Saturday, August 18, 2012

Batman Arkham Asylum: over the shoulder

The time requirement for F1 2010 proved too much, so my F1 fix will come from F1 2011 on the 3DS while I move onto something else in my short morning babysitting slots.  I bought Arkham Asylum a while ago after hearing that it was amazing and excellent; my time with it so far is consistent with this.

Each time I start playing it, thought, it takes me a few minutes to get used to the over-the-shoulder view; the camera is ajust a little too distant from Batman, making me feel a bit divorced from his actions. This is particularly odd when the camera shifts during fight scenes to be more behind him; it's just a littel too dynamic.

I'm having trouble following the story, because the sound on the TV is kept very low in order to not wake Nicholas.  It's obvious that the Joker has taken over the asylum though, and Batman is working his way around the island in order to regain control.  I've reached a Batcave now, which was put in place many years ago just in case.  What foresight.

Monday, August 13, 2012

F1 2010: rules confusion

I don't really watch F1 on TV, though I used to a few years ago.  Having seen F1 2010 in the Game sell-off for £2, though, I thought it could be interesting to see how things had progressed since F1'97 on the PlayStation.  They've progressed a lot.

The game looks stunning. A lot of this is down to the high-definition display, of course, but there's such attention to detail on the cars that it's difficult to not just stop and stare when you're driving up behind them.  Driving up behind them is something I'm doing a lot, since my qualifying positions are well down the pack and I have a tendency to brake late.  My first two races went OK other than the fact I had a penalty applied at the end for "causing a collision".  It wasn't me, it was the other car stopping in front of me.

I'm using many driving aids, and it's almost as if the car's driving itself at times, but at least this means I have a hope of getting somewhere through the game.  I may need to turn off the automatic braking though - that just feels a little too hand-holding.

The other thing about the game is the investment of time it requires.  Each race takes ages, through the practice sessions then qualifying, then a ten-lap race.  Since most of my gaming time is in half-hour chunks while Nicholas is asleep on the sofa next to me, this is hardly ideal ...

Thursday, August 09, 2012

King Kong: completed!

You may be feeling as if you've gone back in time to March 2007, as I completed this game then as well.  It's rare that I will play through a story-driven game such as this more than once, but I remembered really enjoying it and when I had the opportunity to buy a copy for the Xbox 360 for £2 I jumped at the chance.  High definition should be a bonus ...

I remembered the game as graphically accomplished with recognisable characters and beautiful locations. Maybe that was a standard definition illusion, as when played on the 360 it looks pretty basic. It's stunning to see how far games have come in the last five years.  Not only does it look rough, textures are repeated far too often and a lot of the game is just too dark.

Yes, she is meant to be attractive.

I also remembered the game as varied and well structured. It's varied to some extent, with levels split between controlling Jack and Kong, but there are limited puzzles and enemies, and by the time I was 75% through I was getting pretty bored. The chapter system works OK, but games have developed more elegant checkpoint and save systems now - in fact, they had developed them back in 2002 with Halo, but that's by the by.

Most of all, I remembered the game as good.  And it still is, though the difficulty is all over the place and if it went on any longer than it does it would soon turn into a grind.  As it is, it's a good fun short game that's starting to show its age.