Posted: April 29th, 2010 | Author: Tarun Kunwar | Filed under: PS3, Rants, Reviews, Xbox 360 | No Comments »
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.
Posted: November 3rd, 2007 | Author: Tarun Kunwar | Filed under: Reviews | 1 Comment »
So I found myself torn between renting either Naruto: Rise of the Ninja or The Simpsons Game to hold me off until the big titles are released. Had to go with humor this time, and I must say that I’m not disappointed. Although neither of these two games were especially high on anyone’s top ten list for the holidays, they are most certainly rent-worthy.
The Simpsons Game — Only true fans of the show will fully enjoy this one. Join Homer, Bart, Marge and Lisa as your run around Springfield, Kentucky with superpowers triumphing over evil game world lookalikes.
Each character has their own special move, (ex: Bart’s slingshot, Homer’s ballooning ability), which add some sense of depth to an otherwise dull game. Besides that, the characters are only equipped with one repetitive punch attack. Yawn.
Use Bart’s slingshot to break down obstacles.
The majority of the gameplay consists of button mashing, and running around solving n3wbish puzzles that your little sister could figure out.
The reason I recommend renting this one is simply because the average gamer will run through it in seven hours tops. For the hardcore Simpson fans, there are a bunch of hidden goodies and a total of 44 achievements to be gotten. Now, if you were really into finding those silly hidden orbs in Crackdown (i.e. masochism), this game will give you plenty of replay value. Each of the sixteen stages have a time trail feature which also adds to the overall replay-ability.
As expected of something that has anything to with Matt Groening, this game will have you giggling through its entirety. The Simpson’s Game throughly mocks the gaming industry. For example, there is an achievement for pressing the start button entitled “Easiest achievement ever.” Furthermore, there is a collection of “Game ClichÃ©s” which poke fun at every videogame ever. My only regret is that the game was developed by EA, otherwise it could have been something special.
What’s a videogame without crates?
With the Emmy Award winning voice actors and show-like visuals, this game is definitely worth a look for all Simpson fans, (before you’re broke in December.)
Posted: August 21st, 2007 | Author: Justin Nolan | Filed under: Reviews, Xbox 360 | 3 Comments »
I don’t normally write reviews, and you surely don’t need another review (97 average review on Metacritic should tell you everything). So I will more or less give you my abbreviated opinion of the game.
To start off with, I have played the game through to completion, but only once. There are no less than to two endings to the game. And I think it’s safe for me to assume they are rather different endings, too. I’ve just completely ODed on BioShock in the past week so there isn’t a chance I’ll be repeating the whole game any time soon. Which brings me to my next point–game length.
Trusty old shotgun.
The game is pretty damn long. Not too long you can’t beat it in a couple days like I did (if you can forgo having a life). I didn’t time myself, but it was probably somewhere near 20 hours. This was on normal difficulty, and exploring as much as I could. If you want to find all the audio diaries and gun upgrade stations, you’re going to need to scour the place. I believe there are ten weapon upgrade stations (one time use, two upgrades per weapon) and a whopping 122 diaries (give or take). Getting the “Historian” achievement will not be like finding 20 measly COG tags. No, these diaries can be anywhere. Including in the bottom of a trashcan in a closet. In case you can’t tell, I’m a little bitter because I was hoping to get this achievement by being diligent on my first pass. While you can go back to find them, there are a few that if you don’t get them at the first opportunity, you never will. Plus, at the end of the game, it warns you that if you go on from there, you will not be able to return. Fair warning, except for the fact that even if you turn around at this point to go back in the game to look for things you’ve missed, you are already locked in the final level. I was forced to go back to an older save in order to backtrack.
Backtracking is going to be something you do quite a bit. It’s actually not so bad because the environment changes in a few instances, plus the fact that the whole game is just so gorgeous, you won’t mind. BioShock has open environments (meaning you can pretty much explore an entire environment at will), but not an openended story. You need to follow the games action in order. The entire story is driven by the radio you pick up at the beginning of the game and the audio diaries you find along the way. Some of those 122 diaries we talked about earlier are required to progress the story (these are differentiated by glowing gold). It’s actually a very effective way to tell a story, and quite enjoyable.
Not a good idea. Trust me.
My biggest disappointment has to be the games biggest selling point. All they showed off in the trailers and videos was how many ways you can set traps and kill your enemies. While you CAN do this, there is really no point. None of your enemies are hard to defeat. Maybe it’s my years of FPS training that is holding me back. My mind thinks resource and ammo management… it doesn’t seem effective to use a proximity mine, tornado trap and trip wire to take out an enemy when a wrench to the back of the head would do. There was really only one point in the game where you are encouraged to set up a trap. While you are locked in a room waiting for something (no spoilers), your buddy Atlas tells you Ryan is sending some bad guys after you and you should get ready for them. At last! I went all out… proximity mines behind all the doors, followed by tornado traps, and a spider web of trip wires. A spider web, I tell you! I swear, all it would have taken was a single mine or grenade. All I did was effective trap MYSELF INTO the room. The game REALLY could have used more scenarios like this, with bigger/longer waves of enemies. In that 20 hours, there were only maybe 3 cases like this. You could potentially set up traps for big daddies, but they have a weak point that makes it all too easy to kill them.
Complaints aside, BioShock is an unbelievably ambitious game and it pulls off just about all it set out to do. It creates an environment with an atmosphere that is completely untouched. The game seriously could not have a better art direction. I don’t even want to touch the story because there are too many things to give away. A lot of people seem concerned because there is no back story for your character. I can’t tell you much, but there very much IS a back story. Any questions you might ask yourself manage to seamlessly answer themselves in the game. I can’t remember a game that is so compelling and left me so engaged. This game deserves the acclaim.