This might be the last game that I finish this year, unless I really buckle down during my vacation to wrap some up, namely The Last of Us.
What to say about Resistance 2? It’s way better than the first game. It’s got a lot more color even if it’s all green and yellow, and there’s a more distinct style to it. It’s just really lacking in story. Each level feels really different and none of them feel interconnected by much at all. It’s also at least twice as difficult as it should be by making the player very fragile. Sure, you regenerate health, but it’s really not a lot of fun to replay parts over and over until you memorize the locations of enemies, or spend half of the game staring up close at the waist-high scenery in cover.
And what the fuck is up with PS3 exclusive shooters with horrible endings? Holy crap, there’s not much story to this game, and it ends very poorly.
Now that I’ve wrapped this up, I might be able to get around to the entire reason why I played Resistance and Resistance 2. I might get to start Resistance 3, which I’ve read is fantastic and takes a lot of cues from Half-Life 2. Or maybe I’ll throw myself down a JRPG hole and start Ni No Kuni.
Tomorrow’s the day that this long console generation finally dies, and it has been an amazing ride. Huge changes are a big mark of this generation, particularly in the Xbox 360 and the PS3. Those consoles are not the same in form or function than they were from the start and they only got better with age. This is my entirely biased list of my favorite games of this generation. I simply couldn’t bear to reduce it to 10, so you’re stuck with the odd number of 14. Every single one of these games is a classic.
Batman: Arkham Asylum – What can I say about Arkham Asylum? Did anyone ever expect a good Batman game? But it happened, and it’s amazing. There’s no point in that game that is not dripping with Batman lore, and makes you feel any less than the one of the most legendary comic book heroes of all time.
Mass Effect 3 – The Mass Effect trilogy is amazing, but the third one is my favorite. The ending does not tie up every loose end, but the whole sequence of events leading up to it are amazing. It also improves upon nearly every aspect of the previous two games.
Halo: Reach – I love Halo, and not just for the multiplayer. I love the Halo lore and the single player. Halo: Reach has, hands down, the best Halo campaign. Being a prequel, it’s no spoiler to say that Reach has to fall for the Halo series to start. It’s the story of the spartans on Reach and the sacrifices they make that give Reach weight.
Borderlands 2 – I was a huge fan of Borderlands, having played through all of it twice, and Borderlands 2 is more Borderlands with more variety and better writing. Borderlands is funny. Borderlands 2 is funny, dramatic, serious, and silly.
Alan Wake – Alan Wake has the best parts of Twin Peaks combined with the solid action of Max Payne. Instead of a slow-mo shoot-out, you manage enemies with a flashlight. It does an amazing job of establishing atmosphere.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Human Revolution is the sequel Deus Ex deserved. It’s got cyborgs, conspiracy theories, and humanity. It kind of feels like a Metal Gear Solid without a lot of the nonsense story.
Killzone 2 – I came to Killzone 2 well after its release, but it really grabbed me with a story that was better than I expected. This combined with some excellent first-person shooting makes it one of my favorite PS3 games.
Fallout: New Vegas – I loved Fallout 3, but Fallout: New Vegas is much bigger, much more varied, and slightly improved. I mean, FO3 is great, but New Vegas allowed for more viable character builds that didn’t always rely on shooting. It also has some of the best DLC this generation with Honest Hearts taking things tribal and Old World Blues sending the game into the 50’s sci-fi movies it often draws inspiration from.
Left 4 Dead 2 – Left 4 Dead 2 made coop easy and fun. When you have friends to play with, it’s some of the most fun you can have with a game. Even solo, it’s still pretty good. What’s not to like about blasting hundreds of infected with your friends?
Rock Band 3 – Another game that gets better with a room full of friends, and Rock Band 3 didn’t even require everyone to be in the same room. It built on the madness that is plastic musical instruments that were introduced in Rock Band and my Rock Band 3 song library is enormous in no small part to the ability to bring the songs from previous games with you.
Spec Ops: The Line – Spec Ops: The Line has no rights being as good as it is. The Spec Ops games for Playstation were generally dumb action games. Spec Ops: The Line is far more insidious. It appears to follow the dumb modern military genre but almost immediately starts questioning everything about it.
The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings – Assassin of Kings took the best parts of the first Witcher and gave the story more complexity, more paths to take, and kept the swamps and drowners to a minimum. Many third-person action RPGs aspire to achieve what The Witcher 2 accomplished handily.
Bastion – This generation of games was huge for indie developers and Bastion is absolutely one of the best. It’s got relatively simple gameplay but there’s so much charm in it. The music and narration in this game is better than that in games which cost millions more to develop.
Shadow Complex – I love Metroid games and Shadow Complex is Metroid in everything but the name. It’s criminal that this game only came out on Xbox Live Arcade but I will never not own an Xbox 360 because of that. It hits every action platforming game note perfectly.
Wow, it’s taken me a long time to finish this one! I mean, this game came out at the end of the PS2 generation. I got halfway through it back then and never wrapped it up. But I got the God of War Collection for PS3 and felt the need to finish God of War 2 before I play the third one.
What is there to say? It’s better than the first game. There are less balance beams, and less Hades. Those two alone are a huge improvement.
I don’t actively quit on games often at all. I’m far more likely to get bored and just stop playing them, or jump on something new before finishing what I’ve already got. But I very rarely give up on a game on purpose.
I’m probably not going to finish Resistance: Fall of Man. I got it because it was cheap and I’ve heard a lot of good things about Resistance 3 and I wanted to start the series from the beginning. But Resistance was a PS3 launch title, over six years old, and it has aged poorly. It’s a fairly good looking game, but it seriously lacks color and the gameplay is very bland. Then it has a problem with checkpoints being too far apart, and where I am in the game is getting fairly difficult. So now it’s not exciting, and it’s not fun.
So instead of forcing myself to play something I’m not enjoying over and over until I get through it, I’m giving up. I read the plot synopsis on Wikipedia, and I’ve started Resistance 2, which is a better game so far. I’ve got way too many other games to play to suffer through something I’m not enjoying.
Okay but I’ve been half-heartedly playing Resistance: Fall of Man, Guacamelee, and Vanquish on PS3. Resistance is underwhelming but it was a launch title and actually quite old at this point. Guacamelee is beautiful and fun but I think I’ve either encountered a bug, or I’m stuck. Vanquish is sliding around on rocket boots.
I’ve also recommitted to finishing Darksiders 2. Jake finished is not that long ago, which reminded me that I never finished it myself. I thought it was because I’d gotten stuck in it but I loaded up my save and found that I’d just stopped playing.
Here’s the thing. I loved Darksiders. I love to tell people it’s the best Zelda game ever made, because it’s the only one I finished even though it’s not actually a Zelda game. It’s so close it might as well be. Anyway, it’s fantastic. Darksiders 2 isn’t bad, but it’s different. It’s a little more loot-y and a little more grind-y and kind of less Zelda-y. And I think one of my mistakes is that I started on Apocalyptic (hard) difficulty, and I can’t go back now because I’m over 16 hours into it and dying on most large fights at least once.
But everything is going slowly because I’ve been trying to get this house closed on, which I did today, and spending this weekend moving. I might not even have internet again until Monday or Tuesday, which is kind of a bummer. Oh well, awesome house!
Infamous came with my PS3, as well as Infamous 2, Uncharted, and Uncharted 2. It was the first game I played on it, and the first of those four that I finished. It does comic book style really well. The story is largely told through comic book framed cutscenes. There’s a morality system where you can choose play either a hero or a villain. Your power is electricity, and you can either use that to revive civilians and restrain bad guys, or suck the life out of them. Often the “good” choice is to sacrifice yourself to save others. Actually, that’s pretty much the only choice. It’s pretty much always damage yourself, or let someone die. It doesn’t get much deeper than that, but it doesn’t have to; it’s a comic book. The ending is a pretty good surprise, except it leaves a bunch of loose ends. It even goes so far to acknowledge those loose ends, so I guess the devs were pretty confident in the probability of a sequel. For being not a huge fan of open world games, I’ve been completing an awful lot of them lately.
It’s only been a week but it feels like I’ve not done enough. On consoles, I’m floundering between God of War 2 (because I have the PS3 collection, and I want to play 3, but I somehow feel the need to finish 2 first) on PS3 and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow on Xbox 360.
I picked Lords of Shadow back up because that new 3DS game is out, and I’ve been playing God of War 2, and I figured I could quickly wrap it up. I was wrong. Last time I played it, I was stuck on the music box level because I rage quit during the lightning bolt section. When I picked it back up again, I managed to stumble through that part and finish the level, but now I’m fighting monsters again and I’ve completely forgotten how most of that game works, so I’m rage quitting for being frustratingly shitty at it. I still want to finish it but I have to summon up some real willpower to do so first.
On PC, I’m lazily replaying Bioshock 2 because Bioshock Infinite is coming out in a little more than a week and I want to get myself in the right mood. Then Steam had a sale on Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning that I couldn’t resist. I’ve wanted the game for quite a while. It’s not bad. It’s kind of like Fable crossed with Elder Scrolls. There’s a shitload of stuff to do, but it’s mostly fetch quests, which are disappointing. The world is very rich and full of lore, but it’s really hard for me to get invested in it because I know nothing more will come from the series. Since I bought it with all the DLC, I ended up with some DLC weapons from the start, which made the beginning of the game entirely too easy, but I’ve finally gotten to points where I had to think about what I’m doing. I’ve put 10+ hours into it within the last two days, but I still feel like it’s something I’m playing until something better comes along.
I got the wild notion to reinstall Fallout 3 so I could continue my quest to complete its DLC. I hope that doesn’t go anywhere because that’s a rabbit hole I don’t need to fall into any time soon. Gears of War: Judgment comes out this week, and I couldn’t be bothered to get excited for it. Nothing leading up to the release has really excited me, and the middling review on Giant Bomb doesn’t help matters. I still feel Resident Evil 6 calling my name, but then I also keep thinking of playing Silent Hill: Downpour too. And of all the stupid things, I’m playing Chaos Rings on my fucking phone. Seriously. But I’m not that invested in it.
Killzone 3 picks up immediately following Killzone 2. The story is kind of bad, and it ends very abruptly. It’s not really an ending at all. But the rest of the game is pretty great. It’s easily one of the best looking shooters I’ve ever played. The amount of detail in every level is absolutely nuts. In some of the later levels, when stuff is really going down, it’s a beautiful sight.
The game plays pretty much the same as it did in the second game. If anything, the controls are slightly less floaty. The music also improved between the two games. I’ve embedded the title theme, which is pretty amazing. I don’t have much else to say about it. It’s very good.
Journey is amazing, and the less I say about it, the better it is for everyone else who reads this and hasn’t played it. It’s short, but it’s a beautiful experience. If you own a PS3, you should play Journey.
I’m still stuck in a gaming rut, even though I started Journey. I’ll finish it this weekend when I can sit down and play it straight through. The PS4 announcement and subsequent announcement of Killzone: Shadow Fall is making me think about how much I liked Killzone 2. Since I’m talking about ending stuff, here’s a break. Don’t read the rest of this unless you’ve played it or you really don’t care about spoilers! Continue reading Here’s why I liked Killzone 2.→