tempest in a teacup

the pointless musings of a strange recluse

An old opinion, now backed up by empirical evidence

I posted a while back that I was rather unimpressed by what I had seen of LittleBigPlanet. One of the common replies I got was that I couldn’t make a proper judgement without playing it first, which is a reasonable response. I was loath to spend $50 to buy a game that I wasn’t sure about, though, particularly when my gaming backlog is already a mile long.

Well, Sony released a LittleBigPlanet demo on PSN last week, and I downloaded it and finally got to play through some of the levels. And…

(cue drumroll)

…I still don’t see what the big deal is. The platforming is pretty slippery, imprecise even. I mean, I can compare it to Sonic Unleashed and confidently say that even that game has tighter controls in its 2D sections. I can make precise jumps reasonably easily in Unleashed, whereas LBP’s ‘on ice’ movement and floaty jumps mean that I tend to be slip-sliding through levels rather than navigating through them with precise timing.

Stephen Fry’s voiceovers are great, though.

And for anyone who would retort that I’m missing the point because I haven’t played any of the levels online with four players – attaching a collaborative level design toolkit to Daikatana doesn’t magically turn it into Half-Life.

With that said, I suspect that’s the last I’ll have to say on the subject of LBP. Unless a copy ends up falling into my lap.

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If this is what they mean by ‘re-birth’, screw reincarnation

Ever find your skepticism to be completely justified?

Everything about KOFXII’s game system feels weird. The game is definitely slower than XI, 98 and 2K2, no doubt about that. On top of that even stuff like jumping has had its timings changed. When I do what used to be a hyperhop in XI or ‘98UM my character flies across the screen to get an uppercut up his ass. On top of that timings for things as basic as Terry’s dB, dA, df+C, QCB+A combo have changed. The first KOF that comes to mind when I think of an equivalent in the games I’ve played is probably KOF2003, and considering how bad that game was I don’t think that’s a good sign.

I took a spin through single player mode, and immediately recalled KOF XI’s pretty good AI on normal difficulty – while not awesome, it at least tried to use human-like attack patterns on you. Iori would pressure you with hop Cs and Ds, Gato would regularly do his tap combo into punch super every time he got an opening, Kyo would try to stuff your pokes with his QCF+A autoguard, and so on. The reason I remembered this is because KOFXII’s normal difficulty AI is dumb as a brick. It jumps around randomly, spamming pokes and rolling out of the blue for no reason (making it perfect bait for a down B combo on recovery). Athena basically did her reflector something like five times in a row, only stopping after I smacked her with a DM. The only exception was Daimon who would use the bullshit autoguard on his HCF+P to blow through absolutely everything I did to him – even jump attacks.

Also if the AI somehow manages to land a critical counter on you it’s terrible of taking advantage of it. Andy tagged me with a counter close C so that he could do f+C….forward roll, nothing. And it doesn’t even get better as you get further in the game.

OK, fine, AI in fighting games isn’t typically known for being great, and the point of fighting games is versus mode anyway. But seriously, everything about this game screams ‘WE DIDN’T HAVE TIME TO FINISH THIS, BUT HERE IT IS ANYWAY.’ Practice mode doesn’t save your training settings (it did in previous KOF ports), there’s no way to go back to the character select menu from Practice mode, and there’s random slowdown all over the place in the front end, which looks like it was designed by some guy with a copy of Photoshop and a hard-on for Times New Roman.

The game also has some weird hitbox issues. I could swear my opponent and I passed through each other in mid-jump, and the hitboxes on ground attacks are messed up against opponents landing behind you. I managed to score a counter hit on someone who jumped over my Terry’s crouch C because he landed behind me and got smacked by the tail end of the hitbox while trying to poke me. Go figure.

And then of course there’s shit like this:

And on top of all that, I still think this game is a net loss in terms of depth from KOF XI.

I haven’t tried it online yet, mainly because I don’t know anyone else who has it on PS3 and because of the horror stories I’ve been hearing about people who have played it online. BlazBlue lets me play laglessly against my friend in Japan – I doubt KOF XII will give me anywhere near the same connection quality.

Oh, and regarding the sprite issue I brought up in an earlier post – I have a HDTV at home, and it is rather obvious that KOFXII’s sprites have been scaled up. While I can’t make out individual pixels on the BB sprites at about 5 feet away, it’s pretty easy in KOFXII.

On a happier note, I scored an S-video cable for my PS3 so I’m going to see if I can record some of the BlazBlue (and maybe KOFXII, if they ever fix the netcode) matches that I’ve been saving. In particular xephyris and myself had a great set of matches last weekend…I’ll be sure to post them up here once I’ve uploaded them somewhere.

UPDATE:

I tried playing online. The lag was so bad that the game was running at less than 1/2 speed, and some fuckwit who didn’t know how to play managed to beat me with his laggy Joe after I beat his other two characters with Kyo alone. RAGE

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I’ll post more thoughts about BlazBlue later

For now, let me just say ‘omg the netcode in this game is really good.’

I just played 5 pretty much lag-free (or lag-really-well-hidden) matches. Lost 4 of them, but I’m a crappy player so that’s to be expected I guess :p

If you have the PS3 version, hit me up with an invite if you see me online. PSN ID is SonicTempest.

And yes, I use Ragna the Sol Badguy.

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Incoherent rambling

About time for one of these posts, I think.

I’ve found a new place in downtown Seattle that I’ll be moving to next month. My current complex is honestly not that bad except for two problems:

  1. The ISP choices are terrible (I currently have 1.5Mbps DSL, which is the highest speed available)
  2. There isn’t really much of anything within reasonable walking distance

The new place has a supermarket on the ground floor (yay) and a few restaurants within walking distance. The ISP is Comcast, which may be dubious to some but I’m willing to go through the annoying setup process if it means I get a download rate from this century. The only downside is that I’ll either need to take a bus or a company shuttle to work, but eh, I need to start getting up earlier anyway. Getting all my stuff moved over is going to be a pain though…the number of my possessions has increased considerably since I moved to Seattle.

Speaking of Internet, I braved uTorrent a while back to watch some fansubbed anime, namely the first two episodes of K-On! I like it, but I probably won’t be able to watch the rest of it since BitTorrent basically nukes my connection (for reasons I haven’t figured out yet).

Still waiting for Sony to patch in PS2 support for the Madcatz SF4 sticks…I figure if it doesn’t come within another few patches I may just sell this to buy a HRAP3 (which does work for PS2 games). As it stands I need to use my old Tekken 5 stick over an adapter, and going from the awesome Sanwa joystick + buttons to the decent-ish Hori stick and buttons is…well, it’s like owning a Ferrari and driving a Honda instead, if you get my drift.

Installed iPhone OS 3.0 last week. My phone seems to be a lot more responsive now, so it’s obvious they’ve put some work into performance. I don’t use copy/paste much, but the push notifications have been very handy – I finally installed an IM client (Beejive) on my phone thanks to this new feature. Of course, if the damn thing supported background tasks in the first place this wouldn’t be an issue…

That said, I kind of wish AT&T didn’t want $400 from me for the 3GS. That new camera and faster CPU are really enticing.

I took out my guitar for the first time in months today, and all I can say for now is ‘wtf I suck.’ Hopefully this will change.

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Back on the leash, sort of

So today’s the 18th anniversary of the release of Sonic the Hedgehog for the Mega Drive/Genesis. It seems fitting, therefore, that I have some thoughts on one of the more recent Sonic games (which I bought after I traded in a bunch of Wii games) – Sonic Unleashed for PS3.

I find the core platforming mechanics (at least those in the daytime stages) to be much improved over Sonic 2006 – for one, Sonic Team has finally realised that modern gamepads have more than two buttons on them, and therefore all your face buttons are now used for non-overlapping actions. Not having to start the level from scratch because the game thought you wanted to do a bounce attack instead of a light dash even though you were in mid-air right next to a line of rings is definitely an improvement. On top of that, the game also shows you when your homing attack will actually hit something, as opposed to previous games where it was pretty much luck of the draw.

The daytime stages also draw more from Sonic Adventure 2 than Sonic 2006 – no more lifebars on enemies, and a much bigger emphasis on having to know the ‘best’ route through a stage in order to get an S-rank. However, it also takes a significant feature from Sonic Rush – the boost system. Knowing when to boost can sometimes be important (for instance, boosting off a ramp can help you reach alternate routes or items that are higher up), but otherwise it doesn’t really add to the game much. Much like in Rush, there isn’t any reason why you wouldn’t want to be holding down boost all the time (the only exception is when you need to drift).

Fortunately, there are at least some stages where the game at least tries to make it harder for you to hold down boost, either by tossing numerous obstacles like spike traps and gaps that need to be maneuvred in quick succession, or by limiting the amount of rings present in a stage so that your boost capability is limited. These stages are usually found through town missions – while these mostly consisted of idiotic, mundane tasks in Sonic 2006, in Unleashed they typically whisk you off into a modified version of one of the daytime stages – versions that have usually been modified to be somewhat harder, containing more obstacles or featuring stringent time limits. Overall, the daytime stages are a pretty fun romp, and definitely the most fun I’ve had with a 3D Sonic since SA2.

That said, I still think the nighttime stages have no business being in this game. They’re a drag on the entire experience, and are not anywhere near as entertaining as the daytime stages. The platforming is very pedestrian, with nothing really special about it (and also features some weird control bugs), and the combat mainly consists of mindlessly mashing the same buttons over and over. There’s no real lock-on system, so flailing madly is pretty much the best strategy in most situations. There’s a block button and tons of combos, but there are one or two combos that overpower basically everything else in your arsenal, and you almost never need to block as there are very few things that can do significant amounts of damage to you. There are fewer nighttime stages than daytime stages, but they make up for the lack of number by being annoyingly long. Their length, combined with their utter blandness, only serves to make me wonder why these levels exist. Would it not have been better to include more obstacle-based platforming areas in the daytime stages?

Other changes that have been added to the game include an experience and level up system, although this only really matters for the nighttime stages – daytime Sonic has only two attributes, which control his top speed and the length of his boost meter, and leveling them up didn’t affect my experience of the game much. The Werehog has many more attributes, although the only really important ones are the ones that control attack power and learning new moves. If the Werehog weren’t in this game, there would be even less reason for this system to exist than there is now.

The visuals and audio are definitely an upgrade from Sonic 2006, featuring things like dynamic shadows, proper bump mapping and a very detailed set of stages for you to run around in. The draw distance is impressive, with very little of the pop-in that plagued Sonic Teams’s earlier current-generation console effort. The PS3 version of Unleashed does have some odd framerate issues – while the framerate isn’t locked to 30fps like the 360 version’s is, it experiences ridiculous amounts of slowdown in some of the hub areas and Werehog stages, as well as some of the more effect-intensive stages like Adabat.

Overall, Unleashed feels like two steps forward and one step back, really. The daytime stages are entertaining and occasionally challenging (an attribute that is rare in Sonic games these days) but the whole package would really be better off for the exclusion of the nighttime stages. The effort spent on developing them would have been better spent on improving the daytime stages – I’d have loved to see some of the alternate routes from the Wii version make an appearance here, for instance.

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The E3 post I should have written a month ago

Yeah, I’m late. I’ve been busy :p

There was some interesting stuff at E3, I guess. Of particular interest to me were the following:

  • Left 4 Dead 2 – yeah, I’m looking forward to it. There’s been a lot of bitching about the timing of the release (just a year after the first game came out) and I understand some of it, particularly since L4D has only gotten two significant updates since its release (the first being the major patch that buffed the Infected in versus mode, and the second being the Survival Pack). However, the point of a sequel is to improve upon the original’s mechanics, and it looks like L4D2 will do this, with more weapons, more enemy types (the new Charger special Infected should make corner camping a fair bit harder) and the Director now being able to control the weather (which affects visibility) and the routes you can take through the level. Given that, I’m very much willing to shell out another $50 to try it.
  • Metroid: Other M – This came out of nowhere, really. The fact that Team Ninja is developing something for the Wii is pretty much enough to get me excited. While my experience with Ninja Gaiden is limited to the DS version (lol) and the demo for Ninja Gaiden Sigma, as well as an hour or so playing Ninja Gaiden II on my friend’s 360, and if this new Metroid game is anything like it then it will definitely be worth playing.
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2 – more Mario Galaxy? Yes please.
  • Mass Effect 2 – I thought Mass Effect was a game that failed to live up to what it could have been – it had an enormous universe to explore…which mostly consisted of barren planets with abandoned mines/military bases/laboratories, all of which must have been built with prefabs or something seeing how they repeated the same 4 level layouts again and again. The combat system was decent enough, although the much-hyped dialogue tree system wasn’t really anything that hadn’t been done before. If anything I’d have preferred a system that didn’t separate your options into ‘Obvious Good Choice’, ‘Obvious Neutral Choice’ and ‘Obvious Bad Choice.’ There have been games that have done this already, and I’m not sure why so many devs seems to be married to it. In any case, Bioware claims that ME2 will have less barren planets, and that the choices you made in ME1 will have actual consequences for your ME2 game. On top of that they’ve apparently beefed up the combat with new features like location-based damage and an improved cover system. I guess I’ll keep an eye on it.
  • Assassin’s Creed II – I’m playing the first game right now, and while it’s a pretty fun action game, all the people who called out the pointless overworld (which can fortunately be skipped after you’ve visited all the cities) and the lack of investigation types are pretty much right on the money. While this game seems to have added a bunch of new combat moves, I don’t know that it’s addressed the real problems with the game. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it has, but interviews like this don’t really do much for my confidence.
  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves – The first Uncharted is still one of the best PS3 exclusives out there, and its sequel seems to improve on it with a more involved melee system and more enemy variation. Hopefully the combat set-pieces are just as exciting as the first game’s.

That’s basically it, I guess. Borderlands seems kind of interesting, but I want to know more about it before I decide whether I should look forward to it or not – right now it seems to be a first-person Diablo II with guns.

Tomorrow being a ‘special occasion’, I’ll have a more in-depth post on a game I’ve been playing on my PS3 for the last week or so.

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Gaming odds and ends

This post might be a little disjointed – I’ve been playing a bunch of games recently and thought I’d just pen down my thoughts in one single post since I don’t really want to write five separate posts in one night.

Team Fortress 2

Valve has patched the game twice since the Scout update, yet the Sandman remains unfixed (although they did manage to break rocket jumping while trying to fix an exploit that made it harder for Snipers to get headshots, and they did break Natascha’s slowdown effect yet again). I’ve played in a few big games since the update, and I’d say the stun is overpowered even if you discount the fact that it affects ubercharges. I have not yet seen a single Scout that doesn’t try to tag me with the ball the moment I see them, and in a few circumstances they’ve managed to stun me for extended periods at close range, allowing them a free kill. One particular incident that comes to mind occurred on the second point of the second stage of Dustbowl – I was playing Soldier and standing on the point when a Scout ran out from the central tunnel, ran up to the point and threw his ball at me. I was stunned for a good 3 seconds or so, and this was from being tagged at close range.

The response from the competitive community has been very clear. CEVO has banned the Sandman, and from what I’ve heard a bunch of the other leagues like ETF2L have followed suit. Keep in mind that this is the first unlockable weapon that they’ve actually banned. If I recall correctly they didn’t even ban the Pyro’s Backburner back when it granted a ridiculous 50-point health bonus.

The response from the rest of the TF2 community has been less distinct. While there are a few players who recognise that the weapon is clearly overpowered, the vast majority of the community’s response has been ‘LOL LERN2TEAMWORK.’ By this they’re implying that somehow Pyros need to have their entire team with them when they try to circle behind enemy lines to attempt an ambush, so that they can successfully fend off a class that they were previously on a reasonably even footing against. And of course, if your Medic successfully builds up an ubercharge by being a good healer and deploys it on a friendly Demoman in order to take out a Sentry farm, only to have his uber rendered useless by a flying baseball, that’s his fault for not being a team player.

Surely the absurdity is obvious.

I’m hoping that, like they did with the Backburner, Valve will realise what a terrible beast they’ve unleashed and make some sort of fix. A popular suggestion seems to be to change the stun effect to something akin to the effect of Team Fortress Classic’s concussion grenades, but honestly I think they need to go back to the drawing board with this unlock. Never mind that there are a few achievements that depend on it – go back to the design phase and get it right this time. And for God’s sake stop getting your unlock ideas from the Steam forums.

I’m starting to wonder if I should be playing Fortress Forever instead…

Lost Planet

This was recently on sale on Steam for the irresistable price of $5. I’d only ever played the demo previous to this, and I thought it was alright, so I decided to see what the full game was like (even though the superior Colonies Edition is out now). I’ve played the first few missions, and it’s not too bad. I can’t quite get 60fps out of it, but shooting up giant bugs in snowy wastelands is pretty fun. My main complaints so far are that the game is kind of easy (I haven’t died once yet) and that Wayne’s default movement speed is a little on the slow side, even when he’s piloting one of the giant VS mechs. I guess I’ll see if these continue to be problems as I progress through the game.

Still, this has me interested in the recently-announced sequel – I wonder what improvements Capcom will bring to the table.

King of Fighters ‘98 Ultimate Match

I started playing KOF (and indeed, fighting games) with King of Fighters ‘99, but I respect KOF’98’s place in the order of things. Given that disclaimer, I rather like ‘98UM. It doesn’t have most of my favourite characters, but the (remarkably solid) system changes they’ve made to the original game make this a must-buy for any KOF fan, I’d say. Most of the changes they’ve made revolve around making Extra mode more interesting, and it seems to have worked. Extra mode users now benefit from the ability to cancel normals into dodges, and to cancel certain special attacks directly into MAX mode. On top of that they can choose when they want to break stock unlike vanilla ‘98 where the bar started draining as soon as it filled up.

In addition, the new Ultimate mode, which allows you to mix-and-match subsystems from both modes, poses some interesting possibilities. Do you want the mobility afforded by the roll, or will you trade that for the ability to dodge and quickly counterattack (and extend your combos using the quick dodge)? Do you want the ability to do SDMs at any life level, or would you rather have the ability to max out in mid-combo for the possibility of turning your otherwise staid B&B combo into a more damaging variant?

As for the quality of the port itself, fortunately the US version of the game seems to have turned out pretty well – progressive scan support is intact, and as far as I can tell the game has been brought over more or less unmolested, which should be a relief for anyone who was horrified by Ignition’s handling of the PAL versions of King of Fighters XI and NeoGeo Battle Coliseum.

So yeah, if you don’t have the import version already, go out and get this one. It’s $20 – you really have no excuse if you claim to be a KOF fan.

Street Fighter IV

I’m still getting used to the physics and timings, but at the very least my win ratio seems to have improved a little (in that it is no longer zero). My MadCatz Tournament Edition FightStick arrived two weeks late, but I used the Amazon gift certificate I was given as compensation to buy a PS2->PS3 controller adapter so I could use my old Tekken 5 Hori stick with the game until it arrived (makes me wonder why I didn’t do it earlier, actually). So far I’ve mainly been sticking to Ryu and Abel, with some failed attempts at using Fei Long and Dhalsim (both of whom apparently have a pretty steep learning curve). I’ve played a few games online, mainly against Orochinagi members; I’ve played a few random strangers, although I haven’t run into any of the Ken players of legend. I suppose I should be thankful.

On a side note, the MadCatz stick doesn’t work for PS2 games. I don’t know why I didn’t see this coming, as this was also the case for the Sega Virtua Stick and the Hori PS3 sticks when they were released. The best I can hope for is for support to be added in the next PS3 firmware update, I guess.

BlazBlue

Now, I haven’t actually had a chance to play this game yet, but PS3 and 360 ports were announced recently. A lot of fighter fans are understandably excited about this, but a potential issue with the port has already been raised. The arcade version of BlazBlue runs at 1280×768/768p, while both current-generation consoles are locked to outputting at 1280×720/720p (and indeed, won’t let you play the game at its native resolution). The full extent of the problem is laid out pretty clearly over at the Insomnia forums.

In short, it looks like the great sprites and backgrounds are in danger of being butchered by scaling. If the blurry upscaled sprites in all of SNK Playmore’s Atomiswave releases bugged you, well, this is just as bad. Possibly worse, since it’s one of the first high-definition 2D fighters, and really deserves more respect.

At this point, given that ArcSys can’t go back in time and re-program the game to output 720p in the first place, the only real thing they can do is to crop 48 lines from the top and bottom of the display to avoid affecting the sprites. This is what they seem to have done, but the screenshots still lack the definition of the arcade version. A rep from Aksys (the company handling the US release) has gone on the record as saying that apparently the screenshots they released of the 360 and PS3 versions were smaller in size to make them ‘download friendly’. This just seems ridiculous to me, given that stuff like this is typically distributed through special press FTP servers where presumably bandwidth wouldn’t be a concern.

We’ll have to see how this shakes out, but I am rather worried that we’ll end up getting a butchered port of one of the first high-def 2D fighters.

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I have Street Fighter IV

More coherent thoughts later, but here are some initial impressions:

  1. The physics seem weird, even for a Street Fighter game. I don’t recall having this much trouble timing jump-ins the few times I played Third Strike.
  2. The challenge mode is kind of useful in that it tells you which normals are cancellable, gives you a bunch of combos and links, and has you try to do them. I don’t think it’s as robust as Virtua Fighter 4’s which actually had you practice using your moves/strings in different situations, but the combo lists did help at the very least.
  3. The network features seem pretty robust, only hampered by PSN’s crappy interface for sending invites (it piggybacks on top of the normal instant messaging system).
  4. I’m probably going to take some flak for this, but I’m still not a huge fan of the art style used in-game. It looks polished and all, but some part of me is still wondering what this game might have looked like had it been in 2D.
  5. Having to unlock a third of the roster by slogging through single-player modes that I don’t have much interest in is kind of annoying.

In any case, I’m not really going to be playing online until I get my PS3 stick, which should arrive on Tuesday (playing on the Dual Shock controller is starting to give my right hand cramps). I’ve unlocked everyone except Gouken and Seth by this point, so I’m trying to figure out who I want to learn how to play. I’m thinking Ryu (lol), Abel or Fei Long…

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So I just played the RE5 demo on my PS3

I’ve only played the Wii version of Resident Evil 4, so someone please tell me – were the aiming controls as sluggish in the PS2 and GameCube versions of RE4 as they are in RE5? I don’t mind that you can’t run and gun like you can in Uncharted, but seriously even on the ‘Fastest’ setting the cursor moves way too slowly.

The Wii version supports classic controllers, so I suppose I could go figure that out for myself…

On another, happier note, Valve has updated Team Fortress 2 today with what most people would regard as a surprisingly good update. Among the changes are a couple of things that the competitive crowd has been asking for for a long time:

  • The ability to turn off random damage at the server level (something which I alluded to in an earlier post)
  • The ability to turn off weapon models or adjust the weapon models’ FOV (to improve the viewing area)
  • The ability to turn off the ‘nemesis’ icon above characters’ heads (this was giving away enemy positions)

In addition, they’ve made changes to how critical hits and random damage work in the normal game – the ranges for random damage have been reduced from ±25% to ±10%, meaning that we should no longer see the Demoman occasionally one-shotting Scouts and Snipers with his grenades. On top of that critical hits have been changed, and for the better, I think. The base chance to crit that every player has has been reduced from 5% to 2%, and the maximum it can go is now 12% as opposed to 20% before. On the other hand, Valve has also reduced the amount of damage you need to deal in order to get a bonus to your crit chance. The idea (according to them) is to make crits less random and more based on recent performance, which is a good idea – in theory, at least.

There are a bunch of other fixes, most of which are assorted class buffs and bugfixes. They’re mostly being overshadowed by the stuff I mentioned above, though – the Steam forums are honestly going nuts right now. And this is before the Scout update has even been revealed…

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Whittling down the backlog

This past weekend I cleared another couple of games off my backlog – Metal Gear Solid 3 and Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune.

First off, here’s what I thought of MGS3 as a whole.

The removal of the passive radar system from all previous games makes the game somewhat harder since you’ll have to lurk unseen to figure out what the guards’ patrol routes are. On the other hand, though, I thought the food and camouflage systems were pretty useless – the former is basically there to annoy the hell out of you by forcing you to hunt for food every few minutes and the latter is redundant since the camouflage types come equipped with a handy percentage value to tell you exactly what you should be wearing when. The cure system seems similarly ultimately pointless since the game pretty much tells you exactly what you need to use to cure your wound – and I never ran out of supplies (at least on Normal difficulty).

That said, it did have some great moments – the boss battles are way better than MGS2’s for sure (with the exception of one), and I found the lack of backtracking through the same areas (for the most part) to be an improvement over the first two games’ almost excessive use of it. The action sequences are generally less awkward than those in the first two games, although the first part of the game (when silencers are in short supply) is somewhat harder than the rest of the game.

So yeah, I thought it was a decent game, with some odd trappings that didn’t really make sense.

As for Uncharted, I thought it was generally a well-polished third-person shooter. It’s not quite like Resident Evil 4 where you have an inventory and can stock up on items, guns and other such stuff, nor can you really buy items. Healing and weapons are handled similarly to the Halo series, in that you can only have 2 weapons at any given time (one single-handed weapon and one double-handed weapon), and that you recover health gradually after avoiding damage for a certain period of time. In addition, unlike RE4 you can move while in ‘aiming mode’, and can also ‘fire from the hip’ while running. The game also features a Gears of War-like cover mechanic, which is pretty much the main way you avoid taking damage during combat.

Overall, as Yahtzee mentioned in his review, it’s a game that borrows extensively from games that came before it, and ends up being somewhat greater than the sum of its parts. I actually think it isn’t quite as challenging as RE4, partly because the enemy AI is somewhat retarded and partly because of all the additional abilities Nathan Drake has over Leon Kennedy. Still, I’d say it’s definitely worth checking out if you have a PS3.

So I’ve beaten the only PS3 game that I have…I suppose I could get Metal Gear Solid 4 if I wanted to.

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