torstai 17. maaliskuuta 2011

A melting pot and plethora of everything

PS plus membership might be finally paying itself off. PSN plus members get a sweet little cloud to use. Every Gold member gets around 150 mb or so. What’s funny is that first I thought this was useless and the very next day I could have used this service real bad. Also PSN plusses will be getting early or just plain normal access to Infamous 2 beta. This factor might be the only reason I will buy PSN plus if I’ll buy it. I’m very hopeful that PSN plus will start to add more to its repertoire and make the pending decision a certain one 

I’m a bit ashamed to be Finnish today. Rovio’s head honcho Peter Vesterbacka stated his opinion on console games and their apparent downfall of ridiculous proportions. Boldly he states that console games and consoles themselves are dying out. I think that a small gaming company that really hasn’t done anything new in the gaming world and struck a major mother lode by releasing a re-hashed game that everyone who has played a little bit of flash games is already familiar with. I can name a dozen better games that are now online playable and are free. So please when you think of Finnish games think of Alan Wake, Max Payne and Stardust HD  

Homefront came out a couple days ago. And to be franc I’m not in the mood to pay and play another short game and/or a marketing shitfest. Five hours just doesn’t cut it no matter how good the multiplayer might be. What I am interested more so is the book. Looking at the reviews and general opinions the story and atmosphere and milieu and so on and so on is the best thing in the game and that is what makes it remarkable. It’s a brilliant move from them to put their eggs in a couple baskets;but being the cynicist that I am I think it’s rather the supreme marketing strategy that they had. Not everyone releases a billion balloons over Sanfran. But I’m excited to finally bring gaming into the English class without showing my ridiculous reviews and blogs and ending the teacher up in a state of uncontrollable hilarity.
PAX. Do I need to say more?
At least on the booth babe basis Duke Nukem Forever had it covered better than anyone else did. People have played it and apparently it suffers from clunky control syndrome. I’m a big fan of tight controls but what people said was also that the ridiculous humor and plain outrageousness of duke nukem will make up for a little case of stiff joysticks. Being as cynical as I am I will not believe this game will be out until I see it on the shelf and even then I will be in a state utter disbelief and flabbergasm.
The only game I’m sure to buy of the PAX coverage is Portal 2. What I find astonishing is that when you buy Portal 2 for the PS3 you will get it for the PC and MAC for free. Whether you have to have one steam account to activate this feature is yet to be announced. Otherwise I see a bright future of PC and PS3 gamers sharing the game and Xbox slowly being the left out kid in the school yard.
One other game that wasn’t as prominent that I am surely going to buy is Infamous 2. A new demo was playable showing the new cattle prod fights and cover that you can later fling at your enemies. Now that is pretty awesome.
One big title talked about was Bastion. Not really much has been mentioned except a scratch made engine and live commented play or something along these lines. Bastion was a big hit with the gaming biz insiders and is regarded a new Braid only better.
The shadowy figure of PAX this time was Rage; all thought IDtech shined bright and many titles still decided to stick with the unreal engine and IDtech in general not many big titles were shown off and only a little was mentioned of them.

keskiviikko 9. maaliskuuta 2011

Bulletstorm Review

E3 2010 Cliff B showed off a game that was going to change the way we look at shooters and it was going to be the light at end of the tunnel and the final day for the reign of quoting Bulletstorm’s dev team ’’dull shooters’’. Bulletstorm presented had one central gameplay function: ‘’Kill with Skill’’. The moments when you play a FPS and you jump up screaming because you just shot three guys in the head with one bullet or you managed to blow a guy of the map with a noobtube or so on; Bulletstorm was going to be nothing but those moments.

The hype until release date was without doubt planned with outmost perfection. People Can Fly and Epic Games released an around 6 minute game called Duty Calls. According to them Duty Calls was how they saw modern shooters. Duty Calls was a blatant rant of Call of Duty games. Never the less Bulletstorm got its name up in the lime light even further.

In general

The story of Bulletstorm is less than stellar and sadly has a great blueprint ruined by clichés and cheesiness.
You are Greyson Hunt: leader of a space pirate rogue group that is seeking for revenge on their former task giver. They crash on a deserted planet and so the story unfolds. Greyson slowly embraces a new technology that rewards skillful killing to pick out the ones that are the best.
The storyline is full of slapstick, satire, sexual innuendo and all that bad stuff. If you think all this is childish or repent it just because leave Bulletstorm on the shelf it will seriously be the last nail in the coffin. But for me and probably for others the humor worked like a Hail Mary on Sunday. But even if all the pieces fit the story has major holes and is one of the factors of the main component that Bulletstorm has wrong.

The major theme of the game however is ‘’Kill with Skill’’. You have to get creative in the ways you kill to rack up points which you can use to upgrade and re-supply. The ace in the sleeve of Bulletsrom is ridiculously apparent and it is good that way. Let’s just say that the only bad thing in ‘’Kill with Skill’’
will be discussed later.

When you crash you are armed with your boot and a not so generic rifle called the Peace Maker Carbine. However once you pick up the leash a string like energy whip that lets you sling and hook enemies the game starts to show its good side. The arsenal of Bulletstorm is small but a ton of work has been put into the guns esthetically and gameplay wise. There is only one problem with the arsenal. The weapons seem distant; getting used to them takes a lot of practice and you’ll most likely end up preferring a couple weapons over the other ones. Adding up to this fact is that you can only carry three guns and one of them is definitely going to be the Peace Maker Carbine. Mastering the guns and their ‘’skillshots’’ is the salt of the game and really really entertaining.

 The story however is not as entertaining. The game has a mode called Echoes which is just the game without dialogue and cutscenes and is to some extent a lot more enjoyable. Also the friendly AI is shallow and fully on retarded. The cant die and apparently can’t kill a healthy opponent. Dozens of times I had lined up a shot of massive awesomness just to notice that my ally decided to pop up in my line of fire and ruin everything.
Bulletstorm is like a painting. Just looking at the game and stopping once and awhile to look at the view was a great joy in itself.

Kill with Skill

Bulletstorms major drawing point is ‘’Kill with Skill’’. Now KWS is based on multiple so to say little achievements in game. Those ‘’Skill Kills’’ are creative and the repertoire is up to standards to say the least and Bulletstorms mechanic’s standards are very high. Racking up points from killing enemies and discovering and completing new Skill Kills if amazingly entertaining and pleases the achievement whore inside me like a handsomely tipping customer. But Bulletstorm depends on KWS a bit too much. The maps are linear and enemies repeating and KWS fixes it but it doesn’t work wonders.

The Awesome

-KWS is one of the most original methods of gameplay yet seen.
-The game is explicitly fun to play.
-And if the humor connects it is one of the funniest compositions around the gaming world.
-Ground breaking graphics and environment use.

The Good

-The arsenal is carefully thought out.
-The environments differ pleasantly.
-Unlinear gameplay to the max.

The Bad

-Ridiculous and useless friendly AI.
-Linear maps
-The game is like a train, you're in it and its fun but you have almost no freedom of choice
-Repeating themes: wrecked houses, wildlife, etc.
-Weapon bias strong and after a while weapons tend to get boring

The Ugly

This time the ugly is going to be a chapter to itself. There is one factor with Bulletstorm that is so fatally ugly that it needs a chapter.

Im talking about the game being designed to bang a buck. The campaign is short really short; anything from five to seven hours. Bulletstorm has left an opening for a prequel and a sequel. We were supposed to be spacepirates looking for revenge of course I looked forward to building up a posse and of course I thought it was going to be a necessity to do it. And what do we do in the beginning? We bare witness to why we want revenge after the whole crew has already died. The game leaves up on a frustrating cliffhanger; not as bad as God of War 2 but still really annoying. Epic Games and People Can Fly created something great and brought the ‘’ridiculous’’ factor back in to shooting. Why did they have to ruin a game that could have achieved absolute excellence with a good story and around 3-4 hours of more campaign content; not just the campaign re-vamped into a mode called Echoes. I’m sure there will be a Bulletstorm 2 and maybe a prequel. Why can’t we have those two in this game? Imagine Borderlands without the RPG elements and a bit of the open world mechanics taken out and then add all the Bulletstorm shennannigans. If this game would have had different playable characters, different worlds, side missions, 20 hours of campaign and a plethora of things that elongate games it wouldn’t have any kind of problem. It is obvious that Bulletstorm is just a good game turned into a circle jerk of marketers.