Batman: Arkham Origins Thoughts & Impressions


Batman: Arkham Origins Is Raw, Relentless, And Ruthless

Bruce Wayne no longer exists. The person he would have been died along with his parents in that dark alley. Only rage is left. He feels no sympathy. He has become unstoppable and invincible vengeance. Criminals will not get away with the pain they inflict on others. Even the smallest crime is unforgivable as they will only lead to bigger crimes. You have no fear. You are the Batman and no one will escape your wrath.

This was the attitude I had throughout the entire game. And it wasn’t because I chose to feel that way. The opening cinematic drove the attitude into me, and the rest of the game followed suit. I instantly became a feared vigilante and I didn’t just seek justice, I would have it.

Batman has never been more brutal, reckless, and utterly fearless. The portrayal of the character, and the way the story flowed made me feel every impact. When I punched my enemies I wanted them to fear repercussions for their crimes, and they did. It certainly wasn’t the law they feared, as every criminal in Gotham knows that if the cops aren’t already corrupt, they are easily corrupted. There was never a time that I didn’t feel like a complete bad-ass and that every single enemy in the game better fear me or else. The in-game sequences and battles backed the attitude up with ferocity.

batman arkham origins hangin

Musical Score

Of course it wasn’t just the story and combat that brought the attitude on. The music was the very first thing I even noticed upon starting the game. I immediately felt like there was some kind of impending danger – for my enemies. Every second of the opening cinematic was driven not only by the presence of Batman (even when he was off-screen), but music that made me feel like this Christmas night was going to be the end of crime altogether. Without the music I don’t think I would have felt like I was to be both feared and respected.

Gameplay

There’s almost nothing new about the gameplay which I think is both good and bad. It is an Arkham game after all so I suppose it should be familiar. My main issue is that there’s almost zero new animations for Batman. I think I might have spotted two brand new animations during combat. It’s possible there are more that I didn’t catch onto but it’s all so familiar that it was hard to recognize anything as new. Fortunately it still felt more epic than ever due to the general attitude of the game through the plot and music.

The new shock gloves are totally bad-ass. They charge up during combat and when you activate them you can punch through riot shields, and pummel enemies with knives head on. Electricity emanates with every impact.

batman arkham origins detective mode

The newest addition that was very special to me is the Case File System which adds extra depth to detective mode when scanning crime scenes. Someone has been shot for example. You scan for evidence to clue you in on who the killer was. The first piece of evidence leads you to deduct what the final action in the crime scene was. You upload the information to the Bat-computer to analyze the data and recreate the crime scene in front of your eyes in virtual mode. You control the time frame by fast-forwarding and rewinding the scene as it happened to reveal new evidence. Unfortunately it is over simplified. The evidence you are looking for is made very obvious. It’s still a beautiful, fun, and totally cool addition to the original mechanic and I wish there were more crime scenes to do it with.

Even though the police are corrupt I didn’t want to fight them. As much as the story tries to act like Batman is holding back on them, he doesn’t. He’s just as vicious with them as he is with the criminals. The combat is so much fun though that I ended up thinking, “Screw it” and picked fights with the corrupt police anyways. It would have been awesome if the developers had made separate animations for fighting the police and making Batman actually act less violent against them. (If they did, I’m sorry but I did not notice!)

batman arkham origins croc

Boss Fights

The boss fights were epic because of the scene, and the combat itself was different than your regular fights, stepping things up by a lot. I was disappointed that the boss phases barely changed at all. The whole rinse-and-repeat thing brought the epic feeling down a notch, a very small notch but it mattered.  The upside is what Batman does to the regular criminals in the city is nothing compared to what he does to the even bigger and badder enemies he faces.

Open World

There are very cool scripted side missions you can do, but what I really like are the random crime sprees being reported on Batmans police scanner. You can ignore them or go help out. Small riots between the police and criminals break out, or a small gang is attempting to rob a jewelry store or bank.  And of course there’s a ridiculous amount of collectibles.

Personality

An upside to the bosses for me was their personality. I wasn’t intimidated by them but I could tell they were just as fearless as Batman. As powerful as each assassin is, and as much damage as they do to Batman, he shrugs it off like it’s nothing. It’s not because Batman is invincible. It’s because he doesn’t know he isn’t. His rage drives him through things that would normally kill a person, without even flinching.

batman arkham origins joker

The Jokers extreme insanity matches the raw brutality of Batman. Joker does not fear death at all. That said, Joker hasn’t really changed apart from being more insane than usual. It would have been cool to see him act younger. The voice actor does a really great job at making Joker familiar, but I would have preferred them to just use a new voice and not impersonate Mark Hamill.

The Bad

For me this is another one of those things where the good far outweighs the bad. So much so that I can shrug off the games bugs as easily as Batman can shrug off a life-threatening pummeling. Most campaign bugs that I encountered were fixed by a checkpoint restart. Fortunately most of those were not some big leap backwards in the game. There are some terrible bugs but I was able to enjoy the campaign straight through without too much frustration. There are very many issues that other players are having that I was fortunate enough not to encounter. I have submitted a few bugs and feedback on the Batman forums.

One down-side to the open world is the voices for the criminals and the police are exactly the same from group to group. And the cop says the exact same thing every time you rescue a different group of police.

batman arkham origins city

Final Thoughts

Batman: Arkham Origins is my favorite Arkham game by far. And that’s saying a lot because both Asylum and City were excellent. I did get a little frustrated at how similar this game was to the first two. I wondered how the developers could take credit for what I thought of as copy/pasting the game. They did offer a brand new story and landscapes and a few very minor gadget changes, but it weirded me out. Then in the credits I saw them give what looked like the full team of Rocksteady credit. That gained a huge boost of respect from me and I give them major props for that. Well done Warner Brothers Montreal. I do not mean to undermine what WB Montreal did at all. Origins truly stands out to me.

You can check out many more of my screenshots if you want. Spoiler screenshots are tagged for good reason. I plan to do a separate “review” of the multiplayer in the future.

Possible Spoilers (Extra)

Read on if you would like to know a bit more about my favorite parts of the game. To me these would not be spoilers, but it is highly possible that you would consider the information here a spoiler. Normally I try to write my thoughts on a game with absolutely zero spoilers, so that’s why I’ve headlined this one for you. These are just some really cool things I want to share.

In Batman: Arkham Origins, the Origins key word shines. You may have read about the story and how it’s the early years of Batman. But it’s not just him. You get to see a younger Penguin, Joker, and Harley. I’m not going to spoil the specifics but I will say Jokers origin story blew me away. Unfortunately you don’t get the full story, but what you do see is very special. Better still is that Joker may not fear death, but he is absolutely terrified of Batman.

batman arkham origins mad hatter

Barbara Gordon has a ton of personality in the very few minutes you get to see any interaction with her. You also get to know a little bit more of Harley’s human side.

My favorite parts of the two previous Arkham games were the 2D Scarecrow levels. These have returned but they’re a little bit different. Now it’s in the form of the Mad Hatter and the world is Alice’s Wonderland. And it’s just another thing I wish there was more of in the game.

The Wolf Among Us Episode 1 – Spoiler Free Thoughts


In The Wolf Among Us, Fables have been exiled from their Homeland and live in the real world using magic called Glamour to hide their true selves from us. Many of the Fables struggle to survive in the real world. Fantasy and happiness are no longer a part of their lives. This is a tale of devastation, sadness, and memories long past.

You play as Sheriff Bigby Wolf, a Fable struggling with his own inner Bad Wolf, who does what he can to keep the Fables from killing each other, and to keep the city safe and make sure that Fables are always in disguise, which often proves troublesome.  Bigby has a bad rep and the other Fables fear him but he’s trying to redeem himself.

I had fallen in love with Telltale Games characters and story-telling in The Walking Dead game, but I am far more interested in the Fables of The Wolf Among Us like Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Ichabod Crane, and more in the first episode alone, than I am in survivors of a zombie apocalypse.

the wolf among us beaten

As you play the game you gain insights into each of the Fabled characters through the “Book of Fables” that tells you more about the characters after you meet them in the game. I thought it was really cool because I never read the Fable comic books so I had no idea what exactly they were about. I had read a tiny bit to know the comics were about famous fabled characters but I didn’t look too deep into it.

Gameplay

Fables are hard to kill, but they aren’t completely invincible. They can still feel pain, and they can still die. A Fable hasn’t died in a very long time though, and The Wolf Among Us Episode 1 jumps us into some quick action before discovering a murder.

The controls are a little weird on the keyboard. There’s just a tiny struggle to walk in a straight line; that can be expected though, can’t it? It isn’t troublesome though because you only use it to navigate your character through the world. It won’t ruin any action scenes and it’s not overly bothersome, it was just noticeable.

the wolf among us c

The thing that stood out to me the most was how well the Quick-Time Events were handled for keyboard users. When prompted with the A, S, D, and W keys, you also see an animated arrow showing the direction you need to move integrated into the button prompt. The visuals on the arrows are not distracting and blend right in but are noticeable enough to follow them perfectly. Thank you so much for that Telltale! I do think developers could get rid of the A, S, D, and W prompts completely and just show the direction arrows. Why do they keep insisting on showing the keys?!

There are a few button masher prompts in the game. Normally these are my most hated QTEs. However, in The Wolf Among Us they actually felt like they mattered. You don’t just mash a button to open a door or something silly like that. When you need to mash a button is when there is an actual struggle going on during the combat scene. Even though I would prefer it not to be there, it felt like it belonged.

Unfortunately there isn’t a lot of actual interaction… again. This is Tell-A-Tale Games after all. I love the gameplay enough to want more, and they keep disappointing me! Thankfully the rare action scenes you do encounter in The Wolf Among Us Episode 1 are actually pretty action packed!

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Overall

I’m not going to spoil anything for you. I just want to say that I am completely fascinated by the stories involved in the world of The Wolf Among Us. It makes me want to read the Fables comic book that it is based on. I’ve always loved the Fabled characters, and this is an interesting take on it. Nothing about the original stories are ruined because they haven’t been changed. The characters are now living in our world under real circumstances while their fairy-tale has been long past.

The music is amazing. It sets the mood with the perfect combination of creepy, yet serene.

I wanted to play the episode again immediately after completing it so I could see how the other choices played out.

As for the rest of the game you’ll need to find out for yourself. These lips are sealed. =) Please feel free to check out some more of my screenshots of The Wolf Among Us Episode 1. (Possible spoilers.)

Rain Completed On PlayStation 3


Rain is about a young boy who sees a ghost being chased by a demon, and follows her into her world with the intention of helping. I thought the story was really beautiful. The boy and the girl help each other throughout the game. There were times that I could run ahead of the girl and let her catch up but because I really cared for the characters, I would wait for her instead.

There are eight chapters total and while the first six chapters are fun and completely enjoyable, they’re also very slow and nothing really happens story-wise. The journey is interesting since you don’t actually fight enemies, but use the environment to avoid them and block their paths on occasion instead.

The game as a whole ended up being pretty amazing. I think mostly because the final two chapters really fleshed the story out in a completely unexpected manner. Not that the story itself wasn’t predictable. It was the way it was presented that made it special.

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While playing Rain, for some reason I couldn’t help but think of it as a 3D pop-up book. I think because most Adventure games stick you in a 2D world with 3D elements, while Rain thrusts the world out at you. Unlike a lot of other Adventure games, you play out the entire story with the controller. You don’t sit and watch 90% of it. Text displays across the screen as you walk or run through the game, textually narrating the story as you progress. Unfortunately it wasn’t perfect.

As cool as the textual narration was, I missed a couple of story-based one-liners because I moved too fast through the scene that showed it, which did have an effect on my mood and the games atmosphere. Instead of continuing on with ease, I wondered what I missed! The good thing is the story is very simple and easy to follow, so whatever I missed wasn’t important, but it would have kept me emotionally involved a tiny bit more.

I thought the use of rain and cover from rain was a neat looking mechanic in the trailers. I enjoyed it even more playing it for myself. The rain effect was really nice, but I really love rainy weather in real life, it’s my favorite! So that probably contributed to how immersed I was into the game.

A lot of the camera angles in the game are just amazing. They really set a wonderful scene and let me get a real good idea of the world I was in. One of the developer diaries had mentioned how they wanted the game to make you feel like you were alone. Throughout most of the game I couldn’t help but laugh at the idea because you are almost always avoiding demons that want to harm you. But there were a few parts where I actually did feel completely alone, not in a depressing way though which makes it hard to describe. It was really neat.

Thankfully the music is actually original. After all the trailers I had seen for the game, I was worried that the famous song they kept using in them would have been the most used song in the game. It wasn’t.

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Overall I really enjoyed the game. The visuals are beautiful. The story was simple but interesting. The gameplay was fun. The music is wonderful and really sets the mood. Rain is a beautiful experience.

Possible Spoiler (I don’t think it is.) – And the best part? The whole time I played through the game I couldn’t help but think it had zero replay value. There’s exploration but it’s unrewarded, at first. After you beat the game, you can play it again and find hidden memories that offer more story. That was a nice surprise. I was wondering why there were so many areas I could explore in the game but were there for no apparent reason. – End of possible spoiler.

That’s all the good stuff. I saved the bad for last.

Having to hold the run button practically the entire game was pretty silly. It would have been nice if they had made running the default movement, and had a walk button instead.

Some of the control mechanics were purposefully slow which could get you into needless trouble. For example opening a door would have a delay. Pushing objects would take a ridiculously long time even if you weren’t in any imminent danger. This ruined the mood for me sometimes because it unnecessarily slowed down the pace of the game.

During some parts where my character was invisible except for footprints it was really hard to tell where I was. Obviously, right? Sometimes it would be a little frustrating because the camera angles would make it hard to tell where I should go next. It was just another thing that could ruin the mood, fortunately it never lasted long.

Those are all my notes so it’s not too bad. The game is short but wonderful. I will definitely play again but probably not any time soon. I look forward to finding the extra memories I unlocked the next time I play.

Resident Evil Revelations Campaign Completed


Resident Evil Revelations has been a nice surprise. I wasn’t very happy with the demo of the game. There wasn’t a whole lot to go on. I did think it was neat, but I really don’t care for these third-person Resident Evil titles. I miss the first 3 games camera angles so terribly bad. The camera angles in those games are what really gave the survival-horror its true effect.

Revelations managed to make me feel like I was playing the first game again, but in third-person. It surely doesn’t have the same exact feel as the first, but there is a familiarity. The music is good and set the mood nicely, and even some of the dialogue is pretty cheesy (not that I prefer cheesy dialogue). It doesn’t offer the same shock factor as the first three games unfortunately. There are a few really cool spots in the game that made me go “Whoa!” but it’s still not quite the same. The scenery reminds me a lot of the original game too. The areas of the boat you will explore are absolutely gorgeous. It made me think of the Titanic.

resident evil revelations beauty

The game plays out in episodes, which I liked. Each episode has a few chapters, and once you move on to the next episode you get a recap of the most key moments of the previous episode. I liked it a lot since I have a terrible memory. It really helped me maintain the thread of the story.

The game is really linear, but it does reward exploration. There are some little corners and dead-end paths you can explore that can lead to extra ammo, herbs, or weapon upgrades. There are several different types of guns offering a really nice variety to play with. I was surprised at all the weapon types and customization you could do. And none of it distracted me or took me out of the mood of the game. It was comfortable.

My favorite new mechanic was the scanner. The scanner reveals hidden items in rooms and hallways, offering even more extra ammo and weapon upgrades. I thought it was pretty neat, and it also contributed to the games exploration, not a lot of course, but it was a nice addition.

Another thing I really loved was the removal of the insane inventory micro-managing. Oh what a relief that was. Not that I hated it in the original game or anything, but it’s nice to have moved away from that. You don’t have a bottomless inventory, but you don’t need to manage the living crap out of it either.

resident evil revelations sharks

My final favorite new thing was the underwater scenes. The controls kind of sucked on them. You can’t strafe underwater so you have to always center your camera to move forward. It was more annoying than problematic. Control issue aside, swimming was really neat.

The bosses are epic! I had never thought it would be possible to make a grotesque but somehow still sexy zombie. That was definitely aresident evil revelations grotesque sexy highlight, too funny. There was one boss in particular that was pretty silly because you literally don’t move as you fight it. You just stand there and shoot. It was a neat scene, and the creature itself was cool, but the fight was just derp. So other than that one, the bosses were very cool.

There’s a dodge mechanic which is neat, but I never did figure out exactly how it works. Every time I tried to do it when I wanted to, it wouldn’t work, but then it would work when I really didn’t care. Fortunately you can run past enemies and even strafe around them. There were a few fights where I would strafe around the enemy and just keep poking them with my dagger or axe. (You don’t stand in place while melee’ing!) It was funny and fun but certainly not perfect, nor reliable.

Something I really enjoyed that was both funny and annoying was that I could run past enemies into the next door and just completely avoid them. The reason it was funny was because sometimes I could tell the enemies were put there to purposefully force you into killing them. I’d just run right by them anyways. Sometimes enemies would block the next door, and I’d just walk up to them and squeeze myself behind them and walk through it. Other times I was forced into fighting off waves of monsters that pretty much ran me completely out of ammo. I kinda liked those too. I only got annoyed once when I was at a part of the story that I really wanted to continue on with, and got stuck fighting off stupid waves.

I just realized I hadn’t even mentioned the story yet! Without spoilers, it’s a pretty decent conspiracy with a lot of crazy stuff going on. It kept me interested even though it was far from original, and it never really slowed down. Great pacing.

resident evil revelations jessicaA couple of things that were a little off to me – one of the characters Jessica is super hot, but for some reason she’s missing a pant-leg. Why? Not that I mind of course, it was just funny. Second, what’s with all the military story stuff? Just give me something to be scared about! Thankfully the military stuff in this game didn’t bore me like it did in RE5. Now that I’ve played this though, it makes me want to play 5 again. But then I think about how terrible 5 is, and I don’t.

I really liked Revelations. As usual, it has the best version of the Tyrant in the Resident Evil games. (I haven’t played 6). There are a few more cool things I want to tell you about but I would consider them spoilers so I’ve left them out.

Dante’s Inferno Is Definitely For Adults


Dante’s Inferno was like taking Kratos from God of War through the darker parts of the movie What Dreams May Come. (If you haven’t seen that movie you really should!) The game immediately jumps into its mature theme by throwing boobs at you. I’ve got no problem with that. It is definitely not for kids. Almost the whole game is filled with mature content that isn’t just violence.

dantes inferno artI loved the story. It seemed a bit ironic though. Dante cheated on his wife, and then proceeds to go through Hell to rescue her soul from it. I dunno about you, but I thought that was pretty friggin funny. The story is told through both present time and flashbacks so you know the basics of what’s going on but you get some cooler insight into the full back-story of the characters throughout the game. The story is also told through two different types of cinematics – gorgeous CGI, and comic book styled stills. The CGI is used for the main story and the comic book stills are used for the flashbacks. I really liked how it was done. I was interested in the story throughout the entire game and it’s not even that complicated, it’s just cool and always evolving. There weren’t long breaks between gameplay and story. I thought it had a really good pace.

dantes inferno death

One of my favorite things about the combat is the fact that your main weapon is Death’s scythe. I just love stuff like that. Your secondary weapon is a powerful cross that acts like a magic spell but crazily enough doesn’t cost any mana so that was cool. The combat consists of some really fun button mashing but awards you with some extra combo attacks as you level up for those of you that prefer more precise actions. I prefer simplistic button mashing so I really enjoyed it, but I also prefer having more than two attacks and Dante’s Inferno did not disappoint. There’s no real long chain of attacks but I found the combat to be pretty fluid and for the most part allowed smooth transitions between strong, fast, and magic attacks. There are some pauses and it wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty dang good.

The leveling system consists of two choices: Holy and Unholy. As you play through the game you will come across NPCs that you can either absolve or punish. I play games to be a hero so of course I absolved them all, no matter how evil they were. When you find one of these lost souls in the game, before you select whether you absolve or punish them the game tells you who they are and what they did. I thought that was pretty cool. You come across some familiar names in history, I don’t want to spoil them for you. You can even absolve or punish the normal enemies during normal combat also, building up your Unholy or Holy XP. Each tree has a nice selection of abilities to choose from. There were a few I completely skipped over as I wasn’t the least bit interested in them. It’s a neat system adding a bit more depth to a game I thought didn’t even need it.

Something that stood out to me was the simplicity of the puzzles. I love these action/platformer games but they always drive me nuts when I get stuck at some stupid puzzle that is solved by something that makes absolutely no sense. Dante’s Inferno wasn’t like that. The puzzles weren’t always overly obvious, but they also weren’t too hard either. It was really nice, it added an extra element to the game without ruining it.

dantest inferno boss

I think this game is as good as the God of War games. For me that’s saying a lot. It took a real long time for me to come across any games that could compete with God of War in my mind. Not even Devil May Cry pulled it off even though those games do have some pretty epic bosses. Dante’s Inferno even scales like the God of War games with the feeling that you’re in a massive world, and the bosses are just as epic also. It’s so good I can barely remember the things I didn’t like about it. I should have taken note! I know there were some spots where I died that I thought I shouldn’t have, but overall it was really damn good. You can even do a New Game Plus but they don’t actually call it that. I think it’s something like Resurrection Mode. And you can change the difficulty too. I hate when games lock you out of difficulties you didn’t beat it on, kinda ruins the point of a New Game Plus in my opinion.

Final rating: It’s a must play. I flew through the game, couldn’t put it down.

dantes inferno combat 2

That is the end of my review. Spoilers ahead for those of you that wish to know exactly what kind of mature content the game has!

One of the normal enemies you come across in the game is a female demon who when she first appears acts super sensual even tho she’s basically hideous. She proceeds to open up her belly and have a large tentacle come out and then she holds it and caresses it like she’s jerking herself off. It’s freakin hilarious and awesome. And they are damn deadly too! One of the enormous bosses in the game is topless and spawns creatures from her nipples. Seriously. It’s insanely cool. Honestly I didn’t think the nudity was gratuitous and just fits the theme of the game.

My R.I.P.D. Game Review


I’m sorry that I’ll be offering a link to my review, but since I’m writing for ZoKnowsGaming now, we have an agreement that I can’t just copy/paste the same thing elsewhere. Of course I can share it. I think the game is pretty fun so I definitely want people to have a read if they’re interested in it. So check out my review of the R.I.P.D. game! =)

R.I.P.D. cover

PS3 Rental: The Amazing Spider-Man


I’m not sure how to feel about the game. The story was bland, but it was Spider-Man. I think I’ve just seen this same exact story told so many times about Spider-Man; and even used in so many other movies and stories, that it just kept me uninterested. I can’t even describe the plot, that’s how boring it was to me. That said, I loved the characters! Lizard was great, Smythe was pretty cool as the new main villian, Gwen was wonderful, and even a news reporter I didn’t know was pretty cool. (I haven’t followed the comic books in a very long time.) The characters were interesting to me, just not the plot.

Combat

The combat was great! It reminded me a lot of the Edge of Time game. The action was very fluid and totally badass. Button spamming rewards you with a flurry of attacks on the enemies with a counter-attack pause when necessary. Once you face bash your enemies enough they get a stun icon over their heads that prompts you to finish them off with a webbing that seals them up completely.

They even had stealth finisher type moves in the game. I could sneak up on enemies and spin them into webs before they even knew I was there. Dropping down on enemies from the ceiling, spinning them in a web and then sticking them back up to the ceiling, while other enemies in the same room had no clue. I could do it to two enemies at once also, which was totally cool!

Gameplay

Other than the combat itself, I’d run into trouble knowing which direction I was heading if I got turned around because everything looked the same. It’s like when you’re going down a hallway and run into a few enemies, so you stop and fight them. Then after you’ve defeated them you can’t tell which direction you were going. It’s not that big of a deal because you eventually do find the right way, but it is annoying.

Bosses

The bosses are totally epic looking and badass, but the actual fight mechanics were pretty simple. Spam punch, dodge a couple times, then repeat a few times. That was basically it for every single one of them. They did offer really cool action scenes.

Open World

Definitely the coolest part about the game! Web-slinging around the city is really awesome. The animations are pretty great. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of different mission types. Most of it is just rescuing citizens. Stopping muggings or carrying sick citizens or escaped mental patients back to where they need to go. It’s super fun though. Just being Spider-Man rescuing people is what it’s all about! There are a couple of other mission types but it seems the majority of them are rescuing and returning citizens. There are cool missions involved with Felicia Hardy and stopping bank robberies. Being a rental, I didn’t really care too much to get too deep into the open world. I can see that it offers a lot of cool extra’s though.

One of my favorite parts during the game was fighting off these winged robots. You literally web-sling around the city while fighting them off. Shooting webs at them to slow them down or blind them, and then climbing on top of them to break off their wings, bringing them to a cinematic destruction. Just the fact that you fight off enemies while flying around was really cool to me. I really enjoyed the mechanics.

Graphics

The graphics are nice, but unimpressive. The characters and bosses are pretty nicely detailed but when you get into the city, it’s just like flying through a bunch of big blocks. That’s just from a “graphics whore” point of view though. I love uber graphics man. You can see for yourself in the screenshots that the graphics aren’t terrible. They just seem really simple is all.

Controls

The controls alone made me just want to send the game back. I was frustrated half the time I played the game just because of how bad they were. I’d get stuck on railings, even though in some parts of the game I’d automatically walk off of a ledge, in most cases I wouldn’t. I’d end up having to jump off the railing or ledge to remove myself from it and then I’d be jumping too far.

On top of that, when I moved from the ground to stick to a wall, the camera would get completely flipped around so I couldn’t even tell where the heck I just came from. Not a big deal you know? Just really freaking annoying.

That’s not even the worst of it. The R1 button is your main grab button, or action button that you need to use for most interactive prompts; kind of like how the E key is on most PC games. The problem here is you can’t just tap it to perform the action. You have to hold it for a split second or longer, let go, and then it activates. On top of that weirdness, it wouldn’t always co-operate! There are many key points throughout the game where I would use R1 to slow/freeze time (spider sense and all that) to target what or where I wanted to perform my next action. For some reason it was often hard to stick myself to different parts of the walls or floors and ceilings. The game just would not let me go wherever I wanted to. It seemed to have these key points that were like place-markers that I had to go to. Not that big of a deal, but it definitely takes away from the flow of the action.

Also because of the way you have to press and hold the button, rather than just tap it; it was frustrating trying to grab the comic books out in the open world. A lot of times I’d have a split second to tap that button, I’d tap it but since it’s a hold and release mechanic, I’d fly right by the comic books I wanted to collect. Then if I wanted to turn around and collect it, I’d end up circling the friggin thing five to ten times just to finally collect it.

Final Thoughts

I was thinking about this for a bit. I definitely think having a game as a rental affects my mood while playing a game. I rush myself to get through these rentals quickly, so I can get my next rental. It also makes it easier for me to “review” since most of it is fresh in my mind. So this makes me a bit more harsh on the problems that stand out. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal, but I do think it matters when it comes to reviewing a game.

Overall, I had fun. The game is really freakin cool. Just like in Edge of Time, I felt like I was Spider-Man, and I was a total badass. If I were to be more open to taking my time and not rushing through the game, I have no doubt I would have enjoyed it more. But those control issues were definitely highly frustrating.

The Walking Dead: 400 Days (Spoiler Free)


That was a beautiful tease to a new season. It’s really hard to write anything about the new DLC because it’s really short, but long enough to have kept me satisfied, which I think is saying a lot. It’s not near as long as the first entire season but it’s definitely as complete of a story. I was really impressed. I was worried for awhile there. I knew it would be short. Every new character’s story that I played through felt like I was getting closer to the end; and I didn’t want that to happen! I’m only guessing, but I’d say 400 Days is as long as a single episode was in the first season.

The dialogue options seemed to be more finely tuned. When I chose not to speak out, my character didn’t come up with whatever the game forced them to say, but actually stayed quiet. That was a nice touch. I remember in the regular season that if I chose to be quiet, the dude would speak up anyways; it was rather annoying.
I also felt like the dialogue choices offered an even deeper hesitancy in most cases, and a stronger feeling that it mattered.

Of course, there were a couple of choices I wish would have had a little bit more of an obvious result, but that’s actually a part of what makes it good too. For all the choices I was offered, I only felt like two of them were mistakes, and I think that is an accomplishment. There were a lot of choices in the first season that I would have changed in a heartbeat because the result didn’t seem to quite match with what I was going for.

There seemed to be quite a bit more animated scenes than the first season also, which was great!

I want to say more, but it’s real touchy with this kind of game, and the game itself is short. Just like the first season, I wanted to play 400 Days again immediately after finishing it. I think I’m finally gonna replay through all of Season 1 first though. Telltale has definitely improved upon every mechanic from the original season and I cannot wait until Season 2!

Weekly Game Experience


I’ve decided to write about my gaming experiences each week. Since I tend to play several different games at a time, it makes it hard for me to “review” most of them after I’ve finally completed one. So before I get into my full reviews, I wanted to offer up my thoughts on games I’m recently playing but haven’t completed. Or in this case, a game I have beaten but played over such a long period of time I can’t really give it a full review. I will of course be writing with the intention of leaving out spoilers.

Medal of Honor: Warfighter

Recently I completed the game Medal of Honor: Warfighter. The most memorable parts of that game for me were the driving levels. They were beautiful, graphics wise. Some of the cities you drive through were very pretty but mostly it was just the traffic you drive past, and the people walking on the sidewalks that made it feel alive and wonderful. You do race through traffic as you chase down the bad guys. What was really cool about it was that the way it played seemed like you were really chasing a smart driver. Swerving in and out of traffic, slowing down at different turns but then speeding up so you couldn’t really tell which direction they were gonna go. This also seemed to change randomly if you failed the event previously and had to start over. Yeah, I failed a couple times, bite me.

The shooting scenes were cool also. Typical shooter stuff but awesome nonetheless. Breaching doors was pretty cool because you get to decide which tool you want to use for the action. A shotgun, a couple different types of bombs; you have several choices once you earn them.

I was expecting the game to be more story-driven after reading many opinions on it. The game is really cool but it didn’t have a lot of actual story in my opinion. It was a little disappointing because even the music video by Linkin Park had me totally interested. That was beautiful. Another disappointment was that I never got to hear that song until the finishing credits of the game. That was okay because the music in the game was just fine. I just really liked that song and was hoping to hear it during the game.

I understand what people meant about the game being more story-driven. The story itself is still the typical military FPS kind of thing, capture or kill terrorists. However, in this game you get to know the individual soldiers on a more personal level. While there’s not a lot of story to them, you know their family, how many kids they have, if they’re married. This gives you a better connection to the people you play as.

You play as a few different characters throughout the game, switching between them on different levels. The ending of the game was really beautiful and it did bring tears to my eyes. I’m a sap though, whatevs.

Need For Speed: Most Wanted

In the past week, other than completing Medal of Honor: Warfighter, I started playing Need For Speed: Most Wanted. Talk about a game with absolutely gorgeous graphics. I get blinded just by the reflection from the roads, it’s insane.

The photo above isn’t very good and definitely doesn’t show off the games graphics but I haven’t taken a lot of screenshots yet. I just thought this was really cool because I actually drove over to this part of the world from that city in the distance.

I like how you get new cars by finding them out in the open world. It’s not like they made them all super easy to find. And it really helps contribute to the open world feeling. I love just driving around, getting used to the power of the new vehicles I’ve found.

That reminds me of one thing that’s been driving me nuts. The controls are so slippery! I used to love the high sensitivity of driving analog, but in this game its had me pretty frustrated. Mostly because of another thing I noticed. I can’t tell if this game is supposed to be a racing sim or an arcade racer. You drive super fast, and the game definitely offers a wonderful sensation of speed, but you crash when you hit a car even at 50mph, maybe slower. It drives me nuts every single time. I always think why am I not just smashing through these cars?

I’m not talkin about accidental driving that makes me crash. I wouldn’t be so bothered by that. I’m talking about speeding along and just rear-ending a car that brings you to a complete halt in a smashing manner. Of course some of the crashes are super cool looking. I’m not complaining that I’m crashing in a racing game. It’s just that most arcade racers allow you to smash through cars, maybe slowing you down as you continue on. In this game you can’t freakin hit a car without getting smashed, unless you’re in a tank. I did find a pretty nice truck that doesn’t get immediately demolished in a slow rear-end accident.

The reason this is so noticeable is because you smash through telephone poles, mailboxes, whatever is out on the sidewalks. And that is a beautiful sight man. Mailboxes and newspapers flying up at your screen as you speed along, completely blocking your view for a split second. You smash through so much of that, but then if you hit a car you come to a crashing halt.

Sadly the game chugs on my computer. It’s another one of those I can’t believe my computer can play this game thoughts. Even with settings lower there are times where it chugs along. But it definitely plays better on lower settings. I hate having to lower settings. You miss out on a lot of glorious scenes because of it. It’s still beautiful though on lower settings. One of the funnier things that’s noticeable with the graphics settings lower is that you don’t get blinded by the sunlight and reflections from the road, making it easier to race.

There’s lots of fun stuff that rewards you for driving around the world. Big jumps that take you smashing through giant billboards. The jumps are my favorite thing so far. Speed camera’s that capture how fast you’re going are everywhere. I think I’ve actually spent most of my time just driving around the world, not even doing races. There is a little more reasoning to that though. The game is hard.

Since it seems to be a mix of sim and arcade racer, it makes it really hard to race through. It’s an attitude thing I guess. I want to race at full speed and take crazy hand-brake turns but it doesn’t work out that way. I crash all the time and the AI racers just dominate me. But if I try to drive smarter, I can’t catch up to my opponents. At the speeds I’m driving at, it’s hard to tell where the heck I am and where I’m going sometimes. I imagine it might be easier on a PC that can handle the game at full graphics though. And you have to stay on the road, you can’t just speed over sidewalks, the game slows you down. So it has me confused a bit.

I only have a few hours played on the game, so hopefully I’ll get better with more practice. That’s usually how it works. I’m just surprised at how weird and difficult the game is so far. It’s definitely tricky being stuck between sim and arcade racer.

The game crashes to the desktop for me a lot. Yeah, it sucks. I’ve only tried a couple of the Most Wanted races but almost every single time I want to enter the race, my game crashes. This is a different kind of race where you face one rare car, once you beat it you get to use it. These cars are really good and hard to beat. Lowering the graphics settings has made me able to enter a race, but it’s not 100%, I still crash on loading the race up. It’s very frustrating but I only have myself to blame for not having a better PC I suppose.

One thing that has frustrated me more often than anything else is the cars I come across that are only available from the cash shop. Yeah, they don’t even try to hide these. They put these totally awesome looking cars right out in the open so that when you drive up to it, you get the “open store” button prompt. Ridiculous. And they’re everywhere!

All that said, I really enjoy the game so far. I’ve gotten a couple of cars that I was surprised were even in the game. One that looks like a little go-cart but goes super fast. Another that looks like a giant go-cart. Makes me laugh. Both are very cool. And you do get real cool cars without having to go to the cash shop.

First Impression: Amazing Spider-Man

I just received The Amazing Spider-Man from Gamefly the other day. I’m really enjoying it so far with a couple of hours into it. It’s really fun, the combat is crazy badass. The combo’s you pull off are awesome even though they’re basically from button mashing. It’s cool even though it’s button spam, you end up doing different finishing moves and stuff from the same button combinations.

The controls have been quite frustrating at times.

Bioshock Infinite: Spoiler Free Thoughts


Elizabeth Is The Star

She is so full of life. She stops to look at everything. She loves life even after being trapped in a tower for most of it. Being free allows her to express her love for life. You can really see it in the way she interacts with the world. Twirling around while admiring the sky, or jumping into a crowd of dancers. And you could hear it in her words, her awe of the beauty in the world. Knowing these things about her, she still remains mysterious which was pretty cool. I knew enough about her to like, and still wanted to know more.

I cared about her throughout the whole game. I wanted to know what she would do next. I was anticipating every single new insight into who she was. I loved how she would react to NPC’s in the game that smoked cigarette’s by coughing. She also has a great sense of humor.

She’s full of tricks and knowledge because she read a lot of books while trapped in a tower. Beauty & the Beast anyone? Still, it gave her a lot of character, and I fell in love with her. I wanted to protect her, but instead, she protected me by supplying me with ammo, health, and salts (mana); all of this while mid-combat. She’d even give me money she found, and picked locks on doors.

Elizabeth reacts to the gruesome deaths of your enemies. She resents you for being a murderer, but she also understands that you’re a protector, that this is what you have to do, maybe just not so violently.

The World

Everywhere I walked in the game had me gaping and saying aloud, “Wow!” To me it was magical to see all the different buildings floating in the sky. Beautiful statues made of gold, also seeming to float in the middle of the air.

Of course, there’s also lots of really beautiful statues that aren’t made of gold. Floating waterfalls where the water rolls over the air and just drops down through the clouds. The game eventually explains how the city floats in the air, it’s pretty neat and I won’t spoil that; just letting you know that it is explained. It’s all so beautiful, and it felt alive. I think that’s mostly due to all the non-player character’s that speak to you as if you were there. When you walk in front of someone they address you as they would anybody walking near them.

Characters that you fight against are strange and wonderful looking. Some are dressed up as minotaur looking creatures, others are dressed as a cupid mixed with a centaur. The whole atmosphere is amazing.

I really love the graphics style. It’s like you’re wandering through a painting. I was very happily pleased that the PS3 version wasn’t a super toned down one. A lot of games lose great graphical fidelity when put on the consoles. I imagine the PC version has some details that are better, but it is definitely gorgeous on the PS3 and I give big props to Irrational Games for making that happen.

“Because it does. Because it has. Because it always will.”

Gameplay

First-person shooter. Really cool power choices. My preference was to summon crows on the enemies, watching them peck out their eyes and swarming their bodies, stunning them as I finish them off with my shotgun. I didn’t really play around with the other powers, I just stuck with what I liked.

The ability to summon up a decoy for enemies to attack was also pretty cool. They’re all cool but the mechanic of the decoy stood out to me. When you select the power, a green colored clone of yourself appears in front of you and allows you to place it wherever you want. It then takes form and looks like an exact replica, without the green color.

The game had noticeably smooth controls. Another thing that was noticeable was when I would collect items from Elizabeth. She would call out to me, I’d hit the command prompt to collect from her, the game automatically turned my character in her direction to collect the item, then it automatically turned back to exactly where I was previously facing. This way, I never got confused by which direction I was facing before. I really loved this small detail.

Another cool thing is that while Elizabeth travels with you everywhere, she stays out of your way. She won’t get you stuck in a doorway by standing in front of you. If she does end up in front of you at some point, as soon as you think “get the f*** out of my way” she’s already moving. It’s kind of funny, and definitely cool.

A noticeable bad thing was having to run back and forth in the same level repeatedly. That always just drives me nuts. While I do appreciate being able to experience the glory of these beautiful levels, I just don’t like running back and forth for tedious tasks that don’t really add anything to the gameplay or the story. This doesn’t happen often though.

Another thing I was annoyed by were parts in the game where you open a tear in the fabric of time and space or whatever. Elizabeth would keep saying “If we go through this, I don’t think we can come back” as if you had a choice. You don’t, you need to go through in order to progress through the game. I suppose it’s a reminder to go loot up whatever treasures you want before moving on. I just thought it was a little silly.

Story

The story is really cool, but it did not drive me through the game. I thought that was pretty disappointing. I was bored through most of it. There’s a mystery behind what your actual goal is, maybe too much mystery. You’re trying to save a girl that you apparently already handed over to some bad dudes as a means to clear a debt. A very interesting aspect of the story is dealing with alternate time-lines, but it never really fully develops. The whole point of the story is to be unknown until the end. But that’s why I was bored by it.

Over-hyped

With how much hype there is over the game I was definitely expecting more and I think that kind of ruined my overall experience. I was expecting the game to be amazing throughout its entirety, but instead it was pretty generic. Kill bad guys over and over with awesome extreme violence.

Much like Halo, by the time I played it I couldn’t believe people were acting like it was the best game ever. It always makes me sad because it really does have an affect on how you experience a game. Expecting it to be as amazing as everyone says it is, then finding out the only thing that sets it apart from other games like it, is the scenery. Please, stop this over-hyping madness!

Final Thoughts

I wouldn’t have cared about the game if it wasn’t for Elizabeth. I probably would have been even more bored if she wasn’t at my side adding in her thoughts on what was happening, and her self discovery as you learn her story. Not that the game isn’t super cool or anything, I just didn’t have anything to care about for a very long time besides Elizabeth. Most of the game was just killing bad guys. Why this matters to me is because the grander scheme had a really great story, it just wasn’t told. You have the basic idea but you never know anything until the end of the game.

Totally Worth It

I’ll tell you this though. If I was a rich gamer, I’d pay $60 just to have experienced the ending of this game. The finale was a decent duration (I believe at least an hour long) and it blew my mind. Mind you, I did not go reading spoilers and reviews for the game. I had read maybe tiny pieces on it, mostly just opinions, and seen some screenshots. I played this game with a completely fresh look that was only ruined by hype. I hope you can do the same. If anything was spoiled for you, you might be even more disappointed than I was.

The worst thing that stood out the most to me is that there is no New Game Plus. I mean seriously? Come on! Bastuds.

“City at the bottom of the ocean? pfft Ridiculous.” -Booker