kevan + gamelog   28

Grand Theft Auto IV (Xbox 360)
Strikingly good narrative - a lot of well-written dialogue, with different in-car conversations on the same theme when replaying a mission. Sympathetic and social characters, good physics, nice weather, fun multiplayer, and a lot of attention to detail.
gamelog  5stars  crime  transport  cities 
may 2008 by kevan
Timeshift (Xbox 360)
Nice time-slowing puzzles and breezily broken laws of physics, but it's largely just another evil-corp factory shooter, and there's a shocking amount of die-and-reload for a game with a time-rewind mechanic. Were they afraid Prince of Persia would sue?
gamelog  3stars  time 
april 2008 by kevan
Dead Rising (Xbox 360)
Trying to get back into this, as there's a lot to play with and a great atmosphere to do it in, but the utterly unforgiving save system is wearing me back down, with one false move or AI glitch wiping out half an hour of progress.
gamelog  3stars  zombies  shops 
april 2008 by kevan
Call of Duty 4 (Xbox 360)
A satisfying amount of terrain awareness, through beautifully derelict environments; shouldering up against thick stone walls, hiding behind thinner ones that won't stop a bullet, and ducking behind cover to recover your ambient, few-shot health gauge.
gamelog  4stars  war  weapons  terrorism  dereliction 
february 2008 by kevan
Burnout Paradise (Xbox 360)
A good sandbox, full of subtle background distractions to follow up on, without a single floating neon arrow in sight. Too easy to crash while glancing, lost, at the map in a freeform race, but the landscape lends itself to being learned.
gamelog  4stars  transport 
january 2008 by kevan
Hitman: Blood Money (Xbox 360)
Good balance of linear and freeform, with a lot of randomly pursued routes feeling like official, scripted ones, until you try again and go somewhere else. The AI gets a bit dodgy up-close, but works quite chillingly at a distance.
gamelog  4stars  death  money  weapons  secrets 
january 2008 by kevan
Assassin's Creed (Xbox 360)
A clean hybrid of Prince of Persia and GTA, with a great, flowing sense of parkour across the 12th century rooftops of Damascus and Jerusalem. Slightly thin missions so far, and the meta-plot seems unwisely bolted on, but it's still exhilarating to play.
gamelog  4stars  death  secrets  history  weapons  war  cities  architecture 
november 2007 by kevan
Portal (Xbox 360)
A great curve of lateral thinking puzzles, and one of the best game endings I've played. Striking how much difference good writing can make, that the final scenes were a thousand times more memorable and movingly sympathetic than anything in Halo 3.
gamelog  5stars  puzzles  physics  science  surveillance  weapons 
october 2007 by kevan
Halo 3 (Xbox 360)
Completed this morning. An utterly dull-as-dishwater generic sci-fi narrative, for all the pretentious trailers and posters. Multiplayer and co-op are fun, but aside from a few in-game moments, the campaign itself is entirely forgettable.
gamelog  3stars  aliens  war  weapons 
october 2007 by kevan
Bioshock (Xbox 360)
Disappointing that turning-enemies-against-each-other is so minor, and that the ethical dilemmas are so narrow, but if I'm going to be playing the mighty System Shock 2 again, a beautifully derelict 1950s underwater dystopia is a great place to play it.
gamelog  4stars  apocalypse  cities  society  water  mutation  dereliction 
september 2007 by kevan
Crackdown (Xbox 360)
A fun, cartoonish sandbox game, with a nice parkour feel plus the mission freedom of Mercenaries ("kill this one person over here, by whatever means"), although the near-future environment is very thinly painted, and the characters entirely forgettable.
gamelog  4stars  police  crime  weapons  transport  cities 
september 2007 by kevan
War of the Monsters (PS2)
A fairly standard combo-pushing beat-em-up, but the scale, destructability and pick-up-and-throw-ability of the environment makes it more entertaining. The physics are good enough to be funny, and the giant ant handles nicely.
gamelog  3stars  monsters  cities  demolition  ants  lizards  robots  apes 
august 2007 by kevan
Sim City (Nintendo DS)
The DS is a nice medium for the emergent background gardening of Sim City, but the game has been oversimplified into just zoning as much yellow as possible, and the useless advisers and zany cartoon lobbyists get in the way far too much.
gamelog  2stars  cities  simulation 
august 2007 by kevan
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (PS2)
Enjoyable - some nice, incremental improvements in the basic game mechanics, a good neon-sunshine aesthetic, and an almost complete excision of double-entendre business names, which automatically makes the game world much more adult and realistic.
gamelog  5stars  crime  transport  drugs  nostalgia  america  cities 
june 2007 by kevan
Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords (Nintendo DS)
Ingenious generic-fantasy framework for a match-three puzzle game; different colours generate mana, to cast spells from a CCG-style rack. Idly addictive, and nice for having a shared board, but the percentage bonuses can make it uncomfortably random.
gamelog  ds  5stars  puzzles  magic  monsters 
june 2007 by kevan
POWDER
A decent little homebrew Roguelike for the Nintendo DS, with a good interface. Nicest original feature (new to me, at least): the game doesn't end until you actually quit, so you can choose to watch dungeon monsters loot your dead body and mill around.
gamelog  4stars  nethack  ds  roguelike 
may 2007 by kevan
Kororinpa (Wii)
Odd clash of relaxing physics and stressfully having to restart the level after making a tiny mistake, often because of the terrible camera system. And two-player mode is *appallingly* thin, just racing to finish the same level in split-screen.
gamelog  2stars  physics  puzzle 
april 2007 by kevan
Battles of Prince of Persia (Nintendo DS)
A decent grid-based wargame with CCG elements; the cards aren't very well written, and deck-building doesn't fit the random-objective campaign game too well, but it makes a good strategy boardgame, and presumably improves a lot against a human opponent.
gamelog  4stars  board  cards  war  magic  via:raven 
march 2007 by kevan
New Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo DS)
Fun platformer; some of the usual obsessive-compulsive trial-and-error, but balanced by the ability to wander back through old levels, and gear up with the right power-ups.
gamelog  3stars  mutation  via:raven 
march 2007 by kevan
Dr Kawashima's Brain Training: How Old Is Your Brain? (Nintendo DS)
As much about learning the DS's handwriting recognition as measuring your brain, but there's a good range of arbitrary exercises in there, the daily new things are a nice incentive, and it's been interesting to see which aspects I'm weakest at.
gamelog  4stars  brains  education  via:matthew 
march 2007 by kevan
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (Nintendo DS)
A simple, plodding show-item-to-person detective adventure game, brightened up by the ridiculous manga styling - presenting evidence during witness testimony in court, with a triumphant text-flash "objection!" explosion. Linear but time-killing.
gamelog  2stars  law  crime  puzzles  lies  death  mysteries 
february 2007 by kevan
FlatOut 2 (PS2)
Stock-car driving game with a convincing amount of heft to its car collision physics, and wonderfully destructible scenery, virtually all of it collapsing into bouncing splints and chunks, instead of just stopping you dead.
gamelog  4stars  transport  dereliction  physics  simulation 
february 2007 by kevan
Wario Ware: Smooth Moves (Wii)
The Wii gives a brilliant new dimension to the throwaway minigame genre; each game becomes a physical object that's thrown at you, and you have to work out how to manipulate it. The preparatory "forms" are genius; pity that multiplayer mode begins locked.
gamelog  meta  random  via:matthew 
january 2007 by kevan
BowMaster Prelude (Web)
A great hybrid of Bow Man's projectile aiming and Siege's field of tiny combatants. Defend your castle against swarms of invaders, and buy your own troops to send back at them and back up your firepower. Good level progression and satisfying headshots.
gamelog  4stars  games  flash  weapons  war 
january 2007 by kevan
Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem (GameCube)
A fairly linear pseudo-Cthulhian adventure that tips its hand early on by namechecking Lovecraft, Poe, Blake, Bosch and nobody else in a single bookshelf description. Great sanity mechanics, though, whole swathes of game being retroactively hallucinated.
gamelog  3stars  monsters  history  zombies  books 
december 2006 by kevan
Every Extend (PC)
"One day suddenly, you receive 12 UCHU-guided bombs. What do you do?" Good precision-driven pseudo-shooter, waiting for exploding blocks to float into the optimal formation before detonating them. Could have used more levels and variation, though.
gamelog  4stars  japan  weapons  download 
december 2006 by kevan
Judge Dredd: Dredd vs Death (PS2)
A decent enough casual shooter, capturing the mood and style of the comics pretty well - it's good to hear all the fictional swearwords. Dredd's variable-ammo Lawgiver is fun for pre-dating FPSs but suiting them perfectly.
gamelog  3stars  police  future  comics  death  zombies 
december 2006 by kevan
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (PS2)
Sadly flawed - a great mission tree, and nothing too taxing for casual play, but it's ruined by the half-arsed radio scripts, the constant reminder that you're in a weird alternate world run by sniggery 14-year-olds. Even Double Clef is unlistenable.
gamelog  4stars  crime  transport 
november 2006 by kevan

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