I really wanted to play and review all the new games I have, for this week, but it wasn’t possible. I ended up only being able to do two.
I still have The Sims 3, Fuel and Virtua Tennis 2009, untouched.
Arrgh. Where did all my time go??
I think it’s the gyming and running. Haha. I go to the gym twice a week and run 1-2 times a week. I have also started preparing my own meals a few times a day because that’s the only way I can get my hands on Eric-approved food. (Eric’s my personal trainer, in case you don’t read my other blogs.)
All of that eats up my gaming time!
Oh well, at least I am still able to publish GGF this week! That’s gotta be an achievement in itself.
Table of Contents
- Prototype review
- Time Wasters by Swordplay
- Rock Band Unplugged (PSP) review
- Video Games Live
- Results of last week’s contest
- Win a Prototype mouse mat!!
Playing Prototype made me feel like I should go back to playing Rock Band or something. Not that it’s a bad game. It’s just that I’m probably not cut out for action games.
I quite enjoy the plot of the game and the promise of the gameplay. But it kind of sucks that I can’t kill the first boss even after three tries.
On easy mode.
Which means I can’t progress any further because I don’t have time to keep trying, for now.
Well, here’s a video of my first 15 minutes of gameplay. I tried to remove all the bits where I look really clueless, flailing around helplessly at nothing, but I’m sure I didn’t get all of them.
In Prototype, you’re Alex Mercer, a cute-looking bloke who wakes up to find himself charged with superpowers. Sounds familiar? inFAMOUS, for instance?
But Alex is a lot more powerful than Cole, I think. Alex is kind of an improved Wolverine. He has fast-regen powers and deadly weapons sticking out his limbs and he can shapeshift into anyone he consumes and he can run up buildings faster than Spiderman, even one as tall as the Empire State Building.
And he’s good-looking to boot. Not that Cole and Wolverine aren’t good-looking, but having a zillion mutant powers all at once plus being good-looking is kinda tilting the balance a little.
So, anyway, I was looking forward to playing Alex Mercer. The first 10 minutes didn’t disappoint. The game teases you by giving you a preview of the dastardly powers you can command.
After the prologue stage, though, the game goes back to the time when you’ve just awoken and bewilderedly discovering that you’ve just survived four rounds of bullets to the gut and you’re about to leap over a fence to escape.
The game then makes you slowly discover the stuff you can do while you’re at the same time unravelling the mystery of what happened to you. Much like inFAMOUS.
The structure of the game is very similar to Grand Theft Auto 4.
Sandbox style, you can explore the city and eat innocent people on the streets (to replenish your base health), or follow the linear missions, which range from tiny ones (consume an NPC to gain his memory) to epic ones (rescue some stranger from a secure facility).
There’s military all over the place because there’s some strange conspiracy going on in the city, some kind of virus threat. And you’re highly KOS (kill-on-sight) because the virus is the reason you have superpowers.
Like in GTA4, there’s a wanted level system. You could shapeshift into an innocent passer-by to escape detection, but if you do illegal things (like kick a military tank and cause it to explode), your wanted level goes into the red and you have to run like hell to lose it.
Mission objectives are marked on mini and city maps so you always know where to go next. Completing certain tasks gives you points which you use in exchange for skills, powers, shields, upgrades and whatnot. Alex is a veritable shopper’s paradise when it comes to customisation.
Well, so far so good. Like I said, the gameplay is really promising. But I find combat so hard. Maybe I just need to practise more and try to remember some of the combos. But it’s tough because you have to fight differenly when you shapeshift into different things. Also, fighting different things (people, helicopters, tanks) require different approaches.
I suppose some of you will find that fun. I don’t know. I very much prefer Wolverine, when there is only one Wolverine and I know exactly what he is and how to use his claws.
Because of the complexity, I’m constantly mashing X and Y (the two attack buttons) and hoping things start dying around me. Sometimes, I inadvertently perform awesome moves and I’m impressed by myself, even though I know I did it by accident.
And then, there are irritating missions. Like the one where I have to shapeshift into a soldier to infiltrate the evil facility that is apparently responsible for what had happened to me. (To shapeshift into something, you need to “consume” it physically. The animation looks a bit like you’re sucking out someone’s life force.)
So I do that and, once inside the facility, I’m told to shapeshift into a higher rank guy to prevent detection. I do that, too, but consuming the guy in broad daylight blows my cover, so I have to run off to let my wanted level cool off, then sneak back into the facility.
That was annoying because I had to run back and forth several times just to complete the darn mission.
Oh, but I didn’t complete the mission in the end because that’s where the first boss appears.
The novelty of being able to run up tall buildings gets old after a while. But it’s no less useful, of course. I would love to be able to do that in GTA4. Getting away from the police would be so much easier.
I’m kind of conflicted about this game at the moment. I want to complete the missions and unravel the mystery. I’m intrigued. There’s a huge conspiracy going on and I want to uncover it. But I find the complexity of the game discouraging.
Again, I repeat, it’s probably just me.
The game is so fast-paced there’s often no time to react. After a cutscene (and there are many in the game), you might find yourself trapped in the middle of an army which has orders to empty its entire arsenal at you.
There’s no time to figure things out. You have to keep moving, keep fighting, or be dead.
I don’t know. I might give it another try. Or I might ask the Goonfather to play so I can watch. Reading the synopsis on the official website, the game seems to get more exciting as you progress, with an option to choose sides somewhere along the way.
Sounds really cool!
Anyway, Prototype is available for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.
Time Wasters by Swordplay
Swordplay is my pesky li’l bro who spends all his time playing time-wasting games. To make him a little bit more useful, I’m sitting on him and making him recommend one fun and simple web-based game each week.
This week’s game: The Pretender
Fancy being a ghost saviour? This is basically the aim of the game. *lol*
The Pretender is a simple puzzle platformer with pretty watercolour graphics. You have to get through obstacles using special environmental powers (earth and air) and bring the ghosties you find to a portal where they can be saved.
The levels get progressively harder.
Rock Band Unplugged (PSP) review
When Guitar Hero came to the DS, I was really tempted to get it. It’s no secret that I’m a music game fan.
But I was a little iffy. How fun can a music game be on a tiny machine after you’re used to handling life-size controllers?
So, when Rock Band came to the PSP (three days ago), I was similarly doubtful.
Then, the Goonfather got a copy to play. And I will still doubtful.
Until he told me that you are a one-man band. You have to play four instruments simultaneously.
I was immediately intrigued and I tried it last night.
OMG it’s fun. You can’t imagine how fun it is until you try it.
The way it works is, you play each instrument in turn, using two button on the left and two buttons on the right of the PSP.
Say you start off with bass guitar. You must complete a set phrase without making a mistake. The guitar is then safe for the time being, so you quickly tab over to the drums and play a set phrase.
And so on.
If you make a mistake at any point, the phrase “starts over”, in the sense that you have to fulfill a certain phrase requirement, for instance, 10 seconds without making a mistake.
Make too many mistakes and the instrument goes into the red and eventually die out.
If you take too long to nail a phrase on one instrument, other instruments will start going into danger zone from neglect.
That concept is kinda like The Sims, where you have to juggle between all your Sim’s needs, making sure they all stay above a certain level at all times.
If an instrument goes into the red, its sound will fade out so your song will start sounding lopsided. Imagine a pop song without drum beats. So, to hear the entire song in its full glory, you have to keep all the instruments happy, constantly.
There’s the overdrive feature to save red or dead instruments, like in the regular Rock Band. But overdrive in Unplugged is so much harder to get.
The game is hysterically challenging! (I’m playing hard mode.) But sooo fun.
Also, like the regular Rock Band, there’s a career mode you can follow, unlocking cities and song while you earn fans and money.
The one-man-band gameplay is apparently not new, borrowing from Harmonix’ previous games, Frequency and Amplitude. But I’ve never played those so I can’t compare.
I’m quite impressed, overall. While it doesn’t give the same satisfaction as physically beating out notes on a drums or guitar controller, it certainly provides enough challenge to give a music gamer an adequate quick fix.
Rock Band Unplugged comes with a base set of 41 songs (selected songs from Rock Band and Rock Band 2), with the option to download more and brand new songs.
I’m hooked! Unfortunately, the PSP belongs to the Goonfather and he’s playing it, so I can’t Rock Band on the go.
I’ll give him a few more days, then I’ll swap my DS for his PSP.
Video Games Live
Last reminder for Video Games Live!
The biggest video game concert in the world is probably gonna be in Singapore only once, so don’t miss your chance to catch it!
It’s happening next Friday (June 19, 2009) so there’s still time to get your tickets at SISTIC.
Click here to find out more about the concert as well as the supporting pre-show festival.
I’m going with the Goonfather (and Minou and Wang Wang). Hope to see you there, too! =)
Results of last week’s contest
I think Mr Randomiser is in love with ahtiong. This dude has won quite a bit of stuff from GGF over the past year.
He wins again this week!
ahtiong wins the brinjal mouse!
Heheh. Congratulations, lucky you!
Win a Prototype mouse mat!!
I have this really cool paper-thin Prototype mouse mat. Best for Prototype fans!
I would use it myself but it doesn’t quite go with Fluffy.
In fact, it’s even slightly bigger than Fluffy, lol.
Anyhoo, the usual deal.
Ask and ye shall receive. (If Mr Randomiser loves you.)
For your info, I use this. So go cast your voodoo or whatever.
Good luck! =)
Closing date is June 18, 2009, 11:59 pm.
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Okay, till next week! =)