Uncharted: Drakes’s Fortune

Hello! Sorry it’s been awhile since my last post. I’ve been on a gaming hiatus, and now I’m back. Today I want to talk about Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. A third person action-adventure game by Naughty Dog. I played this game soon after I finished The Last of Us, and I didn’t really enjoy it one bit. Not Naughty Dog’s best work, but understandable they were learning what makes a good game.

This was a big of a slog of a game to get through once Drake and Sully make it to the island. I found it to be the same repetitive actions over and over. Walk/explore for a bit then shoot 5 – 8 guys. Then walk some more, and shoot more guys. It went on like this throughout the entire game. I don’t know about you, but this was super dull. I couldn’t really enjoy the story at this point. To make things worse, when Drake and Elena are on a jet ski, I’m riding it up a riving and going in the wrong direction. The river is raging toward me, and I have to drive it upstream. Oh yah, and shooting bad guys. Then later on there’s this whole section where the player (me) has to drive along this canal whilst avoiding barrels that explode, and shoot thugs located along the edges of the canal. This was too much to do and I’m not sure how Naughty Dog came to think this was a good idea.

The gameplay is alright. It’s an action-adventure gameplay with some 3D platforming in third-person. I didn’t allow the platforming elements, especially the grabbing and moving along edges. I found the camera to be very restrictive, and sometimes the player couldn’t even more the camera. I suppose the devs thought this was essential so the player would know the next area is in the camera area, but I personally hate that. A few times I couldn’t see where I needed to go, and had to die unnecessarily to figure it out, due to the camera not being moveable.

Now most of the time the player will be using their weapons when facing enemies, but the game does allow for melee and combo attacks at close range. I never personally used them. I’ve always and will continue to be a stealth player. I prefer sniping or sneaking up and choking someone out rather than punching them. Evidently combo attacks, especially the specific “brutal combo”, forces enemies to drop twice the ammunition they would normally leave. Then there’s grenades that can be picked up in the game at certain points. There’s no health bar on screen, and the only indication Drake’s hurt is when the screen loses colour and red starts to permeate the edges. Hiding for a few moments will heal his health.

Finally, I had the misfortune of playing this game with a Playstation controller that was glitchy, so sometimes Drake wouldn’t take cover, but instead jump up in the air thus giving his position away to any and all thugs in the vicinity. I got pretty angry a few times and remember yelling “Take cover, you asshole!!” when he’d jump. Hahaha I recommend your controllers work perfectly when playing this game.

I got annoyed by the grinding of running and then shooting, running then shooting, and put the game aside for a week or so. Turns out I was on the very last chapter right before the ending. If I had known, I would have pushed to finish it right away.

Things I loved about the game:

  • The graphics are nice.
  • I like how Naughty Dog attempts humour in their games.
  • References to Jak and Daxter characters.

Things I didn’t like about the game:

  • How the camera is fixed during the platforming elements.
  • Repetitiveness of ‘battles’ between Drake and the thugs.
  • Male version of Tomb Raider.

All in all this was a sub-average game. Not my cup of tea. Thankfully I hadn’t bought it, and I sold it as soon as I finished it.

My rating? 6 out of 10! It’s good, not great. I had high standards from playing The Last of Us, so this game was a big of a disappointment. But still a decent game if you like this kind of stuff.

Cheers!

Bitchin’ Gamer Girl.

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Journey – The most beautiful indie game I’ve ever played.


Journey is by far the most beautiful indie game that I’ve ever played. Journey is exactly what the title says. It’s a journey. Ok, this isn’t going to work. I will paint you a picture.

You pop in the disk, and the game does a little installing on your Playstation. You choose to Start a new Journey. When the title has loaded, you are this little character in a red robe sitting in a desert. The game quietly mentions to take your motion detecting controller and move it from side to side. When doing so, you see the game moves with you. So clean, so simple. Ahead of you you see a large sand dune with stones and a flag blowing in the wind. By now you’ve made your character move 360º and you see there’s nowhere else to go but there. When you get to the top, there you are, this little character all dressed in red, in front of a foreboding mountain. Your task is simple. Explore on your way to the mountain. Soon you’re seeing that there are floating flags around and if you get near them, a little musical sound is heard and whoa! You have a little scarf. Soon you’re prompted that if you push a button on your controller, you can add a little oomph to your next jump. But you see that your scarf which was once highlighted with white is all red again. Time to collect more flags. The controls are simple as is the game. Journey’s story is told wordlessy though in-game and cinematics. Even the soundtrack is beautiful.

For your very first journey, I recommend disconnecting from the Playstation network and playing one game by yourself. I’m sure it’s fun to have someone with you, but when you’re alone you can really take in the beauty, and the struggles this character goes through to get to the mountain. This game also has a co-op option although I have yet to try it. It requires a network connection to the Playstation. You start the game and some anonymous person may (or will?) join your in your journey. There is no communication or competition except for the musical sounds the characters make. I’ve heard from friends that playing the online version of Journey is one to try.

I thought after a long while that I’d play Journey again. Since I already played it, all the levels were unlocked. I chose the one that I thought was next, and ended up on some pink sand. I started toward to the first building I could see and some flying carpet “animals” came out to accompany me / lead me to the next area. The dunes were so high I was glad they were there. When I got there I released more of these creatures. By the time I got to the third building I was joined by an online player! They weren’t with me for very long because I missed my highest jump, and by the time I got to the bottom of the hill, they were gone. But that was my first co-op experience with Journey. 😀

I don’t know too much about the musical score in Journey, but here is some information according to Wikipedia:

Unlike many games, where different songs have different themes for each character or area, Wintory chose to base all of the pieces on one theme which stood for the player and their journey, with cello solos especially representing the player. Wintory describes the music as “like a big cello concerto where you are the soloist and all the rest of the instruments represent the world around you”, though he describes it as not necessarily orchestral due to the inclusion of electronic aspects.[22][24] The cello begins the game as “immersed in a sea of electronic sound”, before first emerging on its own and then merging into a full orchestra, mirroring the player’s journey to the mountain.[25] While the game’s art style is based on several different cultures, Wintory tried to remove any overt cultural influences from the music to make it “as universal and culture-less as possible.”

If you haven’t played this game yet, I think you should. It’s got the highest metacritic rating that I’ve ever seen. The story will evoke some emotions and make you feel things you didn’t think would be possible.

Thinks I like about this game:

  • Visuals, graphics, musical soundtrack
  • Characters do not speak, but communicate by musical notes
  • A co-op journey where two characters can help each other.
  • You will want to replay this game over and over. It never gets old.

Things I dislike about this game:

  • When I wanted to play Journey a second time, I  didn’t go far and saw that every section of the game was open, and walking into any one of the ‘rooms’ would immediately transport me to that section. What I really wanted was to play it like I did the first time, and I have to figure out how to do that without deleting my save file.

My rating? 10 out of 5 stars.

Cheers

Bitchin’ Gamer Girl

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons


I had this demo on my playstation downloaded for the longest time, and never tried it. Well today being a lazy Sunday, I thought what the hell, let’s play all my demos and see which ones are worth buying and which aren’t. Well as you can guess (from this post) that this is definitely a win!

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a single player, third-person view which overlooks the two brothers. It’s kind of an overhead view so you can see them both and their environment. When I started the demo, it told me that it was 20 minutes into the game. I quickly realized that each brother was controlled with their own controller thumbstick. The older brother was the left stick while the younger brother was the right stick. Having them walk in the same direction takes a bit of skill. Getting both brain hemispheres and thumbs to work together, I can see this game has a lot of potential.

The short story of this game is that the brothers are on a journey to find some sacred water to save their ill (or dying) father. They traverse through the land facing obstacles and puzzles. The puzzles need to be solved using both brothers. A nice challenge. I didn’t get very far into the story, but played just enough to know how the brothers interact with the world, how to work together to solved puzzles, and so on. I’m definitely putting this game on my to-buy list. I always like to play a quiet puzzle-platformer type of game, and this one seems perfect.

I can’t wait to play the whole game. 🙂

My rating for this demo? 5 out of 5!

Cheers!

Bitchin’ Gamer Girl

It’s Canada Day, and a new game, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

Hey! So as you might have figured out I am Canadian! GO Canada!! And it’s raining like it’s a bloody rainforest. I’m really glad I have nowhere to go today. 

So what am I doing today? Well I thought it’d be really fun to give a new game (new to me, anyway) a try. It’s called Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. It’s developed by Ninja Theory, and it was released in 2010.

I’ll be reviewing this game once I’m finished, in the meantime, here’s a sweet pic of the game!

If you’re living in Canada, how are you spending the day? Are you playing any video games? If so, which one? If you’re elsewhere, have a great work day! 🙂

Cheers!

Bitchin’ Gamer Girl 

Fez – The video game


This is a cute little indie game by Polytron Corporation. It’s a download-only game available for Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, Mac OS. So anyone can play this game!

To sum up the story, there’s this adorable little guy, all white and cute like a walking marshmallow, named Gomez. He’s told by an elder that the universe is fragmenting, and only Gomez can save their world. He’s given a red fez hat, and with this hat, his formerly 2 dimensional world is suddenly revealed to be one of four sides in a 3 dimensional world. In order to save his world, he must go through it and collect gold (or are they yellow) cubes and fragments of cubes to restore the universe. Throughout his world there are codes, glyphs, treasure chests, maps, secret rooms, and even coded alphabets to cypher and discover. There are no enemies, bosses, or punishments for failures. If you fall off a ledge, Gomez simply spawns right back on the ledge which is a nice change of pace.

When I first tried this game, it was the demo. I really like its simplicity, the pixelated art-style, the colour palette, and the gameplay. I didn’t hesitate to buy the game, and I think I only paid $10 or $14. This game is so fun. You can just stop and smell the flowers going about collecting cubes. The only time it gets complicated is when you want to progress and complete this game to 100% completion. At some point Gomez (and you, the player) will have to solve all the codes and glyphs. Personally, I think it’s worth completing the main game and redoing the game in New Game plus. When Gomez reappears, he gets cool black sunglasses that allow him to read 3D, and he can fly. The flying is the best part!! There’s one level that’s all black. I believe it has two or three doors leading to different areas. Anyway, the steps Gomez must take are in sync with the level’s music, which I might add is quite fab. I won’t say more to spoil it for you.

The last time I played this, I was already halfway through new game plus, making quite some progress. I was more than 70% done the game. I was climbing down this vine and thought it’d be a good idea to check my map at the same time. The game froze, but not just that, so did my console. I had to restart the entire Playstation. When I rebooted the game I lost my save file and all that progress!!! So if you’re a Playstation Plus user, I highly recommend you upload your saves to the cloud because you might end up where I am. I’ve read online that this can happen… losing a save file. Better be safe than sorry. I was so upset! I restarted the game but only managed maybe halfway through the main game. I’ll get back to it someday to finish it again. 🙂

Here’s a peek at the map for Fez:

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 5.54.00 PM

Don’t let this intimidate you!! 🙂 It’s really not as bad as you think…. But at least now you know Fez isn’t just a tiny game that’ll take you 6 hours to complete.

I really love this game. So let’s see….

What do I love about this game?

  • Everything!!!! The characters, colours, originality, even the in-game music.

What do I dislike about this game?

  • It was too easy to corrupt my save file. I feel like there wasn’t enough quality assurance functionality testing on this.
  • It’s not apparent what the Fez-world alphabet is, and I had to go to the internet to find someone who had the answer. This  means that some of the puzzles can be really tough.

Overall, I really love this game, and I highly recommend you give it a try. If you do buy it, let Gomez just stand there for a moment, and watch how cute he becomes when he gets bored and curls up on the spot to take a quick nap.

I give this game a 5 out 5 star rating!

Shadow of the Colossus

When I first started playing Shadow of the Colossus, I had been playing newer games and didn’t really appreciate this particular title because it was originally made for the PS2, and I’ve been testing games on the newest generation consoles. Those being the PS4 and XBox One, so for me this game seemed really old. It took a long time for me to get used to the odd camera, and how you couldn’t just look somewhere with the right stick and expect it to stay. Also, I found the really long horseback rides to each Colossus long and time consuming. Do you know what happened when I started to play this? I had defeated only the first two Colossi, each taking more than 30 minutes to an hour to defeat, and suddenly all these other games I bought caught my attention instead of this one, so it was just sitting there collecting dust.

I played through seven titles before my friends suggested I should play this one. So I popped the game into my PS3. I told myself that I was going to complete this game before I started another one.

I defeated colossi three through six in the past two nights, and these are my thoughts on this game…

The creators of this game have made something most excellent when you sit down and really think about it. When the player gets Wander to a Colossus and is ready to scale this monstrous beast, the first thing they’ll notice is that in order for Wander to hang on,  R1 (RB) on the controller must always be depressed. This isn’t like other games that will automatically hang on to a ledge when you jump to it. Shadow of the Collosus makes you work. Also, you’ll notice Wander has a health bar which is standard, and stamina circle. When scaling these beasts, I’ve noticed when it does a lot of thrashing to get Wander off its back, Wander’s stamina will shrink. Sometimes it’s necessary to drop, and climb the Collosus again. It really shows you the scale of the effort required to defeat these guys. You’ll also notice when you play this game that in order to find the Collosi Wander use his sword which when held up in the light, can guide him in the right direction. That direction isn’t always straightforward, and there have been times when I had to go back and forth because I was following false light! And the horseback riding. There’s so much of it.

I think the most important thing about this game is the story.

Wander enters a forbidden land and brings his friend Mono to a castle because he heard the entity Dorwin could resurrect her. So Dorwin sends Wander to look for 16 Colossi to defeat. What Wander does not know is that the colossi contain portions of Dormin’s own essence that was scattered long ago to render the entity powerless. In defeating the colossus, Wander is giving Dormin power. Power to revive Mono, but also probably something more evil.

All in all, this is a fabulous game, even if it was made originally for PS2. A classic never gets old, and you’ll not find this kind of majestic beauty in any other game. If you haven’t played it yet, I recommend you pick it up. It’s currently available on PS3, maybe even on PS4.

What do I like about this game?

  • You have to work really hard to keep Wander on the Colossi, and nothing is easy in this game.
  • Wander can catch shining lizards for more stamina, and fruits to increase his health bar.
  • The ending is beautiful, yet quite sad.
  • First time playing this game the player doesn’t get to chooose the difficulty. Hard mode unlocks once you’ve completed your first game.

What do I dislike about this game?

  • I would have liked more camera control.
  • Longer, less repetitive battle music would have been nice or even the option to turn off music.

My star rating? 5 out of 5!