Archive for March, 2012

Games Purchased Sunday, March 25,2012 – Present: Resonance of Fate (PS3), Tales of Graces f (PS3), Bard`s Tale, and Dustforce

Posted in In The Mail/Purchased Items, Initial Impressions, New Releases on March 31, 2012 by Matt

Resonance of Fate has been out for a while, and I`ve been meaning to buy it since it`s release. It`s an RPG and it`s combat system is quite complex, but once you get the hang of it, it`s actually kind of cool. I`m not really set on the story yet, as I`ve only played for an hour so far. The environments and setting are pretty cool, giving me a steam punk vibe, and the combat is all gun play. I`ll definitely be playing it more once I`m finished Skyrim…and Witcher….and Lost Odyssey.

Tales of Graces f
is the first in the Tales series that I have played, and it seems like a good game. After playing for a couple of hours with my friend Sean, I think it`ll be one that we will finish together. It might be a while before we`re done.

I picked up The Bard`s Tale on Steam for $5 when it was on sale, and it`s definitely a game to pick up if you like humour and hack and slash RPGs. It`s graphics are dated, but still worth your time.

Dustforce is a 2-d side-scroller, and it`s on Steam for $9.99, but I purchased it with the soundtrack for $12.99. I`m really liking the soundtrack, but I haven`t played the game as of yet, since I literally just purchased it before writing this.

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TheBustedCouch Comic Strip: Michael Bay’s TMNT…From Space.

Posted in Comic on March 28, 2012 by Matt

On the weekend, I heard the news. Michael Bay will be creating the next Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and their new origin is space. This isn’t the worst thing, but it’s still annoying and opens the possibility to other wild ideas.
Click the picture below to view the comic!

TheBustedCouch: Michael Bay's TMNT...From Space

Sorry it’s been a long delay between comics. Life got busy.

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Review: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (PS3)

Posted in Reviews on March 23, 2012 by Matt

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning has finally been completed. The game took 40 hours to finish on Normal difficulty (that includes doing some side-quests, all faction storylines and the main storyline). I wish I had played it on Hard difficulty though.

What did I like? What stood out? Story, Voice Acting, Combat, Customization, Overwhelming Amount of Quests

The story in Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning starts off with an intro to the conflict. A big bad guy named Gadflow has corrupted an army of Tuatha (a faction of Fae) and there is a huge war. You are in battle, and are killed. You wake up in a pile of corpses, resurrected by the Well of Souls, and are now “the fateless one” in a world that is bound by fate and you have no memory. Your story begins and you fight your way out of the Well and meet it’s creator Fomorous Hugues, a gnome scientist. He tells you to meet up with a fate weaver named Agarth and once you’re out of the Well of Souls, the real game begins. Throughout your travels, you meet Fae(beings made completely of pure magic that remind me of dryads), elves , gnomes and humans, and they all have something for you to do.

The main quest has you and your pals, fate weaver Agarth and shady Alyn Shir, on a huge journey to figure out how you were brought back, and how to prevent evil triumphing over the world.

Funny enough, I enjoyed the faction quests more so than the actual main plot of the game. The Warsworn story was fairly long, and has you investigating the theft of old relics from a vault. You find out what’s really going down and need to stop it. Then there’s the House of Ballads which has you investigating problems with a Fae faction. I found these really connected me more to the world, and help flesh it out a lot more. I began to care about the world I was trying to save.

I’m reluctant to really say much about the main story, as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. Now, the amnesia has been played out quite a bit in a lot of games, and it returns in this game. Be rest assured that you do find out who you were before you died, and you are not just a completely blank slate. Your character does have a bit of depth and it does have something to do with the main story. Play the main story and the faction quests, enjoy them, and skip the majority of side quests.

The voice acting in the game, in my opinion, is definitely a bit better than Skyrim’s. Not every person you talk to is the best, but overall, the quality is up there. Everyone has something to say, but unfortunately, there are so many damn people that you never want to listen to quite everything. The script could have been a bit better, but the acting was excellent.

The combat is very God of War’ish, and has you performing different moves and combos depending on the weapons you use, and the skills you unlock. If you get bored with the weapons you’ve chosen, then you can always find a fate weaver, and re-allocate your skills points for a different character type. So, if you’re using hammers and bows to start with, switch it up to use long swords and daggers, or invest in sneak attacks and start back stabbing more. It’s up to you. It can get a bit boring after a while, and it eventually ends up being you mashing attack buttons, but it’s quite good for a while.

As mentioned above, the amount of customization is high. The fact that you can re-allocate your skill points at a fate weaver whenever you want is awesome, there are mage, light and heavy armours, and a good variety of weapons, and a lot of different skins for all of your equipment. Some weapons and armour will look the same, but some properties or magic effects can make it glow differently, or appear physically different in some way. It’s nice that you can change and customize pretty much any aspect of your character. You can even look in a mirror and change your facial appearance.

It’s sort of a good and bad thing at the same time, but when you start going around the world, you’ll find people with exclamation marks above them, and every single one of them is a side quest. There are almost too many of these. Most are basically “go here, get this, come back” or “save this person” quests, and then there are the item collecting quests. I skipped the vast majority of these quests after the first area few towns in the game. It’s nice to have a lot to do, and when you’re done the main story, you’re free to go and do them if you like. It was hard to say whether this was in my dislike or like category, but in the end, it’s nice to have extra stuff to do.

What did I dislike? What was done poorly? Graphics, Lack of body types, Too Easy, Lack Of Enemy Variety

The graphics in the game are pretty simple and nothing ground-breaking. This game will not push the console’s hardware. The aesthetic of the game is really nice, and it’s really colurful. It attracts the eyes, but the quality of the graphics are definitely not as polished as they could have been.

Every gnome’s body looks the same, every human’s body looks the same and every Fae’s body looks the same. There are not fat people, or scrawny people, or tall people or short. Every race has the exact same body type. If there are differences, then they are definitely subtle.

The difficulty is a huge problem. I died maybe 4 times in the entire 40 hour play-through. I wish I had started the game on hard difficulty so that it could have been a bit tougher and more interesting.

The enemies in the game don’t really change much as you progress to different area. In a long game like this, I like seeing a change in the enemies. There are quite a few different enemies, but I hate it when a game has enemies show up in an early section of a game, and then appear later as different colour and are tougher. This is acceptable in games that are more simple (Gauntlet) and stuff like it, but in a long game, where you have to fight a lot of stuff, variety in enemy appearance beyond just a colour change, would be nice. This is really just a small gripe.

Overall

This is a good game and deserves some attention. It has the capacity to be long game (200 hours?), but you won’t spend that much time in it, I promise. I felt that 40 hours was sufficient and I was able to play through the five faction plot lines and the main story in that time. I don’t regret buying it, and with the new DLC that just got released, there’s a new area and more quests to do.

Games Purchased Sat, March 17, 2012: Lost Odyssey and Shadowrun (360)

Posted in In The Mail/Purchased Items, Initial Impressions on March 22, 2012 by Matt

I know this is quite a shock, but yes, I purchased some Xbox 360 games for a change.

Lost Odyssey and Shadowrun
Lost Odyssey is a JRPG from the developer Mistwalker (partly made up of former Final Fantasy developers) and it was released back in 2008. The game holds up extremely well for being nearly 4 years old and has a distinct Final Fantasy feel to it and has heavy narrative. I love the atmosphere and setting of the game, and read through my first dream sequence. The game is text heavy, but it also has really excellent graphics. If you haven’t played it or don’t own it, go get it. It’s used for $15 at EB Games.

Shadowrun is a poorly executed game with some good ideas and mechanics. I’ve only played it a little bit, but there’s no story mode, and it’s basically all about multi-player. A friend of mine and I were discussing the game, and I felt I needed to see for myself. The game was only $5.

Games Purchased Within The Last Few Weeks.

Posted in In The Mail/Purchased Items, Initial Impressions, New Releases on March 22, 2012 by Matt

It’s been a little while since I last posted the games I’ve purchase/received. Now is the time.

ME3 CE

Mass Effect 3 Collector’s Edition for PS3. Purchased at the midnight launch of the game. Now, I know I bitched about Capcom’s DLC and I won’t be buying Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City because of that, or the Street Fighter X Tekken game, but Mass Effect, in my opinion, wasn’t quite as bad. The fact that the DLC is main story related was the only bad thing about it (a prothean character and missions for said character), but I’m willing to let it slide after watching the most recent Extra Creditz. There are a lot of good reasons for day one DLC, and there are some bad. If it was a choice between getting it and not getting it, than I’d most likely choose to have it. It doesn’t hurt to have the option. Lucky, the collector’s edition has the extra DLC anyway, and I wouldn’t have purchased the day one DLC if I couldn’t get the CE. Not as convenient.
Shep
fem shep
ME3 Bonus Content Box
Bonus Contents

Enough about that. I know, I am making excuses. Shut up.

I haven’t had a chance to play the game yet, since I am trying to finish up a few other games (Skyrim, Witcher, Syndicate, etc). If you’ve been paying attention the the news, there’s a lot of controversy over the game and it’s ending. That and news of BioWare making a new ending or modifying the ending to please fans, since nobody seemed to like the actual ending. We’ll see what happens.

Next up, Journey. This game isn’t so much a game, as it is an experience with interactive art. It’s from the developer ‘ThatGameCompany’, who made Flower and Flow. Journey is their best one yet, even though it’s short. I’ve finished a single play-through of the game so far, it’s it is absolutely breathtaking and evokes emotional responses unlike any other game I’ve played. My full review will be up soon, as I want to play through it a couple more times before giving a final verdict, but it’s safe to assume, at this point, that it’s worth every cent I paid.

Darkness and Gauntlet Dark Legacy
The Darkness came in on a trade at the store, and since I didn’t own the first game, I figured I may as well pick it up. Haven’t played it yet, but it’s in good shape.

Gauntlet: Dark Legacy for PS2 came into the store a week or so ago and was only $5. It’s not in the best shape, but it’s a lot of fun to play. Couldn’t pass it up.

Mortal Kombat Shaolin Monks and Hunter: The Reckoning
Hunter: The Reckoning for X-Box and Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks for PS2 were found at Little Shop of Heroes in Listowel. They were reasonably priced at $9.95, and are in good shape. I can always count on Steve to have games in good condition there. Hunter is an okay game. Decent, mindless monster killing, and good for multi-player. Haven’t tried Shaolin Monks yet, but it pretty much completes my Mortal Kombat collection. Just need MK Mythologies: Sub-Zero, but who really wants that?

The list I have here are games I have picked up and haven’t had a chance to play yet: Battle Fantasia, Fatal Inertia EX, Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket Powered Battle Cars, Far Cry 2 , MechoWars and Hungry Giraffe (all were free on PSN for Plus members), The Bard’s Tale ($5 on Steam), Containment: The Zombie Puzzler ($5 on Steam).

Review: Twisted Metal

Posted in Reviews on March 22, 2012 by Matt

Here it is, The Twisted Metal review. I finished the game a few weeks ago, and now I finally have time to write this. Yay! This review is based on: a play through of the main campaign in split-screen with a friend, some of the single-player campaign (no difference to story or anything), and some online multi-player matches. The campaign was done in 6 hours, roughly.

What did I like? What was done well? Storylines, Bosses, variety of vehicles and weapons, destruction, soundtrack, 4-player split-screen

The campaign feels unique and doesn’t remind me of any of game (other than maybe old Twisted Metal games), and is divided into three separate stories for three characters: Sweet Tooth, Reaper, and Doll Face. Each one is tied together loosely and is in chronological order. I say loosely, because some events effect the next story. Anyway, each one is actually pretty fun and I really enjoyed the way they did the cut scenes. The mix of live action with cg gives it that old feel and it’s something you never see anymore. The cut scenes are not too long and well done. If you enjoyed the twisted stories of the old games, you’ll like these.

The boss battles are interesting. Giant monster trucks, mechs, and what-have-yous are intimidating, and fun to battle against. They have some interesting mechanics in place for achieving victory, and I appreciate the effort they went through. It was a fairly unique experience, as far as games go in general. The bosses are all gigantic, and all have there own unique feel. The final boss, I’ll leave mostly as a secret, but I’ll just say this: you are inside of it. Oh…that sounded dirty.

The variety of different vehicles in the game is excellent. It’s no Gran Turismo, but once you’ve played the campaign through, you’ll have a nice selection that includes a helicopter, a motorcycle and a mac truck or two. There’s also an ambulance that can shoot gurnies with exploding patients at other vehicles. Sweet Tooth can use his special to turn into a mech and run around. The helicopter (Talon) can pick up enemies with a magnet and drop them from high up. There are a total of 14 different vehicles to select and 4 different factions (clowns, skull men, holy men or doll face) that drive the selected vehicle.

Each vehicle can equip one of 5 mountable weapons: Machine guns, sub-machines guns, shotguns, or rocket launchers. The first would be mounted on the vehicle, the rest are carried by a passenger. There are also plenty of pick-ups, including: rockets, fire missiles, homing missiles, napalm, cluster missiles, remote bombs, RC car bombs, and more. Each vehicle has an emp shot that can temporarily disable enemy vehicles, and also drop mines. There are also shields and shield pick-ups and well as health pick-ups (duh). Some of the weapons are kind of lame, but a lot of the specials are quite fun. Some can be difficult to use, but once you get the hang of it, most are actually pretty good.

If you like destruction, almost every building in the game can be destroyed, or driven through. This allows for secret spots and pick-ups. It fits well with the chaos of the game and I’m glad it wasn’t left out or forgotten.

The game’s soundtrack is awesome, and filled with very suitable music. It’s been a long time since I last heard White Zombie’s “More Human Than Human”. That song and the rest of the metal in the soundtrack really gets my blood pumping. I found a list of tracks on a forum board, here on IGN. It’s safe to say that if you’re a metal head, you’ll enjoy listening to the game. If not, than you can use the custom soundtrack option to listen to whatever you want. Yay!

The game has up to 4-player split-screen. I don’t need to mention much else, other than it is awesome and I wish more games had this.

What did I dislike? What was done poorly? Only 3 character stories, race/checkpoint levels in campaign mode, connectivity problems with online matches, learning curve

This is fairly straight forward. I want more characters damn it! The character stories that are here are good, but I miss the variety of the older games. Unfortunately, getting more won’t happen since there is not going to be any DLC released for the game. I’m not even sure if we’ll see another Twisted Metal game with David Jaffe gone from Eat Sleep Play. I’m saddened by this.

During each character’s campaign, there is a checkpoint race that you have to do. They are not fun. This game was never meant to have racing in it, as some vehicles don’t stand a chance of winning, and getting nudges can lead to you missing a checkpoint, or being knocked off of a narrow pathway or off of a building. Once you’re behind, it’s extremely difficult to catch up and it’s not fun at all. Also, once you’ve missed a certain number of checkpoints, you die. If my friend Sean wasn’t here, I wouldn’t have made it through these levels. I wanted to quit the game, but Sean at least beat these levels when I couldn’t. They made me want to smash my controller. Not cool.

The very small amount that I played online so far was plagued by connectivity issues. I got booted so many times that I gave up one night. This is why I haven’t had much chance to review the multi-player online stuff. The problem was with PSN, not my connection, as I ran all sorts of tests to make sure that it was stable. The matches I did play were a lot of fun though!

The controls in the game are fairly complex. Every single button on the controller has a useful function, and it can be a bit stressful to get the hang out it right away. It took my about half an hour to start getting comfortable with them, and maybe an hour or two before I was even remotely confident.

Overall

Twisted Metal is definitely a throw back to the older games, and it does a fairly good job of it. From the split-screen multi-player, co-op and soundtrack, destruction, evil clowns, giant bosses, everything I wanted is in the game (set aside the lack of actual characters, and races). It’s fair to say, not everyone will agree with me, but the game is a lot of fun and I urge you to consider buying it. Get some friends together and destroy each other. It’s either an extremely good weekend rental, or a worthy purchase for fans of the series.

TheBustedCouch Comic Strip: Thirsty

Posted in Comic on March 19, 2012 by Matt

I Am Alive came out last week for the 360 and I had a chance to play the trial. It’s not a bad game, as far as I can tell.

My friend Sean was over, and we were discussing some of the different tactics you can use while you’re facing off against random people through out the game. One method of distracting them is to toss water at them and they go nuts and try to drink it up. The comic is a small spin on this.
Click the image below to see the full comic.

TheBustedCouch: Thirsty

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