For what it's worth, I ended up picking up the iPad game as well and it's well worth the $10. Probably 2nd only to Infinity Blade in terms of graphics, and everything from the console version is there - highly recommended if you want a way to pass the time in between Dead Space 2 sessions. Also, Dead Space 1 is on sale on Steam for $6 if you managed to miss it
Their previews are decent enough, and the original content they produce can be hit or miss (but tend to be more on the hit side) but I still don't find their reviews very good. I tend to get the GS/EB subscription anyways due to how much I spend there and having the magazine thrown in for free is a nice bonus, but I don't think I'd pay for the magazine.
And I still haven't forgiven them for the Paper Mario 2 review Kevin reminded me of
Dragon Age 2 Impressions So I got a chance to play Dragon Age 2 at the private showing at Comic Con today, and figured I'd write up my impressions. Note that we were not allowed to take any pictures or whatnot, but they said to talk about as many details as you like. The first 10 minutes was a presentation by the lead producer of DAO1&2 talking about the major changes from the previous game. This was followed by 10 minutes of the same guy playing through a level to introduce more of these features, followed by 15 minutes to try playing the same level ourselves. The lead designer was also present (along with many more of the devs), and were all very open and friendly when it came to questions and feedback.
At any rate, there were four main changes presented in detail as bullet points in the presentation portion, so I'll post my impressions in a similar format.
Graphics They said the #1 negative feedback from the first game was the quality of the graphics, so that was a large area of focus. One of the developers in a sidebar conversation was saying that they spent a lot of time working on book cases, tables, vases, and other random crap in the other game that the player largely ignored - so in DAO2 they removed most of those objects to focus on higher poly counts for the character models and things like castles/terrtain/etc.
Another big point was that for a casual playing watching DAO1, it looked similar to almost every other fantasy RPG out there (WoW, others were mentioned) so they intentionally were changing the art style to be unique and make the game stand out so that "when players see screens in a magazine or in a commercial, they can tell it is EA/DAO2". That said, I was kind of unimpressed. Yes, the characters were much more detailed and it was a big leap over DAO1 (which isn't saying much), but based on the limited demo I saw I don't think it's anywhere near Mass Effect 2 in terms of graphics fidelity. Also, the art style didn't really look that unique at all - most of the players had enlarged chins/foreheads but it made everyone look like WoW dwarves. Also, you could only see the art style during cut scenes - during normal play it really didn't look much different outside of the killer new combat animations, which brings me to....
Combat By far the biggest change, they felt combat felt too slow and unresponsive in the first game so for this one they basically made it into a quasi-action game, at least from the standpoint of attacking with the main character. You are now actively doing various combos and special moves, which are basically the same talents and spells from the first game but the combat moves so fast it does seem more akin to an action game. That said, you can still pause the game and give orders - their big tag line was "Plan like a general; fight like a Spartan". Spells are now all instant cast, and your warriors go into talents immediately as well - I guess the common theme here is that technically it kind of plays out like DAO1 just at 3x the speed.
Animations were great, and each class has unique finishing animations for bosses. Whereas the warrior would crawl up to the head of an ogre and stab it in the face to finish it off, finishing the same fight with a mage would cause her to summon giant hands to come out of a portal and pull the ogre to shreds.
I asked the producer if they were making it more RPG Lite similar to Mass Effect 2, and he said it was quite the opposite - all the same leveling/etc. from the previous game is there, but now with even more customization. He mentioned you can actually customize and level up individual spells such as the fireball as well.
Time will tell how the system works, but it definitely feels different than DAO1.
Silent Player/Dialog Rather than being the silent protagonist, the main character has a voice this time. The dialog system has changed to be extremely similar to Mass Effect, which is a good thing. One additional thing they added which I liked a lot is an icon next to each dialog choice to indicate the 'type' of response it is meant to be - helpful, diplomatic, angry, etc. The producer said that the icons weren't necessarily going to be there for every response, but definitely for any crucial decisions.
Also, while the main character from DAO1 will not be in this game, you can still import your save game from DAO1 and all the decisions from that game will carry over. "Mass Effect focuses on the story of the main player, Shepard, while DAO focuses on the story of the world".
Framed Narrative The game's story will take place in the context of different people 'retelling' portions of the main character's life over a 10 year period. They are going to use this device as a way to skip forward in time at certain points to see the effects of previous choices. Also, one inTteresting thing is that the game seemed to match who was telling the story - so for example, in the demo the storyteller recounting the part of the game we were playing was an old warrior who tended to exaggerate his stories a lot, which meant the levels you played and some of the over the top things your character did matched this. It will be interesting to see how this plays out....
I also tried Dead Space 2 at the same event, and while I was a huge fan of the first game I just couldn't get into it as much for some reason....
My contributions: Must buys: - Mirror's Edge: might be the best action games for the iPad - Zen Bound 2: great concept, great if you're in the mood for a good looking, low stress puzzler - Plants vs Zombies: only if you've never played it before. If you've played it on the PC or iPhone, then there's not really anything new here to see.
Great games: - Sam-N-Max: some performance issues if your iPad hasn't been rebooted in a while, and ran into some game breaking early bugs but once you get past it, it's really good. Not really different than the PC versions or a dramatically unique experience, but it's nice to have it handy on the iPad, the graphics are really good, and the writing is top notch as always - Words HD: yeah it's just scrabble, but since my wife and I both have iPads it is still a fun way to pass the time.
Just okay: - Angry Birds - Demonlition Master - Pinball HD
Skip altogether: - Prince of Persia Retro
There's a lot of really great iPhone games that look and work well on the larger iPad as well (Space Miner, GalaxyOnFire, Need4Speed)
I just picked up Earthworm Jim this weekend off the DS store. While EJ1 & 2 were some of my alltime favorite games when I played them, it didn't seem to hold up as well now that I'm playing through it again. The humor and animations were still good, but I forgot how frustrating some of the controls could be. The level design isn't the greatest either...
Still, hard to fault a series that used Moonlight Sonata for level music
I was using the nunchuk/wiimote combo, but I can go back and try the classic controller. Even so, I'm assuming I'll be spending most of my time trying to center my camera/guy on the monster - nothing more frustrating than dodging an attack, trying to center the camera on the monster only to whiff when I try to hit them....
Ok, I must be missing something - I've tried the PSP versions of the game in the past but given up due to the frustration of fighting the controls and the camera more than the actual monsters. I tried the Wii demo last night assuming it would be a big improvement.... only to find myself again fighting the camera and the controls more than any actual monsters.
Is there something I'm missing? This game should be right up my alley, but I'm having a hard time finding any fun in it mostly due to the controls/camera.
Stealth games. I seem to buy each and every one that comes out (Splinter Cell, MGS, etc.) and end up not enjoying the stealth elements at all - mostly because I feel like if I disturb a single blade of grass I've failed miserably and have to restart the level and quit out of frustration - only to buy the next must have stealth game.
I finished this last night. I have a hard time deciding whether I liked it better than GoW2, but overall awesome game - the only thing for me that really dragged it down near the end (and GoW1 had the same problem) was:
Spoiler for Hiden:
The Labyrinth. Not sure why as the puzzles were straightforward and what not, but compared to the rest of the game jumping around on large cardboard boxes and replaying that same stupid Icarus tunnel segment over and over just wasn't going it for me.
The ending disappointed me a little bit as well:
Spoiler for Hiden:
So Kratos is finally able to forgive himself and seems headed on the road to redemption, and then decides to kill himself? And if he truly wanted to die, then why crawl over the cliff afterwards?
I must say - the opening boss fight is still my favorite moment in any GoW game
I'm a little mixed - more Uncharted is always a good thing, but it does feel like it waters down the franchise as a whole when it makes it to the handheld. Using God of War as an example - the PSP version is one of the best games on the system, but at the same time after playing it (having played the GOW1/2 prior to that), I found myself not looking forward to GOW3 as much as I should have. I can't quite put my finger on why, but I think for franchises that have set the bar so high on the consoles and then are forced to make compromises due to the hardware on the handheld it seems to make the overall quality level not as great.
In regards to the original post, I think meta review sites like Gamerankings show a skewed snapshot of games as the original launch games were way overrated. Most of those sites still show Ridge Racer and Lumines as one of the all time top games - there's no way it should even be in the same league as some of the titles that are sitting in the high 80s% on those same sites.
There's no doubt the number of releases has slowed to an almost standstill, but it's still got a great backlog of existing games and some of the new releases here and there are still pretty good (ex. I picked up LittleBigPlanet on the PSP this weekend, and think it's a much better title than the reviews show).
The minis up to this point have been a disappointment though...
Are you by any chance using the built in 802.11 connection? If so and the speed is set to auto, you'll probably experience slower than normal speeds. Try hard coding the speed on your access point to the highest you think your PS3 can sustain based on signal strength (i.e. 54, 32, or even 24 mbps) and you might see a speed increase.
Quote from: MonkeyFinger on January 28, 2010, 11:09:56 PM
The 'Battle for Forli' DLC is Sequence 12 and looks to be pretty short - less than an hour it seems.
Cool, thanks for the review link. Sounds way to short, but at the same time sounds like the best time to play it would be while the game is fresh in my mind (and I remember actually wondering why he suddenly had a beard when I hit that part last week....)
Anyone know roughly how many hours of gameplay this adds? I finished off AC2 so I'd be cleared for Mass Effect 2, but with the DLC hitting a part of me is wondering if I should hold off and hit the DLC first...
On a semi-related note, I was thinking of replaying GOD2 (for the 4th time) in anticipation of this - is it worth picking up the PS3 GOW collection instead? I've played through the first two games enough times that I figured it wouldn't be worth purchasing again, but I'm curious to hear if there are any other changes than just better graphics...
I finally finished this game last night - simply awesome. Maybe it's just fresh on my mind, but I think overall it might have been the best single player game I played in the last year (beating Uncharted 2 and Batman:AA). If you're someone who passed it over due to the over hyping/Jade Raymond effect of the first one, I highly recommend charting it out. Phenominal characters, story, graphics, sound, and gameplay. I can't remember the last 25 hour+ game where it felt as fresh at the end as it did when I started.
Dimmona I hope your situation gets worked out. I would be mad as hell.
So I called those bastards up to complain about their situation. Their exact response? Sony rep: "Yup, we erase the hard disks of the PS3s as soon as they come in before we even look at servicing". Me: "So you know full well that we'll lose all of our copy protected saves, but don't bother to let the customer know either on the phone or in the packing information that this could happen? The only reason I did the swap is because you pushed for it claiming the 80gb had quality issues". Sony rep: "I'm sorry for the loss of your games". Me: "So you're basically saying I'm shit out of luck" Sony rep: "I'm obviously not using those exact words, but yes"
The newest firmware update lets you copy all save games, even the copy protected ones. Did it arrive too late for you to use it?
The way the feature works is that requires you to have *both* PS3s hooked together via an ethernet cable. However, Sony in their infinite wisdom doesn't send you your replacement until you've sent them the broken PS3 - and of course they didn't bother to do the transfer themselves.
So per Sony's instructions I sent in my 80gb to be swapped out for a 120gb. But do you think they bothered to run the transfer utility to move stuff over to the new PS3? Of course not. I had backed up my PS3 per their instructions, but of course when I restored it on my new PS3 HALF MY SAVED GAMES DIDNT TRANSFER as they are 'copy protected' and non-transferrable. This means my 30 hour Dragon Age saves gone. 45 hours of Demon Souls gone. Who knows what else.
Sony is the biggest piece of sh1t customer support company I've ever seen.
I'm about 26 hours in, and I think this has passed up Uncharted 2, Batman, and Dragon's Age as my GOTY. There hasn't been hardly a single dull moment throughout time spent so far, and it's one of the rare games where I've actually felt motivated to do some of the collect-a-thon stuff as well (and I'm actually enjoying it).
So how long has it taken folks to finish the game so far?
Quote from: Destructor on December 30, 2009, 02:27:50 AM
Strange - it's not like I've heard of a RRoD level of problem with PS3s.
And some 'upgrade' - in exchange for a bigger HD and smaller system, you lose PS2 BC. Great deal there.
I'm okay with losing the BC2 as I still have a PS2 in storage and FF13 is the only game I have left I would have any interest in playing. What kills me is that when I pressed the guy on exactly why they were even exchanging 80GB back in it went something like this: Me: "So... why exactly are you guys incentivizing people to trade in for the 120GB anyways (since the exchange is cheaper than servicing the 80Gb. Surely you guys have some reason why you're trying to get folks on the new hardware" Sony rep: "We're doing it because we want to give people a better system than what they may already have". Me: "Bullshit - is the Blu Ray issue a known problem with the 80GB? You guys wouldn't upgrade people out of the goodness of their heart" Sony rep: <long pause> "Well.... I'm not really sure what I'm allowed to say about that".
At least MS manned up when the RROD flaw got out there and tried to do the right thing and replace it for free. The fact that I've spent $550 on this piece of crap for something that's very likely a known problem irks me to no end.
Update: So I called Sony a second time to try to get them to cover my PS3 repair since it was only a few weeks out of both the original 12 month and 90 day repair warranty. This time they said that they are doing a trade in program for all 80GB PS3s, and for $30 than what they are charging me to repair it (since those sonsabitches still wouldn't cover it) they would replace it with a new 120GB system. So when I asked the rep why they were doing the trade in and whether or not there were known problems with the 80GB, he gave me a long pause and just said "errr.... I'm really not sure how much we're really allowed to say."
Great, so I've now spent $550 on this piece of shit system that sounds like it has known problems. You know, I've always been a fan of Sony's other products but this has really changed my opinion.
Quote from: Kevin Grey on December 21, 2009, 06:38:51 PM
Quote from: Razgon on December 21, 2009, 06:14:21 PM
a 90 day warrenty only? Man, by law we have 2 years warrenty on everything! But sorry to hear that, it really sucks. I had the same issue with my old ps3, nearly 2 years old - got it exchanged quickly though, and the suppliers in denmark admitted there was a problem with the bluray drives
The PS3 (and 360) have one year warranties. I believe the 90 days is just for an issue they previously fixed under warranty.
Yup, per my original post I was outside of both the 12 month warranty and the 90 day repair warranty by a handful of days... and they didn't budge.
I might take your suggestions and call back tomorrow to see if they'll budge. About the only positive thing that came out of this was due to me not being able to continue in Dragon Age (PS3), I ended up buying Assassin's Creed 2 for the 360 this morning. Great game so far!
So the BluRay laser in my year old PS3 went out for the second time last week. I'm exactly 1 week over the 90 day warranty from the first time I got it fixed 3 months ago, and 2 weeks over my 12 month warranty - and they're making pay for the repairs ($150 + $29 shipping). The customer service lady went to her supervisor twice, and both times denied it.
Another ~$200 on a machine I bought for $400 a year ago? Thanks a bunch Sony. At least when my 360 had a RROD way past the warranty period, they fixed it for free anyways. If I didn't already own all the other systems, I would probably be returning all the PS3 games I have wrapped under the tree for the kids and exchanging it for another system.
So yeah, the moral of this story is that Sony's customer service sucks.
A couple of more answers: - As far as the stones go, since vendors will also repair your items for souls I save my stone just in case I forget and find my stuff breaking in the middle of battle. - Soul Arrow > flame toss IMO, but either one works. Note that you don't higher level spells until you free a certain person in world 3-1, so you won't have access to a lot of the good stuff until later. Also note that you'll have to trade in some of the boss souls, and in some cases have to choose between which spells you want since you will only have one stone for the game. Firestorm is a great spell for bosses - Another tip if you're playing a magic character - try to find a crescent weapon (there's a really nice one laying around in 4-1 I believe). Crescent weapon scale their damage with your magic stat instead of the normal str/dex, which allows you to still do a lot of melee damage by just focusing on your magic power. - Miracles - the only ones that I tend to use are Heal and Evacuate. I haven't dumped additional points into miracles yet, but I might pick up the one that vanishes black phantoms as later on in the game they can be annoying. Evacuate is a necessity as it not only allows you perserve your souls in a tight spot, but is essential for 'grinding' certain levels.