Posts Tagged ‘PSN’

Back in 1989, a video game came along and changed the way we view games forever. Disney and Capcom took us on a journey to the land of Duckburg, but that was only the beginning. The real adventure was soon to follow that took us everywhere from the Amazon all the way too the Moon itself. All of this while singing that all too familiar tune.

Life is like a hurricane
Here in Duckburg
Race cars, lasers, aeroplanes
It’s a duck blur
You might solve a mystery
Or rewrite history

DuckTales, Woo-oo!
Everyday they’re out there making
DuckTales, Woo-oo!
Tales of daring do bad and good luck tales, Woo-oo!

D-D-D-danger, watch behind you
There’s a stranger out to find you
What to do?
Just grab onto some

DuckTales, Woo-oo!
Everyday they’re out there making
DuckTales, Woo-oo!
Tales of daring do bad and good luck tales, Woo-oo!
Not pony tails, or cotton tails, no
DuckTales, Woo-oo!

Now I’ve never played the original game on the NES, but I do know about DuckTales. This means that this remastered version of the original game is all new to me and I like it. The Disney fan in me enjoyed watching the television series back in the day featuring the adventures of Scrooge McDuck and the gang scouring the world for legendary treasure. There was also something else I’ve always wanted to do. That would be diving into a massive vault of coins just like Scrooge McDuck. Sadly, there’s no way to perform this act in real life, but I can live the fantasy here in DuckTales Remastered, and it’s awesome!

The first thing that impressed me with DuckTales Remastered are the high definition visuals. Everything from the characters to the jaw-dropping levels themselves look absolutely fantastic. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. All the original actors of the show are also back reprising their roles for the game giving voices to the characters during all the cutscenes. The overall atmosphere gives me the impression that I’m participating in an actual episode of the hit animated series. Now that is a real treat for fans like myself, because this takes the DuckTales experience to a completely new level.

Platforming is the name of the game here in DuckTales, and it’s well executed as Scrooge uses his cane as a pogo stock for jumping on enemies and completes some simple puzzle solving. Considering the fact that this is a Disney game, don’t expect DuckTales to be some easy romp even though it does follow the main 8-bit rule of “If you lose all your lives you must start over”. I would keep that in mind especially in boss battles. These battles can be a bit of chore since memorization of their attacks is needed for survival. Remember that less stress equals more fun.

Throughout my adventure I would come across random treasure chests randomly appearing out of nowhere containing health and other riches. Gems also sometimes appeared as I walked by. This just goes to show that wherever Scrooge McDuck walks money is sure to follow. As I collected the money I was able to spend it in the gallery mode where I can unlock concept art, music, and more showing the rich history of the game. I really like seeing how the game has evolved from it’s 8-bit beginnings to the current generation consoles.

DuckTales may be a near perfect port of the original game, but there is one area of concern that will have fans scratching their heads. This would have to do with the game’s length. The levels in DuckTales Remastered have been extended in some areas, because the original NES game didn’t take very long to finish. This new version of DuckTales can be finished within a couple of hours which might have some fans wondering if the nostalgia trip is worth the $14.99 price tag. I think that some won’t care, because it’s DuckTales. However, others will probably wait for a sale.

As a trip down memory lane, DuckTales Remastered shines with it’s high definition visuals, and making me feel like I’m in an episode of the show. The platforming is fantastic, and at times can be quite challenging, but it’s not entirely frustrating. The game’s length may be it’s only setback, but it didn’t hold me back from buying it. Besides, it’s not very often that I get to “solve a mystery, or rewrite history!”

DuckTales, Woo-oo!

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Developer: Capcom, Disney, WayForward
Platform: PlayStation 3, PSN
Players: 1
Price: $14.99

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Awakening from my container I found myself looking for a way out. However, I realized that I wasn’t alone. There were others. Surprisingly, they all looked just like me. Slightly pudgy body with big green Sam Fisher style goggles that all of a sudden turned red when I was in the light. At this point I began to wonder if I was me, or if I was just another fabricated clone. Well I can’t think too much about that now, because I need to find a way out of the madness. Is there an exit, or is this just another test? Will there be…cake?

Featuring 80 levels of brain melting puzzle madness that tested both my mind, and my patience, Stealth Inc.: A Clone In The Dark, from Curve Studios, charged me with the mission to find a way out. What really jumped into my mind was that while I was playing Stealth Inc. I couldn’t help but compare the game’s similarities to another puzzle masterpiece simply known as Portal.  Let’s do a quick head count shall we. Unknown protagonist, companion cube like moveable blocks, turrets, portal style teleporter pads, and a silent AI antagonist similar to the evil sarcastic style of GLaDOS. Yes, Stealth Inc. has a lot in common with Valve’s juggernaut. However, before I call this game a 2-D Portal clone there is something that separates this indie gem from the mega-hit retail game. Stealth.

Not to be confused with the likes of the Metal Gear Solid and Splinter Cell series, Stealth Inc. had me working in the shadows of darkness to achieve my goals. Each stage is well lit up, but also features items where I could create shadows so that the cameras couldn’t see me while I was hacking consoles to keep progressing through the levels. The key to safety and success depended all on the color of my goggles. While the goggles are green I was somewhat safe. Once they turned red it became run and hide, because death was imminent especially if there’s a camera around. Getting spotted by these would activate various death traps including lasers or closing walls which would leave me as nothing more than a blood stain on the wall.

Stealth Inc. basically boils down to the type of game where trial and error plays a huge role upon success. Death is a commonality as I found my blood splattered everywhere. While death sucks, and doing it multiple times can lead to frustration, the good news is that I get unlimited lives (hence the term clones) along with a checkpoint with each terminal I hack in to. Death no longer becomes a moment of rage. Instead it becomes a learning experience which will also help in future levels so that I don’t get vaporized by a laser or torn to shreds from a buzzsaw. Along with my successes came unlocked equipment allowing me to retackle levels with a bit of an added advantage including enabling a limited camouflage when I was in the light to summoning extra clones to cause a distraction while achieving my goals.

While Stealth Inc. kept me busy with it’s challenging puzzles, I did eventually stumble upon another unique feature. A level creator. Yes, now I can create my own frustrating puzzles to really challenge my brain as well as my reflexes. Every tool that was in the game is also at my fingertips as I worked my own cleverness and devious mischief into making levels all with the goal of frustrating others. Sadly, I then found out that I can’t share my evil genius with the online community. What the fuck! Are you kidding me? Why did the developers not consider this when games like Little Big Planet and Trials Evolution allow players to share their custom levels with the world? Might I suggest a future patch to make this happen.

Challenging gameplay, mind bending puzzles, and a fun level creator. Stealth Inc. has it all. Replay value is high with stars and ranks to obtain, unlockables to earn, and leaderboards to show skill and superiority. Sure the trial and error style gameplay will have some players throwing their controllers and yelling tons of obscenities at their television screens, but there is still fun to be had as well as the eventual sigh of relief when making it through a tough level. Remember that key word “fun” while constantly dying yet still learning at the same time, because that’s what games are really all about.

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Developer: Curve Studios
Platform: PlayStation 3, PSN
Players: 1
Price: $9.99

GAME STATUS: Clementine is safe…for now?
TROPHIES EARNED: All 49 of them! Platinum Baby!

For my original review of The Walking Dead click HERE

From a prisoner in the back of a police car to his horrific end in Savannah, only Clementine is the ultimate survivor in Lee Everett’s epic tale. Actually, Omid and Christa are still out there, and it looked like Clem may have seen them walking on the horizon. Will Clem catch up with them? Are they walkers as well? Are these people other survivors of the zombie apocalypse? I can’t wait for Season 2!

The Walking Dead had me running on all emotions from the highs of safety to the sad lows of watching key characters psychologically breakdown or fall to their death. I felt Lee’s pain as every tough decision I made had it’s unfortunate consequences. I had to figure out who to trust and who to ignore. I even had to tread the relatively thin line that separates life and death. Most importantly was how I had to explain my actions to Clementine, and see how she responds. Surprisingly, in my playthrough she actually took it quite well.

Other than Lee, the one character I really enjoyed was Kenny. Throughout my journey I always sided with the redneck probably because I know so many people in my real world travels that are like him. Kenny always cut to the chase in key moments and was even a bit cutthroat at times as well when it came to Lily and Ben. Speaking of Ben, I hated that guy. I tried to help him, but whiny ass Ben always caused problems. When shit started getting bad…it was Ben’s fault. In key moments he even froze up in fear. My group had no need for fear, or his bullshit, so I had no problem showing my cold side and letting him die at the school. He deserved it even though he went out as sort of a hero buying time for my group’s escape from the walkers.

As for the episodes, I really enjoyed the second episode “Starved For Help.” Sure those St. John’s sounded nice and peaceful, but who knew that they had a Hannibal Lecter streak in them as they feasted on human meat. What a plot twist! I sure didn’t see that shit coming. There’s also that moment at the end of the episode when I took the supplies from the what I thought was an abandoned station wagon. I had no clue that this key decision would eventually lead up to the first season’s amazing conclusion as the vehicle’s owner and Lee would come face to face with Clementine’s fate hanging in the balance. You want to talk about psycho. That guy takes the cake.

Finally, there’s the gripping ending. I really wanted to see Lee take on the fatherly role, and take care of young Clementine through the dangers of the zombie apocalypse, but we all know that The Walking Dead is no place for happy endings. It was a sad moment when Clementine took up the gun and had to pull the trigger so Lee wouldn’t turn into a walker himself. If there’s one thing Lee did well it would be that he helped make Clementine strong enough to cope with the challenges that lie ahead of her.

AM I WILLING TO FACE THE HORRORS OF THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE AGAIN?

Season 2 may be quite awhile away, but I do see another playthough in the near future. I’d like to see how Lee would react if I changed certain situations like not listening to Kenny or siding with Lily. However, Ben still has to die because he’s a whiny ass bastard. In the end it’s all about Clementine.

Overall, I really enjoyed playing The Walking Dead. What else can I say about a game that is already considered as one of the greatest of all time? Amazing story, well thought out characters, amazing story, walkers, oh and an amazing story. I think you get the point. Congratulations to the team at Telltale Games. This was an amazing experience.

For Clementine.

Developer: Telltale Games
Platform: Playstation 3
Players: 1
Price: $4.99 per episode (6 episodes)

Nothing says “I’m a murdering hitman” in art deco, neon colored, cocaine filled, 1980’s Miami better than wearing a mask of a rooster, horse, or even a pig. Let’s look at the benefits. Nobody will know who you are other than some psycho vigilante with a death wish. Then again nobody will be left alive to tell the tale. No, this isn’t a plot line for an episode of Miami Vice. This is Hotline Miami. A game that’s all about doing one specific job, and it succeeds at executing that concept very well. It’s also the type of game that would make politicians, who are against violent video games, in Washington have a heart attack. As for me, I absolutely love this game!

After listening to a very cryptic message, my unknown protagonist was on his way (in a DeLorean that doesn’t go back in time when it hits 88 mph) to various shady establishments in underground Miami. My mission was to murder everyone in sight. Nobody was safe. Everyone had to die. Why? Well I don’t know, but it must be done all while wearing the mask of a certain animal. After completing each bloody and gory killing spree I was then on my way to a bar, a pizza parlor, and even a video store (curiously all owned by the same guy) where I found that everything was on the house. I guess being a hitman is a dirty job, but for free beer, pizza, and porn it sure does have it’s perks.

Hotline Miami has one specific objective. Kill or be killed. Obviously, the idea of K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) is handled brilliantly in this game, however I learned very quickly that this is not an easy task. Death can be found around every corner, but rather frequently it was mine. Hotline Miami is a hard game. What I had to realize was that there is a method to the madness. Learning the layout of each map can lead to success, and there’s the fact that guns are not always the logical answer. Taking on a level in the stealth approach by using melee weapons like knives, baseball bats, and lead pipes are a better alternative than firearms like shotguns and assault rifles since the noise will alert other enemies to your presence and they also have a better aim than a Stormtrooper. Masks also play a key role in the violent gameplay. Not only do they make you look cool, but each mask also allows for a certain perk which will help transverse through levels a little easier.

If there is one thing that Hotline Miami has going for itself it would be the overall presentation. The old school 8-bit graphics are a great nod to my nostalgic side. Then again most 8-bit games never looked this good. I liked the top down view which gave me that blueprint look so that I could keep tabs on enemy movement and know where all my possible escape routes were just in case I got into trouble. Very helpful. I also have to commend the musical score (which is not in typical 8-bit style). The musical tones brought an atmospheric vibe of a Michael Mann Miami Vice episode. Very cool.

With the rise of so many indie games this year, Hotline Miami sticks out as one of the best. Sure it’s bloody, gory, and ultra violent, but that’s not going to stop me from having fun even if I end up dying a few hundred times (there’s a trophy for that by the way). Just desensitize yourself, and let the game take you into it’s sadistic world. You’ll thank me later.

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Developer: Dennaton Games
Platform: PlayStation 3, PSN
Players: 1
Price: $9.99