Going Home!

Hey Guys!

It has been one heck of a ride this week. Though I can’t talk about much of what I’ve learned about, all I can say is that there is so much underway with new, innovative technology. I’m both scared and excited to be a part of something new, but I am so glad to have the opportunity to be back in electronics. 

At any rate, I fly home tonight and get my two hours back, so that is quite awesome. (Just when my body got used to the time difference….lol)

Even though this was eye opening and very informative, I’m looking forward to getting back and sleeping in my own bed, surrounded by familiar people and things. And xbox. Haha. Well I DO want to blog more! 🙂 I’m hoping to wrap up Fallout, *cough SKYRIM cough*, Catherine and possibly some others but we shall see!!

I hope this week has been great for you all as well!!

Game on!!

-Krys

Injustice for all!

OKAY.

So I didn’t want to get this game at first, mostly because I am definitely a Marvel girl, but I broke down and decided to give [Injustice] a try.  While the game might have some minor flaws, I thoroughly enjoyed getting a peek into the DC realm.  The graphics are smooth.  Each stage has unique interactive units like statues you can leap over or robots you can program to blow up, even a pig swinging on a meat hook you can push to knock over your opponent.  Transitions are used when a player is knocked through the setting and into another arena to continue the fight.  Transitions also allow you to see some cameos from other DC characters such as: Scarecrow, Riddler, Penguin and more.

There are concept art pieces you can look through to see the evolution of each character.  The game is voiced by a lot of well-known actors of the industry, such as:

Troy Baker (Bioshock Infinite, Catherine)
Phil LaMarr (Metal Gear Solid 2) – Aquaman
Nolan North (Uncharted, Spec Ops: The Line)
Jennifer Hale (Metal Gear Solid, Mass Effect)
Fred Tatasciore (Gears of War)

Even Stephen Amell (Arrow) joined the team, as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, though only available in an unlockable skin.  Sadly, Mark Hamill did not make a return as Joker for this title, but the voice behind the sinister prankster was still excellent.

My only complaints so far is the fact that the characters only have ONE cinematic that is performed every time you trigger the super move, much like in Mortal Kombat.  Each entrance and victory is the same, although the dialogue changes a bit if you pair up a couple of notable rivals like Green Arrow and Deathstroke, Superman and Lex or Joker and Batman.

Solomon Grundy & Wonder Woman

Other than that, the game actually offers more than just a “press start, button mash, win/lose, restart” formula.    There’s a handful of game types to choose from.  There’s of course Versus mode, where you and a local or online opponent can duke it out as your favorite hero or villain in a few notable locations like Arkham Asylum, ruined Metropolis or Wayne Manor.  Single player offers Story mode, Battles (allows you to choose the stipulations for your match including: Impossible which throws every single Injustice cast member at you and only one health bar, Countdown mode gives you a certain amount of time to defeat your opponent, and Help from above restores your health bar every thirty seconds), S.T.A.R. Labs sets the objectives for a match and the goal is to obtain 3 stars, Single Fight (essentially quick match) and lastly, a chance to practice your moves with any character in Training mode.

Without getting into too much detail, the story takes you into an alternate world where Superman has turned his back on mankind and has taken control with other League members to run the world as Gods.  Those from “our” world, or rather the world we know them from, go into this alternate-verse to stop Superman and those following his commands from controlling the human race and destroying the world.  It was as compelling as it could get in a fighting game, but it definitely made the DC universe likeable to someone like me, who knows very little about it.

Although very comparable to Netherrealm’s other big fighter, Mortal Kombat, Injustice definitely did the DC universe some…well, justice.  I would recommend the game to anyone, DC fan or not, who would like to play a solid fighting game.  Favorite characters of mine are definitely Nightwing and Catwoman, because of their quick fighting styles.  Other technical fighters like Batman and Aquaman are definitely high on my list as well. (Yes, I said Aquaman. On record: He’s totally badass in this game!)

Injustice was released April 16 on Xbox 360, PS3 and WiiU.

That’s my two cents on the matter, stay tuned for IC Chris’ review of the game, out later this upcoming week.

Game On! 😉

-IC Krys

Graphics…make the game?

On the IC facebook, I posed the question to you guys, the Players, about what truly makes the game. Crytek’s CEO claims the graphics make 60 percent of the experience.  A lot of you are answering with the gameplay should be carrying the bulk of a games proportions and I honestly agree.

After hearing “wow the graphics sucked on this game” or “I want that game but I think it looks like s[!!!]” so much, I got tired of how spoiled this generation has become with most of the new games. I lived for most of the beginnings of video gaming (no age comments o.O), I had 8-bit…hell, I played those dos text- based rpgs too and honestly, sometimes I miss them. They were great games for the time and were enjoyable and memorable…because they played well.

IMO, gameplay should always be at the top of the list of priorities when it is in creative mode

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to bash the new and improved engines as they amaze us every year with a new bit of technology that allows you to see every wrinkle and pore on the Mo-cappers face. Yes it may look amazing, but I implore the devs: please don’t skimp on the game (i.e. 4 hr campaign with bad controls x_x) and push: “1080p it looks great!” *unsure wince* on us and expect us to enjoy the fact that we just threw 60 plus dollars in the can.

Games nowadays come in all sorts of shapes and colors and sizes and honestly, Indie developers dont get enough credit. Sometimes we will see a simple, classic style turned-based rpg (lots of great games developed throigh rpg maker, etc) or gorgeous and freeflowing like the award-winning Journey (PS3) . The big guns like Crytek, Frostbite, Unreal have a lot of great innovation and have mindblowingly realistic games to show off like the upcoming Battlefield 4 or Metal Gear V… but no matter what, it will always be judged by the gamer. So why not give us what we want? A good game.

Minecraft is a huge example for me. Whether you like it or not, you must admit it is extremely successful having sold millions on XBL and before that on PC and is still growing with retail copies coming soon. Graphics are simple but great, a little reminiscent to be honest. The gameplay is, for the most part, straightforward; a game in which you can lose a lot of time just digging for diamonds, building cities with friends or just exploring solo. I can attest to this. 😉 People are enjoying it as well they should be. It is a game. Aesthetics are necessary sure because I understand visual appeal and the allure behind realism– but I say this again…it should always be about the gameplay.

Every now and again you do come across that perfect game, showing that a developer understands the correct formula. The game is constructed using a balance of its basic functions. Gameplay (story flow, cinematics), Graphics (atmosphere, setting, design), Sound (voices, ambiance, soundtrack), Control, (intuitive blend of movement-combat-etc.) But it is, unfortunately, kinda rare. Some come pretty close to it, though.

I personally count story in the  Gameplay category, but sometimes it stands out so much that it deserves mention on its own…but I’ll get to that on a later rant. Thanks for reading 😉

Game on guys.  
-IC Krys

(Screenshot of Crysis 3 on PC via allpcgame.net)