Category Archives: Videogames
Other than metal, we like to play videogames. We also like to talk about videogames. Since playing games in an expensive hobby, we tend to not have as many posts as we do for metal. From time time we come across something cool in videogames we will share our experience with the enlightened ones of A Metal State of Mind.
Has something happened to you that when the event was over you thought to yourself that you’ll never get that time back? You know what I mean, like when you spend 3 hours stuck in traffic or had to sit in a meeting discussing the previous meeting and plan agenda for the next meeting. You think how you could have better spent your time and that those hours are lost forever in a black hole pit of nothingness. I think it happens to all of us at one point or another and sometimes way too often. If you have ever done the Four Lenses personality assessment, I will say that my primary color is “Green” which means I can’t stand to have my time wasted. Having said that, let me tell you about this piece of shit game called Saints Row IV.
I picked up Driver: San Francisco for my kids. They caught wind of it somewhere and wanted to give it a try. I do remember playing the very first “Driver” game and thought they might dig it based on my past experience…what kid doesn’t like fast driving games? I had no real interest in trying the game and when I saw my son leap (like Sam Beckett) out of his car and into another one actually becoming that driver, I thought the franchise lost it. Driver: San Francisco was nothing like I remember the old classic from 1999. Then, I decided to give it a try and I realized the leaping from car to car was not only innovative, but integral to the story line…though it is silly, it worked. Let me tell you about it.
Artyom is back a year after the events surrounding Metro 2033…the activation of the D6 silo and the ensuing missile attack on the Dark Ones. As a result, Artyom is promoted to Ranger. Controlling D6 has become a primary concern as it has been discovered there are enough resources to sustain the remaining population for a lifetime. It comes to Artyom’s attention that one Dark One has survived the attack and instead of setting out to finish the job, Artyom is led to believe that the remaining Dark One is the key to the future. Thus, the quest to find the Dark One again places Artyom in both above ground and in the Moscow Metro combating not only mutants, but other rival human factions determined to seize the rumored D6 stockpile of sustenance. Seems easy, but Artyom is faced with conflicting orders. 1 – Artyom’s commanding officer Colonel Miller sends him to find the Dark One and kill it and 2 – Kahn the mystic nomad advises to make peace with it because it is the key to the future. And so the adventure begins. Decisions will have to be made.
Two years ago a tiny indie game developed by a Swedish game development company called Frictional Games unwittingly created a game that took the gaming scene by storm. That little game is called Amnesia: The Dark Descent and not to long after its release became hailed as one of, if not the, scariest games of all time. Gamers long pining for a true return to survival horror gaming rejoiced with glee and Youtubers were quick to start a trend of creating videos of themselves being scared shitless by the game. Even myself, who has extremely tough skin for all things horror, found beads of sweat forming on my brow as I explored Brennenburg Castle and was genuinely unsettled and nervous while playing. To call the game anything other than a massive success would be a gross understatement.
I’ve sort of developed a love/hate relationship with Silent Hill: Downpour, the eighth game of the survival horror series. The main thing I like about this game compared to my other favorite horror survival game, Resident Evil, is that the developers of Silent Hill remembered to include challenging, though sometime confusing, puzzles. The hate part of this game is the frustrating controls and (mostly) whacked out story line. No matter how hard I try to pay attention to any Silent Hill story, it ends up being a head-scratcher. Though, this time the storyline is a bit simpler, it’s hard to follow at times because of how it’s told. I have no problem with lengthy cut scenes, but having to read all the notes you find can be time-consuming. However, reading will enhance the overall story experience if notes and journal entries something you don’t mind sifting through.
After spending nearly a century building a solid relationship with my Mayan neighbors it all pays off as they inform me that their spies have discovered that Napoleon and the French empire are planning on staging a surprise attack on my coastal city of Seoul. This bit of information couldn’t have come at a better time as I have been guiding my people down the path of culture and science commissioning the building many world wonders and using my funds to search out great scientists. My military is somewhat of a laughing-stock and as I have ignored the words of my military advisory telling me that the French wield an army that could wipe us off the planet. Luckily I have been following the path of rationalism and those wonderful rationalists have discovered that through commerce and building trading posts I can also enhance my scientific resources, so let’s just say, the Korean empire has a few coins to rub together. Which I do and build an instant modest army just strong enough to defend my land from a strong military push and then, since I have already denounced Napoleon a few times in the past for bullying my diplomatic buddies, declare war on the French. And they fall into my trap. Filled with the hubris that a massive army brings they go through with their set plan to attack Seoul seeing as that I have just a small defensive army. What they didn’t know was that I had timed the production in my cities to release a bevy of high-powered units to eradicate them even before they hit my shores. I wipe out more than a quarter of the French army on their first push taking minimal casualties due to my superior battle tactics and positioning and then push production to one more wave of military units composed of submarines and high-powered ballistas from my superior scientific advantage and then push back to the French shores accosting them of one of their major cultural cities and then south to liberate the French occupied city-state of Milan who will now provide me with and endless supply of cultural artifacts to keep my hard-working scientists happy as I move focus into winning the space race. Ya, I must be playing a Civilization game.
My kids told my wife they wanted to get me a game for my birthday. Only problem was I had nothing on my short list of games wanted, so I had to do a little research and see what piqued my interest. I came up with three games I secretly gave to my wife so my kids wouldn’t think I knew what was up and she would know what to buy on their behalf. I gave them Dishonored, Metro Last Light, and a third game I do not remember at the moment. I emphasized how I thought Last Light would be “really cool.” On my special day I found Dishonored to my surprise. My kids said they wanted to see me do the stealth thing. They made a damn good choice. If you were thinking about getting this game go ahead and do it, but read the rest of the spoiler-free review for why you should get it.
Cool video right? I bought Dead Island because I thought it would be a quick mindless zombie killer game…kind of like Left 4 Dead. Since I had recently played games that required my attention, killing zombies seemed like a fun way to pass time without exercising any brain cells. I was wrong. Dead Island turned into a lengthy campaign of survival and zombie smashing brutality complete with an open-world environment, main missions, and enough side quests to keep busy for quite some time. Though this may sound appealing on the surface, and it was, Dead Island was not free from frustration, glitches, and a slow frame rate. Overall, it wasn’t enough to keep me from finishing the game, but frustrating it was. I did lose interest in trying to complete all of the side quests and eventually finished the game. This isn’t starting off with fireworks, but it does get a little better.
It’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty…my top five favorite videogames of all-time. Coming up with a best 25 was hard to do since I have been twiddling my joystick for quite some time now…since Atari – get your minds out of the gutter! I can bet with quite certainty that some of my favorite games are long forgotten and left off this list, but for the sake of picking 25 games I looked at the ensemble of consoles and PC games I played over the years. I think I captured the breadth of my favorite games across a spectrum of genres. To put them in order was another task all-together since each game provided a different experience at a different point in my life. So, I would place less emphasis on where the game is on my list and pay more attention to the fact that it made my list at all. Of all the games I played in my life narrowing my favorites down to 25 speaks volumes of the game’s impact on me. Enough rambling, let’s get on with my final five!
5. Resident Evil (Generic) – Multi-Console
Do you think that 23 Resident Evil games (including remakes) have watered down the franchise? I think so. Despite what the game has evolved to over the years, several of these games provided countless hours of horror & fun over three consoles: Xbox 360, Playstation, and Nintendo Gamecube. The games that entertained my psyche are Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Director’s Cut, Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Code Veronica, Resident Evil Zero, Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil 5, Operation Raccoon City, and Resident Evil 6. Though, I have to admit the latest of these games since RE5 have been lackluster and disappointing, I keep playing them for some reason.
It was early on that I found horror gaming fun. I remember playing that first Resident Evil game in a room full of grown men jumping when dogs would crash through windows and zombies would come out of nowhere about to make that fatal bite. The puzzles could be seriously challenging at times especially on Code Veronica. The suspense was fantastic and the story was pretty deep even for the time…1996 for the first release. The voice acting was a bit weak in those days, but overall it provided a unique and fun gaming experience. It was probably the first time where the player would sit and watch a story play out with the characters on scene. By now we are all pretty much desensitized to these kinds of games and it’s harder to become scared though some games still do it well. Resident Evil has morphed into more of a Call of Duty meets zombies and for that reason the game is more action based and much less suspenseful. Also, the creators seem to think that by making the big boss as big as possible is somehow supposed to impress us. I once heard bigger is not necessarily better. Perhaps the creators should not try so hard to make a final boss so big. I keep hoping the franchise will return to horror and puzzle solving vs. fast-action shooter style. Nevertheless, for what the game did for me in those early years warrant a high placement on my all-time list despite the fall of a great gaming experience in recent years.
After doing several “best of” lists centered on music, it’s time to turn attention to my favorite videogames. Coming up with a best 25 was hard to do since I have been twiddling my joystick for quite some time now…since Atari – get your minds out of the gutter! I can bet with quite certainty that some of my favorite games are long forgotten and left off this list, but for the sake of picking 25 games I looked at the ensemble of consoles and PC games I played over the years. I think I captured the breadth of my favorite games across a spectrum of genres. To put them in order was another task all-together since each game provided a different experience at a different point in my life. So, I would place less emphasis on where the game is on my list and pay more attention to the fact that it made my list at all. Of all the games I played in my life narrowing my favorites down to 25 speaks volumes of the game’s impact on me. Enough rambling, let’s get on with the list!