And my god, what a sight it is.
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
- The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim *
- Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword *
- Saints Row The Third *
- Batman: Arkham City *
- Serious Sam 3 *
- Assassin’s Creed: Revelations *
- Uncharted 3
- Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom
- Halo Anniversery
- Need for Speed: The Run
- Dynasty Warriors 7
My god. A few rereleases amid the AAA titles, but come on. There’s literally something coming out for EVERY GAMER. Except Real-Time Strategy buffs, but you’re probably not that concerned, since AAA RTSs are few and far between anyways.
Of this list, I’ve starred the items I’m planning on having at some point by the end of the year. And I haven’t even mentioned December, containing a few HD releases and PC ports (And one RPG that everyone is probably going to tell me to play, but I never played the original, so SWTOR can just suck it). There’s also plenty on the list still due to be released in “2011” which I doubt will happen, but still.
I still feel as though my list up there is from bad information, but I can’t help it. I’ve the shivers for the month of November, and it’s not just the encroaching winter.
RAGE is making me do just that.
It’ll have to wait. I guess I’ll just move along and go back to smaller reviews.
It will induce a certain emotion in you. A very. Very. Angry one.
Extravaganza is a difficult word to spell.
It’s also that time of the summer again, when all those games your wallet couldn’t be bothered to look at twice go on sale for dirt cheap!
Farming simulator 2012? Buck ninety-nine! Trainspotting 101? Three bucks (With optional DLC for another dollar!)! Shoot-em-up 4: Revenge of the british guy from the second game? A pound and a half!
With that said, I was fortunate to come into money right around this time, so I can partake in the sale for once! Only, I’m not going to be reviewing full games until the aftermath.
Why, you ask? Because I can try before I buy!
Without further ado, here’s three game demos I recommend trying! (Click the picture for a link to the steam store page and the demo)
For the point-and-click enthusiast, we’ve got The Tiny Bang Story. Right off the bat, it’s a beautifully drawn game with music that’s fitting, and doesn’t get annoying. It gives you a little tutorial, gets you acquainted with the basics, then leaves you to solve your first puzzle. It took me twenty minutes to find five ladder rungs across 2 screens. Not because the game is cluttered, but because they all fit in so well with the background that it’s damn impossible to tell. That said, it’s not as annoying as you would think to be stuck looking for things across a few screens, because when you find them, you’ll get that little “Ooohhh!” moment that makes you smile, chuckle, and go “Clever”. Or you chuck your screen out the window because it was literally something you moused over four times while looking for it.
All in all, nice, artsy game, and a tiny bit frustrating, but in the “I’m going to get this done.” kind of way. Buy it on the cheap, five bucks or under.
Next up, a game for the dictator in all of us:
Tropico 3 is a civilaztion-building game that places you in the shoes of a Captain Ersatz of Fidel Castro on a tiny Caribbean island. The demo comes with a tutorial and a practice scenario for you to get your taste (Unlike the full version, which I ended up buying, the tutorial ends when you finish it, rather than letting you continue to muck about in beautiful wherever the hell the island is). It follows the usual rules of letting you plan your citizens needs, wants, and buildings, sandboxing you in until you fill the required goal. All in all, it’s fun, and it’s got a great sense of humor. Buy it at ten dollars or under.
And last, but not least, a game that lets you burninate the countryside AND the people:
The demo for Hoard is about as fun as it gets. It’s an arcade-style game where you play a dragon who ransacks the country for loot to build his hoard (Fun fact: Only male dragons build hoards. Shiny piles attract females). Along the way, you fight archers, knights, and other dragons, kidnap princesses, kill wizard-towers, and have a romping good time. The demo suffers from the problem of being too fun, and I’d rather just keep playing it than buy the full game. That said, the only reason I haven’t bought it is because I missed my chance and it went from three dollars to six. The full version contains multiplayer, more maps, and further customization of options. Buy it, but only if it goes on sale for under five bucks.
I think that’s how I’m going to rate games. Not with a score, but rather how much of its total asking price I think it’s worth. Seems like a good system.
Alright, let’s get down to business. I haven’t been here in a long time, so I need to catch up before I get going. So let’s pick a few topics.
Industry Hacking: This is a lot of controversy because a number of groups (Primarily Lulzsec now) are targeting videogame headquarters and trying to steal personal information. At the beginning, I didn’t even really care that much because I’ve never owned a credit card, and most, if not all transactions I’ve ever made outside of Steam were made with preloaded gift cards. But even I’m rethinking my security options on a lot of sites. It’s a lot of work to get a new password into the mix for me, because I can never remember the damned thing. This is either a clever ploy to get people to become more secure with their information (With the side effect of massive paranoia), or someone really REALLY doesn’t like videogames, implying that Lulzsec was founded by Jack Thompson.
Duke Nukem Forever: It’s a game alright. I liked it. You should decide for yourself whether or not you do. Any review of this game is asking for a flamewar.
E3: I almost had the opportunity to go to E3. I was taking a trip to California for the week and I only missed out on a connection getting me a pass by about ten hours. But I didn’t. So I went to Video Games Live instead.
Anyways, The Wii U and the Sony Vita. I’m interested, but not enough to shell out my hard-earned cash yet. But if this is the direction we’re going with our consoles, I’d say Nintendo better offer some damned insurance or screen protectors with that controller.
TF2 Updates: Meet the Medic, TF2 is free to play forever, New weapons, game ruined forever. These are the four primary points of the update, according to the fanbase, which is now significantly larger. I get a kick out of people asking for their money back. That’s not how retail sales work, silly. I’m sorry, but bringing in new people can only improve TF2. Sure, you’ll have to deal with people asking questions, and probably more griefers than usual, but the amount of new blood to the system will be a breath of fresh air (And a pool of money) to the series. Also, think of how many of those item developers are going to get good cash for their work now.
Alright, now on to what I’ve been doing.
Catching up on the Assassin’s Creed series:I’m in the middle of II right now, and boy am I having fun. I thought the first game was strong in its own right, but damn! The second one blows it out of the water. I guess I understand why Ezio has so many fangirls now. One issue though, and I want to know if any of you have had this problem: The sound system for II stutters like a beater engine on crack.
And on the subject of sneaky games: I need to fully play through the Thief games, seeing as how I’ve only ever played through about a fifth of one game. Also, finish Hitman: Blood Money.
Nerding out over Skyrim: Don’t really need to tell you about this, but the more I see about Skyrim, the better.
Being disappointed about lack of AAA Co-op titles: Bulletstorm, Red Faction: Armegeddon. Their “Co-op” Is basically PvE in a single map. Haven’t tried Hunted: The Demon’s Forge, yet, and Terrarria is proving to be fun as hell when you get five or six people in it. It gets a bit tiring though in the early stages of a character. But those content updates, mm-mmm. What bugs me about the games with Onslaught-style co-op is that they look like they’re a simple mod away from having Story co-op. But usually the devs close the code up tighter than a tick’s asshole because they’re afraid of cheating or something.
Slowly wanting to see more about S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: This is my friend’s fault. He got me into the series. Moving on.
Wondering if Horror games will ever be good again: And if I’ll ever finish Frictional’s series of said games. I keep running out of pants, though.
Being a lucky idiot in New Vegas: It’s a Gamebryo game. Despite all of the engine’s many flaws, they’re still good games and close to my heart. Also, my character is LITERALLY the luckiest idiot.
Alright, so I’ll try to be a bit more responsible with providing all twelve…well, probably down to one and the spambot…of you with new content as things happen. Until then, Happy Summer!
So, if you’re here, you’re likely connected to the world of video games in some way. If you are, there’s no possible way you haven’t heard about Portal 2 yet. There have been TV ads, posters, and even an Augmented-Reality game designed to put a little cash into indie devs’ hands.
Now, I’m gonna try to keep the spoilers in this to a minimum. The ones related to Portal 2, at least. I’m going to reference things from Portal one like crazy. To be fair, though, the only spoilers in Portal 1 were “You escape the test chambers, GLaDOS tries to kill you, you kill GLaDOS (But really she’s still alive). That’s it. Maybe something about a Weighted Companion Cube.
This review is of the single-player portion only. The co-operative portion will have to come later.
The game starts out nicely. You wake up in a pretty little
cell long-term relaxation vault, do a little lookie-movie tutorial, and go back to sleep. For god knows how long. The only indicator is that the day counter has broken and so has most of your room. And then you meet Wheatley. Wheatley is one of the personality spheres that you may remember from Portal. And let me tell you. He’s a damn sight better to have around than GLaDOS was. And it wouldn’t be a Portal game without her, so I’m gonna spoil this right now (Even though it’s in the trailers and such). Wheatley screws the pooch and accidentally wakes her up. Then it’s straight back to the testing chambers.
Here is the game’s first strong point. It looks fantastic. To say its the best-looking valve game to date is an understatement. Valve’s engine always seemed a bit lacking to me, but this iteration of it, I can count the number of disappointing engine areas on one hand. Half a hand, really. And really, it has more to do with my computer than anything else. One thing that does kill me is that the engine still takes breaks to load. Small, I know, but when we can have games that you don’t see a load screen the whole time, I would think Valve would look into that.
*Coughs* Back to the game. The testing areas are a lot more open than before. You still get confined to small places, but then you get to peek around them and see the areas behind them at work. Let me tell you, this time around, Aperture Science is a lot more dynamic. There are areas where you literally see an entire room built or altered. And this isn’t counting when you’re moving behind the scenes, either. Or under them. The world within the confines of Aperture Science property just bleeds with robotic and natural life. There is still graffiti on the walls in many places, though you’ll have to do a lot more looking if you want to find all the hidden areas.
You visit a lot of very interesting places that the first game didn’t dare to go. And each area is more amazing than the last, one way or another. A very explosive segment has you completing test chambers while they collide with each other around you, changing the layout. Valve’s cinematic physics are on full display here, with debris and objects flying around.
And speaking of flying around, the puzzles are on full-auto now. You get to see how well the portal gun would work in real life in plenty of areas. You’re taught the same way that you were in the first Portal, but now you’re taught a lot more, and at a lot of different places in the game. You keep learning to use more Aperture Science technology all the way through the end of the game.
While we’re there…
The ending. Oh my god, the ending. Let me just say that Valve was listening to more than a few of the theories the fans were spouting. I’ll say this. There is another song by GLaDos during the credits. And in my opinion, it’s not as good as Still Alive (Which has more than a few references made to it over the course of the game). But Valve knew this, so they included plenty of golden material in the final cutscene (Which is, unfortunately, uninteractive, but it’s so awesome that you won’t care).
There is no reason for you to not buy this game. If the first Portal was a revolution to the gaming industry, Portal 2 is the installation of a new governing body. Valve’s trademark polish is laid on thick, and boy does it shine. Any gripes of the game pale in comparison to the sum of its parts.
Honestly, I want to give this game a perfect score, and it’s getting a damn-near prefect score, but I know that it’s not going to be for as many people as the first game. This is Portal on hardcore. I breezed through most of Portal, and many puzzles in here stumped me good. It’s going to be harder to share this game with someone, too, because with the new Cooperative gamemode, you’re just going to end up playing that. People who struggled through the first game, but did it as a labor of love will find this game to be just as easy to love, but a lot harder to work through.
I’ll have to give it a 9/10. Hell, I’ll give it a 9.7/10. It’s a game that raises the bar. It will make you love it. You will walk through fire, bullets, and hazardous chemicals just to finish it. You will want to see what happens next. Just be sure to bring your A-game to the puzzle-solving, or you’ll be stuck putting cubes on buttons forever.
(At least they kept the cake jokes out)
I preordered portal 2 and I have not been able to focus on other games unless they were made thirteen years ago or longer.