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            Can you handle it?
by Ethos

Ethos’ Hype List: Infamous 2

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

This box art makes me nervous.

Well I’m hungover and in the midst some life drama, so let’s try to pump out another one of these, shall we? Sounds like it’s the perfect time for that.

Infamous is the game that convinced me to buy a PS3, and the second retail title for the system that I completed before I owned a PS3 myself.

The game starts off quite weak, to be honest, but the most impressive part of the game was how it continued to be more and more fun the deeper I got instead of the typical opposite.

Cole’s increasingly badass powers made exploration and combat a constant thrill. The production values during storytelling left much to be desired, and the ending stunk, but the gameplay more than made up for it.

When I played the demo back in October, I wasn’t too impressed. And that’s still what holding me back from being over-the-top frothing-at-the-mouth for this game.

While some sequels make leaps and bounds from the original to turn shit into gold (Assassin’s Creed), others forget what made the first one so beloved and turn the series into something vastly different (last gen Prince of Persia).

But Sucker Punch isn’t Ubisoft, and Sly 2 was a sequel that was different but better, so I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt in this case.

Plus, demos are like movie trailers, they often don’t give you a proper idea whatsoever.

In short, I’m looking forward to this one, but I’m prepared to be disappointed by too many tone and gameplay changes.

Anticipation Level: 17/27

Welcome to Most Anticipated Games Week

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

I don't really even care about Batman, but I'm excited for this game.

Well Riddles got his chance to write about Back to the Future: The Game, but only came up with a video of his friend playing it. So I’m moving on.

This year is fucking insane for us gamers.
This is the calm before the storm. Quite literally. Because next week both Pokémon and Dragon Age 2 will be released, then Infamous soon after, then the 3DS, Team ICO collection, then nonstop blockbuster AAA titles until all of our faces fall off.

This week – at least – I will talk about the games I have unbridled excitement for (see: Dragon Age 2, Mass Effect 3, Pokémon White, Batman: Arkham City). I will talk about games that I am excited for with hesitation of varying levels (see: Uncharted 3, The Last Guardian, Infamous 2) and games that I am tentatively excited for (see: Skyward Sword).

That last category probably wouldn’t even exist without the latest gameplay trailer for Zelda. I’m all for a little context sensitive swordplay, but based on that trailer, it looks like the entire thing is motion gimmick after motion gimmick. It’s like Nintendo hasn’t realized that their controller sucks and is really, really old. Even with the expensive fix.

There’s actually a lot more I have to say about that, but I’ll leave it to the specific article. I hope to write one for at least each of the games I’ve already mentioned. Can you feel it? Gaming is going to give a hell of a year before the 2012 apocalypse.

Scatter Storming. Issue #040

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

All right! I have a lot of ground to cover, so I’m going to dive right in.

Sony Holiday Preview Event

Infamous 2 -
This was the game that I was most excited to play. It was one of the few titles at the event to have a 2011 release date, so I felt lucky that it was even there. I only had 10 minutes with the game and I walked away sadly underwhelmed.

Firstly, the demo was the previously only cinematic moment when Cole needs to take down a helicopter. So the content was not new to me, except for the new old Cole. That was a small let-down.

Secondly the game seemed to run like crap. I haven’t played Infamous since just around when I bought my PS3, so I forget how that game performed, but I feel like even if it wasn’t amazing, it was definitely better than this demo.

Thirdly, it felt very claustrophobic. There was lots of impressive action all around me – people running and screaming, the environment collapsing around me, limos trying to drive away from me – but I felt like I could never see the things I wanted to. When I had to chase after said limo, I had no idea which direction I had to go in. Once I lost sight of it, I had to wait until it gave me a “mission fail” screen to try it again. Maybe I missed a mini-map or something, but I’m usually pretty adept at picking that sort of thing up.

Fourthly, I hated the melee combat. This complaint is probably the one that is most likely to carry over to the actual game, as my other complaints can be chalked up to my short time with the game, and the fact that I was playing unfinished code. The reason I didn’t like the melee was largely because of the focus on it. Cole is about his electrical powers, I don’t care about smacking things with a stick. I have Batman for that sort of combat. I especially don’t care for a slow-motion shot every third time I take out an enemy. It is overkill.

Finally, I disliked how powerful Cole was. This is something that The Broken Finger and I agree on. I loved the progression of powers in the original Infamous, and if Cole starts out with his hover move, electrical grenades, zap move, plus a massive thunder tornado, I fail to see how he can progress from there. Like I mentioned, this could be a result of playing a demo, and so all of these options might not be available to me off the top. Plus, maybe there’s a point soon after that when I lose all my powers and have to regain them all again (think: God of War). I’d be more than okay with that.

And that is, sadly, all of my thoughts on Infamous 2. I didn’t get an excited feeling to be playing Infamous again, and I didn’t find many redeeming qualities beyond being able to climb buildings faster and being able to grind along more things for quicker transportation. I’m aware how misleading demos can be, so let’s hope that that was the worst experience I’ll ever have with the game.

Jetpacks as cool as they look

Killzone 3(D) -
Let it be said that my only experience of Killzone is the demo of Killzone 2, which I didn’t like at all. It seems like Killzone just doesn’t jive with me, because I felt the same way with Killzone 3. Now, let it be said that in this pre-alpha code, the game looked brilliant, and the 3D was pulled off very nicely. However, I’m pretty sure I just don’t like Killzone’s gameplay because I didn’t have a good time.

I’m aware that I’m just not very good at shooters, but when I wasn’t able to look down my scopes or take cover or crouch, I failed to see the strategy involved in trying to avoid being shot by the Hellgast. But hey, if you’re into Killzone, you’ll probably love this one. You’ll definitely love the visuals. And I’m not going to lie, the jetpack was fantastic.

Gran Turismo 5 -
This is another game I tried in 3D, but with less success when compared to Killzone 3. Granted, the only GT5 units were in arcade-like car seats with gaming wheels, so the viewing angle was shit. But when I got in the non-3D unit, I loved my experience. As to be expected, the game looked brilliant, and it controlled like a dream.

That is to say that I crashed a lot.

But GT5 is the ultimate simulation racing game, so that’s to be expected. Although I really liked Forza, Gran Turismo just has its own very unique feel and I felt giddy behind the wheel again. This demo was, surprisingly, my favourite of the event.

I accept

The Rest -
Keyboard is very difficult in Rock Band 3, even for experienced pianists, Sonic 4 looks and plays great, and apparently there’s some sort of multiplayer in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood? I didn’t play it, but I watched people assassinate each other. It looked frustrating. Oh, and I played 2 minutes of God of War: Ghost of Sparta. It was a carbon copy of the original God of War. I was on a boat, I was killing skeletons. I lost interest fast.

Oh, and I played LittleBigPlanet2, but I honestly played so little, and there is so much in that game, that I truly feel like I could not define a proper difference at this point. I played a mini-game, so that was different. I’ll have to wait for a proper demo or hands-on to talk about this one.

Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs

I love this underrated series. However, the jump from 2 to 3 doesn’t seem as big as the original to the sequel was. They made so many things better with Shadows of Almia, it appears as though Guardian Signs is more of the same with the added Pichu and mini-games gimmicks. Both I could do without. Still, the games are fun, and it’s interesting strategy to decide which Pokémon to keep, and to note where you’ll be able to come back later. I also like that “S” ranking is far more difficult to obtain in “battle”, but the rewards are much bigger. I’ll discuss more in the Sunday Soapbox and potential review if I beat the game quick enough. As is, this Scatter Storming is going on long enough and I’m not even done yet!

Housekeeping

Hey! You! Guys! Yeah! You! Click the “Upcoming” tab. Notice the change? Yeah, it’s not much, but now we give little explanations and teases for the future Theme Weeks. This is to help alleviate confusion and because who doesn’t love a good pitch? We hope to add more to that page soon, including some sort of content schedule. But I’d like a higher level of consistency before going ahead with that. Also look forward to a proper TV review format in the coming days. I’d like to talk about The Office and how after 3 pretty bad seasons, it’s looking pretty excellent again. But more about that later, I’m already over a thousand words. Peace!

_e

Tingle! Tingle! Kooloo-Limpah! #013 – It’s My Birthday, Bitches!

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Well folks, it is now officially my birthday. And so far, my wonderful and beautiful girlfriend has wished me happy birthday, and so has Nate Liles.

THAT’S IT! Nope, Riddles texted about something completely different then made a silly claim about “time zones”, and Constipated Cow called to say “oh fuck, did I miss your birthday? It was the other day, right? I’m a bad friend”. Damn straight you’re a bad friend! I know your birthday is May 15, and that’s without consulting Facebook. Idiot.

I’m actually horrible with birthdays, so I shouldn’t talk. I’ve forgotten my mother’s birthday on 3 of the past 4 years. Still, on this joyous occasion I will still bring you all belated news. I went to Microsoft’s X10 event today, and although a bunch of great games were playable, I spent 2 hours in 8 different interviews instead. Oh well, at least it was an open bar. The point is that I’m tired, so let’s talk about semi-new Gamescom news!

There’s a lot, so just find the headlines or pictures you like, and pick and choose your stories if you’re in a tl;dr mood, I won’t get offended.

No longer just a mock-up

The Normandy Lands on a New Space (Play)Station

This is the oldest news, but still some of the biggest. Ray Muzyka, the CEO of Bioware, made the announcement on Tuesday that Mass Effect 2 would be coming to PS3 with “hours of bonus content”. The port is planned to be released in January 2011 with “no plans” to bring the original over as well. In fact, Microsoft made sure to pee all over this announcement to mark their territory on the franchise. Here is a statement they gave to IGN.

With both Mass Effect titles launching first on Xbox 360 combined with the wealth of available paid downloadable content on Xbox Live today, Xbox 360 remains the best place to experience the Mass Effect franchise…and the original Mass Effect is absolutely an Xbox 360 exclusive, making Xbox 360 the only place to get the full Mass Effect experience

You can feel the panic in their text. Still, I have no interest in replaying the series on another console unless I get to play through all of my choices, so they have a point. And seeing how Microsoft published the original game, it will be a while – if ever – before it sees the light of day on another console. (IGN)

Microsoft’s Copout Handheld System

Microsoft is trying really hard to fight off Apple. Windows 7 is their obvious attempt to combat (see: emulate) Mac OS, and their Windows Phone 7 is their newest attempt at an iPhone killer. Not just as a powerful smartphone, but apparently as a gaming platform like the iPhone has become. In fact, Kevin Unangst – some exec at Microsoft – even went as far to say the following,

We’re looking at this like: Call it like a console launch. It’s really like our portable console launch in that there’s a constant hardware set, we’re specifically choosing the content we want, and it’s about bringing all of those service features over.

Sure, the hardware is made by a third party, but why not try to throw it into the portable console race as well? To their credit, the phone is shaping up to pretty slick and pretty powerful with a lot of thought going into the gaming side of things. I won’t have any real interest, however, until I hear about things more interesting than Peggle. Because I can get Peggle on PSN, thank you. Not that Peggle has been announced, it was just an example. (IGN)

Everything Cole is New Again

I truly outdo myself. What a great headline.

But onto the story, I haven’t seen a backtrack this quick since Sony’s doomed boomerang controller. Anybody remember that thing? Was I the only fan? Anyhoo, while people were hyped for all the new Infamous 2 stuff, the new design and voice of Cole made it a bittersweet unveiling. While the voice appears to be unchanged, Cole’s newest design – while still different – is far more akin to the original. Which do you prefer?

Old New Cole:

New Old Cole:

I have to say that the New Old Cole does seem less douchey, what with the lack of necklaces. Although as much as I loved Infamous, it wasn’t for the story and characters, sorry. (IGN)

Resistance 3?!?! What a Surprise!!!

That’s the whole story, really. It’s finally been officially confirmed beyond that movie set still grabbed in October 2009. I liked the original a lot more than the sequel, but I’m willing to give this third installment a chance. That is, of course, after we get some more details. We currently have none. Maybe this should belong in the “quickie” section, but that’s swiftly becoming the “impressions and not actually news” section. (IGN)

HD soon!

No More Wii Exclusive

I never played either No More Heroes games for the Wii although they seem to have a cult following. But it looks like now I’ll have a chance to try it the series on a real system. A HD remake of the original title that will be released as “No More Heroes: Heroes’ Paradise”, was announced today during a Konami press conference at Gamescom. No release date was mentioned beyond 2011, but more importantly it was confirmed that the game can be played with traditional controls despite supporting Playstation Move. (IGN)

Portal 2 in February 2011

Hey, not all my headlines have to be clever. Valve confirmed that Portal 2 – the full follow-up to the unexpected and superb mini-title – will be released on February 9th for PS3, 360, and PC. No timed exclusives. Simple and beautiful news.

As a little piece of supplementary news, Game Informer tells us that Stephen Merchant will voice the character of Wheatley, who is apparently a British robot. I haven’t been following the game as to not spoil too much. Anyhoo, you might know Stephen Merchant from the British version of The Office, or – as I know him – The Ricky Gervais show. (IGN)

QUICKIES/PREVIEWS:

Mortal Kombat First Look- Damn it! This is a game I could have played today, but didn’t have time to. It sounds like it’ll be the first good Mortal Kombat game in a very long time.

Killzone 3 Multiplayer- If you care. He also goes into the Move controls a little bit at the bottom. He’s diplomatic, but he you can tell he didn’t really care for them.

Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One- Enh, I just got into this franchise! I don’t want something this drastically new, more of the same please! The editor is optimistic, but I’m apathetic.

More Zelda Impressions- I’m sorry, but talk of the game occasionally misreading movements and a 95% accuracy rate being presented as a positive thing doesn’t get me excited for the game. But I expected this.

WHAT A BEAST!!! I’m done. It’s my birthday.