Archive for November, 2011

Purchases For Wednesday, November 30, 2011: Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Bundle, The Sly Cooper Collection and Blood Bowl (PC)

Posted in In The Mail/Purchased Items, New Releases on November 30, 2011 by Matt

Today I picked up the last of my pre-orders for 2011, which feels good. Now I can properly afford things like rent and food, without worrying!

Skyward Sword Bundle

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword bundle came packed with a sound track and a golden Wii Remote. I won’t be playing this until I am finished a few other games first (Skyrim, Resistance 3, and a few others), so don’t expect a review for quite a while.

Sly Collection
The Sly Collection was a circumstantial purchase, considering I was able to make off with it for around $17.00 or so. It’ll be on my back log for a while as well.

Blood Bowl is a football-like game based around races from the Warhammer fantasy universe. I used to play the actual Blood Bowl board/table top game, and I look forward to trying this out someday soon. It was on Steam for $8, down from $40.

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Purchase For Monday, November 28, 2011: Dirt 3 (PS3)

Posted in In The Mail/Purchased Items, Initial Impressions on November 29, 2011 by Matt

In case anyone wondered, Day 5 of the Steam Autumn Sale did happen, but I didn’t buy anything. There were still some good deals, but a lot of them were games I already owned.

Dirt 3 PS3
Yesterday I picked up Dirt 3 for the PS3. It was on sale at GameStop for $19.99, so I couldn’t pass it up.

It’s a great game so far. I’ve only done one event so far, but the controls feel the same as Dirt 2, and the sense of speed is still there.. It’s a nice looking game as well. I’ll invest a lot more time into this game….once I finish up everything else.

Steam Autumn Sale Day 4! Purchase: Dungeon Defenders

Posted in In The Mail/Purchased Items on November 27, 2011 by Matt

Dungeon Defenders was on sale for only $7.49. It is an action RPG, tower defence, team-based game where you fight off waves of incoming enemies. I have only played the demo on PS3, but I could not pass up the sale price on this. It is a fun game, and I expect to play it sometime soon.

Since this seems a little too short, I will just add in that Skyrim has not let up its grip on me yet. 60.5 hours has been invested so far, and there are many more hours remaining. I plan to finish Resistance 3 within the next couple of days or so and post a review then. It is a bit late, but I have had way too many games to get through on my own, so I am just happy to say that it will be done.

Steam Autumn Sale Day 3! Purchases: Serious Sam HD (1+2), Sanctum, and Flight Control HD

Posted in In The Mail/Purchased Items on November 25, 2011 by Matt

It is now the third day of the Steam Autumn Sale, and the following are my purchases.

Serious Sam HD 1 and 2 are bundled together for $2.99 today. These games bring me way back to my late teens when the original games came out. They were a hit at our LAN parties back then. Now I finally own the HD remakes, and perhaps they will encourage me to get the new Serious Sam game.

Sanctum is a game that I noticed quite a while ago, but never picked up. It is a first-person shooter with 4-player co-op. The price was right today, so I snagged it for only $2.49.

Flight Control HD was sitting there, and it was extremely cheap at $1.24. For that price, I figured it was a chance I could afford to take.

Steam Autumn Sale Day 2! Purchases: VVVVVV, and Xotic

Posted in In The Mail/Purchased Items on November 25, 2011 by Matt

During Day 2 of the Steam Autumn Sale, I found myself picking up a couple more games.

VVVVVV is a 2-D platformer, and it looked really cool. It was only $1.24, so it was an easy choice.

Xotic is a strange first-person shooter that I saw a video for on Kotaku and, for only $4.99, it seemed like a good purchase.

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception Review

Posted in Reviews on November 24, 2011 by Matt

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception is a game where there are very few rests between the action. It was hard to set the controller down at all. The main campaign took me roughly 10 hours to complete on Hard difficulty. There is also multi-player modes, which I only had a chance to try a little of the co-operative campaign recently, or otherwise I would have finished this review more than a week ago.

What was done well? What did I enjoy? Story, Characters, Pace, Graphics, Co-op

None of this stuff is a huge spoiler, but I’ll warn you nonetheless. The story in Uncharted 3 is pretty good. Not quite as good as Uncharted 2’s story, but still very well done. It borrows a bit from the second game, and has some similar instances, but that isn’t necessarily a horrible thing. This is also the first game that takes you back into the past to when Nathan and Sully met. You also discover more about Sir Francis Drake and his quests. A lot of stuff is packed in to this game, and I think some of it could have been left out, or made into a longer game. They touch on a lot of stuff, but only in small amounts. It left me wanting a bit more, but it was still a very good storyline.

The series holds some of my favourite characters in gaming. Nathan Drake and Sully are entertaining, and are very interesting. They’ve created this feeling of comradery between the two of them and it’s infectious. It spreads to the player and when they talk, it just feels like your part of the conversation and there’s always something funny or interesting being said. You just wish you could be there with them, and it always makes me feel overly good when I play the game. The different relationships between Nate and Elena and Sully feel real, and I think that helps the player relate a lot better with the characters in the game. Chloe and Cutter are a couple of supporting characters that are decent as well, and Cutter is new to the series. Hopefully we get more on them in upcoming Uncharted games, if there are any.

The action is divided up well with some good narrative, and some well needed rest breaks, but never takes too long to get back to it. It keeps you interested, or at least entertained until the end. It’s very hard to pull yourself away. The pacing in this game is great for people with short attention spans or ADD, since it doesn’t allow you to get bored. This is the best pace I’ve ever experienced in a game. That combined with things mentioned above creates a game that is very hard to turn off and move away from. You just want to know what happens next.

Animation work and environments have been strong points in this series, and this game is no exception. When Nate moves through the environment, he will touch walls as you move along them, or gesture in certain circumstances when enemies show up or stumble explosions. Portrayal of emotions is better than ever in cut scenes and during in-game sequences. Lighting effects have been improved, along with water effects. The sands in the desert are life-like, and when walking in the sand, it’s like you can see every grain move under your feet and leave prints and sand sliding down dunes as you walk. It’s a pleasure for the eyes. The resolution could have been higher, but I’m sure that may have resulted in some steep drops in frame rate.

The co-op is online, or can be done via LAN or splitscreen. My girlfriend and I played only one mission in splitscreen, and it has some potential. Now, the size of the screen we played on at the time kind of hindered us a little bit, so we only played one chapter, but it’s definitely fun. You have different objectives throughout each chapter, and they require team work to make it through. One person opens a crate to get an artifact while the other provides covering fire. One person creates a good diversion, while the other flanks the AI opponents. Stuff along those lines. There are 5 chapters, and a points system, so there’s quite a bit of playability there.

What was done poorly? What did I dislike? Difficulty Spikes, Controls on occasion, Aiming, Bugs

The worst part of the game is the difficulty spikes. If you’ve played the other games in the series, than you know what I am talking about. Every so often, you’ll run into a fire fight, and you’ll die quite a few times. This is the only time when I will stop playing the game, other than for something life related. It gets stressful, and it makes me angry. Games don’t often do that, but sometimes Uncharted 3 had my crushing my controller in frustration, and thinking horrible thoughts of smashing my T.V. into bits. This problem should have been ironed out by now, considering it’s been an ongoing issue since game number one.

Sometimes I find the controls to be sluggish, and the cover system slightly broke. Diving into cover can go horrible wrong sometimes, and the result can be deadly. Clinging to the wrong wall, or not throwing a grenade away from you due to the game making you reload instead is annoying. I’ve died a few times due to these issues, and they can be frustrating. Especially in the difficulty spike instances.

Aiming just seemed off in this game, and it took some getting used to. It still hasn’t felt right. The excuse was that they were trying to fix it, but I don’t see how they fixed it when I seem to have more issues with this game than I did with either of the other two. The bullets are supposed to go where the cross-hairs are pointing, are they not? Strange how that would make sense.

There are also some bugs and glitches in the game, as there are in all games. Most never really bothered me at all. There were reports of a bug that wouldn’t allow you to finish the game or get past a certain point. By now, I think those have been patched. Some minor clipping errors are about all I ever experienced. When the game was reset, they were fixed.

Overall

The game suffers from some issues, but is a great purchase regardless. The story, the action and the characters create a game that is very difficulty to put down. Well worth it for multi-player co-op and the main story, which will provide you will around 15-20 hours of play. add another 8-10 hours or so on to that if you want to get all the trophies. Even though I didn’t touch the competitive multi-player stuff, I hear it’s very similar to Uncharted 2’s and has some added extras, and a LAN option.

Steam Autumn Sale Is On Now! Purchases: Orcs Must Die! +DLC, Dejobaan Collection and Fallout New Vegas: Lonesome Road DLC

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

The Autumn Steam Sale just started and there are some nice deals on.

“Orcs Must Die!” is on sale for $3.74 and the downloadable content for the game is on sale as well (Artifacts of Power is $0.62 and Lost Adventures is $0.99). I’ve never played the game, but I have only heard good things. I’ll be trying it out soon.

The Dejobaan Collection is a game pack which includes the following games: “1…2…3…Kick It! (Drop That Beat Like an Ugly Baby)”, “Aaaaa! – Brutal Concussion”, “AaAaAA!!! – A Reckless Disregard for Gravity”, “AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! for the Awesome”, and “The Wonderful End of the World”. I’ve seen these games on sale before, and the only one I really caught interest in was “AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! for the Awesome”. I figured I may as well get them all, since it was only $9.99 for the pack.

Oh, and just as an update, I tried “AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! for the Awesome” and it’s excellent. Simple gameplay, but still a challenge to get a high score. Definitely worth $4.99 so far and it has 84 levels? or more. Around there.

Fallout New Vegas DLC “Lonesome Road” was the last piece of DLC released for the game, and now I have them all. Funny thing is I haven’t tried out any of them yet. It’ll be an excuse to go back to play the game through again later. The DLC is on sale now for $4.99.