Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Game Over 2010

The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition (X360)
Bayonetta (X360, Normal)
Bioshock (X360, Normal)
Bioshock 2 (X360, Normal)
Heavy Rain (Hard QTEs)
God of War II (PS3, Normal)
God of War III (Normal)
Super Mario Galaxy (108 stars)
Rogue Trooper (Wii, Normal)
Tomb Raider: Underworld (X360, Master Survivalist)
Mirror's Edge (X360, Normal)
F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (X360, Normal)
Ninja Blade (X360, Normal)

Overall, this was a fun game. Being a bit of Japan-freak it gave me a visual hard-on (so to speak) seeing accurate portrayals of places I've visited rather than the usual 'this is Tokyo'. On the flip side the game also overstayed its welcome.

I can forgive the nonsensical repeat which was Mission 7 simply because the developers had the cheeky nous to label the Achievement "Deja Vu". But then it decided to indulge in the petty crime of teasing out the final stretch to limits which test even my patience.

Having the boss fight last two missions is taking the piss, but making the player repeat the final attack is pretty much raping a corpse. Worse was the fact that the camera angle chosen in order to initiate the killing blow isn't the best. In fact I cocked it up three or four times which meant more repetition and then...another boss fight! Absolute bollocks!

Monday, 17 May 2010

Two become one

I forgot to mention this when I noticed it a couple of weeks ago: Watford has lost a GAME store.

It was announced earlier this year that GAME was closing down a large number of its stores, and this would result in an even larger number of redundancies.

When this news broke the reaction on some of the more moronic comments pages, i.e. Eurogamer, was generally predictable. Most thought that the company sucked. However, amongst the bile there were a few that mourned the loss of jobs (I've experienced redundancy - it's fucking horrible) but more interesting was that in many towns there were several outlets within close proximity of each other.

This is the case in Watford. The original Watford GAME (sadly the one that has closed) was within a few hundred metres of the newer store, which is inside the main Harlequin shopping centre. It's also almost opposite the Gamestation which, of course, is also owned by the GAME group.

It makes sense to keep the Harlequin branch open because it receives the most traffic (one of the reasons I dislike going there) but the other store had some history behind it. It was (forgive me if I get the order wrong) originally a Virgin Games Centre before becoming the rather nondescript Future Zone. The manageress of VGC (I make the distinction because it was unusual at the time) stayed to run FZ. It then became the daft-sounding Electronics Boutique, which was a big US chain although I didn't know it at the time. (I was to cross paths with the EB manager when I went to work at Borders. I had the nagging feeling I recognised the deputy manager and I only found out the truth when he casually referred to his previous job one day.)

GAME soon came along to swallow EB (at least in this country) and bar the ill-advised and short-lived 'Trade-in' design storefront (large awful-looking sign in the GAME orange-yellow trade-in colour) has remained the same until recently.

It would be wrong to say that the GAME store itself held many memories. I can only recall the purchase of my Elite from there and that was recent. I actually have more fondness of the store in its previous incarnations (as my recollection of the different managers proves). However, it's sad to see that particular part of the high street vacated, especially because it's extremely unlikely that it will be replaced another gaming store. Hopefully, the most recent staff there managed to find employment elsewhere.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Game Over 2010

The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition (X360)
Bayonetta (X360, Normal)
Bioshock (X360, Normal)
Bioshock 2 (X360, Normal)
Heavy Rain (Hard QTEs)
God of War II (PS3, Normal)
God of War III (Normal)
Super Mario Galaxy (108 stars)
Rogue Trooper (Wii, Normal)
Tomb Raider: Underworld (X360, Master Survivalist)
Mirror's Edge (X360, Normal)
F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (X360, Normal)

Christ, I thought it would never end. I finished this on Friday after playing almost every night for the week. It was a fucking trial. It just seemed to go on and on.

In the end the most exciting thing about the game was wondering if I could complete it before my battery pack completely died (I lost count of the number of times the Xbox alerted me to "reconnect my controller").

I'm now more attuned to the Eurogamer review (5/10) than the Edge one (8/10). F.E.A.R. 3 can go f.u.c.k. itself.