Reviews by scottnat
Best Tomb Raider..scottnat | July 13, 2013 | Review of Tomb Raider
It's more in the Uncharted type mold. Very cinematic, with lots of QTE moments. Beautiful polished game. Agree with some of the other reviewers, in that the puzzles are lacking a little, but on the other hand the action is always top notch. Control's great. Probably my third fav game of the year behind FarCry2 and Bioshock Infinite (thus far).
Awesome game.scottnat | July 13, 2013 | Review of BioShock Infinite (ANZ)
A linear fps, but a good one. Gorgeous world. Distinct. My only small qualm is i'd have liked to see the story fleshed out a fraction more. In an effort to keep it unusual felt like a couple of things weren't quite fully explained. Loved it, nonetheless. Big recommendation.
Loving it.scottnat | Aug. 31, 2012 | Review of Guild Wars 2: Digital Edition (NA) -
Gorgeous game. Huge - i've played probably 30 hours already and only 10% of the map is opened. Not sure how they've done it, but massively interactive in terms of mmo aspects - without the ongoing fee. Just a brilliant incredibly polished game. Up there with Skyrim as my favorite of the last couple of years.
The original.scottnat | April 29, 2012 | Review of Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition DNS
Superb game. Epic story and setting. Everything first rate - literate. So much range in customisation. And pure sandbox in terms of how you go about it. Just really first rate.
It's an older game so naturally pales on the graphics front nowadays, but there's just so much too it it would be wrong to not give it a shot on that the basis of that.
Bleak but engrossing.scottnat | April 25, 2012 | Review of A New Beginning DNS
From the same developers as 'The Whispered World'. I'm not sure which one came out first - both have been available for a little while in boxed form and were released quite a while ago in some European countries still pretty big on old style adventure games.
You can't really tell from the pictures but this - and 'The Whispered World', which i should have mentioned in my review for it - are 4:3 ratio. Just to point it out in case it is either a turn off or there's people out there playing the games confused natural framing not filling widescreen monitors (though can use stretch mode).
The game graphics are excellent. Design is better than animation - which can be a fraction stilted. There's little in the way of annoying puzzles - a few but nothing too major. The plot may be a turn off if the global warming thing has either started to bore you as a topic or if you have a disagreement with it, but if neither of those are the case it's actually quite engrossing. Also, while a very different game, has that sort of moodiness to found in The Whispered World.
Beautiful game.scottnat | April 24, 2012 | Review of The Whispered World
One of my favourite traditional styled PC adventure games of last couple of years. Lovely graphics. Terrific soundtrack. There's only a couple of puzzles in the game which were a bit obscure, but for the most part that side of things is logical and rewarding.
In terms of narrative it's pretty touching. Gets the reflective childhood thing down pat. Is a nice mix of nostalgia and imaginative vibrancy. And while not super long - say up against something like The Longest Journey - it's length is more than satisfying.
It's the journey.scottnat | April 20, 2012 | Review of Mass Effect 3
A lot has been made on forums about the ending of Mass Effect 3 being not much scratch, and they're right there are... problems. But I wouldn't let that dissuade from what there is good about the game - it's the journey that counts. The series is one of the best written, most engaging ones out there. The combat etc isn't top shelf, but is more than adequate. Graphics, technically and on a design level though are top shelf. The exploration and feeling of engagement in the world - it's level of detail - is excellent.
Besides all of which, I believe - whether it's good to reward whining or not aside - EA has assented and will be supplying an 'extended ending' patch soon.
Some very nice extras.scottnat | April 20, 2012 | Review of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition
The extras of the enhanced edition (or free ~11-12 gig patch for standard Witcher 2) really add some gloss. The new opening cinematic alone is gorgeous and makes it worth the download/buy if you're a fan of the game. I've only played a little of the extra mission content - tutorial, and some of main game extras - but what's there fits in very well with the non-Enhanced version content. Also, I'm not sure how extensive it is but it feels like the game is running a little smoother; as though some extra effort has gone into an engine overhaul along with the new content - though whether this is a result of this EE specific version/patch or prior patches that have been included in the EE version but were available prior to it I'm not sure.
Fun.scottnat | April 20, 2012 | Review of Saints Row: The Third
More or less a bit of a copy of GTA, but done in a really over the top style. Plays very smoothly, and the world has enough variety - in missions and settings - to happily while away a couple of dozen hours. Isn't quite as well orchestrated as the GTA series in terms of controls or as tight a story, but all in all makes a good complement to that game - or a good alternative if you're looking for another sandbox PC game and already have GTA and Batman:Arkham City.
Terrific.scottnat | April 17, 2012 | Review of Batman: Arkham Asylum
Might seem a little redundant in light of the superior sequel, but thinking like that is a bit of a mistake in my opinion (if you have Batman Arkham City, I'd at least buy Asylum when it's on sale if you can't justify full price). This is a terrific, huge, graphically sumptuous game in it's own right. Against any competition other than its sequel it is still one of the best games of last few years. There are very few sandbox type games on PC that get it right, and this series is about the only superhero based one on any platform to do so.
Intense.scottnat | April 16, 2012 | Review of Alan Wake
Jumps straight into it. Loving the pacing of this one. Right from the opening sequence, without spoiling anything, there's bad characters brandishing weapons yelling and taunting and charging at you with force in the dark in a horrific manner. Sort of took me back to the panic i felt playing Resident Evil 4 on the Wii. Puts the adrenaline in overdrive.
As for the story itself, there's a lot of Stephen King nods - the writer, the returning to a small picturesque town - but stylistically the horror has touch of a Lovecraftian vibe (tone very much reminded me of the movie 'In the Mouth of Madness'). Could elaborate more but really would be spoiling things. The unfolding of what's going on in Bright Falls is really half the fun.
It is linear, which is a let down versus what the game was originally intended to be way back when it was first previewed on quad core computers (for those who followed it early), but having said that if can look over what it might have been and judge for it is and is trying to be, it does the linear style with a lot of panache.
Simulation.scottnat | April 16, 2012 | Review of GTR Evolution
Wasn't the newest or prettiest looking game engine even at release, but for where the focus is - driving - the 'look' is more than adequate. Which is not to say it looks bad by any stretch. Cars are fine, and some of the scenery even if simple is still immersive.
Those after an 'arcade' racer would best look elsewhere. This game clearly targets simulation crowd. For mine, it doesn't quite match say 'iRacing' on that level, but against everything else i can think of (on PC) it more than holds its own. Besides which with the majority of racers built on forgiving rampaging arcade style approach there aren't that many simulation racers to choose from.
Very Good.scottnat | April 16, 2012 | Review of Tomb Raider: Legend DNS
If i were to choose between Tomb Raider:Legend and Tomb Raider:Anniversary, i'd say go with the latter. However, that's not to say this isn't good. Anniversary is simply a little more polished - camera, graphics - and slightly longer. But Legend was a return to form for the series versus some of the fairly dire previous instalments riding coat tails of originals success.
Charming.scottnat | April 15, 2012 | Review of Borderlands
Bought it on a whim a while back when i found it cheap and had some time to kill. Didn't expect much, but was just plain silly fun. So much so i bought a gift copy for a friend for cheap also. Pictures make it look a little like a game version of the Road Warrior, and that's not too far wrong. Although is slightly more western 'feel' than they necessarily hint. The cell shading isn't going to be to everyone's liking but i personally thought gave it character. Actually, that's the word i'd use to some up the game, has 'character'. A breath of fresh air in a sea of mostly serious first person shooter releases lately.
Awesome game.scottnat | April 15, 2012 | Review of The Witcher II: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition
Still a ways to finish - is vying for time with Elder Scrolls 5 atm - but loving it thus far. Stunning graphics. In particular real effort has been applied in the textures. Probably the prettiest texturing of any modern PC game i can think of - and some lovely use of bold colours to. One for high end graphics card owners to really show off their system.
Excellent story, as it should be with all the original novels source material to create the world. Very well paced to, so far. Word of warning, adult content - some nudity etc.
I'm still not quite completely convinced about the combat, and camera angles can occasionally be troublesome if enemies are swarming you, but those are pretty minor niggles.
Highly recommend it. Oh, and probably a few extra points for the integrity of the games makers. Out of their way to provide for customers, not the least of which is all the extra free content they're on the verge of releasing (enhanced edition upgrade free via ~10 gig patch).
Fun Wipeout-ish racer.scottnat | April 15, 2012 | Review of MegaRace 3
Obviously it's a very old game up at a budget price, so don't expect anything too wonderful to look at versus today's racers, but given it's release date it's reasonably attractive. As you can tell from the screen shots Green Man Gaming has up it's a very 'vibrant'. Some of the levels border on gaudy, really, but gives it it's own character.
What else? The game can be run at pretty high resolutions. Back when i last played it i was running at 1600x. It has a pretty decent sense of speed. The handling is okay... I'd imagine quite good versus competition in it's time but not quite as good these days.
All in all it's a fun little piece of nostalgia, just don't expect too much. If considering it i'd probably recommend waiting till it's up for sale for a few bucks. $7 for what it is is probably a little steep.
Loving this game.scottnat | April 15, 2012 | Review of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (NA)
I've bought a bunch of great games lately - mostly on account first anticipating and now owning a new graphics card - and this one is the one i've far and away played the most. It's beautiful, it's so open and possibility laden. Feel like i've barely even scratched the surface of the main quest and yet i'm already i'm up to something 16-17 hours play time. It's just so more-ish. Play for what you think will be an hour, and an hour comes and goes and you find there's just this one more thing you want to do here, or that to collect there, or a skill which is on the cusp of upgrading to the next level which will open up a whole pile of other things over there... That would actually be my only warning/complaint, which is a funny kind of one - if you start it be prepared to lose a lot of time. Very addictive.
Loved it.scottnat | April 15, 2012 | Review of Batman: Arkham City
Superb. Huge city environment with more variety than you'd think it would have, pulled off with stunning graphics and lots of really neat little physics effects - in terms of wind and water etc. A game which can be quite lengthy to, depending exactly how many side missions the player takes up. Though even if only a small percentage on offer are indulged in, or none, it'll still be well over a dozen hours start to finish.
One minor reservation i have is be careful you're hardware is up to it. Got the latest and great graphics card in my comp (680GTX) with everything set at top level and am finding the odd bit of stutter. But, having said that, even if the Directx11 extras aren't viable on your setup it's still a beautiful game in Directx9 mode.
Excellent.scottnat | April 15, 2012 | Review of The Next Big Thing
If you're after Pendulo Studios game outside the Runaway series and choosing between this and Yesterday i'd go with this one. Where Yesterday is somewhat too short The Next Big Thing provides a nice meaty adventure. There's a couple of illogical puzzles, but they aren't so often as to be a turn off - think i had to look up things maybe three times start to finish to carry on. As with all Penulo adventure games the graphics are gorgeous. They basically all feature the same kind of cartoon aesthetic so like one, like them all in that regard.
Return to form.scottnat | April 15, 2012 | Review of Sonic Generations
After a bunch dismal Sonic games it's pleasing to say this is one finally worth buying. Bright, colourful fun. It runs very well. Of the two modes - 3d and 2d side scrolling - i have to say i prefered the 2d levels, but having said that the implementation of the 3d is a step up from previous games featuring this viewpoint. The 3d perspective can still be a little frustrating at times, though is never out and out annoying as it has been for most of the Sonic incarnations featuring it.
Brilliantscottnat | April 14, 2012 | Review of Super Meat Boy
It's the control that makes this game. The graphics are simple fun, the gameplay fairly standard platformer - a combination of timing of movement/jumping with puzzles. But the difference between a good version of this sort of game and a bad is how accurately the characters on-screen response reflects what you've done, or feel you've done, with keyboard/controller. This game is expert at its implementation of controls.
While there's plenty of throw-stuff-at-the-wall frustration of not quite executing a maneuver, followed by 'just one more try', there's never any sense of the game itself cheating you out of a victory. And there is a genuine sense of satisfaction tackling and eventually beating the harder levels.
Should add, to, the game has a great sense of humor. Starting with the blood smears etc of smiling chunk of meat you play as.
Liked it.scottnat | April 13, 2012 | Review of L.A. Noire Capsule
A much better PC port than GTA 4 was, albeit still requiring a pretty beefy system to run in full settings without stutter (you'll likely have to dial some settings down no matter your computer, at least i did). But doesn't have near the number of bugs and issues as GTA 4 had.
In terms of the game, is beautiful. Description above pretty much catches tone of what it's about - 1940's, gangsters, seedy underbelly etc. One thing which really does stand out with these Rockstar games, and i guess is a product of their huge budgets, is the quality of voice acting and the subtle details from the motion capture tech. It really is first rate. Bodies don't always fully match detail on faces, but the overall character created more than makes up for that.
The only downside i'd say is the gameplay can get a touch repetitive. Though i enjoyed the world enough it didn't really bother me.
Great gamescottnat | April 13, 2012 | Review of Tomb Raider: Anniversary DNS
Had a lot of fun with Tomb Raider:Anniversary. There are moments of awkward camera angles and few random bugs, but these to me never interfered too much to really detract.
The graphics are lovely, and being a remake of the original Tomb Raider - and imo by far best Tomb Raider - it was terrific to revisit those lovely little peaceful aesthetic moments that got me so much first time round. Small things like the satisfying little 'splosh' and cozy lighting in the pools of water leading to underground caverns - the execution of which alas seemed to be less and less intimate or charming in the sequels.
Highly recommend it.
Professional but very short.scottnat | April 13, 2012 | Review of Yesterday
As with all Pendulo Studios adventure games Yesterday is beautiful to look at. It's got a nice flow, well written with a nice little twist quite early and not too many illogical puzzles - i was only stumped by one or two.
But there's a downside and it's a fairly significant one - the game is very short. I mean even by 'short game' standards this one is short. Think i was done start to finish in three hours. It's a fun ride and worthwhile but only i'd suggest if it's on sale (in terms of value) or if a very quick little adventure is what you seek.