Sunday, July 14, 2013

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 [Game][PC]

Amount Completed: Entire single player game

My review of this game is essentially the same as the review for Modern Warfare (1).

I think in the end... I was a bit disappointed. The game actually started out being a more fun than the first and felt larger-than-life but as the game came to a conclusion I was wishing for something more... grand. A number of the missions with America under siege felt almost open and less on rails than the rest of the game. Unfortunately this didn't continue and instead things were generally right back on fairly rigid rails.

There seemed to be a lot of "going to the well" when it comes to the main character becoming incapacitated or otherwise...

Gut: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is a fine (mostly on rails) shooter. The story is nothing too exciting to me and the general gameplay is what I would expect of a shooter.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Walking Dead [Game] [PC]

Amount Completed: All 5 Episodes

The Walking Dead "adventure" game is definitely intriguing and entertaining. I wouldn't say it is exactly fun as it's not much of a game. There's a lot of cut-scenes and talking. The action sequences are mostly uninteresting and could have easily been skipped to make an even more casual television viewing experience.

I was impressed with the lack of a filter of some very sensitive topics, such as the death of child character. The game is not one of great joy and certainly can be quite depressing at times. As a grand adventure through the world of zombies I think the story fit and moved along reasonably well.

Not all of the episodes are created equally either... Some of the required activities and interactions can become repetitive very quickly.

Gut: The Walking Dead was an enjoyable choose you own adventure. I recommend it for the interesting story and choices. If there is a way remove all the "action" sequences I would recommend doing so.

Arrested Development Season 4 [Television]

Amount Viewed: Entire Season

As with just about every fan of the show I was looking forward to seeing more Arrested Development when I heard it was given a second life by Netflix. As the release date drew near I heard rumors of very character driven/focused episodes and then I started to realize what was happening. The ensemble would not be an ensemble.

So here are some major points that made season 4 difficult for me to enjoy:

  • No longer an ensemble where at least half the cast plays an active role in each episode
  • Michael is no longer the straight-man and anchor of the show -- instead he is now a lot like the rest of the characters in the family
  • The first episode I found to be tolerable the whole way through was Maeby's. (
  • I don't need to see every angle of a story through the eyes of every character.
  • Overload of stupid or unfunny

Gut: Unfortunate. "It just blue itself."

Monday, July 1, 2013

Red Faction: Guerrilla [Game][PC]

Amount Completed: Entire single player game (and a lot of the side stuff)

I recalled playing the original Red Faction ages ago but never finished it. I decided I should take this one more seriously after playing it for an hour. The story is a basic uprising against an oppressive government plot. The rebels seek out an upper hand and you run around blasting stuff to bits and agitating the oppressors.

The fun of the game is the physics engine. Blasting buildings and more to shreds is a lot of fun. As you play you gain access to more tools of destruction that arguably make the experience more entertaining. Unfortunately a number of the side missions become tedious and work against the game. I became especially bored with rescuing prisoners as they had a way of getting themselves killed. The "return the car to a base" missions also became extremely frustrating as the vehicle controls left a lot to be desired.

While a lot of fun and interesting enough (story is fairly light) the game simply was too long. Near the end I was ready for it to be over.

In many ways I feel I was spoiled by Just Cause 2. In Red Faction Guerrilla you're glued to the ground and your survival relies heavily on finding cover! There are plenty of very capable enemies working hard to make you die.

Gut: Red Faction: Guerrilla is a very good sand box-like game. Some of the travel required seems to just eat up time instead of adding to the experience of the game. Definitely worth playing through.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare [Game][PC]

Amount Completed: Entire single player game

I sought out this game not because I thought it would be a great game but because of the negativity directed towards it. I was not surprised with what I found. I can see why there are a lot of complaints about how there isn't much in the way of choice as you play. It's a fairly rigid directed experience that runs you through the narrative and given events along the way.

The sequence that received a lot of criticism was the artillery shelling of a city where the lives of the targets are reduced to blips (hmm much like the lives of characters killed in video games). As a sarcastic/caustic reminder of what military actions are far from the front lines of battle I was not exactly offended. I was a bit disappointed that they called back to it for the ending credits... oh well.

The story did take an interesting route with dual plot lines. Not everything went perfectly so that was a nice break from most shooters where things are generally fine in the end. Unfortunately except for one event I hardly recall what else happened in the game.

Gut: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is a fine shooter. The story is nothing too exciting to me and the general gameplay is what I would expect of a shooter.

Call of Duty: World at War [Game][PC]

Amount Completed: Entire Single Player Game

Call of Duty: World at War is yet another first person shooter that takes place in World War 2. The experience is very much on rails and often times requires a whole lot of repetition to figure out exactly how to get through certain choke points. I felt I was playing a first person shooter equivalent to VVVVVV.

The game spans a few different plot lines but none of them feel like the main story. The switches between the plot every few missions was disruptive to the flow and occasionally caused me to lose track and or interest in the given storyline. There wasn't much depth and there was little of interest that happened to keep my attention.

As a general fan of the original 2 Call of Duty games this one was quite lackluster.

Gut: Call of Duty: World at War feels like a collection of DLC missions sets glued together to make a game. It was more frustrating than fun. It was a bit of slog.