Movies, music, games, books, television, and more.

My opinions, jaded completely by my feelings, experiences, beliefs, and how I'm feeling at the time.

*SPOILERS* I will usually include a section at the end that may contain spoilers. If you don't want to know, don't read that part.

My opinion is not yours, nor should yours be mine. If you want to know for yourself, do for yourself. If you disagree, that's fine - you can make one of these for yourself for free.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spots in the Ink - 3/16/11

*Spoiler Warning*

I'm a big stickler on spoilers, and generally try to avoid them. But the nature of a few of my reviews this time may lead me to reveal certain, non-story related tidbits.

1) Bulletstorm - So this one has been out for a while, but I did want to let everyone know how I felt about the full release. While some of my worries did come to pass - the ocaissional lack of skillshots to be found, or areas where you are forced to repeat the same ones over-and-over - the game itself was a blast.

Essentially, you reach a point where you have access to enough weapons, their unique charge shots, and environmental factors that each encounter is like a puzzle. A puzzle in which the solution might be using a guided, explosive sniper round to castrate a genetic freak and redirect his corpse into a group of his friends. The set pieces are also a triumph; trains being chased by a giant mining wheel, escaping a giant dam as it collapses around you, a helicopter battle against Godzilla's big sister.

The only negative points that really caught my attention were the lackluster story - complete with a "buy the sequel" ending - and the rather erratic nature of the achievements. I'm usually not highly concerned with gamerscore, but a full run-through of the game plus several of the secret / bonus achievements brought me in at under 400.

2) Homefront - Let me get this out of the way: this game is short. I beat it in under 5 hours.

And that was with breaks.

The single player campaign is, in a word, incomplete. There are phenomenal ideas here, and a few moments that genuinely would set a more finished product apart from the now-almost-self-depricating CoDs. Unfortunately, those moments are strung together by a lackluster, by-the-numbers shooter. The theming and character development that were so heavily discussed in the trailers are present, but only in small snippets between the run-and-gun parts. There are achievements to intice multiple playthroughs: beating each mission on hard, beating each without dying, a special objective in each mission, etc.

I decided to play some of the multiplayer - alone, because none of my squadmates were online - just to see how well that part of the investment would pan out. I lost about two hours. While the experience wasn't complete, the 'battle points' system is awesome. Essentially, doing things in-game awards you XP; it also awards you battle points, which can be used to activate things like vehicles, extra ammo, support abilities, etc. Expect a more detailed review once I've spent some more tim with it.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Dragon Age: Origins - This one is way behind schedule, but I have been putting a lot of energy into this to gear up for the sequel. It's fantastic, but I'm guessing most people already knew that.
  • FLCL Blu-Ray - I've always loved this show, and the chance to finally own it all (and with hi-def video and audio, no less!) was something I couldn't pass up. The show holds up, but the extras are pathetic.
  • Alan Wake DLCs - "The Signal" is a great lead in to "The Writer" which is itself a great lead-in to a possible sequel. There are some great new game mechanics in play, and a few setpieces - especially one toward the end of "Writer" - really up the ante for what a new game might bring.