Gaming Update - Completed 4 new games, my thoughts (mini reviews) PART 1
Well, i dont know how it ALWAYS works out like this, but this week i completed 4 games. Not like i super gamed or anything, it just happened that from a little playing over the last months and weeks all led up to me finishing them this week. So heres me thoughts on the following games ive finished.
Magic Ball (PSN)
what's somewhat ironic with todays games is that 2 of the 4 are games whom i was in the beta for for about a month each, the ironic part being that i hated the betas. Those games were resistance 2 and littlebigplanet, and i had less then stellar opinions on both of them. Well, now my opinions are changed, maybe for better or worse... so lets get into it!
I bought this game on the cheap for $35 bucks new, despite absolutely hating the beta. I thought to myself, there must be something im missing, even despite my month long efforts in the beta, logging in countless hours merely searching for some redeeming fun factor in an otherwise less then worthwhile game.
Having the full game in my hands, i can say im still not too impressed. Sometimes i just think i "dont get" littlebigplanet... but after 40+ hours with the beta, and maybe 30+ with the full game, mostly searching for fun, i really cant say there is much to be found.
The only thing i was happy with in LBP was the story mode. While quite short. The levels are fun and unique. It sorta does have a childish vibe to a lot of it, but theres also themes that are just appealing and cute for all audiences. The final stages and final boss battle were quite an epic experience for me.
There's also tons of replay value for the stages, and while short, i was quite happy with the aspect. Still, my complaints lie with mostly EVERYTHING ELSE in the game. let me explain.
First off, controls are horribly floaty and loose. i really think this game could have used some more time to tighten the controls, as most likely 80% of your deaths in the game are because of the poor controls, or the ackward shifting between the 3 planes, which never works when you want it to, and works when you dont want it to. These poor controls hamper every aspect of the game, including all the 3 prime ideals behind LBP, play, create share. the controls plague all these aspects.
Controls arent the only thing i have a problem with. I also have big problems with the create and share aspects. The stage creator is EXTREMELY powerful, if you can get through the over 2 hours of tutorials (some can be skipped, most cannot be) Despite its power though, creating stages really felt a lot more like WORK, and wasn't fun in the least. Also while powerful, its really not that simple... The ackward controls lend to the problem, but sometimes things you think should be built, end up ultimately failing because LBP has strange mechanics behind the creation. All and all, its just an extremely tedious and annoying process. I honestly can say that most of the better stages in the community levels easily take their developers at least 50 painstaking hours, and all for what? In the end, it just feels like way too much work, and little to no fun. Maybe there is some reward in a completed level, but after i poured 30 hours into one of my own, only to find that i had about 30 more hours of changes and fixes to make it work, i gave up...
Lastly, as said, story mode is really short, but the developers boast about community levels as giving infinite replayability. This is in some essence true, but the truth behind this is that most of these stages just suck ass... While there are 1000s of stages to choose from, with new stages being submitted daily, from my extended time with it, 80% of the stages are utter crap. There are a mere 15% that are good, and only 5% or less that actually surpass the quality of the story mode levels... finding those 5-20% can offer a really good time, but most of the time, your going to be sifting through (and wasting time) playing through shitty ass stages. Once again, this game feels like work in this aspect as you feel you are working to find a good stage....
all and all, maybe LBP is just not my type of game. I do enjoy the story mode a lot, but as said, its very short, and can be plowed through in about 4 hours pretty easily. But the other features that are supposed to complement the game arent really worth the time or money...
Playing online with a buddy is fun, but there were a lot of connection problems and slowdowns, especially in more detailed stages.
LBP is a game that just feels like more work then fun. Its short story mode is fun, but its not worth the full $60. In a way, im very tempted to give the game a much lower score then i am, around a 5 or 6 out of 10, but i have to give it some points for its innovation, whether it works or not... so overall, i give LBP a
I was a huge Resistance 1 fan. I loved the campaign, i loved the multiplayer. To say the least, i was psyched for this game, till i played the beta....
In the beta, the controls were super floaty, graphics and colors were way super saturated (looked like an acid trip through candy land - LOTS OF BRIGHT COLORS!), and the gameplay in general just felt like a step back from resistance 1... It honestly felt like everything that made resistance 1 unique and fun, was replaced with generic FPS mechanics that every game had. It felt like JUST ANOTHER FPS, not the game i had come to love, which is exactly why i passed on it at launch, and waited till just a few weeks ago when i found it new for $33 bucks.
Anyway, now having finished the full game, My opinion has totally swayed, and i love the game, but dont get me wrong, i still have some issues with it. Lets explain.
First off, the graphics were toned down in the final version, and i can say the game looks absolutely spectacular now. I was impressed start to end, and multiplayer and co-op still impressed me. Im glad they layed off the acid :P
Next controls were tightened a good deal in the final version, but i still think they feel a little more floaty then they should. To say the least, they are looser then the controls in resistance 1. It kinda creates a twitch type of FPS (similiar to Unreal Tournament) which moves much faster then resistance 1. Resistance 1 was fast, but damn, not that fast... Some people may like this, i for one, do not.. :(
But lets get into the bulk of this game. Its comprised of 3 main components. Campaign, Co-op, and Competitive.
The Campaign was ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC. first, let me make an aside here. Its amazing how much gears of war, halo 3, half life 2, and this game have in common. It seems like all these sci-fi shooters build there game off some archaic building block or something.... In regards to almost everything other then gameplay, the 4 games share similiar stories, similiar character and especially enemy designs, and similiar set pieces and levels... its quite odd.... ok, but enough of that aside.
The campaign was a really fulfilling stroll through 8 setpieces across the U.S. Each chapter lasts about an hour or so, with the total campaign length being about 10 hours. The story telling sometimes seems a bit forced, but overall, its an intriguing story, and is well done. Quite the interesting ending too (here come the gears, halo, half life comparisons....) By the end of the game, i felt like i had really gotten my money's worth, and was happy. Something every good game should make you feel.
My only complaint with the campaign is that the difficulty steadily increases at a solid rate, meaning beginning levels are super easy, whereas by the last level or 2, your taking on about 100 chimera at once versus maybe the 10 you faced in the beginning of the game. It would have been nicer to see some more easy and fun parts in the end game, instead, the end game is quite difficult.
To move on to Co-op. I liked it in the beta, and i still like it here. Its a bit more RPG like then shooter, and it often feels more like a WoW raid then an all out firefight. It's really interesting i think, because it really forces all 8 players to work together, or else you are must likely screwed... My only complaints is that sometimes the scope of it feels limited, as theres only 6 or 7 co-op levels (despite them changing each time, pathwise) and only 3 classes with pretty set in stone abilites. Theres not as much depth in play as i would hope.
Still though, Co-op is addicting, and its a fun experience.
The last part to discuss is Competitive, and this is where i feels the game struggles. Perhaps its just my personal feelings, but it just feels like too much of a twitch FPS. the addition of the 60 player games, and hell, even the old 30 and 40 player games feel extremely over frenetic, and i just dislike the change of pace from the first game. For those that love the fast shooter like Quake, Unreal Tournament, etc. theres lots to be loved in resistance 2's multiplayer. For people that like the slower, more strategic shooters, your going to be disapointed.
Overall, Resistance 2 is a great game. I honestly feel its campaign alone was good enough to be worth my money. The co-op and competitive mode are icing on the cake. I give it a
PLEASE SEE PART 2 FOR THE REST OF THIS BLOG!
I WRITE TOO MUCH AND THIS DOESNT FIT ALL IN ONE BLOG!!! LOL
and oh, COMMENT!
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