Tag Archives: review

Ghostbusters: the game

Well, thanks to Joe and Kat, I now have an Xbox 360. And Ghostbusters!
I’ve been playing it in chunks, and here are my impressions.

It looks pretty good! Especially the neutrona streams; I’m sure they spent tons of time getting that right. The new weapons are fun, and so is the jargon associated with them. The controls are simple and work well. I suppose the Ectogoggles can be a lil annoying, walking around with them equipped, but in-game warnings about things you should examine with them make that unnecessary really.

The ghost-wrangling mechanics are good. You feel a definite sense of satisfaction when trapping a ghost. I bet it’s even more fun on the Wii version, if the wrangling is at all similar.

It’s spooky! I was impressed that they managed that. Of course dark foreboding passages are present, but unlike Doom3 that’s not their only tool. The ghosts also have some pretty gruesome back stories, unlike most of ’em from the movies. The story in general is pretty loose, but it sort of makes sense and hangs together so far.

People were right about the ‘social’ aspect of it. Playing through the one-player game, the rest of the Ghostbusters are either with you or nearby, and they give you feedback on how you’re doing. I like Winston’s comments best, like ‘You’ve got a MEAN streak, rook!’

I had worried that the various equipment addons for the proton pack would make it look very unwieldy (well, MORE so, you know what I mean) but they did a fairly elegant job on that. Small details and different colored cyclotron lights let you know which weapon is equipped.
I must admit I don’t really pay much attention to the on-pack status indicators. There’s usually too much going on to spare a glance at them when they’re important.

The game’s difficulty is uneven. I found certain portions very frustrating with a lot of ‘mission failed’ messages. But others (including bosses) were disappointingly easy. There really hasn’t been a difficulty curve…more like an EKG pattern.

I was very disappointed to be hit with an ‘end of KOTOR II’ situation with the latest level. There was no cooldown period at the firehouse between the last level and the start of the new one, so no dialogue saying why we’re going to x and what we expect to find there. Also, if you quit the game at the firehouse before you listen to the dialogue/exposition? When you resume later, you don’t get any of that. You’re just pushed into the next mission. It has happened twice now, and ticked me off.

The lip syncing is frequently off. Peter got the worst lines of the four Ghostbusters. I had hoped for some interaction with the containment unit, but other than damaging it in the intro, no joy there. The destruction of property with your weapons is good, but not all there. You can’t burn through walls for example. The targeting on your slime blower is kinda lousy. You can hose down an area for five seconds and fail to register a ‘hit’ on what you’re sliming. I had hoped for a vehicle segment but no luck there either so far.

Fallout 3

My brother picked up a copy of Fallout 3 for the Xbox 360, and last night I got to spend 3 hours or so playing it.

Character customization – You’ll find most of the old favorites here from the first two games. The difference (and I could be wrong, it’s been awhile) is that you don’t start out with any perks. You allot your five points among your basic stats, focus on your three top skills, and off you go.

Controls – Not bad, overall, though I’m unhappy with some of the information that’s missing from your HUD. Like rads, for instance. You get a notification if you’ve been exposed to any, but it doesn’t show your total anywhere but in your Pipboy.
The targeting system is pretty neat, and your AP regenerates in real-time, so combat flows pretty well. I’m a bit disappointed that blowing off your opponent’s head can only look one way (that I’ve seen so far) but the fact that it’s possible to decapitate someone with a bullet at all is a plus. :KD

The character models haven’t improved since Oblivion, but the voice acting is pretty good. So far. The first time I run into someone that uses the same voice that a previous NPC did, my satisfaction will nosedive, but it hasn’t happened yet.

Random encounters are random. Sort of? I died twice assaulting a group of raiders on a shattered highway overpass, and died once when a band of bounty hunters emerged from a barn and declared me their paycheck. After reloading and approaching the barn more stealthily though, it contained only a Wasteland merchant, who babbled that life was returning to the wasteland…before crumpling to the floor, dead.

Ammo hasn’t been as big a problem as it was at the start of the previous Fallouts. I have four different guns at least, and the two worst ones always have some shots left. The assault rifle and shotgun, not so much. Health items are around, but stimpacks are kind of scant, so I sleep whenever I find a filthy cot. There are drugs *everywhere.*

A word on atmosphere. Okay, there’s old-timey music playing when you’re in range of a radio transmitter. There’s glassy rock, burned out shells of houses, scrubby vegetation, and the ruined hulks of vehicles everywhere. The wind whistles across the land. Animals howl now and then. It’s lonely. Good work!

Movie review, and misc.

Last night I dressed nicely, holstered a Nerf gun, and set off for the movies with Mystee, Soltris, and Jamie.

We saw ‘Infamous,’ the new Truman Capote movie covering his writing of ‘In Cold Blood.’ I’ll tell you right now, it was a different experience than the trailer suggested it would be. I went into the theater knowing nothing about Capote, and I enjoyed the movie thoroughly regardless. It was funny, it was heart-wrenching, it was grusome, and even (weirdly) romantic now and then. If you’re going to see it because Ripley/Weaver is in it, don’t bother. Her part is very small, not even ten minutes of screentime, I’d say.

This quarter at school is drawing to a close, surprisingly. Finals are up through the 14th of this month, and then it’s NO SCHOOL UNTIL JANUARY, BABY! Wooooooooooooooooooooo!

I’m chilly. The temperature plummeted today. x,x

Last night I started my WoW trial. I’m now a level 7 Paladin, doing quests in Goldshire. It’s been fun so far, though it’s a bit annoying how early the game started using the same enemy model with a different name. I hated that about FFXI. Gnar! I don’t recall the name of the server I’m on… IM me if you’re interested in bugging me in-game.

Monster Hunter

Swiftwing recently got me into a game I’d briefly seen Jamie play, years ago. Monster Hunter, for the PS2.

It’s a third-person combat game using melee weapons and crude firearms, pitting you against creatures ranging from Jurassic-Park-type velociraptors to Dragonheart-ish wyverns to true dragons the size of a city block.

One obvious source of its popularity is the exxagerated scale of the weapons. The swords are on a par or even larger than anything from Final Fantasy, and the guns too are nearly the size of the gunner wielding them.

What impresses me most about the game is its scope. A lot of people would’ve been happy just running around and hacking up beasts with their swords, hammers, lances, etc. but the designers wanted there to be more to it. Bring in the traps! Pitfall traps, bombs, smokescreens, drugged/poisoned meat for bait… You actually use these things, and in fact are forced to in many cases when you’re up against something far too tough to take on, on its terms.


There’s such variety in the wyverns/dragons, it’s impressive. One is blind and dwells in caves. One is a water creature, and must be lured out with frogs. Another cruises beneath the sand, only its dorsal fin visible…until disturbed. Another has a light on its horn like an anglerfish, which can burst with light, blinding and dizzying your character.

Then there’s the online aspect. If you can get your PS2 online, you can register and play for no additional charge with other Monster Hunter players in a town (versus the village you base yourself in offline). There hundreds of people still playing the game three years later, impressive for a non massively-multiplayer online game. You can bring three others with you in a hunting party and ambush an enormous dragon, using teamwork to lure it into traps and attack it in waves. You must use strategy, especially when many of your traps no longer work as the beasts grow larger and more dangerous.
Trading online is limited, much-reducing the annoying and constant begging of newbies pandemic to online games.

The crafting element is nice as well. You gather plants on mission maps, fish, catch bugs, mine, and carve parts off of kills to get materials used for potions, baits, poisons, bombs, armor, and weapons. There are easily a thousand combinations of armor suits, and many many weapons to buy or craft. Some materials are tradeable online, but anything above a certain rarity level is simply untradeable.

There’s a version available for the PSP, and a sequel was released in Japan…but it’s rumored it won’t come to the U.S. The original is now three years old, and can usually be found for 20 bucks or so used at game stores and on Ebay.

Doom 3

Finally finished playing through Doom 3. If you play it with someone else in the room, you’ll have no problems. If you play it alone, but with a light on, you’ll only occasionally be startled.

If you play it alone, in the dark, using headphones… You will have a heart attack and die.

I opted for playing alone with a light on. :K) It isn’t a difficult game, barring one or two parts. The bosses range from ‘whatever’ to ‘OMG THAT’S CHEAP!’.

I know most of you probably beat this title months and months ago, so I’ll shut up now. :K)

Gathering at Tigerwolf’s

Jamie and I attended a dinner and movie at Tigerwolf’s place, along with a smattering of other furs like Packrat (forgive me if I spelled it differently than you do,) Raven, and some others whose names I never got. Eris/Aeris was one I think.

Anyways, we went to dinner at some kind of buffet place. Tigerwolf treated us all, and whatever he paid, it was too much. That place sucked. x,x The service was great, but the food was meh and the selection was what-the-hell. After golden corral, all other buffets look like the potluck of a four-member bridge club.

We returned to TW’s, and watched Orgazmo. If you haven’t seen it…well, you’re still pure in at least that respect. For those who have seen it… Hee. After that there was a lot of weird conversation, albeit entertaining. I stayed until past 4 a.m. then headed home before I grew too tired to drive. I got lost on the way back, not recognizing a very familiar turn. Twice. 9,9

Naruto

I’m going to geek a bit here about Naruto. Not everyone’s familiar with the series, and for good reason; most of it hasn’t made it to the ‘states yet. But it’s been running in Japan for quite some time, (there are 160 episodes to date) and fansubs have been enthralling anime fans here for almost as long.

There are slow portions, for sure. ‘Filler’ as we tend to call it. But there are some things the series does far too well. Remember Evangelion? Remember how the hero boy was such a whiny little moron? They never really explained WHY he was such an emo cupcake, did they? Abandonment issues was about all we could pin on him.

In Naruto, there’s a character named Gaara. Gaara of the Desert. He’s of the Sand Ninja, from a hidden ninja village in a different country than Naruto’s own village. He is a tortured soul, and the animators manage to push that through to you. Emotional pain is extremely hard to get across, particularly when it’s pain few people can possibly identify with.
Some spoilers here,

Robots

I finally saw that ‘Robots’ movie, and though it was frequently predictable, it was still *fun*. I don’t understand why it didn’t do well in theatres…

Of course Robin Williams managed to do
a) weird voices
b) women’s voices and
c) Crossdress. As a robot, he still managed it.

The main character bears a striking resemblance to megaman, and Robin’s character, ‘Fender’, is kinda dangerously close to a certain robot named Bender. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

I can’t sleep. My room is in shambles right now while I reorganize. Parts of my bed are strewn across twenty feet of basement. Books, Nerf gun parts, costume bits, DVDs and computer parts are stacked in bins while I shuffle book cases and cabinets around. I have too much stuff! But isn’t that the conclusion always reached when one is forced to relocate all their junk?

Paint!

While the paint’s drying on my latest attempt at Nerf Gun Prettyfication, I’ll tell you this:

The movie Willow is messed up.

HOWEVER, if you ever wanted to see two hags throwing down like Gandalf and Saruman in LOTR, then you must see this movie. There’s face-clawing, lightning strikes, setting-on-fire, ice-entombing, and a hibachi comes to life and tries to eat a midget!