Saturday, 21 June 2014

Return To Yamatai

There is literally no describging how bored I am these days with no major video game release in sight. Having Given up on my quest for the Watch Dogs Platinum Trophy (thank you stupid drinking mini games) and being disguested by the Battlefield Hardline Beta, I decided to finish Tomb Raider Definitive Edition on my PS4.

I had already played and quite enjoyed the reboot back when it launched last year but I never fully explored the world. After countless headshots and counter jab kills I finally finished the campaign after which I decided to go back and get all the collectibles; It wasn't until then that I realized how beautiful this game truly was. The once hostile Island was now a serene expanse of jungles and peaks just waiting to be explored. I took my time combing over every inch of each zone exploring areas I hadn't even noticed before; which to be honest is understandable, I mean how much can i explore when I'm being shot at and chased by wolves right? 

Completing the campaign and exploring the Island are two completely different experiences, and while the combat is enjoyable and the QTE's give you some heartstopping moments; the post game is how Tomb Raider is truly meant to be enjoyed. Revisiting area's gives you a new perspective because now you actually have the time to take in the sights and enjoy where you are. Places like the mountain peaks or the starting jungle with the wolves, that were once hostile and honestly speaking gave me a lot of grief are now calm and beautiful. Sure they bring back memories of some harrowing times, but its worth it. Besides, thing's tend to look better when you're not being shot at and there's no crazy hurricane brewing. The tomb raiding aspect of the game is much more enjoyable post game, as compared to stumbling across a tomb while trying to evade enemies. Even though most of the tomb's where fairly easy, they were quite fun. Some of the game's unlockable challenges are often overlooked during the campaign and now you have the time and freedom to go about them at your own pace, with bright skies all around of course. It makes for a more cheerful and enjoyable experience. 

Safe to say this should keep me occupied for a few more days until Valiant Hearts releases. 

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Battlefield Hardline : WTF

So I had a chance to get on EA's latest shooter, Battlefield Hardline during the limited Beta on PS4. Honestly speaking the game is extremely disappointing and is so not what players expect from a battlefield game. The growing focus on closed quarters combat and kills over objectives is destroying the once great franchise.

Here's a some gameplay commentary of the new game mode Bloody Money.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Gotta Catch Em All : Google Pokemon Challenge

So when PSN pretty much ruined what was supposed to be an epic night of gaming, the unlikeliest of heroes stepped in to save the day. I'm talking about Google and their Pokémon challenge of course. What was supposed to be an April Fool’s day prank has swept the world in what has to be one of Google's most successful campaigns.

Basically the whole map is riddled with some of the franchise's most iconic Pokémon and you must capture all 150 Pokémon to become a 'Pokémon Master'. While of course there is no actual job opening, this was probably the most interesting user engagement campaigns in a long time. Of course Google gets so much more user data than they would have otherwise and it’s a great little (massive) promotion for Pokémon. 

However what I loved about the campaign is that it turned the internet into a nicer place, even if it is only for one day. So many folks out their posting locations, helping each other and collaborating on their Pokémon journey; it was quite a surprise to be honest. I myself spent 5 hours last night helping folks find some of the rarer Pokemon. Unfortunately, despite being up till about 5 am I couldn't quite get 150, still about 45 short but I might give it another go later tonight. Do let me know if you need a little help.

If you're interested here are a few location tips with images. Other than these you should check out Sydney, There are a ton over there! Don't forget to explore the entire island for Tortuga bay, and do check out Stanford, Harvard, NYU, MIT, CERN and places similar to those. Hope this helps.


Sunday, 9 March 2014

300: Rise of an Empire

So I managed to catch the new 300 movie after what was probably the worst meal of all time at Johnny Rocket's(seriously, do NOT go to the India stores, they are horrible.).

Food aside, I went into the movie with a blank slate and came out more or less satisfied. If you're going for a film like 300 and expect stellar acting, brillliant writing and strong characters; you need your head checked. The movie fails horribly in those departments, but you know what? its ok. A movie like 300 is all about the action and in this case some pretty slick 3D and this movie delivers in style. While the characters are nowhere as strong and memorable as the one's in the the first 300 movie they get the job done. They deinitely look the part, but thats about it.

The action sequences in the movie are absolutely amazing. Some wicked sound effects coupled with 3D sword fights and folks going all matrix on the battlefield is really enjoyable. Despite the fact that the blood looked like 'thick expired ketchup' the action scenes still look amazing. Most of the movie revolves around Naval combat and some of the manoeuvres are pretty cool and looks freat with the 3D. This is one of the few movies where I genuinely enjoyed the 3D effects and its great to see people are finally doing it well compared to the horse sh*t we were subject to just a few years ago.

It has set up quite an exciting finale with one hell of a battle lined up for the final installment of the film. Though I am curious to see whether or not they will explore a romantic arc between Themistokles and Queen Gorgo, unlikely but then again might just add an interesting element to the mix with some more crazy 2v2 fighting scenes.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

A Look At Robocop (2014)

When you hear the word reboot it's natural to assume the movie will blow, past experiences have shown time and again that reimagination of a classic doesn't always yield good results. However of late they have done a pretty decent job expecially with the new Spiderman (yes I really like it, though in all honesty anything can be better the two movies that preceded it) even though its strictly not a reboot per se, but that's a discussion for another time. I'm here to talk about Robocop.

I caught literally the last show of the day at 11 30 at night and to my genuine surprise the movie theatre was empty when we walked in, literally. Even the attendant wasn't in the hall. There were a total of 3 people including tanks(my friend) and myself. Goes to show the sad state of affairs when it comes to english movies in Delhi/Gurgaon at least, if not all of India.

Now I know most people were sceptical about the reboot with all the shiny robots and whatnot but trust me its ok; you know what they say 'if the shoe fits, wear it'. The movie started off on a wicked note with the surprise inclusion of a slightly tweaked version of the Original Theme, gave me goosebumps. Though I was sad not to hear more of it throughout the movie. When looking at this remake you need to understand 2 basic things; 1- Movies are made to make money. In this day and age PG 13 will sell more than an Rated M movie, despite those 'limitations' Robocop does a pretty good job and has its fair share of action. 2- More importantly you need to realize this reboot serves as a base for future additions to the series and as such is laying the foundation for Murphy and his new life. At times the movie is a little slow so to speak with a few awkward scenes when he tries to reconnect with his family after his 'procedure'. These are extremely important in his character development and in understanding the changes he is going through. They set up rest of the movie and build up his character to one you try and relate to by the end. If you have played the new Tomb Raider you will understand how putting in elements to help viewers/players relate to the protagonist is important for them to get really immersed in the what they are seeing.

I quite enjoyed the movie and to be honest I don't know what all the fuss is about. Sure it wasn't as gory but hey its still a good movie. Look at the movie for what it offers and how well it does that rather than what it could have or should have done. The only real complaint I have with the new Robocop is how his mobility at times seems too fluid for folks who have been used to the original movies. Sometimes he's a little clunky but in battle he goes all acrobatic in a few scenes and it throws you off to say the least. Other than that I think the reboot was good and really goes to show that not all reboots are bad.

Ps: Samuel L Jackson was awesome!