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Old 09-15-2009, 10:21 AM   #1061
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Wow, I'm on a roll, and it's called a "Dave Gilbert marathon"!

Just finished "Blackwell Unbound", an amazing game full of atmosphere. I had heard many people say that it was short compared to the other "Blackwell" games, but I thought the length was perfect!

The first thing that came to my attention and I instantly loved, was the whole background and atmosphere of the game. Dave did a wonderful job at capturing that 40's (about?) feel, with all of the jazz and smoking. It felt really real, and the music in the background fit perfectly. I loved having a game based not in the present, but in the old past, with jazz bars and everything. The feeling was just magical.

Another thing I absolutely love about "Unbound", was Lauren. As much as I liked Rosa's awkwardness in the first game, I found myself liking Lauren much more. First off, her voice was perfect. You could tell she was kind of tired of doing this whole song and dance, and her voice just sounded so numb and stuff. I loved that about her character. And her relationship between her and Joey was amazing. I know that in "Legacy", Rosa is just getting used to the idea of Joey, but I loved Lauren and Joey's relationship so much more. I could almost see a relationship there, if the circumstances were different, like you know, if they could touch, etc. When Joey near the end was telling Lauren that he would be there, and she wouldn't be alone, it was just so sweet, I could tell he cared about her.

The two stories of Isaac and Mavis didn't really interest me too much, even though I thought it was hilarious every time Isaac smaked Joey with his sax. I wasn't really drawn in too much, but I didn't mind, because I loved Lauren and Joey's relationship so much more.

There was a overall feel of just melacoly, with how Lauren was feeling, the music in the background, etc, that just really made the game for me. It felt so much more, err, serious, which I loved. I haven't listened to the commentary or any of the extras, and there seems to be a lot. I can't wait, it sounds awesome. I really love this game, though.
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Old 09-15-2009, 11:24 AM   #1062
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The Witcher (EE).

A delicious swim in filthy moral relativism.

I played this some time back in its initial release version (non EE) and loved it despite its flaws, the EE version is an even greater triumph and I gotta say I loved it even more the second time around as is normal with me and roleplaying games, since I knew what I was doing building my character and could pay more attention to the story. Also the EE version strings the dialogues together far more naturally and I got a better sense of the major characters as individuals this time around.

The artwork in this game is just sex for the eyes, even the ugliest of creatures is so delightfully detailed you can't help but stare. The music is top notch too if a little "ear wormy" what with the recurring witcher theme popping up in so many different variations.

Its the story though, in particular how its told, that makes this the best cRPG game ever. Geralt doesn't want to be the 'hero that saves the world but the 3 major competing factions established in the game don't give him much choice. Even if you think you're playing him as a neutral party, disinterested in politics, you're not. Neutral is a side in this game! ALL of your choices are so deliciously, morbidly grey. You help some, but at the same time harm so many others, its all choices.

Having played the game twice now, I especially love that I could work for competing interest each time through and still believe in that version of events. I didn't feel I was having to be bad, just to see the 'bad ending'. Because the major parties motivations are just as deliciously, morbidly grey. Tilt your head in any of the faction's directions and you can see their perspective and the negatives of their opposition. Glorious.

The EE just puts the bootblack's shine on this element with added cutscenes rendered in wonderful hand drawn artwork and Geralt's gritty narration hammering home the many tiered outcomes of decisions. They come up far more regularly in the EE, keeping you focused despite the many hours it takes to complete.

For the record the first time through I tried to remain neutral and groundless like the Witcher from the books, and found out I was really unintentionally helping Triss and the society of sorceresses.

This second time through I sided with Vizima and by extension the Order because I'd formed relationships with Shani, Triss and other humans who where put at great risk by the direction the elves where taking their violent struggle. And I saw potential in getting Siegfried a little muddy and less fanatical. Boy does this game deliver.

Its a bit of a shame about the fighting mechanic though which is clunky at best (but pretty to watch if you get the knack of stringing combos). The magic system is a little limited too but the potion system is another triumph. From the gathering to the brewing to the using (managing toxicity!). If you can get a decent handle on the clickety-click fighting, its worth trying The Witcher on hard difficulty because its only at that level that the potions and blade oils are mandatory for survival.
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:07 PM   #1063
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In the last couple of weeks i've been discovering several console games that i had never played before, simply because i never had a console before, i bought my first console (a PS2) a month ago.

ICO -8/10

I think i already mentioned it before in other thread. I really enjoyed it, very simple and minimalistic, however it has a very unique... soul, i cant find a better word. It is in its essence a basic platformer like Tomb Raider and Prince of Persia, and it shares a lot of similarities with those games gameplay wise.

Shadow of the Colossus - 7/10

This is the spiritual successor of ICO. This one is a pitty, it could have been great but some serious flaws were a bit too annoying. The beginning is great, meeting the first colossus and killing it is a fantastic experience, however we must repeat the exact same process (listen to the god-mount horse-search colossus-kill it-repeat) 16 times, which is too tiring and boring for me. By the 10th Colossus i had no motivation to continue, and the story only progressed at the ending. On top of that, the camera is just awfull. However, it had some brilliant moments.

Metal Gear Solid - 9/10

Yep, i had never played a MGS once, i had no interest at all in this saga. But i really liked this one. Actually i played this one on the PC (i didn't even known that it was available on the PC) but it is a pure console game, and one of the icons of the sony console. I loved the story, it is almost a 80's war hero child fantasy story, with super strong heroes, bigger than life villians, guns, bombs, giant robots, i mean wow! I used to love this kind of stuff when i was a kid. And the story is so fast paced, and with so many twists like a cheap soap opera But, most of all its not to be taken serious. I really enjoyed.

Metal Gear Solid 2 - 6/10

What a dissapointment
The first half of the game was very good, very similar to the first one, however, after a certain twist the story goes completely nuts, with bad writing, ridiculous twist and even cheap philosophical bullshit. A complete mess. I'm now playing the 3rd one, which is going well.
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Old 09-16-2009, 08:24 PM   #1064
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roper Klacks View Post
cheap philosophical bullshit
I used the ending of MGS2 in a schoolwork on "perspectives on human life in literature". I found that one a pretty good message, one that I might keep in mind as a parent.

Spoiler:
"Life isn't just about passing on your genes.
We can leave behind much more than just DNA.
Through speech, music, literature and movies...
what we've seen, heard, felt
...anger, joy and sorrow...
these are the things I will pass on.

That's what I live for.
We need to pass the torch,
and let our children read our messy and sad history by its light.
We have all the magic of the digital age to do that with.

The human race will probably come to an end some time,
and new species may rule over this planet.
Earth may not be forever,
but we still have the responsibility to leave what traces of life we can.

Building the future and keeping the past alive are one and the same thing."
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:49 AM   #1065
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Just finished a cute little independent game, "Damsel". It was a cute idea, and the Dragon was awesome.
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Old 09-18-2009, 02:17 PM   #1066
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchy in milk View Post
The Witcher (EE).

[...]
Great review, you almost made me want to play it again. I disagree on a few points though - I, for one, found the combat system innovative and working very well, far better than any other action RPGs I've played. It felt fluid to me, and it looked as if I was actually hitting the opponents with my sword (as opposed to Obvlivion/Divinity 2/Gothic where you're punching the air and the mobs pretend to be hit by invisible bricks).
Also, best story among the cRPGs? I thought everyone agreed that Planescape Torment has been and continues claiming this particular RPG throne. While I'm not interested in reading the Witcher books, I'd love to read one based on PST.

EDIT: Witcher is a close second on my list, though.
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Old 09-19-2009, 05:17 PM   #1067
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Resident Evil 5
Well, it started off pretty good, had eye-pleasing visuals, interesting combat system, gore and a beautifully animated woman's ass. Too bad it deteriorated into a horrible, boring mess of a game, with insulting puzzles (rotating mirrors with laserbeams? Three tmes in a row? It felt like some kindergarden version of Schizm 2), fatiguing combat ("shoot this fat African man 500 times for maximum damage") and most importantly, absolutely bland level design ("oh look, now I'm on a a rusty tanker surrounded by containers! This is so great because no other game has ever taken me here ever!"). Besides, now all RE5 does is throwing previous minibosses at me all at once, I hate when games do this - I don't find this challenging, I find this frustrating.

Oh, and while I didn't mind the story at the beginning since I just didn't give a rat's ass, now it's constantly being rubbed in my face with all of its horrible writing, pathetic dialogues and stereotypes. They reveal the story's "big twist" like it's a heck of a deal, even though everyone with half a brain figured it out hours ago.

Technically I haven't finished the game or beaten "the final boss", but then again, why should I? I'd take me at least half an hour, and I'm not expecting to see anything that would change my opinion.

4/10; it's probably more fun in coop, but then again, everything is more fun in coop.
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Old 09-19-2009, 07:10 PM   #1068
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Just finished Rhiannon. Very nice art and well thought out story line. However, the constant need to revisit locations to try to pick up the same item over and over again (because you know it will be activated as inventory eventually) ruined the mystery. The need for repetition took the adventure out of a potentially interesting plot. Also, just getting from point A to B was needlessly illogical at times.

I was glad to get through it. 6/10
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Old 09-27-2009, 01:08 PM   #1069
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The last game I've finished : Nikopol.
Weird but beautiful game. A complex world, futuristic, surprising and destabilizing. Lots of action in this game (I don't really like all this "action" moments) that stress for nothing.

The graphics are wonderful, the graphics engine allows stunning effect of movements of objects (int he beginning of the game, moving the bookshelf to block the door is really a moment that astonishes by its realism)

A game as hard as short, unfortunatly ... But it remains a great videogame experience/adventure ^_^
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:55 PM   #1070
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Batman: Arkham Asylum:

Now this game is something pretty freakin' special. Full of atmosphere and good times a-plenty. It sort of reminds me of Psychonauts in an odd kind of way, 'cause there's a whole lot more here than meets the eye. It's more than the sum of its parts and all that. There's a whole lot of attention to detail. I spent so much time exploring Arkham Asylum and its surrounds and taking in the atmosphere of the spooky and mysterious kind. I loved how the Joker constantly mocked his own mercs as Batman took 'em out one-by-one. The story was all kinds of awesome. Over the top and grounded in realism at the same time, mixing funny and serious.

Tales of Monkey Island: Lair of the Leviathan:

I've loved the previous episodes in the series, but I think this one is definitely the best so far. It's been awesome to see the arc unfold and meet-and-greetin' characters, both new and old. The puzzles here were amazing. Felt like I was playing a classic adventure all the way through from start to finish. I'd mention all the highlights, but then I'd basically be spoiling the entire game. Good times!
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:37 AM   #1071
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You already finished it? Are you that good or did you pull an all-nighter?
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:05 AM   #1072
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It was released early in the morning in Australia, got to love the time zone difference. Played all day.
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:28 AM   #1073
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Weekend already in Australia, too?

What am I saying? Even in the weekends I don't have time to play all day
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Old 09-30-2009, 04:16 AM   #1074
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Quote:
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...Also, best story among the cRPGs? I thought everyone agreed that Planescape Torment has been and continues claiming this particular RPG throne. While I'm not interested in reading the Witcher books, I'd love to read one based on PST.
Well I actually just finished the first Witcher Book "The Last Wish". I have to say you're missing out if you skip it. Its very short and its not one long fantasy story more of a pulp fiction take on one with its narrative structure.

Its bite sized short stories that don't necessarily take place in sequential order. Given the use of the amnesia mechanic and Triss going on about not wanting to prejudice Geralt's reconstruction of his identity (by talking about his past) in the game , it was quite nice to see some of the 'truth' that's only really hinted at in the game's story. In particular the origins of Humans in the twisted fairy tale like fantasy/horror world and how the Witcher's tie in to that.

The second book 'Blood of Elves' I've only just thumbed through and it seems to deal with the major plots of the game (racial tension, and the prophecy).

I love the Planescape setting and its twist/take on the BIG questions in life, but I've read some rather dull novels set there too. I'll be panned for suggesting it but I really feel that Torment was hamstrung by the infinity engine, and I'll just come out and admit I fucking hate the D&D game system. The sooner Hasbro cut Planescape loose the better... and should that happen, no I do NOT wish Bioware would get anywhere near it (yes I know some of em' made it in the first place but have you played enough of Bioware's titles to see a pattern yet too?).
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Old 09-30-2009, 04:23 AM   #1075
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I just finished first play through of King's Bounty: The Legend. As a mage on normal difficulty. It was fairly easy as a mage with the final split of my enemies dying ~60% via spells, 40% via my very modest army. I'll probably play as a Paladin at a later date. Really looking forward to the expansion now, and the game Torchlight which shares a somewhat similar art style.
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Old 10-02-2009, 02:50 PM   #1076
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Well, i've finished Memento Mori. Nice game, beautiful graphics, interesting story and no annoying puzzles. One of a few games that i finished without hints help. I just don't like the ending. Honestly theres a long time that i've finished a game and enjoyed the ending.


4/5
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:38 PM   #1077
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Well, just finished up the "Blackwell" series, with "Blackwell Convergence". I still need to listen to the commentary, but those games are usually short enough that I can get that done without really cutting into my time.

It was another solid game from Dave; really good. I liked how it connected with the 2nd game a lot, and the "Oogle" and "Bmail" features were pretty awesome. I also liked the unique action of easedropping with Joey.

I'd have to say my favorite game of them has been "Blackwell Unbound", since Lauren and Joey had a more involved relationship that you could really see they cared about each other. The Deacon was a favorite of mine from the first one, and the little mention he had in this 3rd game was cool. On the whole, though, Unbound would be my favorite, with the Deacon as my favorite ghost. Although I really liked the actor in "Convergence". I just kenw we'd have to finish the script.
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Old 10-06-2009, 04:25 AM   #1078
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Thanks for the write-up, Fantasy. I'm glad you liked it. Funny how so many people love Unbound so much. It was originally going to be a tiny part of Convergence that got cut, and then it became a full stand-alone game.
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:08 AM   #1079
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I actually liked that you made it a separate game, where we could feel what it would be like to "live" in that time period.
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Old 10-07-2009, 04:55 PM   #1080
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Professor Layton and Pandora's Box

14 hours of fun puzzles wrapped around a story of Layton and his sidekick chasing after the elusive Pandora's Box.

Similar to the first game this involves going from location to location (Includes this time a train and 2 villiages) looking for hint coins, talking to locals, and solving lots and lots of puzzles (I think I solved about 120 by the end).

The puzzles are a lot of fun, but the storyline is a bit naff, but not unpleasant. They have filled the game with some mini games that include finding and assembling a camera (which can then be used in a spot the difference mini game), get a fat gerbil into shape, brewing tea (This gets seriously tedious towards the end) for thirsty townsfolk etc.

If you liked the first game or just enjoy the hair pulling puzzles then this is a must buy, just ignore the story.

4/5
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