Sunday, July 3, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up in Gaming - June 27 - July 3

I've actually got a few games to talk about this week, so hey, here we go!

Clearly, as indicated above, the first game I'm going to discuss here is inFamous 2, which I just beat on my evil karma runthrough last night, meaning I've experienced both sides of the story.  And, aside from a few dead drops, I would say I've experienced the whole of the story, which means I think I'm fairly qualified to talk about it here, in broad strokes of course, to prevent spoilers.  Of course, if you just don't want anything influencing your take and haven't beaten it yet, do go ahead and skip down to the picture of LittleBigPlanet 2 for that section.

First off, the evil ending has actually forced me to amend my statement of "Nothing is wrong with this game" to "Okay, there's a couple things wrong with this game".  I don't know if it's because there wasn't this big, game-changing revelation at the end to mimic the first game, or the 'finality' both endings bring (in their own ways), but it just felt like it was flopped about.  inFamous 1 clearly gave us a game that knew it wasn't going to be the only one of the series, whereas, to me, it felt like inFamous 2 sort of wanted to get everything in and end it, much like some would say other games have done (MGS4 for example), and while I don't agree with that as a blanket statement, I feel like it happened here, and it didn't work.

While I did like the theatrics present in both endings, in all I just didn't like the story those theatrics presented, not only because they gave that sense of finality, but because they gave a bit of finality even though there's obviously still more story to be had here.  There is a fairly obvious hanging thread of story left by the time the game closes, and while it's not a big one, it's big enough to notice and likely big enough to hook into for the next game, should they choose to do one.  (Which they should, given that they're actually not making Sly 4, lazy bums.)  (I'm kidding.)  I guess it does speak for the game, in that they managed to really try and change the tone so it wouldn't be 'more of the same' like most people will complain about in sequels, but maybe they did a bit too much.

And another, quick little complaint I have, is that they still haven't figured out how to properly trigger a goddamn "Hard" mode trophy.  Look, Sucker Punch.  Just because I didn't set it to hard until after the tutorial fight at the beginning doesn't mean I didn't play through the entire goddamn game on Hard, so give me my goddamn trophy.

Still, it's a fantastic game, and I certainly don't regret the money I put into it.  And if inFamous 3 were announced tomorrow, my hype meter would be off-the-charts.

I did put some more time into LittleBigPlanet 2 this week, not only because it's the only thing my Nephews want to watch, but because I'm on the ever-ongoing journey towards acing the entire story.  While I only added a few spades to the badges on my planets, those spades (indicators of Aced levels, if you didn't know) were hard-fought and they indicate that I'm that much closer.  And as I mentioned at the start of the week, I've been dabbling back into the level creation aspects but I don't have much to show for it -just- yet.  As always, once I do, I'll likely be posting it up here first.

It's amazing to me, the depth that LittleBigPlanet 2 offers everyone, simply because I can go into the MM Picks tab or the Cool Levels Tab, pick any level there and be absolutely blown away by what I get there.  The looks of some of the levels, the designs oftentimes leave me wondering just what in the hell they did to make it look so beautiful and how I can do that.  It's a sort of humbleness that isn't exactly harmful, but it's humbling nonetheless and really does sometimes kick you in the gut, because you can make a level, sure, but it's not going to be -that level- that you just played.  Still, if you get your own level good enough, it might just be -that level- for someone else, and that's always the hope.

The only real frustration with LBP and LBP2 for me lies in the collection aspect, if merely because you have some levels that take forever to navigate, with four people, just so you can trigger some thing at the very end of it to get one or two items.  There's a little unbalance with the effort : reward ratio, is basically what I'm getting at, and while it's fun playing with friends, I would more prefer it to be optional; something you don't have to worry about when you just want to gad about in levels with your pals.  Of course, the netcode is a matter of contention as well.  I'm not sure how much improved LBP2's is now, as when I played it online it was merely okay at best, but then again, that was directly after it launched.  Still, just a little complaint in the face of such a light-hearted, fun game.

The last game I can talk about here is Phantasy Star Portable 2, which I sort of fell back into playing thanks to the lack of computer for however long that was.  I've been playing it since and have found that I'm in that rut where the enemies you can defeat give you jack-all for EXP, whereas the enemies who give you a good bit of EXP will knock you flat on your ass with one hit simply because the gear available hasn't caught up to the challenge necessary.  That's probably the only time it's really just not fun to play the game (Same as it was back with Phantasy Star Online) and unfortunately leads to a lot of "Well, I'm done" feelings and falling out.  We'll see how it goes with me, but I don't know.

The prospect of getting to a similar level to my PSO character does seem nice, but at the same time, that's a looooong gap between where I am (83) and where my old character was (somewhere in the 100s, maybe upwards of 120).  Not only numerically, but just in the amount of time each one of those levels will take, barring some better gear.  But I jumped that hump last time, I can do it again!

That's about it for this week's games.  I did play a couple other things, but nothing that I could talk about at length here.  Until next time!  Whenever that may be.


  1. I too feel your pain regarding the Hard mode trophy on inFamous 2. It's like, c'mon - if the game itself changes the difficulty on you during the tutorial fight to hard mode because of your performance - and you play through the rest of the game without changing it back to normal - you should get the fucking trophy!

    On the other hand, I loved the endings, particularly the Evil side one. I just thought it was emotionally spectacular.

  2. Yeah, I just read that in your Best of 2011 (so far) post and had a chuckle about it, since I thought it was kinda funny how we both posted about it, yet on different ends of the spectrum, technically.

    I will say, like I did in the above, that I loved the theatrics (and the thematic choices in them) of the endings, and I did get emotional during the Evil ending as well. But my issue lies in that I was saying to myself "Why?" during both, for quite different reasons, strictly because of where the story went.

    Without saying too much, I guess the parts I was asking "Why?" to are the same parts that kind of made it feel like they're trying to make it seem like there's no -need- for an inFamous 3. Again, in their own ways. But I do.

    I need inFamous 3.
    And I'm just sort of questioning how that's going to come about without giving me something to yell "DO NOT WANT" about.

  3. Another bone of contention I have is more or less how The Beast was handled. I'm probably just going to have to write up a big post about it, with spoilers, just to get this all out in the open, because I can't really think of how to dance around not spoiling anything for anyone reading these things.

  4. Can I just say I totally called The Beast's identity like, three years ago? Called it.

    And yeah, the thought of there being no inFamous 3 is a terrifying one - and the original inFamous's ending (like Darksiders' was an amazing example of how a game can set up a sequel and have a fantastic, satisfying ending - but I also was rather impressed that Sucker Punch went the rout they did.

    I mean, there is sorta' still room for a sequel - but I love that they didn't go half-measure about it. They told precisely the story they wanted to tell, and didn't screw it up by leaving the door open to inFamous 3.

    What I think would really blow our minds is if they put out inFamous 3 and it was essentially two different games, two different campaigns in two different versions of the inFamous universe.

    I doubt they would, of course. I'd be happy just to take the Good Ending as canon and go from there.

  5. Yeah, a dual-campaign game where they're truly different games would be fantastic, but realistically I think taking the Good ending of inFamous 2 is the only way to really make an inFamous 3. Technically you still could with the Evil ending

    As a side note, I really am going to be doing a write-up about the ending and, really, the overall story, but I want it to be as friendly to people who don't want to be spoiled as possible. Do you know how you can set a post to be like, you can only read past a certain point if you actually open the article itself, rather than just look at the blog? Sort of like a "click to read more" or 'spoiler tags' I guess.

    I want to be able to make it very clear to click at your own caution, since I won't be dancing around anything.