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Favorite Games Ever: Zelda 2 The Adventure of Link, Resident Evil 4, GTA: Vice City, Castlevania Symphony of the Night, Red Dead Redemption. These are the games that first came to me off the top of my head, so I guess that counts for something.

Playing Now: Mass Effect 3
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lammy742
1:04 PM on 04.05.2012

*Massive spoilers ahead*

Well, I finally finished Mass Effect 3. I will not bore everyone with a review (5/5), only to say that the connection with my squad mates I felt during this fantastic sci-fi journey (even Vega!) was the most emotional I have gotten while playing a game. All three games in the trilogy have expertly written character interaction, especially in this last game during the London sequence right before the final assault. Saying goodbye to everyone before what could possibly be the ending battle for all organic life in the galaxy really tugs on the heartstrings. I still think ME2 might be my favorite game in the series. Some of the loyalty missions are uneven, but it all led up to the fantastic final mission and the tense moments of deciding who to send to do what tasks teetering on the edge of life and death for every character with the goal of stopping the Collectors in the balance. The choices during that final act matter. However, ME3 presents an ending choice that I did not hate, but I felt was presented poorly.

Once Shepard meets the ghost robot kid (?), you are given three choices of how to deal with the Reapers. Right off the bat, I wish there had been the ability to question the kid to find out a bit more of where the heck he came from and who he was. Was there a reason he resembled the child Shepard kept seeing throughout the game, at the very beginning, being blown up and later seen in various dream sequences? The choice I made was to blow up all the reapers (the choice on the far right) and all synthetics in the process. Where does the distinction of what a synthetic is end? Would someone with a biotic implant die? What about the quarianís viral suits, would they stop functioning? How about EDI, is she dead now as well? That is never explained. Another question I had was when Joker successfully crash lands the ship on the mystery planet, how the heck did Garrus and Liara get onto the Normandy? I brought them along on the final mission. Donít get me wrong, Iím happy they lived (in fact I hope the next game is about Garrus, heís my favorite video game character ever) but I just couldnít figure out how they got back to the Normandy without a scratch on them. Did anyone else on the ship survive? The impression I got was the explosion destroyed all the reapers, spaceships, and mass relays leaving everyone stranded on whatever planet they were on at the time. All civilizations are reset back to 0. Joker was just able to outrun the blast.

Anyway, despite these questions I did not hate the ending. It was poorly executed and confusingly written but not terrible. The promise of a new Earth with all the different species stranded there after the ending is very interesting. A few generations later, what would a typical Earthling look like? Plus the post credit sequence of the old man telling the story of ďthe ShepardĒ to the young lad was a nice touch. I plan on playing through again to see the other endings so there will probably be more questions I have for those but at that point I might not be prompted to write a long ramble about what I thought. As for now, basking in the afterglow of finishing ME3, and the trilogy as a whole, I am happy to have experienced three of the best games of all time with characters I genuinely cared about and a story containing unprecedented player choice. Thank you for the epic journey, Bioware.
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First off I'd like to point out that my favorite game genre is action rpg. A great example of this type of game is one the underrated Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link. Sure, this game has reasons most people don't like it. Itís one of the hardest games on the nes and such a stark contrast from its highly popular predecessor. Also, if it'd been released without any connection to Zelda it might've been considered a masterpiece. Anyway, any sort of action rpg that pops up on xbla I'm all over like stink on a hippie. A recently released gem is call EvilQuest, a throwback to the snes 16-bit days. How good is this game? Letís take a look.



What I liked:

Flipping the script: As the name implies, in this game you play as the villain, Galvis, who at the start is defeated in a great battle and taken captive by the good King of the land. The story (after escaping the castle prison) involves Galvis trying to take over the world by finding the location of an ancient weapon of immense power. Games have done this before where you play the bad guy (Overlord, Dungeon Keeper) but I feel it's an untapped story element that hasn't been done enough in games. Itís nice to see the folks at Chaosoft Games (EvilQuest's creators) at least tried to do something different story wise. You enter towns, push people around and have random acts of rage murdering townsfolk. Funny how you still have to use gold to buy your items and weapons when you could clearly just kill everyone and take what you need. I suppose that would bring too much heat from the King's armies and make your overall quest harder than it needed to be. You'd end up not only fighting the whole royal army but also all the monsters of the land.

Like Riding a Bike: Like action rpgs from the 16-bit era? Then you will like EvilQuest. Fight monsters, level up and distribute skill points, explore the land, learn spells, gather weapons and armor, and visit towns for info. Do these things interest you in any way? If the answer is yes then EvilQuest is right up your alley.

Normally I would put here the things that bugged me about EvilQuest, but honestly they werenít much more than nitpicks. In fact the only bad things I can remember about the game is I wished there was a way you could get a full zoomed out map view of the area you are in or in some places the art style could be a bit better. Other than that I was very happy with my time spent playing this game. It was like getting reacquainted with an old friend you haven't seen in years. Plus, and this is a doozy, THIS GAME IS ONLY 1 DOLLAR. Yes people, for only 80ms points you can get your hands on EvilQuest, a very enjoyable action rpg that old school fans should love.

Score: 4/5

Link to Chaosoft Game's EvilQuest page: http://www.chaosoftgames.com/?page_id=7
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Zeboyd Games

An Old School RPG Crafted with Love

Zeboyd games has already made a name for themselves off the success from their first game, the fantastic Breath of Death VII. Their second game continues the trend of making old school rpgs that take gamers back to the days of the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. Itís called Cthulhu Saves World. Is it worth your money?

What I liked

Funny Stuff: This game has a fantastic sense of humor, not only regarding the source material but also in regards to the rpg genre as a whole. Can't get into a certain area? Lazy developers are the cause! What kind of an ending did you expect for this game? Well, I can say that the "dark" ending was one of the most clever moments I've seen in a game for a long time. There's even some pesky heroes looking for some crystals that always keep getting in your way. Overall, a very funny game.

The Grind : As with their last game, Zeboyd has taken some of the boring aspects from classic rpgs and streamlined them. At certain points it might be necessary to do some level grinding to strengthen your party. Well, this is no longer a chore because random monster encounters tend to last less than a minute. This aspect is also made less annoying because every area has a battle counter. After you win a certain number battles in each area, there are no more random encounters and you can explore without worrying about interruption. If you'd still like to fight monsters for experience and gold in the area thereís an option to do so in the status menu.

Rockin' Tunes: I just wanted to quickly touch on the work of Gordon McNeil. His music for this game perfectly captures the feel of a 16 bit rpg. Some of my favorite tracks include the title theme, the battle theme, and the volcano theme.

What I didn't like

Map: The only thing I can think of is the lack of a map for the dungeon areas, but after you've killed all the enemies in a given area, wondering around for treasure chests isn't so annoying. I didn't think it was that big of an issue, but some gamers may be turned off by it.

Are you a fan of H.P. Lovecraft? It might help to have at least a basic knowledge of his Cthulhu mythos, but I'd say overall it matters not. I don't know all that much about his writing and I had a great time. If this game is for you comes down to the simple fact of being a lover of old school 16-bit rpgs like the original Phantasy Star games or Final Fantasy 3. Maybe not even those games specifically, just classic rpgs in general. I couldn't wait to get to a new town and explore the area and talk to all the villagers. Playing this game brought back a lot of memories and a sense of wonder that many games today are sorely lacking. The shortcomings are the same ones you might've had with past games in the genre and can be looked past because of the strong sense of nostalgia and humor that Zeboyd games has been able to inject into this gem. I really enjoyed Cthulhu Saves the World. This game shouldn't be scored against games of today. If they wanted to make a boring cookie cutter rpg with impressive 3D graphics and no substance they would've. However, Zeboyd games wanted to craft a love letter to the classic rpgs of old and they succeeded. Also, this game is only 240 ms points! You even unlock extra modes after you finish the main game! Itís a steal, and worth all these exclamation points! Go play it now!

Score: 5/5 - If you're a classic rpg fan, if not this game might not be for you. Try the demo first
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Capcom

Zombies, Guns, and Frankie

First, some backstory. I love the Dead Rising games. Hell, the first game was the reason I bought my damn Xbox 360. It had a premise that was new and interesting for a video game. You play as Frank West, a reporter thatís covered wars and you're in a jam. There are zombies everywhere and you become trapped in a shopping mall. All you've got is your camera and anything you can get your hands on to use as a weapon. You've got 72 hours to find out what the hell is going on and get out. It's the fun of a sandbox game with some very light rpg elements and zombies thrown in. Sure it had flaws, like the horrible npc AI and the unreadable in game text, but it was just so much fun to bash in a zombie skull with a flat screen TV. I really enjoyed that game. Before Capcom released a sequel, they released Dead Rising 2 Case Zero. This dlc took place before Dead Rising 2 and introduced the new main characters, Chuck Green and his daughter Katey. It also showed some new game play elements like combo weapons and having to obtaining the anti-zombie drug Zombrex for Katey so she doesnít become a monster. This not quite a demo tidbit was a great idea and broke the record for XBLA downloads in its first week. Then the sequel was released and it was pretty good in its own right. It kept the fun and challenge of the original Dead Rising while presenting new elements to keep things fresh, like drop in, drop out co-op play. So, finally after all that back-story we come to the game I'm reviewing, yet another bite size dlc that takes place just after DR2. This game is Dead Rising 2 Case West. Is it any good?

What I liked

Frank's Back: Frank West, the popular hero from the first Dead Rising returns in this dlc to help Chuck find evidence to clear his name at a Phenotrans lab (they make the drug Zombrex.) He looks a bit like Dan Aykroyd now but he's just as crazy as ever. One of my favorite parts of this game is the banter between Chuck and Frank during game play. The player plays as Chuck but Frank always tags along and fights zombies at your side. You can give him weapons but you never have to worry about Frank's health when the computer is controlling him. Also he doesnít need to be right next to you when you go to a different area of the map. When another player jumps in online they play as Frank. Then the co-op is similar to DR2, except you're Frank and not another Chuck.

More of the Same: The basic game play element that made the previous games amazing still works. There are zombies everywhere and anything is a weapon. There's some new combo weapons and some new things to bash in undead brains with. My personal favorite new weapon is the bone saw. Hold the x button next to a zombie and see what happens.

Survivors : In the previous games, while wandering around the player could interact with other survivors that needed help. They'd come with you after talking to them or you'd need to fulfill a task for them. Then you could deposit them at the safe house for a high amount of PP (Dead Rising's experience points used to level up.) This is back in Case West but much more streamlined. After finding the survivor you just talk to them. Either after that or after completing a task for them they just go on their merry way to safety without your help. This is good and bad. At times in the first Dead Rising the people following you would run straight into a pack of walkers and get eaten. The AI sucked. DR2 improved this dramatically and it wasn't so bad to have five or six npc's following you. I kind of enjoyed leading the survivors around, it added extra tension to the game even though it could be frustrating. It would be cool if this system in case Zero was combined with the other games, like you only had to lead the survivors to certain spots on the map. Maybe something similar to an all connecting air duct system that led to the safe house.

What I didn't Like

Cheap Shots: Case Zero takes place at a secret Phenotrans lab crawling with armed guards. They all have machine guns which they know how to use. A lot. There's a central area of the map that has a second floor catwalk type thing and the guards can shoot through it. So, whenever this area needs to be crossed to get where you're going no matter where you are you're getting shot at. So, the game becomes not about killing zombies but about dodging bullets. You have to constantly roll to avoid the bullets but if you get caught once your life can end up draining quickly. I thought this was a really major annoyance in the game. This kind of thing was around in the other games (I'm looking at you, escaped cons in the jeep from the original Dead Rising,) but to a much lesser degree. Maybe don't put so many machine gunners around but add more zombies?

Nitpicking: I had some other minor annoyances too, like the fact Capcom brought back the much loved photography from the original Dead Rising, but it feels truncated and tacked on you don't even earn PP for taking pictures of zombies. The story is boring and nothing exciting or important happens until the last cut scene. Also, I saw the identity of Frank's secret informant coming from a mile away, so there was no surprise during that reveal. It seems like this dlc wasn't as thought out as Case Zero, and Capcom just wanted to have a quick cash in by bringing Frank back. They should've just done some kind of dlc for DR2's main game and added in Frank like that. My advice to people on the fence is to buy the excellent Case Zero, and if you enjoy that then get the main game. This dlc just doesn't feel as good as the other options that are available. Dead Rising 2 Case West feels like a story that didn't need to be told.

Score: 3/5
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lammy742
10:50 AM on 01.05.2011

Does the ending really matter?


playdead

First off I'd just like to say thanks for all the comments last post. Secondly, sorry that pic of me turned out to be so big and ugly, I do look like that but with not so many pixels. On to the review, which may contains some spoilers.

What hasn't already been said about Limbo? The game has been featured on numerous game of the year lists and been at the forefront of the "Are Video Games Art?" debate. The gaming press just loves this game. Not everything I've read is positive though. The two main criticisms about the game I've seen talk about the abrupt ending and the lack of a story. Well, I'm here to tell you those things are present, but they shouldn't be taken as negatives. In fact, based on my interpretation of the game, those two things add to it.

What I liked

The Story: From the xbl arcade description of Limbo: "Uncertain of his Sisterís Fate, a Boy enters LIMBO." As you can see, we're not told all that much in the beginning. The player is compelled to come up with an explination as to the events occuring. In reguards to this story, I think when an unexpected and traumatic event occurs you arenít really given any sort or explanation. The ending is abrupt, but I think this just goes along with what the game is all about. If someone is in a coma after a horrific accident, do they dream? Is that what we're witnessing here, a childs comatose dreams on the edge between life and death?

The Graphics: The graphics can be described as haunting and disorienting. Everythingís black and grey and there's no detail as if the player is in a kind of dream-like neither worldly state. This style goes along with the tone of the game and the minimalist story.

The Controls: Or rather, the simplicity of them is more like it. Run, jump, climb, and grab. Maybe not so good when there's a giant spider coming at you and there's no tiger uppercut to throw, but still you don't have to think about much while on the journey to find your sister.

The Puzzles: No game that I can remember has filled me with such an overwhelming sense of accomplishment after figuring out a puzzle like this game did. The one I was stuck on the longest involved 2 boxes and a magnetic floor. Hard to explain, even harder to solve, and after conquering it I felt like I could cure fucking cancer!

What I didn't like

Not a thing.

So, how did I Interpret the story? Do you care if I write a long boring thesis about it? Would I even want to? It would be pompous of me to write something like that in this forum. Like I think the creators of this awesome game hoped, it should be up to each player to bring their own interpretation to what they thought and felt while playing this amazing game. So, basically it all boils down to if you like platformers with insane puzzles, creepy graphics, and games that promote discussion and make you think, this one's for you.

My Rating: 5/5
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lammy742
3:23 PM on 01.04.2011



Hello Everyone! My name is David and this is my first blog post for Destructoid. I'm originally from Lancaster PA but I'm now living in Arlington VA with my girlfriend. My intrestes include drawing, watching bad movies, and playing games. Normally on here I hope to consistently be able to provide my take on whats happening in the gaming world, such as my thoughts on any gaming news that interests me or game reviews. I'd also like to end things with a funny video, so here's my first one. A classic sketch from Mr. Show. Enjoy!

David L.

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