Archive for January, 2012

Call of Juarez the Cartel

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2012 by caseystorton

-Given the topic of this week, I feel it’s high time I incorporated more swearing into these reviews. So if you can’t handle that, then fuck off, it’s reviewing time.

-What the fuck was I thinking when I bought this game? When I first heard of it, I had some high hopes. I thought “well, nobody’s ever done a game on this subject before that I’ve played, this could be interesting. Then it came out and got horrible reviews up the ass. So I didn’t buy it, but thought I would still get either it or Mindjack someday to have the experience of reviewing a shitty game under my belt. Incidentally I also bought Mindjack yesterday when I bought this, so now I’ll have two really negative reviews on here. Oh yeah, spoiler alert, this game is awful.

-After a DEA building is blown up on the fourth of July by a Mexican drug Cartel, the U.S. pushes for a full on military invasion. But some dipshits decided to create a three man team of people from the FBI, DEA, and LAPD. Basically three dirty cops with hidden agendas that would probably only make a real life situation even worse.

-There’s Kim, a black FBI agent who’s a massive bitch. Eddie, a Mexican DEA agent that deals stolen drugs to support his gambling habit. And Ben, an old LAPD homicide detective who happens to be a Vietnam vet who’s only here to justify this game bearing the name “Call of Jaurez.” It’s never mentioned, but he’s supposedly a decedent of the McCall brothers from the first two old west themed games that I sincerely hope are better than this shit stain.

-Anywho, why is this game so bad? Well, why isn’t it bad? Seriously, I cannot think of one thing about this game that is good. A couple parts of it are on par with some standard conveniences, like unlimited sprint, but me seeing that as a good thing was just me exaggerating mediocrity to try to find something close to a positive in this mess. The shooting mechanics would be adequate were it not for the un-intuitive controls that can’t be altered at all (the Y button reloads and RB switches weapons). There are plenty of guns to choose from, with several types of semi-auto pistols, revolvers, sniper rifles, shotguns and assault rifles, but when you actually pick them up, they all feel exactly   the same, so you’ll really just choose whichever one has the biggest clip.

-There’s potential for something cool with a mini-game that has you stealing wallets, phones, and whatever else to help with your character’s “secret agenda.” If either of your teammates catches you stealing something you lose the experience points that you would have gotten for it, which raises some questions. The game is clearly designed for a co-op experience, so why would you not want your co-op partners to level up and get better weapons? There’s no gameplay benefit for catching them stealing something, so it really ends up kinda pointless. On the subject of designed for co-op, it’s even more apparent because the friendly AI is fucking terrible. Every shootout you have involves let’s say, 12 or so enemies. Of those 12 enemies, your partners might be lucky enough to team up and kill exactly one of them. Meanwhile while you clear out the horde whilst they take out their frustration on a fucking wall, their constantly either insult your accuracy, boast about how dead you’d be if they weren’t there, or sarcastically tell you “You don’t have to do this all by yourself.” To which I would always angrily yell at the TV “Yes I fucking do you stupid shit!”

-While I’m ranting, and I’ll be ranting for quite a while, the game is absolutely full of glitches and technical problems. On four separate occasions I either had to reload a checkpoint or restart my damn Xbox because the game would glitch and not trigger the thing that would make the level advance, leaving me to run around the level teabagging corpses until I threw my fucking controller out the window. On top of that I constantly saw objects disappear, enemies clip through the environment, or both at the same time.

-I’m not done. With completely broken gameplay and a stupid story, the whole thing was incredibly boring. I even told someone who asked me how it was going “I hear the game has 15 missions. I was bored off my ass around halfway through mission 4.” And yeah, it does have 15 missions. Also, side note, if you’re going to have two endings based on a decision you make right before the end of the game, for fuck’s sake put a save point before it. Since the game didn’t do that, I replayed the last mission in the game just to get another shit ending on top of the first one. Also while you’re in the heat of battle, it can be hard to discern Eddie from the gangsters, as they both are Mexican and often wear the same god damn suit, so it often requires a second look to make sure you don’t kill that possibly corrupt, racist stereotype that follows you around with the words “ese” and “puto” shoehorned into every other sentence of stupidly written dialogue. While I’m ranting about the dialogue, it appears to have been written by a fourteen year old boy that just discovered that “fuck” is a bad words and thinks the cool kids will hang out with him is he crowbars it into every single sentence that he says. A problem shared with developer Techland’s next project, Dead Island. Also for some unknown reason 90% of the subtitles don’t at all match what characters are saying, which is very perplexing to me.

-Also the graphics suck. The texture quality and character models are seriously worse than the original Dead Rising, which came out almost 6 years ago. There’s really overdone motion-blur and smoke effects all over the place that actually sometimes make it hard to see enemies, and the dialogue whenever the characters are talking indoors has this really obnoxious echo effect that sounds like it was recorded inside a porta-potty.

-Overall, Call of Juarez the Cartel is a complete disaster. The graphics, controls, gameplay, story, dialogue, voice acting, technical performance, AI, and everything in-between all suck. And for the developers at Techland, I have but one question for you:

-Final verdict: 1/10


EDIT (1/8/12) : I’ve recently started playing Mindjack. At the time I wrote this review, I didn’t think that a modern shooter could be much worse than what I had just played. I was wrong. So on reflection, after only about 4 missions into Mindjack, I’ve concluded that if what I’ve played is 1/10 material, than Call of Juarez the Cartel has to be 3/10 material. So yeah, official new verdict for Call of Juarez the Cartel is a 3/10.

My Favorite games of 2011

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2012 by caseystorton

-Since every other game reviewer and their mother is doing this list, I feel it’s only right that I do the same. Since There weren’t that many game released in 2011 that I got around to playing,  I’m leaving it at top 5.  There will be a couple of games on here that I haven’t reviewed yet, but reviews will come in the future, and I have at least played enough of them to know where they stand in my top games of last year.

Honorable Mentions:

-I couldn’t make this list without paying homage to a couple games that didn’t quite make the list, but were at least out there enough for me to remember them fondly.

Saints Row the Third

As I said in my review of it, it’s not a great game, but the wacky humor and cool city to explore at least bring it up to an experience that was pretty enjoyable experience that, at least for me personally, was a nice introduction to the PS3 hardware.

Shadows of the Damned

-The first game I reviewed with images may have suffered from somewhat lacking difficulty and little incentive to replay, but nonetheless the over-the-top atmosphere courteous of Suda 51 at least made for an enjoyable and varied experience that was at the very least a good time.

-Now, onto the actual entries to the list

Number 5: Bulletstorm

-While certainly not fantastic, Bulletstorm’s light throwback to classic shooters like People Can Fly’s own Painkiller made it rather distinctive in the recent outpouring of Modern Warfare clones that have been flooding the market. With the deep skill shot system, awesome weapons, and variety given to the actual shooting, Bulletstorm was my favorite shooter of its kind that I played last year.

Number 4: Driver San Francisco

-Here’s one out of left field for the number 4 spot. This being the first Driver game that I’d ever played, I had high hopes for the innovative shift mechanics, and the game delivered. With a great re-creation of the city that’s fun to explore and cause mayhem in, tons of different cars to drive, and a great variety of missions to do, Driver San Francisco is a great game, that I hope to review as soon as my current workload is done with.

Number 3: Rage

-One of only two games that I bought on the release date, Rage sort-of felt like a better version of Borderlands (not that I didn’t like Borderlands, mind you) with elements of Fallout 3 mixed in. I’ve recently replayed it in order to explore more of the content, and hope to do a follow-up review as soon as I finish everything that I feel I need to do in it.

Number 2: The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim

-WHAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTT????????!!!!!!!!! Syrim isn’t number 1? No, it isn’t, remember, this is my favorite games of 2011, not necessarily the best, so while you may argue that Skyrim is better than what I choose for Number 1, I stand by my decision that I just had more fun with it. Anyway, Skyrim is great, but you know that already, so I don’t need to tell you again. Onto number 1.

Number 1: Mortal Kombat

-Yup. Bottom line, Mortal Kombat is a fantastic game. The fighting mechanics are both deep and accessible, the story mode was great, the characters were all very usable and balanced, which made picking a personal favorite completely impossible, and to top it all off, it had the best DLC ever:

yeah, it really happened. I don’t care that they used the design from the remake for his face, the fact that Freddy Krueger is in Mortal Kombat is absolutely amazing. The game was so great that it even got my to misspell stuff in my review of it, which was kinda silly but still, fantastic game. My least read review of last year was my favorite game of 2011. Here’s to hoping that 2012 can bring us some more winners.

Saints Row the Third

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2012 by caseystorton

-Skip to the second paragraph for those of you that don’t care how I’m reviewing a game that I hadn’t ever played until yesterday. Still here? Okay. My cousin and his girlfriend went out of town for a night and needed me to stay at their house to look after their dog. My cousin has a PS3 and he just so happened to have this game for it. So I decided “hell, I heard it’s not that long of a game, and it’s about time I played a PS3.” So yeah, on with the review.

-The setup has the Third Street Saints, the gang from the first two games (which I haven’t played) as high profile celebrities. All the members sign autographs all over the place, Johnny Gat has his own line of bobble heads, they have their own energy drink, laughably called “Saints Flow,”  and there’s even a movie being made about them. After a bank robbery goes wrong by way of a new gang called the Syndicate. Some really awesome set-pieces later, the Saints flee from their native Stilwater to the new city of Steelport to start back from square one. I never really bought into the whole “square one” business though, as literally the first mission after you land in Steelport has you backed up by several attack helicopters as you steal a bunch of weapons from the army.

-So yeah, it’s a sandbox crime game about a gang acquiring resources and allies before deciding that they have enough to turn all of the other gangs into smoldering piles of dust. Although it has to be said that it certainly doesn’t do so seriously at all. After the crazy opening scene you discover some funny, if immature, thing located around Steelport. Here’s one; the vehicle repair/upgrade shop? It’s called Rim Jobs. Get it? Also, check out this impossibly silly melee weapon:

it’s exactly what you think it is.

-But silly jokes aside, how’s the game itself?  Well, it’s pretty good. The story is pretty lame, as all of the rival gangs introduced at the beginning just end up teaming up with each-other, effectively making them one gang with a few different outfits. While there are police in the city, they’re not nearly as much of a threat to you as any of the gangs, which are only a threat if you get your notoriety up to 4 stars, so the police are pretty redundant. The story has you following a linear path of missions accessed through your phone, many of which become available for replay after doing them once. The activities include mayhem  (do $X0,000 worth of property damage in X amount of time), guardian angel (helicopter rocket launcher escort mission with some sniping thrown in), as well as others that have you covering for merchandise sales, transporting prostitutes, or driving people around the city. Even though they are unlocked in freeplay after you complete them, you end up having to repeat some of them with different new recruits of the Saints, which gets old if you don’t like one or two of the missions.

-While the missions are one way to get money, you can also buy up property around the city that pays out an hourly income to your bank account, which you can transfer to your pocket from your cell phone. With this added in, I found I had more money that I knew what to do with, and started  upgrading all my weapons, vehicles, and abilities just because I could, which felt a little silly. There was also an option to use you money to effectively buy experience point with your cash, which felt a bit odd to me, but I never used it.

-Overall, Saints Row the Third is a pretty fun game. It’s not as much fun to explore and dick around in as say Prototype or Just Cause 2, but the story is more fun than what I’ve played of GTA4, which isn’t bad. Worth a look, by no means great, but worth a look. 7/10