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1401  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Mafia II impressions on: August 28, 2010, 03:40:15 AM
Finished the game tonight  icon_cry:. About twelve and a half hours elapsed time. I was rating it a nine, but I'll drop that to an 8.5 due to the short length. I found it an excellent story, the combination of cutscenes and interactivity made it very entertaining, and the driving and gunplay were challenging but not too difficult on Normal. I only found eight Playboys and only one wanted poster, which seems odd.

Downsides? Too short. And... gee, that's about all I have to complain about. No, it didn't have minigames or side quests worth speaking of, but I didn't get it expecting any of that, so I wasn't disappointed.

I can go back and play any individual chapter now, at any difficulty, so I don't have to start a new game from scratch. Don't know when or if I'll do that. There is supposed to be DLC for it coming out "this fall" according to an ad on the back of the manual. Maybe I'll fire it up then.
1402  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Mafia II impressions on: August 26, 2010, 11:37:05 PM
I'm about half way through and I'm really enjoying it. Yes, the fist fighting isn't the most complicated affair, but then I didn't want to have to learn a bunch of combo moves, so that's fine with me. On Normal winning a fight isn't a guarantee, but if you use some caution you'll win more often than losing.

Gun combat on Normal difficulty isn't too hard, but you do have to be careful to use cover. It's enjoyable to use flanking moves, switch weapons and just shoot up the scenery  icon_lol

Driving is a joy. Big clumsy cars drive like big, clumsy cars. Powerful roadsters drive like... well, you get the idea. Car chases take some real skill. Usually you can run away from police, but it isn't always easy. But it is fun.

This is not a sandbox, GTA/RDR type of game. There aren't a lot of side activities to do. You aren't going to spend eighty hours on it unless you want to drive yourself crazy getting all the collectibles. You don't have any real reason to go off the nominal story line.

What Mafia II is is an story in which you get to act out certain parts, but you don't have the freedom to simply write your own plot. It's really like the first one in this regard. You don't have to like Vito, any more than you had to like Ahab or Scarlett O'hara or Fagan or Don Corleone . This is an interactive novel.

Speaking of novels, and somewhat off-topic, anyone here ever read a Dashiell Hammett novel called Red Harvest? While Mafia II doesn't match it in plot, the general feel of the game is much like Red Harvest.
1403  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Mafia II impressions on: August 25, 2010, 10:20:13 PM
At 38% complete, elapsed time 6:24. Fast speed reached in the game, 115.53 mph  icon_biggrin. Only 6 Playboy mags so far, and the ones I did find weren't always out in the open.

Driving is a lot of fun in the game.

I wouldn't say that the developers said "good enough" and just stopped adding things, since the game does feel finished regarding quality and design. I just think the game maintains the feel of the first game, being a very linear series of missions. There are options to explore, customize clothing and cars, and if desired create some mayhem, but these don't change the direction of the story. 

There are a lot of cut scenes, but not too many. The main objective of the game, IMO, is to tell a story while allowing the player to take a role in parts of it.
1404  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Mafia II impressions on: August 25, 2010, 08:21:18 PM
One-third of the way through. Low point, showering with other men  icon_frown

High point, driving around while two drunks in the car sang along with Dean Martin's "Return to Me"  thumbsup. Niko Bellic never had it so good.

1405  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Mafia II impressions on: August 25, 2010, 12:29:13 AM

Quote from: metallicorphan on August 25, 2010, 12:16:52 AM

and FWIW-they gave Mafia 1 on the PC a 4/10 as well

If true then they have no credibility at all with me. The first Mafia might not have been perfect, but it was an excellent game, at least 8.5/10. Eurogamer's reviewer must be sniffing the printer powder again.
1406  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Mafia II impressions on: August 24, 2010, 11:24:49 PM

Quote from: Travis on August 24, 2010, 09:43:02 PM

How's the difficulty on combat? 

The demo is representative of the combat difficulty on Normal. The cover system works well and you'll need to use it to stay alive. Usually one bullet won't kill you, but two or three will, so it's important to move to cover and take snap shots. When you take a hit or two your health drops quickly. If you stay in cover your health recovers, but not all the way, so it's important not to go running around running and gunning. You don't need to have hyper-reactions to win a fight, just some caution and common sense.
1407  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Mafia II impressions on: August 24, 2010, 09:14:09 PM
More impressions...

2:35 into the game, 14% complete. Only three Playboy magazines found  icon_frown. Ten achievements of forty-seven completed.

Driving in snow-covered Empire City is lots of fun. Some roads are icy and you can really power slide around. On Normal cops aren't too difficult to outrun.

Very linear campaign construction which probably isn't going to sit well with the fans of sandbox-like GTA games. Some missions are a bit dull, but others are quite complex and combine stealth and combat. And so far they have been vary different.

I do understand the comments by reviewers about how the city is underutilized by the game. I'm 14% done, which is quite a lot considering I haven't been rushing through missions and have driven around and did some exploring. I feel like if this was GTA San Andreas I'd still be in the middle of the missions in the Grove Street cul de sac, that early, but in Mafia II I'm one seventh of the way done.
1408  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Mafia II impressions on: August 24, 2010, 06:48:09 PM
I should mention that my copy also had a paper map in it, it duplicates the in-game map.

Further along now. I've run into the first (of ??) minigames; picking the lock on a car. It's the alternative to just breaking the window.
1409  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [360] Mafia II impressions on: August 24, 2010, 06:15:02 PM
Got it and have been playing about an hour.

First impression... the manual is a two page spread image of the controls, the credits, an XBL tease, health warnings... and that's it. I guess you learn as you go (?)

Lots of cut scenes. Lots. Seriously. However it's telling the story, introducing the characters, etc. Your combat tutorial takes place in Sicily where as part of the US Army you are... well, I'll let you see for yourselves.

Really nice looking Empire City, at least on the 360. No doubt lots of dandelions under the snow  icon_lol. I'm playing on Normal difficulty. Apparently if you play on Hard you unlock pin-ups (these are NOT the Playboy images), but since it isn't mentioned in the manual, I hadn't a clue as to what they look like. Still, Betty Grable won't do a lot for me anyway.

One bug. I turned off the music (I never play with music) and in the next cutscene in a railway station there was no sound except the dialog. Weird. Seems to have fixed itself, so maybe it has nothing to do with turning off the music.

More as I proceed.
1410  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Mafia II demo for 360 out now on: August 24, 2010, 01:25:36 AM
Gamespot gave it an 85, saying
Mafia II is an excellent return of a franchise with great promise. Vito and his associates are memorable characters in a city bursting with subtle visual details and violent undertones. The story pulls no punches, neither glorifying nor demeaning the difficult lives its protagonists lead--just presenting them with brutal honesty and letting you reach your own conclusions. After the 15-or-so hours it might take you to gun through Vito's story, it's hard not to come away with the sense that there should have been more to do in this beautiful city. Yet while you might be disappointed with what Mafia II doesn't do, it's hard to be disappointed by what this excellent game does do: deliver fun shoot-outs and pockets of shocking brutality in a world you're delighted to be a part of.
1411  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Mafia II demo for 360 out now on: August 19, 2010, 01:36:58 AM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on August 19, 2010, 01:12:20 AM

The free DLC is dandelions.

 icon_lol icon_lol icon_lol icon_lol
1412  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Mafia II demo for 360 out now on: August 19, 2010, 12:45:32 AM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on August 19, 2010, 12:35:38 AM

Aren't rosy?  For the 360, I see 77% average with a 7/10 and an 84/100.  That seems pretty good to me.  The lowest score seems to be 70% on any platform.

"Rosy" to me would be solid nineties or at least high eighties. In the one text except on the PC review the reviewer complained about the lack of car chases and gunfights. Certainly it is early and I too was impressed with the demo. Heck, I'd be happy if it was as good as the first one.
1413  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Portal 2 on: August 19, 2010, 12:19:52 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on August 18, 2010, 05:08:54 PM

they've announced the release date: 2-9-11.

Or 9-2-11, "particularly those of you who are European residents"
1414  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Mafia II demo for 360 out now on: August 19, 2010, 12:15:13 AM
The first reviews for Mafia II are coming in on Gamerankings and they aren't rosey. Still, it's looking better than Alpha Protocol, the last game I pre-ordered.
1415  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Test Drive Unlimited 2 on: August 12, 2010, 06:46:50 PM
This is disappointing.  crybaby
1416  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Mafia II demo for 360 out now on: August 11, 2010, 01:57:35 AM
Hopefully the game will live up to the trailer at the end of the demo. And also hopefully all those cool things I saw in there aren't going to be available only in the cutscenes.

To those of you who never played the first Mafia, the car handling was intended to represent the way the cars actually drove, or at least how it would be perceived that they drove. You get used to them.
1417  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Mafia II demo for 360 out now on: August 10, 2010, 10:59:35 PM
And don't miss the car wash in the gas station  slywink

But I'll be sure to check out the Playboys  ninja

I wonder if there will be a difficultly adjustment in the main game (I didn't look for it in the demo). Combat really is deadly if you are exposed for a couple of seconds. The cover system works very well, thankfully.
1418  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Mafia II demo for 360 out now on: August 10, 2010, 12:52:54 PM
Downloading as we speak... text...
1419  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Civilization 5: Now Steam powered! on: July 15, 2010, 09:36:37 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on July 15, 2010, 08:24:07 PM

Ooh, I like that. I'm going to have to buy a new computer for this, I don't think my Pentium 4 2.4GHz will be up to the challenge.
1420  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Saddle up! The Red Dead Redemption impressions thread. on: June 16, 2010, 11:59:08 PM
Red Dead Redemption Game Script posted via GamersHell. For all your copy and paste needs  icon_wink

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      vitality and vigor to the healthy man!
1421  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Saboteur on: June 16, 2010, 11:31:02 PM
I've been playing Red Dead Redemption and Just Cause 2 recently. The gameplay in Saboteur is more like JC2 in that you can choose the side activity you wish to do and when to do it, which I like. A number of functions aren't unlocked till you are further into the game, about three hours or so for me. I didn't really start to enjoy the game till I let myself "go nuts" sometimes, racing cars through Paris and running down nazis  icon_eek
1422  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Saboteur on: June 16, 2010, 09:09:56 PM
Not a bad game at all. Too bad they fired the developers  crybaby
1423  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: 360 slim pics? on: June 16, 2010, 08:27:54 PM
You know it's weird. I watched another video, some website guy at E3 showing off the new 360 and he said that port was where the Kinect was hooked to the new 360.
1424  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: 360 slim pics? on: June 16, 2010, 06:54:32 PM
I watched the video walk through of the slim. No ethernet port? But I have an ethernet cable! Bummer. I like all the other features. Please don't tell me that to get a port I have to give up something else.
1425  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: XBOX Kinect on: June 16, 2010, 06:43:52 PM
I'm sure that I missed this info somewhere, but in case I might ever, ever want to consider getting this thing, what's the minimum distance at which it can be used? I play my 360 on a 24" monitor that doubles as my PC screen and it's one arm length away from my face. And I sit while I play. Is there any way I'm going to find this a worthwhile add-on, assuming that they make games that are appealing to me?
1426  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Saboteur on: June 15, 2010, 07:44:01 PM
I finally picked up this game which I had pre-ordered  Roll Eyes

It's the 360 version and Gamestop only had a used one left with no manual. Is there an online manual for it somewhere?
1427  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Saddle up! The Red Dead Redemption impressions thread. on: June 13, 2010, 02:17:51 PM

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on June 13, 2010, 03:07:00 AM

Marston does intrigue me as a character, but I think I'm gonna sell it this week.

So my first Rockstar experience (other than Max Payne series) is a decided 'meh'.

Spoiler tagged for your convenience...
Spoiler for Hiden:
I liked the SP campaign a lot at first, but the missions in Mexico started to bore and irritate me. Although a lot of people liked how the campaign ended, I don't think it was that good. If it was a movie, then ok, but as an interactive experience it certainly wasn't as much of a thrill ride like the GTA games
1428  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: It's the beginning of June. What's your GOTY? on: June 04, 2010, 11:18:46 PM
Alpha Protocol... better missions than RDR, cooler guns than ME2.

1429  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Alpha Protocol on: June 04, 2010, 11:15:08 PM

Quote from: Jarrodhk on June 04, 2010, 10:28:42 PM

Some of the dialogue in the game is just great.

Mike - "Those your legs?"
Scarlet - "Other page"
1430  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Alpha Protocol on: June 04, 2010, 08:56:08 PM
Regarding Taipei (don't look unless you've finished it)

Spoiler for Hiden:
Got almost all the way through the final Taipei mission and the "boss battle" kept kicking my ass. Finally gave up and went to Moscow. Really hope I gain enough in what I need so I can win against that damn boss next time.
1431  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Alpha Protocol on: June 04, 2010, 02:52:28 AM
I'd use more tranquilizer darts if they weren't so damn expensive.

I haven't used shock traps yet, I probably should.
1432  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Modern Warfare 2 Impressions [And official GT Review] on: June 04, 2010, 01:05:51 AM
Anyone make the leap and pick up the second map pack?
1433  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Alpha Protocol on: June 03, 2010, 09:36:37 PM
Played three more missions so far this afternoon. A couple of tidbits.

I had my first non-combat, non-sneak around, non-earn any money mission. It unlocked a new mission. Sadly I had used up all my money  icon_frown

Then I discovered in the clearinghouse what that "X" Buy/Sell button did. It switches the whole main screen to be able to sell your inventory, instead of showing stuff you can buy. Maybe that was obvious to everyone else but I had totally missed it. It looks like you only get 40 cents on the dollar, but it's better than not having any cash!
1434  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Alpha Protocol on: June 03, 2010, 03:09:44 AM
Got through another long mission which completed the Saudi Arabia area missions. The last one was very long, well over an hour. It was not always possible to maintain stealth in it either for the entire time, but using stealth did help quite a bit. I'm playing on Normal difficulty and started my career as a Veteran (as opposed to Recruit) and while I have had to reload checkpoint saves a couple of times, I've never had to restart a mission from scratch. 

If you are having trouble with an objective that involves a Striker on a bridge...
Spoiler for Hiden:
It's not immediately obvious, but down on the level of the roadway there are several anti-tank missiles. It drove me crazy trying to figure out how to kill the tank till I found all of them.

Again, no real problems with the game regarding bugs or glitches. It really is a game of figuring out the best way to get to or achieve an objective, meanwhile you look for items to pick up and use or keep. I will change my opinion that the missions are rather linear. My latest mission did provide several objectives that could be approached via different directions and different styles.

The tumbler minigame is a bear. On the 360 controller, it involves squeezing one trigger just enough to line up tumbler pins, and it's damn sensitive. However, if my stumbling old hands can do it, you youngsters shouldn't have too many problems.

Regarding re-playability... while you can change your specialization, your dialog responses and your style of play, I'm thinking that because you would be executing the same missions it might not be that appealing a second time. However, at one to two hours just for one mission and at least what would appear to be nine more missions coming up (and having just completed three) I can see twenty hours plus of gameplay on one run-through, including the tutorials. That would make it worth it to me even if I don't replay the entire game again.
1435  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Alpha Protocol on: June 02, 2010, 03:37:47 PM
Link to Kotaku review. I agree with the pluses and minuses, except that I'm not really that concerned about whether there's a whizbang finish or not. Frankly I don't think Red Dead Redemption had that good an ending, but it really didn't mattered to me as to whether I liked the game.

I read the manual, but you don't need to, there's nothing in there you don't hear or see in the tutorial.
1436  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Alpha Protocol on: June 02, 2010, 03:19:37 AM
I finished my second mission. This one was a bit less linear once you had gone through a tight outside approach. By the way, the order of missions isn't fixed and so you may not see the same missions I saw. Once inside the [spoiler!] you could approach the next objective in a couple of different overall ways, with various subtleties within them. I choose to go stealth throughout and managed it almost entirely; a couple of guards did spot me a moment before I knifed them, but they didn't trigger any alarms.

It is a bit of a pain that the only map you have requires three button pushes to access, but the map isn't that much help at times anyway (on purpose) and you can find your way around by looking.

Combat is still bizarre to me coming off RDR and MW2. If you take time to aim you can get one shot kills with your assault rifle, but you can empty a clip at a couple of guys twenty feet away and not take them down; think North Hollywood Shootout.

So far I'm really enjoying it. I'm not really up on the proper RPG lingo, but this is game where you shouldn't look for too much realism. Think Jack Bauer and "24". You just have to take things on faith. There are duffel bags with money laying around, isn't that always happening? And you can become invisible for a few seconds. Actually that might be rationalized by some sort of neurological pulse device that cause someone to become fixated on what they actually saw several second before. Yeah, that's it, that's what I'm going to assume it is  icon_biggrin
1437  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Alpha Protocol on: June 02, 2010, 01:13:34 AM
I got through my first mission. The comparisons to Mass Effect are on the mark. The path presented to me on the mission was fairly linear with some side paths for bonuses and secondary objectives. You can pick up ammo but not weapons. There are medicine cabinets to restore health. You have to make decisions on whether to go active or stealth, to run past or fight it out, and to spend time unlocking locks or hacking terminals while the bad guys wander around.

This game is NOT A SHOOTER. You cannot take fancy shots with a pistol and hope for a single bullet kill. It's all dice rolling like calculations. That's not a bad thing, just a different thing.

Before I started the mission I opted to spend money for a friendly PMC (private military company) to distract the good guards, leaving only second class guards (this isn't a spoiler, it's appears to be a standard option for many missions). Alternatively I could have purchases upgraded armor or some cool grenades instead. You get to make some interesting and influential decisions before the mission. And after this mission you have to make a couple of decisions that will effect the following missions, but you don't know just how.

Reviews have mentioned bad AI for guards, but I just got through playing Red Dead Redemption and the AI in Alpha Protocol is about the same. The AP guards *will* throw grenades as well.

The storyline is part Jason Borne, part "24", but a lot Funeral in Berlin and other spy novels of that ilk. There are a LOT of cutscenes, but they aren't gratuitous, indeed many are setups for dialog decision points.

Mind you, I've only played about two hours, so there's a lot more to evaluate. But so far I am enjoying it. You can't approach it as a game to be played fast. You have to be willing to sit through cutscenes, read a lot of dossiers, and poke through a lot of menus. And as I say, so far it's worth the investment in time.
1438  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Alpha Protocol on: June 01, 2010, 09:53:46 PM
I've gotten through all the tutorials. As you might have seen in the previews, you can tailor your attributes to a preferred play style. On this first play through, I'm going stealth as much as possible. Also I'm being nice and professional, not being a smart ass in my answers.

So far, the game does provide layer upon layer of choices. I'm getting set to go on my first mission and I have $15,000 to spend. I can get weapon and armor upgrades. Or I can get new gadgets. Or I can buy more intel. Or I can spend money to have local operatives do extra things for me. I can even spend money to get an extra objective. It's a bit overwhelming, but it does provide a lot of flexibility.
1439  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Alpha Protocol on: June 01, 2010, 07:41:33 PM
I picked up my copy today and am part way through the tutorials. I agree with the above, the graphics aren't bleeding edge, but they are serviceable, there's no problem seeing what you need to see. Nothing yet that's making me panic.
1440  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Alpha Protocol on: June 01, 2010, 12:23:02 AM
Got the call from Gamestop, my copy for the 360 will be available tomorrow morning.

In the meantime there is a thread about this game over at OO-PC. Some folks have already gotten the game via Steam, those comments start about half way down the first page.
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