Grand Theft Auto V, or “I’m sorry I took my winkie out!!”

GTA-V-Heists

San Andreas, it’s been too long. I miss your sunny days, wide open spaces with diverse culture, your colorful locals and rival gangs. Yes, it’s about time Rockstar went back to the lovely Los Santos, however, it’s had an interesting redesign that has stripped away a lot of the side towns I had grown to love in the previous game. I’ll get into that in just a few moments however.

First of all, let us take just a moment to appreciate how much better this game is than IV, because it makes the previous entry in the series look like a big streaming pile. The controls are tight, they introduced the weapon selection wheel, very similar to Red Dead Redemption, revamped the cars to make them sexy again, and really put their all into creating a massive map with diverse settings-with so little to do anywhere other than Los Santos you won’t believe it until the game competition hits 70% from you hardly doing anything but the story mode. Seriously, after the build up of there being so much to see and do in this game, the end product, though beautiful, well tuned, and enjoyable falls short of the expectations they set for themselves. Don’t get me started on the whole “there’s going to be more in gta online” because I don’t give a sit about that. (I’ll be covering that seriously in the next couple of weeks) GTA online does not not factor into the story mode, that’s why they didn’t launch together, so stop trying to use it as a band-aid to the sorry mess Rockstar talked itself into.

My major problems in this amazing game come from two sources. One, the money system is stupid. Now I’m well aware that if you abuse the stock market in the assassination missions good old Lester gives Franklin you amass a large quantity of money, but the fact that those for missions are the only ones that allow you to get a large amount of money anywhere close to what you would need to purchase any property in the game is stupid, and it requires you to look up the stock choices BEFOREHAND in order to have ALL your characters benefit from it.. You might as well ignore the properties anyway because only a few turn a profit any larger than pocket change, and that is only because they require you to do a lot of meaningless work to earn it. Two, what was awesome in GTA San Andreas was how much there was to do in the game, this game has three characters to flip through, Franklin, Micheal, and Trevor, each one with an awesome personality and personal flair that really involve you in the game, but they only have enough missions available to them during the story mode that kept me occupied for about two weeks. I’m a pretty slow player, I like to dick around a lot, and while GTA V was so involving that I kept wanting to push the main story, I still tried to dick around on the side, but couldn’t keep myself entertained with it. The Strangers and Freaks keep you entertained for a little bit, but they just send you on hunting a gathering missions, or have you preform random tasks like fighting aliens while stoned out of your mind, but they just didn’t hold enough to them to make me really want to seek them out. Other than that, there’s a few stores you can rob for pennies on the dollar, a few monotonous missions you can take for small cash, drive a sub around in the beautiful underwater environment for about 6 hours to try and find nuclear waste that can net you a decent chunk of change. Gone are the street wars that could bring all of Los Santos under your control, the girlfriends that could hook you up with awesome deals, and there are only three heists in the game that actually pay you. granted, they are awesome and fun to play, but a lot of the mechanics are used once int he whole game and then never again.

Okay, negativity aside, this game was amazing, it just wasn’t as amazing as Rockstar made it out to be, and some of the best stuff are things they didn’t even push for promotions. The best feature in my mind is the 3-character story, because it is so fleshed out and so involving. Franklin’s money problems kept me trying to find ways to get him money throughout the game, Micheal’s family issues kept me involved in pushing his character towards redemption, and Trevor’s devil may care, but secret moral core kept me wanting to push him into crazy situations. ¬†The dynamic between the three of them, and the fact that the antagonists in the game made them look like angles was so entertaining, but there should have been another twenty hours of game play for them at least. Granted, with DLC a given in today’s video games I am sure there will be DLC with more for the characters, but I felt like they got sold short in this first installment. However, that should be taken as a compliment to the developers that I am wanting to spend more time in this lush world they have created, however deceptively sized it may be (A lot of the map is three mountains that take up space with not much to do on them.). Especially in the beautiful environment created, I found myself wrecking every car I drove in for the first two hours of the game because the backdrop was so good looking!

In the end, I had an awesome time with this game, and I played it harder than any game I’ve gotten in the last year, so I feel like a kid complaining about getting a rocket ship for his birthday that isn’t the EXACT color he wanted. Buy this game, it is a work of art in terms of environment and characters alone, despite the faults that stem from high expectations.

9/10 Worth it!

-Nevets

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Saints Row 4, BRING ON THE WUBS

Saints-Row-4-Wallpaper

So after picking up the new Saints Row title when it was released, I finally finished it on Monday after putting in a ton of time- it feels a lot longer than The Third to me- and is non-stop fun.

Does that Hot-dog Man LOOK like he doesn't know a good time?

Does that Hot-dog Man LOOK like he doesn’t know a good time?

This game is drastically different from the previous title in mechanics for the most part, however it keeps the zany attitude that has been developed over the course of the Saint’s games, and its humor has been really amped up. When the game was first announced it was suppose to be a DLC for The Third, so when I heard they were planning to release it as a stand alone game I was very nervous that it would be a 60$ rip off box (much like I felt about Rayman Legends, but I’ll get to that in another post ūüėČ ), BUT I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong- terribly, terribly wrong. You start the game in the familiar game controls of the previous, taking command of the protagonist as he pursues a new career, post cannonlogical killing of Killbane, as an anti-terrorist task force, only to flash forward after killing a peeing man to five years down the line where somehow you have become the leader of the free world. This is pretty short lived, and after choosing to end world hunger or cancer the planet is taken over by invading aliens who force you into a computer simulated world exactly like the matrix- but with more blackjack and hookers.

Get your damn  dirty hands- oh wait it's Kinzie she probably likes that.

Get your damn dirty hands- oh wait it’s Kinzie she probably likes that.

That’s a lie, there is no blackjack.

Within the virtual world is where the game takes a turn from the previous trends of the series in which you were a gun-toting, car robbing rouge trying to get ahead, to being a super-powered bad ass that can run faster and turn better than any car in the game. The controls are really sharp for this- and the game evolved into running and punching through enemies chests as I progressed through the game, and coupled with the internal radio that keeps the jams pumping constantly- I enjoyed every pain in the ass mission that required me to take out waves and waves of aliens. Seriously- that’s a great lesson to learn, video game developers that don’t read my blog, put music in your games ALL THE TIME, not just in cars damn it!

'MERICA

‘MERICA

Along the vein of the DLC back story to the game, the amount of time I was going to get out of this game was really an issue to me, because I don’t have the expendable income to stay constant with a lot of games, and this fall has such a line up that I HAD to get my wish list in order before they started coming out. There’s Pokemon next month, GTA V just got installed on my PS3 today, and November sees not JUST the long waited for release of South Park: The Stick of Truth, but the PS4 as well. That being said- it highlights another strong concern I had, which was the immersion the game would put me through to actually finish the game while those new titles loomed in the distance. Saints Row 4 EXCEEDED every expectation I had of it. It took me at least 40 hours to beat the main story line as fast as I could, and I still have a list of side quests to make Skyrim proud, and the great thing was is that I enjoyed seeing the story unfold every step of the way. I got so pissed off every time the Saints were shut down in their quest to revenge humanity, and that’s great- you don’t always get enough feeding into the story of a game to get you to that place where you care a little about the pixilated heroes you’re spending hours of your precious time with. Many props to the Deep Silver team for putting together a series in which the main characters grow and develop into people you actually want hear talk and not just mash the X button over.

Solid game play aside, the game is also a parody of Sci-Fi games of the last decade, and even a  handful of movies, since the whole thing is pretty much a better version of The Matrix, and the homages are done very well. The last mission description even informs you that you better have done all the Loyalty Missions to get The Good Ending, a nod to games like Mass Effect and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

Whoever came up with The Dubstep-gun deserves a million dollars.

WORK IT GRANDMA

WORK IT GRANDMA

Final Verdict: 9/10 Well worth the cost, even if you are new to the series and just like Sci-Fi games.

Allons-y!
Nevets

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Final Verdict: Deadpool

It didn’t take me long to beat the game, about 6 hours total probably (although it did stretch out because I never have time) and it never got boring for me. The humorous dialog may get a little repetitious at times, but if you aren’t looking around for secrets (which there were none that I found) you can get through the levels without hearing standard dialog repeated too many times, and the stuff he says while fighting changes every level. The levels are broken up with some mini-game style things where new mechanics are introduced, the most interesting being a shooting mini-game where they show a lot of the back story for Deadpool and his twisted imagination that is handled quite well.

Over all, this game isn’t great- but it’s good. It’s not worth the 40 dollars on it right now for 6 hours of game play- but if you see it on sale for 30, pick it up for some nice entertainment.

6/10 Buy it On Sale!

-Nevets

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The First Hour: Deadpool, The Game -or- “Metric System? Fuck math”

Deadpool_Video_game_logoI picked up Deadpool today for the PC, a little more than hesitantly. Last summer I got interested in Deadpool and I started to read some of his comics, which have been very interesting to say the least, so when I saw the trailer for this game I knew I had to give it a shot. The trailers made a very big promise for the game, a non-stop romp through the darker side of Marvel, but with constant humorous interactions, and for those of you who are fans of the comic, that humor had some pretty big shoes to fill, as asses to kick. You think you can fill those promises, High Moon?! My worse fear for this game is that it would wind up the same as Duke Nukem Forever: STUPID. 

Let’s start with the opening menu, I know that might seem a little weird for those of you who like to dive right into the meat and bones of a game, but I like to root around a little and see what hiding in the menus. I took a look at the Extra’s first, because why the hell not? Sometimes you find clues as to what is really important in the collectible side of things in a game from that, if you realize that all of the cool extras are locked until you collect a certain number of “Item A” while all of the stupid shit is unlocked by collecting “Item B” you can save yourself the headache of trying to collect EVERYTHING in a game. Lo and behold, however, that there are no unlockables in the Extra’s of Deadpool, but an option for “Bios,” which unless you’re a total dork who likes to know the back story of every damn character, you could ignore. Being that dork, however, I immediately clicked on the entry for Cable, expecting a long paragraph to pop on the screen to fill me in on him. Never have I been so wrong.

After watching EVERY SINGLE ONE of these videos, which are hilarious, I didn’t waste anymore time rooting around in the menu before jumping into the game. The first few minutes of the game take place In Deadpool’s apartment while he’s listening to the answering machine, a pretty mundane experience, except that it was Wolverine, Psylock and a video game executive ragging on him. Bummed about his luck trying to get a video game deal Deadpool resorts to plan “B,” a bunch of explosives planted at the executive’s office. A prompt returning phone call later and the game starts up, with Deadpool ready to start his own video game.

The apartment is a cool environment, ripped from the comics, and there are plenty of little things to explore, like making him drink infinite beer from the fridge and playing around on facebook, all good for a little chuckle, if you can ignore the doorbell behind everything. Once you answer the door to take the video game script from the delivery girl it’s time for Deapool and his voices to get to work.

The voices in Deadpool’s head were something I was worried about when thinking about what the game play might be like when this game was announces, but luckily they game handles it well, even popping up their dialog onto the screen in the classic comic book internal speech boxes, which gives a sense of familiarity for anyone into it. During the training sequence they really help bridge the constant breaking fo the 4th wall as Deadpool tells the player to figure out the controls for themselves “Player, read that shit!” The combat had a very easy feel to it, and whenever you got surrounded by enemies it was okay to start mashing buttons because almost every combination would result in some sort of combo- my only complain being that some of the buttons were a little tricky to hit without rebinding the keys. For example the teleport key was B was the combat keys were Q and E. little bit of a stretch! A quick rebind to the center mouse button, however, made combat smoother than butter.¬†

Not To Mention Deadpool is trained in Gun Kata

Not To Mention Deadpool is trained in Gun Kata

Another fear I had was that the humor would run out, even within the first hour of gameplay, but then something amazing happened to make me have hope that the humor would keep going throughout: After the tutorial, Deadpool does this weird thing where he spawns a bounce house, inflates it, and then simply leaves it. I thought “Hey, Deadpool’s a child with the ability to spawn things in his own game, I’m sure that’s a one off.” and then fifteen minutes later, while in the middle of fighting a group of guards, he suddenly asks, “Hey- do you think that bounce house is still inflated?” and one of his voices says “Probably,” and I busted out laughing. That takes a good sense of timing to get a joke to last that long, especially with such a weird set up- but I like it. Now, here’s where it gets crazy though- once you finally get to the top of this building to catch a CEO (I’m skipping over the plot because Deadpool does much the same, but it works, you just keep going and the story sort of comes together while you enjoy the ride) and punch him through the top floor windows, riding him like a horsey. Now, bare in mind this is about the 45 minute mark, and suddenly you come crashing down onto the bounce house. That. Is. GENIUS. Set up, follow through, AND delivery. That makes a good gag work, especially in a video game.¬†

And to think I thought this was nothing

And to think I thought this was nothing

The next section gets a little more interesting, with a chase through the sewers with some D-List villains like Vertigo (“Oh no- I’m gonna get DIZZY.”) and a section where everything is suddenly a top down action adventure game reminiscence of the original Legend of Zelda, 8-bit themed and everything. A few minutes of that however results in a firmly worded phone call to the video game executive in which he reminds them that his website got 15 million hits the day the game was announced, and that he better increase the budget. It was a nice break in the game play, and I hope the trend follows through that once the gamer starts to feel a little tired of the combat, they throw something else in.

One million, One million one, one million two

One million, One million one, one million two

So for the first hour of game play, I think this game is panning out to be a good one. I know, an hour isn’t a lot to go on, but I’ll be back with a Final Verdict once I’m through with the story mode. For now;

8/10 would buy!

At least buy it for the sake of the children!

At least buy it for the sake of the children!

Allons-y!
Nevets

 

 

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HOLY MOLEY BATMAN

Read this folks:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/doctorwho/articles/Matt-Smith-to-leave-Doctor-Who

BUM BUM BUUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMMM

More reasons I can’t wait for fall!

Allons-y!

Nevets

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“Speak up, boy!”

Doctor Who
Series 7, Episode 14

The Name of The Doctornameofthedoctor

Well- what a surprising ending! I’m going to go ahead and say this up front- assume¬†spoilers¬†ahead!

So I missed a few episodes this season, not very happy about it, but damn it I’m just¬†going¬†to press ahead. First of all- it’s about time that all of the little things from a season actually tie together rather than add up to a mountain of nothing. I was about ready to curse the name of Steven Moffat and post this image given the¬†opportunity:

ha, ha- CLASSIC

ha, ha- CLASSIC

but I can say now that I actually enjoyed this season the most out of all of the seasons he has been in charge of. From Asylum to Name, he has managed to keep a concise story structure going both in each episode and over all. Gone are the mistakes of the Silence and their two time use, and the confusing narrative of the life of River Song. Seeing everything come together in this last episode I felt the same sort of enjoyment and awe as when we went through the BAD WOLF story arc and pay off.

This entire season I have been¬†talking¬†about¬†the¬†emotional development of The Doctor from being whimsical OR angry to being this now complete character- and the final episode of series 7 completes that transformation with the introduction of this secret he finally¬†acknowledges¬†to someone, which is something he is not want to do. I talked¬†briefly¬†in my¬†review¬†of A Town Called Mercy about how the Doctor looking at the images in the space pod was telling of him relating to the hard choices and dark secrets that were revealed to him. I think the reveal of the new “Doctor” at the end of Name relates directly to that moment and explains exactly what the Doctor is reflecting on in that moment- the choices he made as this new man. However the refusal of the Doctor to even refer to John Hurt’s¬†character¬†as Doctor ¬†shows that even though he has found a way to deal with the pain he caused, it has been by cutting off that part of himself and sealing it away as something alien to his true self- and that is not a healthy thing to do- and shows that there is still much ¬†growth to come in the character of the “Eleventh” Doctor.crying

Speaking of emotional developments- I cried like the biggest bitch when River Song said “Goodbye, Sweetie” – it got me right in the damn feels! I was sobbing “She said GOODBYEEEEEEEE” for a good couple of minutes while my girlfriend simply stared at me like I was an idiot. She’s not a fan. But this final closure on River was welcome, I couldn’t stand that we hadn’t seen hide nor hair of her since the Pond’s exit from the series- IN WHICH SHE WAS GOING TO TRAVEL WITH THE DOCTOR- but who knows what the fuck happened to that idea. I was glad for the moment¬†and¬†the tie in to how her character came into being- and to see them have at least one more¬†passionate¬†kiss- even if the Doctor was the only one that could really see her. I couldn’t¬†believe¬†the relationship they finally had at the end- and the subtle hints that she wasn’t gone- for good at least.river songThe end of the episode reveal does little to explain where the series is going, but did much to celebrate the heritage of the show and set the stage for the 50th – and in grand style. The reveal of John Hurt hints, to me at least, that the next story is going to deal with the events of the Time War- and¬†hopefully¬†is¬†going¬†to set those events into stone finally so we can know what the hell happens! Plus John Hurt is awesome, so I can’t wait to see how he plays the Doctor.¬†new doctor

So all in all- I’m going to give this episode a 9/10

Well, now to find something else to¬†review¬†until¬†November….

Allons-y!

Nevets

 

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“I’d like to buy it, please…With my money.”

Doctor Who, Series 7

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So after two weak episodes we’re back on track with this one. Small cast, intense focused¬†story line, and lots of emotional development going on in this¬†pseudo¬†horror, actually romantic episode.

Iddy Bitty Cast

Iddy Bitty Cast

Neil Cross wrote a very small cast for this episode, but honestly sometimes in a Doctor Who story that’s all you need- as Neil Gaimen once said “Doctor Who isn’t a hard science fiction show, to me it’s always been more of a fairy tale about a man in a blue box that shows up wherever there is trouble,” (<- that’s paraphrased of course, could have it totally¬†wrong) and fairy tales often have small casts, right? Goldie Locks? Rapunzel? Little Red Riding Hood? sure, most of them only have 4 or 5 people involved tops, and that allows a lot of stuff to get DONE. If this episode had been in season 6 it would have had a cast of around 40 and about 5 plot points that would never get resolved- again I really applaud this season’s effort in getting episodes to follow a tight story and resolve themselves in the end- with only a few odd exceptions (What the hell was with all of the flickering lights in part one of season 7? Did the Doctor ever go and tell Rory’s dad that he lost his son? (deleted scene says he did- but it got cut)) but more importantly there is a lot of emotion going on in season 7, which is a happy break from the break neck happy that was season 5 and 6.

Love Triangle- unless you count River

Love Triangle- unless you count River

First thing that is great about this episode is the relationship between Clara and the TARDIS-¬†chiefly¬†that the TARDIS hates Clara, despite there being little reason too- except that perhaps ever since my FAVORITE EPISODE (The Doctor’s Wife) where the TARDIS and The Doctor are able to meet face to face in living, breathing bodies, she (the TARDIS) has been more closely connected to The Doctor and may¬†perceive¬†Clara as a threat to her and The Doctor’s relationship- even though I have often thought of the TARDIS as a mother figure to the companions, as it is through her doors that they are birthed into the world of The Doctor. But, despite their rocky start Clara and the TARDIS eventually pull their shit together to save The Doctor.

Tension! Sexual or otherwise...

Tension! Sexual or otherwise…

Another interesting development is that between Clara and The Doctor. Clara is a lot deeper than Amy Pond was, for better or worst ( although Amy had a knack for keeping the Doctor sane, didn’t she?), and that is really awesome because it opens her up to a new kind of thought process, in which she question his¬†view¬†of the universe as a man who is outside of time and space, almost juxtaposing him to God.

Clara:¬†‚ÄúHave we just watched the entire life cycle of Earth, birth to death?‚ÄĚ
the Doctor:¬†‚ÄúYes.‚ÄĚ
Clara:¬†‚ÄúAnd you‚Äôre OK with that?‚ÄĚ
the Doctor:¬†‚Äú. . . Yes.‚ÄĚ
Clara:¬†‚ÄúHow can you be?‚ÄĚ

Clara:¬†‚ÄúSo, I am a ghost. To you, I‚Äôm a ghost. We‚Äôre all ghosts, to you. We must be nothing.‚ÄĚ

It’s such a great moment, because as fans of the series, how often do we wish we could travel with The Doctor, but not really understand the wide scope of what we may¬†encounter, in this case running into your own mortality.

return of the suit!strange head gear

 

Again, this episode follows the trend of having some throw back moments, although I only got the red suit from the 10th Doctor, I’m going to have to do a little research on the blue stone The Doctor produced to amplify the¬†psychic’s¬†power, hell it might not even be a throw back!

All in all- I give this episode an 8/10 for it’s clean story telling and character development.

Next up- Journey to The Center of The TARDIS- looks dope!

Allons-y!

-Nevets

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