Friday, September 30, 2016

Horror October

 It's time for October, my favorite Month of the Year, and this Year I want to make it extra spicy... with horror games! Every October I love to smother myself with Horror movies, but seeing how I'm midway through a Kubrickathon, with a Lynchathon comin' up next, I guess it's time for videogames to take the center stage.

 Seeing how I'm not making the most of my time this year, I've a three tier plan that incorporates a few of the games I'm currently playing through, but what matters the most in my Horror October is clearing my Tier 1 games.

Tier 1: These are the games I mean to get through all throughout October. Ideally I should be able to finish all three of them before October is over.
 Corpse Party - Blood Drive: Going through this game without playing the previous games is probably a very, veeeeeeeeeeeery bad idea, and I've heard horrible things about how buggy the game is. I dunno, it looked kinda neat, although it could've done without the fanservicey blonde.
 Resident Evil - Revelations: Another game with a fanservicey blonde. And a brunette who is missing an entire leg worth of pants, but I digress. Revelations was well received at release, and for a while it was considering one of the few 3DS exclusives worth... before it received an enhanced port on consoles!
 Siren - Blood Curse: I know nothing about the Siren franchise except the fact that it looked creepy and some of the Silent Team members were involved. I've high hopes for this one!

 Tier 2: Made up of only one game, I won't consider dabbling into this one unless I've time to spare after clearing the Tier 1 games.
 Castlevania - Lords of Shadow 2: I've said it hundreds of times already, but most gamers aren't open to change. Just look at DmC. Just look at Infamous 2 Cole's hair on the reveal trailers. Things have to stay the way they are or they will scream, whine and make a fuss on online boards. Such is not the case with me, I'm pretty open to change as in I will approach it with an open mind, so if it's a decent game, like DmC, I will enjoy it, but if it's trash, like Final Fantasy XIII, I will call it out for it. It's the reason Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty do so well every year in spite of lukewarm reception.
 But I digress, as per usual, I really liked Lords of Shadow. I liked Gabriel's design, I liked the idea behind the combat cross and I liked the ending, albeit I didn't consider as fantastic as other would lead you to believe. Regardless, while the initial trailers gave me a sort of Legacy of Kain vibes, I was very much interested in this sequel. And it wasn't the terrible reception it got that made me wait so much to get it.... it was the fact that it had story related DLC and I was hoping for a sort of 'Complete' edition that never came out!

Tier 3: These are games that I'm currently playing that have horror elements and lend themselves to a Horror October special. Needless to say, it's no skin off my back if I don't get to them this month.

 Disgaea 2 - Cursed Memories: I'm not gonna lie... I'm not having fun. At all. I'm midway through chapter IV and I'm considering using the Nekomata exploit just so that I can cruise through the game, write about it and never touch it again. And while Disgaea 2 is mostly a humorous game... it also deals with demons. All sorts of demons. Which is kinda scary.
 Resident Evil 6: It's not my fault I never got beyond Chris' campaign! I actually do want to continue playing this game, but my co-op partner has been unavailable, so... my progress got kinda stumped here.
 Shin Megami Tensei IV: I've been playing it on and off and I'm a bit surprised by how little this game has engrossed me. I tend to love Shin Megami Tensei games, but this one is lacking... something. I think the setting simply isn't very interesting, even Soul Hackers, that felt similar to this one, had a more interesting set-up. Also, demons.

Month Overview: September 2016

Borderlands - Triple Pack                                              10

 Yeah.... not a whole lot happened in September, so... yeah...

Game of September:
 Yeah.... It kinda was the default, and only, choice...

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Review #349: Borderlands - Triple Pack

 Talk about bang for your buck!
 I've talked, and reviewed, about the Borderlands franchise numerous times already, and long story short, I love it. For the few who are not in the know, Bordelands games marry the first person shooter with the RPG genre to a fantastic result. You get to accept numerous quests and sidequests, traverse large environments, and loot chests for thousands of different randomly generated weapons, with different stats(Firepower, fire rate, accuracy, reload time, etc).

 Borderlands Triple Pack is a phenomenal package that includes all three games and their DLC, which translates into over a hundred hours worth of gameplay. The game comes divided in 2 discs: A gameplay disc, which is used to play any of the three games, and an Expansion Disc which includes all the DLC pieces. There's one complaint to be made here: Every single DLC piece has to be installed on its own. When it comes to Borderlands 1, which only has 4 DLC pieces, it's alright, but Borderlands 2's DLC is made up of almost 20 different installs. If you bough this package, you will, more probably than not, want to install every piece of DLC and not cherry-pick them, which makes having to install the DLCs piece by piece very annoying.
 As a huge fan of Borderlands 2, and a huge critic of digital-only media, I was pretty excited for this bundle... as we finally get all the missing DLC from Borderlands 2- GOTY edition! This means that you can finally reach level 70, and the five headhunter packs! The Headhunter Packs last about an hour each, which is alright, most missions and environments are fun to explore and tackle, and more Borderlands 2 content is always welcome. Always.

 Then there's Bordelands - The Pre-Sequel. It's... good, but it falls short of Borderlands 2 excellence. It's made all the more egregious due to the fact that it's basically Borderlands 2 in Space, the fact that it was born out of a DLC for Borderlands 2 shows very clearly. You get four new classes, plus two extra DLC classes, which have some rather interesting skill trees, heck, as a matter of fact, these characters are more distinct than the ones from Borderlands 1 and 2, so that's a plus. And as any of these characters you are to help Handsome Jack save Pandora.
 Taking place in Space means new moon-like gravity physics which... take a bit getting used to. To be honest, I didn't really like the new floaty feel to the game, it adds nothing to the combat as far as I was concerned, and most of the new environment have plenty of botomless pits, so valuable enemy drops tend to drop on them thanks to these new physics. However, I will admit that the new moon-jumps made traversing the environments much more fun. Depending on when you press the jump button after jumping the first time will produce different jumps, such as a high jump, a long jump or even initiate a slow decent. What can I say, jumping around and making my way through the environments with these new jumps was fun. There's also a new Butt-stomp(Holding Crouch after a high jump) that deals damage around your landing area, and you can equip items to add elemental damage to it.

 And, since it's set in Space, there's also a new gauge, an Oxygen gauge. And it's annoying! If the gauge hits 0 you'll start losing health constantly and lose access to your moon-jumps until you find an O2 source. To be fair, I never died due to a lack of oxygen, Oxygen sources are common and enemies love dropping O2 canisters... but just knowing that I had to keep O2 in mind was annoying. It's hard to explain why, but it did put a damper on my experience with the game. And that's my main issue with the game: The game is Borderlands 2 but with a new annoying gauge that I have to keep track of!
 As far as the story goes... I found the new NPCs to be annoying, particularly Jannis Springs, and the returning characters, Handsome Jack, Roland, Moxxi and Lilith lack the spark they had in Borderlands 2. THAT SAID, I did like the overall theme of the story: The bad guys aren't entirely bad, and the good guys aren't entirely good, it's an interesting premise, and they pulled it off very well. The Side-Quests were a bit boring as well, it's hard to pinpoint exactly why, but I wasn't having as much fun clearing them as I did whenever I found new tasks in Borderlands 2. Heck, the environments lack diversity, and after a while the Moon gets very samey and dull, not to mention the frequent botomless pits that plague these maps.

 Lastly, the game removed the Slak element, but introduces the Cryo element, which as you might've deduced already, means that you freeze enemies, or be frozen yourself, and frozen enemies become subject to Critical hits as well as the inability to move for a short while. Cryo I approve of, and it'd be nice to see it return in Borderlands 3. There's also a new type of weapon, Laser, which is interesting, but seeing how you can only equip four weapons at a time and there's already a surplus of weapon types... Let's just say that I get too familiar with them beyond what was necessary.
 While Borderlands - The Pre-sequel feels closer to Borderlands 2 than 1, I'm still sure that it's the weakest game in the franchise. All the new jumps make exploring much more fun than before, but it has the weakest environments and the duller missions. And I really, really could've done without the O2 gauge. Still, it is a Borderlands game, so it is a good game, but not as good as the others in the series.

 Borderlands - Triple Pack is a no-brainer, two fantastic games and a good game for the price of one. Not to mention the fact that all these games together will keep you busy for a loooooooooong while.
 10 out of 10

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Now Playing: Disgaea 2, Borderlands - The Pre-Sequel, Shin Megami Tensei IV

 Well, slow month I guess? So big-ish update:
 Disgaea 2 is boring. I dunno, maybe I've fallen of the Strategy-RPG bandwagon or sumthin', but I just can't get into the game. The characters are boring stereotypes, getting skills is a slog... I dunno. To think that Disgaea 1 was my favorite videogame for a while! But when I played through Disgaea 3 I could feel that the magic was gone. Ah well, I'm midway through chapter 4, I just want to get done with this game.

 Now we are cooking! Finally I got to go through everything Borderlands 2 had to offer. But that's not the main catch with this pack, it's The Pre-Sequel where it's at! And... I'm not liking it too much. It's Borderlands 2 + floaty physics, which I've never liked + having to keep track of the oxygen gauge. Also, I can't stand the new characters. Janis is annoying, the mayor was dull, I didn't need to see Moxxi's 'other side', etc. Yeah, it's a bit disappointing, but I wasn't expecting much out of it anyways.

 I'm a bit of a fan of the Shin Megami Tensei serie, and Nocturne, AKA Shin Megami Tensei III, was amazing, so I was expecting a lot out of SMT IV. It's too early to emit a a precise judgement, but I'm liking it, and it's challenging from the start to boot! That's the SMT I like! Although the penalty for dying seems a bit too forgiving, since you can cheat death with money. Regardless, demons can be proper jerks when it comes to joining your side.
 My only complaint with SMT IV would be the presentation, the 3DS can do so much better than static sprites for enemies, and the first-person perspective during battles is a bit boring. I could excuse it in Soul Hackers since it was an older game, but I kinda expected a bit more from a post-Nocturne game.