Seven Quick Reviews

I went on a game completion spree last month and finished seven. All of them were fairly short at under fifteen hours each or were already half finished before I picked them back up. Most were completed in two or three days in four to six hour sessions. Here are my thoughts on each:

  • Crysis 3 - This one was somewhat fun, and damn pretty. Seriously some of the best graphics I've seen on the PS3. The gameplay had some good ideas with balancing invisibility and invulnerability, but felt a bit lacking. I'm not quite sure what it was, but something was missing. The story was pretty hilariously bad. Fans of poor voice acting and melodrama will enjoy it. 6/10
  • Mass Effect 3 - I had been working on that trilogy since before Christmas, but only got around to playing the last half of the third game in April. I liked the second game a lot more than the first, so I was expecting the third to be at least that much fun, but it wasn't. Playing renegade turned me from "being ruthless to get the job done" to "being a total asshole that condemns entire species to death because I can't be bothered to save both." And that goddamn ending. The absolute worst ending I've ever seen. (No, I didn't install the directors cut or any of the DLC. That was a conscious decision on my part.) The game was passable, but by AAA game standards go, it wasn't very good. 5/10

Seven Quick Reviews

  • Ace Combat: Assault Horizon - I am a massive fan of the series. I had this game pre-ordered and paid off. I played the demo two weeks before release, went to the Gamestop, and canceled that pre-order. I am very, very glad I did. Simply put, this game is what happens when someone takes a semi-arcade, semi-simulator air combat game and tries to make it appeal to people who wouldn't normally enjoy that kind of game. The dogfights are on rails, physics are bent significantly to make said on-rails dogfights take place between buildings, cranes, etc. The fictional world Strangereal is gone in favor of the real world. It has an incredibly generic plot of "Russians attack people," the characters aren't given much personality, and the superweapon is nowhere near as creative as some in the series past (seriously, it is just a nuke. Where are the spaceplanes that fire lasers, artillery complexes that fire shells that cause shockwaves so big all aircraft and buldings are destroyed near it, or the submersible aircraft carriers?) The helicopter controls while in first person were some of the worst in any game I've played, rivaling those of Earth Defense Force, and there were more door gunner missions than actual attack helicopter ones. This game disappointed me in every way possible. Series fans should stay away. Newcomers might enjoy it more than I did, but don't expect the other games in the series to be anything like it. If I had preordered it, I would have made as big of a deal about it as the entire internet did about Mass Effect 3. 1/10
  • Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. - I played this before Ace Combat, but I wish I had played it after. This is the best Ace Combat game on the PS3. (If you have a 360, go play Ace Combat 6 instead.) In terms of story, this is about as generic as anyone could get. In terms of gameplay, I had a blast. All of the dogfighting, bombing raids, stealth missions, and everything else felt straight out of an Ace Combat game. The assistance-OFF mode is gimmicky, but is vastly preferable to Assault Horizon's dogfight mode. I had a lot of fun, but I'm not convinced the game is worth more than one playthrough. Elite mode is also extremely easy. 7/10

Seven Quick Reviews

  • Killzone: Mercenary - I've always liked the Killzone series. It fits a specific niche within FPS games: slow paced, close quarters with sci-fi gadgets. This slower pace makes the game fit perfectly on the smaller screen and thumbsticks of the Vita. The level of dexterity those sticks give is significantly lower than the ones on a console controller, and it shows at parts. Thankfully, the game has the perfect difficulty balance, speed and scale for it. Very enjoyable shooter, and I definitely plan to go back for the contracts and multiplayer later on. 8/10
  • Binary Domain - This is the best robot-fighting third person shooter out there. The story doesn't take itself too seriously most of the time, only delving into heavy-handed philosophical musing so characteristic of Japanese games at a few moments. I was amused by the blatant stereotypes the developers put into the game, especially the American generals and politicians. A few moments at the end dipped into melodrama, but not to the point where I was turned away. The environment designs are a bit bland in a lot of the areas, but were functional. The limb-destruction mechanics impressed me, and I hope more games take advantage of this as an actual game mechanic in the future. It had a good challenge on hard, trying my skills but never causing frustration. One big negative, though, is that boss fights went on far too long, particularly the one in the back of the truck. It went on for over fifteen minutes without having to restart from a checkpoint once, which is ridiculous in a game that isn't Monster Hunter. Otherwise, this is probably the best game I played last month. 9/10
  • Medal of Honor: Warfighter - I might have hated Assault Horizon for mostly subjective reasons, but Warfighter is a truly bad game by any definition. The first Medal of Honor reboot game has the best story in a modern military shooter, in my opinion, so I was expecting something good from Warfighter. What I got was a convoluted mess of jumping timelines, terrorism and dudes with PTSD. I really cannot say what the story was about other than very general statements like "Terrorism was involved somewhere." Throughout the game I was completely lost, just shooting dudes that popped up in my sights. The gunplay was passable, if not very satisfying, and the difficulty was pretty low on hard mode most of the time. There were a few points with massive difficulty spikes, but they were few and far between. The multiplayer felt like a cheap Chinese free-to-play Counterstrike knockoff (I have played several, so I know what they are like) and made me quit after an hour. Thankfully I only bought the game for $6 and was able to return it in time for a full refund. Don't play this game. Seriously. Don't. Please. Don't even give it to people you don't like as a present. I normally would never feel good about a studio closing after releasing a game, but Danger Close deserved it this time. Hopefully EA will rethink the yearly military shooter because of this. 0/10

Now that I am finishing with classes this week, I will have even more free time. That will change by the beginning of June, but until then, I may try to beat another seven. I have exactly seven games left in my backlog, and there's a couple more I plan on getting, so that might happen. Only time will tell, or something.