Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Review #76: Bulletstorm

 More like Glitchstorm.
 The Playstation 2/Xbox/Gamecube generation began to change what FPSes where all about, and then by the PS3/X360/WiiU generation the change was permanent. In these new FPSes you are confined to two weapons and regenerating health, no longer is strafing around an enemy viable, no, now you must take cover as your heatlh regenerates and you pop out and shoot your enemies. Bulletstorm, made by the incredible retro-styled FPS Painkiller teamed up with Epic Games to try to marry both modern and past shooters, and they succeeded, mostly.
 Bulletstorm has you playing as Grayson Hunt, a generic space marine with jock-mentality, who very early in the game makes a bad call and gets most of his team killed, and he himself stranded on a foreign planet. The story is as predictable as it gets, but you are not playing this game for the story, which is a  good thing as the characters are really lame. Most of your teammates are the very definition of jocks and are as unlikable as they get. Bizarrely enough, the main antagonist is actually quite likable, as soon as you meet him, he spends a great deal of time questioning Grayson's motives, "You killed thousands who had families, but since it was to kill me, it was alright" and the such. Oh, and the dialogue is really bad, characters just can't help but to say "dick" every chance they get, they try to be edgy but it ends up being really dumb. Oh, and the ending is totally unsatisfying, in order to place a sequel hook at the end, for a sequel that never came.
 When it comes down to the gameplay, it's actually pretty fun. The first thing you'll notice, is that movement has a very heavy feel to it, which feels really nice. Despite it, movement is actually really fast, you even get a dash button that makes you move even faster, and if you need more speed, double tapping the dash button makes you slide. The slide is one of the best features ever included in an FPS, running into an enemy while sliding acts as if you had kicked them, popping them up in the air for free shots. It's also really useful when you need to back down in to cover, or just to get away from enemies. Ah, yes, cover, this game has regenerating health, like every other modern shooter, but Grayson can actually take a load of punishment before dying, heck, sometimes you are even encouraged to move up close to the enemies and only retreat when taking heavy damage. Another feature is the leash, by tapping the left trigger you can use an energy beam that will drag enemies towards you, you can use it in front of deathstraps to throw them into them. Still, leashing, slinding into or kicking enemies places enemies in a floaty state where they become harmless.
 Theres a very arcadey feel to it, and it actually encourages you to have fun. Enemies are silly, Grayson has enough resistance to run around for a while without having to retreat, enemies are silly and you are rewarded for scoring skillshots. "Skillshots" are fancy names for kills. For example, shotgunning an enemy up close and ripping their torsos off their legs is called "Topless". There are also plenty of enviroment-related skillshots, like throwing enemies into spikes. These skillshots grant you point bonuses, which are then used to enhance your weapons. Y'see, most of the time you'll be using your standard machine gun, as it is the most common weapons enemies carry, but every time you come across a "Dockpit" you can use your skillshot points to buy new weapons and ammo, although you can only carry three weapons at a time, the ammo you have for each weapons is "stored". There's about 8 weapons, each one with an alternate fire mode, and they are very over the top and fun to use. For example, the Shotgun has 4 barrels, and it's alternate shot fires a wave of fire that carbonizes every enemy in it's way. There's a weapon that shoots a pair of bolas that tie themselves around an enemy or an object, and you can detonate them at will. There's also a weapon that shoots drills!
 There's three different modes: Story Mode, which is a single player affair and plays just as described above. Additionally, you are always accompanied by one or two CPU allies, and they are really stupid most of the time, plenty of time I caught them shooting at the air. There are also plenty of QTEs that you can't fail, but the faster you do them, the more Skillshot points you get. Disappointingly, the last boss is nothing more than a QTE, which is really lame as there are a couple of bosses throughout the game and they are not half bad. Then there's Echoes, an online-leader board enabled mode that has you play through certains shootouts of the Story Mode. The last Mode is "Multiplayer Mode", but for some reason when you select it, it turns into "Anarchy mode", probably they planned to add more modes via DLC? Still, this is a Co-op-only affair in which you must survive waves of enemies and reach certain score thresholds. While it sounds good on paper, you will have to repeat and repeat the same enemy wave until you achieve the needed score, it becomes quite boring eventually if you can't manage it. As a whole, the only mode that's any good is the Story Mode, and it's your average 6-8 hour romp.
 This game is a bit on the ugly side. The planet is very pretty, and there are plenty of different zones, with lots of colors and visual treats, like the the water looks pretty good. Character models on the other hand... while they look good from afar, get close to them and the textures turn into a pixelated mess. The game is also pretty visceral, there is a lot of blood and limb maiming around, it's actually quite satisfying. Music is nothing special, but the sound effects deserve a special mention, the pops when producing headshots and the rest of the audio is just really good. Voice acting is alright, Grayson's voice actor is really good though(He voices Jack from Madworld/Anarchy Reigns!).
 As much fun as I had, the game is a glitchfest. There was a time where I restarted the checkpoint multiple times but the next scene wouldn't trigger and I had to restart the whole chapter, searching about it I learned that many other people came across the same glitch, but on different chapters. Ammo is very scarce in the game, so most of it will be from the store, bought with your hard earned skillshot points, well, there's a glitch that clones one of your weapons on one of your three slots, this weapons had 0 Ammo and the only way to fix it is to reach a Dockpit... and then the game will just default that gun's ammo to 0. Very annoying and very frequent. There was also a time when the game made me buy an Upgrade I had already bought. And there was also a time when I died just as a cut-scene triggered, which made me replay the whole scene twice with no sound. Oh! and once, I had a floating clone of the weapon I was carrying over me. This game needed more quality testing.
 I actually liked the game, it's a pretty functional fusion of both old and new. Thing is, there's not a whole lot to the game, there's no offline multiplayer of any kind, online is as good as dead and not much fun, and the story mode is on the short side. And on the off-chance that you were following it's simple story, like me, you won't get any pay off, heck, you'll feel as if you had accomplished nothing. And the amount of glitches I experienced on a 6-8 hour long game is nothing short of embarrassing. Still, as long as you are into older shooters, this game is worth a look.
 6.5 out of 10.

Now Playing: Pandora's Tower

 So far, so good.
 I just started Pandora's Tower and got up to unchaining the first Master's room. So far, I like it. The story is quite engaging actually, and I loved the way it was told: One cutscene at the start that told you everything and anything you needed to know: Girl gets cursed, Old lady aids them, Main character must get her the cure. The characters are alright, but special mention goes to Mavda who is both creepy and awesome.
 Gameplay seems a bit on the simple side, you bash them with the A button and Guard/Dodge with the Z button. The way Aeron uses his chain is quite cool, he can bind enemies(And limit their moveset), bind them to objects or to other enemies.... and then, when they are dying, Aeron(I really hope that's his name, I'm kinda tired and they only mentioned him twice) uses his chain to rip out their flesh for items or, well, flesh. It's also used for exploration, you may have to activate doors with it or use it to propel yourself up to certain ledges.
 All in all, it's a nice little game, at least so far.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Review #75: Breath of Fire IV

 Unleash the power of the Dragons.
 Breath of Fire IV was Capcom's last traditional RPG. While there is a Breath of Fire V, it can hardly be labeled as "traditional". Regardless, the game pits in you in the role of yet another Ryu alongside yet another Nina and a couple of other party members, who is a Dragon posing as a human, on his quest to stop a big bad.
 The game takes place in a land styled after China, but where humans and half breeds(From anything to dog-humans to cat-humans) live together. 90% of the time you will play as Ryu, who after meeting up with Nina, aids her in her quest to save her sister. At least at the start, Nina's sister is quickly forgotten about, though the heroes will find her, eventually, but the game makes finding out Ryu's destiny the main leading thread. The other 10% has you playing as the game's antagonist, Fou Lou. Fou Lou's segments are very short and very easy(He is the big bad after all, he should be incredibly overpowered) but they help you sympathize, somewhat, with him.
 The game is  very oldschool, that means that you will be talking with townsfolk until you find that one NPC that advances the story. It's also very vague, so finding the Dragons, which is the game's major sidequest, relies a lot on you going out of your way and backtracking into towns searching for hints over where they may be. And most of the time they are pretty vague about it, so you might want to get a guide. Battles are pretty straight forward, you run around until you get into a random encounter and these are turn based. The battles are pretty average, although be prepared that near the end of the game the difficulty suddenly ramps up, and if you are caught unprepared you will suffer. Honestly, I never lost to a boss or to a random encounter, but  some of the latter boss fights were long and challenging.
 While every character, except Ryu, learns some skills through leveling up, most skills are learned from monsters. In order to learn them, you must guard and hope that the enemy uses the skill that you want to learn. Oh, and you won't always learn it, so you might have to guard many turns. There are also masters spread around the world that alter your stat gains when you level up and teach you new skills when you fulfill certain conditions. Every character can learn any skill, alhough you can't equip more than one character with a certain skill, you can switch them around. As previously stated, Ryu doesn't learn any skills through level up(Even though you can equip him with skills), but he can turn into a Dragon. There's seven different Dragons, most which must be found, and only a couple being out of your way, and each one bestows a different moveset on Ryu. Lastly, by using magic in certain order(Say character 1 uses a fire spell and the next one a wind spell) you can create combos, which make spells deal more damage and, sometimes, even use more powerfuls spells due to the combination.
 While exploring on foot, every now and then you will come upon puzzles. Most are your usual pull the lever or find the keys affairs, but a couple of them require you to use personal skills. Five out of the six playable characters have a Skill, for example one of them can push barrels and another one can headbut stuff. These are not too frequent, but sometimes it's annoying having to go back to a menu to switch your on-foot party just for the puzzle. Speaking of annoying, the camera is very weird. Depending on the area, you may be able to turn the camera in one out of four different angles, sometimes there are only two angles and sometimes none. Most of the time, no angle will be quite right to explore. Also, on-foot movement is a bit imprecise, you might run into angles you didn't mean to. Lastly, the game is full of "minigames" that you must go through in order to continue, and... I didn't really like the approach, why do I have to go through a minigame if I want to use the Sandflier?(Mind you, the first time, this particular one, is actually kinda fun)
 Breath of Fire IV was released late into the Playstation's life cycle, yet it's particularly good looking. While the world is in 3D, characters and enemies are 2D Sprites(With a couple of 3D enemies). The 3D is pretty simple and basic, but the sprites are actually pretty neat. While not too detailed, animation is fantastic, many of the animations are reminiscent of Darkstalkers, full of exaggerated motions and reactions. Music was alright, it fit and there are many different tunes, however, none of them really struck with me. There are also a couple of voiced lines, but they are in japanese.
 There's nothing too bad about Breath of Fire IV, but the thing is.... The Playstation was a console known for its great RPGs, but Breath of Fire IV is just... very, very average. It does little to separate itself from other RPGs, and while playing as the antagonist is a nice touch, it's not a gamesaver. The story does pull a few really good scenes near the end(Concerning Nina's sister), but they can't pull the game away from mediocrity, specially when the verbal clash against the last boss is as cliched as it gets "Yes, Humanity is [insert a flaw] and [insert another flaw] but they are also good!" and then the last boss goes " Then we have to fight to prove who is right". As I said, this game is very average and very cliched.
 5.5 out of 10.

Now Playing: Bulletstorm

 Not as good as I expected?
 When it comes to FPS I'm not much of a fan of the modern ones. Taking cover and regenerating health are not my cup of tea, and limiting the weapons you carry due to realism is just dumb, especially when you consider that you have regenerating health. REGENERATING HEALTH. Oldschool ones however, are fantastic, run and gun frenetic fun, strafing your way around enemy fire is just way more fun than hiding behind cover. People Can Fly's Painkiller is one of my favorite FPSs of all time, if not my favorite. And so here we have Bulletstorm, by the creators of Painkiller, where they aim to mix the old with the new.
 So far, I'm not completely sold. Insert generic gruff Space Marine, who happens to look a lot like Marcus Phoenix, gets stranded on a planet and must now fight for survival. Or something. To be honest, the first segment in which you get to see your entire crew killed is kind of interesting, mind you, you barely got to meet these other characters, and what little you know of them is that they are some futuristic fraternity jocks, needless to say, you don't care about them. Still, having you witness their deaths first hand was a nice idea, but it could've used a bit more build up.
 As for the gameplay... Eh. It's nothing special. It's fast, really fast and it feels arcadey, which is actually quite to my liking. You still get regenerating health, which is not that cool, but I've been playing in normal and I haven't had to take much cover, so it's not really a necessity.You are to approach your enemies, as most of them are melee fighters that you get to outrun as you gun down, with a couple of marksmen providing back up. The Leash is an interesting idea, but I don't know just how well will it carry the game, it feels like a simple gimmick. Oh, and why the hell is Multiplayer Mode called multiplayer mode if the ONLY mode to be played is Anarchy? Why not just call it Anarchy? Or simply Multiplayer? Maybe they planned to add more modes via DLC later? And it's co-op only, no deathmatch, kind of a bummer. I played around with three other fellows, but we got stuck on wave 4. We retried it 4 times and failed to get the score needed, that's no fun at all. Who thought that having you replay a wave until you get the score you need, IN MULTIPLAYER, was a good idea? Sigh.
 Bottom Line: I feel like I can get to like it, but so far not too good.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Everything that's wrong with DLC in ONE game.

 Oh boy, here we go again...
 I've made it pretty clear that I'm entirely against DLC. The idea is good, extend the life of the game, add more stuff, you know, like expansion packs? Except that for most developers that translated into: "Take stuff out of the game and sell it at a small price", y'know, as in to spend as little as they can but transform that $60 purchase into a $70 purchase or more. DLC is just a fancy word for "Microtransaction". DLC sucks and will ruin gaming.
 Anyways, this game here has EVERYTHING that is wrong with DLC. Every shady practice, every sign of cutting back on costs but maximizing profits, it has it all. For starters, this is a pseudo-sequel to Saint Seiya: Sanctuary Battle. While this one is a fighting game and the other a Warriors-type game, they reused about 80-90% percent of the assets from last game. Most of the movesets are returning, some had some slight changes, every camera angle on every Big Bang attack is the same as it was in the last game. A lot of the stages are reused, and while the character models seem new, I dare say that it's just the old ones, but with a cell-shading coat on top. And the 50 character roster this game boasts about? There's about 35 characters that are just clones or slightly Luigified(Smash bros term) clones of other characters. Basically, this game was produced spending as little money as possible.
 First strike) Every single piece of DLC, and there are 34 of them are already on the disc. To be fair, some of them are slightly incomplete(Or the hacker couldn't get them to work properly, although I think another one did) and some of these are sold in packs.
 Second Strike) Some of the DLC is stuff from the last game. Remember how you could take off the armor of every Bronze Saint? Unarmored characters are now paid DLC. Remember how you paid money to play as Odin Seiya? Well, you can get Odin Seiya here too... if you pay. Again.
 Third Strike) Sleazy characters for DLC. Pre-order Bonus? Aries Shion. Even though Shion is already in the game as an specter and so is Mu, as the Aries Saint. Doesn't matter, get a clone of Shion in gold. Remember how odd it was that while Hyoga, Shiryu and Seiya got their Gold armors(Aquarius, Libra and Sagittarius) but Ikki and Shun didn't? And how there's open spaces above Shun and Ikki, resting above Hyoga and Shiryu's? Well, Leo Ikki and Virgo Shun can be yours! If you pay! Oh, and their moveset? Some moves from Phoenix and some from Leo for Ikki while Shun gets a few from Andromeda and a few from Virgo. It shows that they really made an effort to create new characters, eh! It doesn't end there, among the many costume DLC, they are also charging for the Gold Bronze armors, y'know, the ones that they teased with in one of the first trailers? Yeah! That's DLC!
 This game was evidently made on the cheap. They spared as many expenses as they could. And they have the gall to sell large amounts of DLC? And quite a lot of it coming from the previous game? How does Namco-Bandai get away with this bullshit?! Saddest part is, I went to forums, and quite a lot of people were ready to part with their money for these glorified unlock keys. A couple of them were smart enough and refused to cave in, more power to ya, but it's sickening just how dumb people are. DON'T YOU VALUE YOUR MONEY? MAKE THEM EARN IT, GODDAMNIT.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Review #74: Anarchy Reigns

 This game is flippin' awesome.
 Anarchy Reigns is part-reboot part-sequel to Madworld, a Wii game. It's not entirely clear where would it be placed, but many familiar faces return, from Jack, the protagonist, to the Black(er) Baron, Madworld's final boss. They are also joined by plenty of new characters, among them being Leo who serves as co-protagonist alongside Jack. Like Madworld, Anarchy Reigns is, at it's core, a Arena-based Fighting game, although the story mode would have you believe that it's very arcadey brawler, reminiscent of Beat-em ups like Final Fight, only in 3D. The game is very different from Madworld, however.
 The focus has clearly been placed in multiplayer, there's around 8 different modes. This range from classics, like Team DeathMatch or Battle Royale, to capture the flag or the co-op survival mode, there's even a Soccer mode where each time must bring a ball to the other team's goal. Every mode has it's own rules, but most of the time it's reduced to beating your enemies to a pulp with your fists. Most modes also feature usable items, like Sniper Rifles or Shields, and some even place random enemies to add to the already chaotic nature of the game. If that wasn't enough, stages also have "events", usually a deathtrap of sorts gets activated and it's in your best interest to avoid it.
 There's 17 different characters, 18 if you buy the 1-dollar Bayonetta DLC, each one falling in the  Light, Medium or Heavy weight category. Each category has minor differences from each other, but each character has a more-or-less unique movesets. Certain types of moves, like anti-airs or launchers are performed the same with each character, but they behave in different ways, combos are also unique to each character due to the properties of their moves. There's two different attacks, Weak and Strong, but holding the left trigger activates your Lethal Weapon, that also has Weak and Strong attack, these consume energy from a gauge below your health bar, but it's very easy to refill by hitting or getting hit. Lastly, there's a third gauge, Rampage, it's raised in the same manner as your lethal weapon, but it takes more time. Once you activate Rampage mode, you become invincible and get unlimited Lethal Weapon gauge for a little while, and your basic attacks get stronger too.
 In order to unlock most characters, you'll have to go through the story mode. You get to pick between Leo or Jack, but after you are done with either campaign, you get to play as the other one and then go back to your original character for one last mission. In Story mode, you are thrown in a large area, where you must rack up points in order to open up story missions. You earn points by fulfilling Free Missions, which you can redo as many times as you want, or simply kill the endlessly spawning enemies. It's not as tedious as it sounds, finishing one free missions should be enough to open up a Story mission, and hey, Free missions usually provide variety, from a racing minigame to a shooting gallery where you get unlimited ammo. Story Mode also features a lot of cutscenes, and while the story is nothing special, the dialogue is totally off-the wall. The Blacker Baron in particular steals every scene he is in.
 The game has a very unique art-style with some pretty nice character designs. These characters look very heavy, and the animation makes the action look very visceral and brutal, even when there's little to no blood. Every move feels as if it has weight to it, which meshes with the style of the game perfectly. Stages do feel a bit brownish, but they have plenty of different areas to do battle in. The Soundtrack is a phenomenal, it has a lot of Hip Hop and Electronic music, and even though I'm not a fan of Hip Hop I adored the soundtrack, it suits the game very well. Voice acting is alright, most characters have some kind of accent, which sounds really fake, but Jack and Leo are very well done. They also get some of the best lines in the game, when the Baron isn't stealing the show that is.
 As great as the game is, it has one fatal drawback.... No offline multiplayer. This game was made with multiplayer in mind, and the multiplayer is nothing short of fantastic, but it can't be played offline. Not even Cage Matches(1 vs 1). This game has been marketed as a Fighting Game, not having offline multiplayer is unforgivable and crippling, tournaments can't be held, you can't play against your friends if they don't own a console, etc. Even sadder, and also proof of why it was a bad idea, the online is basically dead, save a few regulars that I came across as I tried finding matches. You can play the multiplayer modes with bots though, but it's hidden under the Training Menu, in the Simulation Option.
 I absolutely loved this game, but as good as it is, not having offline multiplayer in a fighting game is just too bad. Single Player is entertaining, and after beating it you can use any character via Stage select, but it's not the same. Having bot matches is a small relief, but hardly makes up for the lack of offline. Still, when it's all said and done, it is a fantastic game.
 9 out of 10.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Review #73: Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

 Likely the best in the trilogy.
 And here we have Nathan Drake's latest adventure, and probably the best one yet. Although the story is a bit formulaic, bad guy wants to find ancient city which holds ancient treasure that can probably be used for evil and Nate must race to find it before they do, the new bad guys are the best ones yet. Marlowe is the first female villain in the series, and she's more cunning and threatening than Navarro or Lazarevic. Talbot also works as a better lackey than Flynn or Eddy were. Character banter during gameplay remains as one of the series high points.
 Most of the gameplay remains the same, but some stuff has been changed. Melee has been changed for a third time, Square still works as your basic attack, but enemies are now a bit more resilient and may counterattack more often, making you use Triangle to dodge. The new gimmicks are Circle, which now grabs the enemy and context-sensitive attacks, say you are mashing Square near a bottle, Drake may grab the bottle and smash it on the enemy. The change is a bit odd, as melee was fine in Uncharted 2, but many new scenes now leave Drake unarmed, as to have showcase this new system, there's even a new enemy type, the Brute, who can sustain a lot of bullet wounds but will fall to punches more easily. The circle button also adds some annoyances as you may try to roll or take cover, but if an enemy is close, Nate will prioritize grabbing him.
 For some reason, Naughty Dog saw fit to remove the ability to change the shoulder camera while aiming, it's a bit baffling as it was fairly inoffensive even if you needn't use it all that often. New to his arsenal, by timing Triangle, Nate can hurl back grenades, eventually this feature becomes quite useful in latter levels. For the first time in the series, the game actually has hard puzzles. While most still have you switching to Nate's notebook to check for hints, these puzzles will actually make you think.
 Uncharted 2 had some amazing setpieces, like the Train level or the car chase, Uncharted 3 blows them out of the water. All of them are completely over the top and memorable, not to mention very unique. There's a Ship level that you must first invade, while waves rock it back and forth.... and then it sinks and you have to traverse it horizontally. There's a new car chase with horses involved. And there are plenty, plenty more. It's true, sometimes they feel a bit out of place, but the pay off is so satisfying that you won't mind the excuses the game pulls in order to get Nate to those places.
 Multiplayer returns, and it's just as good as Uncharted 2's. The shop system, for multiplayer also returns, and new to the series is offline co-op. Offline co-op is relegated to a couple of mini-missions though. Sadly, a lot of the Single player extras are gone, no more funny filters, Mirror World, Zero Gravity or skins. Regardless, besides the Single Player skins, who really cared about the other extras?
 Uncharted 2 looks amazing, and somehow, somehow, Naughty Dog managed to make this game look even better. Characters look even more detailed than before, there are more little details, like the way Nate reacts when colliding with objects added just to show off. Even getting wet looks better. This game is pure eye candy, no other game looks this good. The music remains just as good, and voice acting is still top-notch. Uncharted 3's presentation is not easily matched, as every field in the audiovisual department is outstanding.
 Uncharted 3 is a fantastic game to end the series. While I wasn't a fan of the new melee system, everything else is spot on. And even though the game is an audiovisual masterpiece, a game is not good if the gameplay is not good, luckily, this game is fun to play, and it's unique and incredible setpieces are easily worth at least one playthrough. For PS3 owners, this is a must-have.
 9 out of 10.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Now Playing: Anarchy Reigns

 I just started this game, and it's amazing. It's so much fun, and visceral. I love how every move has weight behind it, makes the resulting blow so much more satisfying. The only negative is the multiplayer. There's no offline, and this is a fighting game. A fighting game with no offline multiplayer. What where they thinking? And the online community is dead. DEAD. Sad part is, I played against bots, and multiplayer is so much fun, goddammit Sega. What's the point of buying the Bayonetta DLC, which I heavily considered since I'm liking the game so much, if I can only use her against bots? Dammit, Sega.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Now Playing: Breath of Fire IV

 So far so good.
 It's a funny story(Not really) I have with this game. Back when I was a Nintendo 64 kid, I used to see BoF IV ads on magazines, and I was enthralled by the art. I really wanted to play it. Fast forward 10 or so years, and I find out it was out on PC. I download it, and while I play I learn that the PC version wouldn't work after certain scenes, and it happened to a lot of people. I prayed that I wouldn't be one of them. I was.
 And now, here I am, with the PS1 version, and... so far so good. I'm playing on the PS3, in an HD TV, which means the graphics looks hideous, but I already got used to them. And even if it doesn't look pretty, the animation is still top-notch, Capcom really knew how to make and animate sprites back then. Oh, Capcom, now you just remind me of someone that I used to know.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Entry number 201 Special: Worst 10 games of Last Gen

 Well, since waiting for entry number 300 would leave me way deeper into the next gen, I'll do this now. The worst games I've played this generation. Truth be told, I handpick my games, so most of the time I get good games. Most of the time.

 Number 10) Metroid: Other M
 Ah! The game that kickstarted my blog, Other M. Honestly, as a game, it's not ALL that bad. It wasn't a good game by any means, but considering the rest of the games I had to remind myself of, it isn't all that bad. my biggest complaint was it's huge identity crisis, the game just didn't know what it wanted to be, with conflicting gameplay elements. Oh, and the story was awful.

 Number 9) Bionic Commando
 Your bionic arm holds the spirit of your dead wife, I think I don't need to say more. But if I  had to? It was gritty for the sake of being dark and edgy, and it had loads upon loads of invisible walls that killed you on the spot, it was so annoying. If you give me a Bionic Arm that works as a hookshot, I'd like to have fun swinging around, not having my character drop down dead due to "poisonous gas".

 Number 8) Rayman Raving Rabbids
 As much as people love to bash the Wii, I love it. If you were in the know, it had more than a couple of new games. Despite all that, I hate most motion controls, which is why I don't know why I bought this game. Actually, I know, I wanted a Party Game. This one was boring, repetitive and dumb. Still, it is functional, which is why it's not lower on the list, plus, the Rabbids were a fantastic creation. Until Ubisoft decided to exploit them....

 Number 7) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Smash-Up
 Hey there, Ubisoft, we meet again! This game is nothing but broken promises. It was supposed to celebrate the Idon'trememberwhatnumberth anniversary of TMNT, and as such they were gonna give us an all-star cast. Speaking of all-star cast, it was being developed by people that had worked in both Smash Bros and Team Ninja. It was gonna play like Smash-Bros, but have a deeper fighting system. It was supposed to be a good game. The all-star cast? Just 16 characters. Of those 16, 4 are Wii-exclusives, PS2 players only get 12 characters. Of those 16 characters, 3 are Rabbids. Yes, Rabbids in a TMNT game celebrating an anniversary of the series. The turtle ninja-Rabbid could've been a nice little bonus, had the cast being larger and had the game not had 3 of them. Oh, and not every character gets an alternate costume, there are not alternate colors either, so you have to go by colored auras. Really. As for the game itself, it just wasn't much fun, the fighting just doesn't feel quite right, controls were needlessly complex, and it was supposed to be an Smash Bros game! TMNT: Smash-Up might not have been a terrible game, but fans of the franchise, like me, were so excited about it, and Ubisoft screwed it up so badly.

 Number 6) G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
 A movie-licensed game from a franchise I'm not even a fan of? What was I thinking!? To be fair, I had read the reviews, but as much as video-reviews said it was bad, it looked like my kind of game. Arcadey, fast-paced and simple to play. Turned out into a borefest. I'm not one to complain about the length of a game, but I was just begging for this game to end. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what makes it so boring, but it's just a lifeless game. Lifeless.

 Number 5) SBK: Snowboard Kids
 I've never like racing games much. As a kid, I was a N64 kid, but while my friends loved Mario Kart and Diddy Kong Racing, those were but rentals for me. Snowboard Kids? I rented it more than a couple of times before convincing my parents to buy it for me, and I loved it. Everything about the game was fantastic. Sadly, I never came upon the sequel... And then, I learned of a DS sequel. I just had to had it. And it was so bad. The game now tries for a more realistic approach(As realistic as you can get when a character has hair standing about a head over.. his own head) and characters now have serious storylines, because we needed them. The courses just feel completely lifeless, the character redesigns are just as lifeless and generic, long gone are the charming big-nosed characters from before. And the gameplay? The CPU, all three of them love to gang up on you. They will never, ever, use items against each other, oh no, they have a vendetta against the player. Playing this game and unlocking stuff quickly becomes frustrating, if only the game had a bit of what made the previous game so good....

 Number 4) Cartoon Network Punch Time Explosions XL
 Now we are getting into the truly awful stuff. Luckily this game was a gift from a friend(Hope you ain't reading this!), but it was still on my "to get" list. Reviews make this game seem somewhat decent. It's not. This is a Smash Bros. clone, and like every clone, it's not even half as good. What makes this game so bad is the gameplay. It's just awful. The hit detection is wonky, character movement and the attacks themselves are equally wonky. And the physics are just awful. It's like nothing has weight to it. It's hard to explain, but it's very, very wonky. It also has more than a fair share of glitches. The worst part is that the developers really tried, and you can tell from all their preview videos and the amount of content and modes they packed into the game. But sadly, the gameplay is just awful. And I heard that the PS3/X360 version is even worse, with many lock ups and freezes.

 Number 3) Lunar Dragon Song
 Ubisoft, why do you do this to me?(Actually, they only published the game). Lunar is a series I like a lot. I liked Lunar 1 a bit, and Lunar 2 is among my favorite RPGs ever. Lunar: DS was one of the games that enticed me on getting a DS(luckily, not one of the main factors, which actually delivered quite nicely). The villain name has my name, Ignatius, just what could go wrong? Besides the fact that you don't even get to fight him, even though he is implied to be very powerful, and instead just falls to his death. But that's not the worst of it, the worst of it is the gameplay. How about this being an RPG where you don't get to aim your attacks? Oh no, the CPU chooses for you. Want to focus the enemy that can destroy your armor? Tough luck. Oh yeah, there are enemies that can break your equipment with one attack, who the hell thought that was a good idea? And you have to choose between getting money or experience from fights, not both. Because that was too mainstream. And running? You know, moving faster, since walking is usually slow and boring? RUNNING CONSUMES HP. RUNNING ON THE OVERWORLD, TOWNS OR DUNGEONS CONSUMES HP FROM THE ENTIRE PARTY. WHO CAME UP WITH THIS?! And after you drop to about 20% of your HP, you can't run anymore. It's no wonder that any hope for a revival died with this game. Even though they ported the first game(Again) to the PSP later.

 Number 2) Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law
 Phoenix Wright is one of my favorite videogame series of all time, so when I heard that Capcom reskinned it as a Birdman game, I just had to get it. Even the 9 bucks I paid for it were too much. The game tries oh so hard to be funny, I can tell that it tries, but it falls on it's face every single time. And this is a very text-heavy game, it lives and dies by the quality of the writing. And it's terrible. Lots of times, what you must present makes no sense. The game tells you to find the lies in the testimony, like Phoenix Wright, but a lot of times you just have to present whatever item they just mentioned, in order for them to expand their testimony. And let's assume that you actually find it funny, which you won't, the game, the whole game lasts as long as just one case from a Phoenix Wright game. What the hell!? This is one game I had no fun playing At all.

 Number 1) Windy X Windam
 I knew that this game was terrible. But... I had been following the game ever since it had first been announced. It looked like a Guilty Gear clone, in the character design department, but I didn't really mind, and I love fighters and I wouldn't mind a new DS fighting game. Then, they announced that Izuna and Shino, from Legend of the Unemployed Ninja: Izuna 1 and 2 were gonna be guests! Then the Japanese rom came out and I played it... and it was terrible. The graphics are hideous, sprites are stiff and lack frames everywhere, I always stand by "Gameplay over Graphics", but man, these sprites look very, very cheap. And even if it looked good, or even decent, which it doesn't. Even if it was any fun, which it isn't. The controls are broken. They don't work, they are sloppy and very poorly implemented, special moves don't go off most of the time. Playing through the game is an exercise in frustration. The most important thing in a fighting game are the controls, they have to be responsive, they have to be spot-on. This game doesn't have that. It doesn't even make up for being so awful to play by being pretty, because it's not. Every move looks a couple of frames short.
 And despite all that, I still bought it. I had a bit of hope that playing it on a DS would make it better. Maybe the emulator was skipping frames or something. It wasn't. This game is the Dragon Ball Z Taiketsu of the last generation, it's so bad... it's terrible and should be avoided by everyone.

Entry number 200 Special: Top 10 games of Last Gen

 Well, another generation is over and everyone is talking about the favorite Last Gen moments. Also, with this entry I hit 200 entries, so it was time for another Top 10.
 Number 10)
 From the mastermind Suda 51 comes Lollipop Chainsaw, his first real HD game. Yeah, there was Shadows of the Damned, but his input there was not as pronounced as it is here. This game just reeks of Suda 51, Juliette Starling is one badass zombie hunter, and the rest of the cast, both bosses and allies are just as zany as her. It also helps that it's a blast to play. While it is a bit short, there's loads of unlockables and collectibles, plus, the game lends itself to repeated playthroughs.

 Number 9)
 Speaking of short, Journey lasts barely two hours, but they were two of the most awe-inspiring hours of my life. It really is that good. Be it the beautiful vistas, the way the characters journey(pun intended) through the various landscapes or it's minimalist storytelling, this game will leave some kind of lasting impression on you. And what a game it is.

 Number 8)
 Batman Arkham City is one of the few games this generation that didn't try to rip you off. There were a couple of DLC released, but they were mostly cosmetic, and the one piece of Story-related content actually felt like real DLC and not something that was taken off the game while it was being developed. It's also a fantastic game in it's own right. Everything Arkham Asylum had, this game doubles. There's so much more to do, to find, even easter eggs that only the most hardcore of Batman fans would notice. Speaking of Batman fans, the story, while a bit simple and straight forward, is straight out of a comic book, it's that good. But the game's crowning achievement is how it makes you feel as Batman, it's hard to explain, but few things are as pleasing as taking down a huge crowd of enemies, with them not even knowing where Batman is, freaking out as they get taken out one by one.

 Number 7)
 Square-Enix might not be the company that they used to be. They may have ruined Final Fantasy forever. But as much as they failed on the HD consoles, they released numerous decent-to-great RPGs on the DS. Above all of them lies The World ends with You, one of the most unique RPGs out there. While it has a bit of a SMT vibe, taking place in modern-day Shibuya, and if Neku wants to live, he has to complete certain tasks, part of a game of death. You grow stronger both by fighting and by eating food, which you must digest. Armor takes the form of clothes, regular clothes, and accesories like watches or earrings. Plus, the combat system would take too long to explain, but it's as unique as it is fun. This game is a reminder that Square-Enix can still produce quality games, if only they tried.

 Number 6)
 Present day Gearbox has become a bit of a shadow of it's former self. Borderlands 2 is a DLC cow/rip-off, heck, even the GOTY edition doesn't contain all it's DLC. Aliens is a really bad game that also gave way to numerous rumors about how Gearbox might've scammed Sega. Regardless, before becoming that, they created Bordelands, one of the best games this generation had to offer. Basically, it's Diablo 2 meets and FPS. And it works, fantastically if I may say so. And having couch Co-Op is just genious.

 Number 5)
 As many screw-ups as Capcom has done in the last few years, Tatsunoko VS Capcom remains as a reminder of just how awesome they used to be. TvC should've never seen the light of the day in USA, as getting the rights to every Tatsunoko character should've been very expensive and very complicated. But Capcom pulled through. Not only that, one character was lost as they could not attain the rights, so what did Capcom do? 5 completely new characters. As for the game itself, you might consider it the foundation upon which MvC 3 built upon. Still, TvC remains a superior game. It's a blast to play, and it doesn't have any sort of comeback mechanic, but adds a fantastic mechanic named Baroque, that basically makes it so that there's no infinites in the game, as long as you sacrifice some red health. The cast of characters was also incredibly diverse, something that MvC 3 didn't get right(3 DMC characters? 4 Resident Evil characters?), and MvC 3 has a larger roster!

 Number 4)
 Back in the PS2 era, there were two games that I loved: Gundam: Federation VS ZEON and Gundam VS Z Gundam. There were fast-paced, arcadey games with an emphasis on fighting. Needless to say, these games felt as if they had been made for me. Fast forward to this generation, I learn of Gundam Extreme VS just weeks away from the PS3 port, and I spent every day looking at videos and looking up information on the game. I bought it at launch and paid over 150(Sent from Japan+Buying through a third party... Latin America sucks and I didn't have my own card, sue me). And I don't regret it one bit. This game has EVERYTHING I want in game. Huge character roster(Over 60 different units), emphasis on fighting, Sword fighting, Arcadey gameplay, easy to pick up and play and lots of stuff to do. There are around 50 different stages just in Arcade Mode, but there are 200 different Missions in, well, Mission mode. I love this game. And the entirety of last year I spent it lurking the forums, waiting for news of a PS3 port of the sequel, Full Boost(Has over 90 units!)... well, it was finally announced a couple of months ago and I can't wait, heck, it might top my number 1 game....

 Number 3)
 The Orcs and Elves saga, which includes the equally awesome Doom RPG and Doom RPG II, are the perfect mobile games. They lend themselves to portability perfectly. Orcs and Elves on the DS is an upgraded port of a mobile game, the graphics were redone(And now look amazing) and a couple of new areas. What remained the same, however, was the fantastic gameplay. Basically, everything takes one turn, moving, attacking, etc. But enemies can't move until you move.While it may sound boring, it actually moves pretty fast, movement is done in tiles, just like Pokemon games, and you move at the same pace, thing is, until you make a move, the enemies can't move. This, plus the Save whenever you want is what makes it so portable-friendly, you can literally stop playing at a moment's notice and resume right where you were. And it's also very, very fun. I easily finished it over 15 times, both the Mobile and DS versions, and they never grow old. Never.

 Number 2)
 The one game that defined this generation for me was No More Heroes. It's also the game that introduced me to my favorite video-game director, Suda 51. The game is no technical masterpiece, there's slowdown in the shoddily implemented overworld, sometimes getting money before each match requires repeating certain tasks, and sometimes it's easy to tell that the game has some technical limitations when it comes to moving around. Despite all that, despite ALL that, the game oozes with personality. The main character, Travis Touchdown, is a star all by himself, and the 10 assassin's he must fight are all incredibly unique. Each one gets a long introduction and a death cutscene, and just those two makes every boss oh so memorable. While Motion controls on some of the side activities are a bit lame, everything that's involved in fighting is perfect. Slashing with the wiimote to perform a finishing move is impossibly satisfying, you really won't understand just how good it feels until you play the PS3 version and get stuck with the analog sticks, unless you use Move. There no games like No More Heroes, sure, action games with swords are a dime a dozen, but none have the same style and personality this one has. The only one that comes close is Lollipop Chainsaw.

 Number 1)
 If you like Fighting Games, it really doesn't get any better than this. Huge amount of characters(Over 50!) with only a couple of clones, and most of them have more than a few different moves. It also has the right kind of fanservice, every character from the series makes a return in here. Well, except Gunjack, which was really just Jack III, Kuma 1(Who'd be just Kuma 2), King 1(Who'd be just King 2) and Armor King 1, but no one really cares about them as they were replaced by identical characters. I digress, this game is a celebration of everything that is Tekken. It contains the tried and true fighting mechanics that have been perfected over the course of more than 6 games, and it brings back the much loved, and missed, tag mechanics. Don't want to learn two characters? You can just pick 1 character, with an extended life bar. The only complaint to be had, is that the customization options have been a bit streamlined since Tekken 6, this means that Gloves and body wear are one item and Feet and Legs are another one, not a real loss anyways.
 Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is as close to perfection as you can get, when it comes to Fighting Games. Plus, it's my favorite game of the last generation. I really don't know how to end this. Bye.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Now Playing: Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

 Uncharted was really bad. Uncharted 2 was really good. Uncharted 3 is already off to a great start.
 And this is why I now refrain from watching as many trailers as I can: I didn't know Chloe would be back. Seeing her again was a great surprise. Just had to get that off my chest, heh. Anyways, I don't have much to say: Up to chapter six, so far it's pretty good. The story follows the formula of the previous two games, big baddie wants a certain thing that's found in a land of legend, Drake must race to get there first, bla bla bla. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but a bit formulaic. Characters are as good as always, they probably noticed that these exchanges during gameplay were one of the series strongest points, as you already start with two companions.
 Gameplay-wise, I haven't noticed any particular improvements, not that they were needed as the last game got them almost right. Haven't had much perilous platforming so I haven't tested it with jumps, but young Drake's segment going through the roofs felt silky smooth.
 Bottom line: It's looking mighty promising, I'm gonna get back to it after I get home from the U.

Review #72: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

 This is how you do a sequel.
 Uncharted 1 was awful. The production values were there, but the gameplay just didn't live up to it. Uncharted 2 fixes most of Uncharted 1's issues while expanding on ever redeeming quality Uncharted 1 had. The end result is a vastly superior game.
 Among Thieves takes up a little while after Uncharted 1, although there are no references to it what so ever. The game starts you up right about the middle of the story, with a wounded Drake being in a perilous situation, as he gets through it he recounts how he got there. Basically, there's an artifact, a dagger, that is said to be the key to opening Shambala, a hidden land, and the bad guy, who happens to have an accent like Uncharted 1's villain, wants it. There are plenty of similarities to Uncharted 1's story, a moment when Drake wants to call it quits, an ally in need of rescuing, a villain with an accent that learns how to get to the item he needs through Nathan, former humans turned inhuman enemies and a few others. The story is much better told this time, though, and there are many more supporting characters than in Uncharted 1, and they are all as likeable as the cast from UC1 were. Heck, most of the game, Drake will have at least one companion, and the exchanges between both are pure gold.
 My biggest gripe with Uncharted 1's gameplay was it's control, well, that's gone. Mostly. Movement has been tightened quite nicely, and doesn't feel as floaty. It's still not perfect, as a couple of jumps will make you feel as if it was the controls fault. And it probably was. The exploring segments are much better as well, Nathan will no longer prompt you towards deadly jumps, so if you mess up, it's completely your fault. There are a couple of puzzles too, and they are much more engaging and involved than Uncharted 1's, they are still pretty easy, but they are more fun. Attention to detail has been paid even to Drake's journal, as you can flip through the pages(When looking for hints for the puzzle) and see Nate's hilarious notes. Lastly, treasures return, and it's 100 instead of 60 now, although the game is just as linear as it used to be. Not that being linear is a bad thing.
 Combat is also better. Drake takes cover in a much smarter manner, and getting in and out of cover is much tighter as well. Enemies don't soak up as much damage as they used to be, at least not early in the game, and later when they do, it's at least explained by them having tons of armor on top. Every weapon returns alongside a couple of new ones. There are also special weapons, like a Riot Shield, a Minigun and gasoline tanks that you can throw and shoot them in the air to make them explode. Another complaint I had was that the game felt like you were going from shooting arena to shooting arena. While there are still a couple of those, they are not as heavy populated as before. The best feature, however, is that grenade distance is no longer controlled by motion controls, thank god. Even blindfire was enhanced, now you get a reticule so it's easier to aim at an area while doing so. I take it back, the best feature are the new set pieces. Many a times the game mixes the platforming with the shooting sections, making them much more exciting and fun. The train level is probably the standout moment of the game, but there are many more, like the car chase when you need to jump from car to car as you shoot your enemies, who are also on cars, really cool stuff.
 Presentation is downright fantastic. Gone is the plastic look that skin had in Uncharted 1, and everything is even more detailed. And details are everywhere, Drake and allies getting covered in snow while rolling around on it, getting wet too. There are physics applied to everything, so if you walk across it, Drake's body will push it. The soundtrack and voice acting is on par with Uncharted 1, and that's not a bad thing at all. Series newcomers are voiced just as well. What makes it even better is the dialogue, especially every character that gets to accompany Nathan, as the banter is fantastic.
 After you are done with the game, there are a multitude of stuff to unlock, from alternate skins for Nathan, to get-certain-weapon-whenever-you-want to even alternate filters or modes(Mirror World and Flip world are back). There's also a multiplayer component, but I had a bit of trouble finding matches. Regardless, Multiplayer is surprisingly fun, getting the acrobatics a gunplay into multiplayer arenas actually works quite well.
 Uncharted 1 is awful, it's just very hard to like. Uncharted 2 takes the redeeming qualities from it's predecessor and fixes everything that was wrong with it, ending up with an all around great game.
 8 out of 10.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Review #71: Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law

 Take Phoenix Wright, next, mess everything up.
 I bought this game expecting a Phoenix Wright clone. It is a Phoenix Wright clone, made by the same developer, although not the same team. But.... it's so bad. It's hard to fit the game within a genre, the best fit would be ab adventure game. You must travel through different places, talk with people and gather Evidence(Items) that you must later use in court to prove the witness wrong. Or get more information out of them.
  The game really doesn't have a story, but rather, 5 different and independent chapters, although they must be played in order. Each case is really short, probably 30-40 minutes long at most. Basically, the whole game is as long as one Phoenix Wright case. Really, really disappointing. The game also tries to be funny, it tries really hard, but while I may have chuckled a couple of times, the game's humor didn't really do it for me. Maybe fans of the show might get more of it, but I didn't.
 As previously stated, each missions plays more or less the same. Someone gets accused of something and you must save them. This involves visiting places and examining them, searching for evidence. Every now and then the game might have you use one of the items you have on the Evidence in order to trigger something, but these are very few, select occasions. When you go to the stand, it's standard Phoenix Wright fare, witnesses say their part and you must examine it, finding flaws in their statements...except that most of the time, the evidence that you must present makes no sense. Sometimes the witness won't even be lying at all, and you just need to present the item they just talked about just to get more information out of them. It's a bit offputting and dumbfounding.
 The presentation is it's biggest asset, it has the voice actors from the show and the game looks really good. Some of the animation shows that it was, probably, made in Adobe Flash, but it doesn't matter. While I guess they were going for fidelity, I'm really not a fan of the voicework, it's too exaggerated. Maybe fans of the show will "get it", but to me, it tries too hard to be funny.
 Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law is a very boring game. It's very short, and it's just no fun at all. I admit I chuckled a couple of times, but most of the time I was bored out of my skull. It tries so hard to be funny, but most of the time it falls flat on it's face. This is not a good game, not by a long shot. And this game got a physical release while Phoenix Wright V didn't, Capcom, get your priorities straight.
 2 out of 10

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Review #70: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune

 What a letdown.
 So I've been told by lots, both friends and randoms, that I just had to play the Uncharted trilogy, so I obliged. After so much hype, so much build up, it had to be awesome. It isn't.
 The game is set up as a summer block buster popcorn action movie, y'know, those that are a dime a dozen. Even the dialogue follows suit, luckily, the writing is fantastic. The story itself has a few twists here and there but nothing too shocking. Basically, Nathan Drake is this generations Lara Croft, he is hired to find the remains of his ancestor, Francis Drake, as he hid a treasure somewhere. Drake soon finds himself knee-deep in trouble, as other parties are interested in the same treasure. The characters are very typical of the genre, Nathan is the cocky one-liner spouting and gun-toting hero, he works alongside Sullivan, a friend of his who provides gunfire cover every now and then, plus, his relationship with Nathan is very interesting, lastly for the good guys, there's Elena, even though she had never held a gun before, she quickly fells almost as many baddies as Drake himself. Bad guys are as cliched as they get, I'd delve deeper but I might spoil a couple of things.
 Uncharted is a third-person action game with a few adventure elements. Most stages are pretty linear, although exploration is encouraged in the form of hidden treasures. When Nathan isn't shooting hundreds of bad guys, he is climbing cliffs, vines, worn down walls and what have you. Platforming is reminiscent of Prince of Persia(PS2), however, it doesn't feel as tight. Sometimes the game lets you get away with mashing X while aiming in the direction of the next object, sometimes you'll have to be more precise. Sometimes it thinks that you want to jump away from the object, when you just want to jump in order to hasten the climb. Most of the time it works fine, though, but I'd lie if I said I didn't have some grievances with it. Occasionally there'll be some pushing or pulling in the form of puzzles, they are pretty easy to figure out though. As a whole, it's alright, although movement feels a bit loose.
 Most of the game has you taking cover and shooting though. My biggest beef with the game, is that the game loves to place you in "arenas' as soldiers surround you. These sections easily grow long in the tooth, specially since most enemies are bullet sponges, while drake can only take 3-4 direct hits before dying. Aiming for headshots is a must, as ammo can get rather scarce, specially when enemies get you pinned down and you can't move in to gather ammo from fallen enemies. As with most modern shooters, there's no health bar, opting instead for giving Drake regenerating health, as long as he doesn't receive damage. Hiding behind cover waiting for your health to recover isn't really my idea of fun. Oh, cover, once again the controls are a bit wonky, getting out of cover, or into cover, feels a bit clunky and imprecise. And why you could lower the difficulty to easy, easy is too easy. Adding insult to the injury, throwing grenades is done by tilting the joystick to determine the arc of the throw, who came up with this I do not know, but I despise him.
 As previously stated, there are treasures hidden throughout the game. They don't reward you in a direct manner, rather, there are achievements, some of these are related to the treasures. Achievements are not just for bragging rights, the more you get, the more points you get. These points unlock a variety of extras, from graphic filters, to costumes(Fat Drake!!) for both enemies and heroes, infinite ammo, behind the scenes videos and a variety of extras. Really neat. The game itelf is a bit on the short side, but the amount of extras give it some replay value.
 The presentation is fantastic. While the character's skin looks a bit too shiny and like if it were made out of plastic, the rest of the textures look fine. Even for a rather early PS3 game, it rivals a lot of late-releases. There are lots of neat touches, like clothes getting wet. The world itself is highly detailed and pleasing to explore. Still, there's not a whole lot of different enemies, and a lot of them are color-coded. The guys with the red shirts? They carry rocket launchers. The fat guys? They have the shotguns. And so on, and later on, when the camouflage guys are introduced, the guys with the hats(The same hats the guys in the red shirts wore) have the rocket launchers, and so on, it feels a bit cheap. What really hurts the visual presentation is the huge amounts of pop in that there is. Many times the game will load faster than the textures do, this is a frequent thing, so get used to it. Everything audio related, however, is phenomenal. The soundtrack is fantastic, every piece of the score sounds great, and the voice work is nothing short of perfect, it helps that the lines they get to deliver are so good.
 I really don't understand why this game was regarded so highly, it's not that much fun. The production value is through the roof, and it's clear that Naught Dog really tried, but it's just not that much fun at all. Most of the time it feels as if you are going from shooting arena to shooting arena, with the odds stacked against you. And the platforming is not as good as say, Prince of Persia. Frankly, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
 4 out of 10.