I spent five days down in New Mexico, on a vacation, visiting my grandfather who had needed some help with getting some things squared away. It was a long, exhausting five days, without question. I did manage to get all my gaming in that I needed to, and then some just for my own entertainment, but by the end, I was just spent. I didn't much to do with anything at that point.
Regardless, I stayed true to the blog and played a game, most of which happened at the airport and in flight, for the sheer convenience of it all. I played Wrestle Jump on my iPhone, which I originally picked up because of my buddy James. One day I got a notification from the Game Center (on iOS), inviting me to play. I promptly downloaded it, gave it a whirl, and since I didn't hate it, I kept it on my phone.
Unfortunately, there isn't much to write about with this game, so, in staying true to being exhausted with my trip, I'll just give you guys, my dear readers, a photo gallery documenting and epic match I had with the CPU. Enjoy!
If you can believe it, I used to be big on XBLA titles back in the heyday. And by that, I mean just a couple of years ago. After I downloaded my first one (I don't remember what it was, but I was late to the party as far as downloading games was concerned), I went on a rampage, downloading anything and everything in sight.
Summer of Arcade games? All of them, without thinking twice. Somebody said to look out for a nifty looking game coming out soon? I would be first in the hypothetical line to grab it. Artsy, independent game getting lots of publicity or even flying under the radar? Count me in.
I still have this problem today, but less with XBLA games and more with PSN, Nintendo eShop and Steam games. But when it all started with my XBLA downloads, that is when I first played Sine Mora. I loved it back then, and enough to buy it again when it was released for the PS Vita. Having already played the game, I knew that the true platform for this title was on a handheld, and the Vita was the ideal situation thanks to it's amazing graphics.
So tonight, I played it. I actually haven't even touched it (that I remember) since I downloaded it, so it was super-enjoyable to dive back into this game on this beautiful portable gaming system. It is a side-scrolling shooter, with a twist. You don't have a health bar or anything typical to this genre, but instead, a timer that counts down for each stage or portions of stages. You can easily complete the stage in the given time, but every time you get hit, it knocks off a few seconds from your clock. So essentially, your timer is also your health meter at the same time, giving you added pressure to not only complete the level, but do it quickly and efficiently.
The story is hard to explain, as I'm not even sure I fully understand it, but it is best described as a very mature version of Star Fox. Seriously. Think of animal pilots, that are seriously from the wrong side of the tracks.
But like most games of this genre, you don't play it for the story. You play it for game play, and man, is it fun. It is intense, frantic and stressful, the controls are tight and the graphics are amazing. If you are any sort of fan of side scrolling shooters, this is a must-play.
Especially if you like bitter, crusty, foul-mouthed animal pilots.
Today, I put a lot of time into my 3DS. Not for any particular reason, but mainly because it was handy and I was thoroughly enjoying the games I was playing on it. For the most part, I played a ton of Animal Crossing: New Leaf. But in between gaming sessions, I tried to mix it up a bit, and because I have a blog to write, I figured I might as well play a game I hadn't wrote about for the project.
Thus, I ended up playing Pushmo, a cute little downloadable title from the eShop. I downloaded this game when it first came out, and played a lot of it back then, but haven't really touched it in quite some time. To my surprise, when I went to play it today, I realized that somehow my save file never got transferred when I did my original 3DS to XL swap-over. What a bummer that was, but ultimately, it just meant that I had to start the game over and play through all the super-easy, yet fun beginning puzzles. But, it also meant that I was forced to sit through all the tutorials that went along with them. Every rose has a thorn, or so they say.
Anyway, I love this game. This is one of the best uses of 3D effects on the 3DS to date, the puzzles eventually become super challenging but never throw-down-the-3DS type of challenging, and the aesthetics and charm just oozes from this game like you wouldn't believe.
The best puzzles to play are the Nintendo themed ones, but unfortunately I didn't get that far into the game. Knowing that I have to recoup all my lost progress, I can foresee myself spending some more time with this little charmer of a game while I am on vacation, especially during travel.
That is, if I put Animal Crossing down long enough to play anything else.
So tonight, I played Dear Esther. Well, I think I played Dear Esther. I took to Twitter while playing it, actually, stating that I thought I was playing this game wrong. After finishing it, I'm still not even sure if I played it correctly or not, but regardless, I played, finished it and, well, that's about it.
For some reason, I thought this game was going to be inspirational, motivational or thought-provoking. Instead, I'm left feeling like I wasted a lot of time sightseeing and not doing much of anything else. If there was a message to pick up from the game, I didn't get it. Shame on me, I suppose.
I played it with headphones on, getting the full audible experience. I couldn't tell at first if the narrator was just speaking about random things, or doing his best Bastion impression and narrating what I was doing at the time. Pretty sure I figured out quickly that he was just reading letters or something like that, about a bunch of characters that had no context.
You see, you are just dumped on this island, with no explanation and no context for anything, letting you just walk around and "explore" this desultory, lonely and essential dead local. When I say explore, I mean just walk around looking at stuff, zooming in if you chose to, but never interacting with anything. And when I say walk, I literally mean walk. Just walking. There is no way to move faster - run, sprint, hurdle objects, swim, anything - just walk. This was easily the most frustrating part of this game, as the boredom sets in even quicker when you can't accelerate the game play any faster.
The graphics look really good, especially when you remember to bump up the graphics (which I didn't do for a while, to be honest). The scenery was great looking, but honestly, wasn't anything I haven't seen before, nor was it breathtaking. If I wanted to explore the outside, though, I would just go for a hike. At least I could travel at my own pace.
By the time I got to the ending, I was pretty much done with this game. Sure, the ending made a decent attempt at making the game have some sort of deep meaning, but really, I was so bored, it didn't do anything for me.
Maybe I am just being overly cynical because I'm on vacation in stupid-hot weather, but I know for sure I'll never return to this island to see if I missed anything. If I did, so be it.
Today, I started my vacation. It started with waking up super early, spending several hours traveling, and eventually ending up down in New Mexico. But honestly, that's neither here nor there. The important thing is that I brought every device I could which would enable me to pay games on. One of which was the Vita.
While I played several games throughout my traveling today, one of them was more of an app than a game, but do you know what? I'm going to count it anyway just because I want to write about it - so I can say how much I don't want to write about it.
Imaginstruments is a beat making "game," where you combine a bunch of instruments to make music of your choosing. Thing is, it sucks. It sucks horribly.
You can't choose what instruments to include, but rather how much and how fast of each of the predetermined ones to use. The variety of beats you can make is disappointing to say the least.
The worst thing is that there is zero things to do with the beats you make. You can't share them, and even more crazy, you can't even save them! Basically, you are making repetitive beats for no reason whatsoever.
I played this game for a while for sheer research purposes, but man, how glad am I that this was free? A LOT.
Thanks, Sony, for hour free hot street trash... But not thanks.
ThatGameCompany is responsible for one of my favorite games of 2012, Journey. That romp through the mysterious desert, playing as the cloaked, nameless, mute protagonist was awe-inspiring, inspirational and flat-out breathtaking. Truth be told, that was not the first game from ThatGameCompany, but for me, it was. And it was the only one I needed to play to fully understand what they are about as a development company.
Tonight, I changed that perspective, and tried out their first game that they brought to the PS3 via the PSN, which started out as a Flash game - Flow.
Flow is a unique game that starts as soon as you push the start button, giving you no menus, no tutorials and no guides. You are simply an organism, floating around, with your only goal being to hunt down and consume smaller, red organisms. You can swim around and consume any of the other floating organisms, and even attack the hostile ones and devouring their particles as they break apart, while also jumping from level to level.
This game is pretty straight forward, and is as simple as I make it sound, save for one key feature. Flow uses the Sixaxis controls of the PS3 controller perfectly, as your creature swims to the direction the controller is tilted towards. Now that I think about it, I can't remember if I ever even tried to use any other controls (joystick, d-pad, etc.) other than the Sixaxis control scheme, if only because it seemed to work so well. I guess I really didn't do my due-diligence on this assignment, did I?
To be honest, I was just completely immersed in the game, the atmosphere and the mood that the game was setting. It didn't even feel like a game after a while, but rather a glorified art project/science project - which was awesome.
Somehow I even made a few trophies pop, unbeknownst to me on what I did to activate them. Either way, it was a bonus treat to get trophies for such a pleasurable experience. And that's exactly what this "game" is - an experience, and one I thoroughly enjoyed. What a great way to start off a nice, long, hopefully relaxing vacation.
Yoshi, the classic NES game, became available once again on the Nintendo eShop, this time for the Wii U. Once again, Nintendo introduced one of its all time classics and fan-favorites to the fan base at the staggering low, low price of $0.30! That's right, for less than a quarter and a dime, you too can add this classic game to your e-library!
But is it really a classic, or a fan favorite?
I seem to remember really enjoying this game as a kid. Like, REALLY enjoying it. I remember playing it for hours, always trying to best my previous high score. Mario's enemies dropping from the sky, you switching platforms around to catch them in strategic placement. Seemed like a blast at the time.
Well, then I played this game again, and realized some things are better left in the past.
The game is boring, slow, methodical, uninteresting and uninspired. No matter how strategic you try to be, it's based on sheer luck for the most part, leaving you helpless and left for dead more often than not. It was hard to play this game for any amount of time, to be honest, so it was nice I could play it on my GamePad while still watching a movie. That's the only way to enjoy it - to not pay attention to it.
Thankfully, this game was only thirty cents. Still, a part of me thinks it wasn't worth it to ruin a perfectly good childhood memory.
Ok, to finish off my week of Resident Evil, I am going to play Resident Evil 6, for the first time. I have had this game sitting on my shelf for months now, and have been waiting for this Week Of... to finally give it a go. Much like I did with God of War, I am going to try and "live blog" my through as best as possible, for the sake of creating an interesting read for you, the readers. We'll see how this goes.
5:00 - Put the disc in. Playing the fun game of "wait while we update and blah blah blah" that comes free with every PS3 game. Seriously, if they manage to just eliminate this with the new generation of consoles, it will be well worth the price of admission.
5:12 - Starting it up (no, it didn't take that long to download the update, I was busy writing about the waiting I was doing). Let's do this.
5:14 - I can't remember where I saw it, but back when this game came out, someone on the internet (where else?) pointed out that the logo for this game looks like a giraffe getting oral sex from a slug. Sorry, I know that's not what you wanted to read, but it has forever ruined the logo for me, so I thought I would share with you. Thank me later.
5:16 - Boom, explosions. Yes, this is the new Resident Evil direction. I'm *OK* with it.
5:19 - I like the way the controls tutorial is mixed in with an opening cut scene almost. Doesn't feel forced or unnecessary.
5:24 - Doesn't appear that I can run ... yet. This better change, or it will be a long night. Also, Voice acting isn't bad. I'm not sure what to think about this. Are we sure this is a Resident Evil game? I'm not convinced yet.
5:25 - Green herb found. Cancel my last thought. This is totally a Resident Evil game. Whew!
5:29 - OK, that was a legit zombie. Man, it feels like forever since we've had those in a Resident Evil game. New combat controls, especially when grappling, will take some getting used to, but I think I like them. Makes me feel more apart of the action I suppose.
5:34 - I seriously cannot remember when killing zombies in a Resident Evil game ever felt as satisfying as the first scene down on the streets with the hoard coming after you in between all the cars. For some reason, it just felt right. Hard to explain, but the mechanics are on-point with this game so far.
5:37 - So I just died in an unexpected QTE while typing the last entry. Note to self: pay better attention. The helicopter scene was nice, though. Overall, well done.
5:39 - Can a brother get a flashlight? Seriously. I feel like I'm at a disadvantage by not being able to see.
5:41 - After seeing so many "dead bodies" rise up as zombies, you would think Leon would stop running up to every dead body to check the pulse. You would think.
5:42 - Ummmm, boss battle already? Big monster foot, followed by, "Are you back for more?" muttered by Leon. Gun drawn, monster purposefully not shown. fade out to game logo, iconic "Resident Evil" is spoken by creepy narrator who only gets work once every few years. Those words, spoken that way, still gives me chills.
5:45 - Laundry time. Not in the game, but in real life. Hey, this is a live blog, right? This is what you get. I'm a total package. And yes, ladies, I do my own laundry. Because I'm an adult. Add another awesome quality to my resume.
6:00 - On top of laundry, I also do dishes. Ladies, send in your requests for a date to email@example.com.
6:01 - Trying to decide which campaign to start out with. I think I will stick with Leon, if only because his is the first one listed. Nothing says OCD like staying in sequential order just for the fun of it.
6:02 - Forced with a difficulty selection. "No Hope" = "A mode that will quickly rob you of any hope for survival." I don't think so. How about we just roll through on Normal and call it good, eh?
6:03 - Choose to play as Leon or Helena? Well, considering I just saved Helena as Leon, I'm going to assume he is probably better equipped for this fight. I doubt my choice matters though.
6:06 - Online settings? Allow anyone to jump in and play with me? Not a chance. Apparently my own consoles hasn't figured out my play style yet. Maybe the PS4 will be smart enough to.
6:08 - I just shot the President. Well, in a cut scene. On a related note, this might be my last blog post once big brother reads "I shot the President." It's been fun, friends.
6:14 - Remember what I said about the decent voice acting? Scratch that from the records. We're full blown back into the Resident Evil universe, 100%.
6:17 - A NPC has a flashlight and I'm still stumbling around in the dark? Really?
6:19 - NOW I have a flashlight. It's attached to my head. Apparently Leon is too cool to use the classic flashlight-over-gun tactical police stance. Oh well, it's something.
6:22 - I'm not liking how it switches from "being able to run" to "forced to walk slow" back and forth, with no warning or explanation why. Really throwing off the pacing of this game.
6:25 - Has a bloody hand print on a door EVER led to anything good? Ever?
6:26 - Classic Resident Evil jump scare. Game =1, Noyse = 0. Well played.
6: 28 - Pro tip: If a zombie victim dies, they will probably turn into a zombie. Leon has dealt with this truth for over a decade now. Why is so naive to the rules of a zombie outbreak?
6:32 - Running out of bullets probably wasn't ideal Then again, Leon seems to have learned Kung-Fu over the years, so crisis adverted. For now. Also, the hunting knife is still useless. And my head light is missing in action. Great.
6:36 - Oh, staircases. Thank you for not being like the staircases of Resident Evil heydays.
6:37 - I know this is a beautiful game. A flashlight would help me know for sure.
6:39 - Hunting knife does make for impressive kills, though. It's just a bad idea to rely on it as your primary weapon.
6:41 - Zombie in a hoodie? I don't know why, but that made me smile. Also, Leon just did a flying bulldog on said hoodie-wearing zombie, crushing his skull like a water balloon. Wrestling fans, you know what I'm talking about.
6:47 - A zombie just fell over and "died" before he got to his feet, and before I got anywhere near him. I don't trust this scenario. Years of conditioning won't allow me to trust what I just saw. But alas, Leon runs right by it like it's normal.
6:48 - There is literally nothing worse than hearing zombies that you can't see. Literally. It's the worse. Take my word for it.
6:55 - A small, tight corridor with windows up and down both sides - I should have known this was a bad idea.
6:59 - Had to *ahem* try that again. Realized I had a couple of incendiary grenades in my pockets that turned out to be more useful than I would have thought. Also, I'm really enjoying all the cool ways to finish off zombies. Pretty sure I just impaled one with a broken object.
7:15 - I'm really starting to get annoyed with Leon's half-jumps over corpses. Why are they still there when others I kill disintegrate? Oh, Resident Evil - how I love you and your little quirks so.
7:19 - Oh, I get it now. It's because they are going to rise up as zombies once I come back through here! Duh!
7:25 - I keep picking up "Skill Points" but have no idea how to use them. I'm assuming it will make sense eventually, right?
7:29 - A zombie just through a beer bottle at me. We are definitely on a college campus, no doubt about it.
7: 36 - Pro tip: When in doubt, run to your objective. Cue cut scene. Anxiety, lifted.
7:37 - Leon, why are you so over-dramatic? You flipped the car because a zombie was on the roof? Really?
7:38 - Surrounded by burning cars in the street. Looks familiar. Have I played this game before? Feels an awful lot like a game I've played before. And now we're going to travel through the sewers? This should be a walk in the park, right? What can possibly go wrong?
7:41 - NOW I have my flashlight back?
7:45 - Running past zombies? Great idea. Dodging out of the way of an incoming zombie train? Better idea. Letting said train demolition all the zombies behind me? Fantastic idea. Thinking I could handle a pack of Cerberus' with my Kung-Fu kicks because I'm low on ammo? HORRIBLE idea. Needless to say, I just mauled, ripped apart and my lifeless corpse dragged away. *sigh*
7:54 - Never trust zombies engulfed inflames. Especially if they have electricity coursing through them.
7:55 - Just found another one of the BSAA symbols. Found one earlier, forgot you had to shoot it. Tried picking it up to no success. This time I totally got it. Makes me want to start over now.
8:00 - What is scarier than a hoard of zombies coming your way? Seeing their giant shadows well before the actual zombies get to you. Also, I just got derailed by the train, which apparently, is going the other direction now? Awesome.
8:07 - If there is one thing I have learned from the Resident Evil franchise, it is to never trust trains. Or mansions.
8:13 - Mad dash time through the city. Leon needs to learn that being a hero isn't conducive to surviving the zombie outbreak. Not every civilian needs saved. I appreciate his goodwill, nonetheless.
8:14 - Killing a zombie firefighter with his own ax is oddly more gratifying than you would think.
8:16 - Leon just mentioned this felt like deja vu. Nice touch, writers.
8:21 - Daddy just got himself a shotgun. Uh-oh!
8:23 - And I died. Apparently I overestimated the power of the shotgun against a large group. Well, lesson learned.
I think I am calling it a night, though. This has gone long enough. I can't wait to finish this game, as I am thoroughly enjoying it so far. I just hope the other campaigns are equally as entertaining. We shall see.
I have a love/hate relationship with Resident Evil 5, one that I often try to forget about, but comes right to the forefront the moment I even think about playing the game, much less actually doing it. When I played it today, all the things I love about the game and everything that drives me crazy all came to the forefront, leaving me feeling how I have every other time I've played it.
The game itself is beautiful. Aside from the fact that it was developed in this current generation of systems and capable of toting some amazing graphics, the development team really took a lot of pride in creating a gorgeous environment for the game to take place in. No details were spared, as everything, from the distant background to the wooden crates next to your character, and everything in between were crafted with precision and care.
Resident Evil games have always enjoyed success mainly due to the atmosphere, mood and settings in which they take place. With Resident Evil 5 taking place in the heart of Africa (see what I did there?), creating an enticing and memorable out of the bleakness was crucial in maintaining the a standard in the franchise.
The pace in this game is revved up tenfold, piggybacking off the direction that Resident Evil 4 went and then taking off like a rocket. The pace hardly ever slows down or feels methodical, as running and gunning is a common theme throughout. From the opening moments of the game when you have to do your best to clear a seemingly endless wave of monsters, you know you are in for a ride.
With the popularity of online gaming when this game was under development, it was only inevitable that the series would jump into the realm of online co-op, which of course happened with this installment. Now, I have to admit that I've never played this game with anyone co-op online, but I did a little bit of offline co-op back in the day when it first came out. Either way you play co-op, with anyone you choose to play with, I have to assume is a far better experience than anything the crappy AI partner will give to you. In a time when we as gamers have had amazing AI partners recently, with Elizabeth from BioShock Infinite and Ellie from The Last of Us, it's easy to forget the really bad ones. And my friends, Resident Evil 5 is infamous for it's horrible and useless AI system. It's times like these that I wish I had more gaming friends back in the day.
Overall, this is a fun game, regardless of the frustrating issues with the AI. After beating it for the first time a few years ago, I immediately turned around and played through it again. Once you get hooked on the action, it's hard to walk away from it. Like it, love it or hate it, this was a defining game in the series, as it possibly brought it more new players to the franchise than it did lose long-time fans for having a bold, brash new game style.
I can't wait to finally see what Resident Evil 6 has in store for me.
The Wii wasn't exactly designed to be a mature-gaming console experience. It was aimed at hitting the casual gaming market from the get-go, and that it did - and did it well. But that didn't stop Capcom from publishing one of the biggest mature-rated game on the Wii, which of course was Resident Evil 4. The game was originally released on the Gamecube, but was later brought to the Wii, mainly to take advantage of the unique controller that the Wii brought to the table.
Playing this game again reminded me of how fun it was, and still is, to the Wiimote to aim and fire your weapon of choice. The controls, especially using the nunchuck to control your character. But honestly, aiming and headshotting zombies using the Wiimote to point at the screen is oddly entertaining. The best part about it is that it works well, with little lag and almost perfect responsiveness. This in its own right was an accomplishment for not only the game, but the system itself.
Another memorable thing about this game is a noise. Not just any noise, but THE noise. Anyone who has played this game knows exactly what noise I am talking about: the chainsaw.
Oh man, that chainsaw. Easily of the most recognizable sounds in any video game, and after you experience it for the first time, you will never hear that sound again without knowing, and fearing, what's coming next.
Spoiler alert: It's a bad thing.
For a game that was originally developed to be on Nintendo consoles exclusively, the game doesn't hold anything back, when it comes to mature concepts, blood and gore, that lovely foul language and sheer tension. And I couldn't be happier with it. This was the first game that longtime Resident Evil fans were legitimately up in arms about, specifically for it focusing heavily on action and less on "survival-horror." But much like the evolution of Nintendo consoles to allow M-rated games, the Resident Evil franchise had to evolve as well.
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Games played for project : 365