Well, here we are then, I have finally got my hands on a copy of Assassin’s Creed 3 and started playing it. My feelings and opinions about this game have been in quite a turmoil, even before firing up my xbox to start playing it and I would like to take this chance to have a rant about how I’m finding Assassin’s Creed 3 and the series in general. A couple of the major issues I have with Assassin’s Creed 3 have already been covered by Curuniel over in her blog post on the game, so I will try to cover my feelings about the direction of the series as a whole. I admit there will be spoilers for some games and I will try to include some positives but hold on, because this is going to a bumpy ride.
Dark Souls is one of the few games in the last few years that I have absolutely loved. Which is such a strange phenomena considering the game itself. It’s set in a bleak world, sparsely populated by flawed and distrustful NPCs and features gameplay that repeatedly and unashamedly pummels you into the ground and insults your parentage. And yet it holds me captivated. In fact, were it not for the recent release of Guild Wars 2 and my other half’s rabid devotion to the game I would probably still be playing Dark Souls.
And so I would like to take you on a journey, one far less grim than that offered by Dark Souls mind you, and talk about my experiences with the world of Lordran and why I think that Dark Souls is just out-and-out a good game.
I know that by the standards of current gaming I’m late to the party on this one but I have just started play Mass Effect 3 after finally confirming a Mass Effect 2 playthough I was content with.
Admittedly I’m only about 2 or so hours into the game but there are already a few things that I want to voice and share and I figure that blogging these aspects now should help reduce the size of future posts.
I feel that Mass Effect 3 was always going to be a tricky game for Bioware to pull off. They did such a great job over the course of Mass Effect 1 and 2 in building the sense of foreboding at the looming Reaper invasion that by the time Mass Effect 3 was released expectations were running quite high and Bioware was almost forced to try and jump the shark on this one.
So we jump into Mass Effect 3 with the Reaper onslaught becoming a very real thing and Shepard having to do his or her thing and round up members of various galactic species and military support for a final ass-whooping.
Unless you’ve been living in a kobold lair for the last few months you’ll have noticed there’s a new RPG on the shelves, waving it’s +2 Glittering Hammer in our faces and trying to throttle the wallets of the post-Christmas market.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning was released here in New Zealand about a week ago and from what I can gether not many people have known what to make of it. I’ve been hearing some enthusiasm for the game but most of the people that I’ve spoken to have been holding tightly to their cash in eager anticipation of Mass Effect 3 (myself included).
I have also not been quite sure what to make of Kingdoms of Amalur. Comments abound about how it’s combat is enjoyable and interesting but the art direction grates across my senses like a Picasso remastered with nothing but highlighter pens and the names Kingdoms of Amalur touts as the masterminds behind it’s epic and compelling story do nothing to bait my interest.
And so it came that I seized upon my chance and finding Kingdoms of Amalur at my local video store I resolved to rent it for a week and see first-hand what this game was like.
So far I have played just short of 2 hours of the game, barely enough to get through the tutorial and start roaming through the starter area engaging in the traditional adventurer pursuits of amateur spelunking and casual poaching.
I am aware that this does not leave me in a strong position to give any kind of strong or well-rounded review of the game since there are whole segments that I have yet to experience but there were things that niggled into my brain during those first few scenes of gameplay that I had to write down somewhere… even if nobody reads them.
Earlier today I played the demo for the upcoming Asura’s Wrath game from both Capcom and CyberConnect2. When I downloaded this demo and started it up I was expecting something that would play along similar lines to Devil May Cry. Something fast and flasy that would fill my occasional hunger for physics defying anime fights.
What I ended up getting was not quite as I expected and I feel that it’s worth talking about the experience.
Only a scarse few seconds into the demo I realised that I was going to have to adjust my perceptions of what I was playing here. I was not in the midst of a frenetic hack-n-slash game, instead I seemed to be riding along in a gratuitous cinematic fight scene accompanied by a pletora of quick-time events.
I know. I was disappointed as well. But as I played a bit more of the demo (I’m at about 2 minutes now, a miffed frown creasing my brow) I realised that if a game was going to use QTEs then this was the way to do it.
The demo gameplay revolves almost entirely around the QTEs, with only a few sections where you gain full control of the character and even then they are littered with lightning fast QTE promts. I’ve always been an advocate of the all or nothing approach to QTEs and this game takes that idea and runs then entire length of the field with it. Continue reading
In my last post (which was quite some time ago, I meant to write this sooner) I talked about my shift from Warhammer into Warmachine and the emotional ramifications of that move. In the wake of this I feel it makes sense to talk about the differences in mechanics and more of the technical contrasts between the two game-types.
The Technical Bit:
So moving from Warhammer (either 40k or fantasy) for me meant a shift away from large pools of dice skittering across the table and landing precariously all over the sceanery, to a different system, one that used considerably less dice per roll and approached the mechanics slightly differently.
The main contrast is that Warhammer uses a single dice for each attack being made, meaning that models launching multiple attacks or armies that could level hordes of models against a target could easily be rolled by pooling all the dice together. Occasionally you would want a different coloured dice due to a model having a slightly different Weapon Skill or Strength stat but largely you’d just lump your 5 or 10 or -gulp- 40+ dice into your hands and send them spiraling across the table.
I liked this method. I really did. There was something immensly primal (to a geek at any rate) about cupping your hands and filling them with rattling dice before telling your opponent “This is 22 Glade Guard bows against that unit of skeletons. Looking for 3+ to hit.”
The Sentimental Bit:
It’s a sobering moment when you have to say farewell to something from your childhood, even more so when you do so by your own choice. However a bit over a year ago the time had come for me to do just that. Warhammer and Games-Workshop had lost their fire for me and it was time to move on.
Warhammer 40,000 was my gateway drug into the world of table-top gaming and the beginning of the whole-hearted geekiness that I embrace today. It began as a paint set and a demo game and before long I had my first Space Marine’s codex and was making my way towards understanding the rules for myself.
This was about ten years ago, when I was still squeaky voiced and impressionable and I’m filled with fond memories of my early fandom. Unburdened by work or considerable homework I made good progress through my painting tasks, neatly amassing a roughly painted Space Marine collection. I bored some of my friends to death with endless talk of my hobby and how cool I thought it was while others revealed that they to were fellow players. Through Warhammer I met and made one of my oldest friends (Ben Knox, if you’re reading this we need to catch up some time).