Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Zero Punctuation review: Brutal Legend

In a "brutally" honest review, Tim Schafer fan Yahtzee puts his personal feelings aside and delivers his thoughts on Brutal Legend. Whether or not the game is really an RTS or not, the fact that RTS is brought up against this game can't be terribly good, especially with all the misleading demo and gameplay that has been going since E3.

It's unfortunate that something like that would bring a good game down a notch or two, but being a key point in gameplay, it's hard to dismiss. Fortunately, the humor's still there in the cutscenes and dialogue, but I don't want to give out sighs of relief when I encounter them after heavy RTS moments.

Yahtzee's NSFW review below, enjoy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Video Game Horror: Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem

At a time when the Nintendo GameCube's reputation for being a "kiddie" system was accumulating title after title, Silicon Knights threw Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem on the fire and boiled it until blood came oozing out. I still remember turning off all the lights at night when I first started playing this game.

At the time, if you were looking for something that wasn't "kiddie," Eternal Darkness had your number. Not only did it had plenty of the red stuff, but the game's horror was quite the unique brand. Taking advantage of people not facing enemies, the insanity meter punished those who could not vanquish their foes. For any enemies that the player failed to take down, your insanity meter would rise, and weird, random shit would start happening to you. You'd suddenly hear moans coming from the distance, or you'll see walls dripping with blood. And if you pump that meter to the max, you might as well check yourself into a mental institute because that's when all the shit flies off the handle - your own body parts will fall off, rooms will be flipped upside down, or (one of the most sinister illusions) your GameCube won't recognize your controller as you helplessly watch your character get maliciously killed by monsters.

And with the gameplay traversing through multiple characters across different time periods,the story in Eternal Darkness is one for the books. It is the most common story of good versus evil, but chronicling its battles through the ages. Which means you (while you're still playing the game) don't know whether your character will live or die by the end of the level. This leaves you detached from the character and more focused on the story overall, which is often overlooked in most games these days. In fact, you don't get the entire story unless you complete the game 3 times - which I've done.

If you haven't played this game yet, Eternal Darkness will give you a decent scare and give you a good story to go along with your pissed pants.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Week, Gameritis style!

It's Halloween Week here at Gameritis, and all this week the posts will be centered around the holiday "spirit." Also, all this week, I'm committed to playing the games that are meant for Halloween, namely Resident Evil 4 and Dead Space, and will be posting my heart-skipping impressions here, all for your amusement.

Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty...finished!

For a short story leading up to Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, the gameplay for Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty is quite short. But the boss battle at the end felt like the same caliber as a retail game, so it was still enjoyable in the end.

I wish, though, that there was some more redeeming value to the DLC other than delivering a little more story to Tools of Destruction. Sure, there's some features that are unlocked from recognizing the save file from the game, but Quest for Booty could have had some more replay into it, considering that it played by itself.

Oh least the wait to continue the story is only a couple days for me, unlike the months that earlier players had to endure.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ratchet & Clank secret origins revealed!!

With plenty of characters and creations being blatant rip-offs of characters from media past (A good example is Simba from The Lion King compared to Kimba from Kimba The White Lion), you'd think that Ratchet and Clank was a concept originally conceived. And in the upcoming game A Crack in Time, their origins will finally be revealed! While Insomniac might have one story in mind, I have the real truth. I mean, where else would you find a furry creature toting around a robot on his back? Oh wait...

Yeah, that's right. Back in The Empire Strikes Back, ol' Chewy here had C-3PO on his back long before Ratchet and Clank made their debut. I don't know if anyone ever made the comparison, but it would be interesting to see a large Chewbacca lumbering around destroying things, while C-3PO just worrying his metal head off.

Ratchet & Clank: Quest for Booty up and running, filling in gaps

Cutting it really close to the sequel's release, Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty is in my "finished" line of sights as I continue where Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction left off. Much like Prince of Persia's Epilogue add-on, Quest for Booty attempts to extend the story life of the first PS3 game by charging a nominal amount to give you some story while you wait. Fortunately for me, the wait is less than a week away.

Unlike Prince of Persia, however, the story will continue on in the upcoming sequel, A Crack in Time. And, while the small DLC is probably only 4 hours in total playtime, the additional story hopefully will provide some answers to questions left behind from ToD. Will probably set up a "finished" post over the weekend to mark this before Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time is out next week.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ratchet & Clank Tools of Destruction...finished!

In anticipation of the newest Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, I've completed (finally) their first PS3 outing, Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. This, along with Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, completes the duo-game purchase of titles receiving sequel treatments this year.

I've been a fan of the series since their second PS2 game, Going Commando, came out. Since then, the only other game I've played was Up Your Arsenal. Skipped out on Deadlocked, though, as well as the PSP outings, but I might just have to hit up on the Quest for Booty mini-story to see what happens before the sequel comes out next week. Thankfully, though, they're not milking the story-between-stories, unlike other franchises.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Gameritis 1.1

You'll notice that I've started to tinker around with the site here and there. A little more than 2 years ago, when I started this blog, I've been very simplistic on this site's design. But ever since I tacked on my PSN Portable ID here, I've always wondered about an added graphic here and there.

One of the latest changes came with the site's subtitle, which is now drastically reduced to rubble and replaced with a much shorter sentence - for now.

I've even set up a facebook page, should you desire to have my posts populate your walls every time I post anything. A quick search for "Gameritis" will do it for you.

More changes will follow in the coming days.

Zero Punctuation review: Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story

It's been a while since I called these days "Lazy Wednesday," so let's kick things off here with another Zero Punctuation review! This week's victim is Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story for the Nintendo DS. While Yahtzee enjoys the game, he spares no expense gutting its flaws and misgivings.

And, last I checked it's still NSFW, so enjoy!

Katamari Forever...finished!

I think this time around, finishing a Katamari game like Katamari Forever bears some accomplishment - namely the trophies that are attached to my profile. At least I can show off that I made a bigger-than-average katamari, or that I jumped exactly seven times in one level before finishing it.

Seriously, exactly seven times? I believe this was one of those trophies whose objectives are hidden to the player with the "? ? ? ?" text. They might as well have a trophy for turning on the game at exactly 10:30 am on October 30th.

The game still has some of that replay factor with their "forever" and "drive" modes (endless and super-fast modes), and the nice 1080p graphics will keep me enjoying it at a later date. However, my backlog is large, and the constant slowdowns mark this game down a notch.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Zero Punctuation review: Wet

While the concept of Wet had promise, the demo really didn't do it for me. I really wanted to enjoy the style of the game, but the actual gameplay made me want to hurl.

So basically, Yahtzee's review this week is all humor for me to enjoy. All NSFW humor, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Brutal Legend rocks into my house!!

Tim Schafer's game, Brutal Legend, is unleashed to the public today, this Roctober 13th!! If you're a Psychonauts fan or Tim Schafer fan, then you should give this game a chance to melt your face!! It helps that I enjoy Tenacious D enough to get the extra GameStop pre-order.

I've already clocked in a couple of hours into the game, and am enjoying every moment of it. Though, I have to say...all the motion-capture from Uncharted 2 has somewhat spoiled me. It's not that Brutal Legend is not enjoyable, but I just noticed how stiffer the characters move. Also, you'd think that after playing the demo, I would've noted that you don't jump in the game. There are also a couple of areas that felt unpolished, like loading text that appear for half a second before they disappear, or the somewhat frustrating camera.

But above all that, the atmosphere of the game still gets me rocking hard, and the gameplay is still enjoyable - even the RTS portion of it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days finally arrives

This is a belated post on the game's arrival, which actually came sometime mid-last week, but what with all the Uncharted 2 coverage, it got left behind. But Kingdom Hearts: 358/3 Days is finally in my possession, and in an exclusive and spiffy plastic jacket, thanks to

Initially when I pre-ordered this, I didn't think too much about the plastic sleeve. But when the game came in, the plastic sleeve was frosted, and bore a pleasant watermark-like design all over the background, covering all but Roxas, the main character, and the game logo. Here's a better shot of the contrast.

If you look closely, the watermark design is the same as the one on the special-edition DSi released in Japan a while back:

One of the more impressive game packagings I've seen this year. Here's hoping this game and Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep will end all the stories-within-the-story, and that we'll get a true sequel in the future.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Uncharted 2 - Naughty Dog was here

I don't recall ever seeing this in the first Uncharted game, but early on in the game (I won't say where), I found a box bearing a familiar logo.

Here's a closer look:

Naughty Dog is quite happy with the final product, enough to give their own stamp of approval.

Uncharted 2 event 10/5 - recap, with more pictures

Here are some more pictures from the Uncharted 2 event.

Here's a picture of their 10-screen setup for the 5-on-5 tournaments they had throughout the night, as well as the big screen, which alternated between one player from each team for the audience to watch and cheer for. Turns out the winning team won the special editions of Uncharted 2 with the collectible dagger.

Sam Thompson, one of the producers, showcased a level not-yet-revealed to the public, and displayed his talent for stealth-killing a bunch of baddies.

Theater decorations were pretty simple, but the logo shining on the ceiling was nice.

The cover art was literally all over the place, on flyers, postcards, and on the lanyard VIP passes.

And throughout the event, random raffle prizes were passed out, including a PS3 red controller, USB headset, some blu-rays, and a PSPGo - all of which I didn't win.

Uncharted 2...finished!

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune really gave a great movie feel, all without segmenting the gameplay and cinematics. And Naughty Dog only intensified this further with Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. The movie had great action, romance, and witty remarks that kept everything fresh, even though I died about 116 times. That's probably because I selected Hard mode to play the game (I think 16 deaths alone were just at the end.)

Despite how good the cinematics are, there's nothing like pulling off your own climatic moment. The feeling of performing a quick and sudden headshot, or lobbing a grenade blindly and taking out 4 people at once - those moments really make your heart race. I think I may have performed one of the most climatic ways to finish the game. I was excited for sure that I finished it, but much more exhausted that it was over. Now THAT'S what a good action movie should make the viewer experience.

Stat tracking is great in this game, too. Looks like I spent just under 13 hours to complete the game, and killed about 915 enemies. Some of the more prouder stats are my 6 headshots in a row, or 5 stealth kills in a row, but my hit ratio was a paltry 41.32%.

Now, with the single-player campaign under my belt, I'll probably play more multiplayer online, since there's tons of leveling up to do there.

Be sure to pick up Uncharted 2 when it comes out next Tuesday, October 13th!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Zero Punctuation review: Scribblenauts

Scribblenauts screams innovation, and the ability to conjure up whatever you want to materialize and use to help you solve many, many puzzles. However, it's this seemingly limitless bag of treats that makes the game a bit too much to wrap our heads around, often making players rely on the same old trick to pass through many of the game's harder moments.

It's this path of thinking that Yahtzee and I have a parallel in, but I frankly would like to think he has a limited imagination. Fortunately for him, that doesn't hinder his ability to reference anything and everything NSFW in his reviews.

As always, enjoy his wit in this week's video!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Uncharted 2 event - the spoils

After failing twice to make it to the round 2 team tournament, I decided to leave the Uncharted 2 event early. But not without taking home a surprise bonus that was given to everyone that attended - a grab bag that not only contained an Uncharted 2 T-Shirt, but a copy of the game a full week before its release! How cool is that??

And to many people's delight, Naughty Dog's Creative Director behind both Uncharted titles Amy Hennig was there to greet the audience and narrate over live Uncharted 2 gameplay on Sony's 4K digital projection screen. I was able to quickly snag her autograph, as well as get a picture with her in front of the limited-edition dagger display at the Embarcadero theater.

And yes, her autograph is there twice. The first one was at the corner, but that got covered up by the instructional manual clip. She was happy to sign the other, more centered autograph for me, though.

While I had no good questions to give, I exclaimed how welcoming playing online was, and that the gameplay was well rounded so that anyone would have a good time. She was glad to hear that, saying that she wants people to enjoy playing online and "not take it so fucking seriously." Thank you again, Amy, for making me less afraid of online play.

And yes, I can't smile worth shit in that photo.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Uncharted 2 event - inside the theater

And on display... the contest-only limited-edition bundle for Uncharted 2, complete with a 1:1 replication of the dagger in-game. This will surely be a prize giveaway tonight.

Uncharted 2 on the big screen!

A week before the game's release, Naughty Dog is holding special screenings of Uncharted 2 at 4 different locations tonight and tomorrow (Oct. 5th and 6th), and I'm at the Embarcadero theater in San Francisco for one of them.

For $15, not only will attendees get the chance to preview the game (on a big screen, no less), but they'll each receive a gift bag, raffle ticket, and participate in tournaments for prizes. Representatives will surely be around to answer questions and provide tips and tricks as well.

I'll be posting more pictures and impressions later tonight.

Uncharted 2 brings out the online gamer in me

I'm not much of an online gamer.

I don't play World of Warcraft, I don't play Halo online, I don't even play Mario Kart online as much. Combine the lack of skill I possess compared to the world, and online multiplayer becomes a tired reminder of how bad I suck.

And the field of games that use it don't offer much variety. Most of the time, it's just "deathmatch" or "capture the flag." And it's either you let yourself or the entire team down as you die time and time again.

But with Uncharted 2, I feel a little different - I feel a little more useful.

First off, there's the additional co-op modes, either campaign or arena. It's called a "friends" list for a reason. This way, I don't have to sever ties with my online buddies and, instead, play a co-op game where I help out my fellow comrades. Besides, this just unleashes a hoard of baddies wave after wave, making teamwork all the more satisfying.

Also, the gameplay mechanics are very well tuned, probably because not much has been changed since the first game. Guns aren't absolutely punishing, and your character is quite agile enough to dodge most dire situations...all with the fluidity and grace one has come to expect in an Uncharted game.

The leveling up system is also very pleasant, allowing you to improve your online stats and character the more you play. It not only makes playing online more rewarding, but it also feels like a brand new game in addition to the normal single-player game.

What really cinches it for me was the Cinema mode. After a deathmatch game I played, the entire game was saved to my PS3. Now I can view the entire match, change from player to player, and observe everyone's actions and reactions throughout the game! And, as an aesthetic touch, you can also adjust cameras and lighting, and change the environment settings for dramatic flare, as well as pause the action to take snapshots of particular victories.

Now, when I finally get better playing online, I can show my friends my greatest matches, or show them pictures of my glorious takedowns!

Expect me to be playing this game online much much more when Uncharted 2 ships officially October 13th!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Katamari Forever rolls through the front door

Katamari Damacy and We (heart) Katamari were two very awesome titles that said "the hell" with fancy graphics and gave us something so addictive, so simple and so bizarre - the ability to roll up balls of random shit. The game could have been called "Dung Beetle Rolling A Ball of Crap" and I would've still thought the game to be very awesome.

Two other games, Beautiful Katamari (360) and Me & My Katamari (PSP) have also made it to market, but offer pretty much the same flare.

Now the PS3 is next in this largely-drawn-out series with the new Katamari Forever (Katamari Damacy Tribute in Japan). As the Japanese name implies, this is a little re-hash of some of the best levels from the game series, as well as some new ones (At least to me...maybe some were from the 360 version, but I wouldn't know.)

Having not playing the previous games in some time, it was great to go back into the mindlessly-rolling world of Katamari again. And while the game is still really fun to play, there are still some issues that irk me; random lag times during gameplay and pop-ups plague the game at times. Overall, though, the randomness and quirkiness of the game pleases the child in me, so it'll be worth my time.

Zero Punctuation catch-up: The Beatles Rock Band, Guitar Hero 5, and Darkest of Days

Apologies for the stagnant week of no posting. At the very least, though, on this "Lazy Friday," I can at least double up on the amount of Zero Punctuation reviews, with a review of The Beatles Rock Band and Guitar Hero 5 (two reviews, one video), and a review of Darkest of Days.

My own personal experience of The Beatles Rock Band have been gone over already, and it's a splendid title to have if you've exhausted your fill of Rock Band 2. Guitar Hero 5, on the other hand, has been off my radar for some time. In fact, I've officially made my peace with it some time ago, and haven't looked back since.

Darkest of Days appeals to my interest in time-traveling (BIG fan of Back to the Future, read Time Traveler's Wife), so I could foresee the game to be a quick and interesting romp through the most famous battles in history.

Both videos below and NSFW. Enjoy!

The Beatles Rock Band and Guitar Hero 5

Darkest of Days