Like every quarter, I’m doing a little review of the games I’ve played on the previous 3 months. This time, with holidays and all I haven’t played so much, but I still have a few new notches in my gamer’s belt:
Assassin´s Creed Bloodlines (PSP)
Let’s see… I got the game just because it came on a bundle with my PSP. What to do? I liked the color. Anyway, this year I started the Assassin’s Creed saga, so I had to give a chance to this game that serves as a bridge between AC and AC2. The game tries to adapt the mechanics of the bigger entries on the series to a handheld type of game. And it does it pretty well, but the limitations of the hardware, plus the limitations of the original game mechanics is a bad combination.
In the game you control Altair through a bunch of pretty linear missions. The developer reduced the size of the levels, making the game more dynamic, but the mechanics are still the same. The combat system is pretty bad and the pickpoketing missions are a pain. Thankfully, the game is not too long and lets you advance at a good pace. It’s not awful, but I can’t recommend something as average as this.
Metal Gear Solid 3 HD (PS3)
Finally. Even playing it 13 years after the original release, it’s easy too see how MGS3 was a revolutionary game. The introduction of food, hunting and the surgery/medicine system changes the game completely regarding the previous entries on the series. We’re talking about elements that have been introduced in multiple other games after MGS3, and I believe that even a genre like the survival games, owes a lot to Snake Eater. The game is an absolute masterpiece, though it has some things I didn’t like (there’s no perfect game). An essential game, a classic, and vital to understand videogame evolution.
Last year I started a trip through id Software history, and Quake is the third game of theirs that I played. Quake keeps alive the company’s fast paced gunplay, while going deeper into the horror-like theme already seen in Doom. The game is still really good, but I see it as a step back in level design if we compare it with the wonders of Doom II. I’d like to mention two things. First, the Trent Reznor soundtrack is really creepy, and together with the sound design helps to create an uncomfortable feel in the player. Second, today it would be unthinkable to have a game so incoherent on a visual level. Having that in mind, the game is worth a play, and I think it will keep any FPS fan entertained for the 6h or so that it lasts.
As a side note, recently a found this article about the impact of Quake in the games industry. Very interesting read.
The Witcher 2: Assassin’s of Kings (Xbox360)
Last year, Aneesha got me The Witcher 3 for my (then) new PS4. After playing for a few hours I decided to take a step back and play the 2nd game in the series first, as the story seemed to be tightly connected. Despite missing some of the improvements made on the 3rd game, The Witcher 2 has marveled me in many ways. The game world is fascinating. The complexity of their characters and plot, surprising. I really liked to play something that feels mature and complex. Though it only happens a few times, the game let’s you make decisions during the game that will alter your relationship with other characters and even change the story of the game.
The combat system is probably the weakest part of the game, specially compared with the much improved system on the 3rd one. It took me some time to get used to it, but it truly pays off if you fight with patience and being strategic. And the camera sometimes doesn’t give the best angles, specially in combats in reduced spaces. The game has a high level of complexity, but doesn’t force you to use everything. For example, you don’t need to do dig deep into alchemy or make use of the secondary weapons if you don’t want to. That gives for a personalized experience of the game, and leave a lot of freedom in the player.
In summary, great game, probably the best western action-RPG I’ve ever played. At least until i dive deep into The Witcher 3.
Thomas Was Alone (PSVita)
I started Thomas Was Alone long time back, but for some reason I didn’t connect with it. A year or so later, I gave it another chance. This times things were substantially different. The game is no prodigy on any aspect. And I think the quality of the game was magnified at the time of the launch. But it’s undeniable that the level design is really good, with some excellent levels on it. The game is a succession of puzzles with a bit of platforming, where you control several characters (color blocks) with different abilities. It’s through the combination of these abilities how you solve the puzzles. The addition of the narrator is interesting, and it gives a lot of personality to the game. But that’s it, it’s not revolutionary on any level and it’s far from achieving excellence. The duration of the game is well measured, avoiding an excess of repetition of the game mechanics.
That’s been all for this Q3. Now I’m about to embark myself into the highest adventure Link has gone through. And all thanks to Aneesha that got me my new (and amazing) Nintendo Switch 😀