Thoughts on Proteus

27 Jan

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Steam’s library is full of amazing games. Whether they be Triple-A experiences, or run away indie successes, there’s no denying the amount of great choices there are for gamers. However, it also easy for good games to get lost, and Proteus is one of those hidden gems. Whether or not Proteus can be considered a game is not up for debate here. Therefore, Proteus is easily one of the most interesting games I have ever played, and would put it next to Journey in terms of the emotional experience it has given me.  First and foremost, Proteus is a first person exploration game that gives the player one and only one objective: explore. There are no puzzles, enemies to fight or any boss battles. The player must simply explore.

The island itself is gorgeous. Never mind the graphics, but looking on how the colors blend, it is easy to get lost in the beauty of it all. Not only does it look great, the environment has eye-catching landmarks scattered across the island which makes it easy for the player to forget where he⁄she was going. One moment you might be climbing the highest mountain on the island, only to see a cabin and the distance, and quickly change course. In Proteus the sounds of the island play a crucial role in delivering this quality experience.

Exploring the island in Proteus may not seem rewarding in the most literal meaning, or even when compared to other games, but the simple sights and sounds that Ed Key and David Kanaga have created really give the player a childlike curiosity when exploring the island. The wildlife on the island each comes with its own set a unique sounds and when paired with the soundtrack create a world that anyone would want to discover. I found myself following a leaping frog for five minutes simply to see and hear where it would lead me.

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As fun as the island was exploring, Proteus leaves itself completely open to interpretation. As was said earlier, Proteus delivered an emotional experience for me, which can only be described in a pastoral sense. It made me want to get away from city life and reminded of the simple pleasures nature can deliver. It is easy to forget how to relax sometimes and playing Proteus gives me that gratification. Of course that is one simple interpretation of Proteus, and because the island is randomly generated, every play through can provide a different experience.

Proteus is a polarizing game because some may not even consider it a game, but those that play it may get entirely different experience from one another. One may simply get bored after walking around for 5 minutes. However it is still a game everyone must try because it can truly inspire or raise emotions in players that have never truly played a game like Proteus.

PAX East Preview: Saints Row IV

25 Mar

I have already played and beaten Saints Row: The Third, but even that wasn’t enough to prepare for the video I was about watch. I sat down to watch the Saints Row IV preview at PAX and what I saw topped Saints Row 3’s crazy and over the top approach. Super powers, gliding, super speed running, aliens, and a DUBSTEP GUN!?!? Volition seemed to take very crazy idea and managed to get it into the game. They even showed off the new enemy aliens which are led by Zinyak.

The presentation started off in Saints Row fashion with the MC running around and beating up civilians, and using a new weapon to inflate people until they explode, normal by Saints Rows standards. Then the dubstep gun was used, and basically the gun shoots some lasers and plays dubstep, but when it hits a target the bass drops and everyone in the near area has no choice but to dance to those beats. The demo didn’t end there, the MC hopped in a Monster Truck which crushes all the traffic, and drove to a Friendly Fire to change a very bland and boring rocket launcher, to a guitar case that shoots rockets……..you know nothing spectacular. Did I mention the mech you can pilot, that also has jets? There’s that too. Then we got to see some super powers.

The super powers in Saints Row IV are insane. First we saw the super speed, super jump and gliding powers, but that’s not all Saints Row IV has. It also includes telekinesis which is called TK, and ability to freeze your enemies solid, and then punch them into pieces. Of course this makes it seem like the MC is super overpowered compared to the enemies which is almost true. The aliens have a special enemy called the “Warden” which is stronger than the generic aliens and will be able to compete with MC’s arsenal of super powers.

With all those cool new additions and super powers, I’m definitely looking forward to Saints Row IV which is out August 20th in North America on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Sony’s Conference

25 Feb

As February 20th has come and gone, so has Sony’s reveal of the PS4. At their conference, Sony showed of many aspects of their new console. Sony showed off the specs, the new UI, and most importantly the games. But the whole conference wasn’t perfect, here’s what Sony did well, and didn’t do well during their conference.

THE GOOD:

Showing off the specs of the PS4 was a right move on Sony’s part. While half of the audience probably had no idea of what any of the specs meant, I’ll give you a comparison. The PS3 had 512 MB of RAM, now the PS4 has 8 GB. The PS4 is also essentially a PC in a box. Gone is Sony’s proprietary Cell processor that developers loathed to develop for, the PS4 has a processor from AMD.

Sony showed off the controller, and while we don’t exactly know what the front touch pad is going to be used for, the controller still keeps the look all Playstation fans know and love, with a few minor, but welcome differences. The analog sticks are convex this time, and the triggers are more like the Xbox 360 controller. The newest and best addition to the controller is the share button. I’ll get into what that does soon.

The PS4′s new interface looks good, although it looks a bit like Windows 8, but nevertheless, the interface is much better than the current XMB. From what was showed off, the new PSN seems better. Players now have the ability to spectate their friends gameplay as well as play for their friends, should they allow it. Finally there is the new Share functionality. Basically the PS4 is constantly recording. Get a crazy kill in a FPS, you can instantly upload in online, without the need of a PVR.

Finally Sony showed of some games. Sony invited Guerilla Games and Sucker Punch to show Killzone: Shadow and Fall, and inFamous: Second Son respectively. This would of been enough for them to show, but Sony went above their call, and had demos from third party developers such as Capcom, Ubisoft, Blizzard, and even Bungie.

THE BAD:

Remember when Sony acquired the streaming company Gaikai for 380 million dollars? Well the acquisition is finally being put to good use, but at the conference, Sony danced around the issue of backwards compatibility. Sony claimed that eventually the PS4 would be able to stream all PS1, PS2 and PS3 games, but when this is only an eventuality.

This is small an annoyance, but Sony didn’t actually show the console itself. While I understand that there is still 10 months until release, it’s easier to get excited for a product when you see it.

Most Playstation fans would usually be happy to see LittleBigPlanet creator Media Molecule to get up on stage, but what they showed was very confusing. No one was really sure if they were showing off a new game with the Move controller, or just a tech demo. Same with Quantic Dream. Sure it’s cool how realistic the person looked, but again this has no place at a console reveal.

THE UGLY:

Not much was ugly about Sony’s conference, but Square Enix really brought the conference to a low point. First they show a demo from a year ago, that every one watching has already seen, but then they just tell everyone to be excited for E3 because of a new Final Fantasy game. How about instead of announcing a new game, maybe Square should finish the one they’ve been working on for who knows who long now.

In conclusion, Sony had a great show despite a few low points, and I’m really excited to see what Microsoft can do to top Sony.

The Next-Gen is Near

31 Jan

Earlier today Sony posted a teaser on its website. The only thing worth noting is this teaser is the date and time. February 20th, 6 PM EST. 

Now we can only assume that is the day that Sony will unveil its next-gen console, the Playstation 4. As we eagerly await its unveiling, the only thing we can do is speculate on what exactly Sony will show.

The Name:

Up to now, everyone has heard the codename, “Orbis”. The name Orbis is certainly a possibility, especially if the Vita and Orbis interact with each other. Vita means life, and Orbis means circle in English. Put those together and you get “The circle of life”. Personally I do not like the name, and besides it wouldn’t mean much to consumers because barely anyone owns a PS Vita, let alone knows what a PS Vita is. The name Orbis also abandons the Playstation name that consumers know. When parents walk into a store and see an Orbis, they’re not going to know that it’s the new Playstation.

Another name that Sony may be considering, is just simply calling it the Playstation 4. It simple and everyone knows what a Playstation is and the 4 clearly indicates that it is a new Playstation. Or Sony can name their new console the Playstation. Honestly, I really don’t care what they call it, but that’s only because I know the core Playstation audience already knows that they’re going to buy the system. Sony has to name their next-gen for the casual folk. The people that barely know the difference between the Wii and Wii U.

The Games:

While I highly doubt many games will be shown, because I’m expecting Sony to do their big reveal at E3, but it wouldn’t hurt if Sony gave us a tease of what is set to come, so people know what they’re going to be getting into when they buy console at launch. If you didn’t know, Sony owns 12 studios, and most of them are currently working on unannounced titles. The key for this event is to show off key franchises.

Sony’s flagship studio, Naughty Dog has one team working on The Last of Us which is out on May 7th, but their second team hasn’t said anything on what they’re working on. It’s easy to guess that they’re working on Uncharted 4 because that is Sony’s biggest franchise. If Sony were to show off a trailer for Uncharted 4, and say that it is a launch title, people would go crazy.

Guerrilla Games also hasn’t announced anything, and their last game was Killzone 3, and now we can only assume Guerrilla Games is working on a sequel to Sony’s FPS. Guerrilla Games knows how to make amazing first person shooters, and if Sony wants their console to sell, Sony’s going to need show fans that they’re ready for the next-gen.

As I previously said, Sony is most likely going to wait for E3 to show off the majority of their launch titles, but teasing those two games will get people to pre-order their console early.

The Price:

“599 US Dollars!” That is one mistake Sony does not want to make again. After this generation, Sony has learned that their customers will not get second jobs to buy their console. The sweet spot for the PS4 is going to be 300$. The highest Sony can charge is 500$ and that’s really high for console. Today consoles, are becoming increasingly irrelevant, and Sony must price it perfectly to get people to buy it.

Hopefully Sony will show off some cool stuff at their event on February 20th, but even if they don’t show any games, or give the price, I’m still very excited to watch the event. Thanks for reading!

Dishonored Review

29 Oct

New IP’s this late in a console cycle are extremely rare and being successful are even rarer, but Arkane Studios looks to break this trend with their game Dishonored. Dishonored is a stealth action game, giving players the choice to either slink around the shadows or in killing every one in sight. Dishonored in set in a Victorian era London, but Dunwall is not what it seems to be. Dunwall’s citizens are being terrorized by a rat plague that has been killing its citizens. The rat plague is obviously caused by rats that eat their victims and turn them into flesh eating monsters.

In Dishonored, you play as Corvo Attano, the bodyguard of the Empress and her daughter Emily. When the Empress is assassinated, Corvo is framed and sentenced to execution by the Lord Regent. Faced with death, and mysterious group aids Corvo and helps him escape from prison to save Emily and the Empire. Soon after Corvo is contacted by a mysterious figure only known as “The Outsider” and receives powers to complete his mission.

The city of Dunwall has an interesting art style on it that may not be for everyone. Personally I didn’t hate it, but it didn’t impress me either, and I know I’m in the minority in this. Powered by the Unreal Engine 3, I think Arkane could have made some of the textures, and character models look better.

Dishonored has been greatly advertised as being a “chose your own path” game and while it is generally true, players can chose how to approach each mission, but towards the end of the game, the choices are reduced to kill or not kill. While this is not a huge issue for me, it is annoying when a game doesn’t deliver what it’s advertising and essentially becomes very linear. These linear parts were boring and felt like a chore compared to the assassination missions of the beginning of the game. However during the assassination missions, Dishonored does give the player a choice on how to take care of each target. During one mission I was tasked to assassinate two men, and while I simply could have killed the two men, I was given another possibility to let them live, but still successfully complete the mission. Finally, although I complained about the latter half of the game being linear, and having simple choices, the “kill or not kill” part actually effects gameplay in later missions. Kill too many guards, and you’ll have more plague victims to deal with. Knock out guards, and have fewer victims. It seems simple when I write it out here, but it really has an effect on the later missions as plague victims prove to be a challenge.

Speaking of how to take care of foes, the combat of Dishonored is well done. The sword and gunplay works well. It is clear that Arkane intended for this game to at least be played through twice; once a stealthy playthrough and one with lots of action because both approaches are equally rewarding. There’s as much satisfaction in sneaking through an enemy guard patrol as there is in going in and slaughtering them all in a brutal fight. Either way presents a challenge as the enemy AI is exceptionally done. While sneaking through, if you are caught, the guards are realistic. The AI is not relentless. If you manage to get away from the guards, they will be on alert and look for you, but they will eventually give up and return to their normal activities. On the other hand, if you fight the enemies they prove to be a challenge but not impossible if the player uses his resources correctly.

Dishonored is definitely an interesting game. The mission design is open world at the beginning but it gets progressively linear throughout the game, which hurts the fun factor because the best parts of the game come from taking your own approach to every different assassination. The story isn’t very engaging, and the art style may not be for everyone but the gameplay really saves this game and that warrants a “rent” in my opinion.

Did you play Dishonored? Disagree or agree with my opinion, let me know in the comments below. Thanks for Reading!

Hi Everbody!

12 Oct

It’s almost two weeks since I said anything. Anyway just wanted to update people with whats going on. My midterms just started so that’s been keeping me very busy, and away from my blog lately. Besides school, I just picked up XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Dishonored. Hopefully I’ll have time to play Dishonored, and when I finish it, I’ll be writing a review for that. As for XCOM, it seems like a difficult game, and may take a awhile for me to really get to know the mechanics, so I might wait until a school break to playthrough that. That’s about it. Medal of Honor, and Assassins Creed 3 come out soon, and I’m very excited for those! That’s it, thanks for reading!

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Class Creator

30 Sep

For some time, there’s been a Class Generator for Black Ops 2. With the game coming out in less than month, here’s the link to the Generator.

Thanks to 402THUNDER402 for linking his subscribers to the class generator Check out his channel if you want.

Since Black Ops 2 is one of my most anticipated games of 2012, I decided to make a class for Domination:

This is just one of the many classes people can make in Black Ops 2. Have you made any classes, post them in the comments below!

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