@NeonNinja Yeah you might like Dishonored I gave it a 8.5 and you might love to hate it or hate to love it.
Games don't really know how to pull off nightclub scenes. They're always so cheesy. A lot of this is likely the fault of the tech and a lot of random crap I don't feel like looking into or discussing. But I'm guessing it has to do with the processing power of many machines (or something, I don't care) where we see a few NPCs awkwardly shuffling on a dance floor.
Most games are horrible at it, RockStar games are decent at it.
For Max Payne 3, what sets it apart is how deafeningly loud the music is. To the point where you can't hear the game's dialogue. But that's how nightclubs are. You can't hear a damn thing. Even at crappy dive bars that have a sh*tty DJ with a MacBook Pro and some tinny speakers, the music is blaring and you have to get up close to someone's ear and just shout into it for them to hear you.
Max Payne 3 got that part down. You can't just have the game's soundtrack play over it and see people dancing. It's not believable at all. In Max Payne 3 the club itself isn't too packed but it's believable enough, so kudos to RockStar for not making a nightclub scene another awful, and just overall embarrassing addition to a game. It's not perfect, but it'll do for now.
While on the topic of Max Payne 3, it's pretty good. It's story focused, but the story doesn't get in the way of the gameplay. It all works and there's an action-movie "realism" to it all that works just enough to not make you question how silly some of it is. Max is constantly shot at, we all know this. You even get bullet holes on his clothing with blood marks. But when the story decides you take a sniper bullet to the arm, suddenly Max can't move. He's struggling to hold himself up. Your buddy gets you to a first aid station while dispatching enemies and then it's time to heal your ass up. With a few painkillers and a fresh bandage. You can use your arm again and kill like a boss.
It's far-fetched, sure. But it lends itself to the goofy action stylings of combat, combined with the tough-guy demeanor of the characters and so on. Max Payne 3 is really just a summer blockbuster stretched to 8 hours and the narrative is interesting enough to keep you playing.
I'm on Mission 7 right now (out of 14) and I've seen only one flashback (actually, Mission 8 is a flashback mission as well). The flashback was a bit grimier than the rest of the game, but whatever. It's taken me four hours to get this far, so I'm questioning GameSpot's "it takes 12 hours to get through this game." Unless missions get longer by like 20 minutes from this point forward, we're looking at an 8, maybe 9 hour game. But it's interesting and without garbage getting in the way.
I also caved to peer pressure and purchased Dishonored for 50% off. It came from a few people on here telling me it's worth the price and lightwarrior's savage Indian chant of "buy it! buy it! buy it!" But I had to turn it over to my confidants. I texted my buddy while I was at work "bro, check this game out and let me know if I should buy it" (he's teh casual) and I got a text back 30 minutes later "bro, this looks right up your alley. Trailers look sick, I see high scores and I can see you playing this." I ask "yay or nay?" He responds "yay." Deed is done.
Max Payne 3
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
I was considering Torchlight II, but I have enough on my plate at the moment. XCOM would have been sick too, but hopefully it'll be cheaper in a few weeks/months and I'll have more free time for it.
I beat Mass Effect 2. I did almost everything. It took 49 hours.
I enjoyed it more than before because I went in with the idea of "this is like a season of Star Trek" so I went in looking for "episodes" that built up to a season finale. I enjoyed the characters more, the missions were fine and the DLC certainly helped flesh out the experience.
My issue is still with the Suicide Mission though. Even on my replay, it was crap. It's just such a letdown. Say what you will about it, but it's all just noise. You go through one easy shootout where your goal is to keep your specialist alive by opening up heating vents so he/she doesn't cook to death in there and then a second part where you follow your specialist who has a shield up for your team. That's it. That's the suicide mission. Then you fight the final boss.
Compare this to Mass Effect:
You make an impossible drop on Ilos where you chase after Saren, completely disobeying orders, discovering further horrors of the Reapers and how the Protheans were slowly killed off. You give chase to realize that the gate takes you to the Citadel which is now under siege and you literally scale the freaking tower on foot to get to your target. All while making some important judgement calls.
Compare this to Mass Effect 3:
Where you take the fight to Earth, it's completely ruined (the best alien invasion I have ever seen). Reapers and their armies are everywhere. I don't want to say much else because the game is still new and is one of the most exciting games I've played in a while. But Mass Effect 2's finale is just a boring thud compared to how excellent the first and third games' endgames are.
Regardless, I'm raising my score for Mass Effect 2 from a 6.0 to an 8.5. I was enthralled for 48 hours (counting DLC) and let down yet again by the Suicide Mission.
Your recruitment efforts feel like a joke. Why did you need Thane? He's a trained assassin but there's no reason to have an assassin? He's one of my favorite characters in the game, but why exactly is he, and many others, on your team if you aren't going to use them as specialists? The mission is a letdown and the stakes don't feel high enough. They did in Mass Effect and Mass Effect 3, but Mass Effect 2 kind of withers for its endgame, which is a shame. Or Kasumi from the DLC as a master thief.... why do I need a thief specialist if we aren't going to have anyone sneak around? I could have sent her and Thane out for something, anything, I don't know man. Just a disappointing endgame. But it's a fun build-up to it and leads in to the much superior Mass Effect 3.
I'm going to replay Mass Effect 3 after I go through some of these new purchases. Namely Max Payne 3 and Dishonored. I'll see if anything else pops up for me after that. I don't want to start Skyrim before Mass Effect 3 though. Last day of the sale is up. Nothing that interests me so I think my purchases end at those three. I might still pick up Torchlight II just because, but I think a Christmas sale for that game is more likely for me, if it happens.
For those of you that haven't played The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, it's 75% off on Steam today (and tomorrow). Get it. It's one of the best games I've ever played and it comes very highly recommended.
I disagree with you on ME2. I gave it a similar score only to cut it down to 8.0/10.
That isn't my point. My point is Suicide Mission is dope. Right upto the lame Human Reaper part.
Your Suicide Mission begins the moment you cross the Omega-4 relay. There are lot of variables in the scene leading upto the eventual Collector Base. There are a MAD number of variables later on depending upon your choices.
I don't need to spell it out to you that how choices make or break RPGs. But Suicide Mission was a shining example of multi-variables affected by your choices -- big or small throughout the game. I don't recall playing through the same Suicide Mission twice, and I played it three times.
It is suicidal and it plays heavily upon your choices. What more do you expect from a finale in RPG?
ME2 has the best start in the trilogy and a great finale too.What ruins ME2 is the sub-standard characterization and meh writing in between. I'm not a big fan of BioWare writers after 2008 but they dropped the ball in ME2 big time. Everyone trying to be badass and cool and coming off pretentious and grating on my nerves.
I adored Max Payne 3. It was the first game in the series I'd ever played and I had a blast with it. I'm going to replay it at some point.
You also have changed your GS avatar to your older one. The one I recall you had circa-2006. Back when NeonNinja used to be a proper street-smart badass. Back when he wrote a rad Twilight Princess review with a rather emotional opening. Back when he used to write "Episodes" instead of blogs many of which I recall were based on Cowboy Bebop episodes.
How the hell do I remember so much? Well, I've got a swell memory when it comes to worthless stuff like this.
I didn't change it back to anything. GameSpot glitches it back to its 2006 avatar. :P
I did write a badass Twilight Princess though! :D
You're a joke. 6.0 to 8.5 without proper justification? Pah,you're getting old Neon. :P
WHAT!? My "savage Indian chants" weren't enough to convince you. My disappointment at you knows no bounds.
Also,seriously have a sense of judgment. Asking a casual gamer bro to decide something as obvious as "Does Dishonored look good for me or does it look good for me?"
Max Payne 3 sounds more or less what I expected of it. Which isn't terribly a lot. I just wanted to see how Rockstar have evolved on the writing/storytelling front. GTA IV and RDR ushered a new era (maybe Bully too which I'm playing right now) and I can already sense some big ambitions with GTA V's three protagonists.
I'll probably skip Max Payne 3 for next year,if I end up getting Far Cry 3. Have to start saving for MGS Revengeance and GTA V next year.
What else should you get around Christmas? How about some indie games? Hotline Miami and FTL are top on everyone's charts. I can safely say Hotline Miami is rad. Like really rad.
FTL looks right up my alley. And it might actually serve as a good companion to your Mass Effect gaming. Look it up yourself. DON'T ask the Casual Gamer Bro this time. -_-
The proper justification is: I liked it more this time. :P
I didn't ask my casual gamer bro if the game looked good for me. I asked him if the game was worth purchasing at 50% off because he already knew I had Max Payne 3 and Skyrim. He seemed pretty convinced, and since we've been buddies since we were smelly little brats around 11 years old I figured he was a safe bet.
I don't know if I'm getting anything else this year. Hotline and FTL have both crossed my mind, but I'll see later. They might be eventual 2013 purchases.
I recently ended Max Payne 3 and I loved every single minute of it, one of the most exciting games that I have played in recent times with good storytelling. Hand it down to Rockstar for making good quality games. Hope they make a sequel to it soon.
When I dl'd my hard copy of Wither 2 on my laptop, It was laggy, even at lowest settings... =( and I think my laptop's actually pretty good too..
Hi, this will be offtopic but maybe you will help me. I've been offline from Gamespot for a while and now I see that all comments from my previous posts are gone. And when I look at blog posts of friends I see 0 comments below (but there are comments). What's the reason? New livefyre comments system? Any thoughts? And my avatar on comments section is blank.
It's the comments system. Don't know about your avatar though. Ask on the support forums. They should be able to help you out there.
Did you really find the pacing that great? I found it addled with cut scenes that interrupted gameplay, which honestly frustrated me quite a bit because I just wanted to shoot dudes in the face.
Max payne 3 is a stark contrast from the first 2, I found 3 to feel more like a series of shooting galleries than a large level in which I could play around in.
2 is really the swansong of the series for me, and one of my favorite 3rd person shooters of all time.
The only thing I really liked in 3 is the destructibility of the environment, The nightclub and the police station were probably my favorites.
I am enjoying the pacing a lot.
The cutscenes feel organic with the gameplay. It all meshes together really well. I haven't played Max Payne 2 though, only the first when it came out and the third one, so I may end up preferring MP2. But I am enjoying the game overall. I'm on Chapter XIII, which I believe is that police station you mentioned, so I hope it's as cool as you say it is.
Max Payne 3 sounds sick. Which is good because I picked the first two up for nothing during the Steam sale and am enjoying the first one immensely so far.
Glad you liked ME2 more on your second run. I did too, but you're right, the suicide mission is lame, because no on in your party is ever in any real danger unless you're a fool or not paying attention.
As far as The Witcher 2 goes... kind of want, but I've spent a lot of money on sales so far and I still need to beat the original first. Plus the Winter Sale is right around the corner.
I think I might do with Max Payne what I did Mass Effect. Really like the third one and then go and play the first two. I did play the original, but it was when it first came out back in like 2000 or 2001. I never played the second game. I am aware of some of the events in those games and the references to them are nicely implemented in Max Payne 3. But the story is cool enough on its own and the references are typically optional.
It is a sick shooter. I'm on Chapter XI right now. It handles its story really well. The only thing I found really silly was how he was patched up like I mentioned, it was some painkillers and a bandage. Other than that, it's pretty badass. It is shorter than I anticipated though from the GS review. I'm at 6 hours and beat the first ten missions/first two acts. With the final third it's looking a lot more likely that this is about 8 or 9 hours unless this third act drags out. But even then, the pacing has been awesome for this game. It's handled very well. This is certainly one of the best paced shooters I've played, and I love it when shooters have good pacing. Campaigns basically live or die by them and this game handles it really well. Nothing drags at any point in time. There's no monotony or useless bits to screw with it. Really well done.
As for The Witcher 2, it's spectacular, but you should play the original first. The original is spectacular as well, even if it looks dated. They're two of the best RPGs this gen.
With how many times The Witcher 2 has been on sale for 75% off there is no reason why everyone with a PC should not own it.
Well, The Witcher 2 is the #2 seller on Steam right now, right behind Dishonored. So a lot of people are making up for their lack of Geralt.