All About sparowprime
By no means am I a fan of the short story mode phenomenon that seems to have gripped the video game world, but perhaps sometimes our expectations overshadow the reality of the genre. Or maybe the games now are just not as challenging as they once were, making them seem shorter than they really are.
I remember playing ultimate spiderman for PS2 after buying it brand new, and beating it the very next day, which couldn't have been more than a four hour experience. This was my first experience with the rage of buying a short game and either being stuck with that decision or trading it back in for a third of the purchase price. This is why I mainly buy used now, but that's another topic.
Metal gear on the other hand, (any one of them) took me a good couple of weeks to complete. Once you take into consideration only playing a few hours a day or when the time presented itself, they were about ten to twelve hours.
The newest instalment of the max payne series has been largely reported to be at least ten to twelve hours. For the genre of game it is, this seams about right to me, but many claim that it is still to short.
My question is, without going into RPGs or sandbox games which can go as long as you want them to, what is the longest story campaign for a first or third person console game. To start things off, I'll offer a few of my own lengthy play time picks; Devil may cry, Half life 2, Freedom fighters, and Ninja Gaiden Black. Come to think of it, Ninja Gaiden may have been mostly do to numerous deaths.
First I have to say that this is made for people who love action movies and games. There's always something exciting going on, explosions have just the right touch of Michael Bay, and there are even some chase sequences to seal the deal. But let's break it down a bit so I can get into why and what I like or don't like about the package.
Graphics: The visuals have gotten way better this time around in comparison with the first Infamous, Cut scenes have meticulously detailed character models and environments that really help give the game that summer blockbuster feel, and the in game graphics are of the same quality. Electricity effects and explosions are brilliant and do an outstanding job of conveying the sense of power being unleashed when a lightning bolt erupts from Coles fingers or a tanker filled with flammables is destroyed.
Most of the animations are smooth and look they way they were meant to, but some (like being knocked onto an uneven surface) do look a bit awkward until Cole reaches a solid surface or platform. I saw little to no frame rate drop even with dozens of things happening on screen at once. Massive battles with gun fire coming from every direction, Ice and electric powers clashing, and something blowing up every 5 seconds and it all manages to play out smooth as hot butter.
Sound: Voice acting for the most part is done well. Characters do a great job of conveying emotion and their performances are believable. The lead character dose have a new voice actor, but despite where allegiances my be in the cast change, the new guy pulls it off rather well. He manages to bring a little more sarcastic anti hero who is comfortable with being what he is to what was before a dark and tormented anti hero out for answers and blood drunk revenge.
The same as with the graphics department, explosions and powers sound amazing. You can hear the wind breezing by as you soar from building to building several stories above ground. Gunshots could be a little more interesting and some of the impact sounds fall a little flat, but I guess you can't have everything. The sound of unlocking upgrades in the menu screen is well….absent, which seems a little out of place and should have been done differently in my own small opinion. Perhaps a short kind of hard core guitar riff would have been nice, something like when you gain rank in certain military shooters.
Story: Trying to stay away from dreaded spoilers, what I can say about the story is that it picks up not to long after the events of the first game. The opening scenes set up the premise for the current game and set the overall tone. Story events will play out a bit different depending on if you begin with more bad or good karma, which can be carried over from saves of the first game. Also along for the ride are some extra energy stores thanks to your old blast shard collection, and in game knowledge of your past accolades. The karma system in this game has a direct affect on not so much the major events of the story, but how you will evolve your powers, how your Cole will visually evolve through the game, and what side missions are available.
There are a number of main story missions that do take advantage of good or bad karma choices and play out completely different from one another, but the side quests show case the system more frequently. The way that I have been playing is to clear out all the neutral and good karma side quest missions before I progress the story with a main mission. Doing this also gives me a chance to find more blast shards to grow my energy stores, gives me more experience to purchase necessary abilities, and fills prerequisites to make new abilities available. There is a lot of narrative packed into these side quest, which will move forward along with your main story. Early quests will have you fighting the first enemies you encounter while later side quests have you fighting the larger more powerful enemies after you have encountered them in the main story, and the dialog accompanying your task reflects the smaller on going stories as they progress. One in particular has you tag teaming with an, well we'll say informant for now, as he goes through more and more changes between encounters with him.
This brings me to the fun part, the Gameplay. Now this is what I've been anxiously waiting to play, a game that is fun no matter if you're trying to beast through the main campaign or just fooling around in the city. Of course this game borrows a lot from the last one, but only as a template on which to paint a master piece. Okay, that may have been a bit over the top but so is the action packed into this little blue ray disc! You have your bolts, blasts, grenades, iconic power, passive abilities, and melee attacks, but this time around there are a lot more versions of each that can be unlocked and switched between on the fly in your spare time or in the middle of combat. It sort of reminds me of the power switching in X-Men Legends 2 where you had all these amazing powers but only so many slots to actively use at once.
There is however a lesser known trick to quickly cycling through unused powers. Usage of your abilities is pretty much the same as in the original Infamous, but now you can access newly acquired powers by holding the left directional button. Each of the attack buttons has its own set of powers to choose from. From here you can map each of the attack buttons with a different power from an upgradeable list of abilities unique for that button. The last power you used for that button will automatically be queued as the first choice once you access this tab again to swap powers. So switching up powers is as simple as quickly holding the left d pad for a second and pressing the button you want to switch and then you can use it right away, it's that easy.
Locomotion through the city gets more and more fun as your pool of abilities deepen. There are cables that allow you to zip right up the side of a building, and a later ability that lets you use stored electricity in vehicles to vault high into the air. There are some other locomotion based abilities that you have to see for yourself since I really don't want to spoil anything, but one is just for the lack of a better word, "cool"!
Melee has received a significant upgrade as well as becoming a more useful Gameplay mechanic. At later levels of melee, you will actually recharge your energy stores by performing certain attacks. Some enemies come at you so fast and in so large of a group that the best way out of it is to pull out your new weapon dubbed the "amp", and go to work.
There more to do here than there was in Empire City. This time they've added random muggings, kidnappings, and bomb defusing events to spice things up while you get your Batman on. No matter how many bad guys you clear out there always seem to be a pocket of 'em a block or two down the road, so don't expect to go peacefully roof hopping for long before you stumble onto a super powered shoot out.
The iconic powers I mentioned earlier, like the lightning blast from the sky in the first game, are now only available by filling a small reserve of one to three energy containers with a special purple energy derived from some enemies during fights. At first you can only store one of these massive attacks, but can evolve to where you can hold three. Caution, when trying to maintain a good rep, be careful how you use these powers since they do a lot of damage to the surrounding area and there will be clueless civilians aimlessly walking right through the battlefield like they forgot they didn't have any super powers or something, almost begging to be killed.
I could probably keep going, but I think that this is already past enough, besides, I just realized I could be playing it right now. Just know that it's an amazing game, some may call it repetitive since it revolves mainly around story, locomotion, and combat, but these devices are handled so well, I welcome the direction it takes with open arms. The camera can get a little glitchy in tight spots while you're flipping around and what not, but it's nothing game breaking. And yeah, if you suck at the game and keep getting owned by the bad guys, you will play most of the game in black and white. Surprisingly, in my 30+ hours of game play, I have yet to view the world like this for more than a few seconds at a time and not even that often. What you have to understand is that if you jump into a group of guys with guns or super powers for that matter, you will be more than likely shot or beat to death, I'm just saying use a little common sense. And on that note, I've got a city to save, later.
Funny thing is, we don't know if he was taken down by two people in ski masks, or a 5000 strong army of clones of the following people:
Ash of the Evil Dead series.
The entire cast of the original Street Fighter series.
The characters seen in the trailer of the upcoming game Asura's wrath (including gigantic space Buddha).
Sing from the movie Kung Fu Hustle. (see my sig)
And the level designer for the original Crash Bandicoot games.
Ok, maybe all the Gundams linked up with the Transformers, to go find Voltron and Transor Z, who had a contact number for Jehuty from Zone Of the Enders, who was already on her way to pick up every last Metal Gear ever created all in an effort to catch the legendary Dante, that still dosn't excuse the destruction of a gamming icon.
The thing is, what we have seen of the new direction of this series is so far from the roots of the series, that it should be its own property instead of ridding the coat tails of an already establised one in hopes of stolen success.
One thing that I actually agree with Paregoomba on is that we can go on and on, but the two definitive sides of this discussion are going to just have to agree to disagree. In the end, without an actually Ninja Theory or Capcom developer involved in the conversation (noticeably clearing my throat while looking to the left side of the podium where goomba is sitting) and only having a while shockingly revealing, yet short clip of the new game, anything we come out with will still be nothing more than well argued opinions.
The power to manipulate a property will always rest with that properties owner, but as cheesy a line it is, and forgive me for saying it but I must, "....with great power, comes great responsibility". Just because you can do something, doesn't always mean you should.
I'm going to buy this game, I always was. That's the only way I can further validate any opinions or judgments I may pass on it in the future. My feelings on how the re designing of thegame was handled will not change, I will always be apauled and deeply disturbed by them, but I will choke down mydiscust long enough to give the gamea chance to impress me on other levels. I am a collector after all, and if a good action game comes down, I am bound to own it.
I still don't believe that if they stay the course and don't swing back to the way things were, this new incarnation can never liveup to, change into at some point, or fit in with the pre-established narrative. I do however have faith that with all previous factors in mind, the game can still be fun to play. Heavenly Sword though flawed in key areas, was not to bad, I actually enjoyed it after while. I have yet to open my copy of Enslaved, but from what I've seen it should be decent.
If this is the end of Dante and the rise of Donte, I raise my glass to toast our fallen brother. To Dante, son of Sparda, may you adventure on in the hearts and memories of your "true" fans. You will not be forgotten, and you can never be replaced. Rock on.
Jun 17, 2013 2:44 pm GMTsparowprime added The Last of Us to their owned game list
Jun 12, 2013 7:26 pm GMTsparowprime added State of Decay to their now playing list
Jun 12, 2013 7:26 pm GMTsparowprime added State of Decay to their owned game list
May 30, 2013 7:38 pm GMTsparowprime added Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist to their wish list
May 30, 2013 7:37 pm GMTsparowprime added Grand Theft Auto V to their wish list
May 30, 2013 7:36 pm GMTsparowprime added The Last of Us to their wish list
May 30, 2013 7:35 pm GMTsparowprime added Batman: Arkham Origins to their wish list
May 30, 2013 6:40 pm GMTsparowprime added Tomb Raider to their owned game list
May 22, 2013 11:15 am GMTsparowprime added Deus Ex: Human Revolution to their owned game list
May 22, 2013 11:15 am GMTsparowprime added Tomb Raider to their owned game list