Friday, May 20, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

Well as the title says I've been busy the last few days with work, but more importantly with LA Noire and getting level 50 in Rift.  If you haven't tried Rift I highly recommend it, I can give you a 7 day trail if you are interested.  Anyway, with PSN up now there is some freebies that you can get: You can choose 2 of these games.
  • Dead Nation
  • inFAMOUS
  • LittleBigPlanet
  • Super Stardust HD
  • Wipeout HD + Fury

PSP owners will have the ability to choose 2 games as well...

  • LittleBigPlanet (PSP)
  • ModNation Racers
  • Pursuit Force
  • Killzone Liberation

On top of that, some people will also receive this stuff if you fit the description:
  • A selection of “On Us” rental movie titles will be available to PlayStation Network customers over one weekend, where Video Service is available. Those titles will be announced soon.
  • 30 days free PlayStation Plus membership for non PlayStation Plus subscribers.
  • Existing PlayStation Plus subscribers will receive an additional 60 days of free subscription.
  • Existing Music Unlimited Premium Trial subscription members will receive an additional 30 days of free premium subscription.
  • Additional 30 days + time lost for existing members of Music Unlimited Premium/Basic subscription free of charge for existing Premium/Basic members.
  • To welcome users Home, PlayStation Home will be offering 100 free virtual items. Additional free content will be released soon, including the next addition to the Home Mansion personal space, and Ooblag’s Alien Casino, an exclusive game.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Solving Crimes, One Frustrating Lie At a Time

So here I am, police officer Cole Phelps, rising star of the LAPD, recently promoted to dectective, and veteran of WWII.  You start out LA Noire with a tutorial case so you can learn the ropes of gathering evidence, pursuing suspects, handling your weapons, and interrogation.  The first thing you notice when you play LA Noire is the amazing facial capture technology that they employ.  You can actually see emotions, and easily recognize actual Hollywood actors who as used not only to voice characters you encounter but also are recreated as the character themselves with the new technology.

LA Noire isn't like most sandbox games like GTA or Mafia 2.  You aren't rewarded for causing mayhem across the sprawling backdrop of LA, you can't pull your gun at any moment and go on a killing spree.  You are a cop and cops play by the rules and don't run down pedestrians for the fun of it.  So even with a huge playground to wander around in this is very much a linear adventure telling the story of Cole Phelps as he rises the ranks and moves on to more and more important cases.

John Noble in full video game glory
So far I've been having a grand ol time in this "blast from the past" detective story.  Oddly enough, even though there is a lack of action and gunplay, I find myself more engrossed in not getting tricked or lied to by a suspect or witness.  It's really more of a thinking game than a shooting game.  It angers me to no end when I get duped by a suspect or accuse them of lying without proper evidence to back my claims up.  I feel as though I failed as a cop.  I actually started a case over that involved a 15 year old girl getting abused because I pushed her too hard and I felt like a complete asshole.  

This is an intriguing game so far and I'm very much into it's atmosphere and it's way of story telling.  Watching videos of someone else playing doesn't do this game justice.  You have to make your own justice on the mean streets of LA to really understand the beauty of this diamond in the rough.

LA Noire Review...Soon

Just got LA Noire from Amazon so expect my review of what I think of it later today after I've gotten a taste of some murder and shady suspects.  

Monday, May 16, 2011

Man on Man, or Woman on Alien Woman

Mass Effect, to me, has always been about a cool sci fi story, with good gameplay, and decent RPG elements to tie it all together.  Some people however can't get enough of their fake boyfriends/girlfriends.  While I get the appeal of seducing someone that you particularly like as a character just to see all the facets of what the game has to offer, many BioWare fans want more.

I wouldn't mind a little of that...
Not happy with the purely hetero choices of Mass Effect 2 especially after the symbolic lesbian choice in the first game if you were a female Shepard.  Technically the Asari are "mono-gendered," but that doesn't stop them from having nice racks and all female characteristics.  So backpedaling slightly in the second game you could only get what amounts to a little lap dance from your Yeomen, Kelly Chambers if you were a female Shepard.

Contrarily, you've never been able to engage in what would be considered a male on male romance, whether that be an alien male or human.  A lot of forum goers on the social website maintained by BioWare for all it's games have been clamoring for equality in romance partner choices.  Casey Hudson the games director who has been recently introduced to twitter is spilling the beans on a lot of the games aspects that people want to see improved.  Recently confirming that there will indeed be M&F same sex relationships.

Personally I don't really mind if the options are there or not, though I realize some people might not agree with them morally or religiously.  However, more choices in an RPG to me are never a bad thing, unless of course you are given far too many.  I don't really have a problem with a little more romance, but the thing I still don't get why it is so incredibly important to some people.  I play Mass Effect for the story and gameplay, not as a dating sim.  Having a relationship adds to your personally crafted story, but it seems like such an unnecessary thing to be devoting half your crew to the possibility of romance, when you should be out trying to save the damn galaxy.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Downtime and LA Downtown

No I don't mean PSN still being down... but ya that's still true.  I'm sure most of you were well aware that the site was in Read Only mode for a while, and hopefully now that it's back up it stays up.

Update: Here is the video I was talking about, check it out before it gets taken down again.  This guys capture card is terrible so bear that in mind.

I was doing some browsing yesterday and ran across the "first 15" of Rockstar's new detective story/open world game.  Sadly, the youtube video was taken down, probably just as well since the guy that recorded it had a terrible capture card.  From what I saw of the game though it looks fantastic.  I know what I'll be buying next week, and I encourage everyone else to check it out and do the same.  Now I just need to figure out if I go ahead and get the PS3 version or the 360.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

On The Brink of a New Addiction?

Firstly, I apologize for the ridiculous title.  I just find it funny when people try to get clever with titles as it relates to the game they write about.  Anyway, Brink is an over the top shooter with a lot of emphasis on parkour mixed in with gunplay.  I unlocked the game last night through steam I was tired and I tried out some of the singleplayer.

The AI is pretty stupid in SP, but I was only playing on normal difficulty though.  Who the hell cares about AI anyway, the real fun if this game is in the multiplayer.  I've been playing for a good hour this morning and minus out the lag from a newly launched title which seems standard for any multiplayer FPS, there is a lot of fun to be had here.  There is quite a few buggy things as well however, and some balancing issues with some weapons seeming useless compared to another of the same class with better damage and stability.

Running train on the rebels...
If you frequent major gaming sites you will probably come across mixed reviews.  Now let me just tell you this, half of those reviews are just about singleplayer so their whining is somewhat stupid and  hollow.  The other half are a little too lenient on some of the games faults, which it surely has, it is a Bethesda game after all.  If you want to see how the game plays, video streams honestly don't do it justice.  Rarely is it fun to watch someone playing a game.  However, once you really get the hang of how everything works the fun starts to sink in.

I say you should give this game a chance if you think you would at all enjoy it, just be prepared for some spotting multiplayer performance for a while, and a pretty significant memory leak if you alt tab while in full screen mode like I was doing right now to write this.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

So... Whens that Diablo 3 coming out?

I'm sure many of you have played your fair share of Diablo 2 in the past, and if not, you were probably playing Starcraft.  Blizzard has had its share of successes, and gameplay has always been key to their success. No where is that more apparent that World of Warcraft.  Say what you want about the game, but it stayed successful because it had the right balance of ease of use and gameplay, topped off with some relatively challenging raids.

This isn't about WoW's success though... or is it?  Because of it's huge following Blizzard has put WoW on the forefront of its business for years now.  When you look at how long it took to develop Starcraft 2 it makes you wonder what all that time was spent doing?  The game, which is great sure, is essentially mildly spruced up in graphics, but the gameplay remains the exact same.  Gameplay is king though and if you had a winning formula why muck it up?

This looks vaguely familiar...
Such is Blizzard's approach it seems with D3.  If you've been to their site at all you'll notice that not much seems to have changed.  This of course can be a good thing, but it makes you wonder what is it that is taking Blizzard so long with these games that have just essentially been given a face lift.  Many rumors point the idea that Blizzard may try to capitalize on the success of the consoles to proliferate one of their most beloved franchises to them.  Whatever is taking them so long it gets harder and harder to remain interested.  Blizzard has been known to "never release a product until it's finished" or "never release a product" I forget which.  Well that certainly is admirable it seems more like they are trying to game the public, with things such as 1/3 of the campaign in their first release of Starcraft 2.  I like a trilogy as much as the next guy, but it seems more like a grab for your money and business longevity than anything else.  Maybe I'm just an asshole, but I expected D3 to be well on its way to a release date quite some time ago.  Now I fear that instead of a release date we will get news that Diablo 3 is a trilogy with less characters at the start because they can save that for the next to releases to grab for our money, as though they don't sit on a mountain of cash already thanks to WoW.