All About ptree01
Been diving into a bit of MvC3 recently, as many of you have I'm sure. So far I'm noticing it appears to be quite "noob friendly" to the extent that I was able to jump right into it and feel decently familiar within an hour or so with limited Marvel vs. Capcom exposure in the past. Is this a good trend to start with a massive title like MvC3? There are obviously deeper elements to the game, but for players with fighting game experience, it is not all that hard to find yourself mastering complex combos and technique within mere hours of gameplay. Thoughts?
After about 13 months of solid Demon's Souls fever, I've finally achieved what some (and I) thought was near impossible - the Demon's Souls Platinum trophy. It's been a long road, one that I would gladly do all over again, and I am now ready to completely explain why Demon's Souls is the most engrossing and fanatical current gen game. Some may disagree with me, and that's fine, but before you begin to pledge you're loyalties, please hear me out.
I have an extensive library of video games, dating back to Atari 2600 to today with the PC, Xbox 360, Wii, and PS3. I'll be honest, I don't play my Wii or Xbox all that frequently, as I'm not entirely impressed with the lineup of games. I play all genres - FPS, JRPG, RTS, Fighting, Racing, Puzzles, Horror, Platformers, and the like - in a nutshell - I'm not loyal or a "fanboy" to/of anything in particular, and as such, I feel that I am somewhat unbiased in making the claims I state.
So on what grounds do I have the right to malke these statements? I'm glad you asked!
Let's start with modern gameplay mechanics. Unless you're a PC gamer, controller setup is a pain. I am currently playing three FPS games, Killzone 2, Battlefield Bad Company 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops - all with widely different controller schemes. R2 throws a frag on Call of Duty, but swings the knife BC2. I would be eternally grateful if there was a mapping system on these various games, much like the luxury of PC gaming. The control scheme in Demon's Souls is fantastic, and reliable. L1 and L2 and left hand, R1 and R2 are right hand. There - you've got it! This may seem trivial, but overall, one of Demon's Souls shining points is it's ability to execute perfectly exactly what you want to do. If I died - it was my own fault.
Time is valuable, and with the value of time comes the sense of acomplishment when a complicated task is completed. This is why World of Warcraft is such a sucess, so much loot to obtain, and as you expand and grow, you appear more valuable. the exact same is true of Demon's Souls. The game plays with progressing you're character gradually. The possibilities for expansion are endless, though you'll probably be wanting to stick to a tried and true formula. I created five characters, all of which had hundreds of hours in play time, and all played extremely different. My agility build rolls around and strikes furiously and fast, my mage is extremely weak physically, but can destroy with magic, my Faith build can resurrect myself and heal - as well as attack ferociously. Every character plays differently, and all are useful in various situations. Loot is obtained through various tasks and leveling up weapons. A certain sword may take weeks to obtain, through the process of leveling it up and bringing it to the blacksmith to hammer you out a new and better one. If I want my sword to have more magic to fit my class, then I choose to level it up on a different path than if I wanted agility. Building you're characters and weapons/armor is amazingly executed and very satisfying.
Another aspect of the game is the depth - in may areas. Visually, the game is stunning. There are five worlds and one central hub in which you can travel - all are completely different in feel and intensity. As you go deeper in each level, you find new and branching areas. All in all, the game is roughly a "choose your own adventure" in the sense that you have control over where you go and when you go there. You also have choice in the "good" or "evil" of your character. The choices you make with determine the World Tendency, which triggers all kinds of new gameplay. You may need to speak to a character to obtain a certain sword, but can't until you do enough to change you're World Tendency to black. As the World Tendency goes from white to black or visa versa, the enemies get harder or easier also, and many other elements of the game change.The game is also dynamic in that it is not possible to accomplish everything in a single playthrough, but rather it must be completely finished multiple times before you're character can start to feel complete and you begin to grasp the intensity and depth of the game. There are certain world events that take two or three playthroughs to complete. You may need to obtain a sword from a boss, and then return it to his sister on the next playthrough, or collect demon's souls to purchase a magic spell. Whatever it may be, the game shows incredible depth across multiple playthroughs and characters. This is greatly lacking in many games today.
I just finished Red Dead Redemption, and while I did enjoy the game, I was not impressed entirely by the "depth" of it. It seemed to be lacking freatly in many areas, including maing you want to explore and expand out from the main story. I liked the game, but once it's over - it's over. This is the opposite of Demon's Souls. As I played, I found myself wanting to delve more into the world of Boletaria, and find new keys to new areas - or kill a hidden boss to get his armor.
The game is best know for it's difficulty - and difficult it is at first. It progressively gets harder (enemies are tougher) through multiple playthroughs, but as you learn strategies and develop you're character you learn that nothing is an impossible feat, though it may take a while. Don't let the difficulty discourage you at first - it is only meant to give you an incredible sense of accomplishment and not meant to make you hate yourself. Give it some time, and you'll be conquering old kings and dragons before too long.
A massive aspect to the game is the multiplayer. The game opens a door to endless possibilities when playing in multiplayer, and it is an absolute blast. You can play as phantoms, or summon phantoms, to assist or be assisted in your fight through levels and bosses. I found that those who are die hard into the game play nothing else and are great assets to assisting throughout every stage of the game. Another aspect is invasions. As a player, you can invade another players world and attack them, taking their currency (demon's souls) and helping with you're ego a bit PvP in Demon's Souls is very challenging and very satisfying. Invading or assisting another person is as easy as laying down a blue, black or red stone to help or attack another. Another player will pick up the stone and "poof!" you're in their world. There is no communication between the two (up to three) players, though it's not necessary and works greatly to keep the illusions laid down.
The story is light in Demon's Souls - and rightfully so. While the non playable characters are fairly complex and deep, the story is a simple "hero defeating the final boss to rid the land of evil" premise, but is used in such a way that it can be intriguing and deep at the same time, and through multiple playthroughs.
when it's said and done, Demon's Souls does everything jussstttt right. I can't stress enough that it requires multiple playthroughs to obtain the entire experience - and as you play and develop your understanding, the game becomes more than just another video game - it becomes an obsession. I played World of Warcraft for years, I played all the "rage" games from Halo to Call of Duty, Mass Effect 2 and Civilization IV. Nothing even comes close to the satisfaction and personal gratification (not to mention gloating rights) that are associated with defeating a Arch Demon in Demon's Souls and living to tell about it.
Play it and let me know what you think!
My PSN is tehpeth
(Still not convinced? Check out the Demon's souls Wiki for more info and links http://demonssouls.wikidot.com/)
(here is a concept page from Demon's Souls Wiki - http://demonssouls.wikidot.com/concepts)
Toy Story 3 review by ptree01
I've been a long time fan of Pixar (Who hasn't?) and have had the privilage of seeing every movie released since the original Toy Story. Being an adult with three children, we've all grown to love Pixar's films, and the Toy Story films have always been such a treat. Toy Story 2 ranks among one of the best animated cartoons ever created, in my opinion, and as such, I've been on pins and needles since the announcement of Disney Pixar's Toy Story 3. Well today I watched Toy Story 3 with my two older children Angie (5 years old) and Nessa (4 years old), and, with high expectations for Pixar to deliver a truely superb cartoon, and not reading any reviews as to not taint my viewing experience, I was somewhat disapointed.
My initial response, whilst watching the movie, was not of nostalgia, as I had imagined it would be. I felt as though Pixar was pushing too hard to deliver, and not just doing what seemingly comes natural to them. The storyline didn't really pick up ever, either. I expected a much more developed story that took us on a journey - but instead I got a scatterbrained storyline without much for engagment. It seemed as though the innocence and originality of Toy Story had been lost.
There were a few humerous parts in the film, including a mexican Buzz Lightyear, though the underlying themes were more mature and dark. My children looked quite confused as they threw our toy pals in prison, and held them captive. This isn't quite as dark as our original antagonist from Toy Story, Cid, who blew up/magled/disfigured/tortured toys for personal satisfaction, but Toy Story 3 does come close, and from a more mature perspective. My kids had to ask multiple time, "Dad, why would they want to hurt him?" Not fun to explain those type of things to a 4 year old.
Pixar knows their audience. I sat and watched Toy Story 3 with just as much intensity as my children, though understood much more. I've always love the underlying adultish themes in Pixar films, though this one decided to just leave out the kid stuff and focus on the adult humor. Whether it was Barbie saying "Nice ASScot" to Ken, or Mr.Potato Head saying, "No one takes my wife's lips but me", there isn't a lot to offer children in the way of humor. My kids watch maybe 2 movies a week, and almost never watch TV - and they did not find any humor in the movie. I chuckled about 3 times, but never had a "gut-busting" moment. Toy Story and Toy Story 2 both had me in stitches throughout.That being said, Toy Story 3 may have been geared towards the darker story as a means to close out the Toy Story trilogy - a poor move I would input.
Though I didn't enjoy Toy Story 3 nearly as much as any other Pixar film released, I did find it satisfactory, and would still recommend any Pixar fan to see it. Just don't go expecting a laugh-out-loud story with deep plot and too much excitement. Expect the dumbing down of a great franchise.
Entertainment: 6/10 : my children were bored - and that says something.
Visuals: 8.5/10 : this is no WALL-E, but it's definately a step up from Toy Story 2.
Sound: 8/10 : no memorable songs such as the first two Toy Story films, but it gets the job done.
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