Friday, September 18, 2015

Summer Gaming 2015 Wrap-up

Since it's around the time where summer ends (my kids have gone back to school but I haven't), I figured I should wrap up my summer gaming to see what I actually played some of.  Sadly, I didn't do as much as I had planned to, mostly thanks to having so much stuff to review.  So, I guess not that sad, since it's good to be so busy with official reviews!  On to the wrap-up:

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
It definitely reminds me of the previous entries in the series.  I kind of liked the three original games, but didn't finish any of them.  I kind of get tired of them at some point.  Thieves in Time had the nice aspect of having you use different heroes at different times.  I think one of the other games had that too, and it's pretty cool.  I don't know if I'll play it much more, but I could easily go back to it at some point.

Front Mission Evolved
Normally, I'm not allowed to play Front Mission games.  I tried back when 3 released years ago, and got a little mad at it.  Or a lot of mad, considering how unbalanced and cheap the AI is.  Anyway, I convinced my wife to let me try this, since it is a third person shooter, not the terrible SRPGs (yes they managed to ruin a great combination of robots and SRPGs).  While it is essentially a Front Mission skin on a third-person shooter, it isn't bad.  I only played two levels or so, and it was just a fairly standard TPS where you shoot enemies, shoot collectibles and get to the mission markers.  I'd like to at least finish the campaign someday, since it would likely only take a day or two.

Hunted: The Demon's Forge
I will admit I have a certain fondness for generic/average games.  Hunted: The Demon's Forge definitely fits that bill.  It is a fairly generic action RPG, but it does have co-op.  You have to do the game's first level/tutorial before you can do that though.  I did the first level, and it is a lot longer than you would think.  I'd like to play more and try out the co-op, I just have to find some time to do it with my wife.  Other than that the game was ok.  The story isn't very good but it does feature the voice work of Lucy Lawless!

Bulletstorm is pretty funny, in an immature kind of way.  I like that it's an over the top shooter and doesn't take itself too seriously.  It's pretty fun, and definitely one I will go back to and finish off the campaign.  I don't really know anyone else that plays it, so sadly won't do much of the echoes mode. but I will at least get my money's worth from playing the story mode.

Army of Two: The 40th Day
I did like the first Army of Two.  It wasn't great, but had some good moments.  Frustrating ones, too, especially on the hard setting when you had to rely on the AI.  The sequel seemed like more of the same, which is good.  They added some moral choices and unlockable weapon parts.  Fun, and I would like to go back and finish the campaign before moving on to the third game in the series, which was a Games with Gold freebie.

Gears of War: Judgment
This was another Games with Gold freebie from a few months ago.  I do like the Gears of War series, and was looking forward to trying the finished Judgment.  I know it gets a lot of hate from the fans, but so far it isn't bad.  It does try a few new things, like the "classified missions", which give additional challenges if you choose to do them during your missions.  The tower defense-like sections were cool too.  Another game that I want to run through the campaign and finish the story.

Crimson Dragon
Crimson Dragon was pretty fun.  The first few missions were rough until I got to the point where I could hire a wingman.  I hired my buddy's dragon, who was a higher level, and it made the next few missions much easier.  Controls are ok, and this type of game controls better to me not inverted.  Still, it takes a bit getting used to that.  The camera is the thing I have the most trouble with.  Your view swings around a lot, which makes aiming much more of a pain than it should.  I guess they wanted to make it harder, but I wish your view wasn't moving all around while you are trying to aim and dodge.  I didn't get motion sick, but sick of the cheap damage and enemies escaping!

There's also a few sections (notably boss fights) where you enter a free-flying area.  Reminiscent of the "All range mode" from Star Fox, these sections are a pain in the butt.  I really hated them, as the controls just felt sloppy.  It was too hard to do anything meaningful, and you get hit a lot from off screen.  Making the boss fights have at least one section like this is horrible.  Overall, though, the game was kind of fun, save for a few annoying parts.  I wish I could have tried the multiplayer, but it seems like everyone moved on already.  Of the games I intended to play over the summer, this was the one I put the most time into.  Having bite-sized missions and a daily login bonus sure helped!

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