Gamers, get ready. It’s time to dust off your old ODST discs and jump into the Halo Reach Beta. Now if you’re anything like me, chances are that you haven’t touched ODST in months. Now, I really don’t know who this chick is, but she gives us a crash course on the latest in the beta.
Keep in mind that the beta could take quite some time downloading so be patient and don’t hit “B” by accident and cancel your download like I did. Also, a bunch of people over at Joystiq were complaining earlier that their downloads weren’t working. As it turned out, rebooting the Xbox was the cure to this issue so keep that in mind when you come across any issues. Happy killing.
Now I’ll admit that my passion for RPGs has dwindled with age, but Final Fantast XIII is seriously lacking almost any redeeming qualities. FFXIII is another one of those games I wish I didn’t have to force myself to play in order to justify a wasted sixty dollars. The game is riddled with an inane
fighting system, painfully stock characters, American laughable voice acting, never ending
walks through repetitive grounds and a story line I couldn’t care less for.
Plot: In nine out of ten games, I really don’t care about the plot. However, I feel as though RPG’s should maintain a certain standard of story telling that will keep the minds of its players remotely engaged. Unfortunately, FF XIII does no such thing. Everyone is off doing their own thing and rarely moving together in a group. It’s somewhat like an episode of Lost when they go off into each characters story. From what I’ve played thus far, the characters move in teams of two, the one kid’s mother dies, another character’s girlfriend gets turned into a crystal and the heroine seems to be mad at world. Very intriguing stuff indeed. Well, maybe the fighting system is good right?
Fighting: Negatory. It’s not quite turn based, and it’s not quite an open system either (a la Tales Series). You basically punch in commands and wait for a fight meter to fill up before you can attack a selected enemy. Simply put, this is irritating. If you keep pressing “A,” you’ll more than likely win the battle without even looking at your screen. Although this quite handy when reaching for a beer, it does not provide solid gameplay.
The fighting system does however incorporate a “paradigm” system that allows you to change your characters’ fighting styles mid-battle. This can be used to harness different powers (healing, offensive or defensive) depending on the battle’s current situation. If only one of your characters is getting pummeled, you can switch someone’s role to “medic” which will keep the victim afloat for the duration of the battle while others attack. In addition, you can also have all of your characters attacking all-out to overwhelm enemies quickly. The paradigm system is definitely a small beam of light in an otherwise redundant fighting system.
Characters: Token black guy? check. “Damn, that is whack!” Rebellious anti-hero chick? Check. Little punk kid that complains about everything? Check. That annoying girl with the high-pitched voice that heals everyone? Check. Blond haired guy that’s too cool for school? CHECK! How about we try some innovative new characters for the next title in the series? Maybe I wouldn’t be complaining so much if the battle sequence had been a tad better. Case in point: Tales of Vesperia. Tales executed the same tried lineup of characters and yet I played the hell out of that game until the very end glued to the very edge of my seat.
Linearity: Probably the most irritating thing about this game is that there is no open world feel to it at all. If there are any side missions, I sure as hell haven’t found them yet. The backgrounds are reminiscent of the original Halo and are also just as repetitive. Players will find themselves walking back and forth along the same paths multiple times. Good shit.
I understand that I did not organize my thoughts at all for this rant, but it does seem to reflect the subject matter quite well wouldn’t you say? I’m about halfway through disc two and ready to throw in the towel on this one. If you haven’t tried FFXIII yet, you are not missing out on much. Don’t let the major critics fool you; this game is in no way, shape or form anything above a 7. This rating system, which is supposedly unbiased, should not take into account the previous success of a given title. Would you give Apple an 8.5/10 for their iPad? Hell no. Their track record, popularity and previous successes should not hinder a critic’s rating scale in the slightest bit. The iPad is a sack of shit and so is this game.
I can honestly say that Gears was the last good shooter that I was actually thrilled to play. Whether it was running through insane with a buddy for hours on end, or sawing a locust in half, Gears brought a very novel experience to the shooter market. I mean seriously, they somehow managed to make taking cover fun.
If you haven’t already, check out the new Gears of War 3 trailer. While the teaser doesn’t reveal much of anything (aside from Zero Suit Samus joining the fray) we do know that the game is set for an April 5th release (of next year) and that this will be the final installment of the series. A year is a long time to wait, but I’m sure they’ll pop out another three or four Call Of Duty games by then to tie us over…
Microsoft has announced today that they will discontinue the Xbox Live service for original Xbox consoles and games. Here’s what the Major had to say:
While I can’t comment on the specifics, this change will allow us to continue evolving the LIVE service with new features and experiences that fully harness the power of Xbox 360 and the Xbox LIVE community. We did not make this decision lightly, but after careful consideration and review we realize that this decision will allow us unprecedented flexibility for future features.
I don’t understand how ending this service on the old system will allow them “unprecedented flexibility” for the future. If you can remember a little while back, Microsoft also started pulling the plug on XBLA titles that weren’t selling well.
If you are still playing Halo, I suppose your best bet would be to run through Xbox Connect. Ahh, the good old days…
The fine people at Redmond’s video game console division think it’s a great idea to “reach” the country’s youth by marketing Rock The Vote via Xbox. While I do feel that getting America’s youth to vote is a great idea, the simple act of voting does not hold merit if the voters are ignorant on the topic.
“Xbox is a natural partner to help us reach out to youth voters,” Heather Smith, executive director of Rock the Vote, said in a statement Thursday. “To realize our goal of registering 2 million young Americans by this fall, we need to go where young Americans are, and there’s no doubt in our minds that many are on Xbox 360 and Xbox Live.”
According to some Uber Mole deep within the confines of Microsoft, there are going to be price cuts on all three Xbox models this September. The Arcade, Pro (60 GB) and Elite will be marked down to $199, $299 and $399 respectively.
The New Xbox Experience can’t be the only reason for the added memory could it? This isn’t Sony people! I mean honestly, who’s planning on ripping games to their HDD eight gigs at a time? (Especially for those of us still sporting 20GB HDD’s).
Apparently Superman has two weaknesses…Kryptonite and magic. Wtf?
I’d hate to see what would happen to The Man of Steel if they were to throw Harry Potter in the mix.
Despite Superman’s illogical weakness, an idiosyncratic T for teen rating and a painfully stiff “revamped” fighting system, MK vs DC is beginning to look like it might turn out alright. Wait, allow me to rephrase that…MK vs DC just might pass everyone’s low expectations.