In America Gaming

 
 
I think one of my favorite things about inFamous is the level of detail in the game.  The Metal Gear Solid series has always been famous for the same feature.  Cole's animations are fluid, his lightning crackles in water or on metal, and overall, the level of detail on buildings is incredible.  Dropping down from the sky with a lightning drop blasts cars up into the air, destroying them usually. 
Being an evil bastard rewards you with more explosive option in your lightning, and it crackles around you a sinister red.  Once you obtain the gliding ability, coupled with the grinding ability (to let you slide on train tracks or powerlines), the game really opens up. Cole can move quickly and attack viciously. 
The side quests are really well varied.  You may be slaying reapers (the game's main foe), sneakily following them, get ambushed, protect something/someone, make a moral choice, or kill for the sake of good/evil.  I really love what they've done, incorporating so much player choice into the games.  The morality may be a little "save the kitten/cannibalize youths," but it is still satisfying nonetheless. 
That's enough for now.  Back to playing.
 
 
If you own a PS3 and do not own inFamous, go purchase it.  Now.  I'll wait.



If you don't own a PS3, here's what you're missing out on:
inFamous is an amazing superhero story about Cole McGrath, a courier who develops electric powers.  He can either choose to be selfish or selfless- save the majority of citizens or bend Empire City to his will.  This man can drain cars as they drive by and kill the inhabitants.  Cole controls so smoothly and feels like a true extension of you, bringing in a new level of immersion uncommon in games.  Better yet, when you fail, the game sends you back to a very recent checkpoint- they're never more than a minute or two back. 

inFamous encourages experimentation, with your powers to throw Lightning Grenades, shock people like a pistol, drop on them from above, or run in and melee them off rooftops.  Fleeing from a large group of enemies is always a blast (like Prototype, but this game is far less frustrating). 

Honestly, my only complaint with the game is that there is no way to enjoy it co-operatively.   Everything else about the game feels flawless so far (barring some glitches, definitely not game-breaking).  I'll continue posting about it here as I play through it.
 
 

Okay, so it's not exactly a secret that there's a lot of good games coming out at the end of this year.  In fact, there's a ton of them.  Which ones do I personally care about most?

1.  Assassin's Creed 2- anyone who knows me already knows that this is at the top of the list.  I loved the first one, and the fact that Ubisoft is handling any of the minor issues I had with it (variety in side missions, combat, etc.), makes me incredibly hyped.
(11/17/09)
2.  Splinter Cell: Conviction- the game has been in development for 3-4 years now.  It's gone through several overhauls, and its been tooled and retooled until its shines.  The developers are putting a large emphasis on the openness of each mission, something I really admire from Metal Gear Solid 4.
(10/20/09)
3.  Halo 3: ODST and Modern Warfare 2- is there anything that hasn't been said about these two games?  If you're on the Halo hate train, I doubt anything will convince you otherwise here, but both games look amazing so far.
(9/22/09) (11/10/09)
4. (or is it 5?) Brutal Legend- Tim Schafer is a creative genius.  He's the man behind Psychonauts and Grim Fandango.  He's directing this.  Jack Black is in the game (playing the same role he plays in every movie).  The game is about ROCK.  It's going to be sweet.   (10/13/09)

*an honorable mention for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time, Alpha Protocol, Left 4 Dead 2, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, and Red Steel 2

Games to look forward to in 2010 (early):
Mass Effect 2, Dead Rising 2, Lost Planet 2, Bioshock 2 (wow, a lot of 2's), GOD OF WAR 3, and MAG.  This year and next are going to rock.

Which games do you want?

 
 

All righty.  I've completed 2 of the 5 acts in Metal Gear Solid 4:  Guns of the Patriots.  The game is amazing so far, so I thought now would be a good time to reflect on the series in a couple of parts (no way will I fit this in one post).

The first game is dreadful by today's standards in games.  The graphics are terrible, the control and camera are terrible, but the game is 14 years old (give or take).  The story is one of the best in gaming, so if you're at all interested in it, for the love of god find the Gamecube remake in play it.  It's got much better graphics, detail, and the abilities found in the sequel, "Sons of Liberty." 

One of the suckiest parts of controlling the games (1-3) is that hitting "X" puts you in a crouch.  If you move from here, you crawl on your stomach.  If you hit "X" while crawling, you're back in the crouch.  Try to move again, and you're crawling.  You have to hit "X" a second time to start running.  Imagine you're in a boss fight, and you need to lay down to grab something/dodge, and you get up to run to new cover.  Instead, you crawl dirty slowly and take a huge amount of damage from the boss' attack.  Not fun.  Want to try aiming your gun to shoot back?  Hit R2 (bring out the gun), R1 (aim the gun), and hold and release square to fire.  THREE buttons for one action.  Reloading is accomplished by hitting R2 twice.  Ugh.  Combine those controls with some of the others and you'll catch my drift.

In the fourth game, they've overhauled the controls and now they're amazing.  It controls like a hybrid of Gears of War and Splinter Cell, with an awesome new OctoCamoflauge system.  The game is insanely smooth.  The game feels like an extension of you.  Old Snake is ironically the easiest character in the series to play as. 

Well, that's my first part of the Metal Gear Solid retrospective.  Agree/Disagree?  Comment.  DO IT.  Okay?

 
 

Seeing as how its 1 in the morning, I'm going to keep this a bit brief.  I figured I'd go ahead and review the game "Prototype."

It's developed by Radical Entertainment, the same people who brought out the "Hulk: Ultimate Destruction" for the Gamecube, PS2, and original Xbox back in 2003 (if memory serves correctly).  The game's heritage is immediately visible playing it, as many of the same elements in the old Hulk game are present here. 

The graphics are a mixed bag.  Considering the amount of carnage going on at any given time, the graphics do remain constant and smooth.  The frame rate never slows down unless some real shit is happening.  They aren't the best graphics, but I never felt that the graphics were hindering me in any way.  The character model for Alex Mercer, the main character, is fantastic as he leaps around any obstacle and glides over the rooftops.

The sound effects and music are almost completely forgettable.  Some nice explosions are about the only noteworthy aspect here.  I can' t honestly recall a single track from the game.  Mercer's voice acting is pretty respectable, but all other characters fall flat.

Playing the game is an awesome experience.  If you can't seem to get a hang of the controls, restart the game on Easy until you adapt.  Normal will kill you many times.  Mercer is a crazy character, able to adapt and shapeshift as he sees fit.  To escape the military, simply move out of sight and shapeshift out of your current costume.  Need some help crushing that Tank?  Turn into the Blade form and slice through it like tissue paper.  The possiblities are endless, and a wide variety of unlockables earned through EP (Experience Points) will keep you playing.  Mercer can sprint over rooftops a la "Assassin's Creed," but he can also glide for short distances like a miniature Superman. 

The story is strange.  I was pulled into some parts of it, but others were just plain confusing.  The ending appears out of left field and doesn't truly answer any questions.

Overall, I'd give this game an 8/10.  The story was brief (8-10 hours), but a New Game+ mode unlocks after you complete it, letting you replay harder difficulties with your pumped character.  Pick this one up for around $30-$40, and you'll have a blast.

So, first review.  Whaddya think?

-James

 
First Post! 07/18/2009
 
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