Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Quick blog - GAME administration + Ninja Gaiden 3 thoughts

So this is only a quick blog update for you all.

So you all probably know that the GAME Group have announced that they have gone into Administration. As much as i hate to see the loss of 2104 jobs in the UK because of it so far, i can't help but feel they put themselves into that situation themselves. They should have looked to be a bit fairer in their dealings with companies a bit more, at least from what i hear. But asides from that, the main thing that people want to know is, how badly has the administration been so far. They've closed down 277 stores at present, not just GAME, but gamestation as well. For a full list of what has been closed, i recommend you check out MCVs full list so far, which you can find over here. They've been constantly updating that article as new stores have closed and new updates have appeared, so keep an eye on their site for more details as they arise. It's worth noting, there is a pattern to what they are closing. Looking at the shops closed around us, we have the GAME in Stirling in the thistle centre closed down, and Edinburghs Princes Street store close. The Ocean Terminal one in Edinburgh(Leith) has been hit too, but that isn't as close by for me as the other two(i pass through stirling when i go from home to my flat). Why is this interesting? Well, these just so happen to be the biggest stores in each city. What has been left is the small Gamestation in stirling(which i prefer, far better selection) and the St James Centre GAME(far smaller, and worse selection). They are removing the bigger stores in favour of leaving the smaller ones, my guess is because the Rent will be far less, or the rent will be up for the other stores. So if you want to predict what will close, try going with the bigger ones. Means more jobs as well, which i again hate. We need jobs in this time, not less of them.

Onto my other topic of the day, one a little closer to my heart. Ninja Gaiden 3. Now, i loved Ninja Gaiden Black and the 360 Ninja Gaiden 2. Loved them. So when i heard Ninja Gaiden 3 was due to hit PS360 this year, i was hyped more than i expected. I was looking forward to this rich action-adventure/Hack-n-Slash game much like the two previews. Hard as nails, tonnes to do, lots of wee things to find and a good variety of weapons to work with. But....i never got that.

When i started the game, i got thrown into deciding which difficulty i wanted, Hero(easy) normal, or hard. I went for normal. I got thrown straight into a QTE. First thing you do. Hit X. Then, i get put into this scene where i can't walk left, or right, only forward. I have to jump off the ledge and, hit LB + right to avoid an attack, then hit y to do another attack. This wasn't a good start, Team Ninja, by any means. I thought, ok, this is the start, i'll let them off. Next thing i know, the game starts, and i'm pushed into another one, for jumping off a ledge this time into an enemy. Then combat starts. FANTASTIC. Let's see limbs....fly? Wait a second, why no dismemberment? Why no decapitations? What are these canned animations after every enemy kill? QTE prompts when killing too? What? I immediately questioned what was going on. This was not the Ninja Gaiden i remember, this was far from it. Combat had suddenly turned into this push for seeing canned animations for kills, or getting a QTE prompt. Enemies weren't even that smart either, they where easy to kill off, and i found myself finishing the first level without losing a life, nor losing even half of my health at any point. I was disappointed.

Ok ok, so that's the combat. What about the rest of it you ask? Okay. Everything is in an extremely straight line, so much so that you may as well remove the scenery, put in a straight corridor, and you'll do the same thing as you do in this game. There is NO Collectables. None, i'm not even joking. There is no items, no orbs or anything from felled enemies. You restore health by either using your Ki for a Fire Ninpo(which is a canned animation hitting everything nearby, i might add) or it will restore whatever ki you have left after you finish combat. You can't upgrade weapons, or sorry. Weapon. You don't even upgrade Ki levels or health, it's all fixed. What the hell? Why the hell would you take out everything that makes a game playable? YOU EVEN FORCE ME TO WALK AND DO ONE THING WHEN I WANT THE ABILITY TO DO WHAT I WANT. Scripted campaigns/story modes are things i expect from badly made/last minute campaigns for First person games ala Call of Duty, but this? this is beyond horrible. I should not be forced to do things like that, ever. Especially in a hack n slash game like this. You've made it Bare Bones, uneventful and..i think lackluster maybe being nice.

To this point, i should note i've restarted on Hard, and finished 2 chapters, and moved into the third. I've been at the game for less than 2 hours, i'm 2/7ths of the way through the game, and the only reason i had a problem was because, instead of giving us smart AI enemies, they give us tonnes of dumb AI enemies, and all at once instead of in waves. They try to make the game hard, but in the wrong way.

I'm sorry if i'm being considerably harsh with this game, but Gaiden black and 2(360) are two of my favourite games. Coming into Ninja gaiden 3, i had huge huge HUGE hopes, and so far i've been nothing but disappointed. I so wanted for this game to be a mish-mash between Bayonetta and Gaiden 2, but instead i've been introduced to this backwards title which does little more than annoy me as a fan of a series which has always been hard as nails, adrenaline pumping and gory bloody fun. It's none of those things now. It's just frustrating. I don't want to say this, because i adore Team Ninja and TecmoKoei, i really do, but do not buy this game in it's present state. Maybe a new version will appear if people see sense and it'll have everything added in, since it feels like it's incomplete and forcing to change itself, when it really doesn't need it. I'll maybe change my feelings on it when i finish the game, but we will have to wait and see. I'm just very very saddened by what i've seen so far.

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