Bioshock Infinite: The Complete Edition PS3 Video Game Review

BioshockInfiniteTheCompleteEditionPS3VideoGameReview

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS

You are Booker DeWitt a private investigator for hire. You’ve been sent to a city in the sky called Columbia that has succeeded from the United States of America and is run by a man named Zachary Hale Comstock. Somewhere in the city he’s holding a woman named Elizabeth. The mysterious client states that if you bring her back, he’ll wipe away all of your gambling debt.

I originally didn’t want to review this game because it has been done to death. Everyone who hasn’t lived under a rock, or granite like substance, has noticed this game and give it perfect score. I liked the first one and is probably one of the better FPSs of its time. The originals story stood out as being completely depressing and at that time it was different because it didn’t make you a completely infallible person. Also its gripping seeing as you’re trapped between two douches fighting for a city in total chaos and all you’re trying to do is figure out why you’re there and how to freaking get out alive. The continued mystery and noir themes would build tension throughout the game without making it feel suffocating.

This takes the same premise as the first one. You’re some average bloke who can’t remember anything and goes to a mysterious place to look for answers. Sound familiar!? Good, because there are very few changes. They have their wacky characters that are entertaining, possibly incestual, but most either not explored enough or you end up killing them. This, like the previous one, has a lot of gray characters instead of being absolute good or bad, like most FPSs. This one takes a bit of a chipper tone since its colored as a racist southern version of Disneyland. It was neat to walk amongst the city, and it’s citizens, before everything was thrown into pure anarchy mostly due to their own stupidity.

The beginning was good. It took the ‘damsel in distress’ story and warped it to make her more then just a powerless girl. In fact it alluded that she might be some kind of God-like creature. Anyway, it blunders about and introduces allies and villains in awkward ways. Like I had to look for a power up in one location that was ruled over by a local gang. The only option was to go in and kill them all. So the only purpose for them to be in the story was to guard that single power up. I thought this was a bit of a waste since they were a kinda gray group (morality wise) who only wanted to be recognized for their deeds. So much more could have been developed with them and instead they were killed off really early. Then one group was introduced, they steal your stuff, and then try to kill you later despite helping them out. This irritated me because they knew you had a time traveling girl on your side. It shouldn’t surprise them if you ‘come back from the dead.’ Also they seem to flip flop on agreements with little to no warning. It’s just stupid plot twists that had me rolling my eyes a lot.

I really don’t like that I have to give this game a low score because everything was going swimmingly up until the games ending. The ending really ruined it for me. It reminded me of several 1970s sci-fi films where the good guy is somehow a alternate time version of the bad guy. In this case DeWitt if he seeks forgiveness in one reality he becomes a racist stereotype of the south and builds Columbia. If he doesn’t, in some alternate universe, he does fuck all till he gets a invitation from someone to go find Elizabeth. So in other words he becomes the villain in one universe and in the other he’s a completely depressed alcoholic in another. I don’t have any problem with the second outcome. However our wondrous dumbfuck Elizabeth does.

So as the ending roles it’s kinda open to interpretation so I can only tell you what I got from it. She basically explains that’s shes a time traveling omnipotent God like entity who can see different universes, times, and can see how everything happens. She basically leads DeWitt in believing everything happens the exact same way, in every universe, and he has no choice but to do the same stuff over and over again. This is bullshit if you’ve read anything about time travel EVER! She says everything repeats itself until he figures out what needs to be done. Eventually it strikes him that in order to prevent all the future tragedies he needs to kill Comstock at birth. So he asks her to help him kill the guy. She brings him back to some open void in time and lets him know he’s Comstock and DeWitt and in order to destroy a possible bad future she has to kill him.

I thought this ending was total and utter crap. If she wanted to prevent a ‘bad future,’ for other people, that meant she would eventually have to kill everyone else too to stop them from possibly becoming corrupt power hungry maniacs. Also if she is some kind of time traveling entity then she could have easily manipulated any instance in time to her, or societies, advantage. NOPE! Instead she, and her very narrow perspective on it all, choses to jump through time and universes to kill this same guy over and over again, regardless if he turns out to be a good guy or not. This is pretty much is what’s theorized at the end when multiple versions of herself show up. Instead of going through time, or other universes, and fixing things she has a fetish for killing this one guy over and over again.

On top of that it’s the most drawn out and pretentious thing imaginable. Instead of doing the simple thing and putting a bullet in his head and moving on, tear a spot in time and turning his brain into pudding, or letting him get killed by someone in Columbia, but she doesn’t. She instead goes all out theatrical and drags everything out so long that it makes the player wonder if everything, even Columbia, was intentionally setup to trap this one guy. She has him relive everything in Columbia (all the fighting, clue finding, tragedy, etc.) and holds this long elaborate plot to show him how guilty he should feel. In turn this makes him feel bad and she opts to kill him. She’s a fucking sadist in my opinion. If you download the DLC Burial At Sea then you’ll see that she jumps into another dimension and goes out of her way to kill him all over again. So not only does she lack a moral compass, but she lacks common sense, is exceedingly lacking self control, but on top of all that she has no fucking clue what she’s doing.

The only good things about this game is the gameplay and graphics. The gameplay is just like the last and has a lot of features added to it. It’s taken the FPS format and added battlemage capabilities. This means you basically play as mixture of warrior and wizard style of combat. You have a gun in your right hand and use your left to cast spells. This adds some great combos and make some of the tougher battles a little more strategic.

There’s a lot of variety in both strategy and kill combos. Everything can be upgraded, except DeWitt and Elizabeth. The only addition that is noteworthy is the clothing. Some areas have clothes that can give you special abilities. It’s a nice perk, but unless it’s something outside normal gameplay (like the shield) then most aren’t noticeable when being worn. Like one piece of clothing lets you run super fast after you lose 50% of your life for about 5 seconds. The only added ability that I didn’t care for was the shield. It seems to be gone after 2 hits most of the time and then health, ammo, and salts are nearly everywhere you turn so if they are going to try to make things so piss easy why bother with a shield at all, especially if it’s gone after a few hits? Also there is a hook rail system that you can jump on to run away from enemies. I found this obnoxious because it made it difficult to aim at anyone and other then some linear story progression it’s mostly useless.

Another bonus is Elizabeth acts as a companion that actually does something, other then die or get in the way. In combat she’ll throw you health, ammo, and salts to help keep you alive. The odd thing is that th AI completely ignores her. There were many times when she was crouched down behind a crate and the enemies went around her side to get to me. I thought that it was strange that there wasn’t any interaction her since the whole town was seeking me out to A) kill me and B) return the girl to her tower. Even if I did die in a heated battle she’d somehow drag me to the side and revive me, for a price. Again, she either did this ‘unnoticed’ or the enemies ignored her.

The graphics are probably a example of the best the PS3 can offer. The bloom is proportioned nicely throughout the game, it gives characters shadows on their face, and adjusts as characters walk. The animations break some of the immersion because they really aren’t expressive outside of cut scenes and give some dramatic dialog a jejune delivery. There were rarely any hangups while rendering the game. The few that did seem to glitch were light rendering errors. Other times it would seem to want to freeze the screen and load for no apparent reason. For example: it would take only a short time to load the game and then when you moved to another area on the same map it sometimes would popup saying it was loading, but not show the stagnate loading screen. Other then that they did a great job making the characters both look kinda cartoonie and lifelike.

This is probably the worst of the series to me. It takes old sci-fi stories from the 1970s and beats it like a dead horse till you see it’s bones. The cliché contrived betrayals happen, the good guy is secretly the bad guy or the other way around, blatant bad guy stereotypes are used a lot, and then it has you reflect on the previous two Bioshock games. Sure it’s fun, fast paced, and has a lot of the game play elements, and more, of the previous two for everyone to enjoy, but I hate this story.

If you want something that has good gameplay then buy this, just try your best to ignore the story.

3.0/10

 

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

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

Heavy Rain Video Game Review PS3

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WARNING: Spoilers that spoil things….you know

This game follows the story of multiple people who are involved with a serial killer, known as the Origami Killer. The killer seeks out fathers whom he feels are unfit parents and then and kidnaps the son. He puts the father through a series of severely difficult tests to in order to gain his son back. If the man fails for whatever reason, the boy dies. As the story slowly develops it shows how it slowly breaks people down emotionally and tests even the strongest relationships. The drastically depressing part is that you can absolutely control if they succeed or fail.

This is one hell of a experience in story telling. There has only been two other game that came out recently, Beyond: Two Souls and Telltale’s The Walking Dead, that has hit me this hard and has encouraged me to say this once again:

This is one of my favorite games of all time.

With that being said there’s very very little wrong with this game besides the occasional visual glitch or small cliche. Every piece of the story telling is intricate and well laid out. Every character, even side characters, have enough space to develop fully. It took time to explain nearly every bump and bruise in their life and why whatever character had whatever idiosyncrasy they were struggling with. By the end it’ll make you feel like you almost know each character personally.

The beauty behind the games story is that it has so many endings. It will keep you guessing the whole time, because every piece of detail determines the outcomes of various people in the game. It can get frustrating due to the amount of things that need attention, but it makes the immersive feeling that much more present. It’s like you’re some kind of demented puppet master and you’re pulling all their strings. Also it’s shocking how this one guy can con so many people into helping him do terrible things. I don’t think the killer is a psychopath, but he’s some kind of evil. He’s just a supped up douche who exacts revenge on something no one could have possibly been able to control. You also have the option of beating the shit out of him later in the game which is really satisfying.

The graphics are top notch and damn stunning. You can see individual droplets of water run down peoples face. You can see someone get gradually wet in the rain and then dry and still look damp. The lighting is always beautiful and sets the mood perfectly. There is the occasional motion glitchs, but they’re too hilarious to ignore. I don’t mind them since it brings some light to a really depressing videogame. Also this is a game that runs near perfect on the PS3, which made me wonder what the guys who made Fallout New Vegas was thinking.

The gameplay is pretty much hated by a good half of the people who play this game. I don’t mind it. It’s mostly quick-time events that are meshed with either quick problems solving or a kind of pick and choose motion. One notable event like this was where the main detective, named Norman Jayden, almost has his ass handed to him while looking into a murder cover up. A guy who’s trying to cover up the murder instigates a fight and the real time puzzles follow suit. There are puzzles that require some problem solving, but usually require things within grasp and basic logic.

If you fail you can either continue or start over anywhere in the story. Its kinda fun to start over after seeing how much detail they put into each scene, even the UGLY death scenes. I love this forgiving nature, but at the same time it proves NO challenge half the time. In most adventure game you carry a dozen items. Unfortunately you can either lose a item or never pick it up in the previous scene, thus screwing up future events. However it has a impact on the story so you can often continue without them, but you might not get the results you wan in turn. This is one of the things I was thankful for since you virtually can’t screw it up like that. Sure you can kill main characters but it still influences the outcome rather just giving you a “game over” screen. Then the game usually gives you a achievement for whatever. I honestly don’t understand the system. It seems if you can do anything and you can get a achievement.

On top of that it’s a lot of talking with multiple choices. Each character has a different reaction and give the characters their interacting with a real-ish feel when dealing with them. Sam Douglas did a great voice over for the main antagonist. His sleepy performance pretty much vocalized how that character really just wasn’t there. Pascal Langdale gave a really good performance as a Dad who would probably be clinically depressed after all this drama. He only had two lines that I thought sounded strange. Yes, one was where he was yelling for his son Jason. Judi Beecher was really really good. She’s probably one of the best female voice actors I’ve heard so far. It sounded genuine and I don’t remember listening to any of it and thinking how it sounded horrible or nothing like the character. This usually happens when a voice artist is stuck in a booth for 10 hours a day and yelling, screaming, crying, or whatever and then their voice doesn’t have time to recover. This happens a lot in the industry, unfortunately due to time constraints or untrained people decided to be voice actors. Leon Ockenden and Aurélie Bancilhon are the only two I had a real problem with. Ockenden sounded like he had trouble pulling off a American accent sometimes. It showed in some of the police department scenes. Bancilhon seemed a little canned or inexperienced. It wasn’t too noticeable until it came to the really dramatic scenes, like when her character was crying at someones tombstone. The emotion felt hampered. Other then that everyone did rather well.

This is one of the games that I consider near perfect. You are in complete command of all characters and its up to you to determine the ending of the story. Also since it has 20 or so endings many will be playing this for at least a few years. The graphics are near perfect. The story, although dark, is so well crafted that it breaths life into the old Noir genera and relies off nearly no cliches in order to tell the story. Everything packaged together is a really strong emotional trip into the terror of a child killer.

Quantic Dream please make more games.

9.5/10

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

South Park: Stick of Truth PS3 Review

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The boys are out and about playing pretend and decide to role play as some sort of hybrid fantasy world. They string it through where ever they go, into Canada, and it even covers the entire town. You are the new kid in town, nicknamed Douchebag by King Wizard Cartman. For whatever reason the kids hold some random stick as some sort of ultimate power in their kingdom. Yet it’s just a stick. Anyway, some guy from the Elvin district steals the stick. King Wizard Cartman orders you to go find the stick and return it.

The story stays to the true nature of South Park’s themes. It’s wacky, it’s weird, and it has a steady pace of humor, story, and quality character development. It completely goes out of its way to make it a rich environment to explore. It also takes its time to bring in various characters. The game either brings them in as dispensable backup characters during battle or you get to interact with them in some form that references various parts of the show. Another neat fact is that some of their interactions unlock achievements or are just Easter Eggs.

The Stick of Truth is a inventive look on RPGs and adds all the comedy someone could want that is absolutely lacking in most games labeled ‘funny.’ However, it lacks what most games are about: gameplay. It isn’t so much a RPG as it is a quick time events, a mixture of point and click, and filled with weird fetch quests. Most special moves are instantly accessible. If you’re good at quick time events then any battle ends really damn fast, even boss battles. The other half of the time if you have armor that matches your level and enough food, then it doesn’t matter what weapons you do or don’t equip. I was still able to take on most battles easily on normal. Also if you wonder about like I do, just to check out the town, you’ll be swamped with Money. It’s just stupid how much you can get. Sure all this takes the grinding out of the RPG, but that isn’t a bad or good thing. In all honesty it seems like they had a idea, then completed half of it. If not, then it seems like they just need to improve it more. The new-ish RPG style is there, it just drastically needs improving.

The puzzles mostly consist of shooting things in the environment to trigger something else. Simple search and click tactics are prominent in many of them, like in the older point and click adventure games on the PC. Others consist of luck and involving your character to land on whatever it is that is most needed to carry on. All puzzles seem to be of a medium difficulty and don’t change over time. I’ve noticed that paying attention to detail will save most people a lot of time, but backtracking is required for many of the puzzles. This is the only downside to the puzzles, but they are fun due to the various character I got to interact with.

The biggest weaknesses of this game are very blatant and repetitiveness of the game. Like there are basically 3 or 4 major songs that play in the background during the whole game. If you play this game all the way through, including side quests, then it gets really boring and unfunny. One of the major songs is Cartman saying “dumb….dumb…dumb jews….nien!” Now don’t get me wrong it’s done in a creative way and offensively funny the first time you hear it, but after hearing it for the zillionth time it losses its impact. That being said every other RPG that releases a soundtrack either the songs are memorable or if you hear them throughout the game it’s somewhat welcome since it sets the mood and atmosphere for the game. It isn’t grabbing your attention with the obviously mocking lyrics.

Another issue is the continuous glitches and poor loading quality of the graphics in the game. For whatever reason the game takes forever to load from scene to scene. If they don’t take forever they jump and jitter when they finally load and if your decide to walk around. Other times it completely froze and I had to restart my game. I would be fine with that if it looked like Tomb Raider, or even Hotline Miami, but it looks like you’re playing a version of the show and, even after some 10 seasons, it still looks like they make it with Adobe Flash. My PS3 shouldn’t be failing at rendering very basic animation when it can render various other games flawlessly to a point of almost looking realistic. Good examples of this are Beyond: Two Souls and The Last of Us.

South Park: Stick of Truth is a fun romp through the town of South Park. Its bright, beautiful, and cinematically impressive cut scenes and the story is worthy of a entire mini-series within the show. However the humor, graphics, and gameplay are something to be desired. The humor goes from soft funny humor to something completely rancid within seconds. It doesn’t make the humor ‘bad’ but it is rather jarring, unlike the show where there is usually a balance. The graphics continually stall or just flat out freeze the game up completely. The game play is so simplistic that I hate to label it, but it’s best labeled as a ‘casual game.’

Despite all these blaring flaws it is still a quality product and is representative of the South Park brand of quality story telling, no holds bar comedy, and character development. If anything its a great tribute to the 15 years it’s been on TV.

7.0/10

Beyond: Two Souls Video Game Review PS3

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Format: Playstation 3 exclusive

WARNING: Mild Spoilers!!

Quantic Dream is the company who brought you Heavy Rain and Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy. Recently they released Beyond: Two Souls, which is a deep spiritual journey that spans the life of a young girl named Jodie Holmes. She has another soul linked to her for unknown reasons. Aiden, the soul, has various supernatural powers you can control. Due to this ability, and other elements in the game, you can make various moral choices that help change some of the endings of the game and various paths throughout the game. Each choice makes you think about the options before and after and usually allowed adequate time for anyone to think about them. Also depending on the choices you make the characters voice their opinion due to your interactions with them or choices you’ve made.

This is one of my new favorite stories of all time. I’ll repeat: This is one of my new favorite stories of all time. I know it can’t rank up there with Rear Window, or the newer stuff like The Dark Knight, due to its flaws but it comes really damn close. Yes it’s the typical reluctant hero kinda field that has seen a rise in the recent comic book movies, but a much of the way they handle it and let you choose the characters actions is unique. You can control most everything she does from being a good kid when she’s younger to cold bitch when she’s a adult. Aiden can aid, or hinder, all her actions along the way. You can have him/her kill people, rig ATMs, posses people, and even defend Jodie when she can’t. This is really fun due to the fact that he can’t die and the access to many of his abilities are usually all readily available. Yes the game tends to limit you sometimes on what you do, but I think that tries to enforce the idea that Jodie does have some control over Aiden.

I found myself really empathized with the characters, even the douche ones, due to how well script is written. They really take the time to develop each character or bring them on long enough to see how they are emotionally attached to Jodie. It eventually gets easier to grasp when you play whatever level multiple times. You can also use Aiden to see what others think of you, or your actions, which only adds heaps more depth to the story. Although it is irritating when important dialogue is missed sometimes because I didn’t switch to Aiden and wonder off to a room where other character are located. It shines even in simpler tasks like trying to help Jodie become romantically involved with Ryan.

With that being said there’s a wide variety of moral choices you can make from helping the homeless to strangling childhood bullies. The amount of choices are insanely large and many of them, despite doing something completely evil, will warrant a achievement. Regardless of achievement incentives to do evil things I found myself playing the same levels multiple times just to see what else I could do or what I missed the first time. So it was like a moving piece of art that you have to keep looking at in order to notice all the details. With replaying multiple levels it was also fun to see how it changed the people around her by the end of the level.

Also Jodies reactions to it all also adds more emotional stability and sanity to the situation which helps considering how fantastically strange things turn sometimes. It even helped develop her into a strong female lead while not making her look like a complete bitch. This is something kinda rare in story telling, because most authors tend to make the female leads too masculine and they lose almost all femininity to them. This played a delicate balance between both while still giving you control over what you wanted her to do.

The story structure threw me in multiple directions without warning. At one point you could be navigating Jodie through a wrecked closed security site and the dead would get posses and try to murder Jodie. Then the next scene she experiences her first love with one of her hunky boy toys in the game. While the jumps were often jarring I’ve seen enough of this style of story telling (See Memento and Pump Fiction) that it didn’t bother me. However I don’t doubt many would enjoy the game because of how disjointed it feels sometimes. Although I don’t think I could have picked a better way to display the confusion of a terrifying journey like this without jumbling it. I’ll admit I liked the change of pace because some levels were rather relaxing compared to say the previous two where Jodie was almost killed or raped.

The thing that really heightens the mood is the graphics. They are simply stunning. There were a few scenes where you run through a burning house and you can see burning embers float past your face. The fire, and a lot of the water effects, are some of the best I’ve seen in gaming. Period. One scene where it’s raining you could see it run down Jodie’s face, drop by drop and her clothes would slowly get wetter as it rained down. Also I don’t think I ever saw any noticeable glitches, which is rare for any game.

Sometimes the interaction is limited due to the game play elements. There are many quick time events and there are many times it has the same limitations of a 1990s point and click adventure. Like there would be a interactive object that would only prompt Jodie to comment on it or the interaction was bland. Also instead of pointing and clicking you wobble the joy sticks in whatever awkward way the game instructs you too. This, sometimes, isn’t fun, but I played along with it to basically see what happened next.

The action sequences, while super fun to watch, really posed no challenge. You, as long as you’ve played some kind of game in your life, will be able to run, dodge, fight whatever police, CIA officer, African militia, etc. with great ease. Which made me wonder why they even bothered with a difficulty option. It asks your video game skills, at the very beginning of the game, and basically gives you a choice between normal mode and normal mode with hints. This just trivialized the whole option considering it didn’t change the difficulty at all. This was also disappointing considering their previous games had some level of difficulty. Like with Heavy Rain you had to concentrate more then most games on what you were doing or going to do next and the choices that you were prompted to choose from. Then Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy was notably hard in some areas which would impact the story negatively, and sometimes get main characters killed for the rest of the story. Seriously, many levels were just made of pure keyboard snapping frustration and Beyond: Two Souls was a walk in the park compared to this.

However, I really only consider this game to have only one completely terrible thing about it: the controls. The controls are muddled half the time or the camera angles screw up the direction you want to go. There were multiple times where I wanted Jodie to go through a door and she’d kinda rotate left to right and got stuck. I couldn’t zoom out half the time to see what her character was stuck on or doing. So I kinda had to wiggle out of it and walk off. Also there are some blatant dead ends that the camera doesn’t pan out to show you so I would wind up in a corner searching for a door or hidden items (which there are plenty of) in a worthless empty space and that just blatantly wastes time.

Other times there will be something tremendously bad happening and the controls just flat out wouldn’t work. Like, you know, the building your in is about to explode. So instead of running like a normal person, Jodie kinda just jogs around the building. Also during certain scenes like this the run button will be disable. No I’m not joking. The run button, that you use MULTIPLE times in other situations, will be completely useless. I don’t see the point of that. It doesn’t build suspense or help the story. It’s just stupid.

The emotional impact of the story, and multiple endings, only made me want more. It does leave it open for a sequel, but all sequels depend on funding and if the script is good enough. Despite all the negative aspects of this game it is still something that can be deeply enjoyed if you have the patience and don’t mind a different kind of gameplay. This is truly one of the best stories I’ve seen in a video games. It may not be your kind of game due to the artistic gameplay style, or jumbled style of story telling, but I’d say at least rent it or try the demo.

8.5/10

71/100 – Metacritic Critic Reviews

8.1/10 – Metacritic User Reviews

8.0/10 – IMDB

Deathspank Video Game Review

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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

The Amazing Spiderman Video Game Review

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Format: Playstation 3

Difficulty Played: Hard

Some spoilers ahead folks!

Spiderman has just finished battling Curt Conners and stopping him from destroying New York City, and turning its citizens into mutant lizard people. Now he learns that the disease hasn’t left the city yet. Oscorp has been experimenting with the left overs and accidentally releases it on the public. Meanwhile, Alistair Smythe insisted the Oscorp invest in his new nanobot technology and built a whole slew of giant robots to deal with the outbreak. In order to treat the disease Spiderman breaks Conners out of a mental institution to get his help in finding a cure. This goes horribly awry and it accidentally releases dozens of other inmates.

The Amazing Spiderman is freaking fun! The web swinging throughout the city is near accurate with the size of the buildings. The acrobatic moves that Spiderman comes with, and you can obtain later, are fantastic and are as fun to watch as they are to unlock. The extra comics and unlockables are neat to see and it helps you appreciate how much detail the people put into this game. The story beautifully adds to the previous The Amazing Spiderman movie. This, so far, is one of the best movie tie-in games I’ve ever played.

The story does a great job of picking up right where the movie left off and sends Manhattan, New York, straight to hell. There are multiple crimes and plagues that are threatening the city, and yep, Spiderman is the only one that save them from certain doom. The jumbled and fast paced flow of the main story reminds me of the original Spiderman series and really keeps true to the main concepts of Spiderman. It kinda gave the feeling of “the good guys always wins” and “just keep truckin’.” It even does a great job of building tension with the giant bosses and continued decay of the city, along side reading the cities local tweets that are displayed during the loading screen. Some of the added detail is citizens puken green liquid in the streets to the smog in the city turning colors. This really adds to the atmosphere and is freaking wonderful. There are multiple points of pure dread that over flows the city, and Spiderman’s personal life.

Some of the characters gradually change while some almost take a complete 180. Like Gwen Stacy comes off as a complete bitch, where as in the movie she was more stable and nice. But hey she even mentions losing her Dad recently (see The Amazing Spiderman movie) so that might be some reason to her character change. It also adds considerable depth to Conners and makes him more human then just your average comic book villain, like most comics or shows do. It still plays off the misunderstood scientist, but it showed his gradual grief and dismay to his own selfishness. So he eventually comes to and straightens up to help Spiderman, and Manhattan.

It eventually delves into the scientific debate of human evolution and medicine and which way it should go. Even during one of the final Oscorp missions Connners and Smythe are bickering back and forth whether or not people will be more accepting of nanobots or gene therapy in their lives. This is neat because it’s a real world plausibility. This is also the main divide, and rivalry, between the two scientists. The only thing that was notably odd about the story was some of the voice acting. Near the end it seemed more like they were just saying lines or whenever there was a word highlighted in the scripted to be emphasized it was over acted.

There are multiple side missions that kinda add to the depth of the city, but are distracting and repetitive. There are only so many times you can break up a mugging or stop a car chase in the SAME ways before it gets completely boring. Also lots of the time the bad guys are the exact same or have only small variations that it isn’t even noticeable when you’re fighting them. There are some fun side missions, but when they give you 10+ between each mission, and many of them are the same kinds of missions, it only adds to the repetition.

If you wait long enough in the game one of the unlockables is a icon addition to the map you have that tells you where all the local escaped mental ward patients are and loose comic book pages. This is both a nice feature and a little dumb. Secret collectibles are suppose to be in unknown locations, however since they’re 700 comic book pages and more then 20 patients to collect it does help some. So all in all they are just so so. Now don’t get me wrong the collectibles add some extra game play time to the game. They also really help build Spiderman and it gives extra XP to unlock more moves or even better armor. But they, like all collectibles, are tedious. Also with games like this they aren’t skippable due to how much extra XP they give you. So if you’re playing it on hard you’ll have to collect them in order to prepare for the next stage, or even the next boss. On another note you might get your butt handed to you multiple times due to minor flaws and graphical issues while fighting.

The controls were completely smooth and easy to grasp. This sometimes makes combat a breeze, but it’s frustrating considering you have to have a eye on Spiderman’s head to see his spidy-sense go off. This be the notification that you need to hit the counter button, but often the graphics bloom (brightness from natural light) would completely blotch out the indicator. A white indicator on white background isn’t really visible. Other times it’s a snap second indication. So it feels like some of the pacing was set to Viewtiful Joe, which is super fast timing. The only problem that I saw with the controls is that during some of the open world areas the graphical glitches would interfere with the direction you were sending Spiderman and you couldn’t compensate quick enough to correct the problem.

The graphics are something strange and sometimes something to be desired. This is strange since the other half the time the graphics are as beautiful as this generation of games can deliver. Like most of the real world is being wowed by movie like quality cut-scenes, like in Tomb Raider. However, this game takes the character models and uses them for the cut-scenes. Its kinda bad considering most character models are only meant to bend a certain way. The cut-scenes try to add to the model that it makes them look awkward, just weird, or even stiff. However sometimes a nice feature comes up where you can control Spiderman’s viewpoint with the L3 stick. So if you get board with what they are saying you can look off in the distance or admire the elaborate detail of the room you’re in. Other times the graphics don’t seem to render correctly and look like they are Playstation 2 graphics. This isn’t that bad, but given that the other character models, including some cars, seem stiff, then it’s still noticeably bad.

Other various glitches seem to only occur in the open world environment. There were multiple times where Spiderman would clip through the edges of buildings. Other times he would go to swing, or climb back onto the wall, and he would be stuck in a falling pose and you could spin him in circles and nothing would happen. One time he literally got stuck in that pose. However the great thing about all of these is that none of them were game crashing bugs. Most, if not all, worked themselves out and I didn’t have to restart the system.

I usually don’t do DLC reviews, or add them to the main game review, but I thought I should mention these. The DLC won’t be worth the money for most people. There is a mega pack DLC, for about $10 now, where you can play as Rhino, Conners, and, as funny as it may seem, Stan Lee. Now it is fun to swing through Manhattan as Stan Lee, but the other mini-games are either terrible or just rehashes of older games like Space Invaders. They really are kinda bland. I wish they made them into story playable add-on’s instead of cheap rehashes. So fair warning.

For anyone looking to have fun pick up this game. If you decide to go for a 100% game completion then there is well over 20 hours of game play. Also there is enough decent achievements to balance out the annoying ones, like collect all of x-item. The story, as said before, is one of the BEST I’ve seen in a long time. It is really memorable in my book, but the controls, in open world, repetitive unchallenging side quests, and the ending ruins part of the experience. Wait till it’s about $20 or $30 before you pick it up.

++++++++
+Positive+
++++++++
+Graphics
+Story
+Most controls
+Atmosphere of the Game (it’s a fun loving adventure feel)
————-
-Negative-
————-
-Repiticious game play
-Minor Graphical Glitches
-Controls in open world are horrible
-Strange bouts of horrible voice acting

7.0/10

7.6/10 – IMDB

71/100 – Metacritic – Critic Score

7.2/10 – Metacritic – User Score

The Cave Video Game Review

the-cave-game-cheats

Format: Playstation 3

Difficulty Played: N/A

Some spoilers ahead folks!

You chose 3 of 7 characters to spelunker in a mysterious living cave. The Cave, this is the only name it identifies itself as, is the narrator of the story. It exposes all of the characters most wanted desires. Not only does he make it feasible for them to obtain their wants and desires, but it lets them choose their own path to obtain them. Along the way you’ll run into puzzles based upon moral choice and ethics.

This was made by Double Fine. They have always made strange art games. So this production isn’t any different. The reason I point this out is because I hope this review will encourage people to pick it up or at least consider it, because it does have flaws and yet is still a great piece of story telling. This is a cross between most modern moral choice games and cause and effect theories, like the Butterfly Effect. Why? Because The Cave is alive. As described in the synopses it talks to you through the whole game. The Cave even plays with your emotions some to make you wonder what’s going to happen to the characters and other people you meet along the way. It exposes the characters for what they are and lets you decide their fate. This is hard to do considering most of the people are just terrible somehow. Many of them rely on acts of murder, lying, stealing, or even arson to get what they want.

Yes. You read that right.

Various sins are major themes of half the game.

The cute fluffy exterior is completely misleading to the underline themes and subject matter. At the core of half the game it’s about revolting selfish people who are terrible that do anything to get what they want. To a certain extent it’s like looking at the 7 deadly sins playing out their greatest fantasies. The even more revolting thing is that many of them live happily after committing these various atrocities, without punishment or remorse. One instance a guy looses his mind because some woman didn’t fall in love with him so he goes across country on a killing and arson spree. Another story involves committing a small nuclear Armageddon so the character can become rich. The list goes on, and things can get much worse.

The fantastic thing about this is that the other half of the game is about redemption. Since you get to choose the characters fate then you can lead them down a better path. All the better paths are much more heart warming and rewarding compared to the counter parts. To the same extent it still shows the character(s) living happily knowing they did the right thing. Also all stories have a moral, consequences to the characters action(s), and with some it shows how the future treats them.

So why did I throw up the Double Fine disclaimer? All Double Fine productions have always had a odd sense of game play, style, and absolutely aren’t for everyone. Like with this game in order to get the full character(s) story you have to play the game upward of 4 times. Also in order to get all the achievements you have to play the game in upwards of 5 to 7 times. This drags out the puzzles you’ve already solved, ruins the jokes, and makes the game play bland.

It would be one thing if the puzzles changed each time you play the game. Some adventure games do this, but this games doesn’t. They are the exact same puzzles, jokes, everything in each extra play through. It get’s boring and repetitious. So I don’t know if it that was their intention, but it kinda reflects the telling of morals or common knowledge. The most basic ideals of understand, or of what’s right and wrong, are often repeated.

The repetition kinda hurts in a way once you hear some of the same jokes multiple times because it really is a witty game. The dark humor oozes out like a Tim Burton and Disney collaboration. However it does it with more subtly and its a little darker at times. On top of that since half the game involves murder the game does all it can to make light of those situations in very colorful ways. It has it’s own wonderful charm, atmosphere, sense of direction, and soft tone brought on by the cartoonish way things play out and are less violent/realistic then they could be.

However the game play wears on the whole experience. You’ll often find yourself dying because you jumped the wrong way or didn’t jump to the next ledge at the right time. Well you can’t actually die, but that’s kinda irrelevant consider most games if you do die you just start over and continue on. However, when the characters already run at a incredibly slow pace and the cave is IMMENSELY large then it hampers your problem solving and the pace of the game. Like you’ll have to do various back tracking to bring a item from spot A to spot B. That may not sound bad, but what if spot A was in America and spot B was in England. Somewhere in the middle you die and it starts you back at spot A. That incredibly pissed me off multiple times.

You could be at the last little bit of whatever puzzle and after you solve it you can move on to the next room. However if you die you could delay yourself by minutes just by all the backtracking. If that doesn’t piss you off enough the item you have, since your characters can only carry one item at a time for some reason, might not even work at the sight of the puzzle. So you’ll be running back and forth between point A and point B a lot!

Sure the difficulty of the puzzles eventually results to basically thinking of whats around you and you can figure it out once you put things together. That’s easy but with the first few times you enter a cave’s section(s) you can easily get confused and lose tract of where everything is. So you could be walking in the completely wrong direction for 2+ minutes and not even know it until you reach a dead end, which this game has a lot of for some reason. After a while even The Cave (the narrator) will give you some hints in the way he talks in order to help you out. It won’t lead to many of the achievements, but it will help you progress with the stories at hand.

Another thing about the game play that I thought was odd, or maybe irritating, is that you’ll learn eventually that all the characters have a singular special power. To me that is just damn neat. Unfortunately throughout most of the game the powers are useless until you come to certain character specific location. Sure they’re fun to use, but ultimately useless 90% of the time and don’t add anything to the game play. To me this is odd since every other game out there if a character has a special ability then they can use it whenever and it successfully interacts with the area around them. The only reason I can guess that this was undeveloped was that is because Double Fine‘s style of game play has always relied off you to use your brain more, and the area surrounding your character, then the powers of a character. Like in Psychonauts (9.0/10, by the way) your special ability are mostly only used during combat. Regardless I think they could have expanded upon it a little more.

The graphics are ascetically beautiful. Some parts of the cave is alike a ever changing canvas and you’re characters are changing it. I know this is a simple game, but the amount of detail put into simple areas of the cave is nothing short of wonderful. For example: you can play as a monk and when you start to climb a mountain it starts to rain and the wind blows. This gives a wonderful distant exploration feeling to climbing the mountain and makes you feel really damn small. These are small details that enhance really mundane tasks. Even with something as odd as running across one of the roof tops of London, England the meshed green and black hues of the background add a dreary sense of unforeseen terror. Heck, there are even funny bits that add to the tremendous style of the game. Like there’s one spot where two fossilized dinosaurs can be seen in the cave walls having tea. I know many of them are cartoonish, but adds character to The Cave (the narrator) and the actual surroundings of the cave itself.

In turn the glitches are few and far between. Unfortunately the few that are there are completely game breaking. One instance I was the adventurer lady on some Ferris Wheel and when it made a full loop she went into a falling animation loop, but she was in the middle of the ferris wheel’s cart. I couldn’t move her out and she would only spin left and right. Regardless it was one of the few times I had to restart the game in order to complete the area. Another the camera didn’t move with the character so it got stuck to one section of the cave ans since I couldn’t see what I was doing I had to restart the game. The rest I’ve actually forgot, but they are super rare to run into so I wouldn’t worry about them. Also they are mostly self fixing considering you can just restart the game and the characters will be at a different location and behave normal from then on.

All in all I love this game, but it absolutely isn’t for everyone. It is a great throw back to the old point and click adventure game genera. The atmosphere, lighting, sound, and character development is supreme. The major pain for many will be getting the full story of the characters. As stated before in order to get the whole story you have to replay the game multiple times in order to unlock all of the story segments. This isn’t as bad for those who’ve already fell in love with the weird charm of the game, like me, or simply love adventure games. However, it will be a trying task for many others due to the slow pace and large level design.

At this point it’s totally worth the $15 bucks if you love good story telling and a ominous narrator playing with you, but the game play will wear on you if you’re not ready for it or use to the adventure genera. So you might need to break up your game play in order to fully enjoy the experience, because this really is a experience you will enjoy.

7.5/10

72/100 – Metacritic – Critic Score

8.2/10 – Metacritic – User Score

BUY AT:

Steam (PC/Mac/Linux)– $14.99

Amazon (PC/Mac) – $14.99

Playstation 3 Store – $14.99

Xbox 360 Store – 1,200 MSP