Posts Tagged ‘Video Game’
This one is…it’s going to be hard ladies and gentlemen. I love this series…quite a bit. I remember when I grabbed Mass Effect at a Half Price books back home thinking nothing too much of it. Hell, I actually stared at it and Fallout 3 for a while before finally shrugging and deciding on Mass Effect because it was five dollars cheaper. I came home and actually started playing it though. I stopped for a while then finally got back to it and…good god. I loved it. Sure the Mako handled like absolute garbage. Sure the AI on both enemies and allies were crap. Sure the weapon system was stupid and the fetch quests got annoying but it was just so involving. I have never run into characters more interesting and well developed then the characters of the Mass Effect series. Not only that, the plot is utterly amazing and so very intriguing. I couldn’t put it down. I loved every moment of it. And the ending…just made me want the second one immediately. I’m not going to sum up my feelings on the second one as well but let me just put it this way, I loved it to. This series is very close to my heart. I love the combat system due to Mass Effect 2′s improvements and I love the dialogue and story due to the original. This one was supposed to have everything the other two did. So the question remains, did it? For those of you who came here specifically for my views on the ending, take a look about two paragraphs down and you’ll find it. Pre-warning, spoilers will be in those paragraphs. I’ll try as hard as I can to dodge it, but I don’t know if I can do it.
The gameplay is…truly something to behold. The combat system is absolutely fantastic, adding in far more mobility then the second one, giving combat rolls and easy transfer of cover to up ease of moment. Your moves react faster, with your crew acting especially intelligent as far as AI programming. The level system is fantastic, allowing the evolution of skills taken from Mass Effect 2 and adding it to a lot of the whole skill tree. The skills seem more intuitive in their development and implementation which, once again, allows for ease of use. The dialogue trees have actually been significantly simplified which has the unfortunate conclusion of forcing your Shepard into a lot of situations where their really is no easy answer. However, this makes sense considering what the world of Mass Effect is going through in Mass Effect 3 but it’s still annoying. The gameplay is perfectly crafted although it did take upping the difficulty into Hardcore to actually be able to injure me, although by the end of it I was able to easily crush the game without really trying amazingly hard. It’s still great though, well crafted, interesting, and incredibly fun.
The story in Mass Effect 3 truly does feel like the third segment of a massive trilogy. All of the threads are coming to their conclusion here. The Krogan Genophage, the Geth-Quarian conflict, every single defining incident of the predominant racism that exists in the galaxy comes to a head in this game and it’s absolutely fantastic. It…it was actually quite touching to see these end. I found myself on the verge of tears more than a few times. Deaths are inevitable in war and it’s just sad to see those affect Shepard’s journey, however, they obviously need to happen. And that’s the truly compelling thing about this game: it’s war. You spend the entire game gathering support, soldiers and everything you need to win. Your job is to unite all the races and that’s easier said then done. The entire game’s story is exceptionally well done and is overall one of the greatest story that has ever been told in the entirety of video game history. Hell I would even say in the entirety of science fiction history. The story of Shepard is the stuff of legends and it’s truly an epic franchise.
Until the last ten minutes. Here we go everyone, I’m going to be addressing this.
PRE-WARNING TO EVERYONE WHO HAS NOT PLAYED THE MASS EFFECT FRANCHISE: YOU SHOULD DO IT. PLAY THE SERIES. THIS WILL REVEAL THE FINAL ENDING.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s continue. The ending is…well it’s bad. I’m not going to sugar-coat it. I find the ending to be one of the worst written and most frustrating endings on the planet. There is just nothing redeemable about this. There are enough plot holes for me to drive an 18 wheeler through (and I don’t even know how to do that). It’s just so very bad. It’s short, lacking in any explanation, any sense of conclusion, has a huge number of plot holes, and is overall just…utterly utterly terrible. Until one single scene, that caused me to rethink the entirety of my emotions upon the ending. That is a single scene at the end. I now hold the core belief of what is known as the Indoctrination Theory. I’m not going to explain it all because the spoilers are ridiculous. If you desperately want to know look up indoctrination theory on youtube and the first hit will be the best video on the topic. But there in lies the question, was it all a conspiracy by Bioware? The clues are there. They are clear as crystal. Hidden, but when exposed to light, shine for what they really are. It explains what I consider the outright stupidity of the original ending.
SPOILERS END HERE
Alright everyone, so then, what is the score? Everything about it is great except for those final moments. Does this make the entire game worthless? It doesn’t make it worthless, although it manages to damage the entire series as a whole. It makes all of what you worked for on the other two games completely pointless. It still manages to be a game that plays great and has exceptional endings to the individual races and their conflicts as well as great combat but the ending is truly that terrible. However, if the theory that I hold to be true is correct, then the game is the most amazing epic saga in the history of science fiction. I’m not even kidding on this one. If they managed to do what the theory suggests, then this is truly the most epic saga imaginable.
So I’m going to give it two scores here everyone.
If the Indoctrination Theory is correct: 5 out of 5
If the true explanation is the ending given straight by the game: 3 out of 5 (might think it would be lower but seeing the races conclusion and the combat helps the score a great deal)
There you go everyone. Me being hopeful that one of my favorite science fiction properties of all time has not had it’s development department taken over by a roaming band of howler monkeys. I really really do hope that the Indoctrination Theory is true. I truly do. But hope is sometimes completely pointless. The cynic in me shouts that I’m wrong and yet I still hope that the Indoctrination Theory is true and, even then, if DLC is released, that it’s free. Because I will have one massive bone to pick with EA otherwise.
Fighting games are generally things that I have always been a huge fan of. Mortal Kombat, Soul Calibur, Marvel Vs. Capcom, etc. are generally games that I love. I love the competitive atmosphere of it all, I love the characters, and, occasionally, the outright brutality. However, there is one reason that I do not play them as much as I should: because I absolutely suck at them. No really. I am just terrible at them. Except for one series. And that is Marvel Vs. Capcom. I first played the original on the playstation with a working team of Mega Man, Jin and Captain America. Played the second on and off with Jin M. Bison and Shuma Gorath and finally FINALLY own one of the games for myself.
The story is absolute nil. There just is nothing here. Unlike other fighting games where I actually care about plot (Mortal Kombat specifically and another friend of mine seems to have it in his head that Soul Calibur has a decent plot, although I argue to the otherwise) there is just nothing here. Marvel characters vs. Capcom characters and that’s really all that matters. So let’s just discuss the fighter selection then. The fighter selection compared to the last game is smaller and there is a distinct lack of joke characters (no servbot style characters anymore). The character selection, although small, is actually pretty distinct and definitely interesting and, after two months of owning it, I happen to still find new ways to play the available characters. A few do play remarkably similar, but that’s probably just me thinking that. Any pro would be able to pick up these characters and notice their distinctly different playstyles. I am kind of pissed at the lack of some of my favorites: Bison, Mega Man, Jin, Captain Commando, Cyclops, so on, and yet I do like the new additions: members of the Devil May Cry series, Deadpool, Zero, new Street Fighter characters, Resident Evil, etc.
The gameplay is where this game absolutely shines by comparison to other fighters. The gameplay might be some of the most strategic, complex, interesting and yet outright insane fighting games I have ever born witness to. The fighting in this game is just too crazy. Each player chooses a team of three fighters to kill each other. You attack, block, build up hyper bars which let you unleash your hyper attacks, call in your allies from offscreen for assists and try to kill the opponent before you die. It’s simple at first, but as you learn more, you see the intense complexity in it all. Infinites, aerial combos, hyper interrupts, x-factor interrupts, assist kills, different playstyles like aggro, zoning, and so on. The gameplay is crazy to put it lightly.
Two things that I really do feel the need to talk about when compared to the last game, the graphics and the sound. The graphics in this game are distinctly different from the other two in the series in that they ditched the comic style and felt the need to go for a more cell-shaded look. It really does suit the game well in my opinion and it looks absolutely fantastic when compared to the others in my opinion. The sound is another thing that got a MASSIVE upgrade. Anyone who has played Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 knows how absolutely terrible the music is for that game. It’s mostly smooth jazz and just seems to not fit the state of the game in any way whatsoever. Capcom seemed to recognize this and gave the game the epic rock/orchestral soundtrack that all players of MvC believed it deserved. The games themes are honestly deserving of being on my ipod and manage to keep the game sounding suspenseful while being suspenseful, unlike the others.
Before I end this review let me make quick note of the upgrades in UMvC3 when compared to MvC3. Certain characters have been patched to allow them to play differently, Wesker has received a few nerfs (downgrades in his stats) as well as Sentinel and Phoenix. If you want to look into the whole explanation as to what the changes are, you can find the notes online. Also, when you buy Ultimate you get 12 new characters, 6 from each side (Vergil, Phoenix Wright, Nemesis, Firebrand, Strider Hiryu and Frank West from Capcom. Doctor Strange, Nova, Rocket Racoon, Ghost Rider, Iron Fist and Hawkeye from Marvel). The characters actually manage to be pretty good although a few of them are a little bit lacking once you start getting better at the game.
Discussing the issue of the Ultimate version as a whole, I’m not a huge fan of the fact that Capcom released this, instead of just DLC, kind of shafting the people who bought the original version for a full 60 dollars. When looking at the situation though, you realize that Capcom only did this due to the Earthquake. Capcom’s offices were hit and rather than releasing a ridiculous amount of DLC they decided to release the whole version for what would likely be a cheaper price. I don’t really agree with the idea of DLC as a whole but I can acknowledge that this was because of extraordinary circumstances, therefore I can’t blame them.
The game has easily taken the spot of my favorite fighting game of all time, just managing to take it away from Mortal Kombat 9. The game is incredibly complex, flashy and manages to be extremely entertaining. The game is just straight fun and, with friends rather than online, becomes a great party game. Also, it is the most rewarding feeling in all of video games to figure out what you’re doing in this game. Mainly because half the screen usually explodes when you get it right. The game does lack story and I am frustrated because of that, due to the fact that Mortal Kombat pulls of a story while still keeping the fighting great. Also, it’s distinct lack of single-player modes means you better have friends you can convince to play this or you better have an internet connection. I’m giving Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 a solid 4 out of 5.
My god, a review of a brand new game from me? This is a rather new concept. I mean honestly, most of my reviews are of games and movies that were released years ago. But let’s do this shall we? Okay so one thing that I generally find interesting about more modern video games is the fact that a lot of games from this era have taken to using ancient (or occasionally modern) mythology as a general basis for the ideas, world, characters, and plots within their games. Bayonetta, Dante’s Inferno, Assassin’s Creed (to an extent), God of War, Too Human, and so on. Asura’s Wrath is one of the few games I had actually had on my watch list for the past couple of months for this exact reason. It’s a combination of eastern mythology (pretty much all of it thrown in a blender) spliced with Sci-Fi action. It just sounds utterly ridiculous and amazing at the same time. The question though, is how it would fare against the others in it’s genre (God of War, No More Heroes, Bayonetta, etc.). Let’s take a look.
The plot to Asura’s Wrath is shockingly deep for something of this genre. Most of the time it’s just this person has x attribute, which causes them to fight or they want to get revenge on x because they killed their best friend/family/master/other-cliched-relation (Bayonetta notwithstanding). Asura’s Wrath takes place in…I’m just gonna go with Alternate Reality Earth, because that’s the only way this stuff makes any sense. Essentially there is a race known as the demigods which reign over mankind and Gaea (the planet). There is a force they fight against known as the Gohma (those who know anything about eastern religions know where this is being taken from). You find the General Asura in what will be known as the War of Creation. Him and the other seven Guardian Generals are all waging the final battle upon the forces of Gohma and manage to subdue the beasts. The narrative goes from there to Asura being betrayed by his fellow Guardian Generals (as Asura’s daughter works as the power source for the Demigods and he is deemed too dangerous) and eventually to Asura’s rise from Naraka (Hell) 12,000 years later. It’s a simple tale of revenge put into a rather interesting philosophical debate.
The gameplay is…interesting. It’s really actually hard to review this. I know I seem to say that a lot and usually just say to go out and try the game but this time I’m honestly lost. There is no way to adequately describe it. Sure there are combat sections which involve building a rage meter which will cause you to activate Burst Mode which will take you to the next stage of the level in a very traditional format. And sure there are bosses that you must destroy to continue your journey. And sure there are Quicktime events that do occur (and are in my opinion one of the best parts of the game because (to quote Ben Croshaw) “QTE’s can be effective when they are the basis of the gameplay”). However, the fighting ends up being the most visceral, brutal, and outright exhausting combat system I have ever had to deal with in a game. Each fight left me as exhausted as Asura. This isn’t just with a wiimote or something either, where your body physically moves, but through simple buttons the programmers managed to give each attack weight, each opponent strength and make me as tired as the protagonist would be after each battle.
The art style is one thing that really sets this game apart from anything that modern games have produced. This game reminds me of Okami, if it’s art suddenly started being semi-realistic rather than just calligraphy. It’s striking and vibrant and gives the game this amazingly unique feel that is unattainable outside of the game. I still want some of the art from this game framed and on my walls. This game is truly a feast for the eyes.
Once again, I find myself discussing the score. The score to this game is one of the greatest scores that gaming has ever produced. Let me put it this way: every single musicians has their own individual credit at the end of the game. Every. Single. One. You wanted to know who was playing the trumpets during that fantastic part in the fight with Wyzen where they blasted, alone, as Wyzen burned that village? Yeah. You can find that out. The music is on par with some of the best classical music I have ever heard and for only the second time in my life I am considering paying for a game’s soundtrack.
This game is, simply put, an interactive myth. It is the pure glory of the psychotic stories of the Greek Gods given life in an interactive medium. Combine that with Eastern myth and art, science fiction, one of the greatest game soundtracks ever made and sheer unadulterated insanity and you get a game that I would legitimately use to argue for the medium being an art form. I’ve beaten it and yet I crave more. I want to go back, beat it on every difficulty. Unlock everything and crush that too. Buy all the DLC and crush that as well.
Let me explain this game through an experience from it. I have fought one of the Seven Deities, on the moon, while using six arms, have assisted in the moon being cut in half, been spiked back into Gaea with the same blade, all to the glory that is the 4th Movement of Dvorak’s New World Symphony. All in one fight. How, in video games, can you possibly top that? I don’t know. I don’t think it’s possible. This game is easily one of the best experiences the medium can offer and is an easy 5 out of 5. If you have a 360 or a PS3 you owe it to yourself to play this. You’re in for a true wonder.