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Showing posts from 2011

Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Pacifism Denied

I've just finished Deus Ex: HR on PC. According to Steam statistics, I've played the game for over 60 hours. Even though I did take my sweet time exploring every nook and corner, and hacking everything to be hacked, Steam data is surely wildly inaccurate, as usual. Sadly, Steam client doesn't make any distinction between you actually playing the game and going away from PC for an hour or two (or even a night).

There are two infamous achievements to be gained in HR, Pacifist and The Foxiest of Hounds. An enormous amount of people seem to misinterpret the description the game provides for the latter. It clearly states that you have to avoid setting alarms on your playthrough. It couldn't be any more clear than that. Still, a lot of people aiming for the achievement make a great effort to go though all the levels without being noticed or heard at all. Probably developers could be blamed for that, if only a bit. Every enemy can have a state called "alarmed". It&#…

Uncharted 2. Is It Really That Grand?

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - what a treat of a game, what a grand adventure! It's packed with explosive Hollywood action and visuals that never stop to amaze. At the moment, I find it hard to think of another game that looks as gorgeous.

It's not all action and glitter though, Uncharted 2 features a captivating story and, probably, the most interesting female character in the history of gaming. Nah, I'm not talking of Elena, the main character's unfortunate choice for a love object (the second time around). She looks and sounds very generic and is so dull, I would rather not see her included in Drake's story at all. I was referring to Chloe. Not only this girl has very distinctive looks, she also has the sexiest and most memorable voice I've heard in a while. Not only that, her character is the most realistic of the lead trio. She is neither too good or evil, she is very practical when appraising a situation, unlike Drake and Elena who, way too often, appear as…

The Next BIG Thing. A 2D Adventure That Falls Flat.

The Next BIG Thing stands out among other few point-and-click adventure games that are still being made by being absolutely gorgeous! Namely, this game features full high def 2D art of amazing quality. I've never seen an adventure featuring that amount of detail and crispness in it's art. Oh, and by adventure I don't mean those mindless action games which are labeled "adventure" nowadays, I'm referring to the point-and-click ones, obviously.

I couldn't be more excited when I first launched the game and saw all its beauty before my eyes. That excitement couldn't have survived for long though. Despite being a total eye-candy, this sequel to the Hollywood Monsters fails to offer anything else of value. The game starts rather tediously and, to my biggest surprise and disappointment, fails to become even remotely captivating. The story is told unevenly with characters just jumping between the six chapters. There's no fluid connection between those cha…

Alan Wake. Running with a Flashlight for Hours and Hours.

Finally, I got around to playing the game that about every Xbox 360 owner has played a long time ago - Alan Wake.

In all honesty, I don't get what the fuzz is about. I was very excited during my first two-three hours of the game. After that, it just got pretty boring gameplay-wise. For the whole duration of the game you do pretty much the same over and over... and over again. And what you do is run ahead following the always-present objective marker, meet a bunch of bad guys to either soften them up with a flashlight and shoot them dead or to just run past them to the next Safe Heaven (that's how a well-lit spot is called, usually from a street lamp). Sometimes you have to find a key or to start a generator, which hardly adds any freshness to the whole experience. In a short while your amusement with the light and shadows interplay, no matter how well executed, will grow  thin. After that there's almost nothing left to enjoy. Well, except maybe the story.
The objective ma…

Tomb Raider Trilogy. Comparison: PC vs Xbox 360 vs PS3

The Tomb Raider trilogy I'm going to talk about includes the following games (released in exactly the order I have them listed):

Tomb Raider: Legend
Tomb Raider: Anniversary
Tomb Raider: Underworld

There are a few things that appear to be worth mentioning.

First, even though all the games in the trilogy were built on the same game engine, namely Crystal Dynamics engine, they use the different versions of that software. It looks like the versions of the engine are not actually mentioned to the public and a whole bunch of games use the same engine title. Deus Ex: Human Revolution and the 2012 Tomb Raider game both are powered by the same tech. Nonetheless, Legend and Anniversary appear to be sharing the same version of the Crystal engine (even if the engine was updated for Anniversary, the changes were minor). Underworld, on the other hand, is a whole new breed of beast. The visuals and, most importantly, performance are completely different from what is seen in the prior two games.

Red Faction: Armageddon. PC vs Consoles.

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I've been hearing about the Red Faction series for a very long time already. The series has been around since 2001 and became famous for the level of wreckage a player can cause, with practically every structure found in the game universe susceptible to destruction. It's pretty surprising that I haven't played any of the four games in the series up until now, on the other hand, I haven't played a myriad of other games I always wanted to play. A lot of random things are to blame for that. Anyway, it's never too late to start anything and I did start with the very last (and final) entry in the series - Red Faction: Armageddon.

It's a beauty on PC, even with crappy hardware!
I did come to a tremendously stupid purchase decision with Red Faction: Armageddon and ordered both, the PC and Xbox 360, versions of the game simultaneously. I'm not made of money and neither am I particularly stupid. It's just that the price for both was utterly ridiculous, consider…

PopCap Caved In

Yeah, it's all over the Net - Electronic Arts acquired PopCap games. I see a lot of negative comments on the topic. A lot of people hate EA for all the wrong reasons (in my opinion).

From what I personally encountered, the most common reason for public hatred towards the video game colossus is its habit of shutting down the servers. Especially unhappy with it is the console crowd. Achievement lovers to be specific. I've never heard anyone saying "damn, the servers are off for good, now I can't play my favorite game online", it's usually something like "geez, now I have shitloads of unobtainable achievements, thanks EA".

I'm an avid achievement hunter myself, but I don't think EA should be blamed for shutting down their servers. They do have good reasons to do so - license expiration. I don't see why they should extend their license and keep some old sports game alive online just so some achievement fanatics could get 100G. I mean, there&…

Beautiful Lie

I've been waiting a long time for a good price on Heavy Rain. I'm not in the habit of buying games for the full price no matter how much I want them. I just don't see the point, as I already have a vast collection of excellent video games for all the possible platforms, most of them still waiting to be played. Heavy Rain is certainly a title that you wanna play right here right now. It's also one of those games that makes me proud to be a PlayStation 3 owner (my main gaming platform is Xbox 360 as Sony made some horrible design choices for their system and does nothing to improve the situation). My wait for the right price was a painful one. Finally, I got the game.

Not only was I able to spot a satisfying price for this gem of a game, I was excited to find out that the version of the game I was ordering, the Platinum Edition, was a re-release of the Move Edition of the game. Sadly, I don't own the Move controller, but Move Edition is not only offering an ability t…

Enchanted Arms

I got Enchanted Arms for Xbox 360 a long time ago, in 2006. Along with most of my other purchases for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, this one was confined to a shelf life for many years, as my sole attention was devoted to World of Warcraft.

I've just got to complete the game, it took me less than a week to do so. All the major characters are fantastic, dialogues are brilliant and the story - a pleasure to follow and see unfold. Also, the most of the music is grand and most of the scenery is spectacular. Unfortunately, the gameplay casts a huge shadow over all the game's advantages.

I didn't like the whole battle process for many reasons. For instance, the battlefield has a horrible design. You have to switch camera angles just to be able to spot some of the enemies on the field. Sometimes (namely, last, the most important and lengthy fight) it's just impossible to see what exactly you are targeting, as the colors of the battlefield don't allow you to see not only the…

Ben Affleck Is Finally Watchable

I've been hating Ben Affleck for a very long time.

Since Matt Damon and Ben Affleck made a loud breakthrough with Good Will Hunting, I started following both their careers with great interest. Matt soon became one of my favorite actors in Hollywood, I love most of his work (his Tom Ripley is one of the best acting performances I've ever seen) and always glad to see his movies.

Ben was a different matter. I wanted to like him but couldn't. I've seen about twenty of his movies, no less. He just walked through them with almost the same performance. It didn't really matter what movie genre it was or what his character was supposed to be, he couldn't property act out anything at all. To me he appeared a robot incapable of displaying any complex emotions.

I kid you not when I say that for a very long time already, while watching another movie with Mr. Affleck and realizing he is not doing anything new, I was trying to find something else to look at when camera was fo…

TellTales at Its Worst

I was a big fan of everything TellTale Games and praised the company. All that changed after I played CSI: Hard Evidence on Xbox 360 (yeah, it's not new, but I got it on sale just a week ago). Not only the game itself is much worse than the first two titles in the series (made by 369 Interactive, the developer who managed to capture the essence of the show, in my opinion, unlike TellTale), but, after glancing at the possible achievements, you can realize how little effort the developers put into it.

There is a total of five achievements in Hard Evidence for Xbox 360, and it's exactly the amount of chapters/cases in the game. You complete a chapter, you get the corresponding achievement. This could have been OK if the game offered a completely "on rails" experience. It doesn't as there are a few things you can do different on your playthrough.

First of all, after solving each case you get an evaluation which can differ depending on what evidence you collected and …