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My Review: Darksiders

It’s finally here! My first attempt at a legitimate review so let’s see how it goes…

I popped Darksiders into my PS3 and expected something to the likes of Dante’s Inferno or God of War. I was pleasantly surprised though to receive something.. how can one say, much more fulfilling? Having still to play GOW3, please don’t judge, I am going to rate it on its own merits and not in comparison. And believe me, there are many merits from which to choose.

In the game you play the fabled character of War. One of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. You get thrown right into the fray and also literally right into the end of the world, as far as biblical scripture is concerned at least. As the introductory movie ends you find yourself in a city enveloped by chaos. Devils and angels are fighting it out in an epic world end struggle and you quickly find yourself in the middle of it as the horsemen has been summoned. But something is wrong, you seem to have only a fraction of the strength you should. This leads to a rollercoaster epic journey through biblical myth and mythology as a age old conspiracy slowly unveils itself.

The storyline itself is well balanced with loads of twists and turns that will keep you interested. The game play itself is fun and pretty much a straight forward hack and slash game to the effect of GOW and Dante’s inferno. Throughout the game you are presented with an array of primary and secondary weapons as well as some handy tools to help you traverse the landscape. Lots of upgrades and customizations are also available, some very useful others not so much. You even have a very Dante  like scythe to cut your enemies into little pieces. One problem that I found in the other two games is the repetitive nature of the fighting. Although fun and enjoyable it does tend to get tedious and almost forces you to take a breather every now and again. With Darksiders I did not get confronted with this problem, mainly due to its unique use of levels and the occasional interesting flying or third person shooter segments. This helps to keeps things fresh and seemingly seems to pop up at just the right moments. Similar to the other two games there are puzzles to solve and tricky terrain traverse and find your way through, but the game mostly succeeds in balancing the challenging and the fun aspects and I enjoyed not having the urge to slam my PS3 through the wall at every second puzzle.

My main problem with the game is the boss battles. Where this game handles the problem of repetition pretty well, here it fails horribly. I actually at one point started dreading boss battles for they tend to be very long and very REPETITIVE. Though most of them aren’t necessarily hard or even too frustrating, the sheer repetition often leads to boredom taking away from the overall good feel the rest of the game present you. Here I am particularly referring to the battle with Tiamat, one of the first and probably the hardest bosses in my opinion. Strangely enough though they do tend to become a little more interesting towards the end and even slightly less repetitive, almost as if the game is learning from its earlier mistakes as you progress. Hmm peculiar o_0.

All in all Darksiders is one of those games that will draw you in and build you up along with its story. By the time you reach the final part of the game, you will be ready for it to end. Not because you want it to, but because it carries you all the way with it to the end and like a good novel or movie and will leave you shivering with expectation, to find out what will happen next. Darksiders fulfils my one ultimate prerequisite for rating a game as great. It leaves me in anticipation, counting down the days and carefully watching pre-order dates for the next one. With action packed game play, interesting and cleverly designed dungeons, a good story line and a sequel following hot on its heels. Darksiders is a must play.

Overall rating 8.5

Feel free to comment below and share your own Darksider expieriences!

Also see my updated review at http://lazyassgamer.com/darksiders-review

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In Summary: Skyrim and its Baggage

 

As I mentioned in my previous post this was the first game I bought for myself in making my comeback in to the gaming universe. In many ways there was no better way to do it. First of all this was one of the most anticipated game in 2011  and secondly on a more personal note, I am a huge Oblivion fan. So my return could not be more poetic. Skyrim is then Oblivion’s inevitable offspring, did it live up to its predecessor, or yet surpassed it as Bethesda promised it would?  In my own humble opinion? No, it did not. The following post will consist of a few comments on what I have experienced as the failings of the Elder Scrolls latest instalment.

Now before I go on I would first like to declare a disclaimer of sorts. First off, Skyrim is an excellent game. It got a lot of very good reviews most of which were well deserved. I myself was never disappointed in having coff’d up the R600 to buy it as new. The following then is more like a cry into oblivion(so to speak :D?) of what is wrong and more importantly what caused that by next year this time, Skyrim will be lying nicely on my shelf gathering dust, long forgotten by me. While Oblivion is still gathering flames of life and reminding me of my abundance of visits to fair Cyrodiil half a decade after its release.

One major critique that I had of Oblivion was the fighting. Attacking someone felt like you were beating an empty metallic drum with a poker. It felt fake and hollow. This was one of my most anticipated corrections to Skyrim and they did not disappoint. But as the one side of the scale lifts the other side dips though and they managed to mess up the magic system. Yes some might like it and other would despise it. It looks nice and theoretically sounds good but I have played most of the game thus far with a sword and shield and hardly used any magic. Just because it unpractical, especially on a console. The other thing that irritated me most in this sense is the blocking. Personally I like blocking, it keeps me alive. If I have only a sword in one hand, I can block, if I have a fireball in the other I can’t. What up with that?

The second critique I will deliver is perhaps one of the biggest failings of Skyrim. This is the shallowness of certain parts of the game. Where this is most applicable is in the ‘Guild missions’. A part of the game that certainly was one the favourites in Oblivion, especially the Dark Brotherhood. Where in Oblivion I got so immersed in the Dark Brotherhood’s story, it almost felt like a separate game, in Skyrim it was sadly short, with very unbalanced missions. Some were fun, while others were just plain boring. The same critiques stretches across the other guilds. Ironically the one I did last turned out to be the mage guild and I enjoyed that one the most, even though I mostly sword and shielded may way though it anyway.

The last critique I will deliver is especially relevant to the PS3 community. This is the general state of the game when released and the subsequent upkeep of patches that are supposed to fix things. While Bethesda’s games are a bit prone to minor glitch’ing here and there, this is mostly forgivable because of the vast gaming worlds they create. This does not explain why Skyrim is essentially broken. It had severe lag issues, with a lag that increases the further you get into the game. I am currently near the end now have had to stop playing because it became simple unplayable. It also has a tendency to freeze and the only way to fix this is to actually pull out the power to start up again. A lot of people I know actually stopped playing for fear of damage to their consoles. Bethesda has been very slow in response to this. Patches released so far has actually worsened it. Patch 1.2 promised to address some of the lag issues but merely managed to make the dragons fly backwards and other also seemed to cause more chaos than cure. Patch 1.4 has been released recently and this was the big one supposed to fix the horrid lag that haunts PS3 users. Although I still have to go and check it out one can only hope it actually does something. All I can say is Bethesda, look after your gamers and they will look after you.

 

 

What do you guys think?

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Tales of a Born Again Gamer

Yes I know. Ever since one’s younger years you say it won’t happen. Of course you will never stop gaming, never mind how much your parents nag about it or how demanding real life gets! But alas it does. Especially if you decide to further your studies after school. Where at school you spend your weekends mostly between friends, gaming and drinking, one goes to university and slowly your priorities morph and you find your time spent mostly between studying and um, socialising and then finally somewhere between March and December of your final year, it dulls down to mostly just studying and not much else. Somewhere along this path, I lost my way and my touch with my inner gamer. Having been quite a hardcore gamer a few years back. I did most of my gaming on my pc, being very anti console in the way fundamentalist are very anti-abortion.  I could remember spending hours with my friends just gaming the night away.  Of course the parallel of which followed, studying the night away, alone, just wasn’t the same. After reaching my post-graduate status and deciding my path of literary scholarship I had a revelation.

Something had to change.

Being on a student budget and knowing there was no way I could afford to build myself even a half decent pc from scratch… I decided on a small compromise and bought myself an abortion…

I mean a PS3.

And has since fallen in love with both it and my newly invigorated gaming self. My studying nerd has now compromised for my gaming geek and the battle for balance between adequate gaming and studying time, felt fresh once more.

Yes as the life-giving waters of the gaming world reinvigorated my sinful soul back to purity, I was born again in the great gamers image and was immediately struck with another revelation. I have one hell of a lot of catching up to do. Dwelling on my fondest memories of ages long past, I immediately bought with my PS3 a then brand spanking new copy Bethesda’s latest epic gaming experience, Skyrim. That was only the beginning since I have jammed, an abundance of excellent PS3 related games including a few old classics on my laptop such as Vampire the Masquerade, the Civilization series, Heroes of Might and Magic and even some Dota. Paying homage to some classics and just a few fun old games while at the same time trying to make up for lost years on a budget has been a reinvigorating and enjoyable process.

So you are probably wondering, where am I hence and where does this blog fit in? Currently being a “born again gamer” and having grown up in a fascinating time in gaming history( pre console, rise of console, rise of internet gaming, Pre- WOW blizzard…). I am interested in giving my take on things, comment, rant,  review a game or two, you have it. If anyone is interested in listening, be my guest, hopefully now and again I will say something useful or enjoyable. Secondly being in my post-graduate honours for English, I have stumbled on an interesting venture that I have never really thought of professionally before. That is the area of game writing. Or writing stories etc for games. Being an English student and a writer myself, I don’t know how I haven’t thought of this before. So all in all this blog will function as I have described above and with this I will try to give my humble contribution to the community and hobby that we all participate in and love.

I thank you sincerely for reading, I will post as time and inspiration allow me. Hope you enjoy’d the post and feel welcome to comment below on this or any future one’s.

My gaming Persona is -PsY- and I am also known as Wihan van Wyk.     Contact me on BornAgainGamer@gmail.com or add me on twitter @BornAgainGamer for any questions, ideas, potential posts or whatever! :D?

Game on!!