Hey. If you are reading this then that means you have found my blog. It's not hard to miss though, but it's nice to see that someone is reading it. Not much to go on than what I've written over there.
I also try not to spoil any game. No matter if it's old or new.
It's actually risky to reboot an iconic character. Not only do you need to bring fresh ideas, but to make sure that he character still has those traits that make the character memorable in the first place. Ninja Theory's Devil May Cry tried to reboot the Character of Dante with mixed results. Now Crystal Dynamics attempts to reboot Lara Croft in Tomb Raider.
For the first time in 17 years, Lara feels like a real person. She is unsure of herself, cares for others, and feels pain as the events of the game pans out. Very few games allow having the character abused as much as Lara has. Past games from the series have Lara escape death, and she doesn't even have a scratch. Not even Nathan Drake gets a cut. You see the damage Lara gets throughout the game. Not only does Lara get through a blender, but we feel her pain as well.
The set pieces are a sight to be seen, it even rivals that of the Uncharted series. From escaping from a burning building to parachuting down a tree infested mountain side. Her will to survive allows her to come back stronger than ever. By the end of the game, Lara Croft has never been this bad ass. There is not a lot of weapons to choose from, but the weapons you do get you will use. There is not a weapon you will not use. There are ways to upgrade your weapons and deal out more damage.
Tomb Raider has a lot of homages to The Descent
Finding salvage and weapon parts will maximize your weapons. Finding relics, journals, and GPS caches will give you experience to upgrade yourself, by the end of the game, you can deal melee damage.
The combat is fast and exciting; the game is challenging, but never frustrating. Each fight that comes with it feels hefty and real. Each bullet and arrow that flies passed your head feels earned. It's a thrilling experience that most games strive for. The light stealth is excellent and very satisfying. You can complete full section using only stealth. Cover is the best around. When enemies are nearby, Lara will cover down automatically and it has a sense of realism. No button is needed. The enemies will do the same. They will flank you or rush you and it never feels old.
PLACE HERE AND THERE
As you progress through the game, you will come across tombs. There is not as much as I hoped for, but they do allow a mixture among action and puzzles. There is a focus mode called Survival Instinct, but a part of finding the way point, I hardly used it. The Survival Instinct provides the pieces to the puzzle, not the solution. In the game you can explore the whole island. While the game is leaner, it doesn't feel like it with its many places to find. Moving around is fast and fun while using the pick axe is a blast to do. Lara movies as you would expect someone will do, if she trips her body will have a response to it. Lara Croft's story to protťgť to Survivor is an interesting one; it's not about looking for tombs, but her will to survive.
Lara Croft can survive almost anything.
The side characters are not the most fleshed out, but they are interesting. The parallel between Lara and Mathias is interesting and the focus point of the game. As one goes mad with the will to survive, the other finds themselves stronger than ever. What helps this new Lara is the new actress playing her. I hope that we see more of her as Lara in the future. This is a rare game where the guns have power behind them. The game is not the most detailed, but it still looks great.
THE WALLS ARE COMING DOWN
Not every game is perfect, there was this one moment where I died because the platform I was on did not load properly, and another where I got lost and could not find my way out. That happened in my second play through. It was after I met Grim, and I had to start over again. There is a lot of Quick Time Events in the game, but it becomes less so as the game continues. There is a weird save system where the game saves all the time, but you cannot do it manually. Nearly everything you do, the game will save. I would have liked it more if the fire camps was the save point like in Dark Souls.
Don't expect anything like this.
The biggest problem with Tomb Raider is the lack of Carry Over. After you beat the game, you cannot bring your stats with you into a new game. If this had carry over, then searching for all the little trinkets the game has would have been worth it. Some of the problems are glaring, but they do not detract the overall feel of the game. The length of the game is awesome clocking around ten to 13 hours, more if you decide to find everything. Crystal Dynamics has not only given us a refreshing take on Lara Croft and Tomb Raider, but a fantastic Action Adventure game. It's too soon to tell, but I can see this being in my Game of the Year list by the end of the year. A worthy entry to the series.
Good games that are based on or inspired by movies are hard to come by. Due to the fact the game often is scheduled to be released when the movie is released, there is not a lot of time to make sure the game is as good as it can be. E.T, a video game based on the hit movie, was partially responsible for the video game crash of í83. There are a lot of games based on movies that comes out every year, mainly during the summer movie season and a few games out there are actually good. They may not be perfect, but they stand out from the hoard of dull games that are based on movies.
During itís heyday, Rare was one of the best developers around. Much like Valve today, you could have never gone wrong with a game made by Rare. Their claim to fame was the Super Nintendo, Donkey Kong Country trilogy, and the Nintendo 64. They made quite a number of games for the Nintendo 64. The ones that was more well known are; Perfect Dark, Conkerís Bad Fur Day, Banjo-Kazooie, and Banjo-Tooie. In 1996, Nintendo acquired the rights to a movie coming out called Goldeneye. Goldeneye would be a new James Bond film. The first since 1989 with a new actor playing Bond. At the time, first person shooters were primarily for PC as it can handle the speed and precision that was needed. Nintendo took the gamble, and it paid off in the end. When the game was released in 1997, 2 years after the movie, it was considered an instant classic. Without Goldeneye, there would be a good chance that we would not have the games we have now. At the time, with itís slick controls and itís four-player split screen multiplayer, it showed that a great FPS on a console was possible. Even today, Goldeneye is still considered one of the best games of all time. The last time I played Goldeneye was a few years ago. Because of itís awkward controls now, I canít get into anymore, but a friend of mine was playing it and to him, it was just as he played it when it came out. Goldeneye was later re-released for the Wii, Xbox 360, and PS3. Instead of having Pierce Brosnan it, it had the most recent Bond, Daniel Greg.
X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE UNCAGED EDITION
In 2009, the anticipated X-Men origins: Wolverine movie had finally came out to theaters. The movie was a massive disappointment. Although the movie failed to entertain, the game did the exact opposite. There were two versions of the game Ė a T-rated edition and an M-rated edition. The M-rated edition was called X-Men Origins: Wolverine Uncaged Edition. This version would be completely different from the T version. The most notable difference is the use of blood and gore. X-Men Origins is not a fantastic game by any means, but it was a blast to play. X-Men Origins is the rare case where the game itself is better than the movie. Raven Software did a splendid job on keeping Wolverineís brutal nature. The comics, cartoons, movies, and video games kind of kept Wolverineís killings as bloodless as possible, while X-Men Origins took that away and showed you everything. Itís just a mindless hack and slash that is, somehow, better than the movie itself.
STAR WARS: EPISODE III: THE REVENGE OF THE SITH
This was a massive shock for me. The developers at LucasArts had actually taken the time to make this game as good as possible, and the end result was kind of awesome. They took key plot points from the movie and made a game out of it. As a Star Wars fan myself, I had to play it. The one thing that surprised me is how fun the combat was. Itís not Ninja Gaiden deep, but itís deeper than The Force Unleashed. Every fight was fun to play through, and the boss fights were amazing. We even got a behind-the-scenes video showcasing how Hayden Christensen, who played Anakin Skywalker, helped showed off some of the moves used in the game. It even had a two player versus mode where it would play like a fighting game. It uses the same combo system that the main game has. There is even an alternate ending where Obi-Wan is killed by Skywalker.
SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD
16 bit makes a return to this game based on the movie which is based on a comic of the same name. Taking itís cues from classic beat Ďem ups. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World takes Scott and the rest of Sex Bob-omb through the city of Toronto as they fight for Ramona Flowers, Scottís new girlfriend. You can play as Scott, Stephen, Ramona, or Kim. Nega-Scott is a hidden character and Knives Chou was released later. The game looks like it was made during the nineties, using sprites and music. The music was made by Anamanaguchi, a Chiptune rock band. The game didnít have any online play so if you wanted to play with friends they had to be there with you. Much like old times.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING
Based on the final installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the movie-inspired game followed the movie a bit too closely. While most games take some liberty to expand on the movie, The Return of the King follows it to a tee. In the game, you play as the surviving fellowship. The game picks up at Helmís Deep, and that is where the game begins. Once it starts, it rarely stops. The action is fast and grand, and while itís obvious they did tone down the battles, due to the hardware at the time, it did not stop EA from making the game as big as it can be. From Pelennor Fields to the Black Gates of Mordor, The Return of the King still stands as the best Lord of the Rings games around. You can upgrade each character, and every unlock shows some of the making of the game. After you beat the game, you can play as any character on every level. If you want to trade Frodo for Gandalf, you can. It even unlocks Merry and Pippin for play. This is one of the very few movie based games that did it right.
A few weeks ago, Sony announced that there will be a major conference concerning the future of PlayStation. Throughout this time, it has been suggested that it will reveal the PlayStation 4. Well, that time has come, and it's now all about the future of Sony, and it's biggest brand the PlayStation.
The conference starts off with a video showing off some of their biggest games in PlayStation brand with a remix of Metric's Monster Hospital in the back ground. Then one of the heads of Sony came up and started to talk about the future of PlayStation and what to expect. As expected, the briefly talked about the Vita, but promised that more will be revealed during E3 this June. During the early days of the PlayStation 3's life cycle developers was complaining how difficult it was to make games for the PlayStation 3 with it's brand new Cell Processor. Taking to heart, the designers of the new PlayStation 4, which were developers themselves, asked other developers what they would like to see in the new system. It was apparent that they wanted the system to be easier to develop for. With this in mind, started to develop the PlayStation 4. I'm not technical wizard, but from the sound of it, the future of PlayStation looks bright. With colors coming at you at all sides.
With the sudden rise of Social Media in the past couple of years, it's obvious that Sony, along with Microsoft and Nintendo, would try to embrace it. Nintendo sort of have it, in its own way. Microsoft has it, but it's not fully fleshed out. Sony, on the other hand, seems to get it right, if you like that sort of thing. The whole thing feels like YouTube. You can play the game while streaming and observers will comment on your play style. It's OK, but I can't see myself using it that much. What I will use, however, is the share button. The Share button on the new PlayStation 4 controller will allow you to share your gameplay to your friends, and possibly YouTube. You can even stream games via Ustream. I doubt it, but it would be awesome if they let us have the ability to edit our own videos. There's a lot of promise shown during this portion of the conference, but I need to see it in action to get my own opinion of it. Out of all that was shown, they didn't answer my biggest question of all; will you need a constant internet connection?
COLORS, PUZZLES, AND GUNS OH MY!
It took an hour for Sony to talk about the social aspect and the ease of access for the developers on the PlayStation 4. What really matters are the games. The first game they showed off was Knack. In Knack, you play this robot that can control certain objects in the world. It has the Kameo: Elements of Power feel to it. It's too soon to tell if this will be any good or not, but I'm glad that the first they Sony showed off was a platformer. With the success of The Walking Dead, Journey, and the Unfinished Swan, Sony continues to show support for the Indie gaming scene. Jonathan Blow, the creator of Braid, came up to announce his new game, The Witness. The Witness is a beautiful, colorful game that has elements of Journey and Myst. It's an open world puzzle game, and Jonathan Blow claims that it will have twenty-five hours of gameplay in it. The whole game feels lavish and unique. The Witness could be the first game to use the new touchpad on the new Dual Shock 4 controller, and use it well. Sony also announced that Self publishing will be for PlayStation 4. This could be a big game changer for the Indie game developers.
The second game they announced was Killzone: Shadow Fall. Knowing that Killzone always had great graphics, it should come to no surprise that the tradition is still here. Unlike 2005 Killzone 2 video, this seems to be in real time with someone playing. The game is more colorful than any of the past Killzone games, and to me that is awesome. Other than that, it's your typical First Person Shooter affair. It's Killzone being Killzone, and some would say that's a good thing.
DRIVE PAST THE HACK
The next game they announced was Drive Club. I'm not a racing nor a car person, but what I have seen is highly impressive. Each car in the game is so detailed that it could be possible to put Gran Turismo to shame. The game also has the online ability like Need for Speed: Most Wanted, being that you can race anyone, anywhere in the game and set up challenges. The depth of Gran Turismo, and the fun of Need for Speed. Car simulator fans could have a lot of fun with this new game. If done well, I can see this over taking Gran Turismo.
Private Security seems to be a theme in these next two games. One is Infamous: Second Son. In Second Son, not much is shown other than there are cameras everywhere and the police seems to be like fascists. The grim introduction by the guy at Sucker Punch told a real life story about how he got pepper sprayed a few years ago, it kind of lost its power by the mention of superpowers. It was just a trailer of the game and nothing else, not even proper gameplay. I thought the first two games was good enough, so I'm keeping my eye on this one. The other game takes the private security a bit more seriously and stole the whole show. Watch Dogs tells a story of a man that can hack into everything in Chicago. We saw new gameplay footage and the game looks like a classic in the making. You can hack nearly everything in the game, including a tobacco executive's bank account. What really did it for me was the chance to stop a crime. You can follow someone that has a high rate of chance to be a victim. When the bar reaches 100 percent, it seems you can save them, or let the crime happen. The demo showed what happens if you stop the crime. I hope that you don't even have to fire the gun to complete missions. The whole thing was exciting and refreshing to see. Instead of doing the crime, you can help end it. Watch Dogs will not only be coming to the PlayStation 4 but for the Wii-U also.
THIS IS WHAT COULD HAPPEN.
Capcom and Square Enix showed videos of games they are making. In Capcom, they have a game called Deep Down. The game looks to be a cross between Dark Souls and Monster Hunter. The game they showed off looks promising of showing off what the PlayStation 4 can do. Square Enix, on the other hand, showed off the same trailer they showed off last year, but as great as it is, it wasn't new. We've seen this before. Then the brand director of Final Fantasy came up. When I saw this happening, I thought that they would say that Final Fantasy VII would finally get the remake fans have been wanting since 2005. This was not to be, all he said that later this year, the PlayStation 4 will show off a new Final Fantasy game. To me, this is as obvious as to say it was cold outside to day. Yes, it is cold outside today, and yes, we are getting a PlayStation 4 Final Fantasy game.
The rest of the presentation was just small stuff that showed some of what the developers are doing. Blizzard is releasing Diablo III to the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, Quantic Dream showed off their new game engine, Bungie's Destiny is going to have exclusive content, Media Molecule is making a game for the Move on the PlayStation 4, and Unreal Engine 4 was shown off.
Overall, the whole thing was solid. They obviously didn't want to show off too much, or risk running out of steam for E3, but what was shown was enough to get me excited. Is this what the final games will look like? I doubt it, but what was shown is a bright and colorful, and too me that is more exciting than brown and black. There was a few missing in action that I would have liked to see. The Phantom Pain, The Last Guardian, and Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. The PlayStation 4 is releasing this holiday season. It's unknown what the price, what it will look like, but expect all that come this E3 in June. This is the part where I say "The future is here!" but I'm not. Damn.
When ever a game comes out, did you wish that it turned out differently than what was released? Of course you do, look at Aliens: Colonel Marines. How would you make it if you had the chance to change it? My first game would be Resident Evil 5. Now, Resident Evil 5 isn't a BAD game, but it could have been better. Doing so would make it that Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6 never happened. So here is what I would do if I got the chance to change Resident Evil 5. Please keep in mind that this is NOT a complaining post, this is just me getting something off my chest that has been there for a good long while.
Remember that time when Leon forgot that there could be a G-Virus out there?
It starts with a flashback from Resident Evil 4.
Leon: I was cop myself. Only for a day, though. Luis: I thought I was bad. Leon: I ended up at the incident at Raccoon City on the first day on the Force. Luis: That was the one with the viral outbreak? I might have seen a sample of it at a lab in Madrid.
The screen then turns blue and green while you are shown the inner workings of the G-Virus and T-Virus. This is where the credits would be at. One month after the events of Resident Evil 4, Leon decides to go to a small town near Madrid to see if they actually have an Umbrella made virus. After Leon Kennedy and Barry Burton questions the police chief, the chief releases the virus and the community becomes infected. Knowing that the virus was in Madrid, Albert Wesker decides to get the Las Plaga sample and mix it with the G-Virus. Now the G-Virus and the Las Plaga are infused, and it creates the B-Virus. When Leon and Barry was about to call home, the small town becomes engulfed in flames as the G-Virus and the B-Virus is taking over the city. Instead of having a vehicle waiting for them, they have to wait as the U.S and Spain has to figure out what to do with the infected town. The U.S launches a helicopter for Leon and Barry. The nearest one will take 8 hours to get there.
The whole game is you gathering evidence. There will be puzzles, conspiracies to uncover, and the need to survive. The 8 hours you are given is in real time. Ammo will be scarce, but you are given the option to use blunt objects like crowbars and baseball bats. Typewriters will be back, and depending on the difficulty, you will be given ink ribbons.†
Much like Resident Evil and Resident Evil 2, you can play as either Leon or Barry. Leon's and Barry's sections will be different from one another. Once you play both characters, the full story is unveiled to you. It's not going to be open world, but the town will be vast enough that it will feel open world. There can be full sections of the world that you can completely ignore. After the game, you are given a rank. The more evidence you find the better the rank. The highest rank will also count your herbs used, and saves you have taken. The information you provided will help form the B.S.A.A.
This has the right idea
There will be two types of gameplay to choose from; the classic Resident Evil with its fixed camera angles, or the Resident Evil 4 over the shoulder camera. Shooting and moving at the same time will not be present, but the dodge move will have its own button. Another thing that will be back will the merchant from Resident Evil 4. Because the lack of ammo, most of the upgrades will go to how powerful the weapons becomes.
Once you finish the game, there will be unlockable costumes, characters, a new game mode called Mercenaries, and a new main game mode called Re-Arrange mode. In Re-Arrange mode, all the items in the game will be in new places. Every time you start a new game in this mode, the items will be moved again. The unlockable characters you can play in both main and mercenaries are; Jill Valentine, Chris Redfield, Albert Wesker, Ada Wong, and HUNK. Most of the enemies you like in the series will be in the game, except spiders.
So that is my Resident Evil 5 treatment. After playing Resident Evil 4, I thought I knew that Wesker would mix those viruses with the Las Plaga. This is what I thought was going happen in Resident Evil 5. Take threads that sprung up in Resident Evil 4, and expand upon them. What we got instead was an average game that could have been so much more.
I had a very bizarre dream last night, and it got me thinking about the snowball effect in the media. While I won't go into much detail about the dream itself, it was about me riding on a horse and getting hit by a car. The horse was killed by the impact, but I survived. Seeing this as a bizarre event, the local news ran a story about it. The story runs as normal and then the question. The only answer they could get was video games. Despite the fact that the car was driven by an elderly person, they say it was a young man recreating a "scene" from Grand Theft Auto, it's been shown that even if the person doesn't play games, like the V-Tech shooter, that video games will be blamed. Then came the major news outlets. Anthony Cooper came in and so did Fox News, CNN, and for some reason, Morgan Webb. They all wanted me to talk about video game violence not knowing that I played these games, and not the driver. It was very busy work to get ready. The incident didn't do any serious damage, so I was able to walk and talk. Within hours, the news media started to arrive. Now, all of this was just a dream, but it has happened in the real world, like the V-Tech shooting, the theater shooting, and most recently Sandy Hook. The snowball effect can make fact and fiction become blurry.
Behold the face of Horror
THE BASE HAS NOT BEEN TAKEN
I'm from Tennessee, and our senator had said that video games are more harmful than guns. When I heard this I was ashamed of living here, and he is one of many on the baseless believe that video games cause real world violence. It is part of the snowball effect. When a tragedy occurs, the media will make some excuse thinking that it was the sole purpose of them doing what they did. The most recent is Sandy Hook. The event occurred several months ago, and they are still talking about it. No matter what happens it goes through three stages: The Event, The Shock, The Question, Excuses. No matter how big or what happens, there will always be the snowball effect. Adam Sessler went to Fox News and talked about Violent video games, his main point was that scapegoating will always be part of society. Comic books were attacked, and now The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises was two of the biggest movies of last year. Rock and Roll was blamed, but that was found baseless. Rock, especially metal, still gets blamed, but not as much as the new scapegoat; Video Games. Even opera was scapegoated. Now opera shows sophistication and class while plays like Phantom of the opera and Les Mes are considered timeless classics.
Only terrible games are harmful
The snowball effect doesn't only affect the news media. The gaming industry also is known for it. One of the biggest controversy of last year was the Tomb Raider "Rape" scene. Despite having the scene shown in the E3 trailer, one person started to call the game sexist, and it sparked a controversy. It was damn near impossible to escape from and the Hitman: Absolution Saints trailer didn't help. Then there was the Mass Effect 3 controversy with that ending. It was like the Tomb Raider controversy, but much worse. You could not escape hearing about it there was petitions, and even people were sending cupcakes with different frosting. Some of these controversies was so ridiculous that even someone thought it was a good idea to send The White House a petition of the new reboot of Devil May Cry for being different. Most recently someone tweeted to lead writer Anthony Burch claiming that Tiny Tina from Borderlands 2 was racist because of the way she speaks. It became this discussion about Tiny Tina. Burch had said that if he felt Tiny Tina was racist, he would change it. While some people may find Tiny Tina annoying, they never thought that she was racist. I found Tiny Tina to be the best new character in the series, but not a racist. No matter what happens or any new technology that will arrive, there will always be controversy and The Snowball effect will either make it worse than it already is, or make a simple answer to a complex problem.
With talks about this generation ending in the next year or two, I thought it would be cool to look back at some of the new IPs that came from this generation and list down my favorites. There have been a lot of good IPs, and while this list my seem like I only like these games, there where plenty of good ones that didn't make the list like; Gears of War and Portal. To make the list, it has to be something I played.
Borderlands - 2009
Borderlands 2 - 2012
I really didn't care about the original Borderlands. I thought it was a monotone and uneventful. So why is it on the list? Because Borderlands 2 does what every sequel should do, takes what made the first one great and make it better. The promise that Borderlands had is met here in Borderlands 2. With a treasure trove of weapons, missions, and humor. Borderlands 2 is a fantastic game that will be remembered for a long time.
4. MASS EFFECT
Mass Effect - 2007
Mass Effect 2 - 2010
Mass Effect 3 - 2012
No matter what people may think of the ending to Mass Effect 3, taking it as a whole this action RPG is some of the best action games of this generation. The journey that Commander Shepard makes is one of the best in gaming. From the start of this three part journey to the controversial end, Shepard is now part of the icons of gaming. Tight game play gets tighter as each new game is released, and while the RPG elements gets lost along the way, it didn't forget the wonderful universe Bioware has created. It's an action Sci-Fi epic in its truest form.
3. DARK SOULS
Dark Souls - 2011
Out of all the games in this list, Dark Souls is the most difficult, and it's also the most rewarding. The last I played was thirty hours in and I have not beaten it yet. To me, what makes Dark Souls special is not its difficulty, but how fair it is. Each death is your fault, and the game punishes you for it. At the same time, the game rewards you for exploring each dark area of the game. Dark Souls is Hardcore gaming at its finest.
2. ALAN WAKE
Alan Wake - 2010
I love Alan Wake, from the second I started the game I knew that there was something special about it. With its awesome story and characters, this was a game world I would not mind to visit. One part LOST, one part Twin Peaks, and two parts Stephen King, Alan Wake doesn't star an action hero type, but instead a writer of crime novels. Way beyond his abilities, he searches for his missing wife. The DLC is actually worth playing, and I can't wait to see what happens in Alan Wake 2.
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune - 2007
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - 2009
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception - 2011
Video Games has finally found their Indiana Jones. We've had Lara Croft for a while, but she didn't have any of that wit that makes Indiana Jones such a beloved character. Now with the Uncharted series, Nathan Drake is the video game equivalent of Indiana Jones. Nothing about Drake is original, but he makes it up with style and personality. The action set pieces in all three games are the best of all of gaming. These games are fast, funny, and a blast to play. In Uncharted 2, I clocked in about 120 hours in single player alone. With great stories, game play, and memorable characters makes Uncharted my most favorite new IP series of this generation so far.