Archive for July, 2012

WTF, Sony?

Posted in Gaming these days ... with tags , on July 27, 2012 by Rabidgames

Alright, here’s the thing: After having fun with a borrowed PS2, Rabidgames thought “hey, let’s buy one” – just to find out it is impossible to buy a PlayStation 2 cheap:

New: 100 pounds.
Used: 30-50 pounds.

Those prices are just naked PlayStation 2 consoles with ordinary cables and one controller, nothing special.
Yes, Rabidgames is shocked. And he will stay without a PS2 for now … even if all those precious games are now crying in their cases …

At least, it is pretty obvious now why the small PS2 tends to break down after 2 or 3 years. That way, Sony generates regular income on a console which is more than 10 years old. Apparently, that’s how capitalism works.

Rabidgames rants: Seriously, what the fuck is going on? Why is a console that is fucking ancient almost more expensive than its successor? Why would I want to spend that much money for an outdated machine? What’s wrong with you Sony?

Rabidgames’ Week of PlayStation 2 – The Conclusion

Posted in Blast from the past with tags , , , on July 24, 2012 by Rabidgames

Alright, the week is over, and Rabidgames has delved into the past to throw a glance at the PlayStation 2 era.
Yes, the games were different. And not just the games. Just take a look at the PS2 Memory Card – 8MB and pretty huge – and we were happy about it. Anyway, let’s examine the games Rabidgames has played:

Final Fantasy XII: Yes, that’s the last decent RPG from Square Enix. Quite ironically, the feedback from parts of the fan base led to the abysmally linear and outright boring Final Fantasy XIII. It’s a shame, the Gambit system, the huge open world, the adult story about  politics and free will were 10 times better, that’s for sure.

Freedom Fighters: As said before, it’s a classic. Simple as that.

Mercenaries: The subtitle “Playground of Destruction” says it all. Never before – and never again.

NHL 2K5: Well, it’s an ice hockey game. It’s fun and easy to get into – way easier than later ice hockey simulations.

Pro Evolution Soccer 6: It still is the best football game ever. Period.

Smackdown: Here comes the Pain: While it feels way to arcadey these days, the season mode is still the best ever.

True Crime: New York City: It’s one of those games where you don’t care about stories or missions. Simply cruising around, solving random crimes or frisking pedestrians was enough for the most part.

There are countless other classics which ask to be considered next time: Dark Chronicle, Final Fantasy X, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, Suikoden V, and of course, Metal Gear Solid. Next time.

Rabidgames deems: While gaming was different, it’s hard to say it was better. For once, animations and graphics have aged rather badly. On the other hand, games were complete back then. In the end, it doesn’t really matter if you play a good game on a PS2 or a PS3; Rabidgames can enjoy Mercenaries or Freedom Fighters as well as Dragon’s Dogma or Just Cause 2.

Freedom Fighters or Ahead of the Times

Posted in Blast from the past with tags on July 18, 2012 by Rabidgames

It’s as simple as that: Freedom Fighters is one of the most enjoyable games. Ever.

Graphics, animations, story … they’re not that great. It’s true. But in terms of gameplay, Freedom Fighters managed to combine tactical depth and a strong AI with fun: Did you ever want to command up to 12 Freedom Fighters? Yes, there are only 3 commands (attack, guard, follow), but if you order them around individually, it’s just pure fun. Why? Sometimes, less is more. You don’t need 12 commands when it’s done right. The way you play the game is almost completely up to you (there are some missions where you’re on your own): Do you want to be at the front line or do you prefer to play Freedom Fighters as a RTS? Your choice.

You can tackle missions differently as well – one mission in Freedom Fighters is usually divided into 2 or 3 zones – while you must liberate all of them, you can make your life easier by eliminating tactical position such as fuel depots or helipads. The tactical components come to life in the huge levels where you can approach either quickly (aka more dangerously) or rather slowly. Taking cover behind walls is mandatory. And you must be careful – those damn enemies try to flank your crew quite often.

So why has Freedom Fighters not earned the merits it does deserve? As mentioned above, there are flaws: The graphics weren’t great back then, same goes for the animations of all characters. The narrative itself is an alternate reality Cold War story where the Soviets invade the US, yet a plumber from New York becomes a national hero. It’s classic B movie stuff.  Also, while the protagonist isn’t a sharpshooter, just a mere plumber, for Stalin’s sake, the shooting mechanics should have been better! Auto aim is a matter of luck, and pressing L3 for your manual aiming when moving the reticule with the right analogue stick ain’t fun. Your Freedom Fighters tend to shoot better though.

Another problem is a technical one – Freedom Fighters had great ideas but it was simply ahead of the times. Imagine a game such as Battlefield 3 with the ability to light-heartedly control 12 soldiers – a dream! And after Kane & Lynch (the original one, not the second piece of garbage), which tried to revive the spirit of Freedom Fighters yet failed halfway, no one has tried to develop a game like this. It’s a shame!

Rabidgames recommends: Just give Freedom Fighters a try, whenever you can. Rabidgames promises you won’t be disappointed. And why the fuck ain’t there a sequel to one of the most underestimated games of all times?

Rabidgames’ Week of PlayStation 2

Posted in Gaming these days ... with tags , on July 15, 2012 by Rabidgames

Rabidgames will stay away from his Xbox 360 for a week. Instead, he will remove dust from his PlayStation 2 to have a close look if gaming was better 10 years ago.
Of course, graphics weren’t but who gives a shit? It’s about games.

One thing is for sure though: If you bought a game back then, you got a complete game. No DLC bullshit deals. Good times, good times.

Anyway, Rabidgames plans to play the following games:

  • Final Fantasy XII
  • Freedom Fighters
  • Ico
  • Mercenaries
  • Metal Gear Solid 1 (not exactly PS2 stuff, but who cares?)
  • Smackdown Here comes the Pain
  • True Crime New York

Bear in mind, this just a plan. Maybe Rabidgames won’t play much, maybe different games. We’ll see.

Rabidgames is looking forward to one week of PS2.

Assassin’s Creed 3 will have Cooperative “Wolf Pack” Fun

Posted in News with tags , , , on July 13, 2012 by Rabidgames

According to Eurogamer (among other sources), we’ll have a new multiplayer game mode in Assassin’s Creed 3: The cooperative Wolf Pack mode. Up to four virtual assassins will have to combine their skills to hunt down and take out targets. As usual, stealth kills will grant more points than brute force. Ubisoft speaks of 25 waves with rising difficulty.

Ubisoft has also revealed a stunning trailer which reveals gameplay footage of the campaign. This time, we get to visit Boston:

Wow. Assassin’s Creed 3 surely looks amazing. Awesome. And it’s not just the graphics, the gameplay and tools look great as well.

Rabidgames rejoices: Yes, Ubisoft seems to be doing a great job. Whenever they reveal tidbits about Assassin’s Creed 3, Rabidgames just wants to throw his money at them. Come on! Release it. Now!!! Can’t … wait …

Operation Broadside & Earth Multiplayer DLC

Posted in News with tags , , , , on July 12, 2012 by Rabidgames

This weekend, Bioware will launch Operation Broadside for loyal Mass Effect 3 multiplayers. You’ll have fun fighting Reapers all weekend long. Here are the specifics:

Squad Goal: Extract at least one squad member against Reapers on Gold difficulty
Allied Goal: Extract 400,000 squads against Reapers on ANY difficulty
Special Circumstance: None

Squad Goal Success: All squad members awarded a Commendation Pack
Allied Goal Success: All players awarded a Victory Pack. Medi-gel cap increases from 5 units to 6.

Have fun killing Reapers.

Also, next week, Bioware will launch the Earth Multiplayer DLC for Mass Effect 3; 3 new maps, new weapons, new gear, and 6 new characters with new abilities. Sadly, they’re all human. The only really interesting thing is the brand new Platinum difficulty.

Rabidgames doesn’t really care: To be honest, it’s not that interesting anymore. The MP has finally become stale and repetitive, the players have somehow become worse, and even new characters won’t save it for Rabidgames. Except we get some Protheans, of course … goodbye until then.

The Resident Evil 6 Demo or That’s It?

Posted in Played & Explained with tags , , , , on July 7, 2012 by Rabidgames

Alright, Rabidgames gave in to the temptation and gave the demo for Capcom’s upcoming action zombie game Resident Evil 6 a try. Capcom actually felt quite generous and gave us three different scenarios which can also be played online with a friend. But let’s cut down to the decisive question what will the future of Resident Evil hold – a survival horror experience or just an trite shooter?

Let’s have a look at the scenarios:

Leon. His demo campaign seems to be good old fashioned Resident Evil. Lots of navigating (sometimes you’re only allowed to walk slowly yet nothing happens) through dark corridors in a hotel, some shock effects – and yet, it is nothing special whatsoever. And linear. Incredibly linear. For some obnoxious reason, Leon is not able to move a fallen chair out of the way – or to simply jump over it! What the hell? Also, when he meets an obviously infected girl, he simply waits until she dies, turns into a zombie and kills her father. Guess he has learnt nothing …
Oh, the atmosphere. If you’ve played two survival horror games in your life or if you’ve watched two horror movies, nothing will shock you in Resident Evil 6 (at least in the demo). It’s all obvious and, quite frankly, boring.

Chris. He can jump. That’s quite something. His demo campaign focusses on shooting bad guys. Unfortunately, Gears of Resident Evil 6 is a rather blank bad shooter. You can take cover yet you can’t shoot from cover. Why this? Mind you, the shooting is not necessarily bad, but it’s far from good as well. You can give your team mate instructions, too. However, he’ll decides to tell you “not right now” most of the time. Weird decision.
The weirdest you’ll see in Resident Evil 6 is zombies handling guns. When did this happen? Surely, there must be zombie laws, and surely, Zombie Commandment No. 1 reads “Thou shalt not use guns”.

Jake. In his demo campaign, you run away and fight a powerful boss. Rabidgames tried meleeing enemies which turns out to be more fun than shooting them. Somehow, this part was more about mastering the imprecise controls of Resident Evil 6 than actually fighting the boss. If you die during the boss fight you can be revived by our partner – thankfully.

One more thing. If you die the Resident Evil 6 demo is over. While you can easily die as Jake yet hardly as Chris, Leon has a stupid QTE out of nowhere after walking through the empty hotel for 20 minutes – fail that QTE and it is Game Over. Seriously, Capcom? Are you fucking kidding?

Rabidgames confirms: No, Resident Evil 6 is not classic Resident Evil. It’s a Call of Duty/Gears of War copycat shooter with some Resident Evil leftovers to simply disguise it is nothing more than popcorn action, garnished with QTE. The only thing that could save Resident Evil 6 from mediocrity could be a decent story. But so far, it drowns in the sea of run-of-the-mill shooters. Without the Resident Evil tag, no one would even be trying to keep it afloat.

Dragon’s Dogma’s Patch 1.02 includes Resident Evil 6 Demo – on 360 Only for Now!

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on July 4, 2012 by Rabidgames

Capcom has released the patch 1.02 for the surprisingly good RPG gem Dragon’s Dogma.
Strangely, patch notes are nowhere to be found yet so it’s anyone’s guess what has changed. Only one thing is for sure though: Xbox 360 gamers and Dragon’s Dogma owners can now play the Resident Evil 6 demo – if they want … PS3 gamers will have to wait until the beginning of September to be able to see if Resident Evil has truly and finally become a mere shooter.

Anyway, some guys on gamefaqs have gathered some information about the patch 1.02, and some of it is just hilarious. Who would have thought you include jiggle mechanics into a patch?

“Carrots no longer sold in infinite quantities in Cassardis.

“Fixed” jiggle mechanics. (Yes, you read that right.)
Elaboration: As far as we can tell so far, there are now three levels of jiggle. When wearing heavy armour, there will be little to no jiggle. With moderate armour, like leathers, the jiggle will be noticeable. With light or no armour on, the jiggle will be all up in your face.

Ranger pawns use all skills at their disposal.(Yup, tenfold arrow baby!)
Elaboration: Prior to this patch, certain skills (namely Heptad Shot and Sixfold Shot, along with both their upgraded versions) tended not to be used by rangers pawns. Some say they used them few and far between, while others claim that they simply were unable to use these skills because of some coding error. Regardless, it’s certainly agreed that prior to this patch the skills were used very little to not at all by pawns. Now rangers will employ all their skills appropriately.”

Rabidgames is undecided: While continuing to play Dragon’s Dogma is a no-brainer, Rabidgames is not sure if he cares enough for Resident Evil 6 to actually give the demo a try.