Category Archives: Previews

Previews of videogame titles.

Late to the Party – Modern Warfare 3

MW3 Teaser

I recently subscribed to LOVEFiLM – an online service where you may rent games and movies. I’m still in the free trial stage and I’ve decided to make the most of it before I decide whether I keep it. For me, this is the best chance to try games that I wouldn’t necessarily buy, or haven’t had a chance to. NeverDead and LA Noire were two examples of this, respectively. This week, I received Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Asura’s Wrath in the mail.

The first disc that I slot into my PlayStation 3 happened to be Modern Warfare 3. Talk about late to the party; this is the first time I’ve played this particular Call of Duty. The thing that interests me about this title is just how bipolar the internet is in it’s attitude towards the game. Modern Warfare 3 is apparently both the greatest game ever made, and the worst game ever made. There rarely ever appears to be any form of middle ground – at least, that’s the case on the internet.

I’ve only just finished the game but I’ve yet to play it’s main function: multiplayer. Because of the title’s focus on its multiplayer component over its single player campaign, I still consider this a first impression article rather than a review. I ask of you to keep in mind that any opinions following may not consist with the final review and will not include multiplayer.

As it’s own game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is honestly a good game. That’s right. I said it. The controls are smooth and well refined, and the action is well paced. It’s what you would expect from a best seller. So why does the game get so much hate? The issue is, it hasn’t changed at all in five years. At best, it’s become more over the top (which makes it more fun in my opinion), but it still very difficult telling it apart from the previous Call of Duty titles. That’s the main issue, and that’s why this is going to be a short post. If you’ve played the previous games then you know exactly what to expect from Modern Warfare 3. It’s the exact same game, if only with some extra guns. This is the controversial issue.

As a game, Modern Warfare 3 is fun and exciting. It’s simple and easy to play, and ultimately delivers a pleasing and rewarding six hours of gameplay experience in it’s campaign. As a sequel, the game does little beyond extending the story to warrant it’s own existence. Frankly, it fails as a sequel. Furthermore, I’ll add that the game just seems rather forgettable. There’s a high chance that I will remember little of my play-through of the game and, in fact, I am already failing to recall certain moments.

The game doesn’t deserve the hate though, it’s certainly a good piece of entertainment. Unfortunately, it seems to be nothing more than a Bay movie in video game form. It’s a fun yet shallow experience. And that’s okay too. If only Activision would stop milking it.

In conclusion, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is a good first-person shooter but ultimately fails as a sequel. Your money is better spent elsewhere if you already own another title from the franchise. Of course, I doubt that will stop you. If you’ve never played the franchise then I suggest you at least give it a rent. It’s still quite fun.

Japanese Drama (Final Fantasy XIII-2) and Me

Final Fantasy XIII-2 X Tidus

So, I’ve only just started playing Final Fantasy XIII-2, and already it feels like I’m watching some TV drama. Being bogged down with so much coursework, I’ve had little time for gaming. That includes today, actually. Despite that, I’ve been playing it anyway, little by little.

So when I loaded up my game I was welcomed by a “Last time on Final Fantasy XIII-2″ cutscene, which chopped scenes up exactly how I expect a drama. Needless to say it’s weird. And awkward. I can’t say I’m a fan of really any TV drama, so this just gives me a weird vibe. Beyond that though, it’s actually beginning to feel more like a Final Fantasy game. Hell, it’s beginning to feel more like a game, compared to it’s predecessor. Which reminds me, I must upload my review sometime soon.

Final Fantasy XIII-2 is definitely far more expansive already. Which doesn’t say much. Especially when it’s still linear as hell, within the stages. You still follow winding paths – occasionally branching out to appear to solve that linearity problem, instead only to lead to the same place and have nothing exciting between. At least that’s the case so far. Still, I’ve already started some quests, which is good, and the battle system does feel more in depth before (y’know, given that I have the option to choose a more specific approach within the classes I’m given, albeit still very little). I just wonder what Square-Enix are smoking to have rewarded me with a 200% chance of obtaining rare drops and ordinary items, only to get absolutely no spoils. What the shit?

Anyway. I’m liking it so far. But then again, I did enjoy the cesspool of shit that was Final Fantasy XIII. At least I can admit to it though. And admit to just how god awful the “game” was.

Z.H.P and Me

ZHP

After listening to the most recent TGS Podcast episode and hearing Totalbiscuit’s comments about this nifty little PSP title, I couldn’t help but pick it up myself to play on my PlayStation Vita. I do not regret this whimsical purchase.

I can’t really talk much without spoiling the fantastic introduction, but the game is very self-aware. The title is very satirical, and parodies several superhero tropes. In the first five minutes alone, the Unlosing Ranger gets knocked down and is killed, but not before passing on his power to a random bystander who he leaves to fight Darkdeath Evilman – the final boss. Our new hero takes up this challenge… and dies.

The game itself plays similarly to NIS’ more famous Disgaea titles. The player moves the hero character on a grid and can carry out multiple options. Z.H.P. feels like the middle ground between a turn based and real time strategy JRPG. There are a multitude of dungeons and a unique way to level up your character whom gets stronger after every defeat. It’s a pretty cool and nifty title, and if you’re looking for a pretty fun, cheap and light hearted game to just pick up and play on your brand new Vita or your PSP, I absolutely must tell you to pick it up.

Speaking of which: PSPGo for £55 for those in the UK. If you haven’t got either system, pick this up and buy the game. You’ll be able to use the games you have on it on your Vita eventually, and all PSP games are dirt cheap on PSN now.

Expect a full review in the near future. Although that requires beating this very challenging game.

Yakuza: Dead Souls and Me

Kazuma Shaving Yakuza Dead Souls of the End

So, I received Yakuza: Dead Souls through the mail today and I’m totally loving it. For those unfamiliar with the Yakuza franchise, it’s a series that’s incredibly successful in the land of the rising sun. The series involves the Yakuza, who are the Japanese version of the Mafia, and is a very character driven game. The gameplay is a blend of action and role-playing game elements and is absolutely crazy and intense. Honestly, it’s easily one of my more favourite franchises.

The new game takes all the serious drama and development in the past few games and throws it out the window in favour of a complete (narrative) genre-shift. The setting of Kamurocho has been invaded by zombies, and the cast of incredibly badass criminals get together to fight off the zombies. This is pretty much Yakuza vs. Zombie. And it is awesome.

For the most part, the game feels relatively clunky but it’s easily adapted to. During the first stage I found myself failing to even shoot a zombie efficiently, often being attacked before I could strike them at all. After about fifteen to thirty minutes of playing, I managed to pick up on it and started finding myself headshotting, evading and blowing up zombies. It’s really fun, but I’m realising that this certainly isn’t the best title for anyone to be introduced to the franchise. Which screws up my plans.

Y’see, I planned to make this my first review (when I finished it). Now though, I’m not so sure. I’m thinking I should go back and quickly replay the third or fourth title and just review those first. Maybe I can spark interest? For those who’ve actually played the game though, I’ll write the review all the same. Maybe, just maybe, you may be interested enough in reading my opinions.

And if you’re not? Tough shit anyway.