Thursday, December 13, 2012

Kickstarter: Know the risks

Whenever I read articles about Kickstarter projects and their misgivings, I feel confused at the uproar from investors. People who felt they were lied to, who thought that the product will come out as initially scheduled, who cries foul when no updates have been posted since the funding ended. What part of "investing" eludes them? Isn't is assumed that the production of goods isn't largely based solely on the fact that they fronted the project with their own money?

Clearly, people forget that Kickstarter is an investment site, not a pre-order site. The rules for companies with official release-date products can't apply to Kickstarter projects with an estimated date of delivery. You're only setting up for disappointment if you think like that.

Rather than detailing all the gripes people have with Kickstarter projects, I'm just going to list some things to be cognizant of when funding these projects.

  • You're investing in an idea, not buying a product - The sooner you know that you're funding someone else to pursue their ideas into fruition, the sooner you save yourself from getting let down when they bear bad news. It's a risk that comes with every project you fund, unlike setting a pre-order for a product that you know will eventually be delivered.

  • Don't wait up - There's a very likely chance that a Kickstarter project will exceed their projected deadline, which is just that - "projected." NEVER expect the project to be done on time. Complications are bound to occur in even the most optimal projects, and these contribute (more times than naught) negatively to the final release date. Again, as long as you set your expectations low, you won't suffer from extreme disappointment. But that's not to say you shouldn't express your concern, so...

  • Politely inquire - As easy it is to just troll or post some angry message to the comments section, a polite response will get acknowledged faster. Sure, people are open to express their feelings, and for some it makes them feel better. But know that not all silence is ignorance - people could truly be busy...which leads me to one tip for Kickstarter project owners...

  • Update, update, update - As an owner, you just completed funding for your project, and have a lot of people with their eyes on you. Whether you like it or not, you're now center stage, and people are at the edge of their seats waiting to be impressed. Of course, you don't have to provide daily updates, but some meaty ones within reasonable time intervals will keep people interested, while at the same time making yourself more liked because you listen to your followers. And finally...

  • Research - Once you acknowledge that funding a Kickstarter project is a investment risk, you'd naturally research what you want to invest in. Apart from what may be provided already (like websites or email addresses), it doesn't hurt to go to the forums and do some investigating on your own. Unless you personally know who's behind a project, you don't know if you're going to end up funding a scam or a legit idea, so it's best to find out as much as you can about where your funds are going to. The general safe case is if it's a company with a good past track record, your chances of getting a final product increases. Again, nothing is guaranteed, even if the creator is a well-known one.

Sure, most of these tips try to spin Kickstarter in a positive light, which is precisely the attitude one must have if people actually fund these projects. There is always the option to never fund these projects, or, as any naysayer would suggest, just avoid them like the plague. But for those that do invest, there was something they saw, that they believed in...enough to support them financially to see it through to the end.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Putting miles into my Steam account

I'm very big on materialism when it comes to games. I enjoy having a physical copy of a game, manually inserting the disk into the console, and then shelving it away like a good book. It's a sense of ownership that a collector feels, and it's something I'll always favor. But, being a new dad and assuming more responsibilities, I sometimes can't afford the luxury of owning tangible copies of games. I guess this was what led me to embrace more of Steam's approach to games.

Yes, I know Steam has been there for a while, and yes, I've had my account for quite some time. But back then, I never felt any value towards owning merely a digital copy of video games. There wasn't even some virtual shelf for me to "place" the games in; the library listing felt so boring, so dull. No longer could I "put my favorite game in the system and hit the power button." All it was now was a simple click on a "play" button on the screen, and I'm up and running. Call me old-fashioned, but that takes away half the enjoyment that video games bring.

However, I overlooked one simple fact. Most of the games offered by Steam can't even afford to become physical copies. Many are just indie games, games created by people who just wanted to bring their project to life without the messiness that physical mediums carry with them, such as publisher and distributor costs. Then I realized the one injustice I brought onto myself for not embracing Steam - I'd deprive myself from many many good games, games I would never have experienced without Steam.

Take Machinarium, for instance. A masterfully artistic point-and-click adventure, Machinarium is a sight to behold. Half the time I'm just admiring the scenery, and the other half playfully struggles with the thoughfully laid-out puzzles throughout. It clearly falls within the same ranks as The Neverhood, Monkey Island, and many LucasArts titles. And I would have missed it if it weren't for Steam.

Another game I probably wouldn't have known if it weren't for Steam would be Jamestown, a SHMUP game based in 17th-century British Colonial Mars. That alone should be a selling point. Graphically, it shows the traditional trademarks of a standard SHMUP, from the pixelated graphics to the tiny hitbox on the player to avoid the "bullet hell" that could ensue. Most SHMUP games are exclusive from Japan (being the "bullet hell" masochists they are), so this game would've skirted past my radar if it wasn't for Steam.

While I will still go out of the way to make the occasional materialistic purchase, there's nothing like getting a digital game on the cheap to play at a moment's notice.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Analog Gaming: Not all games needs to be on TV

I've played video games for a number of years, from the Atari 2600 days to today, and while the medium has evolved multiple times right before our eyes, it still is just fidgeting fingers on a controller while watching TV. There's a certain detachment from society whenever people play video games, much like how social games on Facebook are anything but, sitting in front of a PC monitor mindlessly clicking on buttons. While today we play a lot of multiplayer games, we're often not with multiple physical bodies in the same room.

What ever happened to the times when people didn't need a console to connect to people for fun, when others didn't need to pay a monthly charge to participate in an online group romp? I can't remember the last time we even played an entertaining game without the aid of electronics, or something where everything involved constant awkward social interactions, like charades or Twister.

With a new child in my life, my priorities as a gamer have changed slightly. A family dynamic demands more family time, and what better way to prepare for that social medium with a nice huddled group for board games?

But gone are the days of Monopoloy, Scrabble, or The Game of Life. No, I want something with a bit more depth, something with a nice theme or mechanic that's fresh and new. Thankfully, there are plenty of games to choose from.

I could...defend a castle from surrounding orcs as they attack from all sides...

...or stop deadly viruses from plaguing the entire world...

...or join a group of heroes in a dungeon to kill enemies and loot for treasure.

The way I see it, board games are much more tangible than video games, making social interaction the center of attention in every session. It's something I hope to highlight during these Analog Gaming segments.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Games acquired during hiatus: Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?!

Say what you will about the cartoon Adventure Time, but if it's anything, it's just weird and fast. Sure, most of the stories are simple plots, but they're littered with such random nonsense that even making a burrito can be quite amusing. And the writers enjoy throwing their viewers for a loop. Some stories have a natural beginning, middle, and end. Others, however, sometimes end on an abrupt note, on something that is often not explained until an episode later on in the season. For example, one episode had one of the characters mysteriously vanish at the end, and left it at that until a later episode down the season. 

And, through each progressive episode, Adventure Time has developed a strange language and following all its own. With phrases like "oh my glob" and "schnaowzow," the cartoon attracts eclectic and bizarre fans alike.

So, when the 3DS game "Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?!" was announced, the natural assumption is that the video game would be like the cartoon - unique and random. At least, that's what my assumption is.

I've yet to play the game, but I acquired the Collector's Edition, which encases all the goodies into an Enchiridion-shaped box. I've heard from my brother that the game is short - like 7 hours short, even with replay for every hidden thing. But, given my current situation of baby + work, 7 hours would probably be long enough.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Hiatus gone, and Christmas is upon us!

Let's make this return quick. Long story short, new baby and work has kept me extremely busy, so I almost forgot about the Wii U.


So, without a pre-order and some perseverance, I was able to grab myself one.

Now, if only I could get enough time to open it and set it up...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Super Mario 3D Land...finished!!

I under-estimated this game. I seriously didn't think Super Mario 3D Land was much of a challenge at all. Arriving at the last level with 100+ lives in reserve, I thought to myself, "I didn't really die at all." After this, however, is when I realized where people said it becomes a challenge. Once you finish the game, the number of levels double, and the second batch are crazy variants of past levels. It's these levels that saw my lives count drop one by one.

Monday, August 20, 2012 this what I think it is??

I'm already freaking out here at what I believe may be the small teaser to an actual sequel to one of my most favorite games to come out of Square Enix, The World Ends With You!! The game back then (now more than 4 years ago since I 100% the entire storyline) was such a well-crafted game for a non-Final-Fantasy title from Square Enix. Definitely for the multi-tasker ADD person in mind, The World Ends With You was a strong departure from the typical sword and armor faire, making the real world the setting for this modern-day RPG. This, along with many other strong points, made TWEWY such a fan favorite, even warranting its characters a special appearance in the latest Kingdom Hearts game, Dream Drop Distance. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the character designer for both games is the same - Tetsuya Nomura.

The countdown is set to end around August 27th, and you can be sure I'll be there at the ready!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance - Mark of Mastery Edition

That title is a mouthful, but I finally got the "Mark of Mastery" 10-Anniversary Edition of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. It's been a long journey so far: from Kingdom Hearts 1 on the PS2, to Chain of Memories on the GBA, back to Kingdom Hearts 2 on the PS2, to 365/2 Days on the DS, to Birth By Sleep on the PSP (Yes, I'm still omitting the Re:Coded game), the story has been stretched quite long.

At this point, you're either a fan or you're not. And with something like the "Mark of Mastery" edition in my hands, you bet your bippy I'm a fan indeed. Let's see what's inside.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Lollipop Chainsaw, and gaming in moderation

One of the biggest disadvantages any video game reviewer has is time. There's never enough of it when you need to play through the game enough to write an honest opinion of a gamer's experience. But in truth, hardly any gamer will sit down for 20 hours straight and feverishly play a game to its end credits. The time spent in appreciating a game, taking it in a couple hours at a time…that's when a gamer can truly give a more honest review. Now, take this thought process and apply it to a game - let's say Lollipop Chainsaw.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Deathspank: Thongs of Virtue...finished!!

Despite earlier concerns of game-breaking bugs and wiped PS3 saves, Deathspank: Thongs of Virtue is now complete! In fact, the saved game indicates I completed the game 100%, giving the entire ordeal of 3 replays well worth the time and effort. But why give this game a chance, when so many had decided long ago to abandon the effort in a huff?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Re-Play: Deathspank: Thongs of Virtue

Since the birth of my daughter, video gaming has become vastly scarce.  As a parent, of course my flesh and blood will always come first, but the moment they get some good rest, daddy's gonna get some time in.  So what better way to quench the thirst than a good few hours mindlessly killing enemies in Deathspank: Thongs of Virtue.  At least, that's what I thought.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Alchemy adventures with Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland

Alchemy game elements are more common in Japanese RPGs than you'd think.  While it's true that Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland (and, for that matter, any other Atelier games in the past) holds alchemy as a primary feature, other games hold the ingredient-mixing element close to their hearts.  And while the whole ingredient-fetching quest-and-grind is a little tedious and mundane, I still find it somewhat appealing now in this latest Atelier game.  And you know what comes to mind?  Facebook games.

Analog Gaming: Ticket To Ride

During the time I've spent at home tending to the newborn, I found more time to spend with the misses (GameritisGal).  The more time I found spending with her, the more I thought about playing some good board games.  This led to the eventual purchase of Ticket To Ride, a simple game about trains and routes.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep...finished!!

Taking care of a newborn is exhaustive work, and requires plenty of time spent at home to tend to the child's every need.  That being said, when Alexa's sound asleep, it's daddy's time to play!  And play he did...clocking close to 60 hours, the PSP game Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep is now complete!

Unlike Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, this version is more canon throughout the game, referencing key points in the Kingdom Hearts universe.  I want to think that finally...finally...all loopholes have been covered.  Another thing that was missing from the DS game was any hope of a secret movie to unlock in the end.  Much like the other games before it, it's either unlocked by completing your collection list in Standard Mode (which is very challenging and difficult, despite my best efforts), or by merely completing the game in Proud Mode or higher (which is why I'm playing the game once more).  However, this game is more unique in its playthroughs.

You see, there are 3 main characters in this game, and you can only play with one character at any one time.  Their timelines intertwine like a braid, with characters crossing paths every once in a while, but the focus is always on your selected character at the time.  What does this mean?  This means you'll need to finish the game 3 separate times (each with a different character) to get a full understanding of the entire story.  And to tie it up in a nice bow, a final episode is unlocked after those 3 separate completions.

For anyone that's considering to get up to speed on the whole Kingdom Hearts universe, you'd do yourself a favor and play this game.  In fact, I'd say almost half of the content from the preview trailer for the upcoming 3DS game Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance (Oh...3"D"...really?) is in direct reference to the story in Birth by Sleep.  I know it's probably a lot to take in, but given the large span of time between games, it's probably worth spending it playing the games to catch up.

No E3 attendance this year, possibly ever

From 1999-2006 and 2009-2011 (conveniently missing the downsizing), I've been fortunate enough to attend and cover the happenings going on in E3, traversing the ground floor to provide an attendee's point of view on everything shiny and new.  And while I had already applied for my pass this year just because I could, I knew deep down that I would not partake in the festivities.  I have spawned a little one of my own recently, and I intend to care for her and nurture her - mold her, if you will - in my ways.

And despite not being at the yearly gaming mecca that is E3 in LA, I am somewhat relieved.  It's probably because of the many times I've attended E3 in the past that I've been jaded of everthing - of the large crowds, the long waits in lines, and the concert-like mob scenes that frequent around PR folk that toss free swag to the masses.  Being a spectator viewing the press events on TV now, after all these years, is something I can appreciate even more.

Who knows.  Maybe I won't attend E3 ever again.  Not because of my newborn daughter, but because I've lived that part of my life.  I'm less naive than I was back then.  In its core, E3 is an industry event, one where it's a business to prove to everyone else that they still have what it takes to make great games.  You tend to forget that everyone out there is vying for your attention, whether you give it or not.  It is video-game overload in the best and worst sense, and it can both entertain and wear you out physically and mentally.  But in the the very end...I've had a great run.  Not many people in my position can say they've attended a yearly video-game event 11 times, and every time I've enjoyed every minute of it.  Now, I am content in enjoying the games that I want to enjoy, not what the press wants me to enjoy.

It's good to take the backseat this year, and just bask in its glory.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Alexa, my "player 3," has arrived!

In a sunny afternoon on April 24th, my daughter Alexa finally pushed start and began her game of life!  It's because of this, naturally, that I haven't been making any posts for the past 3+ weeks.  Every fiber of my being is spent caring for this adorable bundle of joy, and I gladly will sacrifice games to no end.

As a new father/gamer, I'm now presented with the challenge of balancing child and console.  I hope that, while being an awesome dad, I can impart some gaming fun into my daughter's life as well.  Above all else, however, my child will always come first.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days...finished!! And self-imposing Kingdom Hearts catch-up challenge!

In an effort much like my self-initiated challenges for Final Fantasy XIII and Disgaea 3, I've begun the progress to get myself up to speed on the Kingdom Hearts saga.  I've already completed both Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 (secret movies unlocked for both) and Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (on the GBA, not the PS2 remake).  Now, I can add Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days to that list of completed titles!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Uncharted 3...finished on crushing!!

Back when I finished Uncharted 2 on Crushing Mode, I really didn't think much about it.  Sure, the game was harder, but not by much.  Uncharted 3, however...I knew at least 3-4 key moments in the game where I would have extreme difficulty.  Sadly I was wrong; there would be more moments than that.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Kid Icarus: Uprising arrives

Even though I've played Kid Icarus when I was young, and enjoyed his appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, I really didn't know what to expect with Kid Icarus: Uprising for the Nintendo 3DS.  The original Kid Icarus was very much so - a platformer with Zelda-like dungeon qualities in-between with the finale as a side shooter.  Kid Icarus on the NES was a unique game ahead of its time, and its 3DS incarnation is set to do just the same.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Purchased Journey, went on journey...finished!!

While the release dates from ThatGameCompany are lengthy and sporadic, their games are ironically not.  Given their track record of Flow and Flower, however, you can safely assume that whatever they create will be breath-taking.  After what seems like a lifetime, their laitest game piece of art, Journey, was recently released on PSN, and I finally got a chance to experience it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational, with something missing

I've always enjoyed the Hot Shots Golf series on the go on my PSP, and am happy to get Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational on my PSVita.  But compared to the PSP versions, one thing is lacking from the latest iteration - background noise.  Gone are the incessant whirs of the UMD disk as the game loads between levels.  Apart from that, it's the same old golfing game I've come to play and enjoy...which is not a bad thing.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Games, movies, and favorite parts

Playing some Uncharted 3 over the weekend through my second (and most difficult) playthrough, and it occurred to me how much fun the game was.  Gone were the manual labor searching for treasures (well, not for the obvious ones, anyways), the cautious walking to anticipate surprise attacks, and the need to pace oneself.  I was playing the game as it was meant to be, all along - as a movie, chuckling to the same parts that made me smile, and getting worked up on all the exciting action scenes.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Super Dungeon Explore: Gateway to miniature gaming

Not all gaming requires staring blankly at a glowing thin screen filled with moving graphics.  Some of the best games are the classic board games played on a table.  And then there are tabletop figure games like Warhammer or Heroclix.  Then there's Super Dungeon Explore, a game I played just this past weekend.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Getting into financial rhythm

Last year's E3 was a mental checklist of games to look forward to purchasing in the coming months, and Rhythm Heaven Fever and Fortune Street were both near the top of that list.  So, when the opportunity finally arrived, I scored both in one go!

Rhythm Heaven Fever

I'm a music game fanatic.  I rank the Ouendan games, Elite Beat Agents, and Rhythm Heaven for the DS to be probably the games I replay the most, so getting Rhythm Heaven Fever is a no-brainer for me.  The game is widely known for taking one- and two-button pressing into a flurry of rhythm games that are both a visual and audio treat, and Rhythm Heaven Fever doesn't disappoint.  One of my favorites has to be the Monkey watch game, where the simple second-hand ticking is absurdly described to be a monkey giving high-fives to monkeys along the watch's edge.

Fortune Street


Or at least that's what the box art should've included as one of their quotes.  So many misguided reviews of this game simply because they were expecting a bunch of mini-games to play as they go around the board.  Think of Fortune Street as a "Monopoly 2.0," but with dynamic playing boards and more ways to earn coins from other players.  In fact, that's what makes the game more dynamic - more ways to earn extra coin.  Does a certain region have most of their properties sold?  Purchase stocks for that region!  Landed on a property that you wish you had?  Muscle it out of them for 3 times the property cost!  And their version of "community chest" and "chance" cards are more random and impacting.  Some are just losing money for each property you own, to one that just closes all properties for one whole turn - which means that no one will have to pay you rent if they land on them during that turn.

Of course, these games are meant to be played for a longer period of time, so make sure you have some dedicated friends over to play.  Or a wife that's stuck at home with you.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A new challenger emerges!!

So, with permission from Mrs. GameritisGal, I can make this announcement on my blog.  We're expecting a GameritisBaby on the way!  (I think I need to find a better moniker for it...)  I can already imaging my child ready to "press start" on its new life soon, which is almost 2 months from now!  With this announcement, I can finally share my first thoughts of the early ultrasound, in particular to the 3D-modeled embryo of our child.

The Simpsons Arcade Game downloaded....and finished!!

Back when Konami was making its mark in arcades with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Simpsons was getting a lot of attention into its second season, the two combined forces and spawned a cult phenomina simply called The Simpsons Arcade Game.  Based off the same engine and art style as the TMNT arcade game, The Simpsons Arcade Game was an instant fan favorite, eating quarters from kids everywhere.  And now, it finally makes a home in the console market.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Look what's arrived...PSVita, anyone?

Following suit with early adopters, a PSVita has landed in my possession, along with a starter kit that comes with case, memory card, screen protector, headphones, and game case.  And what's this?  Uncharted: Golden Abyss?  Don't mind if I do!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Strategy Guide arrives, cat is curious

Just in time to play, Final Fantasy XIII-2 and the "collector's edition" strategy guide by Piggyback have arrived!  And what's this?  A curious cat that would not get out of the shot no matter how many times I shoo him away?  Go away, Lenny!  I'll pet you after I start playing!

Final Fantasy XIII...finished!!

Much like Disgaea 3, I never thought I'd ever see this day.  But now I can finally say I've completed a Final Fantasy game - Final Fantasy XIII.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pushmo: A deceptively-complex puzzler

Very rarely will I purchase digital content for my portable gaming devices (not including my iPhone).  There's always the price to consider, the content delivered, and whether I will dedicate the time to play it enough.  Then again, there's always the outcry of players enjoying the game everywhere that will get my attention as well.  Such is the case for Pushmo on the Nintendo 3DS.

Overcoming gamer's block: Earning a second wind

We've all been there before; you've played that one particular game for a while, but just can't progress further.  In a time when games are constantly begging for your attention, it's hard to maintain focus and, eventually, you move on to another game.  But how often do you return back to that game and try again? This, my friends, is my tale of conquering a gamer's block of my own - Final Fantasy XIII.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Re-Play: Final Fantasy XIII

This week's Re-Play is on an RPG of a series I've yet to complete a game in, Final Fantasy XIII.  In the past when I first received the game, the linear direction of the game was a definite plus for me, keeping me focused on my goals.  I really had a high hope that this would be the first game where I don't get bored and break off.  I was wrong, and I even lost my game save because of my laziness.  Will the second time be the Phoenix Down I need?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Re-Play: Little Big Planet 2

I've praised Little Big Planet 2 for so long being the type of game that only gets boring if you lack imagination. Never has that been more true than when I tried to replay the game once again in a speed-run attempt to recover all my building materials and supplies.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Adobo's Big Adventure

If you want to know where your NES childhood went, look no further than Adobo's Big Adventure.  Touted as the "ultimate tribute to the Nintendo Entertainment System," Adobo's Big Adventure pits this Double-Dragon character across many different NES game settings, beating up a multitude of popular NES characters, and even adapting to different styles of gameplay in search of his son, Adoboy.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Re-play: Rock Band 3

In a series of blog posts aptly titled "re-play," I'll be going over games that I've completed or not in the past that have seen little to no action since.  Of course, most of these will be titles for which I'm gradually recovering the broken shambles of my lost PS3 game saves, but they'll broaden to other older titles.

Unless you live with a family that loves to rock out each night, having a full Rock Band 3 set will attract dust faster than a Swiffer.  While I still enjoy a good jam session with plastic instruments (sometimes on my Fender Stratocaster as well), the game becomes a solo affair almost 95% of the time.  It's no surprise, then, that this game only gets some love on occasion.  But is the replay worth the effort?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Batman: Arkham City...finished!!

With Batman: Arkham Asylum, the game offered so much more gameplay after the core game was over that it really felt like you're in the billionaire's cape and cowl.  All the extra Riddler trophies and side missions made the game more meatier, allowing me to use Batman's arsenal of toys to the fullest.  Batman: Arkham City does at least ten times as much of side missions and content, enough to make me think twice whether or not I would be able to complete them all.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception...finished!!

I'm going to just say it - I was a little disappointed in Uncharted 3.  But not majorly so that I hated the game.  The game was still jaw-droppingly awesome and had its moments, both in action and script, and the gun battles, while at times frustrating, were balanced out with the sense of learning from one's mistakes.

And while I enjoy a good story any day over the length of the game, I still found the playtime to be a little shorter than expected.  It won't stop me from playing the game once more in Crushing Mode (I started in Hard, for a greater challenge), but it's a little disappointing all the same.

Another thing that was quite apparent was the number of glitches the game had.  Uncharted 2 was quite polished, and there was nothing to note of when recalling any odd bugs.  But this one had more than its share of clipping issues, texture drops, and the occasional falling-right-off-the-map moments.

Despite these flaws, the game still stands to be a very enjoyable experience, one that I will still enjoy again and again.  At the moment I've been building my online stats thanks to a few co-op missions with a buddy of mine, so the replay value is still quite high.  And I've started the game over again on "crushing" mode, like I did with Uncharted 2.  To be honest, though, "hard" mode in Uncharted 3 was about as hard as the "crushing" mode on Uncharted 2, so I'm looking into a real challenge this time around.