Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Games Hovering in the Background

Before Starseed Pilgrim infiltrated my brain, I was playing around with a few different games, never really committing to any of them.  My roommate likes to play video games and she's got a Playstation 3.  When I got here, we played a bunch of Hitman: Absolution.  After that, I picked up a copy of Ico/Shadow of the Colossus HD collection, and now my roommate has started up Mass Effect Trilogy.  This is interesting to me, because I haven't really played a lot of AAA titles in the last five years or so.

Mass Effect:
This RPG/Shooter seems like a pretty cool game.  So far, it is a fantastic game for watching someone else play, or even just listening to the dialogue.  The story is interesting, the world seems fleshed out.  There are different alien species with different detailed cultures and challenges within the world of Mass Effect.  You can choose to learn about these details through conversation.

The game seems to be composed primarily of dialogue trees, making it kind of like an interactive storybook.  In addition, each game in the trilogy picks up from the previous game, and the character that you play in the previous game continues on, with all major plot choices and character status intact. I have to say: this is pretty dang cool.  I had asked the video game gods for something like this years ago, after becoming aware of the prevalence of sequels in the video game industry.  It's a little late in coming, but then again, perhaps it's never too late.

This is pretty much what Shadow of the Colossus looks like

Shadow of the Colossus/Ico:
These PS2 games were re-released as a single package for the PS3. The games were produced by team Ico and Directer/Auter Fumito Ueda.  Both games make dramatic use of long camera shots and huge spaces.  The effect is very beautiful, even if the graphics are a little dated.  The gameplay for Ico is a bit rough, and requires a lot of patience.  This could be due to it being released in 2001, early in the development of the PS2.  Shadow of the Colossus was released in 2006, and still plays very well- it appears to be timeless.  I recommend Shadow of the Colossus to anyone who loves video games or epic fantasy.  

The third PS3 game I've played lately is Hitman: Absolution.  It's a third-person stealth/action shooter game.  It is mostly generic, and not a game I would normally check out.  However, it has one interesting feature that I really enjoy.  It's called 'contract mode' wherein you can enter a given level, and design your own set of goals.  These goals are limited, but specific.  You choose up to three targets, and the game records what weapon you use, what costume you are wearing and the time it takes.  Each of these things are assigned a point value, and it can get pretty competitive.  The game is online, so you can trade challenges with other players.

La Mulana:
Moving over to the world of Steam:  La Mulana is a pretty tough Metroidvania game of roughly a 16-bit graphic design.  I've just touched on it, and it seems pretty deep. Lots of equipment to pick up and secrets to unlock.  In my first playthrough I was able to venture far outside my skill level, and got stuck and then killed.  I hadn't saved it in a while, so I lost a couple hours of play.  That was enough to make me quit, but I'll be back. 


P.S. In further Steam news, Portal 2 c-op mode is tons of fun.  When I reviewed Portal 2 back when, I hadn't played the co-op mode.  I may have been harsh with that game, I think this feature pushes it back up to a perfect 10.

And this is pretty much what Portal 2 is like :)

1 comment:

  1. I have yet to delve into the Mass Effect universe and a lot of what I've heard about the series is what you've just said.

    I'd also recommend the Dead Space series as it's sort of like a early "Resident Evil" in space within a richly detailed and developed world. I've only played through the first game, but that was enough to hook me.

    I've never played either Ico or SotC, although "Castlevania: Lords of Shadow" has a number of bosses that are massive and require that you climb on/over them in order to hit the universal glowing-target-weak-spot while the creature tries to shake you off.

    I'm with you 100% with "La Mulana." I've only played it once and it was a lot more difficult than I had anticipated and I too hadn't saved before I died. I should get back into it too.

    And let me know when you're generally free for more Portal 2 science-ing.