Category Archives: Games

Miscellaneous comments pertaining to computer games that interest me.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Title Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Developer Ubisoft
Type Action RPG
Platform(s) XBox One, PS4, PC (reviewed on XBox)
Kelly Score ™

80/ 100

 

 

I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed Odyssey for a few weeks now.  I think I can form a personal opinion: it is good, excellent in parts, but struggles somewhat under a weight of grinding which seems clearly in service of micro transactions.  Overall, I’m definitely enjoying the game, but I also feel a little bit ‘dirty’… and not because of all the murder.

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Fallout 4

Title Fallout 4
Developer Bethesda
Type RPG
Platform(s) XBox One, PS4, PC (reviewed on XBox)
Kelly Score ™

95 / 100

 

Fallout 4 has been out for over eight months now. Even for a procrastinator like myself, that is more than enough time to formulate an opinion. So now I’ll endeavour to document my thoughts on Bethesda’s latest open-world post apocalyptic role playing game

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The Xbox One- Six months later

I received my Xbox One back in November.  I have some observations to share after something approaching six months living with the big black box.

  • There are no where near enough good games available yet for the Xbox One.  Titanfall is out, but yet another multiplayer shooter isn’t really all that appealing
  • I expect the game selection to improve vastly by this fall
  • the One itself is solid, quiet, and performs well.  The hardware hasn’t shown any quirks at all yet
  • There were some pretty serious shortfalls with the Xbox One software initially.  Forming up and communicating via parties was clumsy in the extreme, the friends interface was inefficient, and everything felt slower than it should because of the multiple steps through the UI that always seemed to be necessary.
  • Microsoft has been doing an impressive job fixing up those shortfalls with a fairly quick release schedule.  The improvements since January in particular have been remarkable.  I would say there is still room for improvement: adding friends to a party still feels slower than it should be, and looking up friends and their achievements is sluggish.  But I’m happy with where things are heading
  • The Kinect is… interesting, but not exactly overwhelming.  I’m probably not the “target demographic”, which seems to be people who use their Xbox One as a “home entertainment center”.  I don’t hate the Kinect, though, so it could be worse
  • It is finally possible to hook up a third party chat / audio headset.  Microsoft starting shipping the headset adapter in March

Continue reading The Xbox One- Six months later

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Title Star Wars: the Old Republic
Developer Bioware
Type Massively Multi-player RPG
Platform(s) PC
Kelly Score ™ 95 / 100

Massively multi-player role playing games have, with very few exceptions, a standard motif.  You create a character, complete a few “orientation” or introductory quests, and are then left to your own devices.  Thousands of boring and repetitive quests combine with your character having complete lack of any perceivable impact or even place within the background story to encourage a kind of hamster like behaviour.  You run in your little questing “wheel”, seeking levels or gear to help you continue to run in that wheel.   Your long term goal: running in the wheel long enough and fast enough to eventually jump to the big, shiny end game hamster wheel of raid content.  Raiding is where you get to spend all of your time staring at a wall, or the back end of some other person’s character, for hours on end as you beat some giant monster to get more shiny gear so you can do the next bigger raid.  Most people don’t even read the story associated with each quest, and in many MMOGs that is a blessing: the stories are vanishingly thin and comically trivial.  They have to be, since your character has no impact on the world whatsoever.

Star Wars: the Old Republic (SWtOR) breaks out of that motif.  It plays more like a single player RPG, where your character is the hero of his or her own story.  Other players and “group” dungeons (flash points, operations, and Heroics in SWtOR parlance) certainly exist, but the personal story your character is playing through is paramount.  It is a refreshing and welcome change, even though the basic mechanics of the game are otherwise pretty traditional.

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The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim

Title The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
Developer Bethesda
Type RPG
Platform(s) XBox 360, PC (reviewed on XBox)
Kelly Score ™ 98 / 100

I have played a few games in the Elder Scrolls series, and each successive one seems to be a little bit better- at least in my opinion.  I played Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion, and now Skyrim.  And, with a few caveats, Skyrim is basically the best computer RPG I’ve played to date.

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Risen: Spiritual successor to Gothic 3

Title Risen
Developer Piranha Bytes
Type RPG
Platform(s) XBox 360, PC (reviewed on PC)
Kelly Score ™ 75 / 100

Risen is an old-school role playing game that does very little to make itself appealing to the more “casual” gamer. In terms of overall characteristics, Risen is similar to games like Oblivion- but whereas Oblivion tries to make it easy to progress and overcome your mistakes, Risen makes no such allowances. Interestingly enough, although I generally like “easier” games, I’m actually really enjoying Risen… on the PC. From what I’ve seen and heard, the XBox version should be avoided.
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Bayonetta: Everything that is wrong with this type of game

Title Bayonetta
Developer Platinum Games
Type Action/Fighting
Platform(s) XBox360, PS3
Kelly Score ™ 40 / 100

Action games are a genre that I really didn’t understand until I played Bayonetta. I could therefore say that the $60 I spent on this game was educational: I have been taught that I should not buy this kind of game. The kindest things I can really say about Bayonetta from my perspective are that the graphics are impressive, and the main character has one of the finest digital rumps in computer history.

bayonetta_butt.jpg

If you generally agree with everything I say, you have no need to read further.

Continue reading Bayonetta: Everything that is wrong with this type of game

Wet: definition of a wasted opportunity

Title Wet
Developer Artificial Mind and Movement (published by Bethesda)
Type Action / Shooter
Platform(s) XBox 360, Playstation 3
Kelly Score ™ 55 / 100

The title “Wet” supposedly refers to the term “wetwork”, a word commonly attributed to cold-war era secret agencies and referring to assignments involving killing so intense that the workers hands become literally wet with blood. The game definitely has death and blood galore, with kill counts in the hundreds per chapter as the game’s female protagonist, Rubi Malone, slices, jumps, and shoots her way through room after room of “bad people”.   

I’m all for a bit of mindless violence in my games, particularly when the main character is a sexy but psychopathic woman, but somewhere along the line Wet becomes… boring, and worse: irritating. It is telling that I had to force myself to finish the game- I wanted to call it quits several times after the midway point of the twelve to fourteen hours of playtime I got for my money. This is unfortunate, as there are a number of good ideas in Wet- sadly, it feels a bit like there were one or two hours of good ideas cut and pasted a dozen times to fill out the game.

Continue reading Wet: definition of a wasted opportunity