I didn’t know what to expect from Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. I knew it involved vacuum cleaners and haunted houses but I had no idea how the game was structured. I had no idea it was going to be chopped up into morsels and spoon fed to me. Perhaps this partitioning of “levels” stemmed from the original or perhaps it was thet nature of going portable – I don’t know. All I know is Luigi Mansion: Dark Moon went out of its way to disrupt any momentum I had going into each play session.
I’m a child of the 1980′s but I would not call myself a fan of it. My knowledge of 1980′s come from action movies of that era and the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City’s soundtrack. I see the fashion and style of that era through the lens of Scarface and American Psycho. My vision and interpretation of the 1980′ was molded by media which is fitting because that’s exactly how Ubisoft shaped Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon’s sound and aesthetic.
The game started on a high note with a wonderful 80′s inspired Ubisoft logo. Power Glove’s excellent soundtrack made frequent calls back to that bygone time with Terminator inspired tracks and other sounds we just don’t hear anymore. A healthy dose of neon lights were bathed the entirety of the game while a title card infused with pink and chrome certified this as an 80′s themed game.
Then it was Far Cry 3.
I always build a list of at least three games I wish to play when I’m considering a platform for purchase. Super Mario 3D Land was on that shortlist for the Nintendo 3DS. It was developed by the same team who brought the Super Mario Galaxy games to the Wii and I was looking at it as the game that would validate the Nintendo 3DS’ existence.
Which is more likely to happen? A city under the sea or a city floating in the sky? Scientific sorcery enabled a lot of what I saw in Columbia and I pieced it together through scouring of personal effects and public kiosks. Like Rapture, the Columbia’s history and how things came to be was not made bare. If I wanted to know more about Columbia, I had to dig for it. I didn’t mind that decision but I somehow missed the “Voxophone” which explained how the “Vigors” — Bioshock: Infinite’s Plasmids aka magic — were invented. That missing piece of information bothered me until the very end where it was made moot. The ending left me satisified but I don’t know how I would feel about it if I didn’t acquire a majority of those Voxophone audio diaries.
The polish of Uncharted combined with a Metroid styled open world game? I was sold after reading the first details and decided to go on a media blackout shortly after Tomb Raider’s gameplay debut at E3 2011.
Unfortunately it was difficult to ignore memes and idiotic statements from the game’s producers with Twitter and NeoGAF in my daily repertoire. I was aware of the noise but I did my best to ignore the details behind it all. I didn’t know even want to know if the game was measuring up to its initial promises. I wanted the game to speak for itself.
Crystal Dynamics track record with Tomb Raider is quite remarkable. They’ve rebooted the franchise once already with Tomb Raider: Legend, retold the original game with Anniversary and even spun it off into a dungeon crawler with Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. So how does a studio define a new reboot in a world where the words “Uncharted-clone” resonates more with the gaming audiences than “Dude Raider”?
LTTP or ‘late to the party’ pieces are opportunities for me to catch up and write about games I missed out on the first time around. They may contain spoilers.
After playing Ubisoft’s Rayman: Origins, I can’t help but think Nintendo have fallen behind in the 2D platforming game. Rayman: Origins provided everything I wanted from the New Super Mario Bros. line of games. It was challenging, gorgeous and provided a lot of nuance with its core mechanics.
I haven’t played Battlefield 3′s multiplayer for quite some time. It’s not because it is inherently a bad game but there are some key design and polish issues that keep it from having the longevity and vibrancy that I saw in Battlefield: Bad Company 2′s multiplayer.
The lack of full fledged destruction affects replay value but it is the framerate that I find a bit off putting. It’s not quite 30 FPS at all times and after playing Black Ops II, the difference in consistent smoothness is noticeable. I can still play and if there was any reason to drop in and play a few rounds, I can do it and will play well. I just choose not to.
It is also wildly inconsistent with its visual make up unlike Bad Company 2. Certain textures looked incredibly muddy up close while others were fine. Again the lack of consistency hurts the overall product.
These complaints of consistency were always there but with the advent of new consoles and Battlefield 4. I can finally look forward to a superior Battlefield experience. With that in mind, I think it’s time to trade it in.