Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Fire Emblem: Awakening

Post-Launch Review
Fire Emblem: Awakening
Developers: Intelligent Systems, Nintendo SPD
Released: April 2012 (Japan), February/April 2013 (everywhere else)
Played: story and most paralogues complete in 43h:48min

About

A tactician with no memory of their past finds themselves bound to Chrom, prince of Ylisse, just as a rival nation threatens war and monstrous Risen attack border villages. As Chrom and the tactician fight to defend the peace, a mysterious traveler with knowledge of the future warns that a catastrophic awakening approaches, of which the war and the Risen are but a prelude...

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Deadpool

Post-Launch Review
Deadpool (XBox360)
Developer: High Moon Studios
Released: June 2013
Played: story complete in 6h:50min

About

To give you an idea what kind of tone Deadpool takes, here's what I believe is an official product description, as if spoken by the titular mercenary:
There are a few important things I need to say before you crack into my insanely sweet game. (Oof. Here we go again.) I'm a mercenary with an accelerated healing factor. I've been described as unstable, which is just plain coo-coo. (Wait, do sane people say coo-coo?) I'm gonna battle for the safety of humans and mutants. (And even mumans.) Be prepared for just about anything. (Holla!)  I made sure to capture all my good sides, so I made my game a third-person action-shooter. (Yep, you get to look at my heinie.) Keep a look out cuz some of my X-Men pals (Whoa, what pals?!) are making an appearance. (Hope you don't mind picking hair out of your tacos.) I'm really good at killing, so I made it a blast stringing together combos, and totally eviscerating my enemies. (Ev-is-cer-a-ting!) I brought my skills and a buttload of my favorite things. Katanas (check), guns (bang!) explosives (boom), duct tape (quack) and of course, yours truly - ME! (Checkmate!)

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Bioshock Infinite

Post-Launch Review
Bioshock Infinite (PC)
Developer: Irrational Games
Released: March 2013
Played: story complete in 11h; Burial at Sea parts 1 and 2 complete in 6h

About

"Bring us the girl and wipe away the debt". Booker DeWitt is in deep but he'll be in the clear if he can finish this job. Sent to Colombia, a miraculous city in the clouds, DeWitt seeks out Elizabeth, who has been locked away in a tower for her strange abilities. But to escape the city, DeWitt and Elizabeth will have to contend with religious fanatics and a city on the verge of civil war - as well as Elizabeth's monstrous guardian, the Songbird.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Guild Wars 2: The Re-Review

It's been two years since Guild Wars 2 released, and almost that long since I posted my original review. I was looking over that review the other day, and it's... really outdated. I briefly considered updating the review, but so much has changed that it would actually be easier to write a whole new review.

So here we go!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Saira

Post-Launch Review
Saira
Developer: Nicklas Nygren
Released: December 2009
Played: best ending obtained in 4h:12min

About

After a teleportation accident, photographer Saira realizes she's the only person in the galaxy. After two years on her own, she needs only a few more parts to finish the new teleporter she's been building to try to find out what happened to her. Saira will have to travel across seven star systems to find the parts she needs.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

inFAMOUS 2: Festival of Blood

Post-Launch Review
inFAMOUS 2: Festival of Blood DLC
Developer: Sucker Punch
Released: October 2011
Played: complete with 85% of trophies in 2h:39min

This is going to be a quick post and not a full review, since this is a relatively short DLC pack. Full review of inFAMOUS 2 here.

Festival of Blood is a silly side story that may or may not have canonically happened. Zeke meets a lady in a bar and tells her the story of how Cole was turned into a vampire and Zeke had to save him before the curse took full effect at dawn.

Cole doesn't have much in the way of electric powers for the duration of the DLC (though he does earn a few more at certain optional milestones), and only the first island is unlocked, so I'm guessing this is supposed to be set early in inFAMOUS 2's story. You get some nifty vampire powers to play with - full flight (though limited by blood energy) and a vision mode that allows you to spot secrets and upgrades and disguised vampires. Flight is fun because it's not something you ever get to play with in this series, and it makes city traversal feel fresh again.

Flight is powered by blood, which you can gain by staking vampires or sucking on civilians. There's a very brief effort to suggest that Cole may not need to drink blood, but it's quickly glossed over, and the series' iconic morality system is completely dropped for the DLC. It's like the writers want me to feel bad for drinking blood, but they couldn't be bothered to really do much about it.

The story is rather basic - Cole is now a vampire, and needs to kill the one that turned him (called Bloody Mary) before dawn, when she'll take full control. Mary's backstory is much more interesting than the main plot - you can find some of her musings on her history as optional audio logs, and you learn the defining bits as part of the main story. Her backstory is more interesting, but still relatively shallow.

The worst bit is when you're forced to play some UGC (user-generated content) missions to progress the story. They're two official missions produced by Sucker Punch, but they're of unimpressive quality and feel like a poorly shoehorned attempt to get the player interested in UGC. Since the UGC was entirely optional in the main game, I spent a good half hour wandering around the map collecting audio logs and canopic jars in the hope that maybe I'd unlock the next story mission somehow. When I'd finished both those things I had to check a walkthrough to realize that I had to do that UGC mission to progress. Not cool.

To me the best parts were the bookends with Zeke where he's telling the story to the girl he's trying to seduce. You get to see Zeke being charming and funny and completely (and unintentionally) sidelined by Cole. Too bad these are only a few minutes at the start and end.

Recommendation: maybe.

Festival of Blood felt kind of mediocre to me overall. It's neat to see the city all dressed up for Pyre Night, there are a couple of fun new powers, and the bits with Zeke are entertaining. But all the vampire stuff is fairly generic and relatively uninteresting. At only $5 and as a standalone it's inexpensive fun, though I didn't find it particularly memorable.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Bravely Default

Post-Launch Review
Bravely Default
Developer: Silicon Studio
Released: October 2012 (original Japanese release) / December 2013 - February 2014 (For the Sequel & EU/NA releases)
Played: 100% complete in 74h:54min

About

A mysterious disaster opens a chasm that swallows a village, rots the sea, stills the wind, and sends magma and earthquakes out of control. Four heroes affected by the disaster set out to close the chasm by reawakening the four powerful crystals that govern the elemental forces. But is that really the right thing to do?

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Delayed review this week

Been playing Bravely Default and I was hoping to get it done for today, but I haven't played a lot of JRPGs and I underestimated how long it'd take. Think I'm over 60 hours now.

In the meantime, enjoy this related comic by Katie Tiedrich at Awkward Zombie:

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The Banner Saga

Post-Launch Review
The Banner Saga
Developer: Stoic
Released: January 2014
Played: story complete in 9h:40min

About

A Kickstarter success now available to the public, The Banner Saga is a tale of vikings, giants, and monsters in a world where the gods and the sun are dead. This strategy game follows two groups of humans and varl in the sparsely populated north. The dredge are forming armies and pushing south, razing settlements as they travel... but even the dredge and their immortal leaders are afraid of something.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Adventure Time: Card Wars

Post-Launch Review
Adventure Time: Card Wars (Android)
Developer: Cartoon Network
Released: February 2014

About

Did you see that episode of Adventure Time where Finn and Jake play Card Wars? This game is that game. Collect monster, spell, and building cards, and battle opponents from across the land of Ooo to unlock stronger and rarer cards!