Reviews by ballisticge0rge

100

A Story So Good That It Retroactively Improves The Original

ballisticge0rge | Nov. 12, 2013 | Review of Borderlands 2 (NA)

Borderlands originally had a very light story. So light in fact that I can summarize it in a few words "Open the Vault" Why? Because. But what for? Because. And if I don't? You will.

I loved the art style, the humor and the gameplay of the first game. But the story was so lacking I found myself bored doing missions repeatedly for little motivation than to do them.

Borderlands 2 changes all of that, so much so that retroactively it makes the first game's story amazing. How? Because. Why? Just trust me.

It's funny as hell and more fun than any RPG I've played, and the characters just keep this world exciting and lovable. Just play it, with a friend if you can, and enjoy it. Laugh, quote it for years to come, and beg them to make more DLC.

100

A Title That Defines Games As Art

ballisticge0rge | Nov. 12, 2013 | Review of BioShock Infinite (NA)

Bioshock Infinite is an amazing game; you no doubt have heard this before, however it is not just an amazing game but a piece of art to be remembered. This is not because of the amazing combat, the stunning level design or the endless replay value the game has; to the contrary this game's combat system is rather dull at times, the level design while great is not ground breaking, and the replay value is short lived.

But all of that is okay, in fact it is expected from a game that went through as many ups and downs as Infinite did in development. Did you know there was supposed to be a multiplayer? Or entire levels are missing from the game? These are not faults mind you, it happens in the game industry.

Yet, despite all of that, Bioshock Infinite is able to take the essence of gaming and channel it into a rich narrative worthy of endless analytical discussions, and countless term paper's on the themes and motifs that lay beneath the game's surface.

What The Great Train Robbery did for film, what Shakespeare did for theater, what the Odyssey did for literature....Bioshock does for video games. You aren't playing a game to be interrupted by cutscenes, you aren't shooting nonstop simply because it is fun...While you are a former soldier Booker, forced to kill to work your way out of debt...that is simply the context, killing in this game is out of obligation, like turning the page of a book.

The true story, the true gameplay, the heart of this piece of art is when the killing is over, when you have time to explore the strange world of Columbia, and observe Elizabeth's reactions and interest in the world around her. The story is in those moments, you only play the game (the endless killing) to fill the shoes of Booker Dewitt, to immerse yourself in a narrative and get lost in it.

Play it, and between every fight, explore, and soak in your surroundings. Observe the style of the architecture, the musical choices, the painting that dress the set, the choice of time period, the cultural atmosphere. Any time something seems familiar to you, or every time you see or hear something and think "Hey that's kind of like...." notice it. Notice that moment and consciously think about it.

Then when the game is over, drink, sleep, and start thinking about it all again. Not because this game has an amazing twist ending (which it does) but because at that moment, every theme and motif, every little artistic choice the developer made suddenly makes sense. How could they have done anything else? That's what no game has done before it, is make a world so deep and thick, and complex yet wonderfully consistent.

80

A Tumble Down Memory Lane

ballisticge0rge | July 7, 2013 | Review of Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City

I loved the original Resident Evil games, specifically Resident Evil 2 and 3 were my all time favorites. So when you say "Hey, we're making a game that goes back to Raccoon City and you play as Umbrella" I'm like TAKE MY MONEY DAMN IT!!!

But then reality sets in, and I realize the game plays nothing like those old resident evil games, it is also a huge departure from Resident Evil 4, 5 and 6. You die quickly, you need teamwork, and you are relying on skills that were never in any of the other games (like cloaking, thermal vision).

The game also focuses on multiplayer, which has never been a good thing in Resident Evil. However that all being said, I liked the game. It took me down that awesome trip of memory lane, and I had fun playing with friends.

If you have friends, love resident evil's history, and can swallow a few bad pieces of game mechanics (like poorly done chace scenes) then you'll enjoy this game. And honestly, what resident evil fan isn't used to bad game mechanics?