Category Archives: Videogames

Wreck-It Ralph has the potential to be my favorite movie of the year!

Two things I really love: video games and stories that vindicate misunderstood villains.

What do I mean by that? I mean stories like Wicked, where the Wicked Witch is actually just a victim of propaganda. Or Grosse Pointe Blank, where a hitman is actually just a guy trying to get by and find meaning in life. Or Unforgiven, where everyone thinks that Clint Eastwood is a total bad-ass, and he’s, well… a bad-ass. But a misunderstood one!

So when you combine these two loves, you might just get something like this:

I gotta say, I’m not really psyched on ANY movie this year. I’ll go and watch The Dark Knight Rises and all, but there’s honestly not a single movie that’s making me bounce off the walls… until I saw this trailer. Now I can’t wait for November!!!

And did you see all those cameos? There was Dr Robotnik, M Bison, Zangief, Koopa, the Pacman ghost, and a guy that’s most likely to be Kano from Mortal Kombat! THAT’S an all-star cast!


Ghost Recon: Bathroom Soldier

Are you guys psyched for Ghost Recon Future Soldier? This guy is so excited, he can’t even take a bath without thinking about GRFS!

Picture source: Evil Milk

If you’re not as psyched, then check out this awesome short film – it’ll change your mind.

Harley Quinn’s Revenge Trailer

Just when the Game of the Year couldn’t get any more “Game of the Yearier”, the Batman Arkham City DLC Harley Quinn comes out with a bang… and it looks really freakin’ awesome!

It’s not just a new character to whack people with now… there’s actual campaign gameplay with Batman and Robin beating the crap out of thugs with new moves! And how about those new batclaw takedowns?

And how about Harley’s new look?

Oh gawd why can’t I ever stop playing this game?

The only way this DLC could be more awesome, is if it came packaged with this cosplayer:

Sometimes you wonder why Joker’s so obsessed with Batman when Harley’s right there…

If Diablo 3 was a girl

This is hilarious, because it’s so true!

The Phat Loot in the Borderlands 2 Limited Edition pack

Borderlands is a game about scoring loot. Lots and lots of it.

So it should be of no surprise then that the Limited Edition package of Borderlands 2, also known as the Ultimate Loot Chest Edition, comes with a crapload of stuff to be enjoyed both in-game and in real life. Just look at this stuff!

You’re going to have to steal a shopping trolley to bring all this stuff back home!

Here’s a list of what it has:

  1. A copy of the game (naturally)
  2. A Marcus Kincaid bobble-head
  3. A scaled replica of the red loot chest – which looks freakin’ amazing
  4. Steelbook case – nothing special these days
  5. A hardcover art book – which looks like some pretty high quality stuff (and I want this so bad!)
  6. Creatures of Pandora ID chart – maybe you can mount them on and put them on your wall
  7. Field notes from Sir Hammerlock – erm, yeah whatever
  8. Collector sticker set
  9. Digital comic download code
  10. Bonus downloadable in-game content
  11. Numbered certificate of authenticity – so you can get that same warm feeling when you buy a replica lightsaber or a limited edition Van Gogh painting (cos those are amazingly limited)

Borderlands 2 hits Singapore on September 21, 2012, and zero pricing or pre-order details are available yet.

Just started playing Max Payne 3

While the world is completely psyched over Diablo 3, I’ve been secretly pining for another franchise that’s also been absent for almost 10 years: Max Payne.

A classic, awesome game

Max Payne has a special place in my heart as the first game that I actively stalked on the Internet, soaking up whatever information I could find from whatever random source. The John Woo inspirations and the shoot-dodging had me hooked from the moment I saw the first teaser trailer, and its launch day was also the first time I ever ditched school to show up at a game store and wait for it to open.

So imagine my glee when I came home last night and found out that my copy of Max Payne 3 had arrived!

Anyway, I only had a couple of hours to invest into the game but here are my quick thoughts about it so far:

The narrative (no spoilers)

The Max Payne franchise is renowned for its crazy insane action and gunfights, so why am I starting with the story? Because there’s a pretty slow start to the game. From the moment you boot up the game, you’ll find out that the pacing has changed a bit since the franchise went from Remedy’s hands to Rockstar’s.

The concept artwork is very GTA-ish

Gone are the distinctive comic-styled cutscenes, and in their place are regular game-engine cutscenes – a signature of Rockstar games. I do miss those cutscenes, because they really added to the film-noir flavor, but Rockstar has managed to give Max Payne 3’s cutscenes a style of their own, with glitches and a drug-addled filter to represent Max’s addiction to whiskey and painkillers. Keywords also pop up during conversations – a very cool effect that borrows a little bit from Splinter Cell Conviction.

The only gripe I have with the cutscenes is that they do run a bit long. One benefit of the comic cutscenes is that you generally read faster than they narrate, so you can skip the dialogue without missing any plot points. I didn’t dare to touch a single button during Max Payne 3’s cutscenes.

Which leads to the pacing: it took seemingly forever before I got to pull out a gun and shoot someone. There was the summary of Max’s past and his murdered family, and how his police career ended with his addiction to booze and painkillers. Strangely, there didn’t seem to be any mention of Mona Sax. Then there was the introduction into what he’s doing now, and Rockstar’s (good) habit of introducing characters properly and giving them the due time to establish character and personality. The cutscenes later in the game also tend to go on like mini-short films.

Max kinda looks like Michael Madsen now, don’t you think?

Don’t get me wrong – the story does look pretty good so far, with non-linear time jumps to keep the story compelling and interesting. It’s just a bit slow if you’re just interested in shooting people. That said, if you’re only interested in the action you could probably just skip the cutscenes… but I miss the old Max Payne’s pacing.

The gunfights

Here’s the meat and potatoes of the game, and it’s a little hit and miss so far. The shoot-dodge and bullet-time mechanics are back, and joining the party is a simple cover system. For the most part, they work pretty well. Each function is mapped to a different key, and after the brief tutorial sequence, I never had to refer to the controls menu to remember which button does what. The cover isn’t as easy to use as in Rainbow Six: Vegas or Gears of War, but then Max isn’t supposed to hide much, is he?

The good ol’ shoot dodge!

This is the first time I’m playing a Max Payne game on a console, and my aim seems to be a bit off – whether it’s due to the lack of a mouse or my old age, I’m not sure. There’s the L-trigger aim/lock feature to help (with varying degrees of lock for your personal preference), but it generally locks onto the bad guy’s central body mass… and then you’ll have to manually aim a bit higher if you wanna score that head shot.

Not exactly a bad thing, but it does seem like you really need those head shots as the bad guys seem to soak up damage a lot! It’s not to the point where you have to empty an entire 50-round clip into a guy to kill him (like in Gears of War), but I did have to empty an 8-round clip into a single guy to kill him. It’s like, you’ll nail him with one shot and he’ll go down… but he’ll climb back up again unless you really fill him full of lead.

And this is not a locust warrior wearing power-armor or anything… it’s a guy in a Hawaiian shirt and shorts! And I’m playing on the normal difficulty!

Maybe they’re encouraging me to go all John Woo on bad guys and empty entire clips into a single person, but whereas Chow Yun-Fat never had to reload, Max doesn’t have such an advantage!

This guy should not need 10 bullets to put him down

With the exception of the enemy super-soldiers, the gunfights are pure Max Payne. His twists and aerial acrobatics are back, and they’re awesome. Unlike his opponents, Max doesn’t need much damage to put him down, so you do get that sense of urgency and paranoia. You only carry up to 3 painkillers at any given time, so you don’t feel invincible nor do you feel like you have a lot of backup health either. I like it!

Oh, and one funny thing I noticed: if you have a shotgun or SMG equipped before a cutscene, you’ll have to re-equip it after the cutscene. It’s weird. It just always defaults back to a pistol (or machine-pistol) after even a short ┬ácutscene.

Anyway, I haven’t really played the game enough to say more… just thought I’d lay out some quick thoughts while it’s still fresh in my head.

Assassin’s Creed and Constipation

You know when you feel like you need to poop, but you just can’t even after sitting on the toilet for ages? You know how you walk away from that ordeal without any feeling of satisfaction, with your stomach still grumbling and gurgling – and feeling like you could’ve better spent that time reading a book or doing something else more fulfilling than planting your ass on a toilet for a long time without anything to show for it?

That’s what playing Assassin’s Creed: Revelations feels like. A complete waste of time.

Ezio, I am disappoint

It’s rehashed gameplay with nothing compelling about the plot. I just want to finish it because I’ve been led along by carrots in the previous two games, and now I just want to know what all that dumb alien shit is all about so that I can get some closure. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t so anal about completing a game or finding out what happens at the end of the story.

When I finished the game, it was (as expected) completely unfulfilling. The only “revelation” in the game was that there will be at least one other game I’ll have to play through in order to get any decent answers.

I did receive an epiphany though: I no longer give a damn about any of the characters or the plot of the series. Unless the next game is a proper update with new and revamped gameplay, this franchise is dead to me!

The Assassin’s Creed goes “Nothing is true.; everything is permitted.” Which is a pretty dumb self-important sounding creed if you think about it. Play the games though, and you’ll realize that the REAL Assassin’s Creed goes:

“Nothing is new; everything is recycled.”

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