Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Musings - 14th Nov, 2011

It is indeed Monday. It is indeed time to muse. It is indeed time to stop typing this sentence. Let us go!

L.A. Noire (PS3)

The curtain closed on L.A. Noire on Saturday night. I must say, it's refreshing to have a game completed in a week. This was the first step in playing catch up on all the games i've wanted to play this year but couldn't afford. It was quite an exceptional first step. Mind you, i'm an adventure game fan so this was right up my alley. The investigations, the interviews, even the action sequences were a lot of fun.

Now i know this game has a lot of horror stories associated with its development, but i did really enjoy the tale that was told here. There was an overarching tale of corruption from the get go, but the mini-story during the homicide missions revolving around the Black Dahlia murders was incredibly well woven with a great conclusion. The final chapters at the arson desk were amazing too, especially the stuff revolving around Jack Kelso. The flashback after the credits, while a curious way to end things, just rounded out the experience a little more.

I feel a lot was wasted with this game though. While having all these side missions and a breathing 1940s LA to drive around in, the main storyline was too engrossing to ever want to explore or try other things. The facial motion capture was incredible (so much so that the game i'm playing now, things just look terrible face animation wise... but more on that soon), but it really was just a gimmick as most interviews, there were pretty obvious tells if a character was not being truthful.

Heh, i'm used to having multiple weeks to talk about games to pick out things and discuss them. I'm racking my brain to try and find all the little things i noticed while playing and cram them into this segment. I guess i'll end on saying i would play a sequel to this game. That's pretty high praise right? Maybe set it in another time or follow other characters with another story, but use the same gameplay, only refined? I would be all over that. Somebody make that happen.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution (PC)

I started playing this last night and played a little passed the first mission. Already i find the gameplay incredible. I love any action game where non-lethality is an option (see my love for Splinter Cell and Metal Gear Solid). The options present in upgrades have me planning out which route i want to take with my character, and this might be the coolest hacking mini-game i've seen in any video game before. The story is very intriguing. My buddy Andrew and i were having a conversation a while back (he'd already played through the game), and he mentioned the actual moral opposition that a lot of people would have to augmentation when it becomes a reality, and that Deus Ex might be a case of forecasting. If anything, the themes are very engaging to the philosophy and sci-fi fan in me, and already having exited the building to explore Detroit in game, i might put the main story on hold, and check out a couple side quests to see what they have in store.

Actually my only complaint so far (aside from the facial animation of the characters paling in comparison having just finished L.A. Noire) is that i seem to get really bad frame rate drops now and then. It's not enough to impact the gameplay (it's more about this second or two of jitter loading new areas), but it is noticeable and annoying. Mind you, i do have the graphics cranked up. To see if it made a difference i turned DX11 off, and that has helped somewhat, but it has taken some of the shininess off sadly.

Whoever is voicing David Sarif, i swear i know them... but i usually wait till the credits to work these things out if they don't become apparent.

Persuit of Hat (Indie)

This is a lot of fun. Why? Because its colourful, the music is jaunty and it's a puzzle game where you tear off your own limbs to retrieve your hat. You also shoot some of these limbs out of canons. The puzzles are clever without being too difficult and this could have wasted my afternoon if i had let it.

I tried this game because the title intrigued me.

Final Thoughts

So some of you will be wondering where the review i promised of Persona 4 is. This is a valid question. I wrote up my proposal for how i was going to tackle reviews on Wednesday... then i become unsatisfied with my game categories so i slept on it, and went back to re-evaluate things the next day. I've tackled writing the explanation for my review structure at least four times now and still am not satisfied with it. Sometimes i think it's a little too much like other reviews out there, sometimes i think it's not informative enough, and i haven't been able to agree on discussion categories since i started (plus i'm still up in the air whether to create video reviews or just to write them).

I think my reviews will be a work in progress till i've settled on something i'm happy with. Till then, well my discussion each week here on Monday Musings should leave enough insight to whether you'd like to check out a game or not. I'm always happy to field questions about titles i've played in the comments too.

Till next week, happy gaming all!

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