Archive for true crime

Sleeping Dogs or Pork Buns for Life

Posted in Played & Explained with tags , , on October 11, 2012 by Rabidgames

The fine Asian treat called Sleeping Dogs stuns your senses (especially when accompanied by a pork bun). For many good reasons.

Number one: Activision are retards. Shunning a game (called True Crime Hong Kong back then) just cause it might only sell some 100.000 copies when instead focussing on that outworn RPG light WoW stuff (now bigger and better with pandas) and that patriotic popcorn series Call of Duty … what about innovation, folks? What about risk? Establishing a new series is seen as incredibly hard these days, but even now, it can work (look at Borderlands, Just Cause, Dragon’s Dogma etc.) – so Activision, it stuns Rabidgames to see how pathetic you have become. Mind you, Sleeping Dogs isn’t the first instance where Activision got it wrong: let’s not forget the brilliant Brütal Legend!

Number two: If you expect something like a GTA clone in Asia, you’re wrong. Sure, there’ s shooting in Sleeping Dogs, there are car chases, and it’s an urban open world. But that’s about it. The pace is completely different (there are entire missions without any form of violence), the world feels different, and the fighting couldn’t be more different: If you insist bringing up GTA, Sleeping Dogs is a distant relative because of some shared genetic traits – and yet, if you look for parents, it is quite likely the Yakuza series would not be able to prove its innocence in a paternity test, while the last two Batman games might be the caring mother (or the other way round, whatever disturbs you less). Why? While the shoot-melee ratio in GTA might be 39-1, it is 2-7 in Sleeping Dogs. Plus, if you’re tired of New fucking York, or of another generic American city, Sleeping Dogs is a welcome relief. Hong Kong feels different (not only because of the left-way traffic),

Number three: If GTA is a Scorcese movie (which it is not) Sleeping Dogs is a John Woo movie (which it is). Again, don’t expect a rags to riches story, don’t expect the sometimes subtle satire which made GTA great. If you like the hand to hand combat in Hong Kong flicks, if you like classic slow-mo Woo shoot-outs, you’ll like Sleeping Dogs. Actually, if you enjoyed Hard Boiled or Infernal Affairs (and yes, the original is better than the westernised Departed), this is your game. So yes, Sleeping Dogs IS different. Of course, if you still insist on it being a mere GTA clone because of an open world, fighting and crime, you might say The Godfather and Lethal Weapon are basically the same, too …

Number four: Sleeping Dogs is fun. It is light-hearted and yet grimy fun. Not a violent buddy sim like GTA IV, and not over-the-top like San Andreas or Saints Row, Sleeping Dogs sits somewhere in the middle, keeping a straight face while delving into the triad underworld. But it also gives its competitors a lesson to learn – variety is the key. If you showcase a diverse mix of melee fighting, including hilariously gruesome environmental fatalities, driving and racing, placing bugs or activating cameras, shooting and the odd just go somewhere without violence mission – Sleeping Dogs pulls it of. Granted, the races are rather boring and the shoot-outs happen a tad too often in the last quarter of the game, but the overall pace of Sleeping Dogs is spot-on.

Number five: Where many games fail, Sleeping Dogs nails it. Yes, Rabidgames is talking about the story. Even after you beat the final boss, it keeps unfolding – and leaves you guessing what really happened. While the game also has problems to show Wei Shen’s twisted loyalties during the campaign, it becomes even more puzzling afterwards. In hindsight, it makes you wonder who was the puppet and who was directing the strings.

However, there is some dog poo in the game as well. The racing missions tend to be a matter of the right vehicle – if it’s faster than the others, you win automatically. If you go there with the wrong vehicle, you’re fucked. Another aspect where Sleeping Dogs doesn’t deliver is some side characters, especially the girlfriends – they’re there for 2 missions, and then, they vanish (some return 10 hours later but you might have forgotten them by then). Yes, there are some explanations in Wei’s phone but it does not feel satisfactory.

Rabidgames bows his head: Sleeping Dogs is a refreshing Asian dish with the exact amount of exotic spices. True, some ingredients could have been more refined, but for a new opening, Sleeping Dogs has broadly delivered.Enjoy your pork buns.

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Sleeping Dogs = Day 1 Purchase

Posted in News with tags , on August 8, 2012 by Rabidgames

To be honest, Rabidgames has had no doubt about it. After all, Sleeping Dogs combines a big open world with the best of Hong Kong cinema’s action. But if you watch hits video, it gets even better:


Actually, you don’t need to watch the whole two hours. Rabidgames chose not to watch it all since it would have spoiled too much of Sleeping Dogs’ story. But there are some amazing things in there:

  • The situational finishing moves are partly brutal, partly funny (you can put enemies in trunks of parking cars).
  • Customisation plays a huge part.
  • Varied missions (demolishing cars, setting up CCTV, creatively crippling opponents, chases).
  • Tons of side missions and mini games.
  • And so on.

In brief, Sleeping Dogs will hopefully be a mix of GTA’s dark and mature story telling, Saints Row 2’s wackiness and over-the-top violence and Batman: Arkham City’s fighting system. Sounds bone crunching good.

Rabidgames wants: Yes, Sleeping Dogs is a must-have Day 1 title. Sadly, it’s one more week (and a bit probably) to wait. What about watching Infernal Affairs or some Jackie Chan flicks to pass the time?

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.

Sleeping Dogs shows off driving skills

Posted in News with tags , , on March 29, 2012 by Rabidgames

We have known for a while Sleeping Dogs (previously known as Activision’s True Crime Hong Kong) will be an open world game set in Hong Kong. Now we get to see a shiny trailer which shows off the gaming mechanics of Sleeping Dogs:

It looks solid and packed with action, oh yes. But Rabidgames wonders – is “ramming” really a unique feature?
Who knows?

Rabidgames says: Yep, it looks solid and fun. If you like open world or sandbox games in the vein of the good old GTA PS2 games Sleeping Dogs should definitely be on your radar.

Sleeping Dogs or Finally a good True Crime game?

Posted in News with tags , , on March 19, 2012 by Rabidgames

The question is: Should we curse or thank Activision for burying True Crime: Hong Kong?

On the one hand, it just shows how greedy and disgusting Activision has become – everything that does not shit dollars or vomits pounds must be shot dead and left to rot. On the other hand though, it might be released earlier now than it would have been had Activision had the game in its ugly clutches … although the price is the new name Sleeping Dogs.

Now, Square Enix has the chance to reveal if the True Crime series may rise to gamers’ fame even if it had to change its name (not exactly a tragedy given the luke-warm reception). Word of mouth and some videos give us hope Sleeping Dogs will be better than the abysmal Streets of L.A. and the better yet glitchy and repetitive True Crime: New York. At the very least, we have a unique setting! If you watch this video you can see some solid action, too:

Rabidgames hopes: It’s about time we get to play a traditional sandbox game again. GTA is more a crime simulation these days, while the Saints Row series is completely insane – which is not a bad thing per se, but Saints Row The Third has been neglecting the sandbox roots. Maybe Sleeping Dogs can find a place in the abandoned niche. We’ll see.