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What game are you playing?
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Spike
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February 25, 2010 - 4:36 pm
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Toger, I missed your January post about Fallout 3.  If you've started it, what do you think?  I've really fallen in love.  The game is so huge that after 3 months (while I wait for son to catch up before installing add-ons as mentioned in another post) I find new stuff each time I wander out into the Wasteland. 

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Toger
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February 25, 2010 - 5:58 pm
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I haven't started it.

I was banging my head against Mass Effect until it left me broken and bloodied and I gave up; then I played Momento Mori, a mind-numbingly horrid DaVinci Code wannabe (not that DaVinci Code was any great shakes with its half-realized combat); then I tried Art of Murder: FBI Confidential, a second-rate Still Life clone (I'm still trying to slog my way through AoM. Even though I hated that unforgivable lock pick puzzle in Still Life, I loved that game!). When the new Ace Attorney found it's way to my doorstep (pre-ordered and forgotten) I decided to re-start something I knew I'd enjoy (Apollo Justice) so I could play Miles Edgeworth. Thus ends tale of why I haven't started FO3. [Image Can Not Be Found]

Powered by PMS ™

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Scout
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February 26, 2010 - 10:20 am
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I'm well into the first chapter of Gothic 2: Night of the Raven. It's the retooled version with new content folded into the game and requires that you start over from scratch instead of allowing your fully formed character to continue. Very fun, the best of the Gothics, even better than Gothic 2 Classic. I'm glad I waited until now to play it. I remember just enough to get through the more difficult parts and there are some hard spots in this game. Walk into the wrong cave and a shadowbeast will leap out and kill you in a split second. I'm still running away a lot. 

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Pokey
California
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February 26, 2010 - 12:46 pm
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NOTR is a great game. I didn't mind replaying the first section and it gave me a chance to do things in a different manner. I had a great time leading groups of orcs back to the farm and letting the farmers dispose of them. There is a new scene in that area where the wagon had been attacked by orcs. Valley of the Mines was a lot easier this time because I remembered the route to the castle. Then you have the new part of the game to play. Fun!

I just started The Lost Crown, hoping it might be an adventure game worth playing. It seems a bit slow so far.

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geggis
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February 26, 2010 - 4:55 pm
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I heard very good things about that game. Let me know how you get on with it because I wouldn't mind checking it out if it's any good.

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Jarrod
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March 1, 2010 - 9:08 pm
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I finally got a chance to play both Uncharted 2 and Heavy Rain on the PS3 (while I was away).  I don't own a PS3 at the moment, but give me two weeks [Image Can Not Be Found]

I enjoyed both games, for different reasons - I'd read reviews here and elsewhere about Heavy Rain, and was dubious about it, but enjoyed both watching as a friend played and playing myself.  I'm not sure whether it'll have a lot of replay value, though.  Uncharted 2 was a lot of fun, but I had trouble being stealthy close to walls, then tyring to walk away from the walls.  Great starting level in Uncharted 2 as well!  Really got my blood pumping.

A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. – The Teachings of Don Juan

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Steerpike
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March 1, 2010 - 9:40 pm
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Hey Jarrod - I adored Uncharted 2, largely thanks to the script and quality of acting. The gameplay is excellent, particularly once you get used to the controls (which took me a while), but excellent gameplay isn't hard to find.

As for Heavy Rain, I'm still working through it. The greatest compliment I can give it - and this is a BIG compliment - is that I am playing it and not STALKER. It's kind of hard to describe what we're dealing with in that game, but it is something special, no question.

I'll say to you what I said to Toger: the PS3 is a solid purchase. Exclusives like Uncharted, Folklore, Demon's Souls, and Heavy Rain can't be beat; plus you've got most of the 360 library. I used to poo-poo the PS3 controller, but I find the Dualshock hurts my hands less during extended play. I'm very happy with the investment.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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lakerz1
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March 3, 2010 - 6:36 pm
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I've mostly been playing various hidden object type adventure lite games the past 2 months as I've just been too busy at work to commit to a full length game.  The only retail game I snuck in was Rhiannon.  I'd give it a solid B.  My favorite type of adventure game are the ones that are steeped in mystery and trying to figure out what the hell is going on.  Throw in a tad of the supernatural and you got me hooked, heh.  I thought some of the puzzles were a bit strange, but I'm glad I played it.  The next game to get my attention once work slows is the Secret of Monkey Island: Special Ed.  I know it's blasphemy, but I never did play the original Monkey Island nor its sequel.  The first Monkey Island I played was the third one (which I found brilliant).  I hope they decide to do Monkey Island 2: Special Ed at some point in the future. [Image Can Not Be Found]

I also have The Path installed on my computer.  I'll definitely be giving that a whirl at some point.  I recently purchased the first Mass Effect also, but I don't think I'll be starting that until I really have a nice chunk of free time to play.

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Jarrod
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March 3, 2010 - 7:40 pm
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Given that most of the PS3 120Gb bundles are rubbish at the moment, what budget-priced game do you think is a worthy 1st PS3 purchase?  Particularly in the way of RPGs, Shooters, or action/adventure type games?

A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. – The Teachings of Don Juan

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xtal
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March 3, 2010 - 11:31 pm
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Jarrod,

It's probably not near bargain priced yet, but from someone outside looking in, I'd say that Little Big Planet looks like the coolest PS3 game in existence.

As far as the best deal, if you've never played the God of War games, the God of War Collection is GoW 1 and 2 redux in PS3 high-definition glory, and I'm pretty sure it retails for $29 USD. If and when I were to get a PS3, those would be the ones at the top of my list.

Honorable mention: my friends who own PS3s tell me that the "it" game is Demon's Souls. Ask Steerpike here and I think he'll attest to that as well. Also if you never played it for PC or Xbox 360, Dead Space is a great game, particularly for people who generally don't care for Resident Evil-ish survival/horror 3PS games. The latter would probably retail pretty cheap these days, too.

As far as RPGs go, I couldn't tell you. PlayStation has always seemed to cater to the JRPGs and I freely admit that I am biased against-- and loathe-- most Japanese games. I have no good reason other than the animated, spiky-haired child-things frighten and annoy me.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Steerpike
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March 3, 2010 - 11:42 pm
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xtal speaks wisdom, Jarrod. I would start out with a recommendation for Demon's Souls, my 2009 Game of the Year.

Uncharted 2 – even without the first one – is also a great option. As is Batman: Arkham Asylum (also available on 360). If you like tactical RPGs a la Shining Force, then go with Valkyria Chronicles. I also enjoyed Prototype immensely – though I played it on 360.

As awesome as Heavy Rain is – and it is awesome – it may not be the kind of hour-gobbler a new PS3 owner would really want to have as his first game. As for LittleBigPlanet, I don't have it yet, but I do have a Best Buy gift card here…

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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geggis
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March 4, 2010 - 8:33 am
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I think LittleBigPlanet is the one of the worst platformers I've ever played and taking this into account: it doesn't matter how much time you spend faffing around with the level designer or downloading awesome user efforts you're still going to have to put up with dodgy physics and floaty jumping. Seriously I've hissed and spat more at LBP than any other game on the PS3 save GTA IV. I think it's hugely overrated simply because it's a platformer that can't even get that right. The graphics, sound and music, Stephen Fry's narration, the customisation, the little gestures of the sackboys and the level designs are all stunning but the game itself? Don't be seduced by its charm! This game made me realise more than Mario did, that the handling in platformers is an artform in itself. I remember being indignant at my girlfriend bemoaning the jumping and then I found myself joining in!

Dead Space was awesome for about 6-8 chapters before it just started getting really samey. It was an incredibly polished experience though and it sounded absolutely immense through my home theatre system.

Demon's Souls is great. I've got to say though that I haven't touched it in a while. I think the last two viscious bosses made me realise that, as a thief/assassin I will die 3 or 4 times before even realising what I'm supposed to be hitting and how to dodge the various attacks. That pisses me off. During the course of a level there aren't really any insta-kills that can't be avoided pre-emptively but with a boss, well, get ready to run back after dying. Again and again. Also, I'm not sure how much more hacking and slashing I can take over the course of an entire game. The only thing that's keeping me going is seeing more of the environments and the really quite incredible enemies. Perhaps I need to load it up again.

As I've mentioned a few times elsewhere on the site I'm a huge fan of Motor Storm: Pacific Rift because it's just great fun and looks superb. Worth a try if you like racing games, especially fast, visceral ones.

Uncharted 2 looks like my next purchase along with Heavy Rain. Team Ico's Last Guardian will probably be a day zero purchase for me as and when it's out.

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xtal
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March 4, 2010 - 11:05 am
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Gregg B said:

I think LittleBigPlanet is the one of the worst platformers I've ever played and taking this into account: it doesn't matter how much time you spend faffing around with the level designer or downloading awesome user efforts you're still going to have to put up with dodgy physics and floaty jumping. Seriously I've hissed and spat more at LBP than any other game on the PS3 save GTA IV. I think it's hugely overrated simply because it's a platformer that can't even get that right. The graphics, sound and music, Stephen Fry's narration, the customisation, the little gestures of the sackboys and the level designs are all stunning but the game itself? Don't be seduced by its charm! This game made me realise more than Mario did, that the handling in platformers is an artform in itself. I remember being indignant at my girlfriend bemoaning the jumping and then I found myself joining in!


Bummer [Image Can Not Be Found]

It would probably go unnoticed by a non-seasoned platformer like myself. Having owned no consoles in between the lifespan of Sega Genesis and Xbox, I missed the platforming heyday. I pretty much went from Super Mario Bros. 3 on NES straight to Super Mario Galaxy on Wii. Sadly, I never even finished the latter; Wii is now sitting in my old room at my parents' house, unplugged and lonely. It's sort of sad that the best-selling video game console ever made (that's a total assumption on my part- but it's gotta be, no?) produces approximately 1 good video game every year.

I'll still have to try LBP some day, but I will be wary of those control physics.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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geggis
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March 4, 2010 - 2:53 pm
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I am but one person xtal! It could just be me but I'd say it's the rest of the world being seduced by the charming Stephen Fry and his Sackboys and overlooking a pretty fundamental thing in my book! Incidentally, I finished Super Mario Bros. 3 on the Gamebody Advance about 2 or 3 years ago, it was brilliant. Super Mario Galaxy got a bit long in the tooth by the end but it was good fun. I adored the soundtrack though, it was amazing.

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Jarrod
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March 4, 2010 - 9:43 pm
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Thanks for the advice, guys - I'm writing all of these down, and I'll price them this weekend if I get a chance.

Steerpike's love of Demon's Souls is legendary, at least as far as I can tell in these hallowed halls.  And some of my local IGDA buddies here have mentioned Dead Space in positive reviews.  I'd be most happy with either Uncharted 2 or Heavy Rain, but they're still pulling the big bucks, at least here in Oz.  Little Big Planet does look interesting, but I don't think that its style of gameplay would hold my interest long, sorry xtal, just not my type of game [Image Can Not Be Found].

The others I know a little about, but only enough to get me into trouble - seen videos, but never played

I saw one bundles yesterday with GTA IV, Bionic Commando, and a HDMI cable with a PS3 120GB for $499AUD (around $425UD I guess) which looked like a contender, at least until Gregg B mentioned his thoughts about GTA IV...  I know Bionic Commando wasn't received well, but I did love the old platformer back in the day.  There's another bundle with just the PS3 120GB and the original Assassin's Creed for a similar price.  Can get the PS3 120GB by itself for about $464AUD ($395UD) here, which was why I was thinking of just getting the box and a low-cost game to stay on budget [Image Can Not Be Found]

Thanks again, you've given me some food for thought...

A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. – The Teachings of Don Juan

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Steerpike
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March 4, 2010 - 10:03 pm
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Jarrod, your view may be different, but when I buy a new platform, I want the first game to offer me lots of time. The only complaint I had about my Genesis (Mega Drive in your fine land) was that it shipped with Altered Beast, a game my bro and I finished the night I bought the console. Versus a Super Mario Bros. or Sonic the Hedgehog, that's a bit disheartening.

Since most consoles don't come with games these days, you have to choose carefully. GTA IV was shit (or so Gregg and I believe). Bionic Commando was great back in the day, but the reboot was so bad it drove its developer out of business.

Dead Space, Demon's Souls, Batman, and Uncharted 2 are all guaranteed to keep you happy for a while. Assassin's Creed 2 is also a possibility; I haven't played it but I hear good things. There's also Folklore, which I haven't played, but hear good things (I have it on my shelf for the summer lull). Of them, Demon's Souls guarantees the most playtime. I promise. It can be finished in 50-some hours, but only by people bereft of all capacity for joy - people whose names I will not mention here (JASON DOBRY).

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Jarrod
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March 5, 2010 - 12:59 am
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Longevity is definitely a plus - my favourite game of all time (well, post 8-bit) is Morrowind - I sunk many, many hours into that game and felt suitably rewarded every step of the journey (which is one of the reasons I mentioned I liked RPGs).

And what is this mystical 'summer lull' you speak of? [Image Can Not Be Found]

A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. – The Teachings of Don Juan

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geggis
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March 5, 2010 - 5:33 am
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I played Folklore a couple of years ago at a friends and while the graphics were lush and the central play mechanic was interesting, in that you can absorb other creatures powers (similar to Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow), it felt awfully linear and sugary sweet like most jRPGs. I didn't play it for long however, and my taste for pseudo 'serious' mainstream Japanese games has diminished over the years, preferring the more whimsical and bonkers exports like Katamari, Gitaroo Man, Warioware, Chibi-Robo, Little King's Story etc. so take my view with a pinch of salt! I don't think Japanese games get the tone right when they're trying to be serious, Valkyrie Chronicles had me face palming for most of the demo and as much as I love the Advance War games even the apparently 'darker' Days of Ruin was melodramatic and overwrought – but a blast nevertheless. The scientific side of me wants to revisit FFVII but I'm happy with the warm memory I'm left with! ;-)

On the PSN side of things, I'd highly recommend Everyday Shooter (brilliant!!) and Flower (beautiful). I've heard great things about Greed Corps. as well.

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xtal
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March 5, 2010 - 1:01 pm
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Steerpike said:

Assassin's Creed 2 is also a possibility; I haven't played it but I hear good things.


Probably not the best first game for a console, it doesn't have a lot of replay value (at least not in my eyes). With that said, AC2 is definitely worthwhile if you do come across it retailing cheap. I snagged it during Boxing Day/Week sales (that's Canada, folks) for $39; no disappointment. I can definitely say after playing AC1 and now about 85% through AC2 that I have never seen a group of developers embrace criticism like Ubisoft Montreal have in the case of Assassin's Creed's shortcomings. Where AC1 was an amalgam of good ideas executed weakly, AC2 is the leaner, tighter, more focused lovechild of those ideas. If you started off AC1 with high hopes and gradually became bored and estranged from it then I think AC2 will delight. And if you never played AC1, don't even bother; it's not at all necessary tutelage for AC2, in fact I'd say you're at an advantage without having played it.

Steerpike said:

GTA IV was shit


Straight to the point. Nice.

I don't want to get thrown off the "cool train" for using the "O"-word, but yeah, GTA IV was/is/shall always be overrated. Of course the game has replay value, because I don't think anyone could ever get completely tired of maiming pedestrians, but the narrative arc of the story is, dare I say it, too open, and frankly a little boring. And all the cute shit they tried to pull off like having to phone your friends constantly to maintain their friendship (wtf kind of friends are those??) is just a failed gameplay mechanic that makes scanning for minerals in Mass Effect 2 look good.

It's a total joke that GTA IV is the highest scoring game ever on aggregate sites like Metacritic. Bah. Hey speaking of Metacritic, has anyone noticed that they shit-listed FFC/Tap? I haven't seen a review from this site show up there in a good two years. I'd love to see the big fat 40% sitting under all those 80%s and 90%s GTA IV has.

Anyhoo, I'd still go with the God of War Collection if you're looking for ultimate bargain value!

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Steerpike
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March 5, 2010 - 6:22 pm
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Heh.

Metacritic and GameRankings, unfortunately, delisted us a little over two years ago, because we were no longer posting reviews with sufficient frequency. We were FFC back then, and poor Jen was keeping the place going all by herself. Actually Old Rooster did send my 40% review of GTA IV in to Marc at Metacritic; that's when we found out we'd been pulled. Rooster struggled mightily to get us back on, or at least to have that last review posted, but Marc was firm. He felt the review was rabble-rousing, an attempt by a little site to draw traffic by trashing a popular game (Actionbutton.net did this successfully with a 0-star God of War review a while earlier; they still get lots of visitors). Despite Rooster's (and my) assurances that it was nothing of the sort, he wouldn't do it.

One of my long-term projects is to get Tap back on those sites, because traffic is important to me and a presence on the aggregators means a big jump in traffic. Unfortunately Rooster was the one in touch with Marc and he's retired. Given what Rooster went through to get us on there in the first place, it's going to be a long battle.

EDIT: Valkyria Chronicles is pretty openly silly, and seems to know it - there's not too much melodrama to be had. One thing I've always wondered about is how it is that the male soldiers wear normal uniforms and body armor, while some of the female ones have to go into battle in pleated miniskirts and thigh-high stockings. But some don't! Who makes this decision? What are the rules for who wears the skirt and who gets to wear pants like the guys? Is it optional? It doesn't seem like a practical way to fight...

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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