Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy First Thoughts

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The moment the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy was announced, I was ecstatic but wary. This was a game series that defined a good chunk of my childhood, so I was terrified of it potentially being butchered for the sake of a dollar. Or several.

However, that didn’t stop me from pre-ordering the game, and staring at the countdown timer daily as I waited to relive memories from my childhood. An added bonus however, was the Playstation theme packs you were able to access prior to the game going live. Continue reading “Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy First Thoughts”

Games, Games Everywhere.

Have you ever looked at your collection and realized how many games you actually really had, even though it doesn’t feel like that much?

Ever sit there and calculate the costs, and actually cringe a little at how much you’ve spent up to now?

Then a summer sale *coughs*steam*coughs* or any sale throws any and all logic out the window. Because you really can’t beat those deals, amiright?

However, I did finally sit down to give a good look at how many games I still have to play.

I was actually unimpressed with the fact that I own so many games that I haven’t touched. And yet … I’ve purchased more.  Continue reading “Games, Games Everywhere.”

Thunderstorms and Heart Failure

It was a dark and stormy night.

Well, not when I had gone to bed – although it was dark. But there was that day that we had this insane thunderstorm pop up at like 5 am. It lit up the entire house like a Roman Candle. I had gone to get a drink, but there was no light in the kitchen. Or anywhere else in the house, for that matter. Until the lightning struck again. Then the house was briefly illuminated with an electric blue hue until it went black as quickly as it was lit.  Continue reading “Thunderstorms and Heart Failure”

Mob Mentality

I love gangster movies. Goodfellas, The Godfather, Scarface, there’s something about organized crime that’s always been interesting to me. So in 2010, when a game literally called MAFIA was coming out, I knew I had to get my hands on it.

I had never played the first Mafia game, and I couldn’t get my hands on it, so I watched the scenes on YouTube to get a sense of the story. I remember really liking it, the 1930s atmosphere, the way it’s told as a testimony to a cop, it was what I believe to be masterful storytelling, and I didn’t even get to play it!

I picked up Mafia II and played through it over the weekend. Again, the story was perfection. Sure, it was another rise-in-the-ranks story with the Italian mafia, but it was the little things in the campaign that I liked about it. A quick war flashback scene, selling counterfeit stamps, do a little dock work. You could tell 2K Czech wanted to make a game that prioritized story.

Now I was really into the franchise, looking forward to the next game. Finally, I started hearing about Mafia III. The trailers looked great, the story looked awesome, I couldn’t wait to play it.

Now, after having made my way through the story, I feel conflicted. It’s one of those things where you like the game, but you have problems with it. I enjoyed myself, but I was a little disappointed.

When you play each game in a franchise (or in my case, I like to say “experienced”), especially in a row, like I did, it’s easy and actually expected that you’ll start comparing them, and that’s what happened here. As I mentioned, I think the first two were way more narrative driven, and that’s what I really liked about them.

It sounds really dumb, but Mafia III is way more like a video game.

Hear me out. Mafia II is very much an Italian Mafia movie that’s a game. There’s fifteen chapters telling Vito’s story. Despite it being an open world game, there’s little room to do anything except advance the story. There are some collectibles, but if you want to search for them, be prepared to see an objective in the corner of the screen, because you have to load up a chapter. There’s no free roam. It’s clear that they want to tell Vito’s story. Vito came home from the war, and he’s working up the ranks of the Italian mob with his childhood friend, Joe.

As I mentioned earlier, during the game (spoilers, obviously), you get to fight in the war, work at the docks to pay off your father’s debt, go to jail for selling counterfeit stamps, do bare knuckle boxing while in prison, and beat up your sister’s husband for abusing her. And while they don’t sound important, they all are, because it’s Vito’s story. These are all the things that make him who he is.

Mafia III is just a tale of revenge. It’s not really Lincoln’s story. He just happens to be the one killing people. The story doesn’t feel as organic as it did in the previous game.

I think part of it is Lincoln just decides to start his own family. There’s not a whole lot of working up the ranks like with Tommy and Vito. He starts as the boss, and he kills anyone to get what he wants.

He also doesn’t really have many relationships. He just has people he knows. Vito constantly had Joe by his side, there was dialogue and comraderie. Lincoln has underbosses that don’t really do anything except complain when they don’t get territory, a CIA agent he gets information from, and a priest he goes to when he wants to feel bad about his choices.

It’s a good game. I like it and what it brought to the lore. I like that it continues the idea of presenting the story in a unique way (in this game, it’s as a documentary), and that, spoilers, there’s not really any good ending. But it’s not exactly what I expected from a Mafia game.

Can’t wait for Mafia IV.

Mass Effect: Andromeda Whining

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I’ve started playing Mass Effect: Andromeda on my PlayStation 4. I haven’t delved very deeply into the game yet, but I have one thing to gripe about that I haven’t seen anywhere else (I haven’t exactly scoured the ‘net for this info, either) –

For a game that takes place on a current generation console in an era of great science and technological marvels that we can only dream of, I am deeply disappointed that you can’t pause the game unless your character is doing absolutely nothing.

Color me unimpressed at this lack of forethought.

Failure to Launch?

Launching a new console is a huge undertaking, and one fraught with risk to boot. There are many things that can hinder a new gaming console as it comes out of the gate. Maybe it’s under-powered like the Nintendo Wii was when it was released against the PS3 and Xbox 360. Or maybe it has technical issues much like the red ring of death. To my knowledge there is only one thing that can sink a console faster even than weak or buggy hardware, and that is a lack of good games to play.

Continue reading “Failure to Launch?”

To switch or not that is the question.

So the Nintendo switch has arrived and I did an unboxing for it and been playing wherever and whenever I can. Which is the beauty of the switch isn’t it? For me, personally, legend of Zelda has so far lived up to the hype, it definitely is one of the hardest and most fulfilling games I’ve ever played, however, the switch does suffer from some minor issues, battery life is as what was reported. I’ve yet to have an issue with the joy-cons. They are great in my hands, and I have minor arthritis and some friends enjoy how separate the controllers can be used similar to the Wii. Breath of the wild is a fantastic game and it runs better in handheld form than on my tv so that’s how it’s been. I got super bomberman r and that pales in comparison to legend of Zelda. So should you get the switch? In my opinion? No, I’d wait till a bundle around Christmas time. I love my Switch but objectively speaking, it needs more at time of release.