Friday, November 11, 2011

Quick Game Reviews

I've played a few different Xbox 360 games over the past month or so. Here are my quick thoughts:

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
I literally just got back from returning this to the Redbox machine. It was so good, I seriously thought about keeping it for a second night and paying another $2.00, but that would just be crazy. Who am I, Bill Gates?! Anyway, this was a fun first person shooter that I enjoyed a lot. The graphics are amazing, the action was intense, and the entire production seemed pretty epic and extravagant. It's a good game.

I didn't understand the plot, however, since apparently it's the third part of some kind of trilogy. I haven't played any Call of Duty games since the first one came out way back when on the PC, so I didn't realize there was an on-going storyline. I tried to follow along during the cut scenes at first, but as I progressed I skipped them and went straight into the action. I didn't miss anything. Even if I knew who these characters were and what was going on, I'd probably skip the cut scenes anyway because they weren't that great. And, come on, I've only got a day. I just want to shoot some bad guys!

In the shooting bad guys department, this game sure delivers about as good as anything I've ever played. If you like FPS, check it out. It's first rate.

Alan Wake
This was a good game to play during the month of October. It's a horror game about a writer who has to deal with writer's block... and ghosts! Or something. This was a truly exceptional game that stands out as one of the best looking and most creative games I've ever played, but after I finished it, I doubt I'll ever play it again any time soon.

This might be the best looking game I've ever seen, or at least one of the most shockingly beautiful and the most moody. The graphics are just stunningly well realized and the locations, atmosphere, and effects create a sense of tension and horror that never lets up. Gameplay wise, it's a lot of fun, although it does tend to drag on a bit since there's really only one or two kinds of enemies from start to finish. The locations change and the story progresses, but the enemies stay the same as does the one method of taking them down: Shining them with a flashlight and then shooting them with a gun. The combat in this game is actually a lot of fun, it just needed more variety.

As for the story, it was gripping and well written and a lot of fun to watch progress, even though I didn't really understand what it was about or what actually happened in the game. It was clear that the game's writers really, really love Stephen King, but Alan Wake's story never really matched the quality of his novels. But, again, it was pretty good as far as videogame stories go.

Anyway... it's a short, fairly repetitive game that is definitely worth checking out for the fun gameplay, entertaining story, and the incredibly beautiful and moody visuals.

Now here's a fun game.

If you love first person shooters but the latest Call of Duty sounds too intense, check out this one, since it's a more laid back shooter that has a pretty good mixture of action, quests, and role playing elements. But, then again, the action may be lacking for shooter junkies and the quests and leveling system may be too light for diehard RPG fans, but I liked it. The entire production isn't up there with Modern Warfare, but the cell shaded style of graphics are quite cool and the amount of weapons you can choose from borders on the ridiculous. And the control just feels... right, which is the only way to describe a good first person shooter.

The game is a bit repetitive, however, with too many quests that feel too similar, and enemies that are just more powerful versions of enemies I already fought already. The Alpha Skag may be bigger and tougher than Skag Whelps, but from a gaming perspective, they're the same thing. One just takes a few more bullets to kill. Also, enemies respawn at a maddeningly annoying rate and the save system isn't the best. As an adult, I like games that let me save anywhere, at any time, if only because I don't have that much time to devote to videogames anymore so if I need to end my session during the middle of a quest, I don't want to have to start all the way over at the beginning every time.

But... this game is a lot of fun. If you find it cheap (and since it came out a year or so ago, that shouldn't be hard), check it out.

Goldeneye 007: Reloaded
Here's another game I rented at the Redbox, and it's another good one.

I actually didn't even know this game existed before I saw it in the Redbox machine, but I figured... how bad could it be? I knew they had remade the classic Goldeneye 007 for the Wii a little while ago to good reviews, but I didn't know it was being released on 360 and PS3 as well. Anyway, this game is awesome. It's really a remake of Goldeneye in name alone, since other than a few similar locations and plot points both game shared from the original game, it's a very different -- and better -- experience. This game doesn't even have Pierce Brosnan, since one of the updates included replacing him with the current Bond actor Daniel Craig.

Well, maybe I shouldn't have said this was a "better experience" than the original game back on the N64, since that was a product of its time and was exceptional when it first came out, but this one is exceptional right now. If you liked that game, you'll like this one, since it has a similar premise, but ups the action, translates the graphics to HD, and has some of the best control of any FPS I've ever played.

Long story short, this game is great, and I'll probably even buy it one of these days, since I'm a huge fan of shooters and of James Bond. Check it out.

Dead Rising 
I'm not sure if this was a launch title or not, but if it didn't come out the same day as the Xbox 360, it definitely came out pretty soon after. I picked up a used copy the other day for five dollars, and it wasn't worth it. This game sucks.

Dead Rising had a great concept: rip off Dawn of the Dead's basic zombies-in-a-shopping-mall plot and turn it into a videogame, but the execution was so weak that the game is nearly unplayable. Running around the mall and killing zombies with just about every item you can pick up is great fun, but the story is way too convoluted and full of cut scenes and menus you have to follow or read through seemingly every few minutes, horrible escort missions that are nearly impossibly because the friendly AI is so poorly done, and awful controls that you'll be fighting more often than the zombie hordes that are trying to kill you.

Seriously, the controls in this game felt stiff and the button layout was awkward and designed in the worst way possible. And don't even get me started on the horrible control for the shooting sections or having to switch to a camera in order to take photographs every few minutes. And here's another game with a terrible save function that seemed designed by people who intentionally want to waste my time.

I've heard that the sequel corrects a lot of these gripes and problems, but I'll never know unless I find that for four bucks, because five was way to much to shell out on a game this bad and unfun.

And that's that.


Justin Garrett Blum said...

Man...I remember playing video games...

Mugato said...

Alan Wake seems pretty damn cool