It’s been a while since I have had the time to be able to write an article. I was buried under the black hole that is retail as well as the start of my next college semester. However, some my time was well spent as I was able to polish off a number of hit games that came out during the holiday season that I will be reviewing today.
My time with Saints Row: The Third can be summed up in one word, Amazing. My 30hrs spent lost in the nostalgia that was Steelport was nothing short of an incredible ride. From the very beginning you get a sense of the crazy antics you should expect as you progress. The game not only met my expectations it exceeded them. From sprees of beating people with a giant purple dildo bat, killing waves of mascots in Prof. Genki’s, or tiger escort missions and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Needless to say that I never wanted my experience to end. This game boasts one of the best soundtracks incorporating a wide range of genres and song selections that could satisfy any gamer’s musical tastes. The gameplay is the heart and soul of the game giving you power ups as you level your saints, guns, cars, cribs, gang members, or yourself. The game plays out just like your standard open sandbox world video game, but quickly you will notice that this game relays heavily on the WTF factor. While the side missions are a fun means to tack on more hours the storyline is what ties the game together into the beautiful masterpiece that I experienced. The closer you get to game’s end the more I could only sit there bursting out laughing at character interactions and the objectives that I had to complete. The game also has a great deal of customization allowing you to customize any article of clothing or vehicles to the color or style that you want. The graphics were not anything impressive, but that’s not why you’d be playing this game in the first place. Places look as though a city would with a nice amount of detail but it’s a standard look that we’ve seen before from this type of game. There are a few times that my gameplay got drastically slowed for having too many things on the screen, but this only happened a few times. With co-op, single player, whored mode, challenges, plenty to upgrade, and a wide variety of side missions this is one title that will be a long and enjoyable experience from start to finish.
Future Playability: 20/20
Final Score: 94/100 I spent a total of 30hr playing this game, achieved 80% of the trophies, and completed 98% of the total single player experience.
Next up is the strange and horror filled love experience that was Catherine. When I started the game I had no idea what to expect. You play as Vincent a man who is tied down to his long term girlfriend Katherine, but after a long night at his usual bar he finds himself in a love triangle. The story becomes so compelling that you will want to spend hours solving the games incredibly difficult puzzles in order to see what happens next. The game is divided into 3 sections: the part you watch, the part you play, and the part where you interact and shape how the game will progress. Each morning you are greeted with a series of cut scenes that reveal what troubling situation Vincent got himself into next. The visuals in the animation are beautifully done in mostly an anime style of drawing. Outside of these cut scenes the game does a good job at making the rest of the experience to be visually detailed even if you are too busy to pay attention as you run for your life. The second is spent at your favorite bar The Sleeping Sheep where here you interact with people, text the two K/Catherines and try to help people with their problems and woes. You can also play the bar’s arcade game which can help you work on your climbing skills, or sit and drink to increase the speed of Vincent as he climbs. Once you leave the bar is where you’ll be running for your life. Each night is the same in that you have a series of levels and you have to climb to the top in order to make it to the next stage. The difficulty curve climbed exponentially quick with the introduction of new block types and more difficult puzzles to try to climb up. By the second night my opinion went from thinking the game was easy to Holy $&#* at this rate I am not even sure I will beat the game. The game does a great job at immersing the player into a constant state of panic as you tackle each new puzzle. However, no matter how difficult and frustrating they may be once the game sinks its teeth into you there is no stopping you from trying to finish the night to see what happens next. The voice acting as I would expect coming from a Japanese game is impressive. The score of the game sets the mood for the epic and puzzling climbs that you will have to make each night. With multiple endings, high scores and medals to achieve on each puzzle, and a challenge mode that unlocks from getting enough gold medals in campaign there is plenty that will keep you coming back for more.
Future Playability: 20/20
Final Score: 91/100 I spent 12:38 playing through the game and got 35% of the games trophies.
Ezio Auditore and Desmond are back in another hit installment of the Assassin’s Creed series in Assassin’s Creed Revelations. In order for Desmond to make it out of the Animus with his mind intact he must complete the tale of both Ezio and Altair that blur memories within his own timeline. The gameplay hasn’t changed much since the previous installments with combat seeing very little performance tweaks. If you love the fight, climb, and move mechanics of the previous titles than you’ll feel right at home in this one. The game adds a new feature to create bombs to help kill, distract, or infect the minds of opponents. Another new feature is tower defense which has you strategize troops of assassins to stop invading forces from taking over your controlled bases. Truthfully, I feel that with each new Assassin’s Creed title the developers try to add more and more content that can be a bit too cumbersome at times. The game would consistently break the flow of my game experience by wanting me to rush back to the complete other side of town in order to protect my bases. The stealth mechanics are more difficult this time around as the developers want to try to force you to craft bombs to help progress even as it felt against my will to want to. The Presentation is set in Constantinople as Ezio is trying to track down the keys to unlock the truth behind Altair’s secret room. The journey will take Ezio through a love interest, building the Assassins Order in Constantinople, and becoming involved in a struggle for power over the crown. The game also adds backstory scenes involving Desmond before he went to Abstergo in the first one and Altair after the end of the first Assassin’s Creed took place. The story developed in Revelations within Constantinople was bland and my only driving force was to continue the storyline shaped from previous titles. The visuals are on par with the last two Assassin’s Creed titles with nice visuals stretching as far as the eye can see from rooftops and the soundtrack fit the setting of the game. With tower defense, tons of collectables and gear to obtain, 2ndary objectives, an Assassin’s Order to manage, and multiplayer this is a game that could keep you busy for a long time to come. If you’re looking to continue the story I would recommend playing it just to see what happens. Otherwise there are far superior Assassin’s Creed titles in the lineup.
Future Playability: 12/20
Final Score: 72/100 I spent 12:01 playing through the game with 56.52% completion and 36% trophy completion
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