Saturday, 28 September 2013

I must be wrong about GTA5




I am wrong, it is the only logical explanation. I, like seemingly every other person in the western world, have been playing GTA5. I have played about 6 hours worth (Minor Spoilers incoming) and have just completed the first mission for the Fed. And I must be wrong, because what feels like a billion people absolutely love this game, and I don't. Hell I am struggling to find the motivation to play any more. So I am going to try and explain why I don't really like it. But don't get angry with me, because as I have said, I am wrong. If millions of people are saying it is a masterpiece, including many people whose opinions I respect and admire, then it must be me.

First off I have no beef with the visuals or sound design, both of which are top knotch. It is probably the most well realised open world game I have ever seen, with only Red Dead Redemption coming close (which is a far more empty world). However it is what the game offers me to do that I find unengaging. I will say this upfront, I am not a good driver in video games, and there is a fair amount of driving in this game. Hell the first Heist I took part in turned out to be little more than a motocross race. I don't find the driving fun or enjoyable, just a means to get the characters from mission to mission. Not that I find the shooting significantly more interesting either, taking the fairly standard 3rd person cover route. It works perfectly well (better than previous games), but is not hugely engaging, more serviceable than fun.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

It doesn't make my Soul Dark



A couple of months ago I decided to give Dark Souls, which had been staring at me from my Steam list since I brought it on a sale, a decent go. Since then I have racked up a total of about 75 hours, and the end is not in sight. Suffice to say that I really like it. I love the fact that it doesn't coddle me, the fact that I can play for an hour and not make any progress but still learn or see something new, hell I love the fact that I spent a good chunk of time going the "wrong" way.

There is one thing that i do find odd though. Dark Souls is hard, perhaps not quite as hard as it's reputation suggests, but definitely very hard. I have literally had cases where I have spent 10 minutes getting to a boss, and then die within seconds (those bastard gargoyles took about 100 tries). The weird thing for me is that this didn't and still doesn't, make me angry. You see many tales on the internet of people breaking their controller in fury over Dark Souls, however I find playing the game very cathartic, peaceful even. Once I am playing it is very relaxing, almost trance like. Just me versus the game, both of us trying to kill the other. And the reward for me succeeding is to find out what's behind that corner, another little nugget of the story or just the satisfaction of doing what seemed impossible.  

Here is why the 2DS is a genius move



Not too long I bought a 3DS, the XL model to be precise (I have huge hands for a man who is not particularly large) and Fire Emblem Awakening. It was pretty gratifying to discover that both the game and the device were as awesome as I have been told. Since then I have been slowly working through the DSi/3DS (never owned a DS before) back catalogue, discovering that there are some pretty damn phenomenal games on the platform. I am sure a lot of you are already aware of this and are happy 3DS owners.

Which brings me to the 2DS. On face value, why would you buy the, lets be honest, fairly unattractive console, when if you shop around you can get the full 3D model for not a lot more (only paid £120 for mine). Because sometimes £30 difference can turn something from a must buy into a don't want/can't afford. So while the 2DS is very much a poor man's (or more likely child's) 3DS, it is a great move by Nintendo. The reason being that, 3D or not, there are loads of great games that the 2DS will play.