PS4 Games so far

Out of the three PS4 games that I have so far bought (the rest have been free or not really for the PS4) I have to say that my favourite is actually inFAMOUS: Second Son. Which was unexpected. I was actually expecting it to be Ground Zeroes or Watch_Dogs. Buuuut; Ground Zeroes has the problem of being a stealth game where you’re timed in missions and you’re expected to repeatedly do the missions.

I have realised over time that when I want to play a stealth game it’s because I want to take my time and take out a bunch of people and sneak to the target. Like in Dishonoured or MGS4. Instead I’m basically running everywhere in the hopes that people don’t see me after playing the game slowly and carefully to memorise enemy patterns, which isn’t how stealth games should work in my opinion. Also the subject matter is kinda vile. Yeah, listen to this tape which is supposed to be a young boy forced to rape a barely legal woman; that’ll be an enjoyable experience (hint: please stop). I really hope the full game is less like Ground Zeroes and more like MGS3 and MGS4.

Then there’s Watch_Dogs. Watch_Dogs is like if you took Assassin’s Creed, Grand Theft Auto, Ghost in the Shell, and Deus Ex and mixed them all together, but with everything you found fun surgically altered to be hard to control and barely present. Playing Watch_dogs is not even remotely as enjoyable as it looks. You feel very restricted, the character moves wrong, the vehicles control wrong. You very certainly don’t feel like a cool hacker, you feel like you have bought a magical phone from a cool hacker. It combines several obnoxious elements about modern gaming and 4chan culture, from the billboards you hack (and by hack I mean you press square) to say hilarious phrases like “Never gonna give you up” and “Over 9000!” to the other-people-can-invade-your-game crap (which thankfully can and has been turned off – although doing so loses all multiplayer progress because … oh who knows) to the throat-cancer barely alive main character. It isn’t bad per se, it just isn’t very good, but it does have a massive detailed world and tons to do. I just wish it was enjoyable to do them.

If I had to summarise I would say that Watch_Dogs is definitely more entertaining than not playing Watch_Dogs.

inFAMOUS on the other hand I was expecting to dislike, for a couple of reasons that I was anticipating before starting the game and a couple new ones I wasn’t expecting. I loved the first game, and didn’t like the second game (note: Second Son is the third game) for a variety of reasons mostly involving a backbending effort to appeal to youth and the horrible things they did to the cool powers from the first game. After hearing that the main character was Troy Baker pretty much playing himself with a side-serving of Laura Bailey pretty much playing herself I was ready for the genericising of the involvement of those two generally foretells. If you haven’t heard them by name, you may recognise them as Snow and Serah, or Silent Hill HD’s James and Angela. Basically, you’ve heard them before, and you will instantly recognise their voices. Troy provides the anticipated “Aw Hell yeahs”, “Haters!”, and “Awesome!”.

However, the game is incredibly enjoyable with only a few irritations, for example, despite the fact that you’re dressed in the obligatory five layers of untidy that are the hallmark of today’s young hipster everyone still manages to think you’re trying to put them in prison for some reason. And the plot has several holes and cartoonishly evil stuff occasionally happens. The controls have also been inexplicably changed for the worse (hover is the same button as jump?!). But who cares? It is incredibly enjoyable, the powers are fun (despite being weird stuff; smoke, neon, video, concrete?), the city looks absolutely amazing, and navigating around the place is such fun, and so are all the little gameplay elements. It really is the opposite of Watch_Dogs where everything you do feels chore-ish with the slight saving grace that it looks a bit cool, whereas inFAMOUS everything is fun.

Xcom: This is Bullshit

I really wanted to like Xcom, I really, really did. All my friends seem to like it, lots of fans of the original seem to like it. I do not. I can’t even be bothered to dignify it with a full playthrough. I proclaimed the eponymous ejaculation, ‘This is Bullshit’ just after the third time I tried to maneuver my dude into cover only to be beset with twitching betwixt levels of terrain, not actually going in to the cover despite it being clearly flagged as cover, and not being able to reach and reside in what appeared to be a clearly blank space. It wasn’t just that I was annoyed at of course, that was merely the proverbial straw that caused the camel to ragdoll gracelessly about. Some of the changes are actually quite welcome, two turns for each guy makes a kind of sense I guess, and the tactical part of the original could, at times, be slow and unwieldy, so doing something about it is perfectly fine. The original could benefit from a autosave system, which is bizarrely off by default, but I’m assuming that’s to keep the usual people happy. You know the sort, the sort that rants about how challenging the game is before they mention what the gameplay actually is. Gamers seemingly have so little self-control we actually need an option to enforce not loading rather than … well, not loading. And this of course is to be celebrated. Making a wrong move because the game can’t decide which elevation level you mean after you haven’t selected a new level be damned apparently.
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Trying Out Ubuntu

So I thought I’d try out Ubuntu 12.10.

I’ve heard mostly good things, but I’m weary of any GNOME 3 silliness when it comes to the desktop.

The Ubuntu installer worked well enough, even though I wanted to awkwardly install it to the blank space at the end of drive, it did this quite well. I was getting prepared to have to re-do my boot partition, but Ubuntu uses the up-to-date GRUB2 which is a wonder to get going. Unlike GRUB or LILO, GRUB2 is largely automatic and picks up the installed OS’s on my system perfectly.
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A Shame

Hmm, I didn’t get the central point of ‘Shame’ because it takes a minimalistic (i.e. really lazy) approach to story telling. It tries to tell me that the male lead had an abusive childhood because he doesn’t live where he came from, likes sex a lot, and his sister cuts herself.

It’s like when someone asks you, “what happened?” when you explain you’re an atheist, because you know, something must have went wrong in your childhood.


Final Fantasy XIII – 2

Well I finally got around to playing the Final Fantasy 13 – 2 Demo, and I have to say that I’m very likely going to buy it, and I like the look of it. It supposedly fixes many of the problems with 13, but obviously, in a demo you aren’t going to see all of that.

As most people are saying, they do seem to have recognised the linearity of the previous game which is a good thing. The demo was full of little sidequests, optional paths, more people to talk to, even a shop, etc. I’m glad to see that they haven’t listened to all the criticism though, and the combat system remains intact. Continue reading

Skyrim – Infinite Dragons

The Games Media have been positively ecstatic about dragons in the run-up to the release of Skyrim, breathlessly reporting how there will be infinite dragons, how they’ll be able to attack you almost anywhere.

Hang on though, aren’t we just talking about infinitely re-spawning enemies who stick themselves in the game where you least expect it? I thought infinite baddy respawners were bad unless they were limited to a location where you expect respawning?

Imagine you’re sitting in your car trying to get to your College of Magic and your mobile / cell goes off, so you answer it. “Cousin”, comes the accented voice from the tinny speaker of the expensively crap ‘phone, “we should go to a gentleman’s club”. Then Roman Bellic flies in, crushes half the Liberty City rush hour traffic, belches – engulfing you in flame and kills you dead. Continue reading

Warhammer 40k – Space Marine

This is a first impression based off the Playstation and Windows versions of the demo that I played.

There are two sections to play here; The Inquisitor, and Battlements. The Inquisitor is a quite long section where you and your Space Marine brethren do battle against the green tide of Orks, whereas Battlements is quite short, and has your character wearing a jump pack and you doing slam attacks into the ground at high speed. The funny thing is that Battlements is more like the demo I was expecting in terms of length, with lots of demos being vanishingly short. Continue reading

Warhammer 40k – Kill Team

I used to play Epic (which came in a boxed set called Space Marine that contained Eldar and Orks as well as Space Marines, just to confuse you) when I was a lot younger, and I’ve always had a soft spot for the Warhammer 40k universe. I’m sure other people who grew up with excellent Games Workshop stuff know what I mean, generally when you mention games like Talisman, Space Marine, Hero Quest, Space Hulk, and Warhammer 40k itself, people get this wistful look in their eye. Continue reading

Dead Space 2

There are many problems with this game.

It’s a completely superfluous sequel which makes the first game’s absolutely complete story slightly poorer by redoing bits we liked (why does my girlfriend look nothing like she did in the first game? – why does the silent protagonist keep talking?). It’s far less scary due an unfortunate difficulty curve. Continue reading