Archive for February, 2011

Got My First Platinum Today!

Posted in What's Up. on February 28, 2011 by Matt

I finally completed Wolverine 100%. Finding all of the dog tags was such a pain in the ass, but once that was done, it was smooth sailing.

Next up, I need to suck it up and beat Dead Space 2 on hard core. It will be done…this week…hopefully.

Anyway, that’s about it for today. Still playing around with Marvel vs Capcom 3 and will get back to Bulletstorm now.

Shatter (PSN) Review

Posted in Reviews on February 26, 2011 by Matt

I finished playing Shatter and it’s a pretty fun game. Shatter reminds me a lot of Ricochet but it’s a bit different. It is the game I play when I am taking a break from another game, or the game I use to warm-up before I settle in for a long gaming session. It doesn’t take very long to finish off the campaign mode, and there is Boss Rush and Bonus modes as well. Didn’t play Boss Rush mode yet, but I’m assuming it’s where you fight all of the bosses in succession. Beat it in 10 minutes or less for a trophy! 😛

What was was done well? What did I like? Gameplay and level designs, music, graphics, boss battles

The gameplay in this game is close to being like Ricochet. You have a paddle at the bottom (or side, where ever it ends up being during the level you’re playing on), and you move it back and forth to hit the projectile that you bounce around the level, trying to destroy blocks with. There is also a way to control where it goes otherwise, either blowing or sucking in air. This can be tricky sometimes, because the blocks can move around and hit your paddle. If you don’t throw up your shield in time, you can get knocked down. Not good. Different blocks mean different things (as mentioned below) too, so you need to be able to adapt quickly to what is happening on screen. It can be intense, and I like it.

Sometimes you start on the bottom, or the side. Some levels are even a circle, and you have to use different methods to calculate out where your projectile is going to bounce next. Different blocks mean different things sometimes. Some hold others in place, others are loose and move around. Some blow wind, some explode, some cause your projectile to bounce a bit faster, and others take two or three hits to take down. There’s quite a few different options here for levels, and you don’t really know what to expect as you move through the game.

The music in this game seems to work very well. The graphics are like a dance party for your eyes, and the music is…well…the dance party for your ears. It seemed to fit just right with this game.

The graphics are really not THAT impressive, but the game is just well done. No lag, or glitches, and it’s very colourful and bright. I enjoyed looking at the game. It made me think happy thoughts, for the most part.

The boss battles in the game were pretty awesome, and I like the thought that was put into each one. I don’t want to ruin it for anyone that plays through the game, but I’m sure most people would appreciate the variety in these battles. Some I dominated, some crushed me like a grape. It really just showed me where I needed to improve my skills with the game.

What could have been better? Dislikes? Sometimes the bosses seem a little cheap, balance

As I was just talking about, I loved the boss battles…for the most part. Sometimes it felt like sheer luck that I won though. There were two utterly annoying boss fights in the game that had me cursing. It felt a bit unfair at times. Some of the blame lands on me for not being as quick as I could have been, but I still got frustrated.

This also brings up balance. Sometimes I would wonder about the levels, and the order they came in. Sometimes it would be a really easy level, and the next would be a complete bitch. It felt like it was all over the place sometimes. It’s really a minor gripe, but I thought it was supposed to gradually get hard, and not just go up and down in difficulty randomly.

Overall

If you like Ricochet, you’ll like this game. If you liked Pong or BIT.TRIP.Beat, you’ll likely enjoy this game. I cannot remember if there is a demo or not on the PSN Store, but if there is, give it a shot. You might like it.

Purchases for Tuesday, February 22, 2011: Bulletstorm and Killzone 3 Helghast Edition (PS3)

Posted in In The Mail/Purchased Items, Initial Impressions, New Releases on February 24, 2011 by Matt

On Tuesday, I picked up my pre-orders for these games and had a chance to sit down and play them both.

Bulletstorm has turned out to be what I expected: Awesome. I’ve played through about half of the single-player campaign so far, but haven’t tried the other stuff yet. I am playing through on Very Hard difficulty, and it’s challenging enough. The hardest thing is really just finding enough ammo. Luckily, you can buy stuff with skill points which included ammo, upgrades and new weapons (usually weapons you’ve picked up, so you can re-equip them later).

Killzone 3 is pretty good as well. I’m a bit disappointed with the move controls, so I’m sticking to the actually PS3 controller for this game. I’m playing through on Veteran and it’s pretty tough in some spots. I’ve only played it for maybe an hour or so, but I’ll be saving it for when I am done playing through Bulletstorm.

With the Helghast Edition bundle, it comes with the Helghast helmet, the Infiltrator action figure, an art book, and some DLC (making of video, dynamic PS3 theme, and some multiplayer extras). I like this collector’s edition a lot. Hopefully, someday I can get things arranged in my apartment and have some of this stuff displayed around my gaming center.

Dead Space 2 (PS3) Review

Posted in Reviews on February 21, 2011 by Matt

So after playing through Dead Space 2 a total of three times (Once on normal, casual and then zealot), and dabbling a little bit with the multi-player, I think it’s about time I told everyone what I think about the game. On average, it took me 7 hours to complete the game. My first time through took 10 hours (on normal).

What was done well? What did I like? Story, Graphics, Gameplay, Gore, Atmosphere and Sound, Enemies, Weapons and Inventory, Multi-player, New Game + and Hard Core mode

The story in Dead Space 2 takes place a few years after the first game on a space station orbiting one of the moons around Saturn. Isaac is back, and he has some work to do. Anyway, it’s not a huge surprise, but there’s another marker and it’s utter chaos. The Sprawl (the name of the space station you are on) is in total anarchy, and necromorphs are everywhere. You’ll meet a few different characters throughout your journey, as well as struggle with your own demons inside your mind. The game is not only about fighting monsters, but it’s about Isaac’s struggle to keep it together and stay sane. Nicole, Isaac’s dead girlfriend from the first game, torments him. It can actually be kind of creepy sometimes, especially near the beginning of the game. I found it to be a great storyline, and if you played the first game, you’ll likely find the ending to be a tiny bit funny (won’t spoil it, you’ll see).

First thing you’ll notice is that this game looks fantastic. Animations, textures, lighting and fire are all very well done. There is a huge amount of polish work that went on here, and I appreciated the hell out of it.

With Dead Space, you can expect there to be a lot of gore. The enemies in the game can only be killed effectively by dismemberment. Shooting off limbs, heads or shooting out a window so that the monsters get sucked out into space (Aliens style) make for an experience that is unique to Dead Space. Not many games out there allow you to blow the limbs off of monsters, let alone make you do it.

The atmosphere and sound in this game were done so well, it’s scary. Really, the game creeped me out the first time through. With a dark room, surround sound, and the quality of sound this game offers, it’s fantastic. You’ll hear noises in the vents above or behind you, or screams in a room close by or far away, and you’ll be wondering when or if something will be coming to get you.

If you played the first one, you’ll be familiar with some of the monsters, but there are some new ones that you’ll have to worry about in this game, as well as variations. Some vomit on you, some climb walls, some are large, some are small, some are made up of multiple smaller creatures (I really hate those ones). Some of the monsters were really damn annoying, and I can see some spots being a bitch in Hard Core mode, but I still appreciate the work that was put into all of these monsters. There is one monster that is missing that I was surprised didn’t get put back in, and that was the twitchy deformed marines near the end of the first game. They freaked me out a lot in the first game.

There seems to be a wider selection of weapons this time, and I like them all. The plasma cutter is naturally the first weapon you get, but there are quite a few others. The Line Gun has returned, along with the flame thrower, contact beam and the assault rifle. The force gun was my most used weapon, as it could take down multiple enemies at once and, at close range, dismember them in a nice fashion. All of the weapons are satisfying to use in their own little ways. Be sure to try them all out. You have storage at the store, and your inventory is dependent on the suit you are wearing. Don’t hesitate to upgrade your suit. Having more inventory is always better. You start with only 10 slots, but can have up to 25. Use those slots wisely.

The multi-player aspect of the game is actually….good. Each map has a different objective for each team to achieve. The human team is set up with assault rifles and plasma cutters, and one health kit. You can get more stuff as you gain experience and upgrade your online character. The necromorphs get a choice between 4 different monster and each one has it’s own play style. I find it a lot of fun to be the necromorphs. You can vomit on the enemies, or spew at them from a distance, or get in close and hack them to pieces or jump on their backs and claw them to death. It’s a hoot! I haven’t tried out all the maps yet, but I will eventually. I’ve been concentrating more on the single player game.

Another thing carried over from the first game is the New Game + mode. When you finish a play through of the game, you can carry your inventory and upgrades over to the next play through. It’s a lot of funny getting fully upgrades and walking through the game a second or third time with some fully upgraded weapons and a suit. There is an exception though, and that is Hard Core mode. You cannot choose Hard Core difficulty in New Game +. You have to start fresh. Also, in Hard Core, you don’t get checkpoints and you can only save a total of three times. THREE TIMES! I have only tried out Hard Core mode one time, but it really increases the intensity of the game a lot, considering that if you die, you only go back to the last time you saved (which could have been hours ago!). I will finish the game on Hard Core, but it may be a while. I hope I don’t end up breaking a controller though. More will be added at the bottom of the review when I do complete this task.

What could have been done better? Dislikes? A glitch, Game Length and Ending

There really wasn’t anything about the game that I actually disliked. There was a glitch, however. It might not even have been a glitch, but I am fairly sure. I was playing through the game on Zealot difficulty, and right before I embarked on an elevator after saving my game, I noticed that I had lost one of my weapons. I thought I had moved it, so I checked the store, and it was nowhere. My Hacker Contact Beam had gone missing randomly. Wasn’t happy, but I had another Contact Beam to back it up. Glad all of my power nodes were still intact.

I really can’t complain about the length of the game too much, but I wouldn’t have minded there being a bit more. That and the ending could have been a bit more epic. These are really just minor gripes. I still enjoyed every second of the game.

Overall

If you are a fan of the first game, or any other titles that are in the survival horror genre, then do yourself a favour and pick up Dead Space 2. It’s one of my favourite games, and I highly recommend it.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (PS3) Review

Posted in Reviews on February 19, 2011 by Matt

Over the past few days I worked my way through Wolverine and, for a $10 purchase, it was a pretty fun time. It took me around 10 hours or so to complete (roughly), and I played it through once on Normal difficulty. Since it’s an older game, I’ll be keeping this review shorter than usual.

What was done well? What did I like? Things added to storyline that were not in the movie, combat and controls, brutality and dismemberment

They went ahead and added some things that weren’t in the movie that I really liked. If you haven’t played it before, this is a spoiler, but there a robotics facility that you fight through, and you end up engaging in combat with a Sentinel. It was pretty awesome how they added that in there. Too bad they couldn’t have just ended it there.

The combat and controls in the game are simple, but awesome. You have your light and heavy attacks, special moves that require fury to use. Rage mode which increases speed and damage. The basics. Cutting through groups of enemies is a joyous time, and some of the boss battles are challenging at times, but nothing really ever stopped me. It’s a bit easy on normal difficulty, but who cares? It was fun. We’ll see how I feel on Hard difficulty.

During combat, you’ll notice that sometimes you chop of an enemies head, or his arms, or impale them on something in the environment. These are all good things to me. It just seems satisfying, considering you have sharp claws and there’s blood. May as well let me chop limbs off too.

What could have been done better? Dislikes? The rest of the story (the movie sucked), glitches

If you hated the story in the movie, you’ll hate the story here too. It’s kind of crappy, other than what I mentioned above. Won’t go into it anymore than that.

There are a few glitches throughout the game. Occasionally during a cut scene, you’ll warp off the side of a cliff, or sometimes an enemy will get stuck somewhere, or the detail will have a delay in loading and you’ll see basic colours on a rock or a wall. The game wasn’t a huge success or anything, so I guess dropping support for it was an easy call. Too bad they never fixed the bugs. They don’t happen often, but they happen enough to notice.

Overall

It’s not the greatest game ever, but considering I only paid $10 for it, it was worth it. If you see it on sale somewhere, go ahead and pick it up.

More Purchases For Friday, February 18, 2011: Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories (PS2) and the Playstation Move Sharp Shooter

Posted in In The Mail/Purchased Items, New Releases on February 19, 2011 by Matt

Yesterday, I was at work and remembered that I had Kingdom Hearts put away on hold, so I picked it up. I’ve never played any of the Kingdom Hearts games. Now I feel I likely should try them out and see what all of the fuss is about.

The Playstation Move Sharp Shooter came out during the last week and it’s is one hell of an accessory for those who are playing shooters. The Move controller actually plugs into the gun and the gun becomes an actual extension of the controller. This will make Time Crisis Razing Storm much better, since it used the Move button to reload. With the guns that Magic and I purchased, you had to reach to the top of the gun to reload. Not this. The Move button is conveniently located beneath the trigger. I will review this product when I use it. I’ve heard good things so far though.

Purchase for Friday, February 18, 2011: Acceleration of Suguri X Edition (PSN) + Digger HD (PSN)

Posted in In The Mail/Purchased Items, Initial Impressions, New Releases on February 18, 2011 by Matt

I had another moment (just one moment, as one of the games was free) of weakness and picked up some games at the PSN Store. Yay!

The other day I picked up Digger HD for free with my Playstation Plus membership. It’s a pretty fun and simple little arcade title. I’ve made my way through the first world so far, but I completely suck at this game. You dig tunnels around on the screen and try to nab up the green jems as monsters crawl through the tunnels after you. You’ll find money and item bags as well, but they have to fall 2 squares in order to break them open. Be careful though, because if they drop on you then you die. You can kill enemies by luring them underneath the falling loot bags. Pretty straight forward.

Acceleration of Suguri X Edition is a different kind of shoot ’em up. You face off in an arena like setting against another opponent. Each character has their own special powers. The game was only $5.99, so I figured I’d pick it up. For the first bit, it was a lot of fun, but then I did the story mode on normal difficulty. All was well, and then I got to the final boss. Wow, talk about balance issues. I tried around 30 times to defeat this boss, and it almost seems like you need sheer luck to win. Not impressed. I’d expect this on hard difficulty setting, but not normal. Fuck that. I’ll try again at some point, but I almost destroyed a controller with this end boss battle.

Purchases for Tuesday, February 15, 2011: Marvel vs Capcom 3 Special Edition (PS3) and a Sony Bluetooth Head Set.

Posted in In The Mail/Purchased Items, Initial Impressions, New Releases on February 15, 2011 by Matt

Today Marvel vs Capcom 3 was released and I had it pre-ordered, so I went and picked it up. I also thought it was about time to grab a bluetooth head set, and stop using my crappy Socom usb head set.

Marvel vs Capcom 3 (MvC3) is pretty damn awesome so far. I’ve played through Arcade Mode once and unlocked Akuma and saw Wesker’s ending. I’ve also done some of the missions for Wolverine, Iron Man, and The Hulk. Haven’t tried the online stuff yet, but I will tonight. I’ll be breaking my thumb in for this, so it might take a few days to get comfortable with this game. Blisters are evil bitches.

I haven’t tried out the head set yet, but I will eventually. When it’s charged.

Purchases for Tuesday, February 8, 2011: Stacking, Explodemon! and Tales from Space: About a Blob (PSN). Also, Killzone 3 Demo is available.

Posted in In The Mail/Purchased Items, Initial Impressions, New Releases on February 11, 2011 by Matt

The other night I found a few things on PSN. Stacking, Explodemon! and Tales from Space: About a Blob are purchases I made, and Killzone 3 had a single player demo out that I tried as well.

Stacking was free with my PSN Plus membership or $14.99 otherwise. It’s an interesting game, but I wasn’t really in the mood for a game like that when I purchased it. It’s an adventure game that has you doing a lot of talking…and stacking. You stack into different stack dolls. Each doll has a different ability. You then use these different abilities to solve puzzles throughout the game. It’s actually pretty cool, so I’ll be giving this game another try soon.

Explodemon! is a side-scrolling platformer that is…a bit strange. You’re an experimental guardian that has escaped during an attack on an alien world by another alien race. They didn’t want to risk letting you out, but an explosion caused you to become free of your cryo-stasis. Your power is: TO EXPLODE! You have an explosion meter, and when it fills up, you can use it to explode. It doesn’t hurt you, but it will explode eventually if you don’t use it. You can use to to jump higher, move faster, and attack enemies. After each level, you can use collected upgrade points to upgrade Explodemon. It’s different, and it’s not a bad game. $9.99.

Tales from Space: About a Blob is another interesting little side-scrolling platformer. You’re a blob and you’ve fallen to Earth from space. You are taken in by a scientist. You progress through the levels by absorbing items and solving simple little puzzles. You can also collect other little blobs as well, by absorbing them. CANIBALISM! Excellent. It’s cartoony and a fun little game. Definitely worth checking out the demo. $14.99.

The Killzone 3 single-player demo was released on Tuesday, and I decided I wanted to test out the Move controls. I have very mixed feelings about them so far. I tried changing the settings a few times, but nothing ever felt really all that good. If only there was an option to keep the cross-hairs in the middle of the screen, then I would likely be happy. It always feels like I have to move the controller way too far off to the side to turn face a new direction. I don’t like it. I may have to stick to the ordinary controller for this game.

Other than the Move controls being a disappointment, I was happy with how Killzone 3 is turning out between the single-player demo and the open multi-player beta. It seems like it could be quite a bit of fun when I finally get the full game on February 22.

There was one other purchase that I made, and that was the add-on content for Castle Crashers. they just released the Pink Knight for it. The Pink Knight fights with a loli-pop. The add-on also adds 5 new weapons, and costs $1.99. It’s only on the PSN store for now, but expect an eventual release on the 360 as well. Proceeds go towards the fight against breast cancer, so go and get your pink knight now!

That’s it for tonight. It’s time to get back to playing through Dead Space 2 for a third time. Zealot difficulty is not too bad. Hard Core is going to be a complete and evil bitch though. If you don’t know already, Hard Core mode cannot be used in New Game + mode (so you can’t load your saved data from when you last completed the game), there are no checkpoints (so you start from your last save point) and you can only save the game 3 times total during the play through. This will take patience and some long gaming sessions to do, but it’ll be awesome nonetheless.

Gaming Seassion with Matt and Magic + Purchases for Saturday, February 5, 2011: Kung-Fu Live and Eye Create (PSN)

Posted in Gaming Sessions on February 11, 2011 by Matt

This is a little bit late, but I felt that I should make a post on this.

On the weekend, my friend Magic and I had a bit of a gaming session. For this gaming session we did some preparations. First thing was a second Move and Nav controller so we could play some multiplayer games together, and I also needed a brace for my PS Eye. After stopping to get these items, we hit a burrito place, and then a grocery store. We were pretty much set.

We got back to my place and began playing some games. Dead Space Extraction was on my list of games I wanted to play, and considering my recent obsession with Dead Space 2, that shouldn’t surprise anyone. Too bad the game wasn’t letting us have any fun together. I cannot remember if it’s only the challenge modes that allow two players? Or is there some trick to getting it to work?

With that disappointment behind us, we moved on to some Time Crisis Razing Storm. We played through the game a couple of times, and had missed something about the controls that came in handy when we finally learned it. That thing: how to use the shields. As soon as we learned how to do that, life became awesome. We played some ranked games and had a decent score. Was pretty sweet, actually. This game kept out attention for a while, and then Magic had an idea.

The idea was that we should go and get the gun shell for the Move controller to sit in. There are a couple of good one out there. The Sony brand ones, and the Mad Catz brand. I’ve read some things that said they were decent, so we went looking for them. Unfortunately, GameStop was closed by this time and I wasn’t going to be able to get my discount. We went to Future Shop, then Wal-Mart, then Toys R’ Us, and finally Best Buy. We found a pack of two guns for really cheap ($30), but they were literally a no-name brand. I didn’t trust them, but Magic insisted. We made the purchase.

Wow, these gun shells sucked balls. Having to reach over to the top of the gun to reload was a pain in the ass. Without the gun, I could reach the reload with my thumb. I was the first to strip my gun off of the controller and toss it to the side. Magic did the same after a couple of minutes. They were returned (I think) for a refund.

After we got sick of Time Crisis Razing Storm (which is actually pretty fun) , we switched over to one of the other games that comes on the same disc. It’s called “Deadstorm Pirates”. At first, we loved the game. We played it over and over again on the Very Hard setting. We were going to go for all of the trophies, but after 2 or 3 hours of playing just that game, we got tired of it. There’s no reloading, and there are some team based maneuvers that are prompted on screen for you to do. That was fun in the beginning, but we started to hate it after a while. Overall, the game was good for an evening of shooting the shit out of skeleton pirates and other various creatures, but it’s not really something meant for the long haul. We still managed to get a lot of the trophies though.

We got a chance to play a little bit of Time Crisis 4, as well. That game ended up being our favourite out of the 3 games, but by this time Magic was beginning to crash and we felt we needed to change things up. Off to the PSN store I went!

Kung-Fu Live was there and it was $12 after a discount for being a PSN Plus member ($15 before discount). It ends up it’s actually got a lot of potential, but I really need to get something to cover my background and maybe get more lighting in my living room. The PS Eye had a lot of trouble getting a good shot of me. That and I need more room! Anyway, we took turns beating up guys in my living room. It was actually really cool and funny watching myself and Magic on screen beating up thugs. Interesting concept.

I also got the Eye Create for free. Haven’t used it yet.

After Kung-Fu Live, Magic was burnt out. Too many Red Bulls. Tsk Tsk. It was a solid gaming session, and hopefully we’ll have another one in the near future.