What are you hiding, Ethan? #Gaming

resident-evil-7-hands

I’ve been trying to come up with words to describe the marvelous wonder that is, Resident Evil VIIIt’s been a great while since I’ve been legitimately spooked behind my own controller–and to be honest, I am so thrilled with how this has turned out.

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Virginia (Game Review)

505 Games, Xbox One
First Impression “review”

Ahh…The Unfinished Gamer has returned! I’m a little rusty here, so bear with me as I review a new game.

The game VIRGINIA was recommended to me by my friend, fiance and gaming cohort, and I picked it up on the Black Friday sale solely on impulse but also convinced by the trailer provided in the story. The trailer itself showed very little, but what was said about the game immediately reeled me in.

I am an auditory learner and a sucker for music and sound design in games because–quite frankly–I don’t think those departments get enough credit. Right  off the bat, this thriller gets you right in the zone with a chorus of strings and piano that will chill you right to the bone. The opening credits pays a subtle homage to crime dramas of old and sets a tasty morsel of the atmosphere you are about to dive into right on the tip of your tongue.

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Life is Beautiful…

LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL … so far.

LIFE IS STRANGE

Earlier this year, Dontnod released the first chapter of their new game entitled Life is Strange. The episodic storytelling experience follows the tale of Max Caufield, a young woman who returns to her hometown in Arcadia, Oregon to attend an institute to follow her dreams of becoming a professional photographer. Rich snobs, bullies, jocks and all of the inevitable tropes of being a teenager all fall to the story’s B-Roll when Max discovers that she is something special. The story unfolds and begins to tie knots in the web of ultra-realistic characters in this setting.

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The Unfinished Gamer Returns

I know I’ve been a bad gamer…and I haven’t blogged in a great while, but things are finally settling down and I will be getting to it, I promise! As it was on high demand (on facebook) I will be picking up Fallout 3 to finish it very very soon! However, I’m sure you guys are aware that Fallout 3 is an open world game, aka distraction game, aka shiny over here and now you’ve gone so far away from the story that you might as well keep on salvaging your bottlecaps from this “dungeon” and get back to it maybe someday…that it will be very difficult for me not to do side missions but I hope to get it finished up so I can finally put my thoughts onto that virtual paper about it.

You have a mancave? I have the Assassincave.
 

I also got back into Assassin’s Creed III recently and will be wrapping that one up as soon as I can get a few hours to myself and just play through the game.  So far, the multiplayer is pretty fun too as I was surprised to find players still lurking those servers.  As far as the single-player story is concerned, there was something about that separation anxiety with my beloved Ezio that I couldn’t bear to “cheat” on him with Connor but I’m actually digging the game so far. I managed to fight my way through as Haytham and am playing as Connor now. Just reached a pretty good twist in the game, and I look forward to seeing what will happen.  Unfortunately, internet memes, gamers with no spoiler alert and NOLAN NORTH have actually spoiled the ending for me, BUT, I will continue on. Even after hearing what the outcome was for LOST I still want to watch it.

Me and Nolan North from GameStop Expo 2013

Alrighty folks, I just wanted to check in with you real quick, to let you know that I have finally finished the Last of Us.  IC Chris and I have discussed that this year’s Game of the Year contenders are racking up pretty quickly, and Last of Us had so many stunning aspects about it that set it apart from many games this entire generation.  As we already reviewed The Last of Us on InsertController.com, I will just give you a brief rundown of my experience.

The gameplay: smooth.  The graphics: phenomenal.  The soundtrack: haunting.  The action: edgy. The writing: top-notch…and of course, the acting: superb.  One of the many Troy Baker games out this year (with a surprise cameo from Nolan), The Last of Us does not disappoint, even to the very end.  I am such a huge fan of Naughty Dog and look forward to future titles from them, new IPs or otherwise *coughUnchartedcough*… Ellie and Joel were such a dynamic duo; relatable in some ways, dysfunctional daddy/daughter relationship was both cute and tragic at the same time.  The jumpscares and unfortunate circumstances as well as some of the predicaments were heart-racing and had me at the edge of my seat.  The detail that went into the game was mind-blowing. I found the end to be a bittersweet resolution to a compelling tale.  Worthy of a solid 5/5.

Stay tuned for more from me, the Unfinished Gamer!… until next time Players!

-IC Krys

The Unfinished Gamer: Hitman Absolution

Welcome back, Agent 47.

I know I’m late to the game, but that’s why I am dubbed the “Unfinished Gamer”.  Most of the time I find myself so immersed in a game, ready to complete it when I hit a wall of sorts.  It may be distractions, work, family, or just nothing at all.  I came upon Hitman again after a long draught of not playing games at all, and was so happy I had given it another chance.

As a fan of the series, this is actually only the second of the four console-released Hitman games I have ever finished.  Why? Because it’s controls have improved so far beyond its original capacity that it made the game less frustrating, more intuitive and allowed 47 to be a little more crafty and showcase his expertise as an assassin.  Details are present; If you are walking on wood versus concrete, the sound is different.  If you fire your specialized Silverballer pistols versus a UMP in the game, the suppressor sounds much different than non-suppressed and the AI will act accordingly.  Even though it was a little far-fetched in a sense that 47 would be noticed instantly in disguise…I felt that the mechanics for dumping or stashing a body, stealing a uniform and utilizing improvised weaponry were all improved in this latest installment to make up for this minor flaw.

Kills are more brutal and 47 shows that he is back, with a vengeance.

In a previous blog, I mentioned that I put the game down for a while because I was frustrated only to pick it back up and find out that the area I had been working on was simple to pass and I was back on my feet in no-time.  (Yes, in the strip club.) The atmospheres in the game vary and with each changing locale, civilians come in more than one form! Chefs in Chinatown, Mechanics downtown, doctors in the lab, all obstacles to get around in each area.  Each environment has different things to interact with, too.  Hide as a hotel maintenance worker by grabbing a mop, or a civilian waiting for a train by grabbing a pamphlet at the kiosk.  Do you want to make the target suffer an accident and escape unseen? Or do you want to get up close and personal? So many choices in each area.

This the first game in the series that I feel has an actual (substantial) story, and isn’t just a series of contracts with a very loose storyline.  Diana, your handler from the Agency, is your first target and the tutorial level is a great opening for the game.  Turns out you have to find and protect a very special little girl but don’t worry, I won’t explain rest as it does get pretty intense. The voice work of stars Powers Boothe, Tracy Lords and Vivica Fox are actually done very well, and kudos to Marsha Thomason (Diana) and David Bateson on his reprisal of Agent 47 as they brought these characters back to life. The character design on these principals as well as some of the other AI was great, enhancing the visuals to a standard reaching beyond even that of Hitman: Blood Money.

When I finally came to the bitter end of Hitman: Absolution and the credits began to roll, I was struck with this horrible feeling… It is over. I was so hooked to this game after picking it up from my hiatus that I was very sad to see that it had been completed.  Even though the replay is moderate on it, due to their user-created contracts and harder difficulties and challenges, that first playthrough ending usually cuts the deepest. Though I must admit that as the game went on and the AI became ridiculously evil I had to shoot em up, despite the scores being rated on sneakiness and style…but I at least attempted style.

This is the type of game that takes a very patient gamer, one who enjoys gritty and brutal gaming, stealth, improvised gaming and perhaps, a completionist due to the scoring and ranking the game does with you and your friends list. The game pulled far enough from its predecessors and maintained most of the nostalgia (cue: Ave Maria) and it was very much worth the wait.  Hats off to you, IO Interactive and Square Enix.  Between all of the replay factors I listed above and Easter Eggs in the game, I’m sure I will be back to attempt this as a Professional.

Likes:
Visuals are stunning
Voice acting and sounds are incredible
Replay= moderately high
Controls are 10x better than previous games
47 is back. ❤

Dislikes:
AI notices you in disguise way too quick, even on lower difficulties
A couple of hiccups in gameplay
Villain’s were easily unlikable though their motives were only lightly developed
I have to wait years before possibly hearing of another installment, maybe? (no spoiler)

I give Hitman: Absolution a 4 out of 5.

Infinitely captivated…

Bioshock: Infinite – First Impression
(as previously written for Players In CTRL)

Has a game ever gripped you and held on tight?

Bioshock had this effect on me. The first one had me…the second one had an obviously different feel however it, like most sequels, wasn’t terrible.  Bioshock: Infinite released today and I must say, it was worth the wait. Yes, I was greatly disappointed when it was pushed back from late last year until now.  However, as I have grown to know, if a game simply isn’t finished, it is not ready to be released or else you end up with products like Aliens: Colonial Marines or even more recent, The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct. The outer shell made a spectacle though a mere facade; a product that lacks the hearty substance that was promised in trailers and promos.

So yes. The wait was most definitely worth it. Right from the get go you can see the effort invested in this project, already making me attached and in even deeper awe at the genius of Levine and team Irrational Games.

So far it is NOT disappointing at all. The atmosphere is one hundred percent present. The game has already been given so much praise and it is definitely well-deserved. The voice acting is genuine, even from the NPCs. The music adds so much life to the surroundings with its classic ambiance. The gameplay is fluid and the graphics are gorgeous.

I am looking forward to delving deeper into the story. As it has already been said: do not rush through this game. Take a stroll, take in the environment and immerse yourself into this game.

It is amazing…