Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Thoughts on Saints Row 4

Saints Row IV is a new game from Volition that builds on the previous Saints Row games (in a very loose way).  I have been looking forward to this game for quite some time.  I love Saints Row the Third.  I love the jokes, the game play, the city, the characters, even the giant purple bat that has other "uses" (if you get my drift).  Last night I got my chance to play it.  After a very cinematic heavy beginning, that was a little slow in my opinion, you finally get to "play" your character.

You are thrown back into a city that is very close to the one from Saints Row the Third (the same city, just a little different).  At first, the quests are pretty much the same as the ones from "the Third".  That isn't a bad thing as they are fun.  A little more on close the game is to "the Third" in a bit.

Soon after running a couple quests you get your "Super Powers".  Imagine Crackdown powers on, well, crack.  One power gives you the ability to sprint for long time frames much faster than any vehicle in the game.  You can also crash through the other vehicles and pedestrians while you are at it.  The question I started to ask myself was why they even bothered to put vehicles in the game.  You can get where you want to go faster by running there.  See that annoying building in your way?  Jump over it.   Is the building too tall to jump over?  Just keep hitting jump and your super hero will keep jumping up the wall.

On to the weapons.  When using them they feel underpowered.  They are not fun to use and you don't get that sense of destruction that you did in previous Saints Row games.  Very early in the game your punches and kicks become more powerful than the weapons you carry (much like Crackdown).  I also don't like the idea that when you hijack a car you just need to press down on the D-Pad to save it.  No more going to a garage to save it.  Kind of takes the excitement of trying to get to the garage in the vehicle in one piece away.

I played the game for about two hours.  The more I played the more I kept feeling that this should have been DLC for Saints Row the Third.  I just feel that they took a very good game, threw in some super powers and aliens, and dumbed it down.  I am going to try and give it a little more time but as of now I will probably be trading this in very shortly as it won't be keeping my attention very long...especially with GTAV hitting soon.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Console "War"

So I am sitting here playing WoW, and was just thinking about all of the "information" that has been presented by all of the very opinionated people that inhabits the internets.  I find it funny that so many people think there is a console war going on right now.  In my opinion, it is a little early for that (not to mention way too early to declare a winner).

I personally have pre-ordered an Xbox One.  Holy carp!?!  Why not a PS4?!?  Well, my decision was based on innovation.  Yes, the PS4 has marginally better hardware.  I say marginally because we don't know how Microsoft is going to utilize their eSRAM, so until we get to play with the consoles we won't know.  Now, back to innovation.  The Xbox One just seems like Microsoft was trying to push the genre of gaming forward.  They were willing to take risks.  I really think Azure is a pretty cool technology (I work with virtual servers and SAN storage, so yes, I like the cloud).  Kinect 2 sounds amazing.  The first was is okay, just a little glitchy.  I even liked the idea of DRM.  I guess because I play a lot of PC games I am used to it.  I could sell my games (I am a customer of Gamestop and proud of it :P).  I don't loan games and neither does my son (never a borrower or a lender be).  The fact that we would have been able to access our library from anywhere was awesome.  Alas, Microsoft did have to remove the DRM because of all the negative press.  They didn't communicate the feature very well and just kind of put it out there.  That, in my opinion, should have had someone moved from their Xbox One PR position.

 Why don't I think the PS4 is very innovative?  Well, I'll tell you.  The PS4 didn't seem like it had any "next gen"ness to it.  It seemed like Sony wanted to play it safe and not push any boundaries.  The way I have explained my thoughts to other people is that the PS4 is akin to someone replacing the video card in a PC rather than getting a whole new gaming rig with all of the bells and whistles along with the newest OS.  Another reason I am pushing off getting the PS4...I HATE their controllers.  NOTE:  I said pushing off, because I will be picking one up as well.  I have read that the new Dualshock feels much better but Microsoft's controller is going to be hard to beat.

Both systems have a lot of promise.  The exclusives for both are really amazing looking and this next generation of game systems looks like it is going to provide a lot of fun.  I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!!!

Monday, June 10, 2013

I watched the Microsoft event today at E3 2013 and I was actually very happy with what I saw.  They promised games and we got games.

I find it interesting that people complained about the $499.00 USD price tag.  Lets put this into perspective:  a 16GB iPad is $499.00.  Personally, an Xbox One is a much better value at that price.

Another major complaint is the DRM.  I guess I have been playing PC games for so long that this is not a deal breaker for me.  If the game has to be installed onto a hard disk then you almost have to have some sort of DRM or people would buy the game, return it and still have the game to play. Speaking of having to install the game, I actually like the idea that the game is going to be installed on the disk instead of read from a blu-ray.  A disk is going to be able to present much more iops (I/Os per second) then a blu-ray so load times and level transitions are going to be much quicker on the Xbox One than on the PS4,which is going to read from the blu-ray (granted the initial load is going to suck on the Xbox One but I guess I will have to deal with that).

The one thing that bothers me about the DRM is the current aspect of no renting.  Microsoft has already stated that they are working with publishers to get this changed so we will see how that goes.

Now about some of the games that were shown at the Microsoft event:

Metal Gear - Open world.  Finally a Metal Gear I might actually like.  The older ones always felt too scripted.

Forza 5 - Driveatars.  If you don't know what these are look it up.  If it works like they described it, it will be an amazing feature.  Not to mention, the game was beautiful.

Halo - 'nuff said.

Titanfall - Yes, it is going to come out for PC but it won't be on the PS4.  The game also looks incredible.

Ryse - There were a lot of complaints on IGN that Ryse was too button mashing and that Gods of War was better. Personally, they looked like they both played the same except the textures and graphics were much better on Ryse (to be expected).  However, the sequence they showed looked like D-Day set in Roman times and looked incredible.

I loved Insomniac's new game, Sunset Overdrive, it looks plain fun.  In the interview that IGN had with one of the execs at Insomniac he stated that one reason they wanted to develop this game for the Xbox One was the cloud.  Personally, that feature of the Xbox One sounds awesome.  Now, another thing I thought was funny was that Microsoft had Insomniac showing an exclusive game for the Xbox One.  Insomniac is usually known for their Playstation games (Insomniac is an independent developer though).  At the same time they started the event with the video of Metal Gear..also known for being a Playstation game.  I guess both of these are to offset Destiny being shown at the PS4 event.

Enough babbling for now, later.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Been a while

Wow, time flies.  Just realized I haven't posted on my blog in FOREVER.  Since the last post I have played so many games I couldn't even list them all.  

One thing that did change is my position on Steam.  I used to hate the idea.  Probably because I found it annoying to download games then install them.  However, just about any game you get you have a large download before you can play it so that argument is moot.  I have purchased quite a few games lately, especially during the Holiday sale.  I love the centralized library that updates my games and i just pick the one I want to play and click "Play" (genius, I know).

Now onto what I have been playing.  I have been playing Skyrim (Steam), Space Pirates and Zombies (Steam), Black Ops II (X360), Devil May Cry (X360), Don't Starve (Steam and Chrome), and whole plethora of iOS games.

Space Pirates and Zombies (SPAZ) is a little Indie game that I love.  You are in control of a small fleet of ships trying to get to complete quests and upgrade your fleet.  Graphics are kind of N64ish but the game play will keep you enthralled for hours.

The next Indie game that I have come to love is Don't Starve.  You are on an island and you are trying to survive by building tools, weapons, and hunting food.  It has a Paper Mario in a 3D realm feel to it but it is an amazing game.  If you buy it through Steam right now you actually get two digital copies of the game so it is well worth the buy.

I am going to try and remember to update my blog more this year, I will just have to see how that goes :)