Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cleaning up; worst of the year 3

Please note that the change of my Now Playing picture does not actually mean that I am done playing Skyrim. On the contrary, I am always playing Skyrim, every other day at least. At around sixty five hours I have just about wrapped up the dark brotherhood quest line (it was not nearly as good as its Oblivion counterpart) and am ready to move on the joining the Stormcloaks and taking a crack at the mages guild. By the time I get to the main quest I predict that I will be around level 50 and able to one shot giants. The fact that most enemies do not level with you does make returning to old areas and destroying things that once gave you trouble fun, but I hope that I this cake walk does not include the main quest.

Who am I kidding, I killed the final boss in Oblivion with two arrows, a record I am looking to beat this time around.

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Rayman Origins is, to be blunt, brilliant. It looks like I am playing a high definition Saturday morning cartoon, controls better than any side scrolling platformer I have played in two console generations, hits all the major level tropes and does them better than Nintendo has done in years, throws in a few bits reminiscent of 'Spolosion Man for good measure (and to keep you honest because the are damn hard) and it is an absolute shame that it has yet to crack 500,000 in sales. I have no idea how much this cost Ubisoft to produce, but I have my doubts that a puny 500k will generate enough scratch to fund a second game.

The only complaint that I can come with is the sound which crosses the line between cure and ear puncturingly annoying just a little too often. But hey, it's French, so it makes sense that it mixes in a little annoyance to temper the awesomeness.

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I will collect these into one post later, but game one of my worst of the year goes to Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime. There are quite a few things to complain about here, but I am going to focus on something that actually prevented me from finishing the game. Sanctum of Slime was designed as a four player cooperative game. This it and of itself is not a problem, as more and more games these days have the audacity to encourage the player to interact with actual people (not in person, thank goodness). Most games throw a bone to the lonely by rebalancing things for one person or making the AI that controls the human-less toons smart enough to get the job done. For example, Gear of War 3 did a reasonable job keep the computer controlled members of my squad out of my way during the action and close enough to raise me when I got careless and had my torso separated from the rest of my body. My experience was not lessened because I prefer to play games by myself.



Sanctum of Slime, through either ignorance or incompetence, does none of this. If you are unlucky enough to play by yourself no adjustments are made to either the number or difficulty of ghosts to bust. On top of that the companion AI is idiotic. They aren't just suicidal, they are completely oblivious to your needs as well. If and when they do notice that the actual player, the person who paid cash money for game, is in trouble they will walk in a straight line to help, usually getting killed in the process. Sanctum of Slime is worse than just a waste of a license. It is willfully awful it its own right, and has earned the number three spot in my worst of the year.

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