Category: Xbox 360
I can’t be the only gamer who doesn’t understand all the high praise and perfect scores this game is getting. 10/10?, A+? Since when did game reviewers becomes such fan boys that they can over look so many frustrating flaws?
First let me say that I respect the game and the series immensely. I get it. Its fun to be in a living, breathing city that is this life like and be able to wreck shit. In GTA4 the city is even more believable. Its really an amazing world. What I don’t get is how gamers can suffer through such terrible gameplay in order to experience it.
I want to play this game so badly that I throw fits in anger trying to get past missions. Why bother I keep asking myself. Tonight was the last straw, I think I am going to stop bothering and trade it in.
The basic reason is the same reason I never got very far into the other GTA titles. The control sucks!
Tonight sent me over the edge during a mission for X. I pick him up. Drive five minutes across town. Get some guns in an alley. Go up a huge elevator. Snipe some guys on a construction site. Raid the construction site and kill some more guys only to die because I got stuck behind the wrong cover point or couldn’t run fast enough to somewhere I could get away.
I went through this sequence three times, each time dying because of the awful controls. Not because of any reason I could control myself but because the game just doesn’t work.
This is a common problem because the cover system, aiming and running just don’t work. Yes I said the running. Have you never heard of analog control Rockstar? Where if you push harder on the stick your character runs harder? Or how about not forcing the camera to snap back when I try to get a better view of who is shooting at me?
Back to tonight. The straw that broke the camels back was when I was chasing down the last guy I had to kill. I tried climbing down a ladder but fell instead, next I tried to climb up another ladder but couldn’t. All this with just a tiny bit of life bar left. Nikko just would not climb the ladder. After fumbling with the ladder the enemies I left behind came behind me and killed me. All this cause the game wouldn’t work.
The funny thing is I had way more fun with Saint’s Row than this game. I put in more than 40 hours into it and loved almost every second of it. The game suffers from the same repetitive gameplay, but the control actually works.
So I am cruising along, handing every enemy their ass and enjoying the great plot that is slowly unfolding when I came across Matriarch Benezia. This encounter was so hard, and so frustrating that I almost turned off the game, put it back in the box, and traded it back to GameStop. Not only did she keep handing me my ass, my teammate’s asses’ were being handed to them as well. The most frustrating thing to me? Having to watch to her cinematic scene time after time when I died. It took me over a minute each time I died to reload the game, get through the cinematic to get back to playing.
David Jaffe writes about a similar encounter he had while playing Ratchet & Clank and ends up telling a story about how they didn’t play test God Of War’s hell scene enough and it ended up frustrating a lot of people, myself included.
This has happened to me a number of times, where I just don’t to deal with the frustration anymore. I never beat Metroid Prime because I was stuck on the second to last boss. I never got past the second set list in Guitar Hero 2 because Wolfmother’s song was all of a sudden the hardest thing ever. There was no easing up to it.
I am glad I stuck with Mass Effect though, I switched it to easy, beat Benezia a short time after, and went on to have one of the best gaming experiences I have ever had. It is so good that I am playing it through again, this time as a woman who won’t take no for an answer.
IGN has an excellent interview with Epic game designer Cliffy B where they talk about new content, game design and story.
On adding more players to multiplayer.
Honestly, we have received some notes on that, but honestly, when you have a medium to small player count, you have a better chance of getting to take out the guy that you’re fighting on a regular basis. There is a sense of an intimate relationship that happens there. I think that in some instance, bigger is better. But not all the time. And getting to know the guys you’re killing on the server is a good thing in my book.
Gears is still the #1 game on XBox Live so they must have done something right. Right? More game modes just fragment the community of people playing, and adds to the development time.
On the use of the “A” button to do most every action.
I think we did a 90% perfect job on that one. There is that 10% of the time that the button doesn’t do what you want it to do. It’s one of those things where anticipating what players want, at any given time with a contact sensitive button like that, is an art form in itself. We consolidate everything on A because it’s prime real estate on your Xbox 360 controller. I’ve played so many other shooters where the controls feel so clunky. The bottom line is the A button in Gears was designed for the impatient gamer to have something to doâ€¦it’s kind of taking that Mario element of him running across the landscape when he goes “woo-hoo-hooo-hoooooh!” like he would always do and allow you to find cover in the gamespace in Gears. So honestly, there were a couple instances where we could have ironed that out better, but A was definitely a success.
This is their greatest achievement if you ask me. The “A” button brings so much focus to the game and breaks the gameplay down to exactly what it was meant to be, duck, cover and flank. There is no jumping over shit, no falling off ledges, just simple, challenging gameplay.
On the minimal story.
With regard to the story leaving a lot of questions unanswered, I think that’s a very valid point. That’s something that could be potentially set up for future products in regards to sequels or ancillary materials. But honestly, we did not want to have 10-minute cut-scenes. We did not want to sit there and force the player to endure some sort of expedition of lengthy wanna-be Spielberg stuff. We wanted the player to feel like he could be entertained in the first few minutes, break to the chase, and enjoy an action movie with some secondary themes in the background. That was our primary goal.
I think it’s perfectly OK. I think it’s the same as the movie Children of Men; the game is about getting from point A to point B. No one asks about the movie’s story. Just like in that movie, the story is about the moment to moment feeling, it’s a set-up for what’s going to happen in alleged future products.
You know what your goal is, you know why the goal is there and you get to know and care about the other characters. Thats way more than can be said about most games with so called “stories.”
I have been a member of Gamefly for a few months and overall its been cool. Lately though, none of the games I actually want to rent are available and in the case of the Godfather and Just Cause, the games I add because everything else is out are not even available.
Saints Row kind of came and went without a whole lot of love. It got pretty good reviews, but was always put down for being a clone of Grand Theft Auto and never taken seriously. I just picked it up this weekend and I have to say it is holding my interest far longer than any GTA game ever has. It has great control, story, voice acting, graphics and is just plain fun. I find myself smiling from ear to ear while driving around the city and shooting rival gangs. Last night I was by myself, under a blanket, with the dog on my lap running demolition derbys for cash. I was laughing out loud. It must have looked and sounded ridiculous, but thats how much fun I was having.
Man, I hate the title of this post. The more I play games, the more I become frustrated with bad design decisions like those found in Dead Rising and Trauma Center. On the other side of that, a game like Kong gets me excited and wanting to play more.
I have been looking forward to Dead Rising since it came out, I read all about the save system and thought it would not affect my experience with the game. I couldn’t have been more wrong. There is nothing worse than making it through a difficult part of the game, turning around and not being able to get away from a zombie. You start all the way back at the last bathroom you saved at, which is sometimes a ten minute walk accross the mall.
The save system isn’t the only issue I have with the game. It seems like everytime you turn around there is a new cut scene to load and watch. Sometimes its as lame as, load new area, load cut scene, watch sut scene, load new area, walk two feet, load cut scene etc. And the cut scene was a dude opening a gate! Its pretty annoying.
I started out loving this game, but during the third surgery something ruined it for me. You have to use a magnifying glass to get in closer to your subject’s affected area and in order for it to work you have to draw a perfect circle very quickly, which for me was near impossible. I can try it twenty times in a row many different ways and not get it to work. Your surgeries are timed, so you have to get this perfect on the first try in order to get past the stage. I couldn’t. I shut down the system, took out the cartridge and sent it back to Game Fly. To let something as simple as a magnifying glass to ruin a game was a major oversight by the developers.
Kong has refreshingly simple design. No hud, no inventory, no jump button, no “switch weapons” button, you have no aiming reticle unless your weapon is drawn and there are no health packs. Just like the movie, the developers make you care about Kong and when you control him, you feel powerful. King Kong is a really great game and gets me excited for Peter Jackson’s future games.
IGN has a feature on their website that gives their top five of the Barecelona X06 show that took place last week. Looking at the list, including those that did not “make the cut”, I want to play almost every one of them. Of the 14, I really want to play 11, and two I have already played. HL2 and F.E.A.R. With the WII coming out, my DS, my PSP and PC I don’t know when I will ever have time to play all of them.
Read IGN’s X06: The Barcelona Top Five
Project Gotham Racing 3 received a new update over Xbox Live recently and one new feature added that I really like is the ability to turn off the hud completely. If your driving from the cockpit that means all you will see is the dashboard and road ahead of you. The trouble is, you can’t toggle it in game. The option to shut it off is in the game prefs. So if you need to know what lap it is, or what place your in, your screwed.
Good game to the developers for adding a feature a lot of us wished for though, they didn’t have to.
IGN XBOX 360 has an article which talks about the upcoming Ghost Recon Advanced War Fighter. The game’s designers seem to have put a lot of thought into the game, and what would make it a next gen title. They address one of my main complaints about a lot of games recently, and thats loading screens. They have taken out the loading screens and the concept of levels and thrown it away in favor of a more immersive experience. Each mission is linked together by a helicoptor moving you and your squadmates to a new locale, and a new mission. You are never pulled from the game experience to load a new level! Something I wish Call of Duty 2 would have done better.
Since finding my Xbox 360 I have been playing a lot of games. Never before (since the RTCW incident) have I been so into gaming, I blame achievements and gamerscore for that. But is the system truely next gen? I am going to review some of the games that I have been playing and compare them to the current gen games.
Project Gotham Racing
Let me preface this review by saying that I have never before been so into a racing game, other than Mario Kart that is. Since buying Project Gotham Racing 2 to hold me over until I bought a 360 I have been truely hooked. That said the jump between the two versions, outside of graphic presentation, is not that big.
What’s next gen about it?
- Graphics and presentation
- In dash view renders each car’s interior for a really immersive experience
- Even better Live! integration
- Gotham TV
What’s not so next gen?
- No force feedback steering wheel
- Load times are terrible and really take away from the entire experience. You even have to wait for the menu to load after finishing a race.
- No significance to leveling up. I would like to see a training mode that is required for online play, something where you qualify for each level of racing by learning how to drive properly.
- Create a course tracks are hard to race, the turns are marked with faded back markers that are difficult to see. Why are these courses not uploadable and ratable on Live?
Besides the graphics there is nothing in the game that they couldn’t or haven’t already done on the Xbox.
PGR3 is a really great game and I can not wait to see what they can do with the next version when they have more time to develop it for the 360 hardware.