christmas-hit-list-quantum-break

It’s that TIME again where we take TIME out to tell you all about the Christmas Hit List game of the day. This one took a little TIME to think about, but TIME was ticking so we pick this one in the nick of TIME. Quantum Break – it’s about *wait for it* TIMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Let’s Play a Little: Quantum Break

LPL-quantum-break

 

It’s about TIME… Get it? Well I thought it was funny, and that’s not the only time related phrasing I’m going to say today, so take it all in – I got the TIME (told you).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Games and Gear (of 2016): Quantum break

 

This ‘time’ on Games and Gear we take our ‘time’ talking about Quantum break, it’s about… wait for it… TIME!

Armada’s Gamescom picks: Quantum Break

 

Guess who’s back? Quantum Break, the game/show that died but lives again. Made by the same fokes who done Max Payne and Alan Wake comes a game that is both parts deep drama and 3rd person action shooter. The player is Jack Joyce, one of three people who survived a time traveling experiment gone a rye; so now he can stop time. Unfortunately the main villain of the game, Paul Serene – another survivor, can now control time as well and now using it to cause chaos for an unknown reason. You are the only one who can stop him, as well as fix time from coming undone. People I always love the concept of time travel / manipulation and from the Gamescom demo it looks like they do it very well in the combative areas and to set the mood so yay for that. Also I liked Alan Wake and more than a few of you out there like Max Payne so do yourselves a favor and keep an eye out for Quantum Break next year; it’s only a matter of time.

 

 

 

Game Summaries – Dead Red Planet Lost 2 Alan Wake’(s) Redemption.

Ello, ello, ello all – time once again a game summary lo down. Now I know these games deserve their own game review slot (don’t worry, Alpha Protocol is definitely getting one), but it would take forever with just one game alone, plus I took a little too long in the gaming process to meet timely singular reviews so summaries will have to do starting with Lost Planet 2.

Lost Planet 2

Like Just Cause 2, Lost Planet 2 completely and utterly sucks, which goes to show that Sequelitis is alive and well, even in video games. Ironically it too features a lazily, hap-hazard wire combat system (at least in part). You know, say what you will about the 2009 remake/sequel Bionic Commando, but at least its wire combat and overall mechanics worked well enough to be fun. Anyway the story picks up about 10 years later after the first game where Wayne Holden, amine cookie cutter protagonist 128B, defeats the evil empire of evil NEVEC, and frees the poorly named world E.D.N. III from an eternal winter. In LP2 Mr. Holden is ‘poof, begone’ not here, and in his stead players take control of random collection of near-faceless characters from different Snow Pirates factions, and all with less personality then Holden – which is saying something right there. Using conventional weapons like machine guns and shotties, as well as 10 ft tall battle armors called Vital Suits (VSs) players will fight against rival snow pirates and the native giant insect-dinosaur hybrids of the planet called Akrids. There isn’t many degrees of separation between the first game and the second, but the changes they did make were either useless or made the game that much harder to play.  The most annoying thing they did however though was make the single player completely dependant on co-op play; sure you can try to play it by yourself and/or use computerized helpers but that’s like shouting in the void – pointless.

Your bots aren’t smart enough to help long term throughout the game and doing it by yourself is just suicide; especially with the extra large bosses in the game. I’ll admit it was fun bring the pain with three other meat shields at my side, but as Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw once said, single player must be able to be played alone – and I tend to agree (although not about Borderlands, which he said this statement about its single player). The controls are bad, the story’s confusingly longwinded, and their standard multiplayer is a joke; seriously I would give it my lowest rating but again I did have some fleeting moments of fun so it can walk away with a very generous Bronze ranking. Now… On to much better games, thank the bit mapper.

Ranking: Bronze

Alan Wake

I’ll be honest people I’m not a big fan of horror — well anything really. The way I see it the unknown has more to fear of me than I of it (I’ll will curb stomp *insert favorite horror franchise here*). However once I heard about Alan Wake I knew that was a game I wanted to play, and I’m glad I did. The story starts with Alan Wake; famed crime thriller novelist from New York City – or was anyway until a two year writer’s block set upon his brain. Now he just another miserable, sleepless, soul looking for answers in a bottle. Alice, Alan’s wife, worries about him constantly (well him and the dark (foreshadowing — heh, funny)); so she takes him out of the city and into the country for a little change of scenery and maybe to help him somehow. They ended up in a sleepy, unassuming, little burgh known as Bright Falls; where they lived happily ever after…

Oh wait, no… It is where Alice get kidnapped, Alan loses a week – doesn’t know how, he’s also is getting attacked by shadowed versions of townsfolk – thinks he’s losing his mind, and of course Alan’s finding pages of something he wrote, but didn’t write, all over the place, chronicling everything that was happing to him and others, as it was happing. Geez man… The only trouble most tourists have is getting lost – or getting eaten by a bear; but still Alan’s misfortune is our excellent adventure. Players must help Alan find Alice and stop whatever force is plaguing them all. Alan Wake is an excellent game for storytelling purposes alone, the characters are pretty realistic in motions, gestures and speaking. We watch Alan Wake’s cut scenes like we would a TV show, even so far as there being recaps on each new chapter. Fun, though at times I thought story progression was a little rushed usually this method. The audio and visuals are awesome, they set the tone they want to portray and some of the tracks just make me smile. Combat is also straightforward but inventive; basically baddies are invincible unless you expose them to a healthy dose of light. Light can come from anywhere, but mostly from your flashlight (which also happens to be your targeting reticle). Over time Alan gain use of better light sources like spotlights, flares, and flash grenades and how you use them will dictate your survival or not. I have no real complaints’ about this game except that a player can beat it rather quickly in a day if they wished. Of course they can just ramp up the difficulty and starting looking for the rest of the manuscripts or better yet wait a couple weeks or so and buy some DLC and continue the adventure. Either way (or otherwise) Alan Wake earns a Platinum ranking – you’re back on top Mr. Wake.

Ranking: Platinum

Red Dead Redemption

I’ll have to give credit where credit’s due my friends, I may not always agree with ‘Rockstar Games’ raw and uncensored context within their games (mostly overkill if you ask me, but they have been getting better); but I cannot argue that they make good games (maybe GTA 4, that was boring). They creatively recreate our world to fit the theme in their current game; whether it’s a punk who commits impossible crimes and becomes a crime boss, or a misunderstood young man who wedgies’ his way to victory, and yes even a 1910 ex-bandit cowboy who trying to stop his old gang and save his family. The latter is the Premise of Red Dead Redemption a game so good, that it could be the game of the year.

John Marston, your character, is essentially a blank slate – you can do practically anything a man from that era can do almost completely ignoring his main mission. Want to gamble – go gamble, want to cheat at gambling – you can do that to, want to rob the dealer – why not, and so on and so fort. You can do good stuff too like bounty hunting, clearing out bandit camps, and the occasional overthrowing of a Mexican dictatorship. There so much to see and do player’s will hours and hours just riding around doing instances the game throws their way, performing Legend of the West challenges like sharpshooting and hunting, even catch an old timey movie or two. Immersion is Rockstar’s claim to fame (well that and running down hookers) and they succeed once again. Sadly the even this perfect portrayal of the wild west doesn’t get my Triple Platinum ranking because like a junk yard dog on a gnarled, warped, bone – Rockstar just won’t pitch their horrible throwback control scheme. I said it before and I’ll say it again you won’t need X to run! Now that I think about it, RDR interface wasn’t the most streamline either. For example in order to quick travel I needed to open my inventory, find my camp icon (and also find a flat piece of land away from roads, towns, and rivers…), select it, wait 3 seconds, choose ‘travel’, select from the list (not a map), then you go to the location. It may not seem so bad but players will be fast traveling a lot in the course of the game so over time it will become annoying. Interface issues aside Red Dead Redemption is still a winner; looks excellent, sounds wonderful, characters are likeable (or unlikeable depending on your preference) and most impressively this game doesn’t have to go to the lowest common level to be fun or realistic. It looks like our favorite fratboyesque developer is finally growing up – I hope I didn’t jinx it though.

Ranking: Platinum

Game Preview – Games to look for in 2010

Well ladies and gentlemen of the gaming universe it finally happened, we’ve officially entered into the future – its 2010 baby! I, for one, couldn’t be anymore excited but my only concern with it is what do I call this era now? The ten’s? Oh well, that’s another question for another time; you’re here for games after all, and games you will receive. This year we have the return of old favorites in sequel form and new interesting titles that will premiering as well. Sad to say, we as gamers won’t get much of a break in ot’10 (I’m still on Dragon Age like blood crazy fiend, never mind all its DLCs that came out of no where), but I’m not complaining – bring in on. Here are some of the games I (and by proxy you all) will be looking forward to:

________________________________________________________
Mass Effect 2: [Releases 1/26/10]

BioWare’s science fiction masterpiece of 2007 is not only coming on strong with this high anticipated sequel but early in the year as well. The story picks up where the first one left off; Commander Shepard saving the galaxy from a horde of mechanized monsters. After that you would think he’s take a vacation, but ever the stoic hero he heads off to the stars for his next impossible mission; and boy did he find it. This time around there new weapons, new characters, new locals, new combat system, whole nine. Players of the first game also have the added bonus of importing their character as well as the choices they made to the second game, now who said you can’t take it with you. This spacey sojourn should be all that and then some.

______________________________________________________________________
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars [Releases 1/26/10]

I love my Wii, I really do. And it has some really impressive titles, but even I must admit that it doesn’t get all the premium titles it should. Well fellow Wii owners Wiijoice because now the shoe is on the other foot; meaning the latest in the Capcom VS fighting series, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, is only going to be available on the Wii console. This time around it mixes the familiar of capcom (Zero, Viewtiful Joe, Ryu, etc) with the unfamiliar of Tatsunoko (Golden Lightan, Ken the Eagle, Dorombo Gang, etc) and they all fight each other in of-the-wall, impossible ways for no apparent reason. Just the way I likes’ it, and being a Wii exclusive only adds to the appeal for the title. The only drawback I can really see with the game right now is the fact it will be released on the same day as Mass Effect 2, and No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle.

______________________________________________________________________
No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle [Releases 1/26/10]

We are Travis Touchdown, and he is us. Every one of us that could buy a beam sword on eBay and hunt down and destroy the world’s deadliest assassins with awesome wrestling moves and wild charisma – would. Well he’s back and so are his — (wait for it) ‘desperate struggles’; but feel bad for the opposition people because this time it’s personal for Travis.

______________________________________________________________________
BioShock 2: [Releases 2/9/10]

And you thought it was over, didn’t you? Don’t worry, so did I. Not that I’m ungrateful mind you; I look forward to once again dive under the sea, infiltrate Rapture and mix it up with enemies that are a combination of X-Men mutants and meth addicts. However this time around players get to roll as one the most imposing forces in the game; a big daddy – actually the first big daddy. While he traverses what remains of the fallen utopia, players will discover the many mysteries that persist there that didn’t end with Ryan.

______________________________________________________________________
Heavy Rain: [Releases 2/23/10]

There is a killer; cold and calculating, call Origami. The Origami Killer has killed many and will kill again unless someone steps forward. In Heavy Rain players take up four characters with the task of stopping the Origami Killer. What makes this game unique is that it is done in the style of a choose your own adventure flavor with an added twitch element. Players must think fast and choose their reactions well because a bad choice will get a character killed, permanently… So what will you choose?

– Be scared and run away.

– Be intimatdated because it’s not a FPS.

– Be excited and count the days until the game launches

______________________________________________________________________
Battlefield Bad Company 2: [Releases 3/2/10]

Now I’m torn about this game, I loved the single player experience where it follows (through the eyes of the rookie of course) the misadventures of B(ad) Company taking down enemies in the name of Uncle Sam and a personal payday of gold bricks. What I didn’t like was the multiplayer which was clusterfreak ‘o failure; though I’m sure people will disagree with me. Regardless BBC:2 is coming out soon so that means a strong militaristic FPS in the vain of the Battlefield series. It boasts new maps, vehicle combat, building destruction, different play modes, and the like. Which is fine and all, but I hope B company return is just as detail oriented as the rest otherwise I’ll be really disappointed. But to its credit, it is really good looking.

______________________________________________________________________
Final Fantasy XIII (That’s 13, if anyone’s wondering) [Releases 3/9/10]

In general I like the Final Fantasy series (FF 8, 11 and 12, not so much) but I’m not quite the rabid fanboy some are; so finding out this game was only a couple of months away from launch was a bit of a shock. Also I know next to nothing about the story, and the characters don’t quite interest me either to speak plainly. Despite all of this however, FFXIII still makes my list because I would be a fool to ignore it. I just hope it will have some substance under that hi-def style, we’ll see soon.

______________________________________________________________________
Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening [Releases 3/16/10]

Dragon Age owns me. I love this game, so much so that I’ve filled up all my required characters slots – and people that’s never happened to me before. There’s just so much to see, do, and experience I can’t decide which record to stick with. It only got worst when I’ve obtained the DLCs (I’m still waiting for Return to Ostagar), now I’ve come to find out they’re releasing this expansion pack. BioWare – for all that’s good, please stop making dynamite content so rapidly. I’m already behind in my other games thanks to you (who got time for modern warfare when darkspawns’ about), now with Awakening I won’t be eating either – thanks a lot.

______________________________________________________________________
God of War III: [Releases 3/16/10]

This is the 3rd in a rather blood and hedonistic series of games. Kratos, one ashy brotha, isn’t just satisfied with iceing the god of war but now he’s after the king baby – Zeus. Over his head, not with an army of PO’ed titans on his side (for now); and of course is Kratos armed with the most power weapons in the mythical grecian world. Sadly, a fully-powered Kratos doesn’t last very long in the sequels. Worry not, with Kratos’ luck something bigger and badder is always located in the nearest enemies’ skull.

______________________________________________________________________
Just Cause 2: [Releases 3/23/10]

Rico Rodriguez is back; grappling hook, parachute and all. I’ll admit the first game was pretty corny; even for a video game, but fun, no question. I think this game will be more realistic (by video game standards at least) this time around, but don’t quote me on that. Even if it’s not however; I’ll still look forward to all the frantic ways I can sky jack a fighter plane and how best to turn it loose on the 3rd world country (mwa ha ha).

______________________________________________________________________
Splinter Cell: Conviction [Releases 4/1/10]

Ah poor Sam Fisher, things seems to go bad to worse for the man; his daughter dies in a hit-n-run and since the last game (Double Agent) he becomes public enemy number one. However Fisher ain’t the kind of guy who goes quietly into the night, now that’s he out of a job he’s going to use all that military bad-asslery to find his daughter’s killer and have a little ‘chat’. But if you don’t think this too won’t tie into some secret conspiracy to take over through the government, you’re crazy.

______________________________________________________________________
Super Street Fighter IV [Releases 4/27/2010]

One of the happiest resent memories I have is when Street Fighter IV came out and showed the world how a fighter is supposed to be. It had it all: awesome characters, impressive modes, passable story, and killer online play. I didn’t think it could get any better but I was wrong. With the coming of Super Street Fighter IV not only will players get all of classic IV’s excellence but added (and much appreciated) characters, new finishers, online modes and more. My fingers throb with anticipation, shinku hadoken!

______________________________________________________________________
Alan Wake: [Releases 5/18/2010]

Writers, has this ever happen to you: You are one the best writers in the country, but have contracted massive writer’s block for over two years. So you and your wife decide to take trip into the country for some R&R and reconnect to riting –er writing. Well next thing you know wifee’ gone and weird shiza is going down at the town you were staying at. Now the strangest thing is that everything that’s happing now follows a book you wrote – only you don’t remember writing it. Never happened to you, you say? It will this April.

______________________________________________________________________
Red Dead Redemption: [Releases 5/18/2010]

I love the future (2010, duh) but sometimes I long for a simpler time; where all a man needed to settle a disagreement was to shoot someone in the face. Ok, not in real life, but in games definitely. Well here comes Red Dead Redemption to help cure me of my modern life-itis is by taking me (other players with the same affliction) to the wildest of the west. Be a lone ranger righting wrongs, an outlaw causing chaos or something in between. Just bring a six-shooter, your trusty steed, and your best Clint Eastwood impression because you’ll need them partner.

______________________________________________________________________
Crackdown 2: [Releases 7/6/2010]

Ok, so you play a nameless authoritarian peacekeeper that lays the smack on thugs, mutates and anything that looks at you cross-eyed. Using conventional weapons, vehicles and — of course SUPERPOWERS! Pick up MACK trucks and throw them at anyone you don’t like, chase down the fastest car – on foot, leap tall building – that’s sort da thing. It’s because of this that made the first Crackdown a breakout hit (well that, and the ending). I have no doubt that the sequel is going to be just as good, if not completely awesome.

______________________________________________________________________
Alpha Protocol: [Releases 6/1/10]

James Bond (not the new one), Jack Bauer, Jason Bourne (a lot of JB’s here.) or whatever your spy/infiltrator of choice players can now put them all to shame and blaze your own trail of daring-do behind the scenes in Alpha Protocol the espionage rpg. Take up the mantle of Michael Thorton, an agent tasked with the job of finding out who downed an airliner with a U.S. missile and how to stop them from doing it again. From there it’s all up to you; be direct, be stealthy, be a user, be abuser, follow orders or don’t – just complete the mission.

______________________________________________________________________
Dead Rising 2: [Releases 8/31/10]

This game should be called ‘Zombies – and how to kill them 2’. This time around you don’t play as a journalist in a mall, more rather a motocross champ in Las Ve—er, I mean ‘Fortune City’. Gambling and zombie murder? Sign me up.

______________________________________________________________________
Halo Reach [Releases 9/1/10]

Ladies and Gentlemen: if there’s one thing I hate in the entire world its prequels. Hate it in movies and I hate it in games; they’re cop-outs to the fans and they don’t push the story forward – just stagnates them. However since in this case its Halo we’re talking about I’ll ignore it, for now (but they’re pushing it – see ODST). Fortunately every new full Halo game makes the series better in one way or another, especially in the multiplayer arena. So odds are we’re all in for a lot of long nights, shouting obscenities, to people we don’t even know this fall.

______________________________________________________________________
Epic Mickey [Releases 11/1/10]

Mario and Mickey Mouse; the two icons people should know whether they’re 8 or 80. Mario keeps himself busy but Mickey not so much, that changes November. Epic Mickey, brought to you by Warren Spector, will destroy any and all preconceptions of the mouse you thought you knew. Somehow Mickey destroyed the cartoon world Yen Sid (the wizard from fantasia) created for retired Disney characters including Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, the ‘original’ Disney mascot. Well now it’s up to the mega mouse and his magical brush to set things right… Or not. This game’s going to be one for the ages.