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So I broke my finger….

Which is not awesome. At least it gives me reason to play myPS3/3DS games!

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Thoughts on Resonance, NOX & Alice: Madness Returns

I recently completed some of the games I’ve been playing, which is not something I do too often. I also really enjoyed the games for various reasons so I figured I’d write my reasons for recommending those games and what stood out about them. So, let’s kick it off.

Resonance

Resonance Screenshot

What makes Resonance special is the story telling, the way it delivers the story is excellent, the voicework of the characters is good and contributes to pulling you into the story. You want to know what’s going to happen next and it largely succeeds in that. There was 1 moment after set 3 where I got fed up with it because I was stuck in a puzzle as I had forgot to do an (in hindsight) obvious thing, but after doing that it immediately roped me in. I also really liked the idea of the ending, it’s just a shame that you can get an actual “good ending”. Watch the videos to see what I mean with this.

NOX

NOX Conjurer

A completely different beast, and much more action-packed! This one carries a lot of nostalgia for me and I think it’s a near-perfect game. It gets ridiculously difficult/harsh at times, but other than that – it’s an awesome game. It’s fun to play, it’s got a very loose but interconnected story of 3 characters with wildly different endings. It was one of those games that I just had to record a lot of whenever I played it, I recorded it in 2 days – something that I normally never do. But it was just impossible to not play more of it. I might just get back to it much later to maybe play through the Warrior campaign, but I’m also very curious as to how many people will watch me go through it; I’m expecting barely anybody.

Alice: Madness Returns

Alice Madness Returns Screenshot

This one took me a while to get through, it’s a much longer game than I expected it would be. It’s also very good, I really enjoyed the whole story-arc of how Alice is doing psychologically and how it reflects on wonderland. I thought that this was exceptionally well done. Especially towards the end, it is simply wonderful and a delight to play through. The cutscenes deserve special mention as well, they had such a unique look which deserves praise purely from an artistic perspective as well as yet again drawing you in the world where everything’s just not right.. sort of unsettling in a way.

The combat system also is very good, I didn’t quite manage to upgrade all my weapons to maximum, but I also didn’t feel like I needed to. The combat system is very responsive and gives you slowmotion-moments when you’re about to get attacked. I still found it surprisingly difficult to not get hit at all despite of this system. I did however get a feel for it and proceeded through the combat at a good pace, it’s challenging but the systems and feel are there to make you really enjoy it.

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First game I’ve pre-ordered in a very long time

As you might know, I really like my rpg’s. I also really like J-RPG’s and have been feeling that there’s been a real lack of good releases lately. Then I saw Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. I hadn’t been keeping up much so this release sort of came out of nowhere for me. First of all and likely the first thing you’ll notice is that the game is absolutely gorgeous. It has such a great looking style to it that very few games seem to get just right, only the Naruto Shippuudden: Ninja Storm games come to mind, but even they are on a level below what Ni No Kuni is.

Then what else I love about this game is that it combines 2 things I love: RPG’s with free-roaming/active combat and.. “pokemon”. You can collect your own familiars and train them, much like pokemon; but you can also equip them and that to me sounds just awesome. I will probably be spending ages finding new monsters and training them up. It’s such an addictive thing, combining that with real-time combat sounds amazing. Add in an apparently great story and this sounds like a truly amazing game. From what I’ve read and seen; it looks like that’s true. I’ve not really heard anything bad about it and everyone seems to agree; it’s a masterpiece.

Here’s a Video Review:

 

Looks like I’ll be losing quite some time on this game, I can’t wait! :D

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Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 impressions

Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 impressions

After having posted my thoughts on the Pain Saga in the Naruto: Shippuden anime a while back and recently having completed the first Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm game, it was time for the sequel.

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Is it release season already!?

I only recently realized that LA Noire is coming out very soon. It looks great and I have high expectations of it but somehow… it slipped under my radar?
If the game does what it wants to do well, it’ll be one of the best games of the year, and considering who’s making it, this could very well be the case.

I however am hesitant to throw down the full 50 euro for a PS3 title and to my surprise, you can’t really get it for much cheaper anywhere else.
Even if the game falls to mediocrity, it’ll not ruin the week with The Witcher 2′s release and DiRT 3 literally a week after.

 

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Stacking & Playstation Move initial impression

Stacking Logo

So what’s been going on this week? For things that stand out; mostly the previous posts about play.com here, here and here.
I’ve also been watching a lot of videos by Jefmajor, the guy’s just seriously funny in a derp-y way. Some other things have been going on such as me getting a Playstation Move and the release of Stacking on playstation network.

Playstation Move first impression

So first things first, I ordered a Move mostly out of curiosity, but there also are some good/decent games using it, mostly downloadable though. Sad to say though is that I’ve only played roughly an hour of Heavy Rain with mostly positive things to say about it. Other than that I’ve only played 30-some minutes of Tumble and haven’t touched Echochrome yet. But I sure hope I can find some time to do so as all of those are fun. What I can say from my initial impression though is that the tech is there, there’s not as much delay on the action and once you get the camera set up right, it’s quite comfy to just sit there.

Stacking

If you follow the general gaming news you’ve no doubtedly heard of Stacking, a game by Double Fine which is set in a world full of matryoshka dolls, or commonly called russian stacking dolls. The game itself tells the story of the Blackmore family who’s father doesn’t return from work and since the family has no income, the evil Baron takes the kids into slave labor and it is up to the smallest doll in the world to save his family. The way he actually does this is by stacking into other people who are 1 size bigger than him(or the outermost-doll he’s stacked in). This way he can use the outer-doll’s ability or stack further or unstack out of them. Later puzzles will require 2 or 3 abilities from different dolls to solve the puzzle at hand, but never unfairly so.

The thing about this game though is that it first of all looks really sharp and it’s simply fun to play. This may seem like a null-statement but this was one of those games that just put a smile on my face at the situations, abilities and puzzle-solutions. All the dialog is well-written and has that certain kind of humor that just works. There is something so dear about this game that you really ought to experience it for yourself.

It took me roughly 5 hours to complete the story-line and find all solutions to the puzzles and I feel like I’m done with it, I’ve missed 6 or 7 unique dolls that I didn’t stack into over the 5 levels and I’m okay with that. But the collectible-hunt is there for those who seek it.

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Black Ops thoughts

Call of Duty Black Ops Logo

So I finally got around to completing Call of Duty: Black Ops’ singleplayer. I can’t say that I really enjoyed it as much as others seem to have. To me it felt much too scripted. To elaborate on that is that I ran into quite a few moments where because I did not do what the developers intended for me to do, I broke a sequence or got royally screwed over very quickly. Situations where I ran into enemies literally spawning infront of me in the open and my team being way behind me in an otherwise empty area. Why? Because one enemy out of their sight was still alive. He wasn’t even shooting at them, nor could he even see them.

Other than such moments it’s a competent shooter but I have to say that script-breaking really takes you out of the game and I often found myself thinking “Right, what do I have to do to get A or B to happen here..” As for the story I really enjoyed, it’s just such a shame that the big ‘twist’ towards the end was so obvious. I won’t go in to detail about it to prevent spoiling it for others but very early on there’s some things that gave it away. All the time after that I was thinking “But that’s not entirely true, or this doesn’t really make sense.”. As for my Veteran-run, screw that. I still died a couple of times(mainly just in 2 or 3 specific shots) but I really don’t feel like pushing myself onward for that, I really just wanted to have the singleplayer over with.

Overall it’s not a bad campaign but I much prefer Medal of Honor’s campaign. Maybe that is to do with the fact that I acted more like the developers expected me to or maybe I just got lucky as a lot of people have had similar complaints with both games. Medal of Honor has the better singleplayer experience and a competent multiplayer while Black Ops has a lackluster singleplayer but a bigger multiplayer aspect. Saying that I’ve had more issues connection-wise with Black Ops with people lagging, hosts dropping, lobbies hanging and other stuff.

So make whatever you want out of that really, it’s a mixed bag.

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New loot!

New games

I think it’s time for another update, I’ve received a bunch of stuff over the past weeks but didn’t really feel like updating seperately knowing more’d be coming. I’m lazy, sue me (please don’t!).

So what’s new then? Mostly PS3 games actually. I went kind of crazy one afternoon and decided I’d just buy a bunch of games I wanted to play at some point, this turned out to be about 5 or 6 games. And truthfully, I’ve not even touched several yet and honestly I previously already had several games I had yet to complete, so I’ve actually managed to kind of screw myself over in the process that way. But these games are Red Dead Redemption, 3d dot game heroes, Heavy Rain, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow and God of War: Collection.

The photo below actually has Valkyria Chronicles on it too but that’s because I am only around the half-way point there. Other than that I still have 1 Ratchet & Clank Future game to play through, as well as Grand Theft Auto 4′s Stories of Liberty City along with some more Playstation Network games.

A more recent addition which some of you may know of already is that I gave in to my urge to play Settlers 7, that game looks so good and absolutely charming, the reason I did not want to buy it is because of the DRM on it which requires an internet connection in order to start and save the game. Lose internet connection and you won’t be able to play it, which I find to be a bad DRM system, especially thinking of foreign countries.

What’s more is that I have got some Machinae Supremacy loot, including the pre-ordered new album and a tshirt, which I really like. Probably because it’s a fun rockshirt with a hint of nerdy, which is pretty much me. Picture included below.

As for let’s play news; There’ll be a new co-op LP starting the following week so look out for that. ;)

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Assassin’s Creed 2 Frustration

ac2

So I’m still playing through Assassin’s Creed 2, and really enjoying it overall. I tend to do a mission with some exploration per sitting and finally I tend to buy some stuff with the money I’ve earned, so a very relaxed way of going through it. However I’ve just now completed a mission which really truly frustrated me. It made no sense what-so-ever. This is in Venice where I had to sneak into this giant structure, the palazzo. Now first I got a mission to go ‘scout it out and find a way in’.. so I ran to it, saw the front heavily guarded and ran around and found a way in, which took me about 2minutes. So then I’m about to drop down into the courtyard and notice that my objective is far away from me…

So I run over to the objective, which had me run around the entire building again, only to find the objective to be on a rooftop where a cutscene showed Ezio and his friend talking about the palazzo being an impenetrable fortres….. Then I had to go to the back of the building escorting that friend (Who just ran into the guards in the restricted zone, which ended up in me having to save him from 20guards..), but not directly, that’d be too simple. I first had to climb another tower in the area. Then another small cutscene took place about again them not seeing a way to get up on the building. Then finally the objective was on the roof of the building and they decided that it was impossible and that they needed another plan.
That plan beeing the flying machine from Leonardo Da Vinci, which to me seems entirely unncessary. But I guess they really wanted to show a new feature. What then followed was a little testlight by jumping off a tower and them getting the idea to have fires on the roof of buildings which somehow would create enough lift for Ezio to remain in flight. So then we finally get to the mission where Ezio jumps off a tower and you just steer him over the fires.. Do this about 10-15times and you make it to the palazzo again where you finally land. The only fun thing about this whole ordeal was the reaction of the guards just yelling “AAAH, shoot the flying demon!!”.

The rest of the mission was actually shorter than any of the other part of this mission, all it took was a  couple of small jumps and a couple of running steps to get to your target. I must say that this mission wasn’t enjoyable to me and just seemed very forced, many of the previous missions were a lot more enjoyable and I’m guessing ones after this will be as well.

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Shank impression

shank

When I posted a bunch of games that were releasing in the coming months I wanted to play, I managed to forget several, one of which is Shank.
Shank’s a 2d sidescrolling brawler, it’s incredibly fluid and stylish and it looks great. It’s cinematics are very enjoyable to watch though Shank’s voice isn’t perfect. But actually every gripe is very minor, I actually played through it upto the endboss in one sitting, which took me… 2-3hours on Normal? The game is actually very hard, though not unfairly so. Either you control all the enemies coming for you or if you mess up you’ll definitely lose a lot of health. But even so, there’s usually enough health bottles to fill you back up. However towards the end the levels get very hectic and health is very rare.

The actual story is told only through cutscenes and you get filled in, usually at the bosses, on what happened at the beginning of the game. You set off just looking for your girlfriend but afterwards you learn more about Shank and the people who kidnapped her and why they do so. One thing that surprised me is that these story cutscenes will even happen during a bossfight which can actually quite interrupt the flow of the game. Speaking of the bossfights, every fight is unique and definitely requires a specific strategy, though I managed to kind of cheap out one boss without using the “normal strategy” as I kept failing trying to do that.

You start off with your chainsaw, shanks and dual pistols. Along the way you’ll get several other cool weapons, both melee and ranged. The nice thing is that every weapon has it’s time and place, which makes all the fighting feel very varied. Overall I can simply just recommend playing Shank. :)