March 26, 2015

That's A Wrap: Tomb Raider

warning: may contain spoilers

Okay. Here goes. Probably my most controversial blog to date. A game I'd put off for far too long, and then continued to put off because I was... put off. I procrastinated so hard for Tomb Raider, that even when PS+ gave it away for free, it was still months before I touched it, and honestly, I could've waited longer. Let me take this time to say that fans of this game are probably going to have a hard time seeing eye-to-eye with me on this one, so if you're sensitive to negative criticism, you may want to leave now.

Tomb Raider is Crystal Dynamics' shiny new entry to the long popular series, and I'll be honest: it's been a while since I've played a Tomb Raider game. In fact, the last one I can recall, I played on PC - and I haven't done that in ages... nope. Can't remember which one. This pretty edition was released in 2013 for PS3 and Xbox360 (as well as PC) and has since been remastered for PS4 and Xbox One, too. I'll admit that I was excited to see TR treated to a new installment, and everyone's seemingly unanimous, positive response to it only added to my expectations. I signed up for a really great game. What I got? Well…

From my first foray: I'm 5 minutes in and Lara has already been but through more than most holocaust survivors… jeez. How does anyone survive that many falls? The game is really setting itself up to be a serious, no-funny-business game, unlike Tomb Raider's frequent in-genre competitor Uncharted, which, F.Y.I., I love. A lot. Even the menu is very modern and action-y, which sets the stage nicely and accurately.
After an hour of play, I've concluded that this isn't a game for passive players. You need to be on your toes at all times; combat is not the most fun component (yet?) and exploring still feels a bit rough and unmastered. It's curious that I feel right at home with Uncharted, but with TR, I feel like I'm starting from scratch. Not off to a great start.

March 19, 2015

Kicking Gnomes: Winter 2015

While I'm happy to tell winter to kiss my ass goodbye, I have to admit the shitty weather kept me pretty busy in the shopping department. This winter, my Xbox360 collation got quite the workout, and as always I'm ashamed to report most of my pickups otherwise were digital. There were just too many offerings out there for titles that would take me ages to acquire physically, and I wanna play these games, dammit!

March 05, 2015

That's A Wrap: Earthbound/Mother 2

warning: may contain spoilers

Ah, Earthbound. This famous SNES title is really loved or hated by most. Me? I've never really had a heated opinion of it. In fact, I hadn't played the game in something like 15 years. I vaguely remember playing it around the time it was released in 1995, but I don't think I ever owned it, so it just kind of faded away into a sea of RPGs that quickly drowned it out. All I can really recall from my first impression was that I found the game almost cartoon-y and colloquial, which was a nice change of pace compared to the other popular RPGs at the time. Compared to others in the genre, Earthbound is exceedingly simple in design, but it adds interest in other departments such as sound, story, characters and even puzzle material. If I had to sum up this long-overdue playthrough in one word: fun. But that's an awfully empty umbrella term, so let's have a deeper look at the game.