Archive for February, 2012

BioShock

Posted: February 28, 2012 in Video Games Alexander
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Recently I wrote about “Alice Madness Returns” and I explained how the art in it was actually better then the art in BIOSHOCK… Well I wrote that and then it dawned on me. I never wrote anything about Bioshock!

Bioshock is a first person shooter gone completely Correct. Its original, has an amazing soundtrack, a fantastic story, Design and some very impressive art.  The only thing missing from this game is the kitchen sink…. no wait… lots of sinks in this game.  You play as Jack who gets caught up in the under water world of Rapture.

In terms of game play this game does several things that are interesting for a first person shooter. For example you use TWO HANDS…not just one. You get a interesting sort of weapons and Magical “Drug” Powers.  Your of course given the ability to jump and crouch, etc.  The interesting part of this game is that your also given three endings. One if your EVIL…and one if your GOOD also one kinda in between!

You manage to get each ending depending on how you deal with the little sisters. Its more or less a game of moral questioning. You either empower yourself or empower society. Lots of internal questions on what A man should be and shouldn’t. Probably one of the more or less deeper meaning games that I have seen.

The music is all taken from the 1940’s to about early 1950’s. Over all it sets the atmosphere pretty good for what the game is driving you to do. Lots of retro looking posters and Items to pick up on. Really I think the setting of the game is what makes it so interesting. While you do kill genetically corrected humans its got a very strange feel for something out of a decent Tim Burton movie to it.

So a few weeks ago I went to toys R us and managed to get hold of two more sets for the skylanders.

The Pirate seas..and the Darklight Crypt

So Pirate Seas comes with Terrafin which I got to play as and is actually over all a close combat, digging character. He can dig and move underground while jumping out and cause massive damage to the characters around his area. Over all not a very fast character but pretty fun to use. HE EVEN FREAKING SINGS!! X)

The Pirate Sea stage was actually pretty fun. You run into characters that play mini games involving a card match type of game. Its built into three short chapters. The first is on one island, the second is on the ship, and the third is one single card battle game. Over all the card games are pretty easy to match. Its a progressive game starting from EASY to kinda difficult..but over all it tests your memory and seems like it was fun and silly just the same.

The second set comes with Ghost Roaster whom we didn’t really get to play much as but from what I could tell of him he is a goofy skeleton who can again use close combat as his attacks. He transforms into a green skull and basically bites his way past enemies while also holding use to his tail that can be used for combos.

The Darklight Crypt is actually a maze stage that again..isn’t very difficult to do at all but does include a rather easy EYE BALL boss. You have to switch from the REAL WORLD..to the Ghost World to get past some parts of the stage. Its one Stage..but its LARGER then the other set.

Over all I am pretty happy with the sets ..the price of 25 bucks you get  a lots of content plus elements to go over the past content with to get more items and open more doors. Again Over all I am very pleased with it..and it was fun..

Not to long ago I did my statements/opinions on ALICE for the PS3. Fact is I had fun with that game but really wanted to play “Alice Madness Returns” cause I had heard lots of different things about the game and didn’t really know what to make of any of it. Honestly most of what I heard WASN’T true. The game is probably one of the most artistic, fun, and complicated games I have ever played. Complicated I say because the story goes from one point to another and really you can’t tell how any of it is going to end. When it finally does end you feel TRUE ACCOMPLISHMENT. Very few adventure games today can do that.

So as you already know I finished Alice 1.. and quickly after doing that started playing Alice Madness Returns.  In terms of sound, Game play, and art design I must say I was overwhelmed with how cool it all turned out. Like some adventure games thou I had some problems with the game play that kinda frustrated me to some point but the story itself motivated me to keep going. Over all it is probably now one of my favorite NEW adventure games to play and really I will probably go back in it and try to pick up some of the stuff I missed.

So Alice Madness Returns picks up several years I believe after Alice. The story explains that Alice is still having trouble with her mental state and is still searching for answers as to what happened to her when she was younger. We see a much more mature Alice this time around and her abilities have grown as she has. Wonderland seems orderly when you start but as you go further into the game things become more and more twisted.

(keep in mind most of that video is all in game…the game actually does look that freaking good)

In terms of Game play it is rather interesting how they have things set up. You spend a great deal of your time jumping from platform to Platform but not in that frustrating kinda way. The game plays very much like Super Mario 64 in that its designed well so that you don’t have to assume much. The Camera goes from free view to some small areas as stationed view. Your given more and more weapons as you play into the game just like the first one. You start out with the abilities to Use Close combat with your Knife, a dodging ability which is quick and allows you to move without being hurt, and the ability to jump THREE Times and glide in the air. Very quickly into the game your also given the ability to Shrink which allows you to see messages written on the wall and find Key holes which can be entered to find hidden items. The ability to shrink also allows you to see walk ways that are hidden and sometimes hidden platforms. Using the shrink ability is REQUIRED for this game because some parts you will come to an end and not know what to do without it. The Health bar which is also much easier to understand this time is comprised of ROSES. Your given 4 peace roses as a health meter which allows you to tell when your hurt. If you reach low on Roses your also given the ability to press R3 and you enter a RAGE mode which makes you practically invulnerable for a few short moments and then returns you back to your normal state.

Also I should note in terms of bugs.. I didn’t run into a single one…

In terms of Art and Sound.. MY GOD! What a game! Honestly this game probably does more for me then Bioshock and really that is saying a lot. The amount of detail and craft that went into its design should honestly be awarded. As I noticed no bugs in the game, The action was fluid, the pacing was perfect, and really the sound just drives you more and more into the game.  Finding all the little details is part of the fun of the game. Having a good sound system also helps  A TON in that parts of the game are hidden and the direction of an item can be found with sound which helps. Little details in the sound track also help to find what your doing so much easier.

Over all the game was lots of fun to play and really if you are into games the require not much thinking but lots of jumping and adventure its probably number one in my book. I didn’t find anything in the game Repetitive while some reviewers will say it was. The game offers lots of new things to see and never uses the same setting twice. The creatures you fight can be a little repetitive but really its an adventure game you half expect that. They do get more challenging as you go in and out of the game. You must learn to use everything you have at hand and some items will work..some will not…but over all once you learn it for one. You learn it for all the enemies you fight.

I would recommend it for anyone looking for a good adventure game.

Very few games actually do what “Resistance” does well in terms of story, Design, and game play. It takes an alternative version of history and changes it to a  far worse Alternative time line from the one we currently have. As a first person shooter its over all a simple game and doesn’t require much learning to get into.  Some of the areas are built in such interesting detail that really finding yourself lost in the game isn’t very hard to do. It has a feel that goes along with its title and puts you into the state of mind like everything is getting worse but losing hope is just on the edge of an action. This was also one of the first ps3 games to be released and maybe one of the better titles. Its a mix of Sci-Fi and Action for the most part.

Resistance Fall of Man puts the player in the role of “Nathan Hale” a Sergeant in the human resistance against the Chimera. The Chimera are a Alien/Virus type of creature that takes over the human body and turns it into Alien like creatures bent on taking over the world. Like I said when I started it all takes place in a alternative past. This game starts out in 1951 and from both the story and design you get the feel of that time era.

In terms of story this series really has two parts but the third part ends with the out come of the war your fighting in. Its designed to be very much like your average run and gun game. Some parts you do find yourself jumping from place to place but not so much in this first part of the series. It sets up your basic story of a man running against time because both his life and the life of everyone in the world is in danger. What the game does to VERY well is present the story in a dramatic way. Much of the game is like watching a movie only you take part in it. You tend not to care much for your help when its given.. but from time to time you do find yourself wishing you had more guys around to help you get past some points of the game.

Gameplay as I said is very basic with your Standard fire button, secondary fire button, Throwing items, jump, crouch, etc.  One of the more interesting parts of the game are the weapons. Your given standard military weapons and a few Alien guns that range from firing pats walls to guns that allow you to see what’s behind some scenery. Using explosives and very quick fire power you do from time to time find yourself running out of ammo faster then you can collect it. Your given a health meter which also tends to go lower then you would like it and at some points can be really really frustrating to find health. This game over all is actually slower paced then the other two that follow. So really starting this game is more or less just a story set up. Playing the rest of them is more of a gameplay/story type of game to run through for fun.

Resistance 2 BLOWS The first Resistance right out of the water in terms of EVERYTHING. This game is probably one of my favorite games to play in terms of shooters. It takes everything that the first one did and advances on it. Graphics, Game play, story telling and sound all pushed to as far as it could be at the point it was created. Nothing about this game shows lazy direction in terms of production.

The game picks up seconds after the first game in the series. It from that point on becomes one of the best face paced shooters maybe ever made. Even today I think this game does story telling like most games should. It sets up what direction your going in and it leaves you to it. Taking most of what the first game had and explaining in more detail what and why your going to do what needs to be done.

Game play really doesn’t change much but your speed is faster and like I said the graphics are detailed to the point that you can’t help but keep your eyes open around everything. The weapons become again the focus of the game while destroying the enemies second.  The biggest problem with the game play is that you tend to once again find yourself saying “I NEED MORE AMMO”. Again it becomes difficult and perhaps a problem you will run into at least 3 or 4 times from start to finish.

So what Am I working on?

Posted: February 21, 2012 in Video Games Alexander

So tomorrow is another Tuesday which means I HAVE OFF! Thank goodness.. Currently on the table I have Alice Madness Returns which I hope to have finished and written about by Wednesday night. I am also working on Portal 2,Dungeon siege 3, Dark Kingdom and some extra stuff for Skylanders with my girlfriend.

I also recently started another blog…this one has nothing to do with video games and everything to do with COMIC BOOKS..WOOT…

you can check it out at …

comicbooksalexander.wordpress.com

So far so good with that.. Also I will be going over some past stuff on both this blog and that new one and hoping to up date it with my own pictures…maybe some of my own videos to in the future once I get the peaces I need to upload streams.. which I am HOPING to do ..but who knows if that will pan out…BUT FOR SURE THE PICTURES will be updated with my own material. I am hoping to take what I have here and make it 100% my own.  The words are most important I KNOW..but presentation would be nice to update a bit here and there…at least so I am hoping!

Other then that This coming month is going to be rather big for me.. Have a driving test and the FDNY test which I REALLY NEED to pick myself up with a bit more.. So far the results are going according to plan…but it would be nice to exceed them if I CAN… with work and the way things have been..its hard..but I am managing it all.. Either way expect the ALICE Madness Returns review up soon..and maybe a few other things depending…

So in August of 1990 the company Nintendo released its second Generation system “Super Nintendo”. A year before that in August 1989 Sega would release its Second Generation system “Sega Genesis”. Both were Advancements from there previous systems upgrading from 8-bits to 16 bits. Taking the power of each system and doubling what Hardware could be used for. Doing so allowed each company to come up with more advancements on Game play, Sound, and Design over all. This would follow suit as the LEAST standard for each generation. So it would go 8 bit-16 bit- 32 bit-64 bit-etc….

The Bases was to take an idea (video game) like Super Mario Brothers and make it longer, look better, sound better, and add a level of quality that couldn’t be done in previous versions. To advance the games method of fun to say so in short. It made sense to push the hardware with the times because Computers were generally getting more advanced so why not make the games more advanced with the design? You could also charge more for each game and produce a better quality product. Both systems used Microchips to store the data and each microchip held between 8 to 16 bits worth of data from what I recall…that might not be fact…some might have actually held more.

Now in terms of hardware both systems had ups and downs and really it was for the most part a WAR between Nintendo and Sega.  Each Independent Development team which at the time was between 4 and 6 people For one game would produce a product. So on a game like Super Mario you had at max 5 People Developing the game. You had an art director, Sound guy, Two data writers and if you really needed it a game tester (THAT WAS IT). Simple enough to make a game with at most 5 bugs in the game and maybe a couple of glitches.  Games like Contra 3, Final Fantasy 2, Final Fight 2, Street Fighter 2, Mortal Kombat, Doom, etc all could be done by a very small team with those 5 jobs. It didn’t cost millions of dollars to produce a game..hell if you really made a game that sold really well the biggest price to the production was probably manufacturing the game. With CDs, DVDs it probably cost less now then it did back then.

Now if we skip to today we have teams of over a hundred people working on one game. Giant leaps in graphics, design and so on..  tons of bugs and glitches and over all pretty much the same game play being produced now that was being produce back then. You still have your standard controllers.. These haven’t changed much since … from that time it went from 8 buttons to 10 buttons and two sticks on the controllers or Motion control. Which again was added to give more options in game play. We have tons of genres to run with now also that we did have back then but not as complex..in terms of game play. Some older games had more complex a story written for it..and some didn’t have any story.

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In my own opinion taking older games you had to produce FUN for them to make any money. You had to produce something that you couldn’t get from any place else and you had to do it first in FULL VIEW.  Take a game like street fighter.. it wasn’t a new idea.. Produce a game where you have 4 attacks, a couple of alterations depending on what direction button you held. Add some personality and some special moves and BING…you have a fighting game.  Fact is Street Fighter 1…didn’t do so well! It was actually kinda boring because of how short it was and how many characters you had to choose from.

So what made it work?….well it really didn’t…however this did!

 

Same Formula almost but they added more character to each character. The timing helped also in that Arcades had become super hot spots for young to people spend time at. Over seen a generation of people well…my age.. Going out to venues and spending tons of dollars on quarters to prove who was better. Arcades would become the bases for what we now have today as Network Games. People didn’t have to leave home so they spent most of the days  staying home and doing the same thing…Competeing for higher scores, kill points and so on.

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OK SO TO THE POINT!!

What was better? The old vs the new.. Honestly it can be argued both ways.. However seeing as how this is my point of view on it.. I honestly believe the OLD was better. Graphics today are a million times better then they ever have been. This I can’t nor can anyone alive with eyes say isn’t true. However graphics have never been the reason why I played video games. Its sort of a bonus the way I see it. The same can be said about sound.

So to me this…

will always be better then this…

 

So why?… well mostly because I have done what that game has offered before and because for the most part its the same game just a different story. Not that the story is bad but that the amount of Quality put into it was different.  Its the same genre and the same series but it wasn’t what one game did that the other didn’t do but that the effects each game had on the player (me) was what made it worth it.

For example this game

Will always hold a place in my heart and really this game

While also amazing will never have the same effect even if its the same series and the same genre.  Something changed..and I am not sure what it was?

So having a vs on both old and new is really impossible to do however… in my own personal point of view.. You can’t compare the two because you will come up with arguments for both sides.

Now lets take two other games and figure this out…

Bioshock 1

Again a shooter with high graphics, typical controls and Fun fun fun to play

and lets take its Sequel

What made 1 better then 2? Well in my point of view they are one game.. because well not much was changed… true.. the story is different..and some of the game play features are different…but what I got from part one i got from part two…The question should remain… what made one better?

Typically the way I treat games in my own point of view is that they are much like movies.. If you don’t like cheesy horror…DON’T WATCH cheesy horror…IF Your not into romance…clearly…you wouldn’t watch that.. so sometimes I tend to question…

What makes older still better then newer?….The only logical answer I could come up with is my age and Production on story and Game play…. I might have to give this topic some more thought…hmmm

 

 

Alright so here is my thoughts on a few things before I get into this game. First of all Horror in general to me (meaning books,video games and movies) is a hard thing to keep up with in terms of element. Normally if you write anything in horror and you make it into a series or more then one part it tends to become more action less horror. However you can avoid it but the trick then is trying to keep it interesting.

Take Resident evil and The Nightmare on Elm Street films. Resident Evil as both a movie/Video game started out as good horror. It had elements of mystery which leads to questions that make the viewer sit and wonder. It add surprise and a level of graphic Scenery that when combined correctly makes for EXCELLENT Horror. Now with this series eventually all the questions and mystery got solved. You knew what you were dealing with and all the elements that you wanted to know more about you got provided with the answers for.  Questions like “who made the zombies? What are these monsters? who’s Responsible and how do we stop it?” All these questions eventually got answered and in asking those questions your forced as a creator to deal with it. So the last step is DEALING with the issue which tends again..to become more action then Horror.

Now with Nightmare on Elm Street you take the same questions only you don’t really give answers to any of them. Who made the monster? Well we can assume the town did ..but really was it the town? Couldn’t it have been the monsters parents? or maybe he was just a really lonely and mentally ill man? Really you get answers but they are very (what if) type of answers. So really you aren’t left with a real one. So what does this do to the series? Well in this case you just repeat the formula but you get creative with how you tell the current story and just dismiss most of the questions. In this case you can sum up most of the Nightmare movies as teenage kids in a town, who get killed by a dead psycho with the ability to use your mind at his will. Easy breezy… does it get boring? YES kinda.. I mean if you saw one film really you probably went to see the other films just to see how creative the main character could be with killing all those dumb teenagers and you never really went to get a sum of who the character was.

 

….so with that said here we are…Fear 3

In terms of gameplay they did what most trilogies I think should do. They took what was good from the previous games  and combined it into one game. To add a new element to the game they made it Multiplayer which while most horror games are better played alone the concept of having to worry about someone else does add a level of fear that changes the formula this time around.  The story once again is the main focus but this time you have all your answers. You know who your going after. You know who is responsible the bases is set and you just have to deal with it.

Now in terms of gameplay you have two characters. Point man “from fear 1” and Paxton Fettel “fear 1 and reborn”. Point man pretty much plays the same way he did in the first game. Your given weapons, the ability to slow down your enemies, and ect. Fettel plays out a bit different. He “being dead!!” has the ability of telekinesis, stun, possession, a melee attack. Same basic controls of moving forward with the stick, fire button, duck and so on.. again.. if you played a first person shooter you know pretty much what your getting into.

Now another great thing that I personally found was a plus to it was that I got to play it with my girlfriend. Very few games let you go  into the story mode with your partner. Normally its a bot or some useless character with horrible aim and just bad timing. This time my girlfriend got to play with me in split screen and honestly it made the game THAT MUCH BETTER.

The story pans out more like the first game in that your given lots of horror elements, a few elements from the second game with actions parts but over all you play based on who does what. Another fun fact about the game is that with both characters if you do better on one end you get a different ending. The first time my girlfriend and I played threw the game she did better then me with Fettel. So we got his ending… I personally I am trying to do it again by myself with point man just to see how that turns out.

Over all as a series it is a interesting one and who knows if they will produce another game or not. They kinda left it open in that manor or CLOSED it depending how you see it. For a horror game its not to bad but over all the first game probably does the horror best while the other two just continue to finish the story.  Over all I loved the series and hope for more to come some day…