Posts Tagged ‘achievements’

So my experience with The Walking Dead has mainly been with the television series on AMC. I know that the series is based on the comic book series, but I really don’t read comics. As for zombies, well my experience with them dates back to when I was a young zombie slayer through my ever expanding imagination from reading books and watching movies. Yes, I had cool parents who let me watch Rated “R” movies. Currently, I get my zombie fix from the first two seasons of the television series on Blu-ray, but when I learned that The Walking Dead (based on the comic books) was coming to Xbox 360 I really got excited. Then there was the part where I found out that there were five episodes with one releasing each month. I thought that sucked, because I’m sure the anticipation to see what happens next drove everyone crazy. Well I decided to wait until all five episodes were available so I can just play them all without the agonizing wait in between. Well let me tell you that the long wait was worth every minute.

PROS:

Lee Everett
From a convicted felon to a near father figure for young Clementine, my experience playing as main protagonist Lee Everett was amazing. Probably the best character I’ve ever played due to the fact that all his actions and decisions were based on my choices. Like a choose your own adventure book, I helped shape what Lee would eventually become, and I’m quite satisfied with the results whether I wanted to be somewhat of a good man or a complete asshole and not give a shit. This is the zombie apocalypse by the way. Making friends, along with trusting others, can be a little tough especially considering that I’m taking care of a little girl who just wants to get back to her family.

For Clementine
Other than Lee, Clementine plays such a key role in the actions I chose to partake in. She may be a little girl that I’m protecting, but when you think about it she can also be quite impressionable. Killing the “Walkers” or even certain people can come at a price especially if Clementine is around when it happens. For example: I took a hammer and beat the former babysitter’s head in a few times and Clementine watched in horror as it happened. The screen said that she will remember it. This sort of had me second guessing about how I choose to kill, because I surely didn’t want to scar her for life. Then again it is the zombie apocalypse right? For me it was all about keeping Clementine alive, and I did just that through my adventure.

The Story And Overall Atmosphere
I really liked the point and click style of storytelling that Telltale Games uses. Coming from some of their previous games I played including Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures and Sam and Max Save the World, The Walking Dead was more of a shock to me. I never thought I’d see Telltale make a game on a more “mature” angle, but they pulled it off perfectly. Sure the graphics may resemble something on the lines of a Saturday morning cartoon, but the game’s theme is far from it especially with moments where I blew a cop’s head off with a shotgun, and watching Walkers devour people piece by piece. The best part is that Telltale Games kept to the series’ dark-sided roots. I also liked how they incorporated new characters to the series like they were always there as well as seeing a few regulars along for the ride including Hershel Greene and Glenn.

Decisions, Decisions
What makes this game so unique is the tough decisions I had to make. Who do I choose to align myself with? This determines how characters reacted to me. The most important decision was the tough choice deciding on who lives and who dies? That decision alone shapes the overall course of the game. I always wondered whether I was making the right choices, because I could really feel the weight of the decision and the pain that Lee Everett suffers through. Later on, when an episode ends, I get to see a board with the overall community’s decisions just to see if other people agreed with me. Now I wonder what happens if I went in the other direction. I smell replay value.

CONS:

Easy Achievements
I’m really disappointed with the overall easiness of earning achievements in this game. Just completing each episode gave me all the available achievements. Sure the achievement whore in me is quite happy as I add another game to the completion list, but I what I really wanted was some sort of extra challenge on some of the achievements making that “Achievement Unlocked” tone more worthy of attaining. Hopefully Telltale Games works on that for Season 2.

The Long Wait For Season 2
I now understand the anticipation that gamers had when anxiously awaiting new episodes every month. I waited for five months just to get all the episodes, and now I have to wait even longer for the next season to come along just to see where the story goes next. I feel your pain everyone, because waiting sucks.

IN CONCLUSION

Sure it’s a point and click game, but The Walking Dead feels like it’s so much more. Left 4 Dead it is not. The Walking Dead is a game filled with amazing storytelling, character development, intense drama, and tough decision making. Basically what this boils down to is an amazing experience that should not be missed by anyone. I enjoyed my time with this game and I plan on revisiting the drama and horror again and again. The Walking Dead is a definite must buy for any fan of the series whether it’s the comic books or the television series. Maybe it’s time for me to read those comic books as well.

Developer: Telltale Games
Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
Players: 1
Price: 2000 Microsoft Points ($25.00)

It’s time once again to return to Pandora. Ok, I was there just a couple of weeks ago still looting those damn Claptraps for those collectible achievements and Crawmerax yet still lives, but I digress. It’s time for some new adventures in the Borderlands. Handsome Jack is looking for some badass vault hunters like myself to do what I like to do best. Kill, loot, and then repeat. There goes my social life again. Then again my day job sort of did that a couple of months ago, but once again I’ve dipped off subject. Viva La Pandora! Viva La Borderlands 2!

2K Games and Gearbox Software once again bring me back to the wide world of looting and a shitload of guns to play with in this first person shooter and role playing hybrid. I’ve spent hundreds of hours playing the first game which became a bigger addiction to me. Let me put it this way. There’s not one drug out there with the addictive quality that can compare to the looting adventures of Borderlands. Period! Now I’ve got the highly anticipated sequel where there are still plenty of bandits and other mutant animals to kill, but this time the baddies are tougher and a heck of a lot meaner. Good thing I have even better guns and tons of ammo, but don’t expect Marcus to give out any refunds.

Storywise, Borderlands 2 improves by leaps and bounds over the original game, but let’s be serious. I didn’t pick up this game for epic storytelling. I bought it to shoot, kill, and loot as much as humanly possible. Plus there’s all the addictive fun and comedic satire where Borderlands 2 clearly doesn’t disappoint. Handsome Jack, Head of the Hyperion Corporation, has been looking for some new vault hunters to open up a new alien vault on Pandora. Hopefully this time there’s some sweet loot inside. Sadly, Jack’s attempt to lure would be vault hunters is nothing more than a trap. Luckily, my character of choice survives near death and then my adventure began.

The first thing that impressed me was the improvement of the cell-shaded graphics. They look even better than the first game. I also have to commend Gearbox for finally using a color palette for the surrounding environment. Yes, they finally stopped using different shades of brown and found other colors like green and blue. The use of color brought more life to the wasteland of Pandora making exploration a little more exciting. Characters look a little brighter and more energetic. Even all the guns have some cool looking skins making them better to own. Impressive!

I started out with Axton. Like Roland in the first game, Axton is a soldier class specializing in combat rifles along with deploying a turret as his special attack. Considering the fact that I didn’t use the soldier class as much in the first game (I used Brick the most) I was more interested to go this route and it hasn’t disappointed me at all. The turret was great in a firefight and helped make tougher enemy battles slightly easier. It’s safe to assume that anyone who joins me online will see me with him.

As for the other characters, the heavily hyped Salvatore the Gunzerker is also pretty cool with the dual wield special. He kicks some major ass when the guns are drawn leaving tons of blood and shrapnel in his wake. Now all I want is to dual wield a pair of elemental rocket launchers and he’ll make Brick arching of the past. Maya the Siren is basically an upgraded version of Lilith. Zero the Assassin (he’s a number) is not bad either with his stealth attacks and sniping abilities. Overall, the characters in Borderlands 2 are just as good as the original, but with a just a hint of more “attitude” mixed in.

The biggest improvement comes with a new skill tree system to add new abilities and increase stats. Skill points are earned by leveling up my characters through kills and completing missions. Customization is better than ever with more ways to differentiate my character from the others online. There’s even an option to reset your stats and place your hard earned skill points into other settings along with changing your looks as well. New to Borderlands is Badass Ranks. This applies to completing various challenges in the game. Complete a challenge get a token which I get to use to upgrade stats including health, shields, damage, accuracy, etc. The best part  is the fact that these ranks carry through to all my characters. Now that’s something I like.

While I can choose to venture and brave the vast lands of Pandora on my own, I realize that exploring, killing, and looting are more fun with a group of friends, Co-op is back and better than ever. Up to three friends can join me for some good fun all in the name of rare loot. Unlike the original, you don’t have to worry about that one person who gets all the good shit leaving you with all the scrap junk. No more being the low man on the totem pole. Now I can get some rare loot without one of my friends running away from the group and raping all the loot chests. Gearbox made a change making all loot shared. Some may like this and most won’t but maybe it’s time to make things fair for everyone. Overall, I absolutely enjoyed the multiplayer experience as my friends and I explored, killed, and shared plenty of laughs along the way. Co-op is the way top go for overall longevity because single player is only fun for so long.

What makes Borderlands 2 so great? An entertaining experience, fun characters, tons of jokes and other pokes at pop culture, and a whole lotta guns. What’s not to love. The best part is the fact that the game never takes itself too seriously, because if it did it would probably suck. I shit you not. There’s a lot ot see and plenty to do both on foot and unleashing your inner “Mad Max” in kick ass vehicles. Hundreds of more hours await me in Pandora with both the main game and future DLC as the search for awesome loot continues, so do me a favor. Stop reading, buy Borderlands 2, and join me online for some good times. Now where’s those rare weapons.

Developer: 2K Games, Gearbox Software
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1-4 (Online Co-op Multiplayer)
Price: $59.99

GAME STATUS: Saved Princess Daphne using both a controller and Kinect multiple times
ACHIEVEMENTS EARNED: 3 out of 12 (50 Gamerscore)

For my original review of Dragon’s Lair on Xbox Live Arcade click HERE.

For what feels like the millionth time, I’ve stormed the castle, killed countless goons, avoided many traps, and stared at the face of death while constantly dying. All of this for the love of Princess Daphne who I took out on a date on June 19 all for the low price of one achievement and 30 gamerscore. What a deal! I feel so dirty now.

Ever since the release of the classic Dragon’s Lair on Xbox Live Arcade, I’ve been completely addicted to Don Bluth’s animated adventure of the heroic, and yet sometimes clumsy knight, Dirk the Daring. Whether I was jumping around and slashing my arms using the Kinect, or just using the controller when I felt lazy, Dragon’s Lair never had me bored. Never has the thought crossed my mind thinking “haven’t I beat the game over a million times across multiple platforms already? It’s not like anything new is going to pop up.” Of course that’s the moment when I’m not paying attention and unfortunately die…again. Well at least the princess is rather forgiving unlike most women in this world.

With the many times I’ve played I had to come to a conclusion about how I wanted to enjoy Dragon’s Lair on XBLA. Sure it’s billed as a Kinect game, but I really enjoyed it more with the controller. The Kinect was more forgiving with how I approached the game as I jumped around and used some arm movements, yet for some reason I didn’t want to feel like a retard when playing. It just felt too gimmicky. Honestly, Dragon’s Lair was meant for the controller, and it punished me quickly for making a mistake unlike when I used the Kinect. Good thing I had unlimited continues or else this quest would be really short just like when I was at the arcades playing.

SO WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR PRINCESS DAPHNE?

As far as I’m concerned, the evil dragon Singe can continue to kidnap Princess Daphne all he wants, becasue I’ll continue to save her. As I stated before Dragon’s Lair never bored me at all so I plan to continue my quest to save the princess, and continue my “achievement whore” addiction by scoring some much needed achievements by dying. Now if you’ll excuse me, my quest awaits.

Publisher: Digital Leisure
Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
Players: 1-2
Price: 800 Microsoft Points ($10.00)

GAME STATUS: Quest Completed
ACHIEVEMENTS EARNED: 45 out of 61 (875 Gamerscore)

For my original review of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Click HERE.

The realm is safe once again. Tirnoch has been destroyed (quite easily I might add), Dead Kel is no longer a threat, and the Kollossae are free. The people can rest easy once again. Well not too easy considering the fact that there are plenty of baddies still in the woods, and there’s that part where I’m not in the good graces of the Warsworn. So I killed all the heads of the guild. You would think they would’ve forgiven me by now. Besides, the townspeople all forgiven me after constant looting, pickpocketing, and the occasional mass murder. Just another day in Amalur.

Resurrected from the depths of the dead sure worked out for me in this game. Throughout my adventure I felt like a death dealer as I destroyed everything in my path sort of like Kratos from God of War or even Ryu Hayabusa from Ninja Gaiden. No enemy was safe from my hack and slash combo attacks along with some badass magic to boot. This was my favorite part of playing the game. No matter how tough an enemy was (couldn’t find one four levels higher than me to get that achievement) they still met the end of my blade or the blunt of my hammer making for some satisfying moments.

While I really enjoyed kicking ass on the screen, I did have a few problems. One has to do with all the bland dialog. Maybe I’m not too big on the whole fantasy angle, but the storyline at times really had me bored which led to me falling asleep for short periods only to wake up hoping that the dialog ended and the combat begun. Amalur is a loooong game, and when sleepiness started setting in between all the constant grinding that led to a big negative in the overall picture. Good thing I could press the “X” button to skip through the boredom faster.

I also had a problem with the game’s literally easy difficulty. I never met an RPG that was so light on the difficulty, and no I wasn’t playing on “easy” if your thinking that. Sure disposing a group of six to seven enemies at one time led to frustrating moments of being hit in all directions before using my “Reckoning” ability making everything super simple along with lots of XP. Even the bosses like the super-screen sized slug Balor met his end pretty quickly with no challenge whatsoever. That was really disappointing when all you have to do is hack the long nails when he sticks them into the ground. Even the final boss Tirnoch was no challenge. Sad.

AMALUR’S FINAL FATE

While my character had no fate, this game certainly did. After spending what felt like a few hundred hours traveling, discovering, committing crimes in front of a small audience, and easily dispatching foes in the heat of battle I felt that my time was done. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is fun, but I can’t see myself going through another quest. I might end up sleeping all day. My copy of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning will now lie on the used game shelf for someone else to play. The ending was left open for further expansion, but due to the layoffs of 38 Studios and Big Huge Games (now a part of Epic Baltimore) we may never get to see a sequel.

Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Big Huge Games, 38 Studios
Players: 1
Price: $59.99

Originally released back in 1983, Dragon’s Lair has been ported to every video game console, PC, and multimedia platform known to man. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 30 years then you should know what this game is. The story of Dirk the Daring who’s out to save the lovely princess Daphne from the evil dragon Singe. Despite it’s ancient age (in gaming years) Dragon’s Lair still has that nostalgic fever that fans, including myself, crave. I’ve always wanted to play Dragon’s Lair since seeing the attract screen play over and over in the arcades as a kid, but I didn’t want to spend one dollar a credit just to have my ass handed to me because I didn’t know what to do. Over the years I got over that fear and I’ve played the game having lots of fun I the process. Now it’s arrived on Xbox Live Arcade and I couldn’t wait to go on the nostalgic adventure once again.

Dragon’s Lair on Xbox Live Arcade can be played in two ways. Obviously one way is to use the controller. The other is the way is how the game is advertised…with Kinect. Now I had my reservations on seeing how Dragon’s Lair would hold up by utilizing the Kinect. So I played the games using both peripherals. Of course, there’s also the option of watching the whole ten minutes of animation as a movie, but why would I want to do that? I paid for the game to interact with it and not just watch it.


Now if I had to choose what way to play Dragon’s Lair on the Xbox 360 I would have to go with the controller. I found it more comfortable for me to use as I would move through each quick time event with the D-pad for movements and the A button for the sword. While I may have chosen the controller let me assure you that the Kinect is no slouch. Playing this game with Kinect sure is a workout as I put up a sweat from jumping around and flailing my arm. There is also a few moments where the Kinect camera would take pictures of my actions. Both ways are fun, but I have to mention that the game’s achievements really cater more towards using the controller. Speaking of achievements, you might notice that they mostly center around you dying which is something you’ll be doing a lot of in this game unless your really good at it in Hard mode.

The game may be too old to most, but Dragon’s Lair is a treasure that everyone will love. It definitely fits as a break between shooters, or for those who use the Kinect for other reasons like dancing and exercise programs. I had a lot of fun as I felt that nostalgic rush, and plan to play it again and again just to beat my high score. Don Bluth’s cartoony adventure is a classic, and it’s safe to assume that more could possibly be on the way with Dragon’s Lair 2: Time Warp and Space Ace. Alright, enough talking…my quest awaits.

Publisher: Digital Leisure
Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
Players: 1-2
Price: 800 Microsoft Points ($10.00)