Tuesday, January 17, 2017

2017: The Year of Playstation has begun

I have dubbed 2017 The Year of Playstation.  The majority of games that I will record and post to YouTube will be Playstation games.  I'll still throw in a few Xbox games from time to time (or on the weekends) but my main focus will be playing (and finishing) a bunch of Playstation games.

The first game I'm focusing on is Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits.  (click the link for the playlist on YouTube)  I'll be getting back to playing more Dark Cloud if I can ever get past this one dungeon level I'm stuck on.  I think I might have figured out how to do it so maybe some of those videos will be coming out soon too.

I'm working on making some upgrades to my gaming set up but until then I can't get my Playstation 3 hooked up.  I'm hoping to get that done this weekend so I can start recording PS3 games again.  I got Bioshock Infinite from my Secret Santa so that will be one game I play and record.  After Christmas I kind of splurged an quite a few PS3 games but I won't tell you what ones those are . . . you'll just have to watch my channel to find out. 

What do you want me to play?  If you have any suggestions, let me know.  If I don't have it, I'll try to find a copy.  I love shopping for video games.

The Working Girl's Game Review - Far Cry Classic

So the first game I'm going to try and give a thorough review for is Far Cry Classic,  Not exactly a modern game, but that's okay.  There might be people who played any of the other Far Cry games and might be interested in picking up the original and completing their collection.  Also, I can hone my skills at giving reviews.  This is new to me too.  I'll try to keep it spoiler free as much as possible, but a few things might have to be spoiled to explain a point I'm making.

Xbox 360 Arcade


You play as Jack Carver who is running a boat tour business.  His only costumer this time is a lovely lady journalist named Valerie Constantine.  Except she's not who she says she is.  More on that later.  While cruising around some archipelago islands their boat is attacked and Jack and Val are thrown in to the water.  Jack wanders ashore and now has to find his charge Val.  The locals aren't friendly and Jack has no idea where Val might be.  Jack finds a radio and receives a broadcast from Harland Doyle that he might know where Val is.  While he doesn't know whether or not to trust Doyle he just wants to get Val and get off the island.

The Island holds a lot of secrets.  A very big one is that there is a secret organization that's been experimenting with genetic engineering (specifically weaponizing) and this organization and mercenaries don't want this secret to come out.  Especially the main guy Krieger.  After Jack rescues Val she confuses that she's CIA and there to find out what happened to an undercover agent . . . Harland Doyle.  Val releases the mutants (called Trigens) thinking that they will help distract the mercenaries to make things easier for Jack.  Unfortunately that just creates a new enemy for Jack to fight.  Val wants to find all the data and destroy the lab.  Oh, did we mention that Jack is an ex Army Special Forces operative?  Nope, well you don't learn that right off the bat either.  Now you know why your player is so proficient in guns right from the get go.

Story score: 3 penguins

Jack seems okay.  He's got some snarky stuff to say in response to Doyle's instructions.  If the game mentioned he was ex-Armed Forces at the beginning of the game I missed it.  It wasn't until much later that you learn who he really is/was.  The whole first half of the game is all about rescuing Val so it makes it seem that she's incapably of doing it herself.  After you rescue her she's very capable of taking care of herself.  And if you play some of the later "escort" missions right you can get her to take out most of the enemies so you don't have to.  Doyle is not upfront about who he is either.  And there's another side to him as well.  But I won't spoil that.

Character score: 3 penguins

Game Mechanics:
The aiming and gun control was okay.  There was one thing that almost made me quit playing the game before I figured it out.  When you come across a new weapon you get the "Y" button prompt if you want to switch weapons.  That left me thinking I could only carry 3 weapons; primary, secondary and a pistol.  That is NOT true.  I was also left thinking that the only way I could heal was to find a med pack somewhere.  I couldn't figure out how to have one in my inventory.  I also found that I could cycle through 3 different types of grenades but I couldn't see them in my inventory.  In fact I couldn't find my inventory at all. 

It turns out that  you have to hold the left bumper to pull up your inventory wheel.  Once I did that it was amazing what I could do with my weapons.  And healing . . . oh, look at that I had a med kit in my inventory and never knew it.  I didn't want a pistol so now I could equip that and swap it out for a better gun.  I didn't figure this out until almost half way through the game.  I had to go online to find help because I was so frustrated with the game.  There is NOTHING in the tutorial part, the menus, or the booklet for this game that explains how to pull up the wheel and use items on it (like much needed health kits).  I can't tell you how many times I died when I could have healed myself.  Once I figured this out the rest of the game was much easier . . . with one exception.

The other game mechanic that almost made me quit the game was the enemy concentration and spawn points.  There were too many times where there was hardly any enemies at all and then the next level you'd be surrounded by a hoard of them all the time.  The enemy concentration points were very unbalanced and it always happened at the worse time.  You'd be hit by a punch of enemies right at a check point . . . which is the only way to save your game.  If you died, you always came back right in the middle of all the enemies and usually at very low health (this is why it would have been good to know I was carrying around a med kit). 

The worse level for this was the River level.  I can't tell you how many times I hit a save point, died, respawned only to die instantly again.  There were 4 times in that level alone that I had to jump back a save just so I could survive spawning in.  It also took me about 30-40 minutes to survive long enough to get to a second check point after repeatedly dying at the previous one.  It made editing the level a nightmare.  I don't mind a little variety in the concentration level of enemies in section of the game but this game took it to the extremes and I hated that.

Game Mechanics: 1 penguin

Art Design:

The night time missions are dark.  I mean VERY dark.  I actually had to set up brightness all the way up just to see what was going on on the screen.  Too many times I walked in to a tree but didn't know that because I couldn't see the tree.  Once I uped the brightness it was so much more playable.  I left it all the way bright even for the daytime missions and it didn't blow out the image out so I just left it there for the whole game.

The game did look dated with flat graphics but it's an older game so I figure it for that.  I'm sure it looked stunning when it originally came out.

Art Design score: 3 penguins

Overall Impression:
After playing this game I'm left a little bewildered as to how this game launched the whole Far Cry franchise as I know it today.  This game seems very different from what I've seen of Far Cry 3,4 and Primal.  But I wanted to start at the beginning and see where everything started. 

I finished this game and I'm proud of that especially with all the problems I had playing it.  It's not one that I would play again.  And it's not a game that I would recommend to a casual gamer.  Only those who are completionists like me and who like to play a whole series of a franchise would get any 'enjoyment' from playing this game. 

The achievements are another thing that is not evenly spaced throughout the game.  They come in fits and spurts, especially towards the end.  Some of them you wouldn't think to do if you didn't read up on what the achievements are.  I played on easy and there's an achievement for playing on the hardest difficulty.  I don't think I'll get that one, although now that I know how things work I might make an attempt.  It just find it too frustrating to really put my heart in to it.  Once is enough for me.

Overall Impression score: 2 penguins (out of 5)