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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Kraken Recommends: Dragon's Dogma.

I've just dipped my toe into this 40 hour affair and I'm reminded of another JRPG gem. Rogue Galaxy. That game... that game made me turn the voices off. It was constantly vomiting trite, D grade, Saturday morning cartoon drivel from the word "go." But under all that, beyond it's charming anime ascetic, was a truly marvelous action RPG. Why no one's tried to spin a decent yarn under it's template since remains a mystery.

But here we are with Dragon's Dogma. It's very much the same scenario. It looks like a slightly upgraded 360 launch title, but I can roll with that. The opening area looks like your everyday fantasy fishing villige with just a touch of Mediterranean flair to keep it from being too traditional. The acting is fine, the dialogue awful, but that's not why we're here.

Everything Dragon Age Inquisition tried to do this game did better 2 years before. It's more Devil May Cry than DA:I's real time strategy. And it's soooooo much more fun. I had a blast before I realized the grapple button pretty much made this "Shadow of the Colossus: Skyrim." You can climb all the giant baddies and stab them in the eye.

This is the Shadow of the Colossus RPG. Why... why didn't they lead with that?!

It doesn't matter, because while the game is great, most everything else is crushingly mediocre. This is a western RPG by a Japanese studio, I feel, really didn't want to make a western RPG. But they gritted their teeth and turned in exemplary work all the same.

... but I'll probably turn the voices off eventually.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Sunday, January 10, 2016

X-COM 2 feels like a Masterpeice.

I can never play 2012's X-COM ever again. I'm stuffed. I've never been anything braver than a save scrubber ( I reload every time a I loose a soldier) so I've gotten all I can out that game. And what I got was a year and a half of positively sublime white-knuckled strategy.

X-COM 2 is coming down the pike in less than a month and every last bit of information about it has me giddy. First of all, there's been tons of it. Last Tuesday, it seems like every major outlet released original game play footage over 2 hours each. Most games aren't allowed in the sunlight a fraction as much before the drop date. The marketing strategy oozes so much confidence and the material looks so good... I think, that they think, they have a game of the year on their hands.

I'm inclined to agree.

One, I'm a sucker for solid animation and the solders this time around act far beyond what I would reasonably expect. Look at that screen shot up there. Look how perfectly nonchalant their faces are! That right there is hard goddamn work almost no company bothers to spend money on. I've seen footage of a berserker throwing a soldier into a truck windshield (not a cut scene but actual gameplay) and she rolls off the hood and curls up into a realistically painful-looking fetal position.

They know the greatest thing about this series is your attachment to your little tin men and women. They threw millions of dollars at them so you could relate to them even more. That alone tells me their hearts were in the right place from day one. Every time I swear I'm not going to spend 20 minutes watching a let's play I haven't seen... I break.

I submit to you, the gaming public, that at the very least this is going to be in 2016's top 3. I think this is going to be a masterpiece.

But don't just take my word for it:

Friday, January 8, 2016

Take a deep breath.

Relax. Realize tomorrow's always a second chance. Now watch some guy futz over the X-COM 2 soldier customization settings for 20 minutes.


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

So I planed on writing a fallout 4 review...

I am not amused

But! I found a but so big it caused me to rethink the whole affair. Once again, a game's choice of endings is forcing me to reconsider my previous gushing enthusiasm. They're just all so reductive and terrible.

 You know how we're all sick to death (I'm actually pretty medically sick at the mo') of "go here and kill that?" Every single ending boils down to it. Find a faction you like, then kill everyone else. This... is a nightmarish interpretation of what made New Vegas great. Making the New California Republic surrender to you is ten times more satisfying than actually mowing down it's high command. But you need to do that twice to beat the game.

I honestly don't know what else to say. It'll be up this week though. And you bet your ass I just rolled another character too.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Kraken Recommends: Making a Murderer.

Nothing is spoiled past episode 2!

This is the best true crime documentary since The Thin Blue Line. That was a documentary so crazily convincing it got an innocent man out of prison. MAM is a lot like that, except the happy ending. Though redditers are desperately trying.

I'm only halfway through this legalese mouth of madness and I'm already floored. Steven Avery was wrongfully convicted of rape, which he served 18 years. Then he sued the Manitowoc Sherrif's departmen for $36 Million. Then he stayed in Manitowoc county.

The rest will fill you with a righteous fury. If that sounds like something you want to feel, binge my friends. Binge.