Heavy Rain (PS3) Review

Indigo Prophecy

For the long line of games for the Playstation 3 games coming out with things starting off with “Heavy Rain” ! For the past few weeks I have been playing this game addictived in high doses and playing for hours in one setting. It is just so amazing, I’ve never really experienced a cinematic thrilling game like this! French developers “Quantic Dream” has done an amazing job and I give them props for making such a great game. You may know Quantic Dream if you played titles like “Indigo Prophecy” on PC, PS2 and Xbox which Heavy Rain has a similar concept and style of play. Indigo Prophecy and Omikron (Nomad Souls on Dreamcast) were good games but always arriving late on generation line. Which gets over run by newer games and people put more focus on that, I’m glad they manage to release Heavy Rain at a good time where they finally get some recognition and honor. This review may contain minor beginning spoilers.

[Story]: The story starts out peacefully for Ethan Mars a loving father with two sons and a wife. Happily living in solemn peaceful life as an architect. His life changes forever since his first son dies and his life splits apart in to poverty and despair. With only one son he fears his past and hope not to lose him again till one fateful day he went missing, to the hands of the “Origami Killer”. The Origami Killings has been going out throughout the world of Heavy Rain as brutal murders happening to many children left dead with markings and an only trace of an Origami figure on one hand. That is the only trace of the killer. Ethan isn’t the only character you control through the game there is other protagonists that follow through the story with their own bio and role in the mystery. As you can control worried father, beautiful insomniac journalist Madison, Private eye detective Scott Shelby and a FBI agent Norman Jayden. As they play out their roles it all intertwines slowly together but each time you play the game it is different for everyone. Base on decisions you make how the story turns out. So there is multiple replay values in finding out the Origami Killer case.

[Graphics]: As I put up some screenshots of the game, you can see how fascinating the settings are and how flourescent. Everything you see in the game is in game graphics and not different from the cutscenes. The whole images and visuals is all there and it is truly amazing. I just feel deeply lost in Heavy Rain’s atmosphere. The world feel like it is full of life when walking through a crowded area and every npc feels different and full of everyday motion. You can be running through the rain and you can see how nature interacts with environment as your character clothes get darken and wet. The Nature, physics, architect and art is just so magnificent! Even the character models are by far one of the greatest I ever seen in game. The engine gives them very human tones such as blush, skin tone, sweat and moisture. It just makes them so real and you watch your characters give emotion as near real as it can get. The game runs very smoothly and perfectly, not many tears or frame drops.

[Gameplay]: Heavy Rain is a chapter leveled linear game, it isn’t open world or back trackable. You have actions you can do with objects around you by pressing the corresponding buttons on the screen. Using playstation six axis motion, the game can sense pressure and movements to make the game feel a little bit more innovative and interactive. Which is kind of unique but sounds like something that would fit more on the Wii’s motion or the upcoming playstation Move technology. Yet the Playstation 3 is a fitting platform for the title with it’s amazing power and six axis in my opinion. Each chapter you play as a different character with their thoughts that can help guide you or give hints in each setting, communication options and etc. To make this gaming experience your own unique play through which makes replaying a whole different perspective you play it.

[Sound]: Heavy Rain presents to you a very rich sounding experience. With emotional music that fits every piece with music composed by “Norman Corbeil” and other musicians. The American version of the game presents you different language options from English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. Although you may be hearing people opinions about how the english sucks and how things are pronounced funny. Well to be fair I think they are over exaggerating a bit, yeah the game didn’t have support for American Voice actors but done it splendidly with French and British voice actors on the scene. You may hear a leak of British and French accents but the voice is by far really great, better than most games that use Americans voice actors itself.

Heavy Rain is an unique new experience on the PS3 that invents it own style and story told like none before. It’s a game that shouldn’t be passed and at least tried once. Those new to the noirish mystery genre it may be a rent but those who love rich story it’s a buy in my say.

*Reviewed on March, 24, 2010*

– Richard

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Assassin’s Creed II Review

So the holiday season is coming up and I played and beaten two games this month. I checked out Assassin’s Creed 2 on the Xbox 360. Where I finally got my hands on it and able continue on the Assassin’s Legacy so let me give you my impressions on this game.

A nice view of the Villa. 

Assassin’s Creed 2]

First off I’ll start talking about Assassin’s Creed 2 on the 360. Before the game was released I thought it was going to be same old repetitive run and kill with the first game. The thing that kept me going onto the second game was the storyline, I have to admit the story is pretty impressive how they can fit non-fiction story with history and how it could be all be a conspiracy. So yeah taken from the first game you start off as the character “Desmond Miles” back in the Animas tracing his family tree through the eyes of a new ancestor. Etzio Firenzie Auditore in Renaissance Italy tracing clues back to the history of the first game. Well not to try to give out much of the story away I have to admit it is good and the momentum builds up.

The gameplay is pretty much solid as the first one but a few new tweaks to it. Battle system, equipment systems, and customizations has changed a bit… Yet not has much changed to the fighting and I was a bit Disappointed as the battles felt the same just that the enemies just took longer to kill. Yet you can learn new moves and new ways to fight but, it’s all not necessary as you can still counter attack on the chance or disarm a heavy armed soldier to kill them easily. I was hoping for a more newer fluid battle system. You can increase your performance by buying new armor to increase health and new weapons for damage also learn new moves from your battle trainer. You can pickpocket, blend near people to hide and even could invest in shops to may daily income.

Even though the battle may feel a bit familiar and the same but, the way you play isn’t the same. As you don’t get repetitive side quests until you wait further orders for an Assassination mission. You get a more redeeming style of quests in Assassin’s Creed 2 which is a big improvement to keep feeding the players to keep moving on. Missions don’t feel the same as you are given more obstacles, objectives and take on more action it makes the game more fun in my opinion.You can take on side missions, Contracts, find tombs and collect things.

The graphics are very renovating. As you have Renaissance Italy nicely scaled and detailed every block around the corner, you feel you are actually there and the towns feel lively. Everywhere you go it feels like you have never seen it before and you keep want to explore around. Voice acting is top notch all actors have a good tone and have rich Italian accent. Mixed with some Italian and mostly English dialogue, the voice acting is promising and I didn’t have any problems with it.

To wrap this up, I enjoyed the Assassin’s Creed a lot and glad at Ubisoft for improving the game. If you weren’t impressed with the first give the second one a chance. The game took me roughly around 10-14 hours rushing the story and probably 30 hours if you like collecting everything and getting the achievements. It’s a guarantee good buy but if your only going for the story it’s a good rent!

*Reviewed on December, 22, 2009*

– Richard

Bayonetta Review

Bayonetta

Hideki Kamiya the man who brought you Devil May Cry, brings you a new thrilling climatic action packed game Bayonetta! I’ve been waiting to get my hands on this game since TGS 07 and finally it’s here and I manage to get my hands it came out on US release date. Haven’t really got to played when I got but, I finally settled down and beaten the game. It was a joyful experience and I will explain it in a bit in this review post.

[Story]

I find Bayonetta concept a bit interesting and unique. The story of the game takes place in a paralleled world between earth and purgatory where you play as the main Character “Bayonetta” who lost all of her memories except all of her skills of a witch. Where she is pursuing her past in search of what happen between her and the two clans. The game shows flashbacks in each of the missions or so bringing you closer to the mystery bit by bit. Yet I feel like if I reveal any more of the story it might contain a bit of spoilers. The story is kind of quite interesting but it doesn’t build heavy momentum as the game has a lot humor and innuendos. So personally I can’t take the game seriously and enjoy all the erotic behavior of Bayonetta’s sense of humor.

PS3 Bayonetta with artbook and soundtrack.

[Sound]

The sound quality of Bayonetta is very good and no problems with the game. The game doesn’t have Japanese voice acting at all but, overall the English voice acting isn’t bad. Personally I love the British accent of Bayonetta and it’s done pretty well and the other characters has some good voice actors too. As for voice acting let’s not forget about the game soundtrack, the game features some pretty unique classy songs as cover songs of Frank Sinatra and some jazzy music. Which goes great for Bayonetta’s personality and goes with the flow with the battles. Great soundtrack if your into classic retro music redefine in a more pop kind of way. You can the soundtrack sold separately for a price as much as the game for maybe around 40-49.99. But it comes with about 150 tracks and might be more than you hope for especially for true fans.

[Graphics]

I was very fond of the art and style of the game. As I liked roaming through the flourishing colorful environments with polished lighting and shadows around the world. The game has different areas from a 1940’s architectural cities to erupting luminescent volcanoes and to reaches beyond. The worlds are outstanding and realistically detailed, running smoothly. Each level is nicely scaled and not hard to loose track or sight of where you are going. Well as there has been quite a talk about consoles comparison, Platinum Games the developer of Bayonetta originally worked on the Xbox 360 version as Sega did a port to the Playstation 3 console. Yet there might be a difference between the two. With Xbox 360 have cleaner shaped world with less frames dropping and faster loading times, with the PS3 with some grainy colors, different tone of lighting and some loading times. It still runs goods for both console and still a game to pick for whatever you have. Nothing seriously wrong that makes the game seem broken, but there might be chance for a fix on the PS3 version to improve visuals.

Bayonetta’s Climax moves were you can pull of Demonic combos on your enemies.

[Gameplay]

This must be the part that everyone been waiting for to here about Bayonetta as Hideki Kamiya director of the successful Devil May Cry was known for. I find the game controls easy to be adjusted to and the learning curve of the game to be simple as other games to compare such as DMC and Ninja Gaiden. Even New beginners of the game could pick it up right away and learn the controls less than a minute, you can even practice your moves with helpful tutorials on the side in loading screens or practice mode. As beating the game on Normal it wasn’t that hard and it was fairly simple as the combos and evasions were easy to get use to. Along with weapons combinations, upgrades and techniques which you buy from the “Gates of Hell” store in the game. There isn’t too many puzzles or upgrades/skill trees you really need to know which makes it good for a beginner. Great combos, evading enemy attacks to activate witch time and counter with moves is a great added feature which makes the game revolutionizing. you earn awards, gain scores, medals and prizes at the end of each level so you can compare to friends and people all over the world or buy costumes and upgrades. The game is really fun and game play is easy like I said it doesn’t take a veteran or genius to get started right away. It’s re playable as there is things you can unlock with costumes, bonuses and people looking for a more harder experiences try the getting all the achievements on playing it hard.

Overall, The game is rewarding and a must have for hardcore Hack n Slash fans. But the game lacked some obstacles such as puzzles which I hope for and was pretty short. Yet I highly recommend it for people to try it out as it’s a Climatic action packed thrilled game. This game is worth a buy if your a person who enjoys action again and again with some new features to improve game experience.

*Reviewed on January, 2010*

– Richard

Sugoi Waffles Podcast episode 1: Fallout New Vegas Impression show!

The Sugoi Waffles crew did a podcast of the upcoming anticipated game Fallout New Vegas developed by Obsidian and published by Bethesda Softworks. Here each member played through their first New Vegas run and give their impressions of the game. We have three members recording; Richard, Nathan and Will. Enjoy!

*Recorded on Oct, 23, 2010*

Download: Sugoi Waffles Podcast ep 1 Fallout New Vegas Impressions

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