Gloom of Kilforth: Losing video games – not nearly as heartbreaking as losing board games...

Friday, April 27, 2012

Losing video games – not nearly as heartbreaking as losing board games...

Losing video games – not nearly as heartbreaking as losing board games...




After nearly shedding tears over letting some old classic board games go, I don’t have anywhere near the same emotion about letting played PS3 games go. There are very few movies which I revisit after watching and almost no video games that I replay after completing. Even if it’s an RPG with multiple paths to victory or a narrative game with a raft of alternate endings, once I finish a game, I tend to also be finished with that game. So I rarely benefit from additional Downloadable Content, and usually have moved on from games by the time any DLC gets released.


There are exceptions of course. Years ago on the PS1 I was utterly hooked on the originalSilent Hill. I didn’t have a wife, child or job I cared about back then, but I did have a lot of time on my hands. And I played that sucker through and through, terrified, elated and excited to see everything it had to offer. I even unlocked the alternative, hilarious alien abduction ending, which required some serious commitment iirc. And the Resident Evil series are irresistibly replayable, bashing back through the game on veteran level is a joy.


But on the whole, when I’m done I’m done and the story is finished. With board games (the kind that I enjoy at least) you tend to be able to recreate the story over and over anew each time rather than stomping through the same old plots and cut scenes. But as transient as they are, video games can have an enormous impact, and they’re so much quicker and easier to set up too!


So as I hit up eBay and fire off this lot into the ether I thought I’d reflect back on some of these cooler titles from the last few years...






God of War III


The very best of the God of War series! The violence is utterly gratuitous and utterly enjoyable. Ripping the heads from your enemies’ shoulders, slaying titans and destroying Gods is bonkers, and the gameplay is even bonkerser. When the button-pushing minion-bashing starts to get tiresome God of War switches things up and throws a crazy, seemingly unbeatable boss at you, or a devious puzzle which requires the kind of lateral thinking which is so difficult to access through the muggy haze of two or three San Miguels. The gore and action are what make the game, but I always had a close affiliation with Greek mythology growing up, so seeing the heroes and characters and myths and gods of the Odyssey and the Iliad realised in such a destructible manner is kind of a dream come true. And of course, the Warry God series also pisses all over the new Clash of the Titans movies...






Bayonetta


Cool action shooter with a sexy heroine, tons of fun blasting enemies and powering up. There’s not much more to say about this title, which is kind of a shameless clone of action games like God of War, but has its own fairly unique spin, and eminently watchable cut scenes. You do wonder when Uwe Boll will get the movie rights though...






Assassin's Creed: Revelations


The original AC had the best settings and locations, the explorable world, the horse riding, the least annoying hero in Altair, and a lot of the cooler elements of the series. But it also had the sucky modern day game play and the boring, boring, BORING Desmond story which only seemed like a needlessly elaborate excuse to cover the occasional flickering frame of the ‘main’ game. Luckily the later titles abandoned more and more the dismal Desmond arc and you got the Assassin action you wanted. Revelations takes this the furthest and with the exception of Desmond’s Animus dream world AC:R provides the sleekest, prettiest gameplay yet, and the side games are way more enjoyable. All in all, an amazing game that combines all the best parts of the series into one, with added meta games to boot. A fitting end to the series.






Red Dead Redemption


Brilliant game, just finished it - amazing ending. Moving onto Red Dead Undead Nightmare next and I’ll eBay that when it's done too. John Marston is a really engaging protagonist and someone you can properly get behind and root for, with his roguish but heart of gold morality and wry sense of humour. I always found that playing any of the Grand Theft Auto series you were generally playing a total bastard completely out for himself and extremely difficult to empathise with. I know there’s a massive zeitgeisty penchant for this new generation of gamers to play baddies, the Dark Side, the criminals, renegades and generally evil scumbag villains of any mythology these days, but me I always prefer to play the good guys. The backdrops, music, atmosphere, animations and effects are beautiful and you really feel immersed in the world. A great escape from modern life and with great challenging gameplay too.






Final Fantasy XIII


One of the best Final Fantasy games yet, eye watering graphics, elegant gameplay - I can't wait for the sequel now! It’s fair to say that this title doesn’t have the emotional resonance or impact of FFs 7, 9 or 10, but Square Enix rarely put a foot wrong in the Final Fantasy series and XIII is no exception. Need to get hold of XIII-2 now to finish the tale, but there’s great gaming to be had in here and I was one of the minority who appreciated the story driven linearity of the early chapters, it felt far more impactful - particularly when they do blow out into the more open world structure of the later game. I might as well have a direct debit set up to Square for all of their Final Fantasy releases though so I’m clearly biased...






Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception


Excellent game - just finished it, great online play too - just don't have time to pursue that aspect of it. The Uncharted series has been nothing short of brilliant, putting 99% of Hollywood movies to shame. The easy feel of the gameplay, the fact that every action you perform looks and feels cool, the emotional and humorous beats of the script and narrative, the cocky, charismatic appeal of Nathan Drake – and all the voice cast in fact, the great stories and the pure adventuring thrill of the game, they all add up to make Uncharted a king title amongst modern video games. There’s nothing not to like and the action and set pieces in Uncharted 3 really up the ante even further: hanging on the cargo net from the back of a plane whilst fighting baddies, discovering the Atlantis of the desert, the epic battle on board the pirates’ ocean liner, climbing tower blocks in London, and exploring the beautiful jungles of.... France! There are moments where you just stop and stare at the scenery the game is literally that beautiful. I will buy the PS4 in a heartbeat just to get my hands on Uncharted 4!






So there you have it. Some rambling thoughts on some great titles. Thanks for reading, and FYI they’re all up for 99p each - if you’re remotely interested you can have a nosey over here:


http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/ninjadorg/?_trksid=p4340.l2559

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