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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A Time, A Place, A Book of Memories.

Reviews are coming in very slowly for this game, and it isn’t even coming out until early November here, so obviously early days yet.

GameRankings: 78.67%

MetaCritic: Critic: 62% User: 64%

Gamerankings-wise, that’s pretty good, but only based on three critic reviews. That puts it in a similar place as Silent Hill 4: The Room, Shattered Memories, and Silent Hill: Origins. That’s above Homecoming and Downpour, but below 1, 2 & 3.

Metacritic-wise, with only four critic reviews, and 132 user ratings, Book of Memories is now tentatively below the lowest performing Silent Hill: Downpour.

Book of Memories is in the strange position of having been released (at least in some areas) yet without review from many big industry names.

Not actually a handheld gamer myself, so you won’t be seeing a review from us unless it receives a port.

Silent Hill: Downpour – In Depth Review

Well, it’s time for another Silent Hill game. This time we’ve changed developers again (more on that another time).

Downpour. As usual with games I look forward to getting a hold of, I read absolutely nothing about this game before I played it. The reason for this is two-fold; I hate spoilers, and I didn’t want to come into it with any other expectation except the ones created by the name itself. With Silent Hill, that bar isn’t set particularly high after Silent Hill: Homecoming.

Unfortunately, I don’t think Downpour is even as good as Homecoming in the end, but it does have several things going for it.
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GT Academy 2012

GT Academy is this little stand-alone downloadable free version of Gran Turismo 5 with a handful of cars and specific tasks you have to do. It’s part of a larger competition that I have absolutely no interest in.

I’m not much of a competitive person. Occasionally I’ll try to beat someone’s time or something, but generally, I don’t bother. So the chance of me bothering with the GT Academy program was pretty much nil. Until they, in a flash of, I think, inspiration, decided you can win cars for GT5. Now that’s different, that’s not me competing against other players to go on to a competition I’m not physically able to do – besides which, I can see no link betwixt driving a motor vehicle and doing an assault course in the mud.
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Final Fantasy XIII-2 – Short Review by Comparison

Let’s call them by their Roman numeral names first so the search engines are happy. Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2. Good, now I can write them in the form where I don’t have to constantly double-check how many ‘I’s I’ve used.

Did you enjoy Final Fantasy 13 in general?

If not, then, well, I’m afraid 13-2 isn’t going to make you love the series once more, since it is largely similar to 13.

Unless the only reason you disliked Final Fantasy 13 was the linearity, lack of freedom, or the weapon upgrade system, all of which have been banished in 13-2.
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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