Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mass Effect

So we're some of the first to get our hands on Mass Effect for the 360. Mass Effect is a TPS/RPG hybrid. If I had to think of a simple way to compare it to other games it'd be something like: Mass Effect is like Knights of The Old Republic has a lovechild with Star Trek with very unique outcomes.

I know a lot of people have short attention spans so I'll sum up everything I'm about to say right now: Buy Mass Effect.

While Mass Effect is not my usual cup of tea, being cross genre, it a wonderful game that combines superb graphics with an innovative combat system, great voice acting, fun gameplay, a convincing musical score, a well told and well thought out plot, and  best of all it stays true to Bioware's style of letting you choose whether to be a good guy, neutral, or a total dickhead.

My only real complaint is that I'd rather not cross genres when it comes to my RPGs. If I want to play an RPG, I'll play an RPG. If I want to play a shooter, I'll play a shooter. But I digress.

The hero of the game is Shepherd, a completely customizable character that can be either male or female. Your options are also fairly impressive, with sliders letting you change build, facial features, and hair rather than pre-set options.

Much to my dismay the game suffers a bit from "next gen" syndrome -- being too short. But! Don't let that deter you. Though the main story of Mass Effect can be completed in around 17 hours that does not include side quests, hidden content, or varying scenarios, all of which you will definitely want to uncover.

Friday, November 16, 2007


So Uncharted for the PS3 is here and it's something of an AA game and something of a TPS. If I had to think of a simple way to describe it, it'd be something along the lines of: Uncharted is like Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones got into a blender and made a videogame smoothie.

I know a lot of people have short attention spans so I'll sum up everything I'm about to say right now: at least rent Uncharted.

Uncharted has got some of the best environmental effects I have seen ever. If you jump into a lake your clothing becomes visibly wet. If you pull out your pistol and shoot at a toucan it will squawk and fly off in a panic. The gameplay is fun, which is all you can really ask for.

The game's NPC intelligence is top notch, unlike many games where your targets are basically running the same A.I. as the ducks in Duck Hunt. Enemies will duck and cover in reaction to your offenses making it a real challenge to take them out. The voice acting is good as are the ambient effects around you. My only real complaint is that the game is much more muscle than mind. As fun as slaughtering can be, sometimes a challenging puzzle is equally fulfilling.

Much to my dismay I find the game much too short. But! It does have a lot of replay value through unlockables.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Harvest Moon: Rune Factory

So I went to Game Stop the other day and made a gem of a purchase: Rune Factory for the DS. It's like Harvest Moon, with a little extra. There's a little more story going on (albeit not much more) and along with general agriculture you can also adventure into caves and do battle with monsters. The greatest thing though, is the fact that instead of killing the monsters, you can choose instead pet them into submission and they will join your team to either farm alongside you, or kick some ass with you.

If you're a fan of Harvest Moon games at all, this is one you definitely need to own. If not, I would still recommend it to you. It's fun and pretty addicting once you get into it. Sometimes I'll sit down for a short stint and wind up playing for hours.

The stylus is implemented flawlessly making the gameplay simpler than your typical d-pad, a, b, x, y control scheme. You can use the stylus to kind of auto assign tasks to things. So instead of busting out your cheap hoe and walking 1 square at a time mashing the B button you can just click on areas of the field you want cultivated and go to town using the stylus.

My only "beef" is that until you skill up your attributes enough in the various areas you'll be repeating day-to-day you're going to find yourself running out of energy and having to throw in the digital towel early on an ingame daily basis. Also every now and again a typhoon will destroy all of your hard work in the fields. The last 3 crops I have planted in my fields have all been destroyed by typhoons meaning you're sort of forced into cavern planting, which while enjoyable means you have to travel back and forth to water your plants and harvest them.

Other than that, everything about this game is well thought out and very fun to play. I give it 4 pimp slaps out of 5.