heritage and they recruit him. They then send him on a series of missions to make him into a warrior, and to get really stoned. OK that’ll make sense once you play the game. Along the way he helps the people of the island with various problems, explores the island, hunts a lot of animals and people.

The story works out like any standard action movie. Jason Brody, is a average US American kid that somehow becomes a super killing machine by the end. He delivers standard “I’ll lead you underdogs to victory” speeches and belts out cliches lines like the script writers hadn’t seen a action movie ever! He’s probably the most uninteresting main hero I’ve see in YEARS. Anyway he seems compelled to go out and save his friends from the slavers who boarder between irritating, broken, or just not all that interesting. Don’t get me wrong his stoner friend (Oliver) is funny and adds a weird relaxing morose feeling, like the only reason he’s happy is because he found natural hallucinogens on the island, but he isn’t too terribly useful. Daisy is probably the only useful one, but seems to gain abilities out of fucking NO WHERE. So his job to save the island runs into hiccups due to the very well laid out bad guys and their very vicious and strange way of doing things.

Like Vaas is one of the more interesting villains I’ve seen in years, even if he lacked some development. He seemed to know your every move and attempt to save your friends. This was the neat part, because it seemed this villain broke the 4 th wall, read the script for the game, and said to himself “I won’t let him fucking do that.” So the entire time it I was trying to fight, or find, him was a giant mockery of every action movie ever made. He knew you were coming for him. So he set up a trap. He knew you might survive something. So he set up another trap. He, despite all his cocaine use, was scarily weird and vivid to the point where if I had to pit him against another villain in video game history it would be Trevor Phillips from GTA V. He’s mostly known for being a serial killer and cannibal and openly mocked anyone who questioned the ‘edginess’ in modern video gaming. But that might be a bad idea since they are so insane they might go into business with one another, or go into one another considering there are a lot of homosexual themes in the game.

That brings us to Willis “Buck” Huntley. Another villain I’m taking time to mention because it’s rare you see this kind. First off Buck is hella smart. He seems to be a redneck Australian version of Indianna Jones. I thought it was interesting because you don’t really see anyone Australian in anything, much less being smart. If they are they’re a 100% stereotype that we’ve all learned from a Crocodile Dundee movie and drinking lethal doses of beer. Secondly he seems to be a implied rapist. This I thought was well done, since most mediums now-a-days seem to shove whatever negative trait a villain has in your face. This is only IMPLIED and it he may have very well just been a shithead to someone rather then a rapist.

Sam Becker, again another interesting ‘villain’, falls under something different I notice. He’s a German-American who not only isn’t blood thirsty, but he wants all of the madness on the island to end. Sure betrayal isn’t anything new in any story EVER, but the fact that it breaks so many stereotypes it isn’t even funny. Most times you see a German in a game he/she’s perpetually stuck in the 1940s swearing allegiance to Hitler or wanting to kill everyone. This guy seems a little more put together realizing that killing is only a means to a end and once Hoyt (the main slaver and antagonist of the game) is gone everything has the possibility of being hunky dory on the island and he’s totally OK with that. Really. He doesn’t want to take over Hoyts business after hes dead. He doesn’t want to go killing anymore. It genuinely he seemed like he just wanted to sit down and drink with the locals, and hopefully not be strung up by them. So in all honesty he had the possibility of being the vile stereotype of either nationality he belongs to and they wrote him like somesort of Kelly’s Heroes hippy. This was weirdly refreshing.

One of the major things I hated about the story is the ‘love story’ subplot. I don’t know if you can call it a subplot considering it mostly consists of one lady (Liza, because apparently you can’t fucking spell Lisa and not attract the main demographic for this game) bitching about how Jason isn’t giving her enough time, or something, and doesn’t want him to get hurt. Its suggested that they were together before they decided to announce to a island full of blood thirsty pirates that they were young dumb, stupid, and full of money, coincidentally. Then after some time she says some crap like she’s finally seeing the man she wanted or he was meant to be.

I think this is ironic that A) she’s playing a stereotypical angst ridden woman (ie damsel in distress) who seems to think it’s a good time to ask someone who’s training to be a murder God to reevaluate their relationship whilst a civil war is happening on the island and their friends are in danger of being sold off as sex slaves. I found myself screaming at the TV, like some Jerry Springer fan, a few times telling her to SHUT THE FUCK UP. Not to say she’s completely selfish, but complaining about their relationship is the only thing I can remember that she did the entire game. Also B) it seems she to only gained interested in him after he saved a few people, killed a dozen bad guys/animals, and woke up out of a drug fueled dream with a dozen or so tattoos on his arm. This doesn’t give a good impression of what women want to the young people who might be playing the videogame. Seriously we don’t need any sailors going on drunk fulled murder and tattoo rampages and then expecting people to fall madly in love with them.

The gameplay is a vast improvement over the first Farcry videogame that I played. I ran into, at first, what I thought was glitches. It seemed every enemy could sniper you with any weapon through any wall, tree, house, or mountain from any distance. This annoyed the fuck out of me and I gave up on the game. It was one thing to be able to see someone and they’d be in visual distance and then they’d attack. But with my experiences, and the original, you could be in a shack with no windows and if you briefly fart or gasp for air and the guy on top of a mountain three mountains over would hear it and somehow be able to blow your head off. This was freaking unrealistic. I don’t know about you but most peoples eye sight is limited to 100 yards or so and can’t get shot upwards of 100 times. They shouldn’t have the abilities of Superman! Also, for the record, it was a legit copy for the PC.

This one has far more balance then that. If you can see them through a sniper scope, they can see you. If you shot them more then 5 times, with certain kinds of guns/distances/etc., they die. Simple enough, right? Well, ya, it’s just that simple. However, unlike most games where you can run through a base kill a few people either run off or kill everyone there effortlessly, the AI has a few smarter things going for it. Like once you make your presence known, anywhere, they continually search for you. If you run away, they’ll still be on the look out. A few times I’ve had to fast travel to a different location and come back in an actual REAL TIME hour or so so they’d stop looking for me. One time, when I first started, I ran into a heavily armed base and got destroyed because they called for back up, multiple times. So I had to build my own strategy on how to take out the base and that made this aspect of the game rather fun.

The only thing I get infuriated with is the stupid AI. Sometimes the drunk Molotov cocktail throwers would set themselves on fire, often. Other times when I would try to take over a base and a random lion or bear would wonder in the base whipping out EVERYONE there. Those damned animals shits even did that to bases I had conquered. Anyway these baddies are suppose to be trained militia. Like a guerrilla version of the Roman Legion but with better weapons. Why they seemingly ignore a large growl, followed by a terrible screaming sound, and then sudden silence and not decide to hit the alarm or have all forces focus in and kill the thing is beyond me. Also other times they’d literally WALK PAST the leopard or whatever that was attacking the base and it would then kill them.

Sometimes it seems like they were highly organized and you pretty much prayed to make it out alive or hope they didn’t hit the alarm, which seemed random, to signal for backup. Other times they’d do all of the above and get attacked by local wild life or the local resistance that just happened to drive by at the time you decided to attack the base. It’s entertaining, but frustrating because I wanted to play the game, not have AI play the game for me. It did add some immersion to the game, considering I can see this happening in a war torn country, but it often ruined my strategy on how to infiltrate the base. Also the local resistance didn’t help with the other 90% of the game, so why show up now?

This has some RPG elements that are almost not worth mentioning. The game, as said, depends on how you fight, the guns you use, and how well you fight in tight situations. With that being said, you can gain skill points for abilities after doing whatever to get xp, but the abilities don’t open up until you complete various parts of the main story. So I went out and annihilated half of the islands baddies, and took their bases, with nearly none of these power ups that that they wave at you in the beginning of the game. So I didn’t get the point of leveling up when you can’t use the points when needed or when the perks aren’t that useful.

Yes, you can do cool things like jump on top of someone and stab them to death, but if you’re like me you’ll shoot them with a silencer, or a bow, from a distance. Now this DOESN’T make any sound and it DOESN’T draw the attention of everyone when the guy screams for his life as you stab him to death. So why should I buy these abilities when everything else is already at my disposal? Aside from the few that help the character swim sharks or shoot better, there isn’t a point to many of them. On top of that, and as said before, you can use these ability but they’ll attract attention to you, very quickly. Now since it seems that they only decide to organize themselves to find you after finding you, then you can wind up dead very fast with said power ups. So having power ups that encourage you to go Rambo in a game that PUNISHES the living shit out of your for being a loud turd isn’t too terribly productive or practical.

Also the crafting system is a bit stupid. It requires you to get animal hide for special ammo upgrades, or it helps you carry more guns. Sure that’s fine, but it required the hides of seemingly random animals that shouldn’t exist on the island at all. Its like they asked a 5 th grader what animals he liked and then said “fuck it” and lumped them all on a island. It, like most tropical islands, are either hot or wet. If you listen to the local islanders in the game they complain about the weather A LOT. So why the hell would this island have a North American Grizzly bear on it and a few miles south packs of Dingos. The Grizzly would die from heat stroke due to the huge amount of fur it has and how it’s body naturally insulates heat. Dingos on the other hand live in EXTREMELY hot weather. So anything below 90 degrees or so could kill them since their bodies are made to resist HEAT and not cold. If you look at the map they’re technically already in areas where they should be dead. This also hurts the realism of the game and the whole immersion thing. Some the upgrades requires hides of super rare animals. Wouldn’t PETA be super pissed you were going off killed rare animals for your selfish upgrades? Sorry, Winne the Poo I need your hide so I can carry a extra gun. Also these super rare animals have no difficulty to them what-so-ever. They are essentially the same damn animal, but slightly reskined. If they’re that special why not make them harder or smarter? Other wise it’s just cheap.

The graphics show a good bit of what the PS3 can offer. The cut scenes are damn near movie quality. The facial structure and movement on most of the characters is life like. On top of that the water effects when swimming or sailing are interesting since it all seems to bump and sway like a real ship. Also the lighting and fire really help with the immersion of the game. Many times at night I saw light in the distance and it gave that same ugly glare that lights do in real life when trying to focus on something. This helped make it all that much more realistic when trying to take over a base and being half blinded by the lamp lights that are surrounding the base.

The only thing I can complain about is the rain effects. They are neat, but not fully developed. Nothing really seems to get wet. Also you can look at the houses and plants and not see anything drip off of them. It’s just weird. Besides that the only major glitches were random scenery glitches from time to time. I’ll be walking somewhere and there’ll be a thin discolored line that runs across the screen. So I’ll back up and it’ll disappear. Then there are some areas on the map where your character starts a swimming motion, makes a splash sound, and the water either A) failed to render or B) he’s randomly doing that on some hillside for no reason. Regardless just move some and the glitches go away completely.

The story is aching of a cliché action movie, but the real reason to play it is due to the vast colorful characters, both good and bad guys. The graphics are at their peak with little to no glitches. The game play is great, but gets repetitive due to the similar quests and wonky structure. All in all this is a worth while action game, despite it being considerably over hyped and my griping. If you can find it for cheap, or the new Farcry compilation, then I’d recommend buying it. It’s a quality FPS game.

7.5/10

Fallout New Vegas PS3 Video Game Review

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You’re some loaner out in the middle of nowhere in the ruins of Las Vegas, Nevada. You’ve been assigned to take a parcel to some address for unknown reasons. Along the way you get mugged by a sharp looking guy and a group of thugs. They steal your package and leave you for dead in some cemetery. You eventually come to and a doctor makes you aware that the town robot has dug you out of your unmarked grave and you’ve been patched up. Kinda.

As with all Fallout games you expect a great experience and the story is just that. It blends scifi, 50s technology and vibe, and does it all beautifully. The stories involved are very vivid and damn near completely compelling. Yeah it has some cliches and genera stereotypes, but for the most part it’s well written. The characters, and voice actors, do a great job making you care about them and their well being, even more ruthless ones like the Great Khans. The stories that intertwine help bring some depth to the peoples and their struggle. Also, many times, it pretty much displays no one as a true hero and shows everyone makes mistakes. The better thing about this game is the options. You can chose between factions and it has a impact on how they treat you. The guns can be upgraded to be lighter, more durable, etc. It gives you a great deal of more options when choosing how your character survives the wasteland.

The voice acting is the usual top quality stuff. You get a greedy and damaged character from Matthew Perry. Voice acting legend Jason Marsden comes back as a hard boiled and emotionally damaged sniper. Unlike his first role in Fallout 2 as a chem making asshole. All are quality performances, except the bit characters dialogue. Some seem hackney or hastily slapped together at the last minute. I doubt its the actual voice actors problem, but…well…I’ll give you a example. You’re talking to a MALE Brotherhood of Steel paladin and when you say Goodbye a female voice says Goodbye and the lips of the Paladin move. So either the character had a spontaneous sex change and his estrogen shot to ungodly levels or the coders screwed it up. Another irritating time is when I’m talking to ED-E, a robot companion in the game. A message comes over his speakers from the Brotherhood of Steel asking you to bring them the robot so they can analyze it. On the very last sentence it switches from a American accent to a very thick Middle Easter, or Indian, accent. WHAT THE HELL? It does this multiple times and is just completely weird.

I’m just warning you ahead of time that this is why I’m completely failing the game. The GRAPHICS and game itself isn’t terrible. The whole of it is just incredibly unstable! Its like they made the game to troll the crap out of the player. I have had to restart the PS3 multiple times due to it freezing or getting so slow that minutes will pass before anything happens. Like if I hit the left joystick telling my character to walk left it’ll sit there for a while, then it decides to walk left 5+ minutes after that. Many times when it tries to load a new area it goes to a slow crawl and either freezes or is so jittery it becomes to difficult to do anything. Other times characters, usually IMPORTANT ONES, will have various monsters spawn near them in the secluded and SAFE town that they live in and get killed. This usually happens AGES before you get to the quest that requires them. Also it seems to happen AT RANDOM. So very important, quest required, NCPs will be DEAD when you need them the most and for no logical reason. Other times if you have a companion they will lose important items you bought for them. Or if you go into a casino they’ll be stripped of them and you won’t get them back later. The list really goes on and on. Due to all these glitches and more it completely ruins the immersion feeling this series is known for. Instead of having quality face to face with the characters it’s all a jittery crash filled experience and quickly reminds me that I should have bought a better PC to play this.

The thing that frustrates me the most about this whole experience is that I have other games I need to get to, play, and review. I have other games fixed/patched/whatever, without GAME STOPPING GLITCHES, that run fine on the same game system. So if I ever get a new computer I won’t force myself to play this game again, seeing as it would probably be the same experience. So because they can’t seem to fix glitches, fix simple quest glitches, and stop NCPs items from randomly disappearing I’ve don’t have a choice but to give up on this game. When I play a game I want the whole story and for it to function correctly. This really isn’t the case.

Quality assurance should be a top priority of any games developer. Those who haven’t made it a priority have went bankrupt. After so many hours into this game and learning more of it’s lush lore and intriguing story line: it’s very apparent they just gave up at one point on the graphics, and how to load them. I am infuriated that such a great story was thrown to the way side because people don’t want to patch their damn game! This has been a totally upsetting experience because I love this series and this is the only one I’ve had so much trouble with. The crashing ruins the game for me because if it wasn’t for that factor alone I would be giving this game a 8.5/10. However, I just can’t.

3.5/10

Little Inferno PC Video Game Review

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Tomorrow Corporation is selling gadgets world wide. Somehow a freak snowstorm smothers Earth. So they ship out “Little Inferno” and suggest people burn their stuff to stay warm. They do and then they run out of stuff. So Tomorrow Corp finds a way to let them burn things they order Tomorrow Corp and help them make money. In turn they buy more and then burn more, etc. etc.

I like this game, but it’s one of the most exceedingly weird games I’ve ever played. While it is a puzzle based game it does have its fair share of uselessness for a sandbox game. It falls along the lines of The Incredible Machine, but you set it all on fire. Regardless it doesn’t have much of a story. It seems like its going for a anti-consumerist and anti-pollution statement, but it is rather bland due to there not being enough backstory, or even a story to promote said message. You can watch the trailer and pretty much surmise that’s what they’re talking about.

You get a few characters who pop in from time to time. Who give some back story, but are mostly useless. Like one lady who turns out to be your neighbor, Sugar Plumps, but she doesn’t say much more then Hello and then asks for items. She eventually gets weirder as the story goes on, but its nothing unusual if you’ve already accepted the dreary world. Then there’s the Weatherman who is virtually useless. He gives the forecast for the weather for the next few days, but since you never go outside I don’t see the point of him at all. Sure his character could be hinting at the anti-consumerist and anti-pollution statement in the game, as mentioned before, but I’m not interested in politics when I play a game unless they are vital to the story like Metal Gear Solid.

Many of the puzzles are damn simple. It combines almost a match the objects and a reverse pictionary game, where its words instead of pictures, and you have to guess the combination of things to burn. Like in the first book in order to solve one puzzle you have to find two things to burn simultaneously that match the theme. In a way its like poetry for pyromaniacs. They’re fun, but they aren’t required in order to play the game. In all honesty the game isn’t possible to fail. So you can play it as much as you want or as little and avoid the puzzles all together. The thing that distracts from the puzzle is the disturbing nature of some of the puzzles. Some when combined you can hear whatever it is scream as its set ablaze. Or the explosion will be so bright it will wash out the screen for a bit.

The graphics and art style are probably the most notable things about the game. They are consistently dark and mulled. The crudeness of the figures are almost reminiscent of those ‘troubled kids’ you see in all horror movies. You know they draw ugly frightening bears and they come to life or something. Some would even say it’s reminiscent of Tim Burton’s art style, but his has a round features to it while this has a crude grease pencil look followed by someone’s tormented 5th grade scrap booking project. Sometimes the creatures are too damn dark and it seems that the artist forgot to use his white crayon to highlight details on the item. Other times it gives you a odd cozy feeling while still feeling mildly disturbing. Now since the things you buy to burn come to life and scream in pain while you’re burning them it just makes it that much more creepy. Its like the items want to be burned. It sounds evil in a way, but its funny/odd to observe.

I can’t recommend this to everyone, because it’s a weird puzzle game. I like these kinds of things, but it has maybe 4 hours worth of play time total. So if you can stand a mild morose atmosphere and teddy bears crying as you burn them alive then this is at least worth a try. If you can find it for $5 I’d say it’s worth it. There isn’t any replay value, but it is a fun and very creepy experience. I wish I could give it a higher rating because it is really a fun game, but it doesn’t have enough story for me to warrant it.

6.5/10

Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards: Reloaded PC Video Game Review

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WARNING: Spoilers and stuff. Things.

There isn’t a nice way to say it so here it is: Leisure Suit Larry is a schmuck. A womanizer. A skirt chaser. A manwhore. His goal for this evening is to get laid. So he scoots around town trying to find a woman. He makes a few enemies along the way and even assaults a whale. But all the excitement ends in a hot tube.

For those who weren’t born after the 90s Larry has been around for quite some time. Apparently this time he’s jumped into a time machine and went back to relive his first game. Regardless, the dork is out for you know what. Its a fun romp to live again in nostalgia-ville and listen to some jokes of yesteryear. The good thing about it is that it’s like playing a old favorite game, or even a favorite movie. The down side is that it seems like it’s missing some of the cursing and nudity. Yes, it’s kinda schmuck-ish to complain about this kind of thing, but that kinda added to the charm of the original. To use a modern day reference it would be like if Glenn Quagmire (from the Family Guy TV show) got his own videogame and he wasn’t as gross or out right disgusting. The whole appeal to Larry is that he was the underdog who you, after a while, cheered for when he has a smutty good time.

Most would morally object to this game and I understand that. However, Larry is the kind of schmuck that everything just about bites him in the ass in a hilarious way. So I would even recommend this for women who hate misogynistic men. To a certain extent it might be a weird dream for women like Anita Sarkeesian. Another cool thing about him is if he dies, which can happen a lot, you are immediately brought back to your previous position. But in all honesty it isn’t as shocking, or bad, as some of the other things that has come out through out the history of time. To say the least the controversy that’s always surrounded the Larry games is absolutely unwarranted. This game is like a wet fart during someones speech in class. It pokes at the silliness of sex while not showing any.

The graphics are great. It’s has some stale cartoonie details that aren’t animated. However it doesn’t take away from the story itself or the atmosphere. Which is another thing: the atmosphere almost gives a kinda fun vibe to it being a game about sex. Yes there are some blatant sexual themes to the artwork, but its very smoothly done so that there isn’t any nudity. Its almost done in style of a perverted cartoon shown on HBO.

Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards: Reloaded isn’t a totally forgettable experience. Its just that it is the exact same as before. The humor is the same. It’s the kinda smarmy tongue and cheek jokes that some will love and some will hate. The graphics are even more wonderfully cartoonie then before and the voice acting is still top notch. If you can find it for cheap I’d recommend picking it up if you haven’t played it already.

6.5/10

Zafehouse Diaries PC Video Game Review

Zafehouse

Something has caused a Zombie Apocalypse. A group of people are stranded in a random town somewhere on Earth. They have secure their home of their choosing and put their petty differences aside in order to survive. In some scenarios they have to figure a way out of town. Other times they just have to not kill each other long enough to get a helicopter ride out.

I know a lot of people praise this game, but I hated it. I found a lot of this to be appallingly unrealistic or it felt like the game set itself to GOD mode. For example: there isn’t enough of any kind of supplies, EVER. So people either bleed out due to wounds or die of starvation. Now with the obesity rates around the world climbing this is a little difficult to believe that NO ONE has food other then ‘snacks’ half the time. The town, no matter where its rendered, seems to have a zombie population the size of New York City, even on ‘easy’ mode. Then the main mission, which is escape the town, is virtually impossible due to the incompetence of your crew.

The people you control are randomly generated, but are woefully utterly useless nearly 60% of the time. No one seems to be competent in anything remotely useful. So there’s a good chance that the game will give you 5 people who have 5 out of 5 star rating for watching zombies, but no one has higher then a single star for building a barricade to prevent the zombies from getting in. Other times I’ve encountered scenarios that no one knows how to make traps or they have really poor hand to hand combat skills. So unless I want to use a gun and attract even more zombies the ENTIRE TEAM would died within 5 days. Even then they’d all die once they ran out of ammo anyway.

Other times they all seem to hate each other for petty stupid reasons. This absolutely doesn’t make any sense at all. Sure humanity is petty and stupid and kill each other for just about any reason. However, everyone seems to know really intricate details about one another regardless of actually establishing a dialogue or back story. So apparently all AI in this game are physic knows everyone else likes, dislikes, skills, financial background and much more. Now I’ve seen some pretty miraculous things in my life: like how tragedy can bring enemies together. This displays the EXACT OPPOSTE to extreme and unrealistic perspective.

On top of that their actions are completely unrealistic. One time a huge hoard of zombies broke into the house. Sometimes it takes a few days for everyone to fight off the group and then rebuild. Instead two women who hated each other decided to break into a fight, during the zombie invasion. You’re reading that right: as the zombies were tearing everything limb from limb these two morons decided to fight each other. The saddest part was that they were the best fighters of the group. Oh and guess what? They all died! Another time someone snuck out during the middle of the night, FOR NO APPARENT REASON, and then came back bitten. Another time a guy went for a walk, who wasn’t known for his athleticism, and got killed. Now the game does a great job on who does what and it was noted he didn’t take any means of defense despite the fact that we had a few machetes and guns and that little fact that THE TOWN IS SURROUNDED BY ZOMBIES!

The graphics are kinda standard for a indie game. It feels more like you’re playing a board game or a zombie version of Dungeons and Dragons in some respect. That’s cool and all, but after a while it gets a little stale. Instead of seeing your characters full body you give a description of everything. It just gives a ugly mugshot like picture of the character. Then the profile is usually disappointing. Instead of stating anything useful it gives very generic information. Like “Steve loves poodles and grew up in a rich family. He ‘secretly’ hates the middle class and circus midgets.” Now any negative things stated in someones profile you are pretty much guaranteed to have. You’ll have a middle class circus midgets in the group somewhere. Anyway it’s next to worthless information. Sometimes it’ll have a footnote up in the upper right stating a large negative or positive quality, but it rarely is fruitful in any way.

Due to the game play mechanics it feels like a spreadsheet sometimes. But don’t get me wrong: this is actually the neatest part of the game. They tell everything through a journal or how you can command your group through quick commands on the right side of the board. However, it felt like a windows prompt that helped you do maintenance on your computer rather then playing a game. Since the characters have no sense to do things on their own you have to tell them to do everything. Also in order to help them progress on whatever you click a watch to speed up time. It’s neat that it’s the “Go” button, but you have to pay attention to everything or else the jobs you assign them or you can easily send the group to their death rather then just scout a area.

Out of all the zombie based games I’ve played this was the most frustrating, short lived, and possibly worst gaming experience I’ve had. It isn’t impossible to play, but it certainly isn’t possible the way the game randomly generates some groups. It does require strategy, but in order for any strategy to be effective the people participating in it have to be competent and not behave like 4 year olds. While I do applaud them for their game play design and simplistic graphics I’ll have to say nothing excuses them from this poor of a experience with such stupid AI.

2.0/10

Guise of the Wolf PC Video Game Review

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WARNING: MILD SPOILERS

You’re start out in a random country side and your carriage gets attacked by some unknown creature. You wake up in the middle of a wintery forest area and start to look for your carriage driver. You eventually venture into the abandon castle to find out you’ve been bitten. As it turns out the Lord of the castle called upon you to create a cure for this curse that plagues the castle.

The story is so so. It slowly draws you in and will put many to sleep at the same time. It gives little to no character development and still leaves holes in the story even at the end. For a ‘horror’ based game there is very little horror to the story seeing as it’s either laughably bad or easily defeated. They did take some unique turns in making a monster story, like making potions and cures. But it ends slightly cliché, even with two different endings. Don’t get me wrong the endings are nicely done, but you’ve probably seen them before.

The graphics are terribly dated, but that’s nothing new with Indy games. Even with dated graphics many have found a way to make them artistic looking or add some different qualities to enhance their limitations. One good example is Papers, Please. It’s a very stressful take on living in a 3rd world country as a boarder security guard. The graphs are utter crap. However shading and simple design help bring the game to a very dreary vivid world. With Guise Of The Wolf it very much reminds me of Theif 2, except it lacks most things. In many areas where a shadow would be cast on someone it shows them in regular lighting. Also many of the characters appear to be BRIGHTER then the surrounding area for some reason. Then when I’d load the game again it would do a 180 and show the complete opposite of what I stated above. Another thing that stand out is that many of the characters have very very limited movement. The guards of the castle seem to have 3, a women you meet in the kitchen seems to only have 2, and the main bad guy only has 4. Now sure it would be different if they were 2d, but this is a 3d world that would probably be a few more hours of coding to be a little lusher and it drains away from the submersion aspect of video games all together. To a certain extent the graphics set back the experience all together.

The controls are wonky to say the least. They start out smooth, but it seems there are too many unfinished parts of the game. So despite how many times you smash down a button it becomes more and more difficult to wiggle out of a glitch in a piece of scenery. Many times I found myself falling through the world or I would get stuck on invisible pieces of something that would render all the controls moot. Other times I would hit a button to perform a action and it just didn’t work. Like say if I wanted to take something. It wouldn’t grasp a clearly graspable object, but when I hit the same button seconds later it would pick up that same object.

In the end this was just a bad game. It was a good attempt for a indy developer. However due to the graphics and story it would have probably been higher rated if it was released years ago and put more time into it. With dated PlayStation 1 like graphics and bland story I can’t recommend it, but can’t say you shouldn’t avoid it either. Although I will say the things that they did well, like some of the voice acting, doesn’t do enough to redeem it completely. However for the more ADD ridden gamer they’ll find themselves bored and frustrated. So if you can get it for cheap buy it. It’s worth a few hours if your really bored. Unfortunately in the end it’s easily forgettable and a mildly regrettable experience.

2.5/10

Deathspank Video Game Review

DeathSpank

Format: PC, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360

Difficulty Played: Don’t Remember

WARNING: Mild Spoilers!

Deathspank is a comedy adventure based on a weird hero in a purple spedo (no I’m not kidding you) who goes on a medieval/steampunk quest to save the land from a tyrannical overlord named Lord Von Prong. Along the way he meet a slew of people who will help him defeat Von Prong, with some draw backs. You gradually venture through the world righting wrongs and helping other random people with simple tasks, like settling a married couples problems. Eventually you figure out what he’s doing and the destruction he’s done.

The gameplay is incredibly boring, despite the controls are easy to master. Most of the quests are nothing but fetch quests. You go to a certain location and either kill a certain creature a dozen or so times or find a certain item. Also it locks you out of certain areas before you’re anywhere near that level so it strips some exploration from you due to the fact that you can’t discover things early like in the Elder Scrolls series. All fighting is just clicking and popping potions. This doesn’t require any skill and only makes it more irritating when many areas can easily overwhelm you with enemies. The terrain is limited and lacks interactivity, despite it being well pixelated.

The graphics are lavishly cartoony and are well shaded. The 2d houses are a nice touch to the game because it leaves room so you can click behind the building and go around it. Other times it allows you to pick up items from enemies you’ve killed behind buildings. There are even areas that the depths in the terrain curves and makes it whole experience feel like you are truly trapped in a small world. To a certain extent it feels like a throw back to top down third person games even though a lot of the world seems like it trys to just round out everything and not over tax whatever system you’re playing it on.

I just completely hate the jokes. Out of all the dialogue and story, which is just bland, the jokes stand out for being the most terrible part of the game. To a certain extent I will admit that comedy is difficult to do in video games. However, after years of experiencing the gaming culture, and how many people take time to go out of their way to mock themselves, the jokes would fall short due to how generic they feel and simplicity of the jokes. Like they have a few pieces of armor that are given names to play off of other RPG cliches, like the Gauntlets of Awesomeness. Then they’ll have quests to get chicken lips and the reason the witch wants you to get them basically amounts to “Why not?” It’s just lame. Its like they’re late to the party and everyone has already talked about the shit they wanted to and are drunk or asleep. I’m not saying they need to change their humor but a lot of it is too intentional and forced.

I was disappointed by this game. People keep saying its hilarious or a good ‘comedy game.’ It was rarely funny and the few jokes that did make me chuckle was almost reminiscent of kid humor or some decent play on words. The gameplay was completely boring. There isn’t any real skill to it all. There’s even a option to let the system chose the best armor for you. At most you just need to stock up on potions and grind grind grind your way to level 20 and after that everything else is cake. Even older games like the original Diablo took more skill then this. Also the story, as said before is super generic.

4.5/10

77/100 – Metacritic Critic Reviews

7.9/10 – Metacritic User Reviews