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Me at work

Hey, I'm garethxxgod, not much to say really. I play guitar and stuff. I'm pushing 30 and I still love gaming.


Love you Dad!

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garethxxgod
12:53 PM on 09.09.2011

What up nerds?

A long time ago, when I was a wee one in Northern England, my dad brought home this funny looking video game system. I had no idea what it was, but I'd come to learn not long after that it was an Atari (not sure what generation). I can't really remember what games we had save one, Jungle Hunt. I played the crap out of Jungle Hunt, but unfortunately I stunk at it. I could always master the first boulder level, then the swimming level...but after that the larger boulders and the dancing natives would just be too much for my young mind to comprehend, so off to dad I went. With the controller out of my hand, Dad took to jumping and ducking huge boulders and getting past those natives like it were second nature...oh the natives and their enchanting rhythmic dancing...how they swayed. Either way, dad could master them all. It would be ironic though that my dad of all people would get me into gaming considering he's one of "those" that doesn't see the point in it anymore.

As the years passed by and I jumped from the Atari to the Sega Master System I seemed to need my dad less and less when it came to video games. Sure a little guidance on turning on "Hang-On" here and there, how time my jumps in "Wonderboy" and various other things but by the time the Master System was out, I mostly took to those games myself. You have no idea how much time and sweat I poured into getting to that freakin' spinning wall in Shinobi...no idea! What saddens me though is a good portion of those games I never actually beat (though I did beat Wonderboy) but that was well before it felt more like a goal to get to the end more like the game itself being the experience. It wasn't until the Sega Genesis did I begin to see it that way.

Just a little side step here, I'd like to point out that I never actually owned a Nintendo Entertainment System. Nor did I ever own a Super Nintendo. I think even back then when I was a kid it had alot to do with all the "other kids" having it. I wasn't old enough to think Sega's system was for more mature games (though looking back maybe it was). The next generation between Genesis and the Super Nintendo seemed to highlight this. I remember thinking, screw Nintendo. I'm going with the console that has blood in Mortal Kombat! No seriously, I did think that. Sure Nintendo looked better...but where's the blood?

Don't get me wrong though, Super Nintendo had some good games, but my place of residence was the house Sega built. So while I look back and have a few games that Nintendo have made, like the Super Mario Bros., Legend Of Zelda, Super Mario Kart and Mario 64, I really don't appreciate Nintendo's heavy hitters as much as others do. It was all about Sonic baby, as on Christmas 1991, I opened up a brand new Sega Genesis with Sonic The Hedgehog inside. Man I loved Sonic, even if at the time it was the hardest game ever (is that a testament to me being bad at video games?) I only ever beat the first game once, but I freakin' mastered Sonic The Hedgehog 2 like it wasn't no thing...and it wasn't. Another favourite had to be Comix Zone. That stands as one of the games that had a soundtrack that I totally fell in love with...even if it was just freakin' midi's or whatever the software was. I was also more into sports back then, so you better believe I owned NBA Jam and NBA Hang Time. Infact I remember saving up a couple of weeks pay from my paperboy route just to save up for NBA Hang Time which came to 80 FREAKIN' DOLLARS. Can you believe that? Games were more expensive back then...atleast here they were.

Things kinda changed with the next generation. I think I made a post on here about some of the games that brought me to the PlayStation. You'd think I'd seen the next coming of Christ when I saw the gameplay for "Die Hard Trilogy" and "Twisted Metal". I never did buy Die Hard Trilogy (which I might just do now if I can find a decent copy on eBay) but I certainly got Twisted Metal....a game that literally never left that system, though in alot of ways I think I ended up preferring Twisted Metal 2 for the bigger maps and destructible Eiffel Tower. Besides the Metal Gear Solids, and Resident Evils I fondly remember saying "Woodabugah!" as much as I could whenever Crash Bandicoot would get those magic kabooki masks.

Another change for me personally was the owning of two systems in one generation...seemingly not a big deal, but for a kid with not alot of deniro it was huge to own a N64. I loved me some Mario 64, WCW/nWo Revenge and Star Wars: Shadows Of The Empire. Heck I bought the system based on the strength of those games alone...sure you maybe thinking....Revenge...and effing Shadows Of The Empire? But I loved those games. It started a trend with a friend of mine which I may post a blog about later.

I don't want to talk about what games I loved on newer games because most are ripe for discussion and I could probably devote blogs to some newer stuff by themselves. Heck this wasn't even meant to be a serious blog, just talking about games I've enjoyed and what systems I've played through most of the console iterations. Mostly an introduction to some of my gaming experiences. I honestly wish I could remember more but whatever. Hey I'm Gareth, I'm a 28 year old Canadian gamer who happens to post introductions at the end of his blog. Weird no?







I WIN.
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Hey gang, the time has come! Let's see how you guys voted on what video game(s) I should play next! Thanks again for contributing this and for giving your opinions. I may just do this again sometime soon since I've enjoyed hearing about what you guys lean towards in DEM VIDJA GAEMS and why so here they are! Let's find out what game I start playing today!



BEYOND GOOD & EVIL HD IS THE WINNER! I didn't play much of this at the time when it first came out even though I was kind of hyped to see what the fuss was all about but atleast now from what you're telling me it's a game I really should get to already...and I will! Thanks for lending your votes everybody, they're much appreciated!

Now here's the Main Event, the one you've been waiting for...let's find out what Single Player game I should play next...IN YOUR WORDS!









So that's what you guys thought....but who won? Let's tally those votes shall we?

Coming in at 2 Votes we have Bully: Scolarship Edition!

Entering at Number 3 Votes we have Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

All Your 4 Votes Belong To Half Life 2: Episode 2

In Space, No One can give more than 6 Votes for Dead Space 2

AND THE WINNER IS..................


.................


...............


............


.........


......


...

Coming To The Ring from Ninja Theory, Weighing in at 8 Votes, Enslaved: Odyssey To The West



Well it looks like Enslaved it is. I've heard nothing but good things about Enslaved and it's well known story but apparently this game has some great characters and it'll be my first experience with a Ninja Theory game even though I've wanted to play Heavenly Sword forever. I'm literally going to start playing this the minute I finish this up.

So for choosing Enslaved I Thank You, Community Of Destructoid! I figure I should write a blog about my experiences with Enslaved so I will. If you haven't already added me on Xbox Live, my gamertag is literally the same name that I use here. garethxxgod. For the lazy. If you see me playing Enslaved and you want to talk about it or even talk games in general I'm always willing to do so! Drop me a line! SuperMonk4Ever, ChillyBilly, LawOfThermalDynamics and others are always talking video games and everyone's more than welcome to join in if you see us on!

Again everyone! I thank you for taking the time to vote! Take care!
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Back through the Omega 4 Relay, Shepard and Crew breathe one big sigh of relief as their final mission comes to a close. The credits roll as Mass Effect 2's epic final theme plays out. I got there without just jumping to the credits (because I love that song) and now sadly my journey with Mass Effect 2 is over. Now I'm left with what to play next and that's where you come in. Yes I did steal this from Dixon. See how that turned out!

While there are titles looming on the horizon I figure I'd take this opportunity to knock another game off my backlog. I'm happy that as of late atleast for full retail releases I've been finishing up quite a few titles. Sure I get distracted here and there by Online Multiplayer but being jobless has only one advantage and that's being able to play video games whenever I feel like it. I never said that was a good thing by the way. So while I have all the time in the world (well not for long, hopefully getting a call any day now) I figure why not let YOU the Destructoid Community vote on what game I play next!

Here's how it's gonna work. I'll let you vote in 2 categories. The first will be the next Single Player game I play. This will be the game I actually will put the time forth to complete and won't let lapse. That being said I may omit a few titles due to lack of interest but I'll definitely play whatever it is the Destructoid Community votes on! The second game you can vote on will be Co-Op or XBLA games I can play as an alternative. This choice won't necessarily result in me playing it all the time and may be overshadowed by other games (and I will omit a few titles I don't care to play) but either way a vote would be appreciated. Anyways enough blabbering let's get to the voting! Thanks again for participating guys!



Single Player

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
Enslaved: Odyssey To The West
Medal Of Honor
Saints Row
Saints Row 2
Half-Life 2: Episode 2
Bully: Scholarship Edition
Chronicles Of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay*
Chronicles Of Riddick: Assault On Dark Athena*
F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (thanks ChillyBilly!)
Alice: Madness Returns
Fable III
Call Of Duty: World At War
Dead Space 2
Call Of Duty 2

* - Previously Played Through On PS3

Co-Op or XBLA

Note: Feel Free If you have these games to join me (if it has it) on some Co-Op! Games are more fun with a friend! Xbox 360 Gamertag: garethxxgod

Saints Row 2
Fable III
Call Of Duty: World At War
Toy Soldiers: Cold War
Outland
Earthworm Jim HD
Lara Croft and the Guardian Of Light
DOOM II
Hard Corps: Uprising
Sam & Max Save The World
Beyond Good & Evil HD
Costume Quest
Wolfenstein 3D
Comic Jumper
P.B. Winterbottom
Castle Crashers
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It seems like straight up brawlers are a dying breed in the gaming world. It's understandable as technology evolves and the FPS continues to be gaming's most popular genre, the side scrolling beat 'em up of yore seem dated. Hack and Slash titles like God Of War and Retro Fighters like Castle Crashers are the best examples of the beat 'em up today outside of the ever releasing back catalogue of arcade and console classics. Considering the idea of this 'Bloggers Wanted' was to talk about a downloadable titles for consoles, I wanted to choose a game not a whole lot of people would be talking about as stuff like Super Meat Boy, Limbo, Fat Princess, Flower would go quickly and the idea that a game that spoke more to my tastes and possibly not as ventured was appealing to me. Castle Crashers seemed the obvious choice....until I hit the bottom of my Arcade titles and there it was Zeno Clash. Gaming's answer to the Beat 'Em Up done with a modern sensibility, as a brawler alone it would be an okay title. Being that Zeno Clash takes care to create it's own lore and let's the player explore this fascinating world amongst it's story makes Zeno Clash a stand out title on the XBLA.



Obviously Zeno Clash isn't the first game to feature a First Person view in a brawler. One of my other favourite games this generation The Chronicles Of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay featured a combination of brawling and gunplay from the first person perspective and Zeno Clash is no different. However where that could have been the end of it, Zeno Clash offers so much more. Developed by ACE Team using Valve's Source Engine and released under Atlus on the Xbox Live Arcade the player traverses the cavernous plains, villages, mist filled pathways, long forgotten temples at the edge of the world set below multicolored milky skies making the world of Zeno Clash one of the most unique I've ever encountered. The world of Zenozoik is not only alive with color, it's alive with character as well. The best way to describe it's world is that it just is.



Before that though let me explain about what Zeno Clash's story about. In the game you play as Ghat a stoic hunter, strong fighter and member of 'Family' of children from many different races under the watchful eye of their "Father-Mother" a lanky hermaphroditic bird like creature that gave them life. Ghat has learned a terrible secret about Father-Mother and in the ensuing conflict kills he/she and flees Halstedom, the home of the Family. Accompanied by Deadra, who looks like she's straight out of a cover of Heavy Metal, Ghat recalls to her the events leading up to him killing Father-Mother and escaping Halstedom. During this first tale Ghat relays his time with the Corwids Of The Free which not only sets the pace for the story telling but happens to be my favourite part of the game. The Corwids are the insane inhabitants of the forests near Halstedom, known for their single minded nature no matter the detriment to their well being. Erminia a female Corwid, pissed all over herself and starved to death because that was what she had set out to do. Oxameter, a large creature wearing a moo moo, huge sandle pads on his feet and a metal helmet with a guiding handlebar protruding from the helmet, must continue to walk in a straight line no matter what gets in his way. Helim has come to the understanding that as Ghat puts it "He must pluck the eyes out of all whom he encounters so he can be invisible, but I can still see him". It's the attention to detail in creating a living breathing world outside of Ghat's journey that makes Zeno Clash stand out.



As Ghat and Deadra's journey to the end of the world continues they come across a valley with giant Muscalosaurus, a creature not unlike a Brachosaurus where the two come to hunt for food and take rest. Later confronted by a Hunter sent by 'The Family' to kill Ghat he challenges him to a sniper battle, with primitive weaponry standing in for the modern equivalent. Zeno Clash is peppered with fights that involve weapons from crossbows to hammers for the bigger enemies. In between all this Ghat has recalled his journey before his confrontation that killed Father-Mother. As they continue on they reach the end of the world, a dimly lit path covered in deep fog that ends with the pair discovering Golem a mysterious seemingly all knowing being. Strapped to a chair in the temple they discover he will do more than solve the conflict between the Family and Ghat by the time their journey is done. Braving the lake's filled with crazy Muscalosaurus Worshippers which look like a cross between a brown ghillle suited sniper and a Shy Guy from Super Mario Bros. 2 to fighting on the streets against the Northern Gate Gang trying to get back to Halstedom, Ghat chances one more confrontation with his former Family to reach his final goal...to reveal more would be a crime unto itself.


One way ticket to midnight, alright, Heavy Metal

At the end though, Zeno Clash is a brawler and as such if you don't like fighting games you may not enjoy the fundamentals of it's gameplay. Metamoq a Corwid of the Free teaches you the basics of combat early on, you can block with the X button, which when using the stick left or right dodges in those directions. Used directly after an attempted blow the game slows down letting the player know that using the Right Trigger directly afterwards will land a devastating blow. Ghat also has a powerful charged punch that compliments his standard jabs which when getting fighters to an unconscious state and be used like wrestling's version of an Axe Handle to smack them to the ground. Ghat can run and elbow his intended victims, grab unconscious enemies for throws, there's enough there to give the player a chance with weaponry, especially with melee and ranged weapons. It's the fighting in Zeno Clash that's the most captivating part of this First Person Brawler. When a game like Call Of Duty presents exciting set pieces and action the movement of the character is mostly determined by what is happening around the player as with all FPS the basic action of the player is usually stationary. However considering the nature of this title and it's presentation, Zeno Clash lends itself to really putting the player into the fight. You feel every blow, the camera moves with every swing and jab of your fists, lowering the angle of the camera as Ghat grabs a dazed opponent, slams their face into his knee and then powerfully thrusts his knee upward sending the fighter flying the camera catching every hectic moment of combat.



While I love what other games do for their genre, looking back on the games I've picked up as either the latest fad that came and went or something that atleast reflected a game more suited to the downloadable market, Zeno Clash always stuck with me as a game of quality, something that could be appreciated outside of the basic brawler fare but was still fun enough from a gameplay perspective to actually feel like a steal for the amount of quality the title exudes. It's definitely not the longest game out there, warranting it's downloadable status, the fact that out of all the titles I own on the XBLA it actually feels like a game that should have gotten a full retail release. If the sound of an imaginative brawler appeals to you I highly recommend checking out the trial on Xbox Live Arcade.

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From the company I keep here on Destructoid and beyond, gaming feels somewhat like a disposable hobby. Of course I know I'm not exactly exempt from this mentality but it seems pretty prevalent between the gaming community to, and allow me to quote a Foo Fighters song here, be "done, done, I'm onto the next one, done, I'm done and I'm onto the next". It's totally understandable, gaming is at a point where there are a ton of exciting and fun new titles coming to home console and PC. It really is ridiculous how good we have it as members of the gaming community. However have you ever wanted to revisit your favourite games of yesterday? Ever been upset to see that on the FNF it's always the latest iteration and not the "best" iteration of your favourite gaming series? That's where Retro Fight Nights comes in. Inspired by this front page post where a few people commented they had the game but never tried it's online, Retro Fight Nights are dedicated to the long forgotten, the ill concieved, or the classics we'd love to revisit with a few friends.



The Idea
For now the basic idea goes like this. I realize not everyone has the time to play video games alot, so the idea would be to try and plan something ahead of time for the month. Unless this becomes a wildly successful spin off event of the FNF, the Retro Fight Night or RFN would probably only happen once a month so planning a night both here and on the Forums would happen in advance to cater to as many people who are interested and can be available for the night. The RFN doesn't even have to stick to a static night but maybe it'll be best for those interested if it was, either way this will be where user feedback comes into play. So basically we choose a night and then choose times and games.



The Games, Rules & All
The only caveat I have for this is that the games themselves cannot being from THIS YEAR or any current year that may follow. So simply yes you can play a game from 2010 should you feel so inclined if it's a RFN from this year. Then next year 2011 opens up and so on depending on if this is something that will continue. Also again, since the idea is to discover the classics or hidden gems, you can't really choose games that are already heavily on the FNF rotation. For example Call Of Duty: Black Ops is a no, but Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is a go. Halo: Reach I say nay but Halo 3 might be okay. Okay give me one more. Team Fortress 2 on PC really? How about Team Fortress 2 on consoles seals the dealie...oh...I'm never doing that again. (ironically 2 people have already suggested Team Fortress 2 on consoles for RFN). Also one more thing, if it's a re-release of a game that came out years ago coming out this year that's okay for the RFN too! We want to offer as much options as possible so long as it's not current.



Open To All Platforms & Games
Retro Fight Night is open to ALL platforms. PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii. I also encourage European section of Dtoid to join in....hell if Europe wants to make their own EURFN I'd be flattered at them taking my totally unoriginal idea and running with it. So again, platform doesn't matter since it's a single night it would be lumped into one post. I think my one major concern is is that if you can't have a shared experience with the game it might be difficult. I haven't decided whether Skype/Xbox Live Parties on Retro single player games is something to list as a hosting thing on here but again, feedback is appreciated on that end. Besides Dtoid already has stuff like Nostaljourney for a discussion based around nostalgic games, we're here to play them! Oh any game genre applies. Want to play some 2 player Contra? How about Street Fighter II? an old Warcraft 3? We don't discriminate, so long as you can share that experience with other Dtoiders.



The Night In Question...Your Feedback Welcome!
Now it's really up to you. What would be a good night for a round of Nostalgia based fun? Originally my thought was the weekend but the FNF already covers what's mostly accepted as a "yay! It's finally the weekend! I can play games!" night but alot of people usually end up wanting to do other things the rest of the weekend. So would a middle of the week night work better for everyone one? Would one consistent night during the month work better or a night that changes based on availability of the majority interested? Or was a weekend a better idea? Do you have a suggest for a night? What games do you want to play? Is this a bad idea? Do we have enough nights for playing video games? This will only be successful should we get a lot of people interested so do throw in some ideas and let's see what we can come up with.

[Note: All future RFN will be discussed and organized in the forums...mostly. Perhaps I'll try and generate interest here but I figure it'd be better if it reflected the efficiency of the FNF. Keep in mind also this is something independant of the FNF. So while they have their system set up, most of this will be done by me. Good thing it's only once a month eh?]

Thanks for your attention guys! Let me know what you think so we can either scrap the whole thing or begin setting up a night!

[Note 2: My banner skills suck. If someone wants to make something better, I won't hold you back]

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The F.E.A.R. series has always been a polarizing one for me. My initial experience buying the
games a year ago had me quickly dismissing the titles based upon the fact that if there was
a horror element it was severly lacking. The fact that the first game's world was
populated with soldiers and mechs was the furthest thing from horror in my mind. The only
apparent scares being a little girl that would randomly appear during the game. To this day
I still think FEAR isn't quite competant as a horror title based on the gameplay presented
but it's the atmosphere that drives it. So why then was my first full game experience with a
FEAR title the latest game?

As the game released out of curiousity like I always do, I asked my good friends ChillyBilly
and SuperMonk4Ever their impressions of the game. They of course really enjoyed the game but
I remember Monk relaying to me how it put alot of focus on co-op and that it's campaign
could be played with a buddy both online or splitscreen. I'm not gonna lie, I'm a sucker for
any game that allows me to do this because I love the shared experience outside of standard
Multiplayer.



FEAR 3 or F.3.A.R. (don't worry I'm never doing that again) is the 3rd game in the F.E.A.R.
series. It is the story of the two brothers The Point Man and Paxton Fettel both the
Protagonist and Antagonist of the first FEAR game. The game is set off by the escape attempt
of The Point Man with the help of his ghostly brother who appears quite corporeal to the
Point Man during cutscenes and enemies during gameplay. Through they're journey they set out
to reach their mother Alma and rediscover their childhood origins. At the end of the day it
was FEAR 3's dynamic of two brothers, one a notable baddy now set to help is brother that
prompted me to check out the older FEAR titles and to see the evolution of how we got to
where we are now in FEAR 3. It's also the game's greatest strength.



FEAR 3 is a really fun game and it's made so by the co-operative gameplay of the brothers.
Admittedly this is mostly due to the more "helpful" nature of Fettel, arguably the reason
you should check out this title. It's true The Point Man really doesn't have the strongest
arsenal at his disposal left mostly with Slo Mo reflexes, a slide and jump kicks and obvious
advantage of guns. On the other hand Fettel can suspend enemies, possess their bodies with
all the benefits that come along with that, shoot psychic blasts. His suspension power can
also be used as a shield on the Point Man much like The Medic uses the medical beam on a
Heavy in TF2. To be fair while he is definitely the more compelling, there are alot of
situations in the game where he's the weaker of the two. When Fettel possesses a body he
must maintain it by collecting blood orbs and sections sometimes become impossible in his
ghostly form. To that end though the game shows it'sfull strength when played in a co-op
environment, as one player as Fettel suspends a soldier for The Point Man to shoot. The
game also offers up in game challenges for both brothers which end up determining which
of the two brothers is "Alma's Favourite Son" and affecting the games outcome.



I think one big critism of FEAR 3 by it's detractors is that it doesn't "feel" like a FEAR
game and now having played significantly through the first FEAR anyways I can somewhat see
why there might be concern. The original FEAR seems to predicate itself on "atmosphere" with
lights flickering on and off while always seeing something out of the corner of your eye.
Yes, FEAR 3 doesn't have the same care toward being spooky in this regard, it does have the
attempted jump scares and Alma being scattered amongst the environment but you're no longer
skulking through dark corridors. Instead it's become more traditional horror. For the FEAR
series I may be one of the few that actually feels it works better. FEAR 3 environments
which admittedly are more about the look are appealing to an aesthetic, that the environment
itself is fucked up rather than shadows that are lurking. Heck it still has that to a smaller
extent but it's still creepy for a different reason. Of course though and it's totally true
you are going to lose some of that now that you're playing with a friend but I think when
most of your time is spent shooting soldiers it's not a bad thing to try and ramp up the
horror rather than totally rely solely on setting that atmosphere solely for scares when
again you have to look at what your doing gameplay wise. I think honestly FEAR 3 is alot
truer to it's attempting to be than the first in that regard but hey that's me.

I'd honestly say that I'd agree with Jim's assessment of FEAR 3. I might have given it a
point more because while I've had trouble getting into Multiplayer I have been able to get
into it. I've also been stuck on the forever loading "Joining Match" loading screen. I'll
just throw out a warning now. Never use the "Quick Match" function in FEAR 3, lest you
desire having to reboot your system. The actual Multiplayer itself has both some really
interesting and really standard modes in it. Contractions which can be fun no doubt, is
essentially the games "Horde Mode". It's good and fun with friends but definitely not the
stand out reason to try Multiplayer. Soul Survivor is another "alright concept". It's a
basic survival mode where when played with others one player is designated a wraith that can
possess bodies while everyone else is human. The wraith must possess these players to bring
them to their side with which they then get to hunt down the other players.



Soul King however is pretty interesting. You and 3 other players wraiths and must possess
bodies and then kill as many NPC's as they can to become Soul King (the most souls possessed)
with other players able to interact with one another and take each other out to collect all
their souls (like Skulls in Halo). However has the most souls at the end of the round wins.
F**king Run is probably my favourite mode. Your tasked with always moving forward as a giant
tornado aka Wall Of Death stalks you on your path as you and 3 other friends kill enemies
infront of you to move forward and always keep one step ahead of your impending doom. It's
a shame that there is no standard Deathmatch mode but I can't knock if for trying something
else. It only has up to 4 players on each mode with you also being able to play each mode
Solo or 2 player Splitscreen which honestly is a nice change considering alot of Multiplayer
modes are accessible only online.

In the end FEAR 3 is a fine game, some would say criminally short (4 to 5 hours) but for me
anyways offers up reasons to replay it based on characters like Fettel and the said shared
experience of it's campaign. Some might want to wait on it down the road but I do think it's
a game you should definitely check out. It's a fun horror game that puts emphasis on playing
with friends, what's so wrong with that?

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