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Fable 3

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 2, 2013 by caseystorton

Image-Allow me to preface the following entry by saying that I would most likely never have played Fable 3 had it not been free to Xbox Live gold members recently. That said, I stopped paying for Gold almost a year ago, so I used some other trickery to get the free game by other means. 

-The game starts you off having to choose whether to play as a man or a woman. Ever since the hilarious opportunity playing as a female afforded me in Fallout New Vegas, I’ve always chosen a female character in RPGs on the off-chance that the designers decided to leave a present for players that took the road less traveled. Anyway, after that you wake up from an apparently rough night of having sex with your dog (seriously, it kinda looks that way) and your butler kindly informers you that your brother, king of the land has been a massive jerk face for a while now. So after some slow, boring tutorials and walks around the castle, you escape with the butler and your old soldier friend. There’s some more bullshit later, but eventually you get to the meat of the game: earning the trust of influential people in the kingdom so you can raise an army to overthrow your brother. It’s not exactly riveting stuff, and the absence of any real characters other than your old friend Walter makes for a bland time to be had doing odd jobs for stupid villagers just to earn upgrade points.

Image-Now here’s where things start to suck. One of the more important aspects of an RPG in terms of immersion is the interface design. The player will never feel like the hero of Albion if they have to spend tons of time navigating ugly menus to try figuring out how to equip their new sword or change clothes or whatever. That said, Fable 3 might just have the worst interface I’ve ever seen. Rather than a simple menu system, Fable 3 has a “Sanctuary,” basically a room with different doors that represent your weapon stash, clothing stash, map, story progress, options menu, and Xbox live store. It’s a mess, and having to physically walk around in what is basically a 3D menu just feels stupid and clumsy.

Image-Then there’s the combat. Dear lord, the combat. Let’s pause for a bit and discuss the role that difficulty has on a game. A game needs to present at least a minor bit of challenge in order for the player to feel engaged. If a game is too easy, the player will feel as though the game is a waste of their time, more of a chore than an actual game, so to speak. With that said, Fable 3 might just be the easiest game I’ve ever played. In my  entire time playing, I never once died. Hell, I never even used a health potion, or any of those other weird potions that the games puts in to help you with the hilariously easy combat. Melee fighting is a load of shit, with overly defensive enemies not so much making the fight harder as much as drawing it out, so you’re left with guns and magic. Both guns and magic allow you to blast enemies from across the screen with unblockable attacks, and it makes combat feel more like an obligation than an enjoyable experience.

Image-One last thing that I need to mention. The system by which you earn money is the most hilariously exploitable thing I’ve played in a long time. Some background: after you get enough friends, you lead a daring assault on the castle to overthrow your brother. After destroying most of a town in the battle, your brother simple gives you control and lets you become ruler of Albion. Oh, by the way, this big evil monster thing will show up one year from today to destroy the kingdom, and I was acting like a dick so I could save money for an army to fight it off. Now you have to choose between spending the castle’s treasury on keeping people happy only to have them all die in a year, or breaking your promises and making life shit for another year so that you can save all of their lives. These two options are rather stupidly referred  to as “good” and “evil” respectively. That said, you can save everyone and still get the good ending. How, you may ask? Well, the best way to get money is to rent property and own stores which pay out to you every five minutes of real time. The countdown to apocalypse only ticks in between story missions, so basically buy all the best stores and houses, then leave the game running for several hours while you let the money pour on in. I mostly just did this to gain the satisfaction of giving a big fat middle finger to the designers that came up with this stupid “good and evil” nonsense.

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-Basically, Fable 3 is a massive waste of time. The story is dull, the combat is way too easy, and the overall execution can best be described as lazy. Even if it is still free, your time is too valuable to be wasted on something this pointless. 34/100

E-mail: luckshotpro@gmail.com
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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

luckshotpro@gmail.com

 

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.