Archive for the The Walking Dead Category

The 9 Best Games Of The Last Generation

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Borderlands, Games, Lists, Portal, Resident Evil, The Walking Dead, Uncharted on July 20, 2015 by slateman

I’ve been thinking of this article for some time now. Should I list 10 games? Should I list them in tiers? Ultimately, I’m just going to post this and go with it.

This is a list of the nine best/most important games of the last generation. That means the Xbox360/PS3 and PC if it appears on consoles. I am not looking at PC-only titles.

Bottom Tier

resident_evil_5_medium_1Resident Evil 5
This is not an important title. I can’t say it really did anything massively new or reinvented anything spectacular. Although it is entirely co-op, it’s not utterly groundbreaking. And it’s not widely heralded as an excellent title.

What it is however, is awesome. I’ve already raved about it as a stand-alone title. The DLC was fun and diverse. Nowadays I rarely replay games entirely. Instead, I 100%ed it on two consoles (-achievements). It was fun, packed a powerful punch and epitomized what I loved about the PS3/Xbox360 generation. A large game, fully co-op, good save system, tons of weapons and reason to replay it. That last one is an important one. Infinite rocket launcher? Magnum? And this doesn’t even count Mercenaries mode.

Rdr_torquemada_lookoutRed Dead Redemption
GTA in the wild west? No thanks. I love GTA, I don’t like westerns but…well…this is fun and diverse and the writing is impeccable and dead-eye is a hell of a lot of fun and WHOAH, that story twist!!! How many times did I get off track, wandering the woods for a bear or through the vast, arid desert skinning animals and saving people? I lost my save for RDR but I got to see the true ending and it was one of the best stories of the entire generation. And let’s not forget the song when you finally cross into Mexico. It’s rare that one song in a game stands out but its power was in how your rode south, the gentle song leading you into a foreign (yet similar) land. And how different it was, different people, chatter and style.

A sequel in this generation would only make me smile. I certainly hope it’s on the horizon somewhere.

Middle Tier

DLC4_Envishot_LostCity_smallGears Of War 3
The first GOW was great and the second just OK. The third, in my opinion, was the strongest and the most fun. It expanded the color palette for one, and tweaked everything to make it run faster (less clunky) and was just a spectacular and powerful game. So, while the first title really did more for this generation, specifically its cover system, excellent reload mechanics and a fully co-op campaign (oh how I wish for more of those!!!), the third perfected it. If I were to go back; I’d play this one.

call-of-duty-4-mwCall Of Duty: Modern Warfare
I don’t care what anybody says about MW and the series as a whole. Here’s what matters to me…

After hearing all the hype, I finally rented the game and tossed it in my 360. Of course, the visuals were impressive and the sound was solid. It was when my character stepped out into the streets, with bullets flying everywhere, my eyes opened wide. Games up until that point had enemies shooting at you. Some team-based games had more targets, but for the first time, I felt like I walked into a world that was going on around me. I remember having surround sound going, bullets pinging everywhere, and it was utter mayhem. It was precisely what I wanted in gaming. Now, while the sequels upped the ante considerably, it was the first MW where my mouth truly dropped. As a player who avoids multiplayer almost entirely, the campaign was all I cared about. And it was a solid, entertaining and compelling campaign. Its brevity wasn’t disappointing either. Quite the contrary, it was sweet and to-the-point. Solid controls, insane action and at the time, superb visuals made for a game that was truly a game-changer. Once again, say what you will about the series and its subsequent milking. That first game was a turning point.

Just-Cause-2-1Just Cause 2
I never played (or had even heard of) the first Just Cause but this title was a free game on PS+ one month. I’m all about grabbing just about any free game I can but my first play session was merely OK. The controls were a bit loose and it was hard figuring out the whole grappling hook. I remember my second session, however, where my opinion changed entirely.

I had a hard time going back to open-world sandbox games after this. Moving around was so slow and boring (well, with the exception of Saint’s Row, but that’s just a ridiculous game!) The things I managed to do with Rico in this game were outrageous. Tethering cars to helicopters and scaling buildings with ease were awesome, as were the insane amount of explosions but the most important word in a review of this game is “fun”. I had a blast playing this, destroying everything. Just the number of options in this game make it for a memorable and long-lasting experience. Shoot a guy? Tether him to a truck and drive off? Tether an item to a truck and pull it down onto him? Oh, it goes on and on! In December of this year a sequel is coming out and I can’t limit my excitement. This might be one of those games where more of the same is just what I want. We’ll have to see!

walking dead lee clementine

The Walking Dead
Sure, I loved the show, but a choice-based, point-and-click adventure? Once the first two episodes were free, I grabbed them (remember, I love me freebies!) and everything changed. I connected with Lee, the game’s protagonist, more than perhaps I did with any character in any game ever. I cannot even discuss the finale without getting a lump in my throat. It was perhaps the single most powerful gaming experience ever. (yes, that trumps Metal Gear Solid IV and the at-the-time surprise of Aerith in Final Fantasy VII.

And while there were action sequences in this title, those were by far the least exciting, the least compelling, the least enticing. Episodes four and five start to rip your heart out and as I’ve written about already, the tears were genuine. I was talking to my TV. I was moved. I was hurt. And I will recommend this game to anyone, zombie fan or not. In some ways, it should be top-shelf material. Ah…I hate making these lists. Just know that it’s awesome. I shouldn’t have to say more.

Top Shelf

872182-portal-2Portal 2
I missed out on Half-Life and that whole thing and so it wasn’t until after Portal 2 came out that I even tried this series. The first game was certainly fun, but I’m pretty certain I played that (PC) after I beat it on the PS3 (and subsequently played it all again on the PC, beating both 1 and 2 within 24 hours).

This is a triple-A puzzle game…something that’s generally unheard of. Without playing it, my claims of Brilliance can not explain the sheer awesomeness of this title. Sadly, it’s the only thing I can even say. After each test room or the later colored gels, I marveled at the absolutely-ingenious design. I felt such delight at the solutions and the miraculous lack of unsolvable puzzles. The game was designed and tested to perfection. GLaDOS and her anger were written with utter sarcasm and it all delighted as the weird story unfolded. I can think of nothing about this game that isn’t perfect brilliance. You can go back at any time as well, provided you haven’t memorized all the solutions, and enjoy those brainy solutions all over again. Sadly, I never got the chance to play co-op. I bet that’s awesome.

bl2_1

Borderlands 2
After renting and beating Modern Warfare, I rented Borderlands. I’d heard good things, etc. etc. After such a visually-compelling and powerful experience, my initial thoughts of BL were…eh. The cel-shaded presentation coupled with a weird premise didn’t totally impress me immediately.

I played a bit; I returned the game.

A few weeks later, I was humming this tune in my head. I started missing the skill tree options. I had to rent the game again. Perhaps I was lucky but the local video store was closing and I bought the game for like $12. I then played the game. A lot. My save game ended up getting deleted and so at some point I started again. Then did true vault hunter mode. Then I returned a year later and got the platinum. The DLC was spectacular (I bought 3 of the 4, IIRC). We’ve all played our share of FPS games. None compelled me like this one. The outrageous guns that I’d receive were motivation alone to continue! It was stylish, unique, funny and full of loot! The light-hearted story was trumped by the second game, itself a superior product. Just about every fault I could find in the first title was remedied. Things were tweaked where necessary and left alone where needed. Even the trailer was insanely awesome! I love this game and while I skipped the Pre-quel, I fully anticipate grabbing part 3 whenever it debuts on this current generation. LOVE IT! (said in Torgue’s voice!)

B001JKTC9A.03.lgUncharted 2
To complete the trio of sequels…

Sure there are other 3rd-person action games. They’ve existed since the advent of 3D games. In so many ways, Uncharted is inspired by Tomb Raider which itself was inspired by Indiana Jones. So Why is this so important? Because it was fun, challenging, looked great and its gameplay was perfection. The first game is amazing, the third game is more of the same and the second was pristinely balanced. Headshots were truly enjoyable and the ka-ching of every kill was the most rewarding sound of the entire generation of games. Seeing Drake hanging by one arm got a bit old by the third game. However, the cinematics of the second, the chemistry with Elena and Chloe, the diverse and lush locales, the exciting finale, the co-op levels…*takes breath*…This game is probably my favorite of the entire generation even if it didn’t redefine like Portal or Borderlands did. It just did what I love the most…perfectly.

The Last Of Us

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games, The Walking Dead with tags on June 19, 2013 by slateman

The_Last_of_Us_logo_RGB_whiteSo far, I’m not entirely sure what to think of this game. The basics are obvious. It’s gorgeous. The voice-acting is spectacular. It’s grueling and intense and conveys the most evident of facts: I want nothing to do with the undead…or whatever these infected are. The gameplay truly is intense and I’d much rather avoid combat entirely if at all possible. I don’t have enough bullets and it’s tiring fighting these guys. The downside of all of this is that for the first few hours, the game almost didn’t seem…fun. I want to go back to it because of all the polish, but the fun-factor is…strange. I’m scared to death of running around clickers. I don’t particularly want to go into that room! Scavenging materials is so essential; I’m thoroughly excited finding a few scraps of metal and half a pair of scissors. It’s insane!

But I am compelled to continue. I can’t wait to get a chance to sit down and play more. The audio is brilliant, with clear, crisp sounds coming from corners and every dialogue worthy of attention. I’m loving the relationship between Joel and Ellie and can feel the weight of the world. This is unlike any game I’ve played before, with the exception of The Walking Dead: The Game. It’s scary to think how vested we’re becoming with gaming characters; this is the true leap in gaming this generation IMO.

So…I’ve still got a long way to go…and I don’t see it getting any prettier as it goes along! That’s not to say it’s not worth it.

The Walking Dead: Season 3.5 Poster

Posted in Blog, The Walking Dead with tags on January 9, 2013 by slateman

WalkingDead3.5PosterNot as impressive as the Season 3 Poster, this teaser hints at the inevitable Governor/Rick showdown. Season 3 has been spectacular and I look forward to being impressed as the first of eight more episodes arrives on my birthday. If they’re as good as the first half of the season, I’ll be thrilled. Just another month to go!!!

Mini-Review: Borderlands 2 – Yes!

Posted in Blog, Borderlands, Games, Reviews, The Walking Dead on December 25, 2012 by slateman

Borderlands 2 review screenshot07A few weeks back I was chugging along in Borderlands 2 when I figured I’d call it quits for the night. My buddy, Mat wasn’t around to play online so I said, “What the hell,” and hopped online, something I hadn’t done in BL2 yet. Turns out, I joined a game that was precisely where I was and we blitzed through the remainder of the game in a four-player carnage-fest. It was insanity. It was awesome. Our connection was spectacular, the enemies and loot were superb and it was a hell of a lot of fun.

Now, in the grand scheme of things, BL2 had a better story, a few new tweaks and shiny new guns but it wasn’t that different from BL. This may affect the Game of the Year rankings – as The Walking Dead was nothing like anything I’d ever played before. However, BL2 was brilliantly executed and left me with a TON left to do. Two DLCs, two more to come, a second playthrough and a bunch of golden keys to use (L00t!)

I can’t say enough about this game, really. It has everything I wanted in a game and I’m still playing it (three months after its release). Definitely one of the year’s best and certainly one of the best of this generation IMO, trumping BL with certainty. Love it!!!

The Walking Dead: The Game – OMG……

Posted in Best / Worst, Borderlands, Games, Metal Gear Solid, Reviews, The Walking Dead on November 28, 2012 by slateman

After grabbing the first two The Walking Dead: The Game entries via PS+, I was sold. I purchased the next three episodes immediately and Episode 5, the finale, was one of the most anticipated games of the year. So, the night before Thanksgiving, I sat down to play and…..and…..

As the credits rolled so did tears down my cheek. I was floored. I was in awe. The credits finished and the epilogue began, offering little solace for how things ended.

Spoilers, obviously…
After Lee passed out in the streets I still had hope. However, upon waking up and seeing Lee, I knew. His face pale, his eyes yellowing; Lee was going to die. Perhaps we all should have known but I figured cutting his arm off might do the trick. Nope. Here, in that room with Clem, it hit me. Lee was going to die. At that moment, I lost it. I got through the rest of the episode but I didn’t cope with it well. Lee prepared Clementine for the inevitable. I just wanted to hug her. I just wanted to tell her, “I love you, Clem.” As the options came and went, I never got to say it. Lee slumped over with Clem crying, ME crying! It was outrageous.

I’ve played some awesome games and some of those had incredible stories. However, ultimately I don’t know of any game that affected me the way this did. Mouth agape, I was in shock. I hurt. I felt horrible…but there was closure. The Walking Dead was so well-written, I forgot it was a game, I forgot it was fiction. Ben had died, Kenny was likely gone, everyone was gone. Lee had come so far. In thinking about the first four episodes, we’d been through so much. And now it was over. It was over and Lee was dead.

I Love Borderlands 2 and some other games, but it’s very possible TWD will win Game Of The Year. It was the most incredible gaming journey I’ve ever embarked upon. Perhaps Metal Gear Solid 4 could come close. Nah…while MGS4 was phenomenal, TWD was the most powerful game I’ve ever played.

The Walking Dead: The Game – Season Finale!!!

Posted in Games, The Walking Dead on November 20, 2012 by slateman

It’s out and I’ll get around to playing it…sometime. I’ve heard some amazing things and cannot wait to find out how Lee’s adventure ends. I expect this to be emotional. I expect this to be monumental. I’m so psyched to begin this final journey and sincerely hope to add it to the best of 2012 or even best of this generation articles (neither of which I’ve written yet). This should be pretty spectacular. The download will be complete sometime tonight though I probably won’t get to play it for several days.

UPDATES…..

Posted in Blog, Borderlands, Cubing, DoDon Pachi, Games, Godflesh, Personal, Resident Evil, Street Fighter, The Walking Dead, Yankees on November 2, 2012 by slateman

It’s been a long time and a lot has happened. I’ve had some ups and downs these past few weeks but the good has been rather good. Let’s see…

First off, I’ll be getting a new cube any day now and I’m pretty psyched. It’s a cool one, it’s the curvy copter, and it’s a jumbling puzzle. It should be spectacular.

My Godflesh site turned 17 years old a few weeks ago. That’s insanely old.

Resident Evil 6 and Borderlands 2 – Making progress. Taking forever. Well worth the cashola.

I also picked up Street Fighter X Tekken as well for cheap. I’d played it several months ago and look forward to having it in my library!

The Yankees – I couldn’t even write about this. I still can’t.

The Walking Dead – both the game (episode 4) and show (episode 3) were solid. The game may have been a filler/connector episode and the show an introducer, but both were strong and make me yearn for more. Sadly the game’s sequel must wait quite a while.

Hurricane Sandy – :( So much destruction. :( :(

EPISODE VII!?!?!? I’ll post some thoughts on this soon. It may actually have a chance of being good. Four words – Pirates Of The Caribbean.

DoDonPachi: Maximum came out on the iPad and was on sale so I snatched that up. It’s kinda fun. It’s cool seeing the returning characters/stages/music and it is a pretty good challenge on later levels. I may pick up ESP Galuda II as well.

Enough for now?

The Walking Dead: Season 3 Poster

Posted in Blog, The Walking Dead, Yankees with tags on September 5, 2012 by slateman

Fucking A! If this is not bad-ass, I don’t know what is. Bring on October!!! (something I will rarely say, seeing as how I hate the end of summer, and particularly this year as the Yankees are starting to suck, and October is not necessarily a shoe-in. I digress…)

The Walking Dead: Episode 3…

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games, Reviews, The Walking Dead on September 3, 2012 by slateman

I simply couldn’t wait, so tonight I finished episode 3. This was the weakest episode in terms of exciting events. On the other hand, it was the single most powerful moment in gaming history.

OK, that may sound a bit dramatic, but (Spoiler-rific), when I heard the gun shot and ran into the woods…OMG. When I did what had to be done. OMFG. I don’t care that I knew it was coming. I FELT IT. That was painful.

I don’t quite know what to expect moving forward. It’s like my humanity is disappearing and if it weren’t for Clem, I’d be done. I think that’s why the TV show (comics?) have Rick’s family there. Without them, it would be so easy to lose what kept you together.

Anyways, the episode was a bit slow once you got to the train, but it was not without action and drama. I still can’t believe what just went down and I maintain its power was unmatched in gaming history. (And yes, I played Final Fantasy VII back in Sept of ’97 – 15 yrs ago this month…urgh!)

The Walking Dead: Episode 2…

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games, Reviews, The Walking Dead on September 2, 2012 by slateman

I’m having a tough time with this. Man, I love watching zombie movies. Action, suspense, RUN! It’s exciting, enticing and exotic. But rarely do these films truly touch upon the emotional portion of it all. Sure, you’ll lose a loved one. Of course difficult decisions will be made. But in The Walking Dead: The Game I find myself torn.

First off, I’m so glad this isn’t an action game, a FPS or anything of the like. The way this has been crafted is utterly perfect. It contains the exciting, enticing and exotic nature of zombie films and games before it, but only a few times in gaming history have I really cared so much for the protagonist. Few times have I felt so tied to my main character. In Metal Gear Solid 4 I remember tapping the triangle button as if my life depended on it (because for Snake, it did). John Marston’s suffering was my own in Red Dead Redemption.

I find myself having a tough time deciding when to be sympathetic and when to be stern. I want to protect Clementine but I don’t want to tiptoe to do so. I have to be strong to make the tough decisions, but I also want to try to keep peace. Things don’t work this way. The reviews I’ve read say the same…this is hard shit! I want to be loyal to Kenny…we are brothers here! But as each hour passes, these decisions become more and more difficult.

The first two episodes were free for PS+ subscribers and I didn’t even finish episode 2 before plunking down my $5 for episode 3. I must know how this pans out. Lee is the man, confident, yet reasonable. Was he a killer before? It doesn’t matter, he’s my hero now, saving those around him. This is as human a tale as I’ve ever encountered, truly only rivaled by John Marston’s. I simply cannot believe a cel-shaded point-and-click adventure based on zombies could be so deep, rewarding, intense and emotional.