Sunday, 26 December 2010

Nier - The Re-Review

I have been thinking about Nier alot recently. The good parts, the bad parts, and the endings that I didn't see. Mostly I thought about the plotholes and how they dragged the story down. I have since played through endings B, C, and D, and I can see the light now. Nier has dragged itself up from the ashes to show be that it is actually one of the best games that I have played this year.

I have been listening to the soundtrack and it has one of the best original sound tracks I have heard for years, and probably for years to come. From the second playthrough onwards the game has new cutscenes that give the Shades more humanity as well as further developing the characters we already have.

I have decided to revoke the previous statement I made about this game being just average as best. It is so much more than that. It is one of the most thought provoking games I have played all year. No questions asked. Nier's new score is a well deserved 8/10. Definatly worth a look if you want a game that you can play through more than once.

I got some games for christmas, so you can look forward to more reviews in the coming month of 2011, but also look forward to short reviews where I look at the Indie games I bought in the January sales!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The 2010 G.E.E.K Awards!

You may remember if you can find my old blog from last year that I made my awards for 2009. Well its back. I decided to do it now, as there is little chance that I will complete any more games this year. So lets get down to it.

Film of the Year

The Wolfman

Webcomic of the Year

Order of the Stick

Best PS3 game of the Year

Dark Void

Best Wii Game of the Year

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Best Xbox Game of the Year

Fable 2

Best DS Game of the Year

Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

Best Game I haven't played of the Year

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Best Book of the Year

The Third Man by Peter Mandleson

Best use of Screaming of the Year


Best Escapist Canon Series of the Year

Loading Ready Run - Commodore Hustle

Best Escapist Non-Canon Series of the Year

Extra Credits

Favourite Website of the Year

Lifetime Achievement Award of 2010

James Wyatt- 2nd Time Winner

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Dead Rising 2 - When hell is full, Zombies will use our gambling machines

Dead Rising 2 is a long game. I won't deny this, but it is fun. Dead Fun. It takes place in Fortune City, a basic copy of Vegas but I won't go into the references here, and you take control of Chuck Greene. A former motocross champion with nothing to lose. A man's man, as manly as the-- Wait, he has a daughter that he looks after? Well thats that ruined then. For a father he really doesn't have many morales in this city of the dead, psychopathes and looters, easily killing all of these with the right strategies.

Dead Rising 2's thing is that you can wield a variety of weapons while combining some particular weapons to make new and more powerful ones. This helps with the leveling system, as killing with the more powerful weapons gets you more points. There is a level cap, but it is set to 50, so you probably won't get to that until your second playthrough. You can also at any point, like the first Dead Rising, restart the game from the start, but take your levels and upgrades with you to make the game easier. I'm not ashamed to say that I did not complete the game without restarting.

Chuck is kind of cool, but ruined by his daughter somewhat. He has to get a drug called Zombrex for her daily, as she was bitten by a zombie before when the game is set and needs it to stop herself from turning. Back to Chuck though, he can have some good moments with his one liners, but some of these seem really forced. Some of his finer moments are in the cinematics when he kills a pschopath however. Overall Chuck is one of the most interesting characters in the main cast, but the main cast lets him down.

Katie, Chuck's daughter, is not interesting in the slightest. Everyone is constantly telling Chuck that she will turn soon, but she just doesnt get enough screentime to make a lasting impression on me. You can give her gifts to get a large experience boost, but why should I need to? I bought a zombie game right? I expected to get a large boost of experience by killing a zombie with a rake fired from a rocket launcher.

There are a number of side missions in the game that you may choose to undertake or not. Whenever you get one a time limit starts for how long you can undertake it. Many of these can pile up, so you can bring survivors you are rescuing to a battle with a psychopath to make it easier, but there would be a good chance that the psychopath would kill all your survivors and stop you from getting the experience boost from getting them back to the safehouse. As you do more and more of these missions, the side cast grows larger and larger so i'm not going to talk about them. Not because there are way too many, but because they are not characterised well enough for me to think they deserve it.

Dead Rising 2 is a timesink. But it is a good timesink. If you want to kill a few hours and a few zombies while you are at it, just let Katie turn, and you then have free roam over the city. Sure you fail the game, but you can go wherever you want and do whatever you want. You could do sidequests, or not do sidequests. This is a game that offers many methods of gameplay, and I would recommend it to anyone with nothing better to play this christmas. I mean consider the game lineup for this christmas, what the hell are the publishers thinking.

Overall, get Dead Rising 2, well worth the money, 7/10.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Opinion in Words - Student Protests and Such

In the United Kingdom at the moment it is hard to ignore the student loans crisis. The coalition government has slashed the University budget by 80%, and to make it up they have decided to ramp up the basic fees to combat this and make the students mostly take the hit. Before I get anyone angry about this, I just want to say that I know we are still technically in a recession and I am not saying that student fees should no go up. Going up to £6,000 basic fee per year though is just too much of a raise at once. Now you have students rioting, i'm sure many of you have seen how Prince Charles and Camilla were attacked because they went down the road where the student protesters were being forced by the riot police, as well as the peaceful protests. Although it is student's right to protest. Nothing is going to happen if no-one does anything to make themselves heard. But I completely agree with Aaron Porter, the now NUS President, with how he said that he condemes any violences and I am too saddened by the small minority that overtook the theme of the peaceful protests and made it violent.

Lets talk about the government now though. I am not a fan of the Conservatives. Before the recession they mostly looked out for the rich, and although they are getting better the drastic and quick cuts have overshadowed this. I am a Labour voter and the Conservatives keep going on about them having to clear up the mistakes of the previous government. Stop going on about that, put more emphasis on what you are doing.

Next the Liberal Democrats. Nick Clegg has already said that if he had the chance he would do it all the same way again, and Vincent Cable has done so many U-turns on his own bill that i'm suprised he hasn't fainted from lack of blood to the head. Nick Clegg with this bill has not only failed to keep his party convinced as 28 Lib Dems voted for and 21 against, but has killed the Lib Dem's reputation for the years to come. I only say this as think back to a couple of years ago, when less than half of the population was voting. Now we get students actually interested in politics and they all are finally of voting age. Being students, mostly they vote for the Lib Dems. Now in just 15 minutes, the Lib Dems have been utterly destroyed. They will never again get the student vote said Aaron Porter rightfully. They never again will unless they do something drastic to get their party on track. They have made one of the worst decisions possible in my opinion, and unless they do something about Nick Clegg things can only get worse for them from here.

This is Tyramatt, still raging about Dead to Rights: Retribution.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Dead To Rights: Ridiculous

Right. Coming straight out of Nier, and going right into Dead to Rights: Retribution. Lets see if this game is better or worse than it's middle ground last tennant of my PS3. If you want the short version, go to the bottom paragraph. No seriously. Its a long and painful process.

You start up the game and have to kill several gang members while controlling a dog. I have no idea whats going on, but its awesome because its a dog. You then find yourself in a bar somewhere talking with a woman with the dog mysteriously absent, "No wait Jack! Without the dog your are powerless!". The main character is Jack Slate, but we'll get more into his character at the end. I should also mention that the dog looks like a wolf, and is named shadow. Oh no wait, it turns out the dog is here. Thank god, Jack would of been screwed without that. We then enter some flashback plot exposition to show some of Jack's backstory which boils down to the fact that Sergeant Illness is a inactive jerk, and there is a gang called Union with someone called Riggs who organised them. After saving a ground total of one woman and some security guards, I train boxing with some old guy, then start the next part of the game. Go to place, kill guys with dog, this is just a bit boring. Also it would seem that all other cops in the city are incompetent apart from Jack and a few others. One of those gets shot in the second mission as well.

After quite obviously causing a train wreck, a shootout in a train station, and a boss that I got my dog to kill for me, we get some more exposition from the present in the diner, where we learn nothing! I hate this game so much right now! Its unreal! Most of this game is shootouts, punching, and the occassional stealth parts using Shadow. As not much is happening in the game at this point, I should probably talk about the combat to pass the time. In my Nier review I mentioned how the combat felt slightly sticky and unnatural, but if we were to compare that to swimming in cream, Dead to Rights: Retribution's combat, fist fights and shooting parts anyway, feel like swimming in concrete. It not only feels so wrong because the fist fights feel so detatched from reality, but its just so boring and generic considering this is a 2009 game. The shooting sucks, as shots at point blank range miss and I was constantly getting headshots with machine guns from miles away. Also I have to mention that when you get one of the sed headshots, the game sickenly slows down for a brief couple of seconds. This only exists to give some more gore to a gorey game to begin with. The stealth sections with Shadow are good though, yet another reason to like the dog more than all of the other characters.

Now that we've wasted some time not talking about the game, lets see what happened while we were gone. Well, we found some unknown police unit, shot up most of it, and then went to a big stadium presumebly to shoot up more clueless special police unit officers. There was also a sewer level, but that isn't worth talking about. We then kill someone with the most ridiculously overarmoured suit I have ever seen, appropriately named a "Tank". After that you head through more firefights, then comes another Shadow stealth section. Yes, I wait most of the game for these. Right, disarm the two... electricity boxes? This dog is just too well trained... RIght so I try to sneak through, and theres one guard who never moves. Right, lets try killing everyone in a splinter cell fashion. Get killed all the times I try. Lets try rushing, get killed. Urrghh. Apparently blowing up three helicopters of the GOVERNMENT FUNDED ORGANISATION will completely cripple it from doing anything. Hello game, this is logic calling!

After trying to blow up a fourth helicopter and then falling out of it 4 feet so the game could shove the fact that the head of the S.W.A.T was incompetant in our face, we then come full circle and the flashbacks stop. I forgot we were in flashbacks for a mome-- *BOOM* What the hell was that?! Oh, the character that we didnt know got shot. I feel so bad right now. Not. I really do hate this game. Then after a brief escort mission where you appear to heal the women by spooning her... Weird... You get dropped off by the pilot of the medicopter at the temple tower, location of the first mission. Oh and thanks for saying "Present Day" there, I didn't think we'd entered another flashback, but fine.

After arriving, killing more men, and some suprising amount of angst from Jack Slate, and finding out that the S.W.A.T leader killed his father, I don't know I stopped paying attention a while back, we then use our bargaining chip as a human shield! You know I think you really should take better car-- Did you just use his head to push a elevator button?! So after more firefights an-- Stop using his head to open elevator doors! You have hands! Sorry, after more firefights and constant complaining from your "Portable Ammo Mule", you have to fight a helicopter of which Shadow takes out the pilot (This must have been the one helicopter that I let go since apparently the police force only has four). At this point I had high hopes of piloting a helicopter as Shadow, but then remembered that this was Dead to Rights: Retribution I was thinking about. After the helicopter and my dreams crash you go through a couple more firefights, including one with a "Tank" that came out of the crashed helicopter, we get back to the police stati-- Stop telling me its the present day! This is just ridiculous now! Oh no, we haven't got back to the police station yet, the opening shot lied to me.

I'm far too angry with this game at the moment to continue on, so lets talk a bit about something that has never really bothered me in a game before this one, the animations. The animations in a game to me are not a frontline make or break in whether a game is good. Because it is this game though, I have noticed some more glaring bad animation. It was not noticable at first, but in time the animation for climbing a ladder caught my eye. It was like it was stop animation, not really moving muscles, but climbing it as if he was just switching frames to climb. Other than that most of the animation is bad apart from the takedowns, but I try not to include them because those are there to show Jack beating people up in the most graphic and violent way possible.

Alright, there isn't much more of this game. Just power though, power through. We're on the home stretch here, I hope. After another firefight, once again using the guy as cover, we put him in a cell and run into the incompetent Sergeant Illness. Him and Jack settle their differences and join forces to.... take back the city? How are we going to do that exactly? After defending the building from the G.A.C for some reason rather than just evacuating, we decide to go to Danvers Island for possibly and hopefully the final battle.

We arrive at Danvers Island an-- I swear if it reminds me that its the present day one more time... And on arriving in a suit of G.A.C armour as a disguise the game once again shoves the fact that the leader of S.W.A.T is now the leader of G.A.C and is the villian. After blowing up a considerable chunk of the building, you go through a couple more firefights on your way to confront the leader, when you find a suit of tank armour. Now we are talking, so we go through more firefights an-- What?! Why did he take the armour off! Why would he ever take the armour off! Arghh.. So then we go through some more fights, and then a suprisingly boring Shadow stealth section, and then having Shadow beaten so that he cannot help us in the final fight, we finally confront the leader of S.W.A.T, Redwater. Its a showdown of epics, and then he pulls the most ridiculous looking knife i've ever seen. As if i didn't hate this game enough, this is by far the hardest boss fight as well. So we kill Redwater, Shadow is fine apparently now, we go through a stupid epilogue where Jack says some kind words to his fathers tombstone and then leaves the cemeter-- Wait a second? Where are all the gangs? Did Dead to Rights just decide Jack Slate killed them all? Oh I just don't care. Its over now, thats all that matters.

Lets quickly talk about the characters before I end this. I hate Jack Slate. He is completely unlikeable, with a ridiculous body structure and a personality to match. Making terrible decisions and going a completely idiotic way to make sure his father was avenged. His father we never learned that much about, so I am going to skip him.

Some of the bit characters now. Faith, I assume was supposed to be the love interest, but you never learn hardly anything about her, so she is skipped as well. Redwater was made out to be the bad guy every 20 minutes, but the game did at least make an effort to show that he really did want what was best for the city. He was just going the wrong way about it is all. Sergeant Illness was an incompetant prick, with all the sense of a cardboard box. The gangs were unbelievable, none of them given much backstory, and therefore will be forgotten just as quickly.

Shadow is by far the best character in this entire game. He is the most competant as well. The thing I didn't like was how dogs can apparently see through walls and sense enemies. That was weird. Also his takedowns were as gruesomely gorey as Jack's.

Right. Going to end this now. Dead to Rights: Retribution is the most horrible game I have ever played. It is silly, has a plot that drags itself through the dirt, and all of the characters are morons! Final word, Dead to Rights: Retribution is not worth the money that was used to pay for the paper to make the instructions. 2/10. Enough said.

This is Tyramatt, needing to get this rage out of my system.

Wii Quickies - Super Mario Galaxy 2

Space. The final frontier? I picked up this game a couple of weeks after release, because I wanted more gravity puzzles, exciting cartoonish boss fights, and mainly see where the game took the story from Super Mario Galaxy. While the game provided the first one, and really delivered on the second, it failed to progress the logical story of these games. The story isn't that interesting and for most of the game I just imagined it was an expansion pack for the first game. At the end, it really forced something stupid in my face that really made me think that I have psychic powers. To end this quickie review, Super Mario Galaxy 2. If you enjoyed the first one, you probably will enjoy the second one. Its give and take with this game, for example: there are more boss fights than the first game, but they are more cartoonish. To end the review I would give Super Mario Galaxy 2, a 6/10. It could have been so much more if it straight continued from the first game from the start, rather than shoehorning it into the ending!

This is Tyramatt, signing off.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Opinion in Words - Addicted to Games? Panorama Special

This is a new section of gamesJunction called "Opinion in Words". In these little rants I will talk about a topic that I believe needs more coverage and how I believe that the common view is either right or wrong. So lets talk about something that has just peaked my interest, the new Panorama episode, where they tackle the topic "Addicted to Games".

First I must stress, what said here is 100% opinion and is just what I feel. The main problem I had with it was the fact that they downplayed the positives of gaming, but then again it was particularly about addiction to games. This "addiction" however could be overshadowed by the various psychological factors of the average human mind, as well as environmental factors including parenting styles. This would mean that the games companies are not to blame entirely. The program's only attempt at making the game "World of Warcraft" seem more plausible as a good game, was the part where they mentioned that it had 12 million players, and they showed at most 4 people who were "addicted" to it.

I am not having a go at parents though for their styles of parenting, I am just trying to stress that cutting people off from their computer games is not the way to help them. Through moderation you can stop them from getting to this level in the first place. The main thing though is that every person has a different mindset, so no matter what people think, not everyone is going to become a serial killer just because they played "Doom 3". People need to stop trying to blame things like this entirely on videogames. They say that there are many things to do away from the computer, but they just raise the environmental factor on a child's mindset again. Unless you are willing to watch your child every waking second, you cannot protect them from everything thats out there.

The program also brought up and devoted a considerable chunk of the episode to being in South Korea and their attempts to bring the "addiction" under controll. Do they not realise that South Korea takes videogames very seriously. A percentage of the South Korea's population are the infamous "Gold Farmers", who someone across the world can hire to get gold for them.

Right, thats all I have to say on this subject, so once again its time to say..

This is Tyramatt, signing off.

EDIT: Dead to Rights: Retribution is coming, look busy.