Monday, October 4

Lost in Translation

Instead of continuing with the September heavyweights this weekend, I opted to look through my collection and play through some titles that I had rightly or wrongly neglected over the course of the year. First cab off the rank was Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days, which proved to be quite the surprise packet. I won't delve too heavily into my experiences with this title, as I will post a review on Wednesday; you should know however, that it was not the unmitigated failure that I expected it to be. The single player quest while brief, features several memorable sequences. Also of note: the multiplayer modes on offer in Dog Days are so drastically different to anything else on the market, and if it weren't for the small community and generally poor connection quality seen in matches played; I would argue that it could warrant further investigation.

I also logged a few hours on the single player portion of Bizarre Creation's latest racer, Blur. If nothing else, Blur is the most visually spectacular racing game to be released this year. With the amount of cars, explosions and related chaos on screen, I was suprised to find the frame rate never dropped. It is a shame though that the racing action itself is not as consistent as the visuals. During some events I sped through courses unhindered, yet still failed to place. Conversely, sometimes I found myself copping more punishment than a beligerent school boy, and still managed to win by more than a few lengths. After several hours driving solo, I was keen then to test my skills online. Much to my disappointment though, I found less than a hundred players total, playing in the available lobbies. Almost slimmer pickings than Kane and Lynch 2 right there!

Recently I've been able to experience the Eastern and Western flavours of organised crime. With 2K Czech's Mafia II, I learned that mob life in the US was not without consequence. Vito Scaletta's meteoric rise was peppered with tragedy, but also with excitement. The thrill of car chases, shootouts and fist-fights. There was a heavy focus on narrative, and I was engrossed in the entire experience; warts and all. Then there is Sega's Yakuza 3, and after three hours I still have no idea what it's about. In its defense, I opted to watch movies that catalogued the events of the previous instalments of the franchise prior to starting Kazuma's latest adventure: lots of people died, there were a few double-crosses, there were reunions and even a tale of unrequited love. Still, after this hour of narrative catch-up I failed to make any sense of the opening cut-scene. Someone was killed, I'm sure he was a prominent figure, but I can't tell you who he was, or why his death was pivotal to the plot of Yakuza 3 (or the series as a whole).

The confusion didn't end there, and nor did the boredom. Pages worth of text-based expostition, punctuated with repetitive combat have left me exhausted, and restless. I've spent such a short amount of time actually playing Yakuza 3, and I can't stand the prospect of sitting through another pointless exchange on a rooftop, somewhere in Kamurocho.

What did you all play this weekend?


  1. I hit up a fair bit of Skate 3 this weekend. I love that game. I spent an hour just cruising around doing random tricks in random places. So much fun.

  2. From your perspective Sambo, does MoH stand a chance against CoD: Black Ops? Or are you just going to be playing MoH to fill in time between October 14th and November 9th?

  3. K&L2 was a tasty little treat, when all is said and done. Not quite as grand in narrative as the first game, but a much tighter experience. Io Interactive...their attention to the grit and the grotesque, as well as architecture (nobody else can quite capture the grandeur of an airport as well as these guys!), always leaves me smiling. Not a perfect game by any means, but just classic spiralling killers. And with that ending, whenever K&L3 arrives, the possibilities are huge!

    For me, the weekend consisted of trashy iPhone games. Highlights from that platform wouldn't help you find your keys in the dark, that's for sure. In saying that, a few decent puzzle games. In purchase news, I threw down the clams for Enslaved at Play-Asia, fifty bucks for the Asian region one with some discount vouchers. Not bad. Pretty keen, actually. Might be the surprise of the year. Haven't been home to see if Resistance 2 or Front Mission Evolved has arrived yet. Hankering for more RUSE at the moment.

    I've let the Dutch gamers down with my efforts this weekend. Still, passed the time at the hospital and whatnot.

  4. I actually think MoH will pick up a lot of fans on its single player campaign. It seems as though it will have an intriging story line (which has been absent from the FPS genre for a long time).

    Also, if they fix up the issues in the beta, like the hit detection, the freezing before you die, and what appeared to be lag, it should be a pretty good online experience. I like the fact that you get rewarded with additional firepower or defensive capabilities via points, not kills. So that should be pretty good.

    With all that said, I will highly doubt that it will knock off Black Ops. The COD machine is too well marketed and oiled, and the controls are the best in the genre, and by a very long way. I will still play MoH, as I am trully looking forward to a good campaign.

  5. Taz, my friend, I dare say the chances of a Kane & Lynch 3 are slim. Not only were the critics unhappy, but I believe the consumers were as well. The airport sequence was pretty awesome from a visual perspective, but as an end to the saga, I don't think it delivered. Angry Birds has captured my attention for hours on end. One day, I'll give Carly her phone back. Congratulations on you little bundle of joy once again, by the way. I think most would understand that there have been a few distractions keeping you from the blog.

    Sambo - I'm more interested in MoH's multiplayer because DICE is involved. FPS campaigns these days, take or leave 'em in most cases.

  6. You have to remember the awesomeness that was BC2 though. That was a genuinely enthralling experience! Also, the MP should be good, I just hope they fixed up the issues. The Mission based game mode was so much fun though, I really enjoyed it. It was like Rush, except there was a real chance that you could stop the attackers in certain places.

    We will have to mic up and school people me thinks!

    Also Taz, congrats champ. Now you will have a reason to be playing games at 3 in the morning!!! YAY!