Thursday, June 9, 2011

Battlefiled 3 Takes The Cake

I have noticed that this is year, is going to be the year of the shooter with Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, Resistance 3 and Gears of War 3 (it must be a coincidence that they are all #3's) to name a few and they are all being released all around the same time. But after watching several game play videos I think I have concluded that Battlefield 3 (BF3) takes the cake.

Although there are not many videos out for BF3 I think my decision was fairly easy to make. The Frostbite 2 engine that BF3 is running on gives the Cry engine a run for their money. I mean how could you not like the look of BF3, it seems photo realistic and it trumps Killzone 3 and Crysis 2 regarding visuals (I never thought this would happen so soon). The character models look pretty awesome as well as the particle effects among other things. BF3 is a really pretty game and that is always a plus in my book.

Yes I know I am probably on of the most shallow people when it comes to video games and their graphics but the other main reason why BF3 is at the top of my shooter list is the multi player. It the only shooter this fall that will have suck a wide variety of vehicles to use in the online. I love games that have an array of usable vehicles. Like Warhawk, the variety give you a choice to do what you like instead of being infantry only. This makes me feel like I am doing my part in the bigger battle. Variety is always good it changes things up and you must adapt to the situation.

I'm pretty sure I am not alone in saying this, I really look forward to seeing more content from BF3 being released in the coming months. I think it's safe to say the hype train has left the station.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Wii U, The Cat is Out of The Bag

I can't stop myself from blogging these days so much news coming out of E3 I can't type fast enough. We all knew Nintendo was going to unveil their next console and we were all sitting tight to see if could be a console to rival Sony's and Microsoft's hardware.But when Nintendo announced the Wii U, it seemed like a double edged sword.

The lack of third party support was my biggest concern for the original Wii and ultimately caused my avoidance of the console. The sleek, little white box had nothing more than your run of the mill, rehashed first party Nintendo software that I was never too fond of. This seems to have changed with the Wii U, it looks like it will be getting to some third party titles like Arkham City. The Wii U will apparently have some kind of powerful hardware to enable games in HD, so they are finally joining the party. I am glad Nintendo decided not to alienate core gamers this time around, they can potentially recapture the gaming audience they have left behind.

This seems all fine and dandy but I have a couple of concerns, first Nintendo needs a solid online network or else things will get ugly with the third party games that rely heavily on their online components. Hopefully the Wii U will have something free like PSN and runs smoothly. As of now, we can only wait and see; this could possibly make or break the console as almost every game has some type of online component these days.

My second concern is the controller, sure it has that nice large touch screen in the middle with a front facing camera and all the buttons you would find on a conventional gaming controller but it has a huge problem; price. This controller is pretty much like Nintendo DS that is missing a screen, it has so many features that will enable it to enhance the game play styles of several games but at what cost. I foresee the Wii U controllers costing well above $100 and that is not even taking into account the price of the hardware itself. If the cost of a controller and a console is above $300 I can see people have a tough time forking out the money for a console that is more expensive than a 360 or PS3 and will have few games at the time of launch.

The Wii U is a cool idea with its novelties, bell and whistles but it can be a hit or miss. Hopefully Nintendo has learned from their errors and picked up some tricks from their competitors, if they have they might recapture the core gaming audience once again.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Halo 4: I Should Have Seen This Coming

I was pleasantly surprised yesterday when I saw the announcement for Halo 4. I never thought it would actually happen but given the "secret" ending of Halo 3 it makes sense.

I guess since Bungie stopped developing games for the Halo series I completely forgot about 343 Industries. Hopefully they can deliver on this to make up for Halo 3's mediocre single player campaign as it did not live up to the mountain of hype I had built up for its release.

Although the trailer was relatively short and cgi, it left me feeling excited and hyped up. I am feeling this excitement because with every release of a Halo game I am hoping I will have the same experience as I did when I played Halo: Combat Evolved. You guys know what I mean, it was just so epic, every level in the campaign was awesome and I couldn't stop myself from finishing the game as quickly as possible. So it's safe to say I am pretty excited like a kid in a candy shop.

Another thing that got me so pumped up to the point that I just might go out and buy an Xbox 360 after 5 years of avoiding it was the announcement of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary. Just like the God of War Collection, the first Halo game is getting a facelift. They are even updating the online multi player maps, which were my favorite ones in the Halo series.

So, I may decide to join you fellow 360 owners, as the first Xbox game I truly enjoyed has become the catalyst in my decision to purchase an Xbox 360.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, I Can't be Bothered

I recently watched the latest trailer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3(MW3) and it did absolutely nothing for me. I think it's official, I'm done with COD, just like Crazy Bones, Pogs and and Pokemon cards.

Generally I will have some kind of interest in an FPS since shooters are one of my favorite genres these days but COD doesn't seem to stir anything within me. It generates no emotion, which is odd since I used to love COD. The thing is after the first Modern Warfare game (COD4), the developers just milked the franchise to death. The games after COD4 were lackluster, they lacked any creativity and innovation.

The COD franchise became another fad. Like many fads, their appeal to me withers away rather quickly. So when I decided to watch the trailer, it just seemed like more of the same, just any old COD game with a different set of clothes on. What really puzzled me was why they showed a trailer for the campaign when, I am one of the very few people who plays the campaigns. Besides what is the point of advertising the campaign if it feels tacked on, they have become so short that they should just be excluded from the game. They aren't even worthwhile playing anymore, that's probably why most people just go straight to the online component. I actually feel ripped off as I am only getting a half assed game with an online component that has become progressively worse over the years.

That is pretty much my beef with MW3 and the COD franchise these days, it does nothing for me, so I don't feel compelled to drop $60 on the game let alone feel any hype for it. Personally I the like the developers, should cut out the single player campaign, make it multi player only and perhaps have some mini games like Nazi zombies. Then they could charge around $40 then I take a look a the game. COD is dead to me, the series lacks heart and soul and is only here to create a wide profit margin with minimal creativity.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

E3 2011: Nintendo's Big Secret

With E3 just around the corner, I am not too sure what to expect this year in terms of hardware for Sony and Microsoft besides the obvious NGP (PSP2). But recently I have been hearing about Nintendo announcing something big, a new console.

Now me being a skeptic, I think this console will be as lackluster as the Wii for any gamer who enjoys variety and decent games. But I really hope Nintendo will make an effort to have hardware that is at least up to date with our current gaming generation. Although I feel like Mario, Zelda and Super Smash Bros. have been milked to death on every other Nintendo console, it would be nice to see those games get a face lift. See I can only deal with ugly games for so long, then I start nit picking all of it's faults especially when everyone and their mother has an HD capable device.

Another major issue Nintendo needs to address besides HD capabilities is online connectivity. I fee like they really need this due to the fact that many games have online components, thus Nintendo loses out on a lot of AAA titles that are multi-player oriented. I believe they need something that will rival PSN and Xbox live, if Nintendo desires the capability to support a broader variety of games.

I'm am pretty excited for all the software that is being announced but this new console is just picking at my curiosity. I feel like this could a turning point for Nintendo, either they will shun the core gamers once again with weak hardware and content or they may create a console that will give the big boys a run for their money.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Killzone 3: Single Player Review

A little while back I took some time to play Killzone 3 (KZ3). I was already on the hype train before I bought the game so I was expecting to be slightly disappointed; surprisingly I wasn't at all.

Overall I preferred KZ3 to it's predecessor, the pacing of the game was pretty darn good. I actually liked all of the vehicle missions that were "rail shooter" style. It was nice since these parts of the game allowed me to take a break from the usual "run around shoot these guys, set those charges here, etc...". So I enjoyed the fact that there was some variation in the missions to keep things interesting.

In terms of visuals, the game is top notch; amazingly it was even better looking than KZ2, the detail in the textures and lighting was amazing. Also, the game maintained its dark tone and atmosphere which I enjoyed in the previous games. By now you would probably know that I can pretty shallow since I like the games that I play to be pretty. I must say I really liked the Helgan jungle level, it was an interesting take on what wildlife could be like on such a hostile distant planet.

There a few aspects of the game that irritated me but the most irritating of all was the lack of recoil. I really did miss all the recoil that the guns had in KZ2, it gave a sense of realism that pulled me away from the Call of Duty (COD) franchise and other "arcade style" shooters. The lack of recoil made things too easy, especially concerning the sniper rifle. It used to be a challenge to snipe in KZ2 which I liked since I enjoy a challenge. This change annoyed me throughout the game but I can live with it.

Most shooters of this era lack a remotely decent plot in their campaigns but I was surprised that KZ3 had a pretty good plot; it was much stronger than KZ2. There was a lot more cut scenes, more focus on the characters, better voice acting all things that the last game lacked. Although the transitions between cut scenes seemed a little unpolished and the ending of the game (before the credits) was somewhat abrupt I found that the story was told effectively.

All in all, I think KZ3's single player lived up to the hype since it was better than expected. I found the changes in the game play design, namely the recoil issue were implemented to cater to the broader "COD" crowd but I feel that the developers made a mistake by doing this. KZ3 is a great game but I feel like little changes like this made it lose some of it's character so it can be more like everything else.