Sunday, 1 August 2010

Played some of them games I bought,
especially CSI: Dark Motives

Paparazzi was just as crap as I expected. The gameplay is:
- Choosing one of three spots to stand on that make no difference to the outcome
- Pressing circle button to take pictures of one of the whopping THREE different girls, who change clothes between sessions. Note that you can get the attention of the models by passing four different minigames and then you can even ask the model to move slightly!
- Session ends when 5 minutes is up or once you've spend all your film
- Notable gameplay extras include the ability to purchase extra film rolls and a few upgrades you can use to take "better quality" photos
- Controls like a tank, but (un)fortunately you do most of your stuff by clicking stuff in the menus, such as moving between the three spots

The story of the game is weird. You, as the man with a camera, are a big fan of the model who you choose to photograph and you start appearing in her public photoshoots.You don't work for any magazine or anything, neither do any of the other fellas taking pictures including your mentor/friend/non-friend/rival, and the photoshoots have no purpose other than to offer the chance for random guys to come take pics of the model to add in their private collections, except for the end where (with the model I chose) she was appearing in a motor show and by taking good pictures you could win a chance to a private, 1-on-1 photo session. I lost.
Worst Simple 2000 game I've seen so far, and trust me, that's saying something.

Rumble Roses is fun. Controls well and has quite a few different characters due to each character having two personas, heel and face, although you can only have one of the personas unlocked at one time. Kind of stupid, as they could've doubled the roster by allowing all of them to be playable at all times seeing how the personas really are different form each other.
Characters cater to most common types of fetishes: sexy cowgirl, hot school teacher, nurse, punky schoolgirl, cheerleader, usual Japanese "18-year-old" little girl in her underwear, a ninja without much clothing, a latex devil and more.
Only two really different exhibition modes, mud wrestling with only one arena to choose from and regular wrestling ring with only three arenas. There's supposed to be a beach arena, but it's hidden. There's also championship title modes where you can try to win the belt for a certain character or defend with the current champion, but this neat little mode really doesn't add anything substantial to the game.
The game is overly sexual in tone and knows it. Even the manual makes everything sound dirty, like you shouldn't be playing this game with your pants on. Still, no nudity.
Story mode is just a bunch of regular matches but with absolutely insane/stupid story cutscenes thrown in between them. The scenes should make you chuckle lightly if you're not too busy jerking off.
Gameplay- and graphicswise, absolutely solid game. It's as good a wrestling game as the best WWE/WWF games I've had the chance to play, and the game looks good. I notice the differences between games' graphics better now that I have a new TV. Most PS2 games look like shit on it, but not Rumble Roses.
The final boss doesn't cheat and fuck you over like most fighting game end bosses do, which is a big plus.
Lastly, if you can't play with only one hand, there's locker room and beach gallery modes you can unlock for each character where you can watch the girls stretch and adjust their bras.

Death by Degrees... can't say much yet. Got bored in about 15 minutes and put in War of the Monsters. Doesn't seem to be that bad, but not that interesting either.

War of the Monsters was just slightly disappointing. I knew it wasn't going to be the greatest game ever, but I didn't remember the controls being this shit in the demo. On top of shitty controls, the game is HARD against computer controlled opponents.
Seriously, the default difficulty is Easy, and for a good reason I might add. Normal mode makes a beginner like me cry profoundly before switching back to Easy in hopes of being able to finish the story mode that way, but Easy is just as difficult. I suspect the difficulty settings may not even affect the story mode.
The computer opponents just... they just... it's insane, that's all I can say. They always knew when to block so my attacks where mostly ineffective and they moved around the level with ease and fast, like they were on coke or something, and they always knew to choose an attack I couldn't be able to block so blocking for me was mostly useless. Reversals didn't work for me at all and running around was pointless as I couldn't keep up with them enemy if it was fleeing and I certainly couldn't get any distance between me and them if I tried to.
Also, despite the monster itself controlling like a tank the camera moved in about 70 degree increments if I touched the right joystick at all. The monster also seemed to have trouble clinging to walls and picking up objects, making the game a rather painful experience.
Still, I don't regret buying it. Maybe I'll find some human opponent to play against. Maybe I'll find a friend  somewhere, someday. Maybe.

(The next paragraph is kept short on purpose, as I will be comparing the next two games to each other in the second game's "minireview(?)" paragraph, and more indepth information regarding CSI:CSI can be read there)
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation was fun. Me and my mother played through it and despite it being a bit crap and simple and easy and short, it was a fun sit and the cases unraveled at a good pace with some sort of logic.

CSI: Dark Motives, however, has been slightly more painful and not as much plain fun as it's predecessor.
Dark Motives offers better graphics and more complex and longer, umm, puzzles(?) than the first game and it also now offers "fake" evidence and traces to collect to make the gameplay seem deeper and throw the player off every now and then. The first game's traces and evidence ALL came into play at one point or another, even if at first it didn't seem like it, so it felt like you were just following this straight route to correct conclusion with no room for trial and experimentation, although that is why the first game also seemed to unwrap very logically.
Dark Motives, however, is painfully loyal to the adventure game genre in a very negative, stereotypical way. Foremost, unlike with the first game, in order for a new step in the case to pop up you must have done everything completely irrelevant and pointless everywhere else, in the old and moldy adventure game flaw way. For example, to get a suspect, that we have all the needed evidence against by the way, to finally confess, we must first go back and compare every DNA and finger print with every other DNA and fingerprint even when we have already matched the right ones with each other.

To give more specific examples, in the first case of the game we must find out if a daredevil's motorcycle was sabotaged, and if so, whodunit. We have the prime suspect sitting in the interrogation room with their print matching with the print in the tool used in the sabotage and the tool matching the cutting marks of the bike's break line (or something, I know little about engines). We have solid evidence in the form of shady money with a set of incriminating prints and an email with a verified source and some names that this person was told to sabotage the bike by another person, who we know had a very strong motive and who we know to have tampered with the crime scene evidence. Can we finish the case? NO, because we still need to look at a photo that we have already looked at several times earlier, as it now magically shows evidence of it being a crime; the broken piece of engine we already knew had been broken on purpose by our suspect is now visible in the photo for no reason.
Yes, people, we have evidence of it being a crime and we know exactly who did what, with what, where, when and why, yet even after all this information we still need to look at a photo we got way earlier to find out that yes indeed it was sabotage. Information we knew already, information we tried to get from the same piece of evidence several times already with no results, and we needed it now because the game said so. There's been several other similar odd occurences in the game already, one dumber than the other, and I'm only halfway through the damn thing. Marvelous.

Due to Dark Motives' flaws previously mentioned, weird thing is, despite CSI:CSI having only evidence, traces, info and general steps useful to the cases, you could often skip some of the lesser evidence and still manage to solve the case with the minimun amount of steps taken whereas CSI:DM, the game that does throw a ton of extra evidence at you, always forcing you to finish with ALL the evidence collected, CSI:CSI's end results screen and your performance rating actually changed between 30%-100% where CSI:DM's rating screen only gives you the Master rating.
That previous sentence is overly complicated and probably pretty badly written, I know, but what I mean is that the game with a strict path you couldn't break out from gives you actually ratings that can change and some freedom of choice and the chance to use your own head, and the game with lots of extra stuff and alternate paths is in truth so strict that there is only one way to ever solve a case, meaning that the end result is ALWAYS the same; the highest possible.

If you've read this far you may have noticed from the text that I'm a bit tired, so I'll try to put the ending of this rant shorter.
CSI:DM's hotspots aren't usually any different from the surroundings (and with that I mean a hotspot can be the brown ground on the brown ground, no marks or anything) and they can be as small as a couple of pixels, making the game all about dragging the mouse up and down, left to right to look for hotspots, and the puzzles boil down to always speaking to everyone about everything at every chance and using/combining/analyzing everything with everything else, with no logic used at any point (you can try using logic but that way you'll never actually finish the game since half of the steps taken are most illogical). Don't even try playing CSI:DM without the help turned on in the settings, you'll just get a massive headache since the game is so flawed, so broken. Even after looking at FAQs and walkthroughs every 5 minutes nothing makes sense or is obvious in this game.
On top of everything, the game suddenly changed every piece of text into French at the beginning of case 2 and there's no way of turning it into English. Yes, you read it right, the game that forces you to pay attention to details just changed the language into something I can't understand a single word from, despite the fact that I installed the English version, in English, and the first case was in English. Great game, huh?

Oh, and Jorja Fox who plays Sara Sidle in CSI is a great voice actor and seems to take acting, even in a crappy licensed video game like Dark Motives, seriously. Most of the other voices sound just lifeless, but not Sara Sidle. I rarely pay attention to voice acting, but Jorja does such a great job that she's now my hero. Hey, maybe we're related!

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