I'm between major reviews and I've got a little time to game casually. I usually look forward to times like this, but at the moment, I'm having problems getting into a groove with anything.
I started with Knights Contract, and despite all of the intensely negative word-of-mouth it's been getting, I actually kind of liked It.
That's not to say that the criticisms aren't fair, but apparently I haven't hit the "really bad" parts yet. I also think the escort mechanic is interesting idea and the magic system is lightweight fun, too. I'd estimate I got about halfway through before I got distracted, and now that some time has passed, I'm feeling kind of meh about getting back into it.
I also spent about two hours with Bulletstorm the other day, hoping that something a little more action-packed would get me going, but the game didn't click with me at all.
It's not that I actively disliked it or anything like that, but I noticed that I was bored almost immediately and I'm not currently in the frame of mind to put up with anything that's not grabbing me after an hour or two. It seemed like a fine enough game, but very little about it stood out to me in any significant way. The story was thin, I didn't connect with the characters, and the whip and skill shots didn't get me jazzed enough to overlook the fact that I was shooting the same group of mutants a million times in a row.
Finally, I jumped into Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. I've never been the biggest fan of the series but I have to admit that I was a little curious to see where the storyline would go. The science fiction/historical mash-up is a cool thing in my mind, and the ending to Assassin's Creed 2 was a bold cliffhanger… I'm not devoted to the series, but I figured I had very little to lose by giving it a whirl. After about three hours with the game, I'm split between pushing forward and kicking it to the curb.
I've heard from people that having the team of assassins and using the crossbow are cool, but I haven't gotten either of those things yet. Everything I've seen so far has been a carbon copy of the stuff I grew tired of in the last game and I've been hoping like hell that some of the new elements would start popping up sooner rather than later. I'm willing to put in some time to further the story and try out the new spins on gameplay, but I don't think I'm going to put in much more unless the game starts throwing me a couple bones.
Also, I just have to say that it is a little annoying to me to see that the game is so completely up its own ass with the Animus and clunky menu system. I mean, I get that the devs are trying to connect the game's structure to its concept, but it took me twenty minutes to figure out how to get back to the main storyline after restarting an earlier mission, and that sort of confusion should never happen. Fancy ideas are fancy, but let's keep it simple with regard to basic functionality, okay guys?
I haven't bailed on the game yet, but I'm definitely getting close… I suppose I should just pack it in, watch the story bits on YouTube, and get back to Lost Odyssey—but that's another title that's lost momentum for me. Pausing in the middle of a long RPG is a no-no, for sure. Still, I enjoyed that one more than the other three I mentioned combined, so I should probably just suck it up and take advantage of the free time before the end-of-year rush hits.
SIGH… It's just one of those "nothing seems good" weeks, ya know?
Just a quick update to the PSN "missing games" situation.
After a couple of e-mails back and forth with Sony customer service, it was discovered that Locoroco had actually been purchased by my wife, which was why it wasn't showing up in my purchase history. I had completely forgotten that she even had a profile on the old PS3, so that one was on me. My bad.
However, there's been no explanation as to what happened to Super Rub-A-Dub. My wife didn't buy that one and it still isn't showing up in my purchase history. Sony's response is basically "you never bought it" which I know isn't true, but at this point it doesn't seem like there's anything else I can do about it besides accept the fact that it's gone.
This is the first time I've had a downloaded game completely vanish with no means of recovery, and I'm not quite sure what to make of that. It seems to be some sort of anomaly since the vast majority of my purchases are still on record with the various online services, but I have to admit that the experience has shaken me. I'm not interested in "buying" things that may go bye-bye through no fault of my own, but at the same time, any critic not participating in the download scene isn't much of a critic at all.
I guess the only thing to do from this point on is simply hope that it never happens again, but then my next question is: what happens when we transition to the next generation?
I've spent a lot of money on downloaded games (and so have a lot of other people) and I'm now genuinely curious as to how "permanent" those purchases will be once current hardware is rendered obsolete… I don't have any answers at the moment, but it's certainly something to think about.
Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody's looking, and his favorite game of all time is a toss-up between the first Mass Effect and The Witcher 3. You can catch his written work here at GameCritics and you can hear him weekly on the @SoVideogames Podcast. Follow Brad on Twitter and Instagram at @BradGallaway, or contact him via email:
bradgallaway a t gmail dot com