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Showing posts from August, 2006

Quake 4 - Review

I finally finished quake 4 today at Lieutenant level. I never played the default difficulty setting; I played the difficulty setting that was one setting higher straight away, because I've played a lot of shooters and wanted a bit of challenge.

In the end, I came off very impressed. The single player campaign is just nonstop FPS action. ID Software/Raven really delivers an impressive shooter experience for the Xbox 360. I also like how the game ends...the final battle is pretty epic and when you finish it, you get this nice feeling of satisfaction and reward.

While the ending is the usual 'short ending' that most games have, IMO I thought the ending was pretty satisfying. It finishes the story while at the same time leaving everything a bit open-ended:


SPOILER WARNING!







At the end of the game you get all the nice congratulations from all the other soldiers; however, there is a slight hint that, since you yourself are a Strogg, essentially, the Strogg have not yet been defeated…

In-game? Real-time? The sad truth is, nobody cares....

Every other day there's a thread on here about how the 360 is going to win the console war. And thus far, while the 360 is enjoying very good sales, it's difficult to say that the machine has truly hit the mainstream. Like most people on this board, I would want the Xbox 360 to succeed, but the reason why it has yet to really take off isn't because of the power of the machine compared to its main rival, the Playstation 3. It also isn't because of the lack of support from Japanese developers. It's simply because the games need better characters.

The other day, I read this article from next-gen.biz, and one part caught my eye:

http://www.next-gen.biz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3659&Itemid=2

John Carmack Details id's New Direction

id software's John Carmack stated at QuakeCon 2006 that his company is going in new directions, which involves putting content before graphics, creating new IP and refining the development process.

John Carmack …

Quake 4 - Extremely late impressions

I haven't finished the game yet, so I can't call this a review.....

Right now I'm playing Quake 4, a game I bought a few months ago but only now have gotten around to playing. Wow, it's actually pretty good. Once you get over the fact that the framerate dips really bad, the game is playable and it has this nice 'Half Life 2' style scripting going on (with characters talking and with a lot of nice 'cutscene-like' sequences). I like the storytelling that ID put into the game....looks like they're getting better at it. I'm sure the PC version has a much better framerate, so if you have a really powerful PC I'd recommend the game. But if you don't have a good PC but have a 360 instead, the 360 version isn't as bad as the reviews make it out to be. The framerate dips (thus far) don't seem to be messing up my aim, and there are lengthy segments of the game where the framerate is very smooth, even with many enemies onscreen.

If you like y…

Ninety Nine Nights - REVIEW

Ok, so I've played through all the characters in Ninety Nine Nights, and have a general idea of the game and its plot. While I haven't finished the quintessentially final mission in the game (Inphyy's Special Stage), I think I have played enough to form an opinion on it.

This game is a hack-and-slash genre game. Keep that in mind. For new gamers, I think it can be a fun experience, since it's relatively easy to learn and play. For gamers who are expecting the game to deliver something new or groundbreaking, it does deliver in one area, and that is in the sheer number of enemies that you face per level. You face literally thousands of enemies, and you have allies at your side to fight with you. While the A.I. isn't stellar, it really is the standard A.I. of most games of this type of genre. A.I. in these types of hack and slash games generally swarm your character and take a swing at you, but aren't that smart and don't really care if they will get hit. That&…

Today's Game Reviews are Out of Touch

When a reviewer says that a game is 'too hard', he's probably a wimp who's pissed that he can't meet his review deadline because the game won't let him. When a game reviewer says that a game is 'too easy', they probably didn't get beyond the second level of a title, because some other titles have their attention more (case in point, Ridge Racer 6 and Ninety Nine Nights. I bet a lot of reviewers only tried those games in five minutes and decided they were bad.). Reviewers don't really look at games the same way as gamers do, at least not today in 2006. Back in the 90s game reviews were essential, because the number of crappy games and quick-cash-in attempts were insane. While the same holds true today, to some extent a crappy score on a review isn't only because a game is bad; sometimes it's the gamer who reviewed the game that sucks.

As I said earlier, game reviewers today rush through a game to be the first site with the 'world exclu…

How do you like your games? Over-easy or hard-boiled?

The thing that bugs me about game reviews today is the subjective view on game difficulty. When is a game too easy, and when is it too difficult?

Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting for Xbox Live Arcade got a lot of flack recently because the difficulty of the single player mode at three stars is just too hard---according to some people on forums and on reviews. Some people think the A.I. plays cheesily (relying on instant throws and no-charge moves). I took to task recently and played SF II HF single player a bit more.

Yes, it is true that the A.I. in that game is hard. But I don't think it's unfair. For one thing I am of the firm belief that A.I. just can't be as smart as people can. A.I. just can't predict people that well. So I think that, to some extent, game A.I. has to cheat. Why? Because it just can't be as good as people can.

If you're playing SFII HF and you think the A.I. is cheating on you or reading your moves, think for a second of how you're playin…

Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting, Xbox Live Arcade, ROCKS!!!

Just got Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting yesterday from Xbox Live Arcade for 800 points. It rocks. It's an arcade perfect port, right down to the difficult A.I. I love it.

It's a great classic to have on the 360, and is fun to play whether offline or online. If you've played SF2 in the past, you know what to expect. This SF2 is a bit older, so a lot of the things that gamers are used to, like air-blocks and insta-combos, aren't in the game...it's as basic as it can get, and in a way, I feel that it's more strategic.

I have lots of respect now for the folks over at Capcom and their Xbox 360 support. Not only did they give the Xbox 360 an amazing port of SF2 HF, they're also sending over Dead Rising and Lost Planet. Capcom just improved their reputation in my book. In the past, they were seen as the 'king of the rehash'. But now, with their much improved online capable version of SF2 HF and their upcoming new franchise titles for the 360, these guys ar…