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-   -   Gaming Pickups & Plays (http://forums.upnetwork.net/showthread.php?t=4695)

deoxys 12-31-2012 09:14 PM

Gaming Pickups & Plays
A New Year demands a new thread! I'll kick us off:


GET & BEAT: Asura's Wrath

GET! Review!

Is Asura's Wrath was a good game? I'm not sure about that. Would I say it was a good TV show? Yes. Yes I would, because let's be honest here: Asura's Wrath was not a game, it was an interactive TV series. The story itself is built off of Asian mythology mixed with modern day science fiction and follows Asura, the demigod of Wrath, as he fights for revenge against the seven other great deities who betray him and become gods themselves (et tu, God of War?). The game is divided into 22 episodes, each clocking in at about 20 minutes of play time, mimicking a japanese anime to the core, down to the interludes for a commercial break (no, I'm not even kidding).

If you play games for a good story, by all means go for it. A grandiose tale of gods and demigods, betrayal, vengeance, anger, and incredibly over the top battles - it's all there. While it's not exactly a good story and the characters are about as two dimensional as a they appear on screen (aside from Yasha, but just barely), it's definitely captivating and speaks to the kid who loves "epic" stories in all of us. Stunning and gorgeous visuals and great, beautiful eastern inspired orchestral pieces and even a reoccurring appearance from a western-frontier piece set the mood and tone for the environment and atmosphere for the game.

I'm more than put off by the fact that Capcom/CyberConnect2 released a "true" ending DLC which cost $7, even if it was satisfying. The game as it is bought from retail has only 18 episodes separated into 3 parts, and the fourth and final part with the additional 4 episodes must be purchased separately - a classic case of nickel and diming. While yes, the 18th episode seemingly ends the story with a somewhat satisfying end, there is a "true episode 18" which can be unlocked by completing 5 or more episodes on S Rank. This then unlocks an extra minute to the ending cutscene which completely changes the end and thus makes the "ending" unacceptable, so you have to go purchase the "Part IV Episode Pack" to see how it REALLY ends! Absolutely ridiculous. That said, yes, I am a bit of a hypocrite because I did purchase it, but I see it like this: 1. I purchased the game pre-owned, so CC2 and Capcom didn't get any prior money from me and 2. I will be returning the game to GameStop and getting my money back because I am still within the week return limit and there is zero replay value - so, I basically spent $7 to play a game. But to those who purchased this at full price brand new? The DLC should have been free. It is utterly ridiculous that they are now withholding entire pieces of a story in order to get more.

Will there be a sequel? Probably. They surprisingly left it open for one that has the potential to be... stupid looking, if it happens. Will I play it? Maybe. I liked this game for what it was - an over the top, unnecessarily exaggerated and choreographed fighting adventure game with a story based around hindu and buddhist gods and goddesses duking it out in the stupidly largest and big ways you can imagine. You even fight
Spoiler: show
the fucking Earth itself. I'm not kidding. The entire planet.

Saying Asura's Wrath falls short on gameplay would be an understatement, but it is still a fantastic and fun experience I highly recommend nonetheless, especially if mythology and sci-fi is your thing. So, would I say Asura's Wrath was a good game? I'm not sure about that. Would I say it was a good TV show? Yes. Would I say it's a great experience? Absolutely.


Get: Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD, FEZ, Dust: An Elysian Tail

Playing: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Rented, DEFINITELY BUYING)

lilboocorsola 01-01-2013 01:58 PM

GET: Skyward Sword

Went to a New Year's Party with a bunch of friends from high school last night, and one of them gave me his old Wii, plus a copy of SS. (He works at Gamestop so he got me a discount on it plus all the necessary accessories. Even picked up a pennied-out collector's edition strategy guide. 'Tis shiny and blue~)

Played two and a half hours so far. Still in Skyloft, about to embark to the "surface" I guess. (Finally.) I heard the sword girl was annoying so I'm a bit biased meeting her. I suppose her voice is slightly bothersome? Doesn't have the same lilt as Midna's, and the echo doesn't help her charm either. *shrug* Seems somewhat snobbish too, but we'll see.

Also, why can't I skip text anymore? Argh, very annoying, especially since the completionist in me demands I go back and check out every dialogue choice, so I have to replay almost all the cutscenes. >.>; Even did the flying mini-game three or four times. First attempt took me forever since I thought you had to actually touch the bird to trigger the event. =x

Blastoise 01-01-2013 08:02 PM

Beat: Assassin's Creed: Revelations (~19 hours)

Apparently just needed to sit on this one for a while until I could play through it. I have mixed feelings: it's still Assassin's Creed if you're into that, but it really does feel like a lot of the side systems/tasks are just there for their own sake, rather than feeling as cohesive inclusions that improve the game:
1. Tower defense, that you'll never want to do because it's total ass!
2. Assassin training/recruiting like in Brotherhood, except this time it's purpose is to make it so that you never have to do the tower defense minigame that half the studios in Ubisoft probably spent valuable time and money creating!
3. Two whole ways to make money: either buying everything ala Brotherhood (with fun new "bribe heralds every three purchases" minigame because buying a shop now raises your notoriety meter), or to free cities from Templar control and spend absurd amounts of money and time to get some actual return on your investment!
3.b. Incidentally both these are pretty worthless since by doing #2 you will gain access to weapons and armor that far eclipse anything you might actually purchase with said money.

To an extent you could argue that side stuff being superfluous is true with most open-world games, since they can't balance the missions/main story around you finding every tchotchke in the world. On the other hand it feels like there was a major difference between, say, Saint's Row the Third where you had a lot of ways to get better stuff to cause more havoc versus this AC where I was running around with Master Assassin armor and weapons around hour 7 and thus had no other real avenue of progression beyond buying more tailoring shops for more money I didn't need. Unlike some reviewers I actually liked grenades as a new system, but despite having 4-5 different types per slot (offensive/strategic/distraction) there's really no reason to ever roll around with anything other than explosive, smoke, and cherry bomb grenades since they do what you want minus the bullshit.

Also (and this probably doesn't surprise anyone),the Desmond side missions where you learn about the backstory of the least interesting person in Assassin's Creed are pretty much concentrated boredom. Avoid them like the plague, and only get this game if you're an AC diehard (although I guess if you are you've already played this game and thus my opinion is meaningless).

Beat: Pokemon Black 2 (~20 hours)

Yo dawg it's Pokemon. Got back into it around Christmas since I was at my family's and didn't have much else to do: don't really pay much attention to the metagame anymore (given some of the Smogon bans, OU reminds me of Warmachine/Hordes Mark I right around the time the power creep just completely shat itself) and I was not so enamored with the Plasma/N storyline that I was chomping at the bit for more. On the other hand it does have the "we know this isn't your first time at the rodeo" assumption that a lot of the second version games have and thus just gives you shit like Lucky Eggs and the Flamethrower/Thunderbolt/Ice Beam trio before the Elite Four without having to jump through fifty hoops to get them. Might come back to it, but I've got plenty of other games in my backlog that will probably get my attention first.

Got: Pushmo


Playing: Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War: Game of the Year Edition: Colons are Grimdark


why did I buy this, I'm not even good at RTS games

deoxys 01-01-2013 08:25 PM

Took Asura's Wrath back, picked up Metal Gear Solid HD Collection.

Yes - I am finally getting into MGS. I'm torn between MGS1 and Twin Snakes right now as I'm not sure which to play as my "first" MGS game, because I hear good arguments from both sides as to which I should play first. That said, I'm now leaning towards Twin Snakes because it was evidently "how Kojima originally wanted the game to be" or something.

Lindz 01-02-2013 09:14 PM

Huh?! I got beaten to the punch in making this thread??


12-31-2012, 10:14 PM
Ohhh I see how it is!

2012 was pretty much a void of nothingness in terms of me getting new games. I ended up with 6. Thats the worst since... um... ever? Or at least in the last decade+! An one of the games I picked up was over a decade+ years old so ya. With some new hardware in hand will this year be any better? I dunno since the DS/PSP are essentially dead leaving me with 2 current systems instead of 3.

I only beat 18 games last year which was a big drop from 2011 but with good reason! 10 of those games I played not just for myself! A ton 'o additional time & energy was putting into writeups and dealing with screencaps. Pretty interesting experience.

What I'm looking forward to this year is a gigantic blank. Atelier Ayesha maybe? But it seems like a different company is handling it and they've been real quiet so I dunno if the same quality'll be there or not. Dare I dream of Yakuza 5 getting localized? And DQVII Remake? At least I'll start the year with an early...

- Style Savvy Trendsetters
Whaaaaat? First I start playing my first ever Third Person Shooter and now I'ma get into some sort of fashion management sim? Where'd my comfort zone go??? If the demo told me anything its that I'm gonna fail hard but have fun trying!

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
- 9 hours, 13 minutes
Okies so I beat this last year but neglected ta mention it in the last thread. So as to not leave things hanging: my thoughts! Like its predecessor this games super fun but for some reason they felt like drastically upping the difficulty? Unlocking characters became something of a chore which put me down on the game at first. Plus the whole presentation (music, load times, etc) just sucks. If I can get past that stuff I can easily say that driving/boating/flying around a friggin Skies of Arcadia course is like the best thing ever! I'm up over 20 hours now cause after the credits roll I found there's still lots more to do~

Spikkle 01-02-2013 10:41 PM


Originally Posted by deoxys (Post 422060)
I'm torn between MGS1 and Twin Snakes right now as I'm not sure which to play as my "first" MGS game, because I hear good arguments from both sides as to which I should play first. That said, I'm now leaning towards Twin Snakes because it was evidently "how Kojima originally wanted the game to be" or something.

You've probably already heard this, but Twin Snakes made total sense to me (in as much as a MGS game can do when you're 14 and Playing Your Very Own Gamecube That is Like a Console That You Own!!1!) without prior knowledge of the original and was a thoroughly enjoyable, self-contained experience.
There are a few confusing references to FoxHound and Big Boss scattered around but other than that you can enjoy it for its own story since it stands up very well by itself.
On the other hand, going back and playing the original later on felt very, very strange. I'm a big fan of older games but MGS1 never gripped me in the same way. Perhaps that's an argument for going chronologically but YMMV.

Edit: Oh, dang. I thought that you were talking about Metal GEAR 1 when I posted this last night. Disregard everything I ever said.


Long-Ass 'Review' Warning - Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter:
Spoiler: show

I have wanted to play Civ since I was a wee lad. Not desperately, but there was always the little juvenile voice in the back of my head that told me:
"Oh cool! This game is like Age of Empires, but instead of stopping with the medieval stuff, you can keep going until you build giant death robots! That makes this game inherently better!"

So I finally bought it on steam in a moment of weakness (and sales) and wasted most of the past couple of days playing ONE. GAME. OF CIV. It's THAT time-consuming.

The first thing that struck me about Civ compared with my beloved old Age of Empires and Age of Mythology days was that it was turn-based. Painful memories of my poor attempts at RTS multiplayer flashed before my eyes as I remembered all too well the difficulty I had in keeping up with their fast paced resource and unit micro-management.

This is great, I thought, now everything will be super fair in the world! I have all the time I'll need to build my empire right!, I declared to myself. I will have a good chance of winning! I played through the tutorial and thought, well, that sure was simple, I beat that guy up easily, maybe I could end up really good at this! Something approaching confidence, nay, even joy, began to ferment in the dimmer recesses of my brain.

This was a mistake.

Figuring that such an epic warlord deserved a suitably meaty challenge, I calmly and assuredly changed the settings under 'New Game' to (Map: Huge, Creates a game world with 12 player nations spread across 2 or 3 large continents)

This was also a mistake.

Things started off nicely enough. I chose the English, of course. Those bonuses to navy units look great, I thought. I shall dominate the seas!

This wa-You get the idea.

So, stuck in mud huts on one of the continents of the world, myself and a few AI players spent a few whimsical centuries signing research agreements, exchanging spices, exploring a brand new world and ganging up on the Chinese. Those smug bastards, the Chinese...declaring war on everyone, raiding my borders and pouring all of their production into their military. I had resolved to play the long game, to live and let live, but these foul, depraved people clearly had to be stopped, for the good of mankind. Together, the Alliance of Super Friends on our lonely continent vanquished the Chinese Dragon. I annexed a couple of cities for myself and felt very pleased with myself, congratulating a job well done.

Then came the Denouncements. All of a sudden these friendly chaps were declaring to the world that I could not be trusted. I was accused of everything from 'picking on the weak' (I had never attacked anything except barbarians) to 'fraternising with the enemy' Frantically I scrambled around the diplomatic interface for an answer. All of my trade requests were rebutted, my treaties denied. Where the heck was the "B-But we were getting along so well!" dialogue option?!

Then it finally hit me. China hadn't been the bad guy at all. They had been the weak guy. Those wanton raids on my borders? Those were a shrewd China realising that it was going to be the first target, stocking up for the cold winter. That massive military of theirs was intended to stave off the combined might of all of its neighbours (and it did a reasonable job at that). They had demanded that I grant them extortionate amounts of resources in exchange for peace because they desperately needed them. IT ALL MADE PERFECT SENSE.

And now I was the weak guy, and the Bastard Axis of Scumbaggery had singled me out as the latest target for Lebensraum.

They annihilated me. Being of the naive thought that I would be able to win the game peacefully (using one of the many other Victory Conditions besides KILL FUCKING EVERYTHING), I had only built myself a paltry defence force. They were capable of dealing with wandering barbarians, but the combined might of 3 other AIs, each with a military far stronger than my own, proved just a bit of a tall order. My awesome navy turned out to be shit at bombarding enemy land units which was the only useful thing that they could do and of course ALL of the fighting was going on in-land. Thanks a bunch, English perks.

Desperately I used my last remaining turns of production in the capital before it was destroyed to make a new city-founding unit and send it off-shore. I managed to create a tiny foothold on a peninsula of land, a place that was easy to blockade from harm. There I stayed for pretty much the whole of the rest of the game, desperately building and researching and fighting off a constant stream of invading warships. I successfully sued for peace a couple of times but when you're militarily the weakest player on the field by a factor of ten a declaration of war is never around the corner.

I kidded myself into thinking that I could still win, if I just researched enough. I even started building the space rocket necessary for one of the types of game wins. Tension mounted as both a rival nation and I had our progress on the space race broadcasted to the world. This was it - after all of the pain and betrayal, one of us was going to win in a good, honest, scientific race of discovery.

Then a giant dialogue box popped up onto the screen saying. "Your civilization has crumbled". I let out a sort of small 'oh' noise, as you might hear from someone who's just found a small dead animal in the road. It turned out that there was a time limit on the game that I didn't know about. One civilization was declared the 'winner' for having the biggest land-penis and that was it, game over.

Oh yes. The time. What time was it? I looked up at the clock. It was 4am. I had just spent more than 12 hours on this shit. It may have been a huge map, but I have been playing at the 'quick' game speed, apparently. And against AIs, who take their turns in a matter of seconds.
I don't want to IMAGINE what it would be like to play in a multiplayer match, but I can guess. I would get my arse handed to me even harder, and to top it all off, it would be slower, too.

In summary, Civilization V did something I surely was not expecting it to. It managed to make me feel even worse about myself than Spec Ops. Good job, Civilization V. Good job.

I am not touching that game again for a very long time.

GET: XCOM: Enemy Unknown

I actually picked this up in the Steam Sales back in Autumn after reading a an article in Edge about it, but I haven't been in the mood for an RTS for a long time (see above).
I'm very interested in interactive story-telling and I'm looking forward to seeing how this game delivers on that.

Loki 01-03-2013 08:09 PM

Bought XCOM: Enemy Unknown for XMAS: Santa Unknown.

Many epic battles with the air. The aliens were shooting at it too, unfortunately my soldiers happened to fill that air...

In all honestly, it's really great game. After so many shooters, my only break from them has been fighting games, which I suck at. XCOM has really been a nice refreshing step away from MOBAs and FPSs and brought back tactical/strategy.

big bad birtha 01-04-2013 12:52 AM


The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker
Maybe it's just me, but replaying Zelda games has been kind of difficult for me the past few years. I have to stop playing for a while after beating a dungeon, or getting to a dungeon from the end of a previous dungeon. For Windwaker itself, the sea travel isn't as irritating as I remember it, since I have a laptop by my side while sailing. Storywise, this is a nice game. I also like the music from this that isn't a remix of a previous song. This song is especially nice. It's just a shame I get bored if I play too long.

Kid Icarus Uprising
Ugh. This game is not nice to lefties. I have a massive disability in this game. I'll try to adjust though. I know I can change the controls, but I think adjusting to using my right hand for things like this will be a neat experience. Though the game itself is kind of dull. Maybe it'll get better as the difficulty increases.

PikaGod 01-04-2013 01:40 AM

I have Star Ocean: First Departure and Dragon Quest V coming in the mail. With Star Ocean FD coming, I decided to finally finish Star Ocean: Second Evolution after finding out that I was actually pretty close to the end of the game. I also bought Breath of Fire IV, Xenogears, and Suikoden but will have to wait until I hook the PS3 up to a HD TV before I can play them.

COMPLETED! Star Ocean: Second Evolution

It was alright, I quite liked it. Though I do have the ability to take in a lot of shit that games can throw at me, so maybe it could have actually been worse? The gameplay was a blast, it didn't really amount to more than spamming X, but it managed to make it fun.

PLAYED! Breath of Fire III

I've been playing this for the last day or so. It's pretty fun and I like the characters. Haven't really gotten too much of an impression of this yet.

deoxys 01-05-2013 12:46 AM

Sorry Lindz, but it was 2013 for over half of the world at that point... So, you know... :P

Traded in Naruto Ninja Storm Generations for Ultimate Marvel.vs. Capcom 3. So far I am not the least disappointed in this decision. I love the Naruto fighting games, they're always a blast, but Ninja Storm 3 is coming in 2 months and Generations was pretty much shit in the way of Ninja Storm games, and basically felt like nothing more than a fighting game to tie over the fans until UNS3 came out.

I also traded my copy of Far Cry 3 on reddit's gameswap for Borderlands 2 which I had only previously rented, so I'm pretty excited for that to appear in my mailbox, hopefully on Monday.

I have a very tight system with console games that works well with my low budget: Rent games, buy them if I like, beat them and trade them if they have little or no replay value, or if a game is cheap used, buy it and beat it and return it within seven days for something different unless it's a good game (like UMVC3 looks to be)

Treepandaone 01-05-2013 06:44 PM


Originally Posted by Spikkle (Post 422334)
I am not touching that game again for a very long time.

I very much enjoyed your story. You might have spent that long on it, but at least it's not 10 years on CiV 2.

Concept 01-06-2013 07:41 AM

So let's review the damage from the Steam sale;

The Bards Tale (ever so kindly given to me by Muyo, much thanks)
Chivalry: Medieval Warfare
Dragon Age Origins Ultimate Edition
Endless Space
I Am Alive
Lone Survivor

It says something about my compulsive-buying-when-really-tired tendencies that I don't remember getting several of these.

Amras.MG 01-06-2013 11:45 AM

Civ 4, because it was super cheap. I have two copies of Colonization in my Steam library now, wtf? I played for like 30 min, didn't like it as much as Civ 5.

Upgraded Civ 5 to GOTY. It was $5 and I friggin' love Civ 5. A no brainer!

I'm still playing Defender's Quest, a tower defense RPG game that is surprisingly addictive.

Tyranidos 01-06-2013 12:40 PM

Steam/GOG sale gets:

The Witcher (started playing, pretty good already)
The Witcher 2
Mass Effect 1 + 2

Spikkle 01-06-2013 08:17 PM

Beat: The Walking Dead

"You're going to have to depend on the honesty of strangers if you're going to make it.
And if those same people get to questioning yours, you're going to be in trouble."

I've loved Telltale games for a long time (mainly because I love point-and-click adventures and think more people should be making them), but I haven't been able to bring myself to finish The Walking Dead until now. I just couldn't stand to play it for very long at any one time.

This isn't because I think Walking Dead is bad - far from it. But the game challenges you emotionally, and often, it's too much to take in more than one episode at a time, for fear of spoiling it for yourself. Indeed, if there is any example of a game that does 'moral' choice well, it's this.

Walking Dead lives and breathes individual choices. Most of these come in the form of dialogue options, and each one impacts your standing with the wide and varied casts of characters in Walking Dead. The game is very accomplished at making the results of your choices apparent and making reactions from other characters logical and relevant (something which 'choice-driven' games screw up on all too often). Of course, a game made with the Tell-Tale tool rather than some wide-open sandbox game engine has an easier time of this, but it's still an impressive feat.

On the point of choice, there are five 'big' choices littered throughout each episode that are delivered in a variety of ways, some obvious (such a snap decision between two peoples' lives while zombies pour in through the windows) and others more subtle, sometimes worked into the dialogue or coming at you from other unexpected corners of the game engine. There's a healthy sprinkling of more mundane dilemmas as well, which serve to balance out the tension and ensure that the 'humanity' of the story, for want of a better word, is not lost in all the zombies.

It seems as if the designers aligned many of the player choices along a few key qualities, things like truthfulness, selflessness, resourcefulness and keeping cool-headed under pressure.

Unlike some of the key choices, these weren't obviously measured in any way but contributed greatly to making it feel like 'my' Lee's choices mattered, and that his character was developing based on what I had said and done. I got to explore just what lengths Lee would go to to ensure his survival, and the context of bigger choices often springboarded off of the smaller, dialogue-based ones.

You might, for example, be asked to choose whether you want to save Person X or Person Y.

Sometimes it's a tough choice with an intense and sudden time pressure, and you end up saving Person X in the heat of the moment. You start reading into it, wondering 'why them'?

Or maybe Person Y and you got into a fight recently because he thought you were a bite victim, while you like Person X just fine. Does that mean that you just leave Person Y to die? What does that say about you? What if Person Y, is, in spite of everything, a valuable member of your group who you can't afford to lose? What has Person X done for you lately? Does the fight just now really matter in the long run? Surely there's a chance that you can manage to save both of them, right?

There's very one important kid who'll you'll meet early on and absolutely makes this series. As her guardian, you're not only forced to look out for your own interests and your reputation, but hers as well. There's a very interesting dynamic going here with the loss of her innocence; watching yourself react to this, either coddling her or making her face the cold facts, is one of the most interesting character dynamics in the game.

As an added bonus, she isn't tied to your leg with a sign around her neck saying 'brains, get it here' like so many other terrible child characters, and is simultaneously adorable and, at times, a little badass.

On a final note, while I seriously enjoyed other Telltale series like the Sam and Max seasons and Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, they never were the best at tying up their stories in a satisfying way.

It's nice to see that being remedied here. What a fantastic ending.

So yeah, 10/10, GOTY, Buy It or Die.

deoxys 01-06-2013 11:09 PM

I'm interested in knowing how you reacted to the ending if you don't mind.

Spikkle 01-07-2013 03:03 AM

I cried.

A lot.

If you're talking about the post-credit-roll stuff, I think it's right that they left things open-ended. It fits the tone well, a 'happy end' would be completely belying the feel of uncertainty and the struggle to survive that we've been seeing from Episode 1.

Kori Gotcha 01-08-2013 02:20 AM

Confirmed that Walking Dead: Season 2 will run off your saves from previous episodes.
Spoiler: show
I don't know if that means that all episode decisions will carry over but I think considering the ending of the game, it was a little obvious.

Don't look at this if you haven't beat the game.

Spikkle 01-08-2013 03:24 AM

The trouble is that games that diverge off on a bunch of choices have to come back around and tie it up in a pretty bow before the sequel comes along. If you didn't do this then the story would begin to break down as the player takes combinations of decisions that the designer doesn't expect. You saw this a lot in Mass Effect:

Mass Effect Spoilers:
Spoiler: show
Sure, you could kill the Rachni Queen in Mass Effect 1 or command her to go in peace. But she would end up coming back in ME3 anyway, in spirit if not in body, creating the exact same encounter regardless of your choice. Lots of people got upset about this and other 'results' of player choice that emerged in ME3, saying that their decisions didn't matter.

The trouble is, cutting the Rachni Queen out of the equation simply wouldn't have been logical from a development perspective - in a game as technically advanced as Mass Effect, each encounter requires an enormous investment of dev time and resources. Once you decide that one story thread can have a true knock-on effect, you have to apply that principle to other threads as well, or else risk either inconsistency (the player has no way of knowing whether choice X is an 'important' or not) or triviality ("so you get a different encounter in that one place based on whether you kill the Rachni Queen? That's cool, I guess. Oh, brb, gotta save the world from Reapers")

Speaking of the final encounter, let's consider what would happen if you somehow did have the supermassive amount of dev resources required to create different, truly meaningful results out of each individual player choice. Bringing each individual series of story threads to a different conclusion would end up giving the game literally dozens of possible endings. Despite its flaws, consider the amount of thought that went into the final few encounters of ME3. What would it take to create dozens of these? How could you possibly ensure that each one of these uniquely-tailored endings was satisfying to the player?

My big point here is, making 'action' choices that really, truly matter is extremely difficult. Why is this relevant to the Walking Dead? Because I believe that it takes this problem and, while not exactly solving it, works around it quite well:

Walking Dead Spoilers:
Spoiler: show
Particularly if, like the article in Kori's post suggests, we end up seeing Clementine all-growed-up, you can bet that whatever she feels, she'll end up bringing about the same outcomes, intentional or no - the classic example being the 'Kill the kidnapper' scenario, where he dies either way, whether by your hand or not. However, her personality will change based on how you influenced her in the first game and the choices that you make in Season 2.

This is the answer that Walking Dead provides - character development as an alternative end in and of itself.

Walking Dead Spoilers:
Spoiler: show
In the kidnapper scenario, for example: despite feeling genuine vitriol towards the guy, I saw the chance to kill him and refused to take it, because I couldn't bring myself to do it in front of Clem. When she shot him in the head, I had no time to feel disappointed that my choice 'hadn't mattered' - because I was too busy feeling proud. It was a glorious culmination of the few little gun talks which Clem and Lee had had over the course of the past few episodes, and there are a few other examples like this which are small 'bonuses' for making certain choices, threads that join up well without affecting the story's scenario in any significant way.

Even if many of the choices that Lee makes in Ep 1 have no ultimate impact on the way the story ends, the thrill is in simply witnessing his development and his effect on Clementine. Compared to alternative content and characters, alternative dialogue choices are reasonably easy to implement, and they provide the player with choice feedback where otherwise it wouldn't exist.

It's not the first game to do this (heck, you see a fair bit of it in Mass Effect), but I think it's definitely one of the best.

lilboocorsola 01-13-2013 11:02 PM

BEAT: Skyward Sword (~60 hours)

So I gave up on trying to get all the dialogue, though the completionist in me still feels unsatisfied (tried picking all the right options at first, telling myself I'd go left on the next run, but realized too late I was missing out on more amusing reactions that way and ended up flip-flopping back and forth too many times to keep track of). At least I'm pretty sure I did all the sidequests, though I can't check now since...

Spoiler: show
All that progress was erased by unlocking Hero Mode. =x Why couldn't it create a new save file?

As for the ending, I really wish they could have done more with...

Spoiler: show
Fi. Sure, she's not supposed to be the same as Midna, but I was hoping for a progression along the main storyline where she slowly develops emotions and becomes a close companion/relatable character. Just sticking "thank you" in at the end felt a little lacking. Maybe she'll be more expressive if she appears in a sequel?

The revelation about Impa was interesting. (Though it might've had more impact if her younger self had a more major role throughout the story, at least from our side's perspective. Guess that's what the credits were for, though it seemed a little late.) Dat hair, d'oh. Why didn't I see it?[/onlyobviousafterthefact]

No opinion one way or the other on Demise being related to Ganondorf, but I would've liked a little callback to the hypocrisy of him scoffing at the goddess Hylia for taking a human form. That aspect I thought also had potential - as well as the contrast between Fi and Ghirahim. Really, those two should've talked to each other directly more/had their own epic duel. Backstory on how both sword spirits came to be, please.

Oh, and the insinuation of Link and Zelda acting as Adam and Eve at the end to repopulate the surface/start a new country was a shot to my anti-shipping heart... (Didn't Groose say he was staying too earlier? Now that Grannie's gone, he's going back? Did he give up on Zelda? Kinda hoped/figured he'd still hang around to get between those two...)

Final boss was frustrating (as were several major battles throughout), mostly because I can't seem to control the Wiimote very well. I dunno whether that's a flaw in the game design or the equipment or just my lack of coordination/practice.

Flying was at least more fun than sailing. I do miss riding around a vast open space on solid ground though.

Favorite dungeon was the fourth. Really liked the theme of it. The boss was fun too (when it wasn't kicking my butt).

Didn't mind the fetch quests or retracking that much. I am a little annoyed by the fact you can only get the last two hearts by having Life Medals in your inventory. Would've preferred searching for Heart Pieces, honestly. I like finding where they're hidden in clever locations.

Overall, the game was okay. Just very difficult for me at times. Hard to get the same thrill out of fighting when my attacks fail more often than not. It's like it won't listen to me at crucial moments, instead doing something completely different than what I intended. (Though occasionally I find out later it's my own mistake, like thinking I had to hold down B to select bombs every time for the second boss. ^^; Kinda like I didn't know you could jump over sharks in WW. >>; Got a chance to correct my strategy somewhat during Boss Rush Mode at least...) Getting a sore arm after several hours of gameplay doesn't bode well for my marathoning habits either... Still, it was an enjoyable experience for the most part. I would've liked more out of it in terms of story and characters though. Honestly, I think Groose was perhaps the most memorable person for me. Go Groosenator!

PikaGod 01-15-2013 01:00 AM

Star Ocean: The Last Hope
Final Fantasy XIII-2
Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together Premium Edition

Star Ocean: The First Departure
I've been playing this for a couple of days now. The plot is progressing nicely, and really seems simple considering that it's a Star Ocean game. The characters are nicely done, and there aren't as many mage characters which is great.

Star Ocean: Till The End of Time
This game is alright I guess, it isn't really that great. It is definitely a step down from the first two games in character design, graphics and gameplay but is still enjoyable. I am actually pretty close to the end of it, and really the twist isn't that bad, certainly not as awful as people made it out to be. Also I am having way too much fun with my main characters being the main guy, a small raccoon boy and a circus performer girl. It's just so cute while I utterly decimate my enemies. Though who ever decided that MP death should be a thing should be set on fire or something.

deoxys 01-15-2013 06:13 PM

Please let me know how Star Ocean: The Last Hope is, I've been considering picking it up.

RENT: DmC: Devil May Cry


I fully expect the game to be something like this.

Blastoise 01-15-2013 09:57 PM

Bought and "beat": Anarchy Reigns (~8 hours)

So it's a game that's the spiritual successor to Madworld and has a few returning characters from that game including Jack, Black(er) Baron, Mathilda, Big Bull and Rin Rin (aka "wow you were in Madworld huh you weren't even a very notable boss fight")

Also it's the future and everyone is a cyborg and the secrets of the sports bra have been lost amongst the ashes of history and there's rap music about mutants that I'm way too white to be enjoying

The plot is dumb, but it's enjoyable enough, and the campaign is mostly to unlock characters for the multiplayer anyway. And since I'm feeling lazy, please refer to the following video for your questions re: the multiplayer

Spoiler: show

deoxys 01-16-2013 01:01 AM

I was looking into this, I've been hearing a lot of good things about it. Might give it a rent to see how I like it, and buy it if it turns out to be the bee's knees a lot of people are making it out to be in terms of fun factor. The TBFP video was enough to catch my attention for the game when I first saw it a week or two back.

big bad birtha 01-19-2013 01:06 PM


Dragon Quest VIII
So I figured I'd give this a shot. I remember DQ5 having an awful random battle system. You know, it has the usual random battles, but the enemies come in huge groups and they take a long ass time to beat. Running from them often doesn't work, and they give squat for experience. Well after 3 titles, they didn't fix it a god damn bit! Actually if anything, it's worse, since dungeons are much larger and the characters have less crowd control than 5. For everything outside the obnoxious random battle system, it's nothing special. The boss battles are excessively long (not difficult, just long) and tedious. I want to play 3, since it's the one that's referenced the most, but I don't think my nerves could take it. I also like the priest design. Oh, and by "beat", I mean get fed up with and quit. It's not like there's anything new later on in this repetitive-ass game anyway.


Etrian Oddyssey
I've been curious about this for a while. It has a fair amount of fanart and junk. A recent post reminded me of this, so I decided to check it out.

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