Wednesday, February 24, 2010
So for the last several weeks, I've been hiding in a cave. No, not literally, but metaphorically, I've been avoiding gaming sites and other such news.
Only coming out the play a little BFBC2 Demo or Warhawk, I've been just hiding out while I waited for the storm. It finally came yesterday, traveling at an average speed of 142.61 mph, it finally blew in yesterday.
Of course I'm talking about my copy of Heavy Rain. Here at Full Frontal Gaming, we don't get to review games before they come out, so you'll have to excuse our lag. That said, from just the first few hours, it became clear that this game is a must own.
Starting off with first impressions. The UPS guy delivered the game to my office. I was there to pick it up as it came in the door. I ripped open the yellow envelope and protective plastic covering to reveal this jewel. I opened it up to find a small square of paper, pre-printed and the instruction manual.
Spending the next 4 hours concentrating on work, was a Herculean task. Some how I marched on and finally, it was time to go home. The wife was out so I popped the disc in. Immediately there was an update to the game, version 1.01. It downloaded and installed in just a few seconds. Then came the install onto the hard drive. 4 GBs of space needed. The install seemed slow to me. I'm sure you guys are aware there's several different speeds of USB, 1.0 1.1 and 2.0. Most devices these days support USB 2.0. Using raw speed, one can in theory transfer 4 GB in approximately 70 seconds. Also considering that a BluRay disc is 50 GB, it certainly should have USB 2.0 speeds right?
Well, my dear reader, do not fret too much. Quantic Dream has taken care of you. Remember that square in the case. Well, during the install you get to do some origami yourself. Best use of a prop to distract the user from install time I've ever seen.
Due to a small emergency I couldn't finish my figure before the game finished installing. That said, it left up the instructions and I now have the bird shown above.
So the game then gives several different levels. It took me a couple of looks to figure out basically it is easy, medium and hard, since they didn't call it that.
After selecting your level, you get to play some with the controls. Let's just say, leaving the door open as you use the bathroom, such a guy thing. The most impressive parts of this open sequence include the juggling and drawing pieces. Not only did it look good, it really felt like I was helping draw up the plans for a new house. The only thing I'd note it there's sometimes very little warning before a task must be done gently (meaning slowly). The camera angles can be problematic sometimes, but nothing your typical gamer can't handle. I only ended up walking in circles once or twice. Especially problematic was the mall scene, where not only did you have these camera transitions but you are trying to push through a crowd.
And while I'm talking about the crowed mall, I've got to say, it really did feel crowded. It is kind of like Assassin's Creed in that respect. You really did have to shove your way through as you ran through the mall.
Without giving too much more away, I'll say there's a possible fight scene early on. Yes it was mostly quick time events, but they made sense usually (though only after you saw what the result was). Additionally the character thoughts add new depth to the game.
So I'm just starting, not anywhere near done with the game. There's been reports of finishing it in approximately 9 hours. With so many different endings though, this could be a very long game.
Once I finish the game, I'll post a full review, but as first impressions go, this game (if you can even call it that) is awe inspiring and awesome.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
So I'm convinced that Heavy Rain will be an awesome game. So much so I actually pre-ordered the game, something I don't normally do. With approximately 13 days to go until I have the game in hand, avoiding spoilers is a little harder than normal.
First there's the Demo. While I'd love to get my hands on the game early, the demo has to give away some of the story. Even if it is just the first chapter, it would only drive me nuts later on.
Second, the trophy list. Almost all the trophies for this game are hidden trophies. Why? Well the trophies are based on the story line. Thus the trophy list its self is a spoiler, once it is populated.
So if you're like me and want to enjoy the entire story line, I'd strongly recommend skipping the demo/trophy list. Remember, what is seen cannot be unseen.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Finally, I can tell you why Battle Field Bad Company 2 is a must have game.
Is this because EA finally realized that the little gaming blogs matter? In a word, No. Is this because DICE feels that a Full Frontal Gaming review is needed to boost sales? Wrong again. Is this because the demo came out and I can base the entire post on that demo? Bingo.
ControlsI don't know about you but for me this is my first stop whenever playing a new game. Too many games have bitten me with things like inverted x/y look and stupid default control placement. Note to game developers: Would you please, for the love of god and country, allow players to place commands on buttons rather than forcing a particular layout or set of layouts? I know you think you know what we want, but really, I may want to use a different button than L3 to crouch, or circle to enter/exit a vehicle.
From the demo there's basically 4 layouts for ground combat, 4 layouts for air combat and 4 layouts for vehicles. If you don't like the layouts, tough. That said, the layouts seem to work and getting used to them isn't a problem.
Game PlayThe multiplayer experience is very good. You get points for protecting/attacking objectives and more for helping your squad. And as mentioned on here before, most elements can be destroyed in the game. I say most not all which at first seems to detract from the game (it certainly detracts from the realism); however, there are elements which you cannot destroy for good reason. Take for example the objectives. If you can get a tank close enough, forget planting a bomb you can just blow the objective up. That said, if the attackers could just drive over the objectives it would make for a very boring and predictable game. As a result some pillars and other game elements cannot be destroyed.
Speaking of predictability, there's one thing that's bothered me. I have no insight into which game I'm joining. Once you start playing, you could be on the losing team. The game doesn't seem to balance the teams out so sometimes you just have to leave.
Speaking of leaving, I found it really hard to actually quit a game. Let's say you join and you're the attacker. When the game is over, you play the same map again as the defender. And the intermissions are short, with lots of stats to look at. You can easily spend a couple of hours without ever realizing it.
AudioNice and crisp. You'll hear things differently if you're indoors compared to out doors, and proper language for the team you're on. I hope you speak Russian. (I think. I don't speak the language.) It would be nice though, to talk to your whole team from time to time.
VisualsGood. While there may be a glitch or two from time to time (like a tree that's floating in air) it works. Oh did I mention, shooting at the trunk of a tree with a sniper rifle can take it down? Good to know if you need to clear out the cover the other team is hiding behind.
OtherThis game is a must buy before you add in the single player mode. It'll be a contender this year for sure. I recommend your local Mom and Pop game shop first, but if that's not around, Amazon is a good choice.
- Explosions - Yes
- Controls - 8/10 (More layouts/custom layouts would be good)
- Game Play - 10/10
- Audio - 10/10
- Visuals - 8/10
- Rating - 9/10
- Get the Demo - Yes.
- Get the Game - Yes.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
So last week I ran across this article. Yes I know this is America, where in some cases the right to sue is considered more sacred then freedom, but seriously WTF?
For those who haven't read the article, it breaks down like this. Guy buys Microsoft points for downloading games/media. Guy uses points but has extra left over. Guy cries fowl over the extra points which number too few to buy anything else.
I'm sorry, has this person been living in a cave? Or more likely, is he just trying to get a quick buck? Take the average video arcade for example. You put a dollar in and you get 4 tokens. Those tokens aren't worth jack outside of the arcade. You won't get your money back. So you try to maximize your enjoyment with the tokens you have. Demanding your money back for unused tokens will likely get you laughed out of the arcade.
Similar systems are in place everywhere. For example gift cards, if this guy actually gets Microsoft to pay, why shouldn't he go after Visa for left over money on gift cards?
And before you say, well it is Microsoft, they have plenty of money, think about it for a minute. If all the consoles have to re-engineer their stores (because this is standard across the consoles) then the money for the developers has to come from somewhere. That likely means an increase in prices for downloadable games. I've always believed the price on downloadable games is too high, as there's no media, manual, or shipping costs, but this gives companies the justification to raise prices.
Once again, this is just funding lawyers in order to get something from a big company. It is fraud, and it should not be tolerated. Gift certificates and other systems just like this have existed my whole life, I don't have trouble reading and understanding the fine print. Downloadable games on consoles is in it's infancy and lawsuits such as this will hurt all gamers.