Monday, June 21, 2010

Bioshock 2 review (Awesome, Good, Not Bad, Pass, Boring or Lame?)

If you are a fan of the first BioShock then BioShock 2 will give you quite a ride. In fact, even if you have never played BioShock 1 (Like myself), you will still enjoy the ride! You might get lost in the storyline due to the constant tension whenever you find any insane human beings in the underwater city, but the gameplay will keep you going.

Story:
I got lost in the story but here it is. You are an advanced Big Daddy called "Alpha" who was hypnotized to kill yourself a long time ago. Your Little Sister was then left under the care of somebody and you must find where she is because the Little Sisters are the ones that will provide you nutrients to increase your power.

I got lost in the storyline in the middle of the game, so I kinda not care what happen and just keep going through the game. Big Daddies are big robotic-engineered people whose brains are reprogrammed to always protect their Little Sisters from harm. Little Sisters are kids who are programmed to collect ADAM (the source of Big Daddies' power) from corpses.
The environment is definitely an A because everything just looks so f-ed up!
Some of the things included in the environment are not even relevant to the story or the gameplay but they are added just for the sake of adding the atmosphere for the players. Cans that can be knocked off, lamps, tables, chairs, they don't add anything into the story but they do add something into the environment.

This is "Alpha" with a Little Sister:
The beautiful thing about this game is that it shows how much a father (Big Daddy) cares about his little girl (Little Sister) and would protect her whenever she is in danger. Adding to the beauty, the Big Daddies and Little Sisters converse in a very father-daughter tone. Little Sisters will complain to their Big Daddies when they are threatened and will sing while collecting Adam. Adding to the beauty as well, Big Daddies cannot talk but can only groan and make noises.

The picture above shows one of the many enemies in the game.
These people who look like creatures are called "Splicers". They are humans who have gone insane and would rely solely on animal instincts which means that if you go too close or if they see you, they will shoot you or attack you.

They are a pretty easy bunch. The next enemy is the pain in the ass:
As you save more and more Little Sisters, this enemy will appear (Above) - Big Sister!
Big Sisters are older Little Sisters and will pop out after you have saved 3 or 4 Little Sisters. These Big Sisters are a pain in the ass because they are very agile and their attacks are nuts. They can be beaten but it does put your skills to the test.

You will find out that you are also associated with a Big Sister but that it later in the game, you got'ta play it to find out.

This will always happen when your Little Sister collects ADAM from a corpse. It will take awhile and during that time, she is vulnerable. This is the time when endless waves of Splicers will attack the Little Sister. As a Big Daddy, you have to defend your Little Sister by killing all of the Splicers that come.

As you can see from the picture, the graphics are great. It makes you feel like you are indeed in an underwater city and once you get to see the sunlight by the end of the game, what a relief! Details are also added including words on posters (eventhough most of them are blurred out), smudges on walls, chairs, closets, tables, etc.. It just looks like a rundown city which it is.

Gameplay:
It is a first person shooter which means you can't see your character but only both of your hands and the weapon. However, the gameplay is smooth and everything is pretty fluid but you can't expect it to be fluid all the time because Big Daddies are not exactly small, they are big, bulky and heavy, so there is a certain amount of speed that you cannot achieve and also you have to hear the big foot steps all the time but that is good because it adds that whole feeling to the game.

Overall, this is a very good game. I am looking forward for BioShock 3. Things might get a little grumpy some times but you have to face it, nothing is very beautiful when your world sunk into the deep sea.

This game gets: Good

- Jackson Teoh
jackson.teoh.sc@gmail.com

Friday, June 18, 2010

Dante's Inferno (Awesome, Good, Not Bad, Pass, Boring or Lame?)

Dante's Inferno *Spoiler Alert!*

First of all, let's go through a little bit of background about Dante's Inferno.
Basically this game revolves around the poem known as "The Divine Comedy" but twisted in a way that makes it more dramatic. Rather than a poet being guided through hell, this story is about a Templar knight who goes through the underworld in search of his wife, Beatrice.

This can be said to be another rip-off from God Of War but hey, don't complain because people have been copying each other since the beginning of time. How many times have you played different versions of Final Fantasy?

Let's go to the "Goods" firstYou are Dante, a Templar knight who has committed countless sins and is finally killed by an assassin in the beginning of the game. Death comes to take you away but you cheated death by killing him and taking his Scythe, the source of your power of evil. Later you will find a cross once belonged to your wife, Beatrice and is bless with the holy power.

Those 2 weapons are basically, your weapons to slice or purify a demon. By killing demons or souls with the scythe, you gain unholy powers which unlocks more unholy abilities and by killing demons or souls with your cross, you gain holy powers which unlocks more holy abilities. I personally liked killing demons with the cross because I can say, "May the power of Cross heal you!" and stuffs like that rather than just ruthlessly killing them with the scythe.

Anyways, coming back to the story, you found out that your wife is dead and Lucifer (Satan) has her spirit and decides to marry her. You get pissed off at Satan and decides to travel through the 9 stages of hell until you reach the final stage: Treachery to God, where Satan freezes in his icy prison. While going through the 9 stages, reflections of your past come to you in the form of memories, reminding you of your sins while you were a Templar knight, one for each stage of course.

Now for the design, you will be facing off against giant enemies, specified enemies for each stages of hell until they fuck it all up through the middle stages where they used generic enemies and also enemies from previous stages of hell which did not make any sense to me, as an example, the naked lady with a mutated "down there" which should only be present in the "Lust" circle is suddenly present in the "Wrath" circle. So enemies are always repeating themselves, using cheap recoloring but this is very normal in games these days, should not be such a minus.

Above is King Minos, a king who will judge what sins you have committed and send you to the pits of hell:
Like Kratos from GoW, King Minos pisses you off by not telling you what you want to know and tries to kill you. In retaliation, you fight him and he is 100x your size. You impale him to his own gear with spikes used to send souls to the underworld and pulls the lever, mutilating his head upon the gear.
Again you will be fighting demons much bigger than you. But sometimes you get to control these giant demons to destroy smaller demons or to destroy a city. Similar to GoW but the setting makes all the difference.

Talking about the setting. Everything sets in the 9 stages of hell where they bring you through graphical environments, bodies being hung up in the air by spikes through their guts, bodies pouring down like a waterfall of dead bodies and sometimes you will find souls of famous people like Genghis Khan. Some will even be a boss battle like Cleopetra who has a pair of sickening mouths for nipples which produces unbaptized babies (yelk!!).

Some stages are specially made environmentally but some are just plain repetitive. Climbing through the same old chains but with different background colour scheme, jumping over rocks, etc. So things do get repetitive as you progress through the game.

And have I mentioned how sick it is to hear Dante say "Beatrice!" in every single sentence? I know you are looking for your wife but EVERY SINGLE sentence??

So the bad: frequent repetitive stages, repetitive enemies, some enemies just don't belong there, hardly any replay value.
The goods: Fluid gameplay, amazing graphics, some stages are just jaw-dropping, there is a sequel!

If you were to ask me if you should buy or rent. The answer would be a RENT!

This game is a good game, it really brings you into hell and makes you feel like you are fighting these goons in hell, the story gets kinda boring after awhile because the entire game is centered in saving your wife and looking through your pass sins. Things do get repetitive and especially the 8th stage where you have to go through arena matches which gets very very very very repetitive.

I am giving this game a Good.

No doubt GoW is much better in terms of.... almost everything, but this game deserves a chance and a lot of room for improvement.