• Activity

    • 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die - 0001: The Oregon Trail

      3 years ago

      metalmonster13

       

       

       

      I came out having more fun then I thought I would with this, it plays like a simple wooden club compared to FTL's  sharpened iron axe but this game is enjoyable in its own right and deserves at least 1 play-through.

       

      Mine lasted around about an hour or two and surprisingly I was pretty engaged all the way through, what with its resource management and random spontaneous events that benefit or hinder you, the simplistic design lead to some pretty funny moments with some genuine emergent storytelling albeit, primitive compared to todays standards.

       

      You start the game by choosing your background, either as a Banker, Carpenter or Farmer (Each its own difficulty, Banker's starting with more money while the Farmer gets a better score multiplayer by the end with the disadvantage of less money)

      and name their family of five.

       

      Thus began the story of Ante the carpenter, his wife Ann, eldest son Arnie, daughter Anne and youngest Angle and their trip on The Oregon trail.

      Before setting out we were able to stock up on supplies where a helpful merchant got us going on what was needed.

       

      Thusly we set out and not even one step out of town Angle breaks his ankle (Which I can only assume he got by wrestling with himself) we forded the first river we crossed and managed to wet a decent amount of supplies.

       

      We set out again to the Big Blue River Crossing and along the way we lose 9 sets (out of 10) of our recently purchased clothing, Dark Souls eat your heart out.

      We lost another good chunk on the river.

      Along the way we talk to random folk who give us some information of the locality, lose several days to thunder storms and wrong paths and finally came to a point where we choose which path to take, Green River Crossing, a short cut or Fort Bridger, a place where I can stock up on goods.

       

      It's here when the proverbial crap hits the fan, I chose the way of the river and along the way a fire destroys a good number of our supplies, 110 bullets, 3 wagon axles and most crippling: 555 pounds of food out of the 635 we had.

      At this point the game stopped being an easy ride and became a test in how far I was willing to push everything.

      I set our pace to grueling (1 of 3 paces, this one the most distance covered in a day but virtually no rest which leads to a faster decline in health) and setting our food portion to bare-bones (again, 1 of 3 options, this being the least amount consumed but not enough to keep us healthy.

       

      It's here where the games simplicity shows itself to be a slightly devious one.

      You have 2 things to keep track of  while traveling and change to your liking, spare parts on hand for any break-downs or to trade for and oxen to be mindful of, it's these elements that come together and form the basis of the game, risk vs reward.

      Which is summed up nicely from advice the game has given us through Mile Hendrick, a nice person we talked to at the Fort

      "Take more short-cuts as saving time and provisions is worth the risk" he said more or less.

       

      Making it across the river with a ferry ($5 but a 6 day wait) we set out to Soda Springs on 8 pounds of food we make it fine but the next trip to Fort Hall hits us hard, Anne gets a fever and dies just 20 miles out from the Fort, oh beloved daughter I hardly knew!

       

      After more disease and injuries hit our family and a fortnight lost to the elements we make it to another impasse: Fort Walla Walla or The Dalles, on $2 I think it safe that taking a short-cut would be more beneficial and eventually we make it there and talk to the nice toll collector for the Barlow Toll Road.

      We have one final choice, the safety of the Toll Road or to cross one final river... not much of a choice for me as I'm up to my last dollars so I choose to take the Columbia River.

       

      Here the game surprises me with a little mini-game where I sail a raft into Oregon, it's incredibly easy even though I lose 2 oxen a set of clothing, 51 bullets and 14 pounds of food due to me mis-reading the instruction and hitting the short but I make it to the Willamette Valley!

      I made it to Oregan!

       

      I get my score,

      I get it multiplied,

      And make it on The Oregon Top 10 at number 6!

       

      "Greenhorn! Who's a greenhorn? What's a greenhorn?" - Homer Simpson

       

      So I made the trail and knocked the first game off the list.

      I came out enjoying it more than I thought I would and found it pretty damn fun... I'd say for anyone who has an hour or two to burn to give this a shot at least once.

       

      You can check out the official site here:

      http://www.oregontrail.com/hmh/site/oregontrail/

       

      Or you can skip straight to the "original version" via web emulator here, I ran it through Java on an older version of Safari so I'm pretty sure this can run on all browsers:

      http://www.virtualapple.org/J_oregontraildisk.html

       

       

       

      Please feel free to discuss down in the comments and please let me know how I can improve my writing!

      Here I'll just pop down my rushed travel log for anyone interested: 

       

      Carpenter from Ohio

       

      Ante 

      Ann

      Arnie

      Anne

      Angle

       

       

      -Set out

      -Angle breaks his leg

      -Supplies get wet fording a river- lose 1 day

       

      -First river

      -Arnie gets cholera

      -severe thunderstorm - lose 1 day

      -Thief comes at night and take 9 sets of clothing (I bought 10)

      -Severe Thunderstorm - lose 1 day

       

      -Big Blue River Crossing

      -Talked to big louie who gave me a useful tip on lame animals

      -waited at river 2 days

      -caulked wagon

      -wagon tipped over and lost : 1 set of clothing, 174 bullets, 1 wagon wheel

       

      to kearny

      -found wild fruit

      -found grave site and says : "Here lies andy       peperony and chease

      -found wild fruit

      -found wild fruit

      - foudn wild fruit

       

      -found fort kearny

      -talked to fort soldier gave us back info on the fort

      -traded a fella 1 wagon whell for 63 bullets

      -put rations to meager

      -bought 35 pounds of food

      -bought 5 sets of clothes

      -rested for a day

       

      to chimney rock

      - wrong trail - lost 2 days

      -found wild fruit

      -found chimney rock

      -Celind Hynes gave us back story to the rock and what local indians were interested in trading for

      -no one wanted to trade

       

       

      to fort laramie

      -swapped to disc 2

      -found fort laramie

      -indian told us about his tribe's enemies and outlook on white man (leave us alone is all he asks)

       

      to independence rock

      - lost trail - lost 2 days 

      -inadequate grass - injured one oxen

      -wrong trail - lost 5 days

      -bad water

      -bad water

      -inadequate grass

      -very little water

      -found independence rock

      -boy told us he carved his name on the rock and that many people have done this

      -traded 2 wagon tongues for 1 oxen

      -

       

      to south pass

      -very little water

      -ox wanders off - lost 2 days

       -very little water

      -inadequate grass

      -bad water

      -inadequate grass

      -found south pass

      -young girl tells us her father is sick and they're resting until he gets better, they pushed too hard apparently.

      -rested for 3 days and got health from poor to fair

      -trail divides here, i may go to: Green River Crossing or Fort Bridger...

      -Green River = Closer -Fort = Shops and safer looking

      -Decided on green River crossing

       

      to Green river crossing

      -fire in the wagon... lost 110 bullets, 1 wagon wheel, 3 wagon axles and 555 pounds of food out of 635...

      -arrive at green river

      -Talked to indian who says they were fine helping out but now are too many white men and too little land

      -trade 1 wagon tongue or 23 pounds of food

      -change to grueling pace

      -rest for 2 days

      -ferry trip wait for 6 days

       

      to soda springs - 8 pounds of food

      -bad water

      -very little water

      -very little water

      -inadequate grass

      -inadequate grass

      -soda springs

      -Mile Hendrick says we should take more shortcuts as saving time and provisions is worth the risk

       

      to fort hall

      -inadequate grass

      -anne gets a fever

      -anne dies...

      -fort hall

      -120 pounds of food

      -Miss Hendrick parts with us heading to california and telling us er have snake river to cross

      -rest 10 days -very poor to poor

       

      to snake river crossing

      -Ann has dysentry

      -severe blizzard losing us 1 day

      -angle breaks an arm

      -impassable trail - lose 10 days

      -snake river crossing

      -we trade for an indian 2 clothes to help us cross

       

      to fort boise

      -at fort boise

      -bought 75 food on 20cents

      -trader tells us we cant make blue mountains without mules.

       

      to blue mountains

      -blue mountain

      -traveler tells us ox died on dust

      -Fort walla walla or the dalles

      -chose the dalles as i have no cash and shortcut will save on our 23 pounds of food

       

       

      to the dalles

      -wagon wheel breaks - able to repair it

      -find an abandoned wagon with 1 wagon axle and 1 wagon tongue

      -Angle has exhaustion

      -Arnie has dysentry

      -ran out of food

      -made it to the dalles

      -toll collecter for the barlow road

      -trade 1 of 7 oxen for 1 set of clothing

      -trade 1 ox for 51 ponds of food

      -Columbia River or Barlow Toll Road

       

      ... since I have 20 cents...

      -Columbia River

      -raft hit shore lost 1 ox

      -raft hit shore lost 1 ox, 1 set of clothing, 51 bullets 14 pounds of food

      -landed in the willamette valley

      -MADE IT TO OREGON

       

       

       

    • My game demo for my Media project.

      4 years ago

      metalmonster13

      Hello everybody, i'll keep this short.?

      I made a demo for a game for my Media SAT (Basically my big Media Project).
      In this demo I tried to cram as much stuff as I could and give the player a 10 minute timer.

      Now I wish I could have added more... a lot more then in the actual demo, but I'm proud for what I did actually do, many sleepless nights were spent the week before to get this done.

      Anyway, in case you're wondering I was mostly inspired by some of Bioware's finer works (KOTOR, DA:O, Jade Empire, etc...) and really wanted to attempt making that style of RPG in the ol' traditional sprite look of a JRPG.

      What you may notice is that I have used RPG Maker VX Ace, which is a pretty good software to use to make JRPG games.
      But pointing this out quickly, the battle system is in the old school Dragon Quest style, wether this is a good or bad thing is entirely up to you.

      Quick instructional: Unzip the zipped folder and go to the .exe file (The bigger one) click on it and allow it to extract wherever you please and then go into that folder and run the .exe there.
      There should be further documentation in the folder to help whoever as well.

      Controls: Z= Interact (Basically the A button)
      X= Cancel (Basically the B Button)
      ESC= Menu Screen (Basically START)
      Enter: Used in the naming screen for faster name entering goodness.
       

      So yeah, enjoy the few missions, battles and the music (Which I have also placed with a Pianist in the pub who basically acts like a jukebox)
       

      Let me know what you think in the comments section and let's open up some discussion on stuff.

      PS: See if you can get most of the metal references I put in the game.
      If you can you are awesome and my new friend.
      If you can and are a female I would also like to date you (Joking!... or am I?)

      http://www.fileswap.com/dl/yYoNlMTYhj/ (THIS IS THE FILE)

       

    • Short reviews 1

      4 years ago

      metalmonster13

       Hello fellow gamers, today, just thought I'd  upload something  since I haven't in ages, and, well, what better way to come back  to good ol' Screwattack than some reviews!

      (Note here: I apologize if these reviews are short and a bit uninformative, but Steam does give you a small text limit to work with, I want to try and be better at making these short reviews, so any constructive criticism is greatly appreciated)


      Anywho, these are the games today:
      Breath of Death VII
      Cthluhu Saves the World
      Knights of the Old Republic

      Lets do this in Alphabetical order shall we? (Which also happens to be the order I got them and played them in)

       

      Breath of Death VII 
      Platform played: PC (Also on X-Box 360) 
      Price: $3 on Steam (Also comes with Cthluhu Saves the World)  

      This game is just so good, in the span of 3-5 hours I managed to have more fun, more laughs, more genuine greif then all of Mass Effect 3 and what it was builduing towards.

      The game will be done and you will be begging for more, not just the fast paced and interesting gameplay, but a Breath of Death VIII with all the characters you will grow to love.

      And on top of that, there are multiple difficulty levels and some secret things to find, as well as a Score Attack mode if you are that hardcore,you also get another game, Chthulu saves the World, which I will write a short review of when I finish this.
      All in all, I say go buy this game now, support a great indie developer and have heaps of fun doing it.

      Also, if you are iffy and feel like you don't have money, for shame (Yes I got this as a gift, but I will gladly buy this game again) this pack is only $3 and, if you aren't still sold, each game in the pack is $1.50 each.
      It managed to be the most fun I have had for any IOS priced game.

       

      (In the comments section my own rant at no one in particular)
      Support these guys!
      Not those asshole fatcats who nickel and dime you at major companies, if you ever come across anyone who has claimed the Street Fighter x Tekken costume packs were worth the money, and they have yet to play this game or have denounced it, I give you permission to kick his/her ass.

       

      Cthulhu Svaes the World
      Played: PC (Also on the X-box 360)
      Price: $3 on Steam (Also comes with Breath of Death VII) 

      Managing to be better than BoDVII in many ways, CStW:SHECEADDXPAFESHDPEGotYCE(WA) manages to be a game that improves many systems that arefound in BoD.

      The combat, for example is the same fast paced fun it was, but this time around there is more diversity among the 7 characters and, along with their respective level trees, they each feel unique.
      A new mechanic called 'Insanity' is a great addition to the gameplay, basically, some abilities will turn an 'enemy' insane, and, during this insane state, you and your party members gain bonuses attacking the enemy group, but, making some enemies insane may make them stronger, providing some pretty intense battles here and there.

      This game ran me about 7 hours to beat on normal difficulty, and this isn't including all the bonus content which includes more modes these include a directors commentary, and an entirely new story mode, as well as some gameplay specific modes.

      Buy this now with BoD and cherish them, they really are great games.

       

       (In the comments because it needed to be said)

       Also, despite not stating in this review, the game has a funny and charming story, and, much like BoD will have you liking all the characters.

       

      Knights of the Old Republic
      Platform played: PC (Also on X-box, unsure if on another system)
      Price: Got it on Steam sale for $7.50 (If not on sale I think the game will run you about $10.00)

      Before Bioware turned to the dark-side, they were making gamesd, RPG games using D&D comabt to be exact.

      KOTOR is an amazing game, being apprehensve myself about diving into the extended Star Wars univerese, I finally gave in and felt a power only those who... *cough* sorry, still a bit enthralled from the game.

      I love how Bioware has managed to command the Star Wars lore and univerese as if it were its own, the story and world is perhaps, one of the greatest in all of video games (Thanks to sharing a lot with the original Star Wars trilogy and Bioware's exceptional writing)

      The main thing i'd like you to take from this review is that this game, is an RPG, almost pure RPG, you'll find yourself liking the companions you find and choosing your own path to accomplish your destiny.

      All in all, this review can't do the game justice, but neither can another, it is a game you must play for yourself to really aprreciate it.

      You like Star Wars and video games ? Buy it right now.



       

       

      So fellow G1's, what do you all think ? 
      Any way to improve my writing or this idea in general ?
      And if you are curious about any of these games and want to know more, do not hesitate to ask me in the comments or trough private messages!
       

      Thank you for reading  and to everyone all over the world:
      Goodmorning Goodafternoon and Goodnight friends!

    • Uncharted: Drake's Fortune - Analysis & Critique

      4 years ago

      metalmonster13

       

      Uncharted: Drake's Fortune

      Analysis and Critique.

      By metalmonster13.




       

       

      Game: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune

      Developer: Naughty Dog

       

      System Played: PS3

       

       

       

       

      Uncharted is a third-person action game with cover based shooter elements similar to Gears of War and platforming elements similar to that of Assassin's Creed (Many people citing the game is more or less 'Dude Raider', Tomb Raider with a male lead character, I can't say for myself though since I haven't played a Tomb Raider game yet).

      The two elements gel well together and Uncharted manages to capture the feel of a big budget action movie, throughout the entire game it felt like I was playing a movie in the same vein as Indiana Jones or National Treasure.

       

      You'll get two weapon slots to mix and match with, one being only for pistols and the other for more exotic stuff like shotguns, sniper rifles and machine guns, nothing really over the top though mostly to keep with its realistic factor but I'm not the biggest fan of the two-weapon limit in games these days.

      I believe it's fine here though since I feel the combat is fast and weapons can be swapped out on the fly, but a huge problem stems from how fragile Nathan Drake is and how often you need to replenish your ammo supply.

       

      Modern games (Third Person Shooters at least) have conditioned us to be unstoppable tanks who can regenerate their health with a quick duck behind cover, the same is true in Uncharted... except the tank bit... Nathan Drake drops faster and more often then the Italian national squad! 

      It is a good change of pace though as it actively forces the player to monitor the situation around them and not act rashly, picking off key enemies and waiting for an opening, which is great in theory but doesn't hold true when the opposition can soak up bullets like Shang Tsung soaks up souls.

       

      The biggest gripe I have with the game is the amount of bullets a bad guy can take, in normal mode it took at least 5-8 pistol shots to any part of the body (besides the head) to drop a guy and 2-3 shots with head damage, and this was in Normal!

      Now I'm not against difficulty but when you throw 6 guys at me in a high position with a guy on a turret to back them up and another guy crawling from a cave behind you and a cuss from Drake as you realize a grenade has landed right next to you that's just too brutal .

       

      I did find it neat that enemies would drop their weapons in the fashion that you'd shoot them though (Slumping over the weapon would just fall with them but a shotgun blast would send the weapon up into the air as well for example).

       

      You'll also be given the option to engage in hand-to-hand combat, mixing Square and Triangle to knock enemies out, my favorite way to dispose of enemies actually.

      I also loved how the attacks are dynamic, grabbing an enemy behind cover has Drake using the cover to beat the crap out of the baddie for example and they just seem plain brutal.

       

      With the hand-to-hand combat comes some light stealth elements, though it doesn't feel as refined as it should be.

      I expected some more ways to play stealthily and ultimately was disappointed, you can knock out maybe 2 guards tops before some other guard spots you and without some sort of feedback it really isn't a viable play choice.

       

      My typical gripe with games trying to emulate movies though is that the best action is all in the cutscenes and that they're all overly long (Metal Gear Solid being the largest offender) but this is not the case with Uncharted thankfully.

      Cutscenes aren't intrusive and serve to add to the pace of the game, what I am getting at is that they're done well.

       

      But not as well are the QTEs that pop out every once and a while to greet the player and smack them in the face.

      I'm not a fan of them, I feel that a QTE is a thing only select games should have because they're done well in them (God of War) not to dodge a falling crate that sends you back to the start of the section.

       

      Worthy to note is how gorgeous the game is, the jungle-island setting is vivid with great vistas of the surrounding ocean, derelict U-boats both slow and quicken the pace with their scary atmosphere and under ground ruins illicit awes with their many intricacies.

      Climbing around these areas prove to be a real treat to the eye.

       

       Equally well done are the character models both in and out of cutscene, one of the most aesthetically pleasing games of this generation I must say and equally as pleasing is the great voice acting, facial expressions and body emotions, the animators really knocked it out of the park.

      Lines are delivered how they're meant to, with shock, excitement and whatever emotion you can think of  and the animation matches it, this excellent correlation between the two seems to have a positive effect in forming an attachment to the characters of Uncharted.

       

      Nathan Drake (Nolan North) is a charming, suave treasure hunter, stereotypical some might say but right at home in this kind of adventure, some may not like him to begin with but by the end of Uncharted I found him quite likable and was willing to dive into Uncharted 2 to continue his grand adventures.

      Nathan's mentor Victor Sullivan (Richard McGonagole ) I also found to be quite the cool cat, a father figure to Drake, ladies man and one of the best ß in video games bar none, Sullivan is a character I had an instant rapport with.

      To round off the protagonists we have Elena Fisher(Emily Rose), female lead and romantic(?) interest, Elena is a rare female character in the modern market.

      Don't get me wrong here, I'm not jumping on 'that' recent bandwagon, but Elena is one of the few characters in modern video games who isn't hyper-sexualized,   

      or just there for the sake of being there.

      She fits right in and is admirable for her determination that is shown throughout the story.

       

      As for villains we have two characters who have a past connection to Nathan and Sullivan.

      Eddy Raja(James Sie), leader of a pirate gang or as I like to call a "Scarface wannabe" serves as Nathan's villain while Sullivan has some past dealing with Gabrial Roman(Simon Templeman), English treasure seeker.

      All in all the villains aren't too memorable but well... I don't really want to spoil anything so you'll have to play for yourself.

       

      As for the score it opens up strong with "Nate's Theme" the song to first grace the players ears when they navigate the main menu really does serve to prepare one for adventure, and becoming the staple track for the Uncharted series.

       

      Good scores usually set and or improve the mood, Uncharted being no exception to this rule, each track suits the moment, a good example would be exploring the eerie bunker with the aptly named 'The Bunker' in the background, which serves to build the player up for a good scare or 'Heading Upriver''s fast tempo to help the motorboat sections feel more fast.

       

      Were I to change anything it'd be to make the enemies more reasonable but Naughty Dog had beaten me to the punch with Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.

      The only other gripe was at how Nathan controlled, to me he felt too floaty for his own good, going off for bungee diving without the cord once too often but again this was improved in the sequel.

      Improved stealth elements and some sort of stealth feedback would be a very well welcomed addition to the series I must say, sure Uncharted 2 had improved the light stealth and it is definitely in the right direction but proper stealth mechanics will be very welcome.

       

      Hell, the one other thing I would add is a bullwhip! 
       

       

      In closing I'd like to say Uncharted was a great game and actually the closest thing to a movie I have ever played and hell, if Tim Scahfer liked it then that means it must be good.

       
    • Mass Effect 3 Endings. How it was and how it really should have ended.

      4 years ago

      metalmonster13

        *Spoiler Alert*

       

       

       

       


      *SPOILER ALERT*

       

       

       

       

       

      LAST SPOILER ALERT SORRY !

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      So, outraged by the horrible Mass Effect 3 endings, I was sad.
      I found two things to cheer me up though, hope they work for you:

       

      How it really was:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQvPFNjxxU0&feature=channel

       

      How it should have been:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAmVVAjZZeM&feature=related 

      But seriously, the endings given to us had no business being anywhere near Mass Effect 3 but fret not, some fans have decided to take action!

       

       

      I'll cut to the chase, if you really want to see a revised ending (Neon Genesis Evangelion style) you can do a couple of things, firstly, you can like this Facebook page :

      http://www.facebook.com/DemandABetterEndingToMassEffect3

       

       

      You could also join the Bioware forums and complain, though I never bother with that sort of thing, there was one member who decided to start a 'Donation Drive' and an online petition for Bioware to, at the least, give us fans some proper endings and closure.

      Here is the link to the forum with all the information (If you are willing)

      http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/355/index/9845819/1

       

       

      Now I know a lot of you are going to jump on the bandwagon and claim : 'You shouldn't be complaining about the ending, as Bioware's writers decide...' No, you sir or madam need to shut up, the writers shouldn't have written an ending to something that wasn't Mass Effect 3 and then try to poorly implement it!

      But i'm just here to be a catalyst to those who want to do something to change the god-awfulness.

      (Side Note: And you know you've done something right on the business end when thousands of fans are demanding for a 'Proper Ending' DLC... Demanding DLC...)

      And yes, I am aware of that whole 'Theory' floating about, but, ME3 didn't give us any proper Resolution to this nor any proper Epilogue.

       

      Well, not much else  more for me to say really, if any of you want to debate about this at all, continue it down in the comments or through the messaging system.
      Cheers and have a good day friends!

      And also, I, for the record, thought the entire game was absolutely brilliant right up until 'That' happens

    • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - Analysis & Critique

      4 years ago

      metalmonster13

       

      Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

      Analysis and Critique.

      By metalmonster13 


       

       

       

       

      Game: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves 

      Developer: Naughty Dog

       

      System Played: PS3

       

       

       

       

       

      Preface:

       

      Sequels are a good thing in my book, though in others they are less then favorable coughyhatzeecough for one reason or another.
      To me they present a refining of the original concept and or continue the story of characters I wouldn't mind hanging out with.

       

      Some of my faveorite games are sequels, Pikmin 2, iNfamous 2, Yakuza 3&4, Banjo Tooie and so on and so forth.
      I can say without hesitation that Uncharted 2 is one of 'those' sequels, the one that improves on the original in almost every aspect.

       

      But let me stop you before you get too far into the review.
      Uncharted 2 is a game you can enjoy only if you are into the action adventure genre.
      This game won't appeal to you if you dine on Deus Ex or Elder Scrolls exclusively, but if you want a game that plays like a big budget hollywood movie you will find a lot to enjoy in the series, especially in this sequel.

       

      Before that is taken out of context, they (Uncharted 1&2) play like movies in a good way, not the Metal Gear Solid or Final Fantasy XIII way.
      Uncharted plays like a movie in the context of it being like you are in the movie and controlling the lead character.

       

      Now that all of that is out of the way let us begin:

       

       

       

      Uncharted 2 is a third-person shooter/action adventure game, the shooting coming in the form of a Gears of War styled cover shooter and platforming akin to Assassin's Creed.

       

       

      It plays almost identically to the original Uncharted game but with numerous improvements all over the board.
      First and foremost is that Nathan controls a lot tighter than he does in the last game.
      Rather then feeling like it was the games fault every time I fell it now feels like it was due to an error on my behalf... which is exactly how it should feel in an action-adventure game!

       

      The shooting has been improved as well, not just from the introduction of more diverse weaponry, ranging from more exotic assault rifles, shotguns and my personal favorite, the pistole (A pistol-shotgun more or less).

      But the addition of more diverse cronies to combat is very welcome indeed!
      You have your standard enemies who'll go down in one hit from a well placed pistol shot too shotgun toting guys with heavy combat armor who need to be peppered in the face a lot.
      This addition of more diverse enemy types really works in Uncharted 2's favor.

      Even the hand-to-hand combat was revamped for this sequel, rather then tapping square five times or a combo of square, triangle, square, the two have been made separate functions.
      Square initiates the fist fight like in the last game but now triangle is only used to counter the opponents own effort.

       

      Rather then feeling too different from the original this actually seems a more natural fit.
      Combat feels more tense when your enemies are actually fighting back and when it takes multiple fist fights to knock out certain enemies like the combat armor shotgun wielders. 
      Though don't try starting a fist fight in the middle of a shoot out, you'll probably end up looking like Murphy from Robo-Cop in a jiff.

      Stealth has also been improved upon, this time around Nate keeps in a ducked position if enemies haven't spotted him and stays that way, giving us some nice visual feedback.
      Enemies can be taken out in cover, which is gratifying, pulling them off a mountain, slamming them into a wall or smashing them on a chest high wall, it's all very robust and fun to pull off.

      But a a very obvious problem stems forth which I should have bought up in my last review... why can't I crouch without the need of cover?
      I understand that these are 'cover-shooters' but would it kill to have a proper crouch button so I can aim a little better or use cover more effectively?

      Not only has the combat been improved, we also have improved climbing animations, which really do make the game more believable and some of the climbing sections more pulse-pounding.

      Which leads us to the many stunning environments you will come across in the story, from a museum in Istanbul to urban-warfare distraught Nepal, jungles and the mountains of Tibet.
      Naughty Dog improved the graphics engine for Uncharted 2 and it really shows, especially with the snow and ice environments, it has some of the best dynamic snow of any game I have played.

      The great voice acting is also back, with every returning character having their respective voice actor come back to reprise their role.
      New comers Harry Flynn (Steve Valentine) Chloe Frazer (Claudia Black) and the intimidating villain Zoran Lazarevic (Graham Mctravish) fit the cast perfectly.

      What I can say is the villains are superior to those found in the original without question, Zoran Lazarevic, Serbian war-criminal  being a highlight for his vicious nature.

      To round it off the score in this game is really good, another well done effort on Greg Edmonson's behalf, every track he composed suits the moment perfectly. 
      Making a welcome return is the series mainstay, 'Nate's Theme' this time version 2.0, again serving up the tantalizing allure of nature.

      Other noteworthy tracks include the somber 'Marco Polo', the tense 'Cat and Mouse'  and the terrific 'Brutal Combo Mambo'.

      On talk of brutal combos the sound effects are also nicely done, bone crunching melee attacks and powerful explosions really add to the ouch factor and the heavy winds well traversing the mountains really feel like heavy winds on a mountaintop.

      But regarding the story all I can say is that it is very well done (I am trying to avoid spoilers).
      But I have to say that the game begins in perhaps one of the most jarring ways possible!
      It is filled with twists and turns and a lot of explosive action to keep you on your seat for it's 10-13 hour campaign and if ever you want to play it again Naughty Dog has included incentive bonuses.

      Once you beat the game you'll have access to some nifty extras like player skins, render modes, slow-mo or fast-mo and various things to play around with.
      All of which is unlocked through collecting treasures in single-player or playing the multi-player and getting cash.

      Now the  competitive multi-player isn't really my thing but from what I hear it is fun, so it adds bang to your buck, except at the time of writing it's 2012, so don't expect the lobbies to be filled with people.

      All in all, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is one of 'those' sequels, the one that improves on the original in almost every aspect.

      You won't like it if you don't like these types of games but if you are a fan of them, Uncharted and Uncharted 2 should not be overlooked

       

       

       

       

       

       

    • GAME - The final day (Pickups)

      4 years ago

      metalmonster13

       

      Clive Barker's Jericho was always a game I wanted to try out, and, even though I heard some bad things about it, I couldn't pass up the chance to get it for only about $8 (Was originally $11)


      Little note: In Australia, we have sucky prices for games, new games are around $89 for a week(If the store if JB-HiFi) And around $99 - $110 everywhere else, so when a game is under $10, I just have to get it, regardless of quality unless it's one of those really bad cash in ones.
      Heck, rest assured that any imported title you find at JB is the exact same price it has been for months now (El Shaddai and Dynatsy Warriors 6 for example)

       

      Also a game I wanted to get, LOTR WITN  will hopefully capture the fun I had playing  LOTR The Two Towers and Return of the King on the Gamecube, and even then, I've been looking for an RPG that's pretty much a beat'em'up and not Dragon Age II.



      Interesting story behind this, the X-Box 360 version of the game was $60 well the PS3 version was only $30, this, coupled with the 40% discount  made the game $18, very much landing in the 'insta-buy if I ever wanted it for some reason'.

       

       

      Battle Fantasia is never talked about, don't know why, but the game was sort of a rarity here, as the only store that seemed to stock it was GAME and the fact that it was made by the Guilty Gear and the Blazblue guys pretty much sold me on it.
      I love Blazblue.
      This one was $40 so with the discount that made it about $22, again falling into that  curiosity 'range' I have (anyone curious, it's usually $30)

       

      This one was around $65 ($41 if i'm not mistaken) was one I had my eye on for a while, mostly interested because it was made by the Toshihiro Nagoshi, the creator of the Yakuza series (3 and 4 being among my favorite games of all time and 1 and 2 teases I can't have until I get a new PS2).



      I had my heart set on finding Yakuza: Dead Souls for cheap, well, I guess to fill that void I got Binary Domain, this actually being the only game  on the list that I played the demo to, and, i've said it countless time to my friends, it's the 'Terminator game you wanted but never got' 
      I enjoyed the demo and you bet your arse I'm gonna enjoy the full game.

       

       NOTE: Couldn't find the Starter Deck, but it was a Black/White deck.
      Here is a picture anyway

      Magic has always been a side hobby of mine, I love the odd game that isn't on screen, and, unlike Yu-gi-oh, Magic has managed to glue itself to me (possibly also why I like DuelMasters so much)


      I usually play Black, deceitfulness and death always were my faveorite tactics in a game of cards (Which is a great contrats to how I play video games, always being the hero and such).
      So this pick was a no-brainer, I also got a nice little booster pack of 15 cards.



      This deck also has an interesting concept, sacrifice humans to better bosst your other cards, a tactic I was quite fond of back in my DuelMaster days, but never really used.
      This was $20, so I got it for about $14.
       

       

       

      And my last purchase was Prey, not a game I am too familiar with nor could play, I got it for a friend I was gonna visit because, why the hell not ?


      Interesting game with some interesting ideas that I rather like, especially the use of Portals (No fanboys this game did not copy Portal) to change perspectives and such, they aren't usable like Portal's portals, but they do add an intersting dimension to the game.

      This was at a locked price of $8.
       

      Note: This is the only game I played properly as I went to my mates house after the trip and played the first couple of levels there... I thought it was a Horror game, but I was surprised, disappointed and happy with the purchase (My friend rather enjoyed it and thought it was cool, as did I)

       

      That was it from GAME, at the counter I talked to a regular worker, I'd grown fond of everyone working there even though I only had the odd conversation with them and don't ever recall asking their names.
      But they were a pleasent bunch, heck, I had a Street Fighter match with (At least I assumed) the manager and another regular once.



      Anyway, we had a pleasent conversation and I wished all of them the best of luck, GAME the retailer had gone into administration on the 14th, and, closed most stores on the 29th, so I'm hoping that everyone who did work at GAME are able to find new jobs and recover fast!

       

      *BONUS TIME*
       

      Well paying a visit to Toy Kingdom with my little sister, I stumbled upon Pokeball Stressballs, being the fan I am, I couldn't pass these up, so I got one of each ball they had in stock and an extra Master Ball for my little sister.

      Just to list them I got a:

      -Pokeball


      -Greatball


      -Ultraball


      -Masterball

       -Repeatball

       

      I also have another blog post with three reviews on it, so get over there naow!

      http://www.screwattack.com/news/short-reviews-1

       

      Anyway, thank you for reading g1's and all the best wishes to  GAME employees.

    • Bioshock - An analysis and critique

      4 years ago

      metalmonster13


      Bioshock.
      Analysis and Critique.
       
      Game: Bioshock
      Developer: 2K Boston (Now 'Irrational Games')
                           2K Australia
                           2K Marin
      For a full list: 
      http://www.allgame.com/game.php?id=65407&tab=credits
       
      System Played: PS3
       
       
      Preface:
      Bioshock is an interesting game for me, I started the series with the 2nd game in the series (Played in 2010) and had every media outlet and its commenters spoil it for me after a bit of its release in 2008.
       
      I only just now got around to playing it in 2012 at the end of my High Schooling.
       
      In between 2010 and 2012 I had an enlightenment of sorts into gaming, I played the entire Deus Ex series (Games which Bioshock shares a few things with, System Shock being most notable) and a billion others.
       
      I didn't appreciate the design of Bioshock 2, I sort of rushed through it in a daze, but now I do appreciate these things and plan on replaying it to better judge it.
       
      I stray far from topic now, so let me say this:
      Yes, Bioshock does attain what it strives for, in this 2006 Bioshock presentation (This video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEDWtTE2Ixw&feature=related)
       
      Ken Levine at the very start of the presentation states his intention clearly, watching this actually reminds me very much of Andrew Ryan's now famous introduction to Rapture.
       
      But how does it achieve this, well first, let's dive into its mechanics:
       
      Bioshock is an FPS game, but a very different one to what was the norm at the time (As stated a billion times in the Bioshock 'Making of Series')
      Opposed to the idea of everyone having the same experience, Bioshock allows the player free reign over how it is played in its confines.
       
      The player can shoot thing the ol' fashioned way with a Pistol, Shotgun, (And my personal favorite) Crossbow and etc... but the player can also play with genetic powers known as Plasmids, hack robots to do their work for them or outright avoid fights with inventive use of all of the above.
       
      Plasmids provide the player with powers, such as setting enemies and objects on fire, electrifying them, freezing them, swarming them in bees, the list is extensive.
      With proper use the player can combine the effects of these plasmids to devastating effect, for example: setting a splicer on fire will cause it to run to a close water pool to dive in, when they do you can shock the pool dealing tremendous damage to them.
       
      More uses can evolve from necessity and experimentation, in my experience, trap wires were annoying, they'd either do a lot of damage or take one of my precious bullets, during one stage when using telekinesis to move something I accidently knocked it into the one of those wires, using it up on the corpse.
       
      I've read combinations online as well, such as setting a Target Dummy and setting a mine in the same spot, or setting a mine on the roof and using Cyclone Trap to throw them up into it.
       
      These also extend to passive equipment called Tonics, which allow the player to slow down hack time or add more damage to their Wench (the melee weapon).
       
      To buy these powers one must have ADAM, to gain ADAM is a risk in itself, to get it you have to get some from a Little Sister, to get to one you need to kill her protecter, a Big Daddy, the big imposing poster child of the Bioshock brand.
       
      Basically moving boss fights, they will only engage you if you harm them, so the player is conditioned to plan before starting a fight with them.
      Which is precisely what must be done, since things happen all the time in Rapture, Splicers roam and attack you on sight and security cameras can wreck anyones day if not seen.
       
      The levels in Bioshock are also worthy of note, not linear but rather open, allowing the player to explore at their own will, they needn't, but there are incentives.
       
      The main reason to explore I feel is to learn about the world, and this is conveyed through various methods, the most iconic though would have to be the voice-recordings, characters giving their own particular thoughts to what is going on at the time.
       
      Andrew Ryan may speak of why he created Rapture under the sea or another of his tapes shows us his thoughts on the Civil War.
      Tapes may tell us how and why the Big Daddy was made and why little girls were necessary to harvest ADAM.
      What it most excellently done though is how these are spread out, a section near the end game where the Big Daddies are made only contains tapes pertaining to that area(As in, tapes on the Daddies), nothing about the civil war is there in order to not confuse the player and to help immerse them even more.
       
      This carries to more intricate things like seeing a crazed Splicer coddling her pram and then finding a tape which details why she had fallen into that state or a tortured corpse with some ammo near it and a tape with orders on them.
       
      Rapture is a living thing and is rich with intricacies, and the levels in Bioshock are big, not huge, but big and also confining.
      It's hard to describe really, but the games accentuate both the gameplay and the exploration.
       
      But that is all just history, the actual plot for the game seems pretty uninteresting at the beginning, but it increases in pace every level you go until eventually the big 'twist' kicks in, which was brilliantly well done  that even though I knew it would happen was still great.
      I won't say much to spoil the game for anyone having not played it though.
       
      To bring it on home the excellent sound design really completes Rapture, from it's use of a live orchestra and intentional old sounding recording (Keeping mistakes and page turning), popular songs of the time from artists like The Inkspots  or Bing Crosby and the intentional refrain of synth sounds and use of mechanical sounds.
       
       
      Using the MDA framework, these Mechanics all combines to form a dynamic and rich game, Splicers attack each-other in petty squabbles, Big Daddies when under fire will pick their Little Sister up and put her behind them, the levels history is explored through tapes while 'Papa Loves Mambo' plays in the background and the player is able to go about things as they will.
       
      If I could change one thing it'd be making the big moral choice an actual moral choice.
      Saving sisters or Harvesting doesn't really have much of a difference, simply, I would make harvesting the sisters have more appeal by giving the player a lot more ADAM for their trouble or less if you choose to save them.
       
      My favorite moment in the game barring the 'twist' was with Sander Cohen, again to avoid spoilers I chose to kill him because of his well... justice demanded it basically.
       
      If I were to add a second thing it would be more of Rapture's citizens whose freedom in Rapture twisted them.
       
       
      As it stands I've probably been giving out a lot of merits in Bioshock's favor, (Much so that this may not be too much a critique, more an analysis or something) it is a great game if I played it back when it released I would have been hoping for more games like it (Much like the original Deus Ex) but as it stands I've only played one game to try and draw things from Bioshock (Singularity, I guess tapes found in any game after Bioshock can also be attributed to Bioshock ).
       
      In a modern glut of mediocre games Bioshock stands as direct opposition to the modern shooter that is over-saturated in todays market(and the past market), much like Andrew Ryan stood against the government and the church.
       
      Now many may belittle Bioshock for not being as good as System Shock (I have no say on the matter yet) but all must agree that it is a step in the right direction of how shooters should be designed.
       
    • [Community Showcase] - Why 'violent video games' should not be banned

      5 years ago

      metalmonster13

      Part 1

      As people, we have the right to choose, what religion we belong to, what to eat for dinner tomorrow, what suit to wear, what to name our children or even have children. No matter what, we have free will.

      This is why this talk of 'banning violent video games' SICKENS me. Whose right is it to deny people what they want to play? Paying for it with their own money, in their own time, in their own home?

      Is it not wrong for these 'Politicians' and extremists to want to ban violent video games?

      It is very wrong.

      The people who want to deny your freedom say it is *Gruff tone* 'for the good of the children' and it is at that point where I say, hold on a darn minute! It's all well and good that you wouldn't want YOUR children playing these games, but who gives you the right to tell my parents what is right for me?!

      These wanna be oppressors' state that the parent 'has no knowledge on what their child is purchasing' Where I step in again and say, isn't that why we have classification? You know: E, E10+, T, M and AO; to let parents know what kind of contents are in these games.

      The last of which isn't even available to people under the age of 18!

      Obviously, if the parent will allow the child to play the game, then they have enough faith and trust in their child to not become gun-toting maniacs' hell bent on machine-gunning every hooker in a two-mile radius, and this is all their CHOICE.

      Part 2

      I hear all the *fingers up and down* morally correct people say, there have been studies that prove that 'violent video games' make people more aggressive, to which I ask, how thorough was this study?

      There have been many a study on the effect of video games on the human psyche, and one prevalent issue is that the violent ones make people more aggressive. Not to sound like a Major in Psychology (I AM only in Year 11 Psychology) the research is very subjective and not that reliable, case in point.

      The University of Queensland's recent study showing the 'Dangers of Violent video games',

      In the study, participants were asked to rate, on a scale of one to ten, their 'warmth, kindness and morality'. He then had them play Mortal Kombat and then re-rate themselves, this, was the experiment.

      *Shake head and laugh*

      It's a silly experiment because it relies on purely subjective data, and the thing that makes this study utterly irrelevant is that said study does not conclude whether or not such effects carry over to "real life".

      Now, these 'freedom to fight freedom' fighters will say that there is no research which proves that violent video games do not make children into rabid serial killers (We have ratings... again.)

      Oh... But there has been a few, one notable example is DR Simon Goodson and Sarah Pearson of Huddersfield University's research.
      They had participants play A racing game, a 3D table tennis game and an unspecified first person shooter game, and surprisingly, the driving game caused the highest aggression where as the graphically violent first person shooter caused the least.

      Part 3

      In fact, there have been research and studies that prove violent video games can be good for people.

      For example,
      A report called Understanding the Effects of Violent Video Games on Violent Crime' written by three respected academics has argued that gamers are actually 'too busy' playing to cause much trouble in the real world, proven by federal crime statistics In the US, juvenile crime is actually at a 30-year low.

      Research conducted by the Massachusetts General Hospital Centre for Mental Health and Media, show that people use games to vent and reduce stress, most notably, violent video games. These people were the opposite of your stereotypical gamer, the dungeon dwelling anti-socialite; they are normal people in everyday society, many of whom are avid gamers.

      Finally Dr Bavelier's (and many others) research has shown that fast paced action games, especially shooters, sharpen vision, improve attention and memory and develop motor skills and hand eye co-ordination, helping you in real world tasks, like driving and multi tasking.

      Conclusion

      Violent video games should not be banned, it infringes on our free will and research set out to prove the horrible effects of violent games have fallen flat, well on the other side of the pond at least. Other research has shown positive effects, with stronger validity than those set out to debauch violent video games.

  • About Me

    I am a gamer from Australia that was born with a controller in my hands and metal blasting over my fathers speakers, always up to make acquaintances and friends, especially with other gamers, hell, I already consider you all friends, this changes only when you poop in my shoes though, so fell free to hit me up for a conversation sometime!

    Currently in my final year of high-school!

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