Tuesday, November 29, 2016

October-November gameSlog

Boy, it's been an interesting bunch of weeks, with the election, legendary Dave Chappelle hosting SNL, my new job at an animal hospital, and of course, being frugal and beating games! The first update I want to share is how I've been doing on my 2-in, 1-out policy with games. This year, I bought 12 games. Checking my trophy list, I have completed 21 games, so I'm almost on schedule for 2016.

October: Overwatch, The Swapper (FREE PS+), Peggle 2 (FREE PS+), Saint's Row: Gat out of Hell (FREE PS+).

The Swapper is a space puzzle platform game, where you make clones of yourself and transport between them to collect glowy disco-balls. Space games always make me feel pretty lonely, and this game is no exception. After collecting a certain amount of balls, you can progress to the next area, and the are sentient rock-aliens that fill in the story. I completed about half of the puzzles without much stress, and never felt like there were any cheap tricks. Strangely, the trophies have nothing to do with completing the game - instead you find 10 secret rooms throughout the large map. With a walkthrough by my side, this was an enjoyable 90-minute venture to the 100%.

The girl on the left is normally creepier...
Peggle 2 has really tight physics - a necessity for a pachinko-style game. The game was originally a mobile game, and was actually made by a Seattle studio (woot-woot!). While there are 200+ levels containing various arrangements of blue and orange pegs, you can choose from 7 different characters with different special abilities to help clear them. I have to give the game proper respect for its sound design. The score has public domain music like Symphony No 9 and In the Hall of the Mountain King, but remixed so cleverly that you'll barely recognize it. To top it off, the sound effects for bouncing balls and special abilities match the characters and their themes very well.

Ohh, and you can fly in Hell, too!

Saint's Row: Gat out of Hell was a pleasant surprise. GTA games are massive productions, and certainly have their funny parts; Saint's Row games just don't take themselves seriously at all. There are several comedy songs (which I generally abhor), and the main characters are full of hilarious comments. I thought that making hell into a futuristic downtown was a super-cool idea, and the platnium trophy can be done in co-op!

November: Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Bioshock 1 remastered, Bioshock Infinite DLC (PS3), Resogun (PS Flash sale $4).

I wrote about CoD: IW in another post, and just want to add that after finishing the awesome single player campaign, I am plagued by the final 20% of trophies in Zombies in Spaceland. The mode is generally pretty hard - in later rounds, despite hordes of zombies, one or two hits will put you down. The problem is that the trophies have you completing so many steps that I'll just end up boosting it, and probably having each player responsible for one of the many convoluted tasks.

The bees!!!
The remastered Bioshock 1 was a familiarly fun experience of a game with superior storytelling and world-building. A lot of alternate-dimension or futuristic stories take place, and don't analyze how they got there as well as Bioshock does, and that's a large part of the appeal of this game. On top of that, it's a very well-made FPS game that every gamer needs to experience.

The Bioshock DLCs really help stress the alternate-dimension theory that I never thought about until the end of Bioshock Infinite, since I am pretty dense when it comes to putting together game storylines.

Resogun is a very-pretty 3d-on-single-plane twinstick shooter. The developer Housemarque has a knack for making super-flashy games like this, as they also did Super Stardust HD for the PS3. Both games are super pretty, with simple mechanics, fun gameplay, and awesome soundtracks. "Super" is just the best word for all of this.

Now that I've reflected on 6 weeks of games, I can now focus on Final Fantasy XV, my most anticipated release this year, which should be arriving in just a few hours!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Well, I thought it was cool...



Disclaimer: I will not spoil the story more than what you find out in the first 15 minutes of playing. I beat the newest Call of Duty, Infinite Warfare, over its release weekend. The single player campaign is short and pretty damn cool. I really don't understand the online hate for this game; the game is fun, the controls are tight, and the graphics are very very good.

I just can't take this guy seriously...
The setting is a few hundred years in the future, when we have colonized a few of the planets in our solar system. The force you fight has a really cool-looking military, but its "ruthless" leader is a bit of a wuss. I say that because I never found Kit Harrington (John Snow from Game of Thrones) particularly threatening with a giant sword, he's even less so in this game. He just looks like an Ewok: beady-eyed, soft-faced, fuzzy and slightly-confused-looking. That aside, I liked the other characters' soldier-talk, camaraderie, and even some of the corny military values. And your ro-bro, Ethan, is totally awesome.

I played Battlefield 1 two weeks before this came out, which was also quite a spectacle, but the aiming feels swimmy, as it always has with the series. Infinite Warfare has really responsive snap targeting that give your assaults a special pop for each kill. As with all shooters, I can barely distinguish the weapons, but the bullet-alternative energy weapons make shredding robots to bits a lot of fun. Toss in wall running and double jumps, and this game feels like playing pilots in Titanfall, which is not a bad thing at all. And space combat is an absolute pleasure.

This game has a graphic or two...
The game will eat a large section of your harddrive to install, but the loading time is minimal, and I didn't see any re-used faces among the hundred or so soldiers you interact with throughout the campaign. My PS4 also doesn't get as noisy as playing Doom or Wolfenstein, so this AAA title was also put together well.

Zombies in Spaceland is my least favorite
mode, but it's not bad!
I really like CoD: Infinite Warfare, and I have a suspicion that all the hate for this game is related to the $50 season pass they're selling at launch, that gives you access to the next 4 expansions, making suckers shell out over $100 to play everything. The game is divided into 3 parts: the single-player campaign, the predictably classic multiplayer, and the co-op Zombies mode. The devs did trophy hunters a favor here: the only collectibles are to find every weapon in the campaign, which are outlined in yellow as you come across them. For multiplayer, you only have to win 5 matches. I think the co-op Zombies mode is pretty hard, but I think I can have the platinum trophy without too much grief before FFXV comes out at the end of the month, my only other huge release left in 2016. I'll let you know how that goes!

What do you think about the game's modes? What do you love or hate about this game or series? Do you think zombie modes are as played out as I do?

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