Jump to content

HEY, LISTEN! PLEASE READ THIS

 

HEY, welcome back to GP! You should probably check this thread out here if this is your first time back on the forum since our upgrade. Suffice it to say, some things have changed! CLICK HERE to read more about it, including some new functionality.

  • entries
    6
  • comments
    30
  • views
    14,093

About this blog

An extension of my Time Heist blog. A place where I display my creative elements with gaming, movies, cooking, other features; all the while stealing away your time as you read through the blog.

Entries in this blog

 

BioShock Infinite Review

BioShock Infinite (PS3) Developed by Irrational Games Published by 2K Games Released March 26, 2013 Review Written April 12, 2014 Originally Posted on The Time Heist Blog   For years I had been closely eyeing this title since its 2010 reveal from Irrational Games. As a fan of the original BioShock and its sequel, I anticipated an amazing rollercoaster that would possibly trump the original BioShock. With Irrational Games and Ken Levine regaining the creative reigns for BioShock Infinite, will this title bring the same magic displayed in the city of Rapture or should the floating city of Columbia just drift into oblivion like a meandering balloon? In short, yes BioShock Infinite captures similar values from the original BioShock but in itself is an entirely different experience.   Although my timing for finally getting around to this game is fairly horrible in light of the recent news of Irrational Games being shutdown and dispersed, I“m glad I finally took the time to experience what I had been fawning over for years. BioShock Infinite is a great game in my opinion and in the twenty-three hours it took me to complete the campaign I enjoyed it to its entirety. Though the game can be completed in less than fifteen hours, I spent many moments gazing about the environments or searching for secrets strewn within the levels out of habit. As opposed to the dark beauty that was Rapture, the floating city of Columbia explodes with wonderfully bright colored hues. The floating city just looks so clean and vivid.     BioShock Infinite utilizes a range of bright color schemes throughout each of the levels, and similar to the original Bioshock the structured tonality matches the transpiring situations. To add to this, the talking NPC“s and soft musical tones make this floating isle feel realistic, like I“m watching an adventure film about a lively civilization in the sky. Though with beauty comes an underlying horror as I would find myself witnessing screen tearing during certain climactic parts of the game. At first it was distracting but it completely disappears from annoyance as its appearances were minimal.   Story-wise, in BioShock Infinite you take on the role of Booker DeWitt who has been tasked with finding a girl named Elizabeth to erase all of his gambling debts in the year 1912. Very much different from BioShock“s Jack, Booker actually has dialogue and interacts with the locals of Columbia. Not being a muted puppet controlled by the player, Booker has personality. Elizabeth also has a great personality and easily meshes with Booker creating an entertaining ride to the viewers.   I“m Commander False Shepard, and this is my favorite tattoo on my body.   BioShock Infinite dabbles in previously viewed ideals of choice but mixing it with American history, quantum physics, and ideals of destiny. More of a science fictional action-adventure than its horror focused predecessors, BioShock Infinite“s story resembles that of a Hollywood blockbuster. I found myself glued to my seat enjoying what developments were thrown at me and often anticipated what twists and turns were to come. Even though the ending left my head spinning and required me to replay the campaign a second time to grasp what was unfolded, I thoroughly enjoyed the story within BioShock Infinite.   The gameplay is what ties the story and the visuals all together, and the BioShock formula still hasn“t really changed since the previous games. I“m not complaining though as I enjoyed the numerous shootouts throughout the game and believe the style worked with how the story flowed. I“ve heard a few mention they didn“t feel that the firefights didn“t fit within the game, but I believe it fit perfectly with Columbia“s very own Civil War brewing. These firefights were made more interesting when a robotic replica of an American Founding Father walks towards you with a gatling gun. There“s nothing like that surprise factor that leaves you open for attack as you try to configure what the hell is actually going on, and I“m talking about you robotic Abe Lincoln.   Whoa! The Be Sharps reunited to perform their hit, “Baby On Boardâ€.   As the gameplay formula hasn“t changed, the controls are still as smooth as the previous BioShocks. The only differing mechanics are the skylines and having Elizabeth tagging along. The skylines act as a fancy transition between locals while mixing in strategic combat. I often found myself riding the lines to investigate possible secret areas or to get a quick jump on unsuspecting enemies. The other change was having a sidekick along for the long journey. I actually feared a little that the game would end up being one long escort mission with Elizabeth constantly getting in the way or getting killed. This isn“t the case as Elizabeth can“t be injured by enemies and will actually hide during firefights. She even plays the role of helper throughout each area by throwing items your way that she“s found. Set in the same way that Ellie was mechanically just Joel“s shadow in The Last of Us, Elizabeth is there for the fight but doesn“t interfere with the flow of it.   Although the game is damn near perfect in my book I still longed for one feature that was available in the first BioShock, hacking minigames. For some strange reason I loved the hacking minigames in the previous installments, and in BioShock Infinite they are missing. All of the locks are either opened via a keycode or through Elizabeth“s amazing lock picking skills that could quite possibly put Jill “The Master of Lock Picking†Valentine to shame. Although it was missing from the game, it is quite possible Irrational Games deemed it unnecessary or something that would ruin the current flow of the adventure.   HIGH FIVE!!!!!!!!   In conclusion, even though Bioshock Infinite strays away from the former“s horror focused design, the science fictional action is a welcome sight. The cast of characters all play a prominent role and will be easily remembered in days past. Easily noted, the Lutice twins and their banter similar to that of a 1940“s comedic duo will always come to mind when looking back at what could be the final BioShock game. So in turn, if you enjoyed the previous BioShock games or enjoy FPS games that have an interesting story to follow, then BioShock Infinite is definitely a game you should buy. So wipe away the debt, bring them the girl…   Review Written by Solid-Alchemist   If you enjoyed this review and would like to check out some other opinion pieces, come on over to The Time Heist. Any critique's or recommendations are welcome!

solid-alchemist

solid-alchemist

 

Lone Survivor: The Director's Cut Review

Lone Survivor: The Director“s Cut (PS3) Developed by Superflat Games Published by Curve Studios Released September 24, 2013 Review Written March 22, 2014 Originally Posted on The Time Heist Blog   Another game from my Christmas sale binge, Lone Survivor is another recent title that I pursued without knowing any prior information about the game. Created by Jasper Byrne of Superflat Games, Lone Survivor: The Director“s Cut is an atmospheric survival horror game reminiscent of the Silent Hill Series. Taking a different route visually, Lone Survivor is a 16-bit side-scroller that still manages to bring the fear. Though it may look like an odd SNES released twenty years too late, this indie title has much to offer once you leap into the rabbit hole.   Throughout the six hour campaign, this indie title has little nuances that just grow on you the more you play it. Even though it doesn“t redefine the survival horror genre, Lone Survivor captures certain elements of popular survival horror games to lend an enjoyable experience. The first hour of the game is possibly the most intense as you don“t have any equipment except for a flashlight and a few pills. Adding that to roaming around a mysterious apartment complex without a sense of direction built my expectations as well as the foundation of how I would play the entire game; slowly walking and stealthing around to avoid all enemies. Although I say the first hour of the game felt the most intense, there is a level entirely within a basement that almost required me to bring a spare change of pants.     Old age had caught up to Snake as he“d forgotten how to properly stealth.   As mentioned, the game really relies on its eerie ambiance and without it Lone Survivor wouldn“t be nearly as enjoyable. Before even starting the game, the introductory screen dictates that a horrifyingly immersive experience is gained through following the game“s “ritualâ€. The “ritual†is more about the player“s mindset than the game“s adjustments, basically instructing the users to play in the dark with loud volume and away from distractions. I played using their instructed “ritual†and did feel a bit more immersed but this came at the price of feeling very paranoid at times. The sounds from within the game would often be a bit too ominous and any quick movements would instantly set off mental alarms. In a way the game“s “ritual†was very helpful in getting the correct mentality while playing and as the game is called Lone Survivor I“d imagine that mindset would be that of fear and paranoia.   Touching more on the atmosphere of the game, the audio is very impressive. Clear sound effects and music help add to the game whether it being soft melodies while in safe havens, staticky undertones when enemies are near, and any sound effects for surfaces walked on or items used. Visually the game isn“t too bad either. By being 16-bit, Lone Survivor has the ability to play on nostalgia factor from those who love that art style or gaming era. Using mostly a dark selection of colors it really sets the tone that this world you“re playing in is in such a bleak, disturbing state. Yet, even in a gloomy world you have to strive for survival.     That was the moment I realized I should have never left James Franco“s house.   With such a bleak situation you come to learn that the character you play as is an unknown man who is just labeled as the Lone Survivor. Being one of the few characters still alive in the apartment complex, this man definitely has his own personal demons, and as you progress in the main story many of them come to light. Interestingly the more you play, the more he begins to delve into the insanity of his own situation and with such he progressively becomes more self-abhorrent as he pursues his goal for escape. In attempts to maintain your characters sanity you have to feed him and let him rest when he requests such or else his sanity fleets even more so. This feature within the game was interesting at first, but over time the main character started sounding more like a broken tamagachi, constantly complaining about needing food or sleep. But following suit with the theme of survivor horror, there“s always never enough food to satiate his ever-growing appetite.     Give us your lunch money!!!   The controls for the game are very simplistic in that you only move left and right and have a scatter of buttons to use specific items. There is also a quick-use wheel you can bring up to avoid diving into your inventory when very dire situations arise against the several enemy types within the game. Sometimes having the extra healing items or weapons still can“t save you from the stronger enemies. Though don“t fret if your character dies a good handful of times as the game can be a bit unforgiving in terms of difficulty the deeper you get into it.   Lone Survivor is an interesting tale of a man“s attempt to escape reality and death. Almost like being lost in a corn maze, the more you attempt to understand what“s going on you become even more disoriented with no ability of reversing. The perplexing story becomes even more fragmented as there are a total of six endings to the game, and only two of them, I believe, reveal the truth about the game“s happenings. Although the game can often be very slow paced, the hunger to find answers really drove me to finish. With this all said, I would definitely recommend purchasing this game on Steam or PSN. It may not be overly scary as a survival horror game, but it does offer an interesting experience worth a playthrough or two.   Review Written by Solid-Alchemist   If you enjoyed this review and would like to check out some other opinion pieces, come on over to The Time Heist. Any critique's or recommendations are welcome!   Editorial Note:  

solid-alchemist

solid-alchemist

 

The Last of Us: Left Behind DLC Review

The Last of Us: Left Behind DLC (PS3) Developed by Naughty Dog Published by Sony Computer Entertainment Released February 14, 2014 Review Written March 8, 2014 Originally Posted on The Time Heist Blog   WARNING: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FROM THE MAIN CAMPAIGN. ONLY READ IF YOU HAVE COMPLETED THE SINGLE PLAYER CAMPAIGN.   Finally finding time to hit the keys again, here“s my review of The Last of Us DLC, Left Behind. As Naughty Dog“s first attempt at single player DLC following the positive reception of The Last of Us, this addition to the main story has some big shoes to fill. Not surprisingly, Left Behind does fill those shoes quite well in maintaining the story flow similar to the main game as well as bringing the emotional drama that many of us have come to savor from the Last of Us.   Left Behind“s entire three hour campaign sets us in the role of Ellie. Taking place a few months before the main game“s story as well as during a prominent section of the main game, Left Behind uses a method of slow growing tension that constantly keeps the player on edge. Knowing that certain events are about to transpire left me anticipating their occurrence during my entire playthrough. This setup actually worked in way that helped create a greater immersive experience. Naughty Dog went about this by utilizing interjectory flashbacks and flash-forwards to allow the player to recover from intense encounters while also fearing what else is ahead while they work towards the next flash-forward. Simply put, playing as Ellie in Left Behind is as nerve racking as it was in main story.   Naughty Dog says, “Happy Valentine“s Day!!!†  A new character introduced during Left Behind“s flashbacks is Riley, a friend of Ellie. Riley is actually a very likeable character, almost complementary to Ellie“s personality in a multitude of ways. During these flashbacks, Riley helps build more character development for Ellie that many fans wanted during the main story, and reminding us that Ellie is still a young girl growing in disease-ridden world. Interestingly the flashbacks involve mostly a bunch of mini-games and several opportunities for dialogue. These mini-games are the reason I felt the flashbacks were a sort of emotional break when interspersed between the flash-forwards, but the flashbacks didn“t offer full emotional leisure as you still expected a certain event to occur every time you returned to the flashback.   Speaking of the flash-forwards, this is where the meat of this DLC is at. Taking place immediately after Joel is impaled during the main story; these parts of Left Behind reveal the struggles Ellie had to go through to keep Joel barely hanging onto life. These segments were the most intense as Ellie would need to rely on stealth to survive against both infected and hunters. Battling against enemies while also being wary of a few jumpy moments, playing this portion was very satisfying as it helped divulge more of Ellie“s inner strength while presenting how she felt about her relationship with Joel. After seeing Ellie fight tooth and nail to keep Joel alive I began to feel more like Joel“s actions during the main story“s ending were within reason. Comparatively, if the roles were switched I would believe Ellie would have reacted in the same fashion; both needing to go off the deep end to maintain the last facet of survival.   Aim for the bushes!   In total Left Behind is a great addition to the Last of Us. Though there aren“t any big changes to the game“s mechanics, Naughty Dog did compose scenarios where the player could pit infected against hunters. These moments were always satisfying as I“d use them to take out the final survivors after initiating a battle amongst them via a bottle from the distance. In conclusion, the DLC is only three hours long at the cost of $15. This may seem like a bit of a stretch in terms of value, but as a fan of the game, Left Behind is a worthwhile addition. It“ll make you crave more of Last of Us“ universe while momentarily tiding you over until Naughty Dog“s next rendition. Go buy it and don“t get left behind…   Review Written by Solid-Alchemist   If you enjoyed this review and would like to check out some other opinion pieces, come on over to The Time Heist. Any critique's or recommendations are welcome!

solid-alchemist

solid-alchemist

 

Proteus Review

Proteus (PS3) Developed by Ed Key and David Kanaga Published by Curve Studios Released October 29, 2013 Review Written February 16, 2014 Originally Posted on Boss Dungeon   Not really knowing what I was getting into, Proteus is one of the few games I picked up during my Playstation Network winter sale binge. Developed by Ed Key and David Kanaga this artistic odyssey leaves the player, or viewer I should say, with more questions than answers. With a minimalistic art style sprinkled with a musical undercurrent, this journey makes you want to believe it has more to offer.   When you first begin Proteus your character awakens in the middle of the ocean a mile away from an island. Your character is actually less of a character and more of a floating, disembodied eyeball but that is fairly irrelevant. As you move out of the waters and trek upon the nearby beaches, you gaze upon the beautiful, minimalistic art style. With every step you are given a snowballing melody that adds to the bewilderment. Musical tones spring for every movement, every creature, and every plant. Not really knowing what you stumbled into, you continue on seeking answers.   I“m singing in the rain!!!   Proteus creates this peaceful, relaxing experience of meandering while maintaining its ambiguity in order to grab your interest for at least one playthrough. The biggest draw of Proteus is its ability to appease your inner wanderlust in the same vein as games like TESV: Skyrim or Fallout 3. Although only resembling those games through the innate desire to roam freely, Proteus brings forth its beautiful textures and sounds to inspire exploration. With a changing time cycle, weather cycle, four seasons, and randomly generated islands it can be somewhat of a different experience for each player but by much. There is just something calming about seeing pixilated clouds glide towards your screen and slowly release a downpour of rain.   Adding more upon that, the pixilated art style is very soft in its presence. I really enjoyed the first moments I spent watching trees rustle in the wind through blocky textures like some 16-bit dance. The skyline is also the most breathtaking element within Proteus as dawn and dusk flow while a rare falling star glimmers in the corner of your screen. The visuals are definitely a key point of the game along with the musical tones, as they both help develop the serene nature throughout your journey.   The controls to Proteus are as minimalistic as the entire game“s structure as well. You only have the ability to move, look, sit, and save. The minimal controls are meant to help promote your wanderment but I felt it holds the player back by lacking interactive buttons and this comes off as one of the flaws within the game; your character doesn“t really interact with the environment you are viewing. Some animals will run away when you approach them, but that is the only reaction you gain from wandering the island besides the handful of moments that will leave you audibly saying, “Whoa.†Without feeling like I was truly interacting with the island or able to do anything other than walk, I felt less like I was playing a game and more like I was viewing a digital art gallery throughout my one hour playthrough.   This is what you get to work with.   Looking at Proteus after completing it, I“ve been trying to distinguish if it can even be categorized as a game. Sure it has some gaming elements and is fairly linear in getting to the end screen, but it lacks what you find normally within a game; an objective or at least a straightforward one. This was the most frustrating aspect for me as there“s no sense of direction, no instructions, and no true interaction with the world you traverse. What“s the point of playing if there is no goal to complete? Sure the game starts out interesting and somewhat fun while searching with reckless abandon, but that novelty wears off after completing an hour. Proteus doesn“t offer many reasons to really return to the island to replay another session. Yet digging deeper into the basis of this game I found one objective the creators had intended for the player. Albeit very basic, the goal of Proteus is to just explore and be free. Strangely the game achieves influencing the player to explore as many players will begin to do so without realizing it. Even with that realization I still think Proteus is more of an hour long visual-musical experience than a game; a digital art display.   Bees!! Fact: treating a bee sting has more objectives than this game.   Proteus starts you off lost and confused, searching with questions when there are no answers. From a distance it appears that it doesn“t have much to offer, yet a peaceful hour long experience is left available for those willing to take it. I took a blind leap into this game and personally don“t feel the experience obtained from Proteus is worth the money. I“d say pass on it unless it sounds like something that will artistically appeal to your inner wanderer.   Review Written by Solid-Alchemist

solid-alchemist

solid-alchemist

 

Grand Theft Auto V Review

Grand Theft Auto V (PS3) Developed by Rockstar North Published by Take-Two Interactive Released September 17, 2013 Review Written February 3, 2014 Originally Posted on The Time Heist Blog   When Grand Theft Auto V was revealed a few years ago I had been anticipating the day when I“d finally get my hands on it. As a longtime fan of the series, I was eager to see what Rockstar studios would be delivering as it was previously stated that GTAV would build off of the heist mission from GTAIV and focus on heists as the game“s central theme. GTAV does deliver on its promise of pursuing in-game heists while bringing some new features to the table, but this came at the price of leaving some traditional features from the series in the dust.   As I started the single player campaign I was as giddy as a little school girl about to step into Disneyland for the first time. Just like previous GTA games, your first step into the game“s immense world is breathtaking. Seeing Los Angeles recreated once again as Los Santos is a welcome sight as this time there is more structural detail than when it was introduced in GTA San Andreas. Although it“s an HD rendition in the same facet that GTAIV was an HD rendering of GTAIII“s Liberty City, the realism of the city is still astonishing. As with the former, this Los Santos feels like a living, breathing city. The flows of traffic constantly changing, pedestrians chatting with each other on the sidewalks, the changing weather, and radio broadcasts covering recent in-game events really create the immersive illusion of being a character within a thriving metropolis.   The very moment you step from GTAV“s prologue into inner city Los Santos you gain the impression of how gigantic this game could be. The immense game world really creates a feeling that GTAV could possibly be limitless. This feeling evolves even further when you gain the ability to switch between the three main characters. This character switching mechanic creates an illusion that by having three separate characters you automatically think there will be three times the missions. This isn“t really the case, but there are more than enough missions to split between them as my campaign took nearly fifty-four hours to fully complete.   The gang watching Michael do the robot.   The three individuals you have the luxury to play as are Franklin, Michael, and Trevor. Each with their own personalities and ability sets, they all make up an odd but powerful team of criminals. Franklin, a gangster trying to get out of the hood is most skilled with driving and goes under Michael“s wing to learn the ropes when it comes to heists. Michael, the family man and former bank robber who gets tired of his boring life, is most skilled in shooting and seeks to regain the adrenaline rush he once had. Trevor, a redneck and former friend of Michael“s, is most skilled in flying and shooting while always bringing chaos to every encounter. Of the three I always found myself playing as Trevor as it felt more natural to go bats*** crazy as you normally do in a GTA game. Creating disorder always aligned with Trevor“s character type.   The missions within the game are the main course of this entire entrée. With variations of mission types, GTAV never becomes stale in terms of the main story. Always supplying different tasks to be completed in varying scenarios, I quickly felt compelled to keep playing through to see to the end of the story, which by the way is very enthralling. Some missions become even more intense when the game utilizes the character switching mechanic. Being able to switch between each character to handle a different task or to save another character is an interesting dynamic that creates possibilities for several replays of certain missions to view them from a different perspective. Of course, of all the missions, the best ones are definitely the heists. Some of the best moments within this game are being allowed to choose your guns for hire, planning the heist strategy, and enacting the heists. Each heist is initially planned out with two options for operation. Usually the options vary from ”guns-a-blazing so we can be on the 6 o“clock news“ to ”quick and intelligently to avoid police attention“. The choices and options for each heist even leave chance for mistakes during the heists if you chose poorly during the planning stages.   Beer. Is it in you? Well it“s certainly in me!   Regrettably the greatest aspect and mission type within GTAV also creates one of its biggest missed opportunity; the inability to plan your own heists outside of the mission heists. After hearing for the longest time that this game would focus on bank robbing I started to build expectations of user created heists within the single player campaign. Rockstar games really missed the mark on this and it“s sad that they didn“t implement it. Even worse is the lack of smaller franchises within Los Santos to actually burglarize. Unlike previous installments in the GTA series, there are only a few stores you can actually hold up for cash. With a game that focuses on obtaining money through any fashion, Rockstar games should have included creatable heist missions and more stores to loot.   Beyond the newly added heist missions, Rockstar also added a few new gaming features. Some examples of new features added are: the ability to flip the bird while driving, scuba diving, the addition of animals, hunting, the stock market, and random encounters. Of these, the random encounters and animals were the most interesting to me. Being able to hunt in the mountains of Los Santos really occupied much of my gaming time as I felt a sense of accomplishment after slowly tracking down a new buck to line my rifle sights on. With the addition of animals you also get a dog as well. Chop, as he“s called, is a helpful Rottweiler that can sniff out hidden items throughout Los Santos if taught that ability through the Rockstar phone app. I wasted many enjoyable minutes just going for walks with Chop and playing catch on the Vinewood Hills.   Should I respond to that russian guy“s bowling invite?   The random encounters are also quirky as there was always something new that I would run into. On one occasion I walked into a clothing store to rob them only to see it was already being robbed. I then had the choice to chase them down or carry on with my day, and of course I chased them down to take their goods. Another interesting encounter was a failed drug deal that ended with a mess of bodies strewn around a desolate field. Walking around to investigate I found one individual still alive. As I approached he yelled for me to stay away from his money, but of course I took it and ran. If there“s one thing I truly enjoy about this game, it“s that there are always surprises around the corner.   With the addition of new features, Rockstar also removed many classic GTA features that fans of the series are use to and wanted to see again. Some examples of features that Rockstar omitted are: 911 missions, less character activities, GTA San Andreas RPG elements, friendships mechanic & perks, less interiors, gambling, gang wars, and no crouch feature. Out of all of the features removed, I really wanted to see the RPG elements make a comeback. I wanted the ability to affect my character“s physical appearance through their diet and exercise. Nothing would be more comical than to play through all of GTAV with three chunky characters or three super buff body builders. Touching more upon the lack of these features, I found it interesting that I didn“t even realize they were missing until after I had completed the game. Seeing that it was still a great experience without several classic GTA features really shows how GTAV makes do with what it has and in a way that makes me addictively want more of what it is offering. Rockstar may bring many of these features back through future DLC installments, but they aren“t anything I“ll be holding my breath for.   More importantly, the missing features and the lack of heist creations were the least of my complaints for GTAV. Throughout my playthrough I was really bothered by the drive by shooting mechanic, the character customization features, the stock market, and the health bar. I thought that by now Rockstar would have at least polished the drive by shooting feature a bit more than when it was introduced earlier in the series. This gaming mechanic is still a difficult endeavor and requires wild firing to even hit your target. Hopefully in the next game they will fix it in a way to make it more manageable to use when chasing a driving enemy. For the character customization features my only complaint is that the tattoos are a wasted feature and that there is a shortage in hairstyles included in the game. With the tattoos, you never get the option to manually make your character shirtless until the end of the game. The closest you can get is if you give them a sleeveless shirt, but it doesn“t make sense to leave out the shirtless feature till the endgame. As for the hairstyles, I had expected Rockstar to at least add a plethora of choices for each character but instead we only get three to four hairstyles per character.   Smoke this! It“ll make you forget all about your GTAV grievances.   Now for the two that really upset me, the stock markets and the health bar. As I played through the game and learned that there was a useable stock market I was hopeful that this feature would help my characters earn the big bucks. There are even a few missions where you manipulate the markets and if you purchased stock wisely you could earn loads of cash. The issue I have with the in-game stock market is that I was lead to believe that outside of the missions, the characters could manipulate the stocks. This isn“t the case, and even worse is that I spent a few hours terrorizing specific vendors to lower certain stocks. Hopefully in future DLC, Rockstar will address this and utilize the player“s choices to affect the stocks more realistically. Now as for my issues with the health bar, I felt like no matter how much progress I had completed of GTAV my characters never gained any more health than what they started with. This was unlike the previous GTA games, as in those you could level up your health attributes or even do the Ambulance missions to increase your health. By not having the ability to increase your total health, I found myself constantly repeating many of the more difficult missions later in the game because of my character“s quick deaths.   Returning to the opposite end of the spectrum, I really want to reinstate how great this game is and applaud Rockstar for their latest gaming creation. Even though there isn“t any real connection to the previous games besides a few character cameos, it was great to play a new story based in the city of Los Santos again. I also noticed that throughout my playthrough I never really ran into that many glitches except for getting stuck in the barber shop as Franklin. In my opinion, Rockstar really outdid themselves and created another great game that supplies hours of fun, and that“s not including the multiplayer mode which I“ll review at a later time. So if you“re a fan of the series or just love creating chaos in an open world game, you should definitely purchase Grand Theft Auto V.   Review Written by Solid-Alchemist   If you enjoyed this review and would like to check out some other opinion pieces, come on over to The Time Heist. Any critique's or recommendations are welcome!

solid-alchemist

solid-alchemist

 

Papo & Yo Review

Papo & Yo (PS3) Developed by Minority Published by Minority Released August 14, 2012 Review Written January 10, 2014 Originally Posted on The Time Heist Blog   Papo & Yo is a short title that is intertwined with creativity and imagination. Developed by Minority, Papo & Yo is a refreshing puzzle platformer that derives similar game style and elements from the same vein as Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. Although Papo & Yo isn“t entirely in the same tier as Ico or its counterpart, it still engulfs the player with intrigue through visual narrative, a wonderful soundtrack, and a plot that can be interpreted through many lenses.   With a fairly short four hour single player campaign, Papo & Yo plays with the idea of a child“s imagination and incorporating it through environmental manipulation. All of the puzzles within the game require you to either move a building to use as a stepping stone or move parts of your environment to advance to a new area. Albeit most of the puzzles are fairly easy, they do become more challenging as you progress while not being too overbearing in difficulty. If necessary, throughout the entire campaign there is also some hand holding available with the use of hint boxes. I found myself using them more for the trickier puzzles, but often the solution was staring me in the face without me realizing it.       Do you want the mango?! HUH?! HUH?! HUH?!   You play as a young boy named Quico and control him through third person view. Using his favorite toy Lula as a jetpack and the mysterious Alejandra as a guide, Quico sets out to traverse a strange terrain while also meeting a gluttonous beast named Monster. You start the game as confused as Quico is and learn more about the world he“s in with every step. The plot of Papo & Yo was a big factor that helped captivate me to finish the game in one sitting. The story truly makes you want to know more about what is being shown as much of the story isn“t really explained until the very end. Luckily with this, Papo & Yo is fun for the four hours it offers but doesn“t really give much beyond that. After finishing my first playthough I didn“t really feel the need or want to replay. For this I was glad that the game ends before becoming too stale and having just the right amount of ambiguity to not leave the player too lost in story and in interest.   Snake? SNAKE?! SNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKKKEE!!!!!!!   Beyond that, the game has fairly solid mechanics and a few glitches but none that truly ruin the experience. In my two playthroughs I only ran into two invisible wall glitches, but they were both out of the way so I was always able to get around them. The visuals aren“t super breathtaking, but they do accomplish what the developers intended with the environment manipulation. The soundtrack is also something to be acknowledged as it is phenomenal. The music was strongest during key moments when the player is most vulnerable; musically matching the tone of the scene as well as the emotions that the players and Quico are feeling in the moment.   That leads me to state as well, the ending is a punch to the gut emotionally as a character comes to terms with his situation while leaving the viewer pondering what will come to pass. Using a child“s imaginative view to explain events happening in his own life was an interesting gaming aspect to me personally. I felt the game emanated themes of abuse and guilt but the beauty of Papo & Yo“s story is that it“s open to anyone“s interpretation as the story could be viewed with many different meanings.   If only moving buildings were as easy as moving boxes.   As I started this short journey, I was left in awe of the puzzle structure manipulation and of the ambiguous storyline which eventually comes full circle by the ending. Papo & Yo may require some reading between the lines, but not much as you“ll quickly connect the dots with your own interpretations as you play. With a surprisingly emotional story, I recommend buying Papo & Yo for at least one playthrough to enjoy the artistic value of this alluring game.   Review Written by Solid-Alchemist   If you enjoyed this review and would like to check out some other opinion pieces, come on over to The Time Heist. Any critique's or recommendations are welcome!

solid-alchemist

solid-alchemist

×