Reviews by ipowered

75

Great Game, Terrible Writing

ipowered | Nov. 22, 2011 | Review of Saints Row: The Third

Graphics: 8/10 Game-Play: 8/10 Immersion: 0/10 Writing/Story: 0/10 Vehicle Physics: 8/10 Gun Physics: 5/10

Game Length: 20-30hrs (run-through) Originality: No

Pros: Awesome game play, physics, and graphics. Cons: Dim-witted scenarios, repetitive missions, and sad, sad writing!

If you thought Duke Nukem Forever’s one-liners were cheesy, wait until you play this! The game starts off with a bank robbery, which is unique (in a good way). What killed it was the pathetically idiotic babble going on between this “infamously notorious trio.” Here’s a sample dialogue taken from the game: “We need a lot weapons and quick…There’s a military base not too far from here.” “…but that’s a fortified military base!” “…and your point is?” “Nothing, it just seems kind of dangerous” “It’s either that or you start turning tricks for dough” “Okay, we’ll raid the military base.”

The combined deductive reasoning skills of these “infamous thugs” is so pathetic that I feel like smacking the game-writer! Much like the deep philosophical writing of Duke Nukem Forever, Saints Row The Third loses most (if not all) levels of immersion due to the fact that most people (modern-day gamers at that) expect a game that will appeal at least partially to their intellects on some level, and this game just doesn’t deliver. Unless the aim of the game was to mock would-be thugs and the mediocrity of their thought processes, the writers should have probably stuck with the self-obsession theme that the writers of the Duke Nukem Forever apparently thought was befitting for their spectacularly-designed game. I remember imagining how awesome games such as Crackdown 2 would have been if they lost the corny “agency theme,” and hired some creative writers to go along with the game play.

In closing, there you have it: another polished game with excellent mechanics that could have been the game of the year; but, won’t be due to the audience that can’t respect a game with cheesy one-liner anymore than they can respect a movie with the same. In all honestly, there’s no excuse; we can expect poorly-written dialogue from arcade games made by some broke developer who had a great idea but didn’t have the money to pay a writer — not heavy-hitters such as THQ and Volition.

With “Alan Wake” winning Time Magazine’s Game of The Year in 2010, you would thing that publishers would start pushing their designers for better-written games. Hey, if you like our review style, please don’t forget to add us to your facebook or hit the “like” button on our blog. We’re trying to raise the bar with our reviews and include all aspects that matter per game so that gamers looking for immersive games won’t wind up with great hack ‘n slash titles, etc.

95

A Game for The Old School

ipowered | Sept. 4, 2011 | Review of Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Game-play: A lot of reviews talk about the quality of the gameplay in this game; so, I won't spend much time on it. The cover system takes getting used to at first; but, when it's said and done, cover-based combat systems are much more realistic than non-cover-based systems such those in call of duty, etc. This game preserves the first person perspective that we all came to love and understand, while giving players who don't want to play with a 7.1 channel headset on full blast a fighting chance with the 3rd person zoom-out (while in cover).

The Story: Unlike many other 'would-be great' first person action RPG's, this game immediately establishes a realistic plot, character traits, and a polished futuristic theme that carefully balances realism in accordance with technological possibilites in the forseable future along with fiction. [I purposely didn't stamp the game 'science fiction' as all types of abomonations to science/reality are labeled under the abused genere]. Although the story unfolds classically (with no real twists to the plot), the writers seemed to have done a great job in keeping the game within the realm of realism (mostly). Story and theme-wise, this game reminded me a lot of the original Metal Gear Solid. You're not fighting jelly blobs or floating plants with tentacles; rather, each conflict has a sub-plot paired with reason.

Character Development: The character development is solid and keeps players exploring, hacking, and pillaging, chasing after new augments and weapon mods, making development a sweet delicacy. Makes me wonder if it's even possible to fully upgrade all augments and weapons in a single play-through?

Difficulty:
This is always a sticky debate; however, after completing the game on its hardest difficulty (a fairly challenging feat), I can only speculate that the A.I. is some of the best I've seen in any game.

Boss Difficulty and The Old School: While boss battles seemed frustrating at first (anyone remember MetalGear Solid's bosses?), they became easier after figuring them out (yes, old-school gamers had to figure things out before Google, yahoo, and webcrawler -- wait, what's webcrawler? The Old-school gets it -- they count more anyway because I said so.)

Ending: Nothing like having choices, and not being forced into the moral beliefs of the game developers/writers/editors/publishers, etc.

Final Word: This is one of the best games to come out in a long time (and believe me, I've played all major titles to come out since 1990, console and PC). If you're just getting into gaming, you'll never be able appreciate this game like those of us that have seen first person shooters develop since the original Doom and Wolfenstein. My only criticism is the game's cover-system is glitchy around some surfaces. Energy levels are a constant problem and almost prevent the player from enjoying earned augments (but that maybe a balancing factor that would drastically offset the challenge if altered without altering the entire game).

                                     To the Old School,
                                                          iPowered