Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Gametober Part 2

Wow! I've been on the blogosphere for 4 days and already I'm my own rating system! Not bad for a weed growing out of the cracks in the internet. As Jason alluded, it is in fact that wonderful time of year when big name games just flood onto the market and extract us from such menial processes as work and school. God bless Christian adaptations of formerly pagan holidays!

Fable 2 - It's worth noting that I played the original Fable, while Jason did not. With that said, some of what he said is true of what to expect. The game tries to give personality to nearly all of the NPCs you encounter by assigning certain attributes to them (prudish, flirty, stuck up, straight, bisexual, gay, ...), it's a neat idea, but very few of them seem to matter worth beans. My main beef is they talk to you way too much. By halfway through the game, I had a flock of followers in every town harping on me to either consummate my existence, or give them a ring so we can "properly" consummate my existence. A lot of the in town chatter you hear walking about is amusing in the whimsical way Fable handles all of it's jokes, but it's all drowned out by the repetitive leaches attending to you. I did like the handful of main characters that were given real dialog. As for the main character, it's not quite fair to critique his/her development through the story as he's supposed to be your avatar. Ya know, it is called a ROLE PLAYING game. If you can connect through the type of blank slate character, the story progression's not bad. Some positive notes: the combat is 1000% better than the first game, the dog offers an amusing companion by not being overdone, and the quirky humor still hits when it's not forced down your ear canals.

Despite that this review is carrying a bit too long, I need to point out the interesting social experiment Fable 2 has presented. When I take on a game like this with all it's moral decision making, I play through the first time as the hero I'd like to be. Given the radical nature of the choices presented, he's usually a pretty virtuous guy. This being Jason's first good/evil game (Mass Effect doesn't count), he sank to levels of vileness I hadn't even thought possible. He bought up entire towns only to jack up the rent on every piece of property, then slaughtered the people for complaining about having nowhere to live. If Lionhead has any means of monitoring in game activity, I'd think he holds the record for fastest trip to pure evil.
Score: 0.6 out of 1 Me *

Dead Space
- I haven't played Dead Space and don't think I plan to. With that said, Jason's a wimp and wouldn't hack it on a monster infested space ship.
Score: 1 out of 1 Me for every time it makes him question his sanity *

Gears of War 2
- While Jas and I did beat this in two sittings, it was an effort to do so. The campaign mode is a very solid length. There's a few areas that stretch a little long (particularly some of the vehicle parts), but I think it delivered. The story tries. It falls into a pretty Hollywood groove with a grim side as the game warrants. Same personalities in same situations, enough said. The horde mode will soak up some time (it's basically just non-stop combat in an open level) and I may try to wade through the multiplayer a bit for a change. Prepubescent hate-mongers be damned!
Score: 0.7 out of 1 Me *

Left 4 Dead (Demo) - I hate zombies more than any other person alive. Don't doubt it. Blasting through a city infested with them with three other people who you NEED to depend on is claustraphobic and freaky. I found myself playing the group mom trying to keep everyone on our team clustered together. You just don't know when something will snatch you away to be strangled, clawed, or just overwhelmed by the disgusting horde. Valve did a great job making the team gameplay work and the atmosphere always put you on edge, yet I have to agree with Jason. I don't see the appeal lasting. Unless the different levels offer very different experiences, it looks like a pass.
Score: 0.5 out of 1 Me *

Rock Band 2 - I'm not big on the music game genre. I played a friend's Guitar Hero a few years ago a handful of times (usually with drinking involved) but I was never sold on it's lasting ability. Recorded music is great to rock out to, but learning music to me does not entail memorizing button patterns. Still, I was convinced to pick up RB 2 by another friend so we could play online. Online bands work well, though it would be nice if you could switch instruments without exiting and rejoining. The career mode has lots of options to help keep you progressing, and it's nice that friends can help you along over Live. The guitar play hasn't changed since the first GH, so it's solid. What I really love though is the mic. It feels like just the right difficulty so that if you know a song and can reasonably alter the pitch of your voice, you can do pretty well. I have NO singing experience, and yet I can belt my way through Carry On My Wayward Son on expert. Throw in a hefty track list, endless downloadable content, and Eye of the Tiger, and you've got a winner in my book.
Score: 0.8 out of 1 Me *

Fallout 3, Far Cry 2 and Mirror's Edge to come!

"Masquerading as a man with a reason"

* I had to make an adjustment to the rating system. It just didn't feel right having a possible 5 Damman's running around.


Jason said...

Get your vomit bag ready for mirrors edge.