“I want to make something clear. The next time something like this happens, I won’t bother thanking you. So if something happens, and I end up helping you, you don’t need to thank me. Friends are supposed to help friends. From now on, we’ll be working together. So, we’ll be helping each other. Supporting each other isn’t a big deal. It’d be lame to thank each other for every little thing.”

-Killua Zoldyck (Hunter x Hunter Ep 107)

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Quick Review: Shatter

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Developer: Sidhe Interactive

Publisher: Sidhe Interactive

Release Date: March 15, 2010

Played Platform: PC

 

Things I liked:

  • Heavily inspired of Breakout
  • Power ups
    • Shield – defends from getting hit by blocks coming towards you
    • Gun – breaks the blocks easily and faster
  • Different types of levels, blocks, and bosses
  • Can multitask while playing this game

Things I did not liked:

  • This game could be a mobile game

Review: Yakuza 0

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Developer: SEGA
Publisher: SEGA
Release Date: January 24, 2017
Played Platform: PS4

This game was never on my radar, but was exposed to it through the podcast Dropped Frames. After listening to a couple of episodes where they talk about Yakuza 0, I decided to pick the game up and see it for myself.

This game takes place in the late 1980’s Japan, when Kazuma Kiryu (living in Tokyo), a Yakuza member, is doing a job by teaching a businessman a lesson to pay up his dues. However, due to unfortunate events, he decides to leave the Yakuza life. At the same time, Goro Majima (living in Osaka), an ex-Yakuza member, is currently running a cabaret club called “The Grand” in order to get back into the Yakuza family. Likewise, due to unfortunate events, he is forced to do what is right for him.

There are a lot of things that I enjoyed, but there are a lot of things that felt like it was lacking. Yakuza 0 lets you play with two main protagonists that have different play styles and different story lines. Each character gains three different fighting styles that they pick up throughout the game and are able to upgrade the style through a skill circle. Additionally, the game is very rewarding when completing different tasks and missions by giving you Completion Points (CP). You are able to redeem the CP at a shrine in order to progress the mission faster and also help buff your character.

It took me about 32 hours to complete the main story line and was only able to get to 13% completion. There are a ton of side missions that expands from funny to sad and it accompanies with background music respectively.

I was hoping this game to be more like Mafia II where it is not fully open world. You will be walking/running around a lot although there are some fast travel taxis. These taxis are only on the corners and you still need to walk/run a good amount to get to your destination. I only wished that they provided you with some sort of a scooter to go faster instead of just running. Also, it would have been nice if they added a way point feature in this game because I was constantly checking the map even though they provide you with a mini map on the screen. Additionally, you will often have to constantly run away or encounter people around the city wanting to fight you and after a few encounters, it was getting on my nerves.

Another thing, the items in your inventory will get full, then you can either go to the item box located in the payphones across the city to switch items or sell them. However, the pawn shop is the only place that you are able to sell items. Lastly, there are a lot of cut scenes throughout the game and you will need to watch them in order to understand what the story is all about.

The voice overs in this game are amazing, but something that was bothering me is the fact that they had to add voice when I talk to someone through in-game; the person says the first syllable and stops. Additionally, the mini games are a fun way to pass time when you are tired of doing the main missions. The protagonist gets so dramatic when entering a game. Lastly, the karaoke in this game is funny when they go over the top in the singing, but on the other hand, the dancing game (disco) is one of the games that I hated it.

———SPOILERS———

  1. There is actually a hidden fighting style that you can get by completing the side missions Real Estate Royale (Kiryu) and Cabaret Club Czar (Majima)
  2. Parody of Steven Spielberg (Stephen Spining) and Michael Jackson (Miracle Johnson) appears in the game through side missions
  3. Able to defeat Mr. Shakedown that appears around the city to earn more money and then transfer money between different characters through Mr. Moneybags at the end of the game
  4. Able to change characters in the end from their respective offices
  5. Wished I could have fought the other lieutenants more instead of beating Daisaku Kuze three times
  6. Can’t get back inside The Grand after completing the game, but I am still considered the owner of the cabaret club

Review: Hitman Absolution

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Developer: IO Interactive
Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: November 20, 2012
Played Platform: PC

I was lucky enough to get a key from Cheapshark through one of their giveaways a few months back. Hitman: Absolution is created by IO Interactive that made the other Hitman games and Kane & Lynch. This game is the 5th installment of the series, but Absolution is the only Hitman game that I’ve ever played. However, I was able to grasp a little about the story after connecting the dots while playing through the beginning.

The thing that I like is the stealth mechanic. You need to use your brain a lot and have patient while walking along the level without being caught. To help you cross the level, you are able to change outfits and use a “skill” called instinct, which you earn slowly by completing the objectives, in order to evade when walking around enemies. Additionally, if you’re the collector type of person, at the end of every level, the game shows what you collected (weapons, outfits, hidden items) and what you are missing. That way, there’s some replay-ability to this game.

The thing that I didn’t like is the points system. The points system is not forgiving and will deduct your score if you shoot/kill someone that is not part of the objective or when getting caught while being stealthy. Another thing is that I could not see what object or key button to press if the object is right under outside of your FOV. So, I had to often look down and see first before picking it up and losing my vision to my surroundings. Lastly, due to this game being a console port, the controls on keyboard and mouse are bad. The only reason playing with a keyboard and mouse in the first place is that I’m better at aiming compared with a controller. However, after playing it for a few hours, I had to switch to a controller and it felt a lot better moving Agent 47.

As my first Hitman game, I realized how much patient (or lack of) I have while playing this game. Often times, I wanted to just go guns blazing and complete the level regardless of how much points I earned. I doubt I will be purchasing a Hitman game in the future after the experience I had with this one.

Review: Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition

 

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Developer: Guerrilla Games
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: February 28, 2017 | December 5, 2017 (Complete Edition)
Played Platform: PS4

I was hesitant in purchasing this game when it first came out because I did not want to spend many hours in one game. However, when the complete edition came out, I pulled the trigger. I have not played the DLC section of the game, but I beat the main game.

The game starts of somewhere in the year 3021 where machines and humans coexist on earth. You begin playing as Aloy as a child mentored by Rost, an outcast of a tribe. After multiple events as a child, the game jumps to when Aloy is eighteen (18) years old and she is trying to figure out where she came from and who her mother is.

The game takes a few seconds to load, but afterwards, you are free to go anywhere. You are able to replenish your health through medicine plants spread across the map or by consuming potions that you can craft or buy from merchants. After completing a few main quests, you have the ability to override machines that can help you in combat and/or able to mount.

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This game offers you a skill tree similar to Borderlands or The Witcher 3 to enhance Aloy in combat. The combat mechanic adds variety in how to approach an enemy. You can either fight head-on or doing a stealth kill (after getting the upgrade). Also, there are different types of weapons that you are able to wield. You can buy better weapons through merchants and the weapons can give you different attributes to assist in killing the enemies; fire/cold/poison arrow. Additionally, Aloy attains a device called the focus that she is able to use it to see weak points in machines, highlight a target, etc.

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Personally for me, I am not comfortable using the analog stick to aim so I had trouble aiming precisely on enemies. Additionally, I have trouble when I am trying to aim at a machine that is jumping towards me while changing to a different ammo because I ran out. Lastly, when you are in the focus mode, Aloy cannot run for some odd reason. Besides these problems, I believe is a solid game.

Here are some things that can help you if you are planning on playing this. I suggest to always over-level before doing a mission so that it would be easier. Stock on potions by getting ingredients and crafting them or by buying them from merchants. When meeting a new merchant, get the free loot box that contains things that may be useful. Last but not least, get the golden fast travel pack so that you are able to go to different areas without wasting currency/fast travel pack.

*If you want to fully grasp the environment, I suggest to change the HUD under settings to dynamic so that HUDs that you do not necessarily need disappear while walking around.

 

Review: Bioshock 2 Remastered

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Developer: 2K Marin
Publisher: 2K Games
Release Date: February 9, 2010 | September 13, 2016 (Remastered)
Played Platform: PC
Buy: Original / Remastered

 

Read my review of Bioshock (Remastered) if you have not yet.

The sequel of the game takes place in Rapture as well. This time, Sophia Lamb takes place as the leader of Rapture after the events of the first game. You take control of Subject Delta, a Big Daddy, that “killed himself” because his little sister is Eleanor Lamb and Sophia wanted her daughter back to normal. Sophia separates them, but Eleanor is attached to you and decides to bring you back to life using the vita-chamber. Your goal in this game is to find Eleanor that is locked away due to her mom so that you guys can be together once again.

This game has a lot of things that I like compared to the first one, but also there are a lot of things that I did not like. The one thing that I hated in the first one was the hacking. However, the hacking in this game is greatly improved compared to the first one. All you need to do is to place the marker on the green or blue section to hack it. You will get shocked if you land it on the red or colorless. You could also remote hack from a distance by using the hack tool.

991113562(Example of the hacking)

For some odd reason 2K got rid of refilling your EVE manually if you are low, so the only way to refill it is to spam the plasmid until it goes down to zero. A problem that I had with the first one was the maximum amount of cash you can hold. In this game, they only increased it by $100 (from $500 to $600), so I was constantly spending my money to get first aids, eve’s, and ammos.

Lastly, I believe this one is game-breaking, the remastered version of the game constantly keeps crashing. I looked online for solutions, but never found one that worked, so I had to quick save every minute or so just to make sure I do not have to do it all over again. The reason why I decided to play the remastered was that I did not have any problems with the first one while others in the Steam community had it. Additionally, I was in about an hour into the game when I first encountered my first crash and did not felt playing the whole hour again on the original version. I doubt 2K will ever fix this issue any time soon, so if you decide to play this, play the original version.

Review: Bioshock Remastered

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Developer: 2K Boston / 2K Australia
Publisher: 2K Games
Release Date: August 21, 2007 (NA) | September 13, 2016 (Remastered)
Played Platform: PC
Buy: Original / Remastered

A lot of websites highly praised this game with high scores and is even some people’s favorite game. However, I thought otherwise.

I played this game for a few hours awhile back and decided to come back and finish it. Had to start from the beginning because I forgot the story. At first, my memory was coming back to what the story and the setting was like and it slowly hooked me in. You are a survivor in a plane crash and finds a device next to the lighthouse that leads to a city underwater. After arriving, you realize that the city is running havoc and someone named Atlas decides to help you to survive in the city.

I was expecting this game to be similar to Borderlands because of similar mechanics of upgrading your weapons or acquiring different superpowers called plasmids.

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(list of some of the plasmids)

However, as I got deeper into the story, I was slowly losing interest and decided to change the difficulty to easy due to people on the Bioshock subreddit telling others to finish the game for the story. I like the fact that I could kill enemies either by guns or using plasmids like electricity or freeze them with ice. Also, able to hack machines to work for you.

However, the thing that slowly lost my interest was the constant hacking that I was doing by connecting the pipes from beginning to end. The part that frustrated me the most was when I reached a point of no return due to obstacles that are on the way or when the liquid is too quick that you had to give up and try again.

bioshock-hack(example of the hacking game)

If you decide to spend in-game cash, you can buy autohack kit to hack without connecting the pipes; by the middle to end of the story, you start earning a lot of money, but they cap it to $500. I hoped that they could have put a variety of mini games to hack a machine and higher the cap to $999. I believe that the hacking just took the enjoyment of my experience with the game.

Additionally, I was surprised that this game was not a horror or a suspense game because throughout the game, I was constantly getting goosebumps because enemies kept appearing out of nowhere behind you with zero noise. Also, the music in this game played a huge part making the game more suspenseful than it should have been.

Lastly, Steam users were bashing on the Remastered version because it kept crashing, but I had no problem. If you happen to pick up the Remastered version, it comes with additional content such as Director’s Commentary that you need to find throughout the different levels. Also, there is a section in the main menu named additional content that you can play which I decided to skip and there is also a museum level that shows the different sketches that the 2K team went through while building the game if you are interested in.

Quick Review: Need For Speed: Most Wanted (2012)

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Developer: Criterion Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: October 30, 2012 (NA)
Played Platform: PC

Felt that this game is a more polish game that Criterion Games made after making Burnout Paradise

Things I like:

  • Open-world driving game
    • Finding jackspots (licensed cars) around the city
    • Crashing through billboards and fences
    • Taking down the 10 Most Wanted cars driving around the city to earn them
  • Every car can be modified by:
    • Body
    • Nitrous
    • Tires
    • Chassis
    • Transmission
  • Fast travel between jackspots you found and events you completed
  • The map shows you where to go while racing

Things I did not like:

  • Police is annoying
    • Need to drive under speed limit while free roaming or the cops start to chase you
    • They bother you while racing because they are constantly chasing you throughout the whole race
  • Driving is hard during day/night time
    • The sun rays blinds your eyes and can’t see the road for a few seconds
    • Hard to see the road when there is no street lights