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Sload Soap
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Re: Games Beaten 2014

by Sload Soap Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:31 pm

DOOM 64

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Blimey, this game actually kind of side-swiped me. I mean, yes I know it's classic Doom and all but I wasn't expecting the N64 to deliver such an intense experience.

So the good thing is, after a bit of rejigging the controls, this plays like Doom/Doom2. It's fast and furious with the weapons delivering the kick you want. And Nintendo's anti-gore stance is thankfully not enforced here. Doom is obviously too important.

What is different then? Well first and foremost: the tone. Now some people would say that Doom is a fairly scary game already with its demonic enemies and hellish iconography. But Doom 64 really knocks it up a notch into the genuinely unsettling thanks in most part to Aubrey Hodges supremely edgy almost ethereal soundtrack. Combined with the newly redrawn monsters and overall darker palette, you have a FPS to rival most survival horror for sheer intensity. Compare this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSsfjHCFosw with this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaP49EOe ... A6F3F95562 and you get a picture of how different the feel of this game is. You creep through these corridors not run at full pelt.

The N64 hardware was also used to allow for alteration in levels to take place; one level has a switch that activates a industrial jackhammer that smashes through to the floor below another has a room with a circular structure that when activated falls away in concentric circles revealing enemies and a key.

I feel the N64 version is more puzzle orientated than previous Doom installments. Usually it's fine and the level design is outstanding, but there are a few instances where the puzzles require tough timings or you hear a door open but can't see it. This game is also quite fond of traps, some of which are unavoidable on a first play through. Some keys and weapons will instantly spawn enemies when acquired and some tiles will activate dart throwing tripwires. Overall though I found it a much more fair and intelligently designed game than say Exhumed.

I guess the only bad things I could say about the game are that it doesn't have multiplayer or a save function. It can also at times be toodark, as in, I can't see anything dark. And the final boss is a serious dick. Really cheap.

Doom 64 wasn't really appreciated in its time and I feel bad now that I listened to the reviewers of the time giving tripe like Turok 2 95% and looking down on Doom 64 as old hat. Doom 64 has, like the 2D games of that era, aged considerably better than many of its contemporaries and stands behind only Goldeneye and Perfect Dark as far as I'm concerned.

I like it. :D


Syndicate360

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So, I have no experience with the Syndicate franchise prior to popping in this game, but I did know this is considered a controversial update.

For me it seems less like the developers asked "What would Syndicate be like updated in 3D?" and more like "What would Deus Ex be like if it was Call of Duty?". For me that's a question only a EA executive would ask.

This isn't really a bad game by any means I suppose. Starbreeze are a good studio and it shows here. The weapons are generally fun to use and have that Starbreeze chunkiness to them that I've seen in The Darkness. The hacking powers you posses are also useful and can be implemented on the fly to create your own solutions to enemy encounters. The graphics and sound (minus some out of place dubstep) are also pretty good. And there's even a touch of satire, the end of level statistics being treated as a employee performance review was a nice touch.

It's just that it's also really badly paced, has some severe issues with story and falls back on a few of the lazy FPS cliches we've seen creep in over this last generation.

Some examples: a fight boxed in fight aboard a train becomes a boring turret section for most of its duration. There is one immensely empowering section with a flamethrower that lasts all of three minutes before you go back to regular firearms. Nearly every door or hatch must be opened with obnoxious QTE's. There is one level that has some nice detail and art design, but mostly the game is played in dank grey corridors, the only difference being if they are intact or damaged. Hit-scan and miniguns do not a fun boss fight make! Also this game is really violent towards bystanders, which combined with the lack of context given, made me a bit queasy at times.

The plot is very loose, to the point where it feels perhaps there shouldn't be any plot. All characters have barely any depth and the player character is just a passive avatar. This is especially odd considering EA obviously gave Brian Cox and Rosario Dawson a fairly hefty check for their voices talents. The final boss also exposes a bit of failing in plot logic as I should really be able to use my hacking powers to have him off himself. In fact, that might've made for a more poignant ending. But no, you just punch him to death.

So yeah, not a terrible awful game, but a really ordinary and strangely unimaginative one. Maybe a bit more time spent on the analysis of how a Syndicate update could work (See X-com) and less on EA trying to match COD's success at every turn and we could have a had a better game.
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RyaNtheSlayA
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Re: Games Beaten 2014

by RyaNtheSlayA Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:04 am

Assassin's Creed IV WiiU
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon PC
Splinter Cell: Blacklist WiiU
The Wolf Among Us: Episode 1 PC
The Wolf Among Us: Episode 2 PC
Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut WiiU
Jazzpunk PC
Pikmin 3 WiiU
Call of Duty: Ghosts WiiU

Ya know. It's CoD. The story is as 'Murican as it has ever been, although it seems like they tried to shape some interesting tones into the story, the characters are just generally bland and cliche. It certainly was nowhere as good as Call of Duty 4. The engine is showing it's age. It looks and runs okay on Wii U. It looks like an old game still. It shares assets with the Xbox 360 game so it makes sense. The set pieces look pretty nice though.

Frankly, I probably wouldn't have finished the game if it weren't for the fact that every hour or so they give you 20 minutes or so of a glimmer of inspiration and brilliance. Most of the game is your typical brown, limited, clown-car shooting gallery that has been Call of Duty for several years now. However, there are a few instances, especially the final hour or so of the game, that are chock full of neat set pieces and ideas. Frankly, the best part of the game is the tank section towards the end. I almost wish they included a multiplayer mode based around it. It's honest to goodness some really excellent arcade tank action. The space segment (as well as the skyscraper and mountain levels) are very pretty as well and show that the art team can in fact do something that isn't a sparse and gritty urban or desert setting.

It was only about 5 and a half hours. I certainly wouldn't pay more than the $20 I did. The multiplayer is nice in a casual sense but it's not something I want to invest too much more time into.

Overall. Meh. It's not bad. It just doesn't do anything particularly well. It's the same rollercoaster that many people have been on for the last several years.

Edit: Forgot to mention. One of the absolutely worst parts of the games is where it prompts you to make a decision but you really can't. You don't want to press that button? Too bad now you have to restart. They set up these situations to seem like there could be an option you have but you don't. It's irritating.
I'm still not sure whether I'm a kid or a squid now.
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graffix_13
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Re: Games Beaten 2014

by graffix_13 Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:58 am

1. Tearaway- PS Vita (Platinum Trophy)
2. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag- PS4 (Platinum Trophy)
3. Resogun- PS4 (Platinum Trophy)
4. Super Stardust Delta- PS Vita
5. Galaga Legions DX- PS3
6. Under Defeat HD- PS3 (Platinum Trophy)
7. Ketsui Extra- PS3

Ketsui- Since the PS3 is severly lacking in shoot-em-ups, I had to import this from Japan. I see it on most of the "All Time greatest shmups" lists, so this was a must buy for me. I finished the 'story' in both Arcade mode and X-mode....but that really isn't too tough when you credit feed. There is a hidden boss (Doom) but actually getting to him and defeating him is very, very difficult (not like I would know, but this is what I've been told). This requires 1CC the first loop and then clearing the 2nd loop...or something insane like that.

If you like shmups, and more specifically bullet hell games, then I highly recommend this. It will kick your ass.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2014

by prfsnl_gmr Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:50 am

1. Hotline Miami (PS3)
2. Boulder Dash XL 3D (3DS)
3. Mirror's Edge (PS3)
4. Orcs & Elves (DS)
5. 3D Dot Game Heroes (PS3)
6. Justice League Heroes: The Flash (GBA)
7. Metal Gear (MSX/PS2)
8. Wario Land: Shake It! (Wii)
9. LittleBigPlanet (PS3)

I cleared the story mode in LittleBigPlanet last night. I am still not entirely sold on the game's platforming mechanics, and I don't quite understand all of the praise this game recevied on its release. The game has wonderful art direction and splendid music, but I spent a lot of time fighting the controls. I thought that jumping was imprecise and switching between multiple planes Fatal Fury-style was infuriating. (There were multiple times where my Sack Girl was electrocuted because the game would switch between planes for me automatically.) Moreover, the windows that appear whenever I would grab an item often obscured my view, and there were many point in the game where the camera did not keep up with the action, requiring me to make proceed through the game blindly. Despite these issues, however, the game was incredibly easy, and I only had to retry one or two of the story levels.

Complaints aside, however, my daughter loves watching me play this game and dressing up our Sack Girl in different outfits. Also, I have the "Game of the Year" edition; so, I am currently playing though some of the user-created levels and bonus content. (The Metal Gear Solid bonus content is great.) Perhaps when I clear those sections, I will understand the game's critical acclaim a bit more. (Finally - and based on how much my daughter loved this game - I anticipate moving on to LittleBigPlanet 2 very soon.)
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2014

by BoneSnapDeez Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:19 am

I don't know much about those games, but this made me chuckle:

prfsnl_gmr wrote:There were multiple times where my Sack Girl was electrocuted because the game would switch between planes for me automatically.


Trying to picture a "sack girl"...
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2014

by prfsnl_gmr Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:23 am

BoneSnapDeez wrote:Trying to picture a "sack girl"...


Here you go!

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I also expect to be dressed like this:

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throughout LittleBigPlanet 2.

As your daughter gets older, you will find that the number of female protagonists in your video games increases exponentially.
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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2014

by alienjesus Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:38 am

1. Kirby's Epic Yarn Wii
2. To The Moon Christmas Special PC
3. Super Mario 3D World Wii U
4. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Wii U
5. Chiki Chiki Boys Mega Drive
6. World of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Mega Drive
7. Metal Gear PSVita
8. Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake PSVita *NEW*
9. Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy 3DS *NEW*

2 more games added to the list.

Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
Metal Gear 2 is a pretty great sequel to the first game. It adds a ton, including crawling, hiding from chasing enemies, new weapons, new mechanics and the radar. It's odd going back to it after starting with Metal Gear Solid because it almost feels like a 2D demake of that game - so many plot elements, mechanic elements and boss fight elements are recycled from this game into the PS1 game that it's silly.

It's odd to say, but I feel less impressed by MGS on PS1 after playing this game - it's still fantastic, but it didn't actually come with a whole lot of new ideas for the series.

This game has its problems - the screen scrolling working like Zelda 1 means its too easy to cross the edge of a screen right into an enemies path, and the radar doesnt help as much as you'd hope because you can't tell which way an enemy is facing a any time. The game also has some major unnecessary backtracking issues near the end (worse than the ones in MGS1 imo) and a serious issue with not knowing where to go next. The enemy AI is also too hard to escape when caught, and early on it's a nightmare. Like the first game though, in the latter parts of the game you have so much health and health items that you can basically just run past enemies with no worries of dying, so it's difficulty curve is the wrong way up - tough at the start, easy at the end.

Overall, it's a better game than the first Metal Gear, but probably not better than Metal Gear Solid. However, I feel it's my least favourite of the three, mainly because of the issues of not knowing where to go.


Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy

So, this is the 6th Professor Layton game I've played in the last 6 or 7 years. Is it getting a bit tired now? Kinda. Is it still fun - yes. The story is still as compelling as ever (despite being stupidly silly) and drives you to carry on, and the bitesize nature of the puzzles means that 'just one more' syndrome takes over and you end up finishing hours after you meant to.

The pacing of the game is out of whack this time - early on puzzles are sparse, surprisingly difficult for the start of the game, and the story a little slow to get started. Later on, when you get the ability to choose your own destinations, the pace and puzzle count pick up exponentially and the game comes into it's own.

The story in this one is pretty good - better than the slightly weak stories of Spectre's Call and Miracle Mask. Again, although it takes quite some time to actually get going, it picks up drastically towards the end, and some of the twists that happen genuinely caught me off guard - and not just in the usual Layton logic way ('Of course, it was a giant robot in a catsuit all along!' (p.s. not an actual spoiler)). Some of them affect the whole series, not just this one game.

Puzzle quality in this one varied. It was mostly free of the obnoxious block moving puzzles that plague earlier entries in the series, and it tended to reuse puzzle mechanics less than others (no 'Knights Tour 8' etc. here). The difficulty never got too high, but there were very few really easy ones too. The weird thing was that these ones were mainly in the middle of the game, making for an odd difficulty curve.

Overall, I had a good time with this game. I'm kinda sad and kinda relieved that this is the 'last' Layton game - I love the series, but it needs a break. I'd be happy for it to reemerge in a couple of years. I just hope that the iPhone spin-offs don;t mean that we never see a 'proper' Layton game again.

Needless to say, despite the series wearing a little thin, I will be buying Ace Attorney vs Professor Layton when it comes out next month.


Next up:
I'm currently playing through Atelier Totori Plus, but I'm still really early on so it's a long ways off yet. I've also started up Metal Gear Solid for GBC, which should be a quicker game to finish. After that, it might be time to get stuck into a console game, or perhaps another of my Christmas games - Zelda maybe.
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Stark
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Re: Games Beaten 2014

by Stark Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:45 pm

alienjesus wrote:Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
This game has its problems - the screen scrolling working like Zelda 1 means its too easy to cross the edge of a screen right into an enemies path.

I suppose you could use the binoculars to help with that (are those still in MG2?) but they're a hassle to use.
Let strength be granted, so the world might be mended...so the world might be mended.
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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2014

by alienjesus Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:13 pm

Stark wrote:
alienjesus wrote:Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
This game has its problems - the screen scrolling working like Zelda 1 means its too easy to cross the edge of a screen right into an enemies path.

I suppose you could use the binoculars to help with that (are those still in MG2?) but they're a hassle to use.



They are, and they are a pain because you cant move whilst using them. Also, theres still nothing to guarantee an enemy wont change the direction hes facing afterwards.

I tried using binos at the start. I quickly dropped the idea.
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isiolia
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Re: Games Beaten 2014

by isiolia Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:00 pm

Stark wrote:I suppose you could use the binoculars to help with that (are those still in MG2?) but they're a hassle to use.


You can use the radar for a lot of it. Just, as mentioned, they're one pixel, with no indication of which direction they're facing. So, short of watching for movement, it's hard to be sure they won't see you as soon as you cross to that screen.

Still, there are other things that can be abused a lot more readily than in later games. If there's a door, for example, you can usually go through it, move to the side, and wait for one guy to enter the room. Sneak out behind him and, usually, the previous area is empty and you can hide.
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