Tag Archives: game

The Last of Us Remastered

31 Jan

cliker

Released: July 2014

Platform: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3

Age Certificate: 18+

Real Life Review GirlfriendGirlfriend test:

(The test considers how much the game allows you to play for an indeterminable amount of time while your girlfriend does her make-up. The ability to regularly save and autosave and the ability to pause are brought into question. It also rates how important sound is – will your girlfriend’s hairdryer or music be the matter of life and death for your character?)

This is a game that you want to play in a dark room with no background noise and certainly no distractions.

You can play it with Justin Bieber playing in the background, but you will get your neck bitten many, many more times if you do this. You would also deserve it just for listening to Justin Bieber. Just don’t bother trying to play for a quick ten minutes while your girlfriend messes around. This game deserves and requires your full, undivided attention. Sound is very important in this game, as zombie screams are frequently your queue to go hide somewhere FAST. Realistically, you can use Joel’s listening super power all the time, but the voice acting really is superb and you will want to listen to everything as it adds to the overall atmosphere of the game.

The game is great for saving. It autosaves pretty much every minute or so, and most ordeals are only few minutes long before you are given a break. You can pause whenever you want too! You can exploit the save system and just sprint through hard parts of a level and the respawn with all the bad guys returned to their default position, but you should try to play the game naturally.

Score: 3/10

Girlfriend: “What is that clicking sound?”

Me: “Clickers”

Girlfriend: “Wahhh me no likey” 

This game does well on the sound, quick play and saving aspects of this test, but you should really play this game in a self contained bubble for full effect. You can play the game muted, but you will feel like you are missing out on a big part of the game.

Real Life Review GirlfriendMate test:

(You are playing the game and your housemate walks in. Apart from Fifa they are pretty much uneducated in gaming. This test is a mix of the coolness rating, pick-up-and-play-ability, and most importantly: same console multiplayer. Anything that could be called ‘gayyyyy’ loses points in this test.)

You will let out an exasperated sigh when your mate walks in the room. You wont let them have a go on single player as it will ruin the game for you. Unless you want to start a new game and watch them play… If your mate has a go on multiplayer, they will die loads. The controls are simple yet surprisingly hard to get used to, and the play style is alien to the un-initiated.

There is no same console multiplayer as usual, but many people are happy to sit and watch you play for a bit. Unless they come in after you just cleared a room of zombies and you are just checking drawers for nuts and bolts, the game moves at a pace similar to decent TV series. The ease with which you characters can be ripped apart generates a real sense of suspense for you and your audience.

Score: 2/10

Mate: “What film is this?”

Me: “It’s a game”

Mate: “Wow”

You don’t really want distractions when you play and you wont let your mate play, but your mate might want to watch.

Real life review Parent TestParent test:

(Imagine you have parents that are easily offended – especially by sexual themes and swearing; and at random intervals they invade your room.)

Actually, this game is not too bad for the parent test. Swearing is pretty frequent but it is always necessary given the circumstances. Generally the gore isn’t too bad, unless your character gets munched. If you get caught by a bloater you need to make sure parents are out the room as the cut scene is offensively gruesome.

The Last of Us presents some incredibly creepy shit when you meet Dave. If you had strict parents, this part of the game could easily result in your game CD being split in two if they knew what was going on. Thankfully for you, it is pretty subtle so you should be OK if a parent barges in your room.

Score: 4/10

Parent: “Those mushroom head people don’t seem to like you”

If your parents are used to video game extreme violence and swearing you will be fine. Not a game for the living room.

Real life review inner rageThe Inner Rage Test:

(You have had a bad day and you want to feel a sense of achievement. This section talks about how frustrating them game is.)

You get pretty big kicks every time you make it through a section of the game. These kicks are multiplied if you do it without dying, or even without being detected. When you complete it, you have a sort of feeling of loss, like the feeling you get when you wont see two buddies again.

There were no glitches in my game, which was a first in my book. If you get stuck on a section you blame yourself rather than the game design. I know I played in a run and gun style at the start but I gradually became more stealthy out of necessity. I was sad that the achievements/trophies were incredibly hard to get, but that didn’t really matter.

Score: 9/10

This game left me feeling immensely satisfied. Every time I took down a bad guy I was like ‘hell yeah’. This -1 point is for making the trophies too hard to get.

real life review overallOverall:

(I briefly rate games on a number of factors such as graphics, storyline, entertainment and longevity irrespective of the other tests.)

I loved this game. It really is a once-in-a-generation kind of game. The graphics were clear and crisp and the environments were far more beautiful and varied then I imagined they could be. I was astounded that you would just sprint right through areas people had clearly taken weeks to design.

I story line is pretty breathtaking. If you have yet to play the game, don’t read any spoilers. I really was shocked by the story on several occasions. I haven’t cared about characters in a game this much before.

I for one didn’t feel like giving it a second play through, so longevity wasn’t there for me. It is quite a quick game compared to the likes of Skyrim etc, but in quality was so high in every other aspect that this did not matter to me.

Score: 10/10

Once in a generation perfection.

Far Cry 4:

25 Jan

far_cry_4

Released: November 2014

Platform: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC

Age Certificate: 18+

Real Life Review GirlfriendGirlfriend test:

(The test considers how much the game allows you to play for an indeterminable amount of time while your girlfriend does her make-up. The ability to regularly save and autosave and the ability to pause are brought into question. It also rates how important sound is – will your girlfriend’s hairdryer or music be the matter of life and death for your character?)

There are many moments where Far Cry requires your full concentration, and very few moments where you can leave the game unattended. Even when you stand on top of a desolate mountain to admire the view, there is a chance an eagle is going to have a go at making a dinner out of your eyeballs.

Thankfully the ability to pause and/or save is with you pretty much all the time, apart from on some missions. You cannot pause or skip mission cut scenes, so I missed out on a bit of the story line when I got phoned during a cut scene then it autosaved straight after. I had to watch one long cut scene three times as I couldn’t save during the mission and I had to come off to attend to real life. Thankfully, you usually respawn pretty much right next to where you died or quit.

This is a game that is great to play for a quick ten minutes or for hours on end. If your girlfriend says you have to go in a minute but you clearly see her without makeup you can casually play and find a few collectibles and secret locations and save and turn off without any fear of having to redo anything.

As for sound… well, you are going to need it if you are aiming to go into the wilderness at any point. You don’t need it that much when you fight humans as they are well and truly screen prompted and mapped out (apart from the fairly rare hunters). When in a car, you will want to turn sound off to blank out the insanely repetitive radio show. However, when you are walking around in the wilderness after jamming your vehicle in a tree, you really need sound. Chances are that you’ll hear animals before you see them, as they must get super excited and let out an almighty roar/bellow/howl/growl before they charge. If you don’t have sound, chances are that a large portion of your game will be the button bashing screen associated with a predator biting your forearm. Your forearms really take a beating in this game, believe me.

When I played, animal sound effects were oddly broken. Elephants would let out loud trumpets which would suddenly cut out mid trumpet…

Score: 7/10

Girlfriend: “If I hear that game radio show one more time I am turning that TV off”

Me: “Yeah, OK put some music on”

*Series of animations of forearm being bitten by stealthy predators*

Pretty good game to play for short stints with the ability to save progress at pretty much any time. Sound in the game is both annoying and sometimes crucial.

Real Life Review GirlfriendMate test:

(You are playing the game and your housemate walks in. Apart from Fifa they are pretty much uneducated in gaming. This test is a mix of the coolness rating, pick-up-and-play-ability, and most importantly: same console multiplayer. Anything that could be called ‘gayyyyy’ loses points in this test.)

No same console multiplayer. Why is this such a rare thing these days? This would be so fun together on one console… At least online gameplay is OK.

The game looks so awesome to the uninitiated. The graphics probably the second most beautiful (after The Last of Us) I have seen and one of the most realistic. When you play for a while you get obsessed with collectables and missions, but when you first start you just look around in awe. It is great to watch a mate play, you can relax as it doesn’t really matter if you die or use all your ammo as resources are plentiful. It’s also pretty priceless to watch someone crap their pants when a croc bites their forearm.

It’s initially easy to pick up and play as aim and shoot controls are standard. Driving controls are clumsy but half the fun of the game is when you drive over cliffs and end up in the middle of nowhere. Non-gamer mates will struggle with the concept of healing and changing weapon with the wheel, so it can get super frustrating to watch…

Your mate might think the game is lame if they walk in and watch you just walking around caves. You can play for ten minutes with absolutely nothing happening.

The fun will wear off after a while though and you will end up getting out a same console game.

Score: 6/10

Mate: “Can I play your jungle game?”

Me: “Sure, but watch out for tigers, bears, wolves and crocodiles”

Mate: “Nah I am getting on this hanglider”

Me: “OK, just don’t press square when you are on”

Mate: “Too late”

It’s pretty fun to watch someone else play for a bit just to see what terrible things happen to them, but it will get boring after a bit.

Real life review Parent TestParent test:

(Imagine you have parents that are easily offended – especially by sexual themes and swearing; and at random intervals they invade your room.)

Far Cry 4 is surprisingly tame most of the time, but of course parents only walk in at the bad moments. You get to see ‘real’ CGI boobies in this game… which would be super awkward for your parents to see, may be even more awkward than real ones. Then there are the super trippy scenes, then there are drugs, drugs and more drugs and syringes festooned every where. I didn’t find the swearing that bad most of the time, but it gets pretty fruity.

Score: 4/10

Parent: “Why are you injecting yourself every ten seconds?”

Me: “To heal gun shot wounds and to see animals through walls”

Parent: “… Don’t do drugs”

As long as your parents don’t suspect you are a drug addict you should be alright. Most of the time the game is just you walking in a Himalayan paradise. The boobs can take you by surprise though.

Real life review inner rageThe Inner Rage Test:

(You have had a bad day and you want to feel a sense of achievement. This section talks about how frustrating them game is.)

Far Cry 4 is great for that feeling of achievement, as there are so many collectables that sometimes give you a reward. The game is easy most of the time, but just challenging enough in some of the missions to make you feel like true gamer. If you do happen to die you don’t get punished for it as you respawn in close proximity to your fresh grave.

I got really fed up with eagles. My forearm got attacked at least once every couple of hours and they are suprisingly hard to shoot down.

I really like the main part of the game, but for me the drug/demon quests are a bit of an unnecessary ordeal. This is a big part of Far Cry though so I guess I signed up for it from the start.

My main cause of death has been jumping out a buzzer mid flight. This was mainly because I had been playing another game with different driving controls and, well… I stopped that eventually.

Overall, the physics and controls are great and it is pretty fun to blow up bad guys. The difficulty curve is actually very smooth too.

Score: 8/10

Pretty satisfying, and the bits I didn’t like are relatively short.

real life review overallOverall:

(I briefly rate games on a number of factors such as graphics, storyline, entertainment and longevity irrespective of the other tests.)

Far Cry games are amazing value, as there is so much detail and so much to do. I have a feeling that many people don’t get to the end as it is such a big game. I feel like people in the game should have been given more attention. There are very few character models or phrases. Most homes you arrive at have no one in them, despite having a well tended garden. If you do find people, they know who you are, even if they are in the absolute middle of no where. I flew to a nomadic camp at the top of a mountain, and I was greeted with “hey Ahjay!”

Another main selling point of the game is the pretty sizable armoury. I have a feeling many like me choose a few guns and stick to them and wonder what the point is in the bulk of the underpowered weapons.

I love the way the game tests your moral convictions. The choice between Amita and Sabal is pretty hard… what is worse, underage marriage or drugs? I think drugs are worse but I don’t feel certain about it.

Score: 8/10

Very good graphics, OK realism, good storyline, very fun gameplay.

DOTA 2: Real Life Review

15 Dec

dota 2 emblemDOTA 2:

Released: 2013

Platform: PC, Mac, Linux

Real Life Review GirlfriendGirlfriend test:

(This tests how much freedom the game gives you to turn it off and go do the laundry. The test considers how much the game allows you to play for an indeterminable amount of time while your girlfriend does her make-up. It also rates how important sound is – will your girlfriend’s hairdryer or music be the matter of life and death for your character?)

DOTA 2, or Defense of the Ancients 2, performs terribly on the girlfriend test. The game requires your undivided attention for at least half an hour and possibly even an hour and a half and beyond. At the start of the game you can sometimes break into a half hearted conversation with your lady while you kills some creeps, but if you want to multitask while playing then nine times out of ten you will end up being killed (repeatedly). The gameplay is basically a long slog where every move you and your team make could make the difference between victory and defeat. Your team mates will not appreciate girl related AFK time.

On the plus side, there is a tutorial mode, which you can pause. Having said that, this mode can more or less instantly be discounted as this game is all about the multiplayer.  There is also the benefit of sound being more or less useless so you can let your girlfriend hair dry and listen to music to her pretty hearts’ content.

Score: 2/10

Girlfriend: “Can I check Facebook for a second?”

Me: “No!!!”

Concentrate, or you will be kicked out of your clan. Or pay attention to your girlfriend and give up on the game…

Real Life Review GirlfriendMate test:

(You are playing the game and your housemate walks in. Apart from Fifa they are pretty much uneducated in gaming. This test is a mix of the coolness rating, pick-up-and-play-ability, and most importantly: same console multiplayer. Anything that could be called ‘gayyyyy’ loses points in this test.)

You will have a hard time selling this game to your non-gaming mate, or even your hard-core gamer mate. People either don’t get this game or they love it.

The game looks cool from a distance with its pretty visuals, limitless killing and its ‘freeness’. Did I mention it’s free to download? The thing that puts people off is the learning curve. You can’t explain the fundamentals of the game to a friend without sounding like a huge nerd. If you give them a trial game a South Korean pro will probably wipe them all over the floor. As popular as this game is, most people don’t get it.

Score: 3/10

Mate: “That game looks cool, can I play?”

Me: “OK just do the tutorial first and…”

Mate: “Bye.”

Your non-gaming mate wont think it is a gay game, but they will think it is nerdy.

Real life review Parent TestParent test:

(Imagine you have parents that are easily offended – especially by sexual themes and swearing; and at random intervals they invade your room. ) disapproves

DOTA 2 will not offend your parents, but they really wont get it. Mainly because every time they walk in the room the game is likely to look pretty much exactly the same. They may quite rightly worry you are autistic and like doing one task over and over again. Watch out for rude dudes on microphones.

Score: 9/10

 Parent: “You are still playing that?”

Me: “Yes. It is completely different every time!”

Parent: “OK…” (Backs out the room quietly).

Pretty, repetitive fun.

Real life review inner rageThe Inner Rage Test:

(You have had a bad day and you want to feel a sense of achievement. This section talks about how frustrating them game is.)

Do not get emotionally involved in this game. If one person on your team is paying more attention to his girlfriend than to the game, your team is probably going to lose, and losing isn’t fun is it? No matter what your skill you can still be brought to ruin by terrible team mates, so remember to take a chill pill.

Score: 3/10

You are often sat wondering why your teammates are always at the wrong end of the map. Unless you find a team to play with often this will always be the case.

real life review overallOverall:

(I briefly rate games on a number of factors such as graphics, storyline, entertainment and longevity irrespective of the other tests.)

This really isn’t my sort of game but I can see why others would like it so I wont knock it. In terms of value for money it is perfect because it is free. There is a great deal of depth to the game as the multiplayer element makes most games unpredictable and if you have a competitive side to you, then you will be trying to learn new ways to get the upper hand.

Score: 8/10

Perfect value for money.

Terraria: Real Life Review

31 May

terraria emblem

Terraria:

Platform: PC, Xbox 360, PS3, PS Vita

Released: 2011/2013

Age certificate: PG

the GFGirlfriend test

(This tests how much freedom the game gives you to turn it off and go do the laundry. The test considers how much the game allows you to play for an indeterminable amount of time while your girlfriend does her make-up. It also rates how important sound is – will your girlfriend’s hairdryer or music be the matter of life and death for your character?)

Terraria does well in the girlfriend test. The ability to pause and save is strong in this one. If you have to turn the game off to go and help with girlfriend issues you will not be left crying – most of the time. You can instantly save all your money materials whenever you want. The main issue with saving and coming back to the game is that when you load a game up it always starts in the game world morning, so if you are trying to complete a night time activity such as boss fights you will have to wait ten minutes for night time to reoccur. If you want to play for a quick five minutes while you girlfriend slaps on makeup you can find those minutes quite productive as long as you plan ahead and you make easily navigable tunnels to your precious subterranean ores as well as outposts where you can save.

The only real issue with Terraria in terms of time commitment comes with the bosses. You are not going to want to attend to your girlfriends needs halfway through a Wall of Flesh fight and you will literally want to book a time slot for yourself to fight the hard mode bosses.

Sound is almost completely irrelevant, so if your girlfriend wants to listen to her freaky girl music while you play it is not a problem. You will quickly mute the limited music tracks as they are on a short loop. You may fall victim to the occasional skeleton that spawns off screen and drops on your 8-bit head down a mine shaft that you would have otherwise avoided due to their off screen groaning’s, but you won’t if you are playing in normal mode as the repercussions of death are fairly acceptable.

Score: 9/10

Girlfriend: “Can you mute that annoying music?”

Me: “Gladly.”

Terraria does very well in the girl friend test. You can save any time, pause freely and you can make productive use of short stints in Terraria land. Hardmode bosses are a different matter entirely but they are not a girlfriend problem providing you book your time.

 mate emblemMate test

(You are playing the game and your housemate walks in. Apart from Fifa they are pretty much uneducated in gaming. This test is a mix of the coolness rating, pick-up-and-play-ability, and most importantly: same console multiplayer. Anything that could be called ‘gayyyyy’ loses points in this test.)

 

The reactions of your mates will vary greatly with Terraria. Many will consider it to be ‘gay’ as it looks like a happy game where you dig holes in the ground. This is mainly what it is – particularly at the start and this is what most people love about it. If your mates like Minecraft they will have no problems adapting to the 2d translation.  Initially your mates that are uneducated in gaming will scorn Terraria but if you can persuade them to play you will soon be working together to smash the hardmode bosses.

Terraria has poor pick up and playability. If a mate joins part way through your game you will spend  a good 20 minutes teaching them controls, how to fight, which ore is which, how not to destroy your perfect tunnel system and where to find you. You will then find they have accidently equipped your special armour that you put on a statue for safe keeping and that they deleted your gold reserves. You will end up playing Fifa.

If your mate learns the controls then multiplayer is quite a bit of fun. The split screen feature is sound (nothing like the Lego Pirate of the Caribbean split screen…) and you will often find yourself playing solo and doing your own thing and then coming back to share resources. You only really need your mates for the boss fights, which are way more fun together. You can have fun trying to secretly assassinate unseasoned players by placing boulder traps and lava in caves…

Score: 7/10

Mate: “That game looks pretty gay.”

Two hours later…

Mate: “Let play for one more hour.”

You can happily play your own solo game on the same screen and then join together to fight the goblin hordes. Just don’t expect much from an anyone unseasoned gamers.

 The Parent TestThe Parent Test

(Imagine you have parents that are easily offended – especially by sexual themes and swearing; and at random intervals they invade your room.)

Terraria is inoffensive. Unless your parents feel squeamish when they see you attacking a giant eyeball, they have no right to complain. To me simulated 8-bit violence does not count, even when you cut a bunnies head off.

Score: 9/10

Parent: “Why has Super Mario Brothers got a sword?”

Me: “Not all people on games are called Super Mario and Super Mario Brothers is not a name.”

I repeat. Terraria is inoffensive.

inner rage emblemThe Inner Rage Test

(You have had a bad day and you want to feel a sense of achievement. This section talks about how frustrating them game is.)

 

Terraria causes little rage – on normal mode. The game is very easy at the start. On normal mode I rarely went to much real effort to avoid death. You simply return to the location of your corpse and pick up your money or materials. The humourous phrases used on your gravestones take away much of the rage and they are very reminiscent of Worms. It becomes fun wandering through caves and remembering how you were crushed, beheaded and disemboweled.

Rage scales with your progression. Things get tricky when you reach the Wall of Flesh and after several attempts you relent and look for walkthroughs and find you have to dedicate hours to building a bridge across the whole map to defeat the boss. The difficulty escalates at an obscene pace when you enter hardmode and just when you think you are getting the hang of things you attempt a hardmode boss. This is where I gave up as when I read what preparation and grinding was involved I realized I would not find it fun anymore. I threw the controller across the room in my rage when I encountered the destroyer and I lasted two minutes.

Score: 5/10

Terraria performs averagely in this test. In normal mode it is extremely pleasant to play. In hardmode the difficulty mode increases to insane. I rarely get so frustrated I stop playing.

scale emblemOverall

(I briefly rate games on a number of factors such as graphics, storyline, entertainment and longevity irrespective of the other tests.)

Terraria was one of my favorite games, but I won’t go back to it after I got stuck in hard mode. The visuals are charming, the desire to attract more residents is strangely compelling, and you don’t get bored of killing slimes.  You will have a blast playing with mates but only if they are open minded to such games.

Score: 7.5/10

Fantastic value for money.