Playing - Nov(rem)ember

Tackle the wild and wacky universe of video gaming with the Pixel Verdict team of Erich, Dave, Adam, Steve, Jon, and Tim.

Playing - Nov(rem)ember

Postby Steve T Power » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:35 pm

Good lord, November is all about:

SKYRIM - After 30 hours (plus an additional 10 on another console) with this all encompassing monster, and as a huge fan of Bethesda's past open world epics, Skyrim is simply put: the best goddamn game I have ever played.

The enhancements and tweaks made to the tried and true formula has made the style infinitely more accessible without dumbing anything down or oversimplifying (if anything I'd say it's MORE complex than Oblivion), the combat feels great in first or third person, and the world is insanly HUGE, PACKED with detail (Salmon jumping up waterfalls?) and drop dead gorgeous.

On top of all that, there's an extremely fine plot weaving through the main quest with branching points, every side mission feels like an epic all it's own, and the Nordic-traditional Fantasy cross feels more like Robert E. Howard's original Conan stories than I expected. This is just... just goddamn STUNNING!

Also, Dragons, sweet christ on a cracker the Dragons...

This is the ultimate time sink. This game will rend families asunder.
As the ancient Tibetan philosophy states:"Don't start none... won't be none...".
User avatar
Steve T Power
Judge
 
Posts: 5351
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 3:08 pm
Location: St. John's, Newfoundland, CA

Re: Playing - Nov(rem)ember

Postby alexwagner » Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:07 am

A few friends that purchased Skyrim were blown away. I didn't follow the development closely nor the reception as I'm not an RPG player but it seems like it well and truly delivered on it's hype.

Personally I've just been doing multiple play throughs of Uncharted 3. A masterpiece that outdoes Among Thieves. From chapter twelve onwards the game is just sublime. Up next is probably attempting a run on crushing difficulty.
User avatar
alexwagner
Paralegal
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:48 am

Re: Playing - Nov(rem)ember

Postby Steve T Power » Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:00 am

Set Skyrim aside long enough to finish Uncharted 3 yesterday. I have to say, there were moments in this game that infuriated me, and while there were still some bright points, the second half didn't really live up to the amazing promise of first half for me. It's still a better game than 3/4ths of the 3rd person shooters on the market, but there were a few things:

- The puzzles and platforming were the best of the series, but the damn gun fights were TOO effing long! The pacing goes from steady and swift to dead stop while you're forced to fight wave after wave of thugs. You just hit these brick walls where the game turns into Gears of War's HORDE MODE and the guys get progressively tougher and more well armed and armored, and you're forced to deal with what feels like 400 of them before you can move on. Why not just give us the 7 or 8 we can see in the room when we enter, and move on. instead guys drop out of the ether, open locked doors, and just keep pouring in.

- The "illusion" of choice. Infiltrating the airfield, you can stealth your way in, ok. So I creep in, silenced pistol in hand, i systematically took down every guy I spotted, only to get auto-detected and have to fight another wave of 300 arseholes. What's worse, it doesn't matter how many of the guys you stealth, you still have to fight each and every one of the bastards that trots out in the pre-scripted "combat event". That's some pretty cheap, cheating game design there fellas.

- The villains - Sure I freaking HATED Talbot by the end, but he's a cartoon. I never know who these people are, outside of a one-off sentence dropped by Cutter earlier in the game, the bad guys have no real identity or reason to be detested. I found myself feeling kind of bad for Marlowe in the end, and the final battle with Talbot was overlong and a little cheesy. Who was this chick? Why was Talbot (and all their mindless followers for that matter) so vehemently loyal, and so visibly upset when she died. They were setting things up like she may have been, or had some connection to the royals, and Francis Drake, but none of it ever pays off. Among Thieves had some GREAT villains in Lazarovich and Harry, and heel turns and what not keep you guessing, nothing like that happens here.

- Crumbling floors, staircases, streets, etc - Why does EVERY FREAKING THING I step on have to collapse, break, explode, try to give me tetanus, kick my dog, or otherwise slow forward progression. I understand, it adds dramatic weight, but when it's EVERYTHING, then it just gets old. Surprise me a few times, great, woah, oh god! But every time? Come on game, just get on with it! I just want to see the next cutscene!

- The characters - The first half of the game hints at some truly great moments, and the sit down with Marlowe in the Yemen market promises even more, then... nothing. Zip. Nadda. Nothing really changes, and poor Chloe and Cutter just get unceremoniously dumped.

It's not that I didn't enjoy the game, that first half was a mindblowing trip, right up to the Villa, then Syria hit and I got bored, then Yemen, which was wall to wall awesome, then boredom again, then the airfield/Rub Al'Kali stuff, which was again, amazing stuff! The whole pirate side-trip should have been cut, there should have been more stuff in the desert (and we should have gotten there MUCH earlier), and the devs should have had more payoff on the Nate-Sully dynamic, and Marlowe and her cronies needed more background. These character bits could easily have replaced all of the monotonous "shooty-shooty bang bang" stuff that did nothing but bog down the proceedings.

I sound harsh, I know, but after the first few levels, this could have been a strong contender for Game of the Year for me, but after the end-credits, it'll be lucky to break the top 5, and that's just horribly depressing for me. A game that starts so strong!
As the ancient Tibetan philosophy states:"Don't start none... won't be none...".
User avatar
Steve T Power
Judge
 
Posts: 5351
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 3:08 pm
Location: St. John's, Newfoundland, CA

Re: Playing - Nov(rem)ember

Postby Attrage » Thu Nov 24, 2011 8:37 pm

LOTR: War in the North - I'm not an RPG-er by any means, but found myself with a free copy of this so figured it couldnt hurt to give it a whirl. At first I found a couple of things awkward: although the game is set in locations purely from the book it is obviously based on the Peter Jackson films in terms of look and feel, character design etc. Yet the dialogue is purely Tolkien - not the more accessible Jackson/Walsh/Boyens version from the films (it is very much Tolkien in that it goes on forever...seriously, that's fine in a novel, but in a game it really hurts the pacing). But mostly, that stuff kind of falls into place. Since I have practically zero experience with RPGs I can't really comment on whether the combat is comparably great or woeful but I found it pretty intuitive, control-wise, and the difficulty seemed spot on for an RPG newbie like me. Speaking of the design before, I found it pretty stunning. I was pausing in each new area I came to just to do a slow pan around and try to take it all in. It's beautiful. Overall though, I won't be racing to whack this one in the console again soon, I found it enjoyable but I can safely say I'm still not an RPG player by any means. Plus, I got the feeling that it's more designed for co-op play. I found the buddy-AI pretty lacklustre, often got the feeling it needed one of those old-school "Player 2 insert coin" messages as my buddies just seemed to kind of stand there while I was taking a freakin *ss-whuppin!
Don't worry darling, its just a hat, belonging to a small man of limited means who lost a fight with a chicken!
User avatar
Attrage
City Attorney
 
Posts: 372
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:47 pm

Re: Playing - Nov(rem)ember

Postby Steve T Power » Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:40 am

Attrage wrote:LOTR: War in the North - I'm not an RPG-er by any means, but found myself with a free copy of this so figured it couldnt hurt to give it a whirl. At first I found a couple of things awkward: although the game is set in locations purely from the book it is obviously based on the Peter Jackson films in terms of look and feel, character design etc. Yet the dialogue is purely Tolkien - not the more accessible Jackson/Walsh/Boyens version from the films (it is very much Tolkien in that it goes on forever...seriously, that's fine in a novel, but in a game it really hurts the pacing). But mostly, that stuff kind of falls into place. Since I have practically zero experience with RPGs I can't really comment on whether the combat is comparably great or woeful but I found it pretty intuitive, control-wise, and the difficulty seemed spot on for an RPG newbie like me. Speaking of the design before, I found it pretty stunning. I was pausing in each new area I came to just to do a slow pan around and try to take it all in. It's beautiful. Overall though, I won't be racing to whack this one in the console again soon, I found it enjoyable but I can safely say I'm still not an RPG player by any means. Plus, I got the feeling that it's more designed for co-op play. I found the buddy-AI pretty lacklustre, often got the feeling it needed one of those old-school "Player 2 insert coin" messages as my buddies just seemed to kind of stand there while I was taking a freakin *ss-whuppin!


It comes from that same school of co-op loot gathering and hack and slash as Diablo and Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance. It's a fun game for sure, and great for LOTR geeks like myself, but the appeal is definitely limited. You should REALLY try Skyrim if you haven't yet. You may not be an RPG player, but I've a feeling this one would suck you in.
As the ancient Tibetan philosophy states:"Don't start none... won't be none...".
User avatar
Steve T Power
Judge
 
Posts: 5351
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 3:08 pm
Location: St. John's, Newfoundland, CA

Re: Playing - Nov(rem)ember

Postby Attrage » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:10 pm

Steve T Power wrote:You should REALLY try Skyrim if you haven't yet. You may not be an RPG player, but I've a feeling this one would suck you in.

Yeah I was resisting but I think I will end up digging into my limited games budget for Skyrim. It looks far too awesome to not give it a try!
Don't worry darling, its just a hat, belonging to a small man of limited means who lost a fight with a chicken!
User avatar
Attrage
City Attorney
 
Posts: 372
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:47 pm


Return to Blast Processing!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron