obligatory "What vidcons are you playing????" thread

Glowsquid

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Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 is a modern millitary third-person shooter with tactical elements. You play as Scott Mitchell, the captain of an US spec ops unit called the "Ghosts" sent to Juarez for operations against Mexican rebels looking to sabotage a joint-millitary treaty between the US, Canada and Mexico. Things go bad to worse when it is soon found Panaman mercenaries backing the insurection have given stolen russian nukes to the rebellion they intend to launch at major US cities. GRAW 2's story is neocon nonsense, but highly entertaining one, and the French localization and voice acting is excellent.

GRAW 2 is quite far removed from the series thinking man's shooter roots with a far more forgiving health system, plenty of opportunities to reanimate downed allies, and a generous heaping of visual aids to lotate and ascertain the condition of enemy forces, but it does retain some of the tactical gameplay. You play exclusively as Scott Mitchell but you can order up to three support elements: either a squad of soldiers, a drone, a MULE (basically a wheeled armory) or various combat vehicles, although the orders you can give them are limited ("regroup on me" or "go there" for soldiers, "forward", "go back" and "stop" for vehicles". GRAW 2's big gimmick is the "Cross Com", which not only allow you to switch between your assets, but also see from their POV and order them from there. This is highly useful: in the final mission, I was pinned down by heavy machine gun fire, but I was able to use the crosscom to get my M1 Abrams support to where I was and kill the enemies. As Mitchell is slow and can't take much punishment, your typical encounter involve sneaking around enemy positions collecting intel, position your allies and surprise your enemies.

The overall controls and feel of GRAW 2 is excellent. All the controls you need are intelligently laid out and responsive. You can switch shoulder, which is a rare feature in third-person shooters but very appreciated here. Mitchel feels good to move and when you crouch and go prone while running, he does a very satisfying dive.

The sound design is also excellent: the explosion sound never fails to make me grin and all your fellow ghosts have distinct voices and personalities. They'll also be able to shout precise information (ex: "behind the red car") and will be more than happy to tell you if you didn't position them intelligently. The soundtrack by the underrated Tom Salta perfectly underscore the moment wheter it's a moody stealth section or a holding a position against overwhelming enemy odds, while retaining an identity often lacking from modern millitary shooter scores



GRAW 2 really comes together in the climatic Act 2 mission "Who the hell are these guys?". After sneaking around destroying anti-aircraft positions, you're summoned to the enemy HQ to hold the line while a fellow spec-ops team look for the nukes. As you defend the position, the other team finds and destroy one of the nuke (and with it, the second floor of the building) but find the other is missing. Intense street to street fighting ensues (where you're given command of not just a Little Bird chopper, but also a M1 Abrams), culminating in (an admitelly braindead and heavily scripted) helicopter duel with the leader of the rebellion, all that while the leader of the other team and your general are yelling about the whereabouts of the stolen nukes. It's nail-bitting and intense stuff, a truly great level.


So yeah, lots of gushing but not all is perfect with GRAW 2. The customisation is pretty lousy with many of the guns being arbitrarily unavailable for large chunks of the game. Telling your allies to go somewhere can be pretty wonky as they'll often go the sides or in front of the cover you want them to take. The framerate on the PS3 version is not great.. But pound-for-pound, this is easily the best millitary shooter I ever played (though I have yet to play its predecessor).
 
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I started playing Lilo & Stitch for the GBA last week, and it is surprisingly interesting and difficult. I will continue it later, and try to update you on it.
But I'd certainly recommend it if you come across it. It's not a late GBA game (2002), but its animations are rather smooth. The music disappoints me, though, compared to the graphics and gameplay physics. Something else that impressed me is that the game includes 4 FMV sequences. They don't really add much as they seem only unlockables (the first one is used as the intro and unlocked right away), and not used as a story device. However, it's the only game I've got that uses FMV, on the GBA, so it's cool anyway. :P

So far, the gameplay has been divided into 3 styles:
-sidescroller shooters where you shoot at incoming enemies, mostly freely able to move but at certain points having to defeat a large enemy before the screen can be scrolled farther
-stealth sections where you need to get past enemies by 'hiding' and sneaking
-tube shooter where enemy ships come in that can't be shot, but usually don't need to be to progress (that makes this the easiest of the three, being able to dodge most enemies without having to kill them)


I think most of the game will consist of the first two, the first featuring Stitch, the second featuring Lilo. However, I also expect/hope for them to join up at some point, resulting in a new gameplay style.
 

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I started playing Lilo & Stitch for the GBA last week, and it is surprisingly interesting and difficult. I will continue it later, and try to update you on it.
But I'd certainly recommend it if you come across it. It's not a late GBA game (2002), but its animations are rather smooth. The music disappoints me, though, compared to the graphics and gameplay physics. Something else that impressed me is that the game includes 4 FMV sequences. They don't really add much as they seem only unlockables (the first one is used as the intro and unlocked right away), and not used as a story device. However, it's the only game I've got that uses FMV, on the GBA, so it's cool anyway. :P


So far, the gameplay has been divided into 3 styles:
-sidescroller shooters where you shoot at incoming enemies, mostly freely able to move but at certain points having to defeat a large enemy before the screen can be scrolled farther
-stealth sections where you need to get past enemies by 'hiding' and sneaking
-tube shooter where enemy ships come in that can't be shot, but usually don't need to be to progress (that makes this the easiest of the three, being able to dodge most enemies without having to kill them)


I think most of the game will consist of the first two, the first featuring Stitch, the second featuring Lilo. However, I also expect/hope for them to join up at some point, resulting in a new gameplay style.


Omg I totally had that game as a kid! Wasn't the villain a giant robot mosquito or something? I remember him being big and purple and he chased you.
 
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Glowsquid

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Medal of Honor Vanguard is a WWII FPS released in 2007. You play as James Keegan, a member of the 82nd Airborne as you take part in the various operations the real Airborne underwent during the war.


Vanguard was conceived as a cheap side game for the lucrative PS2/Wii market while the A-Team worked on (the fucking amazing) Moh Airborne so both games share a lot of similarities. Both game stars the Airborne and feature most of the same campaigns (though as the real Aiborne didn't participate in a lot of missions, this was inevitable), both have the mechanic of jumping out of a plane and sterring your parachute - but while Airborne has this for every missions and it had genuine depth in allowing you to land anywhere and complete objectives in any order, Vanguard only has it in three levels out of nine and its very linear level structure means it doesn't add much beside hunting for the one secret spot. Like Airborne, you have weapon upgrades - but while Airborne has three levels of upgrades for each weapons, including each three types of grenades, Vanguard only has two upgrades period (a drum magazine for the Thompson or a sniper scope for the M1 Garand), which don't persist between levels.

One thing Vanguard has Airborne doesn't is the medal system [well technically it does but not in the same way]. For each missions, you have achievements for a variety of task (using every weapons available in a given missions, getting X numbers of headshots, beating a level without dying, etc.) and some of them actually grant you very slight bonuses to your health level, sprint recovery and health regeneration speed. I found this a pretty addictive mechanic and it's rare FPS incentivise completing a level without dying so that's pretty neat.

The game is a very typical modern FPS: you carry two weapons of your choice and grenades, you have regenerating health, and you can lean and crouch/go prone. Levels are very linear and have you doing typical millitary shooter stuff like clearing room of enemies or planting charges on anti-aircraft guns (you do a LOT of explosive planting). None of the missions until the last two are very long or difficult. There are some vaguely inspired scenarios like one part where you have to run around streets scavening ammo for your bazooka while a Tiger tank takes potshot at you, but few and far in-between. If you've played any WWII shooter, you've played this.

Ultimately I enjoyed Vanguard despite its lack of amibition. It plays pretty smooth. The controls do the job and the leaning mechanic is well-implemented: being able to peek out of corners and raise your head slightly while prone without exposing yourself is something often lacking for WWII shooters and it's appreciated here. For Kraut-killing fun times you could do a lot worse - and a lot better.
 

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Medal of Honor Vanguard is a WWII FPS released in 2007. You play as James Keegan, a member of the 82nd Airborne as you take part in the various operations the real Airborne underwent during the war.


Vanguard was conceived as a cheap side game for the lucrative PS2/Wii market while the A-Team worked on (the fucking amazing) Moh Airborne so both games share a lot of similarities. Both game stars the Airborne and feature most of the same campaigns (though as the real Aiborne didn't participate in a lot of missions, this was inevitable), both have the mechanic of jumping out of a plane and sterring your parachute - but while Airborne has this for every missions and it had genuine depth in allowing you to land anywhere and complete objectives in any order, Vanguard only has it in three levels out of nine and its very linear level structure means it doesn't add much beside hunting for the one secret spot. Like Airborne, you have weapon upgrades - but while Airborne has three levels of upgrades for each weapons, including each three types of grenades, Vanguard only has two upgrades period (a drum magazine for the Thompson or a sniper scope for the M1 Garand), which don't persist between levels.

One thing Vanguard has Airborne doesn't is the medal system [well technically it does but not in the same way]. For each missions, you have achievements for a variety of task (using every weapons available in a given missions, getting X numbers of headshots, beating a level without dying, etc.) and some of them actually grant you very slight bonuses to your health level, sprint recovery and health regeneration speed. I found this a pretty addictive mechanic and it's rare FPS incentivise completing a level without dying so that's pretty neat.

The game is a very typical modern FPS: you carry two weapons of your choice and grenades, you have regenerating health, and you can lean and crouch/go prone. Levels are very linear and have you doing typical millitary shooter stuff like clearing room of enemies or planting charges on anti-aircraft guns (you do a LOT of explosive planting). None of the missions until the last two are very long or difficult. There are some vaguely inspired scenarios like one part where you have to run around streets scavening ammo for your bazooka while a Tiger tank takes potshot at you, but few and far in-between. If you've played any WWII shooter, you've played this.

Ultimately I enjoyed Vanguard despite its lack of amibition. It plays pretty smooth. The controls do the job and the leaning mechanic is well-implemented: being able to peek out of corners and raise your head slightly while prone without exposing yourself is something often lacking for WWII shooters and it's appreciated here. For Kraut-killing fun times you could do a lot worse - and a lot better.

These reviews would be more entertaining in video format.

Am just saying....
 

Glowsquid

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Soldier of Fortune is a FPS by Raven Software released in 2000, based on the infamous magazine of the same name. You play as John Mullins, a true 360 no scope patriot hired by an outfit called "The Shop" to shoot up a bunch of places and stop an evil plot to drop a neutrom bomb on New York or something. The game's main selling point (which predictably got it banned in several countries) was its gore system, which modelled damage across 26 areas of every characters. It's great fun and basically impossible to talk about in detail without sounding like you need to be institutionalized.

Gameplay-wise, SoF is an interesting half-between in the evolution of the FPS genre: There are some very slight concessions to realism: you have a weighted equipment system that only you to carry up to 4 guns at a time and your accuracy is notably penalized when you are firing while moving. Under the influence of Half-Life, levels are mostly linear and contain light puzzle-solving and platforming, but nothing that's going to stump or frustrate you. On the other hand, all your weapons are extremely accurate when you're not moving and you can sprint around like you're in a Quake 3 match. It's not Doom but we've not quite reached Call of Duty yet.

The actual shooting is great fun: not (just) because of the gore, but because your weapons feel powerful and enemies actually react to your every hits and what body part you're hit: hit them in the leg and they may writ around in pain, hit them in the hands and they may drop their gun and surrender. Moving aorund is smooth and fast. You can customize your weapon loadout before each mission, which is a good feature in theory, but if a weapon you pick is not found in the mission, you're not going to find any ammo for it. You might as well stick to what you find.
 

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I once thought about trying that on dreamcast, but apparently the loading times are ridiculous on the console.
 

Glowsquid

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Perfect Dark Zero is a stealth-focused FPs released as a launch title for the X360. A prequel to the beloved N64 game, the game tells the story of Joanna "Jo" Dark as her and her bounty hunty crew are entrangled in a conspiracy to find some ancient energy source of something. It's really campy stuff that doesn't try to be consistent with the original game and the acting is appaling.

When first playing, PD0 doesn't make a great impression. The controls don't feel great: the sticks have a big deadzone and a bad input curve that makes precision aiming a challenge. I was able to find something I was moderatly comfortable with by lowering the sensitivity wayyyyyy down but it makes boss battles that rely on fast aiming a pain. Enemies are total bullet sponges and swarm you agresivelly, it often takes a full SMG clip before a dude goes down. The game emphasizes getting headshots but many of the enemies wear helmets that require multiple shots to break.

The biggest problem with the game is the level design. Levels try to be big and open but mostly succeed at being annoying and confusing. There are no landmarks to orient the player and levels are filled with pointless dead ends and paths that loop on themselves. Even when the game goes in linear shootbang mode for its later half, exists are often easy to miss. The game also consistently fails to convey what objects critical to a mission objective look like and how you can interract with them. For example, in a mid-game level, you're instructed to find a "Silver key" and then a "Gold key" but it's not obvious which of the many locked doors these open. The developer's quick and dirty fix was to spawn shiny blue arrows appear to tell you exactly where to go but these take a long time to trigger and if they do is not always consistent.

All of this is a shame because Perfect Dark Zero's campaign features many cool and innovative things

-Every weapon has an alternate function, sometimes two!

-Levels change layout and add more objectives with each difficulty levels! Furthermore, the hardest difficulty allows players to choose gadgets in addition to the ones necessary for mission completion, opening new paths and solutions to problems!

-Mission have optional objectives whose completion actually has an effect! (most of the times) And some of the tasks can be inspired: for example in a early level, you come across a tense standoff between thugs and police who are both looking for you. Shoot one of the participant without being seen and the room will degenerate in all-out brawl.

-There are non-hostile NPCs found in the levels, and you can talk to them to con them into helping you! And some of these encounters have multiple dialogue recorded so the answer isn't always the same!

The soundtrack is also pretty legit



I came out of PD0 enjoying it more than I didn't. But it's a very high-maintenance game and I don't blame anyone for losing patience with it.
 

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Ive been thinking about trying pd0 since pd was a big part of our lives growing up, but my little brother got it when it came out years ago and had nothing good to say at all about it, and told me it wasnt worth playing.

But pd was his most favorite game, so that could all just be from it not being the same as the original. I always imagined Id try it if I found it for like 5$ or so.



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I recently beat infinite undiscovery for 360

For a 360 jrpg, it was pretty good. It started off strong. All battles are real time, it plays like a tales of game and theres no transition to a battle screen.

The game has many characters. All of them are interesting enough, plus unlike most rpgs every character is used in the game, as certain locations and dungeons have you making multiple parties with each of your characters, which is really fun.

The story starts off well, but the ending was super disappointing. I dont wanna spoil it, but it ends up being the most cliche ending you can have in a jrpg. I really get bored of every jrpg ending that same way, it just feels so lazy, both on a writing level and even on an intellectual level.

Dunno how many times you can "kill god" until you get bored of it

The game is also too short. It took me 20 hours to beat it, which is fine for a legend of Zelda game but with a jrpg Id hope for AT LEAST 30 hours : p

It fizzles out near the end, but outside that it is a fun jrpg, totally worth buying.
 
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My mother recently found my Mario Kart Wii disc again, and now I'm not going to lose it anymore. ;) So I've been playing that. Mostly CTWW for now, but I'd also like to actually get gold on the last three cups, which I haven't managed to do yet.
 

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Fuck Half Life 2, why did I choose to play this FREAKING game again its so stressful and hard as frozen dicks ahetajejrjtukmydgfxnthaetet5ndNDewgw I'm going to have nightmares about goddamn airboats and hunter choppers and sewage canals that ARE A BILLION MILES LONG. WHY IS THIS SEGMENT SO GODDAMN LONG And why do I have to stop and do fucking puzzles when there bullets flying at my face and everyone is out to kill me I just want to get to Ravenholme already, that area is like balm to my soul compared to the GODDAMN CANAL AIRBOAT SEGMENT ajdafgfdjfdadfjdjfdfj
 

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After beating Half Life 2 for the 2nd time, I now realize my problem with it (not really a problem, but an observation). The gritty realistic graphics and setting suggest to me that they intend for it to be played in a /realistic/ way. BUT the game is actually set up in such a way that you have to make intentionally dumb action-movie decisions in order to progress. Also there are a lot of environmental puzzles that took me a while to pick up on, just because I wasn't even expecting for there to /be/ puzzles in a gritty FPS, so I wasn't looking out for them.

Basically it took me a while to figure out the tone that they were going for, and learn to play it in a more videogame-y way, despite it going for a realistic setting. Really weird tbh. I'm not accustomed to western videogame design, it's so bizarre and contradictory (or at least in this case). HL2 is a great game though, once you learn to pick up on the gameplay cues (and get used to the clunky physics-based puzzles).
 
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