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Esteban Sky Cuevas's blog

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Esteban Sky Cuevas avatar 12:58 PM on 01.07.2013  (server time)
My Gaming Landscape [January 7, 2013]

Iíve been playing a lot of games as of late. Christmas was good to me as you can see by my two previous entries and I even managed to get Sleeping Dogs, and RAGE during the last day of the Steam sale and Red Dead Redemption for $20 at Walmart. However, the side effect of all that is I havenít been able to focus on many of them, if at all. However, there are two games I have managed to stay with among the mountain of games I have to play.

I got Grand Theft Auto IV with some Christmas money I got and Iíve sunk a good 10 hours or so into it. Iíve played GTA4 before; Iíve actually owned it previously when I had another Xbox 360 but I could never get into it. Now that Iíve really spent some time playing it, Iím find myself enjoying myself. The car controls and physics that Iíve never liked before are growing on me and Iím getting the hang of how to drive in this game. I still prefer the more loose controls of GTA III, Vice City, and San Andreas but at least I can controls my cars now and enjoy myself while doing so. I really enjoy the shooting in this game. Having lock-on and free targeting mapped to the same trigger is strange but the guns feel good. Killing someone instantly with a bullet to the head is extremely gratifying and for that reason, I try to stick to just my pistol since it usually enough.

However, so far I donít care too much for the story and itís mostly because of the characters. Niko isnít very sympathetic to me and I canít find another way to care about him. All the others so far have been either overly crass or excessively annoying with maybe Dimitri being the exception. The only character I can actually say I like is Roman. He was eye roll inducing in the beginning but I like the reactions heís been giving to the situation, as heís essentially what many of us would be like. I like sincerity in that although heís full of shit with his boasting and lies, he did make his life by himself, whatever little it may be. At least the missions I go on are pretty fun and varied.

Another problem is while Liberty City feels big and alive, there isnít much to do. Thereís some places to go, to eat, drink, buy clothes, and stuff but for the size of the place, there really isnít much. I think itís because the city feels so active that I notice more that I canít walk into most of the buildings. Still, Iím enjoying myself, though not as much as the other GTA games.

The other game Iíve been playing is one I actually didnít buy. Via my SNES emulator, Iíve been playing Secret of Evermore, a little known action RPG on the SNES from SquareEnix, then Squaresoft. Made by the companyís North American team, it follows a boy and his dog as theyíre sucked into another world with various sections based around different periods in time, such as prehistoric, Rome, the future and more. The game plays similarly to Secret of Mana and utilizes an item based Alchemy system as magic.

So far, Iíve been having fun with it although right now Iím in a section of the game that dragging a bit. Iím not crazy about the Alchemy system since I donít like having to constantly buying ingredients that the closest alchemy seller may not carry. The story isnít very engaging either. So far, itís just been ďthis happened, then this happened, now this is happeningĒ. The overall goal is to get home but so far, the in-betweens have been just various random crap. The combat is fun though. Charging up your weapon to unleash a super strong attack is fun as is leveling up your Alchemy and weapons. Also, your dog is a badass. Best dog ever.

Thatís all Iíve been able to focus on. I played Sonic Adventure 2, Red Dead Redemption, Sleeping Dogs, Dead or Alive 4, Marvel Ultimate Alliance, and Phantasy Star II via the Sonicís Ultimate Genesis Collection with none really sticking but thatís okay. Theyíll be there for later. Iím just going to focus on GTA4 and SoE for now. However, Iím playing GTA4 and Secret of Evermore on the PC. I should be playing something on my Xbox 360. Hmm. L.A. Noire is just sitting thereÖ

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