All Good Things…..

I started this blog over two years ago, and i’ve had a blast working on it. However, it’s now time for me to move on. I’ve now got a PS4 and am going to start trying to do more reviews for games that are more current, and thus I can no longer take on the moniker of “poor mans geek”. By the time you read this i’ll have started my new pages, “Ludophile Lab” and “What William’s Watching”. I’ll still be doing reviews, trailer impressions and editorials, but i’ll no longer be doing them on this site.

If I’m following you, then I enjoy your content and for the first few hours, days or however long it takes, i’ll go about re-following everyone I follow now so that I may keep up with your content, and I hope that, if you follow me now, you’ll follow me on my new pages as well.


Help Save Fair Use

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Due to the time sesative nature of this i’m not going to add much and just let the Nostalgia Critic’s video do the talking, but if you’re in the US, you should send an email or call the number provided.

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West Review

By William Shelton

Release Date: October 5th, 2010

Systems: PS3(Reviewed), Xbox 360, PC

Developer: Ninja Theory

Rating: T

Metacrtic Score: 80(PS3)

With the ever increasing likelihood that these next few reviews will be the last I do for this blog, I wanted to review one of the games I’ve wanted to play for a while. Too bad that game turned out to be a massive disappointment. At it’s absolute best the game was just boring, but the game rarely reached those heights. For most of the time I spent with this game the sheer incompetence of its creation made the entire experience tedious in ways I didn’t think it was possible after Uncharted 2 pretty much perfected this particular game play formula the year before.


The Cast of dull, uninteresting characters.

Story wise things start off well: you, as the protagonist “Monkey”, make your way off a slave ship as it crashes only to have one of the other victims, a young girl named Trip, to fit you with a slaver obedience headband. She tells you that if Monkey gets her safely to her home she’ll let him go, to which he swiftly tells her that once he’s free he’ll break her neck. It’s about here where the story becomes insufferable. Monkey constantly reminds us and Trip on how he plans on killing her for what she’s done until he just…doesn’t anymore. While there is a point in the game where it makes some since to deepen the relationship between the two, they begin acting more friendly hours before this. I’m okay with the turn this story took; hell I was even expecting it. But these turns have too have some bases, and this just didn’t have one. And all of this before the game even introduces “Pigsy”, a gross character who I hated from his first appearance to the last time he appeared before I quit playing.

Not helping matters is how the game just keeps going on. There are three games worth of story here, all of which have been crammed into one. This makes each ark feel rushed while making the game as a whole feel over long. Most of the games plot points feel like there was a story outline the writers were following, but none of them knew how to actually write the story so they just used that outline as the final draft of the script.

While the story at least lied about possibly being interesting at the start, the game made it clear that this was going to be a dull experience right from the start. I made a comparison to the Uncharted series earlier, and with the sole exception of the combat here being more brawling based than shooting, it’s a fare comparison. The game play is divided into Combat, climbing based platforming/exploration and sections where the game forces you to slow down for story sections like the famous Tibet section in Uncharted 2, with the occasional set-piece or puzzle sprinkled throughout.

And all of it is infinitely more shit than in the Uncharted games.


At lest the game was nice too look at…once the textures loaded in

I’m not sure if I can say the combat is the worst part of the game, but it is what you spend most of your time doing, so the depths of its mediocrity is what sticks out the most to me. Monkey has three primary attacks, light heavy and sweeping (as well as the ability to block and evade attack) and the game tries to ape the Batman Arkham games combat style with enemy color coding to let you know when to attack or dodge, but the games combat just does not have the depth to warrant this. I won nearly every combat encounter by mindlessly hitting the heavy attack until enemies went down, usually after two or three hits. Most deaths were due to the game not having any form of lock on, so I’d be swinging at a target that just wasn’t there while being attacked from behind. Not helping matters is how the sluggish and overlong the games animations are. Like way to many games when this was released there’s a prompt to use a finishing move for most enemies, and all of the animations seem like there were designed to pad out the length of each fight. Compound this with a noticeable delay for every button press and you have one of the worst combat systems I’ve played in a long time. And that’s before the boss fights.

Or should I say “boss fight”. Even those there are more than one, the first few are literally the same enemy with a few upgrades that I beat the same way each time: hitting it with a stun charge then waling on it until the boss got back up and then repeating the cycle. There was one boss near the end that changed up the formula, but only slightly. Instead of hitting it with a stun charge I shot at explosives. The lack of combat verity is depressing when you look at the enemy verity (at lest with the common enemies). There are several types of robotic foes for you to fight and in the hands of capable developers this would have forced you change up your strategy on the fly each battle. But It didn’t. I won nearly each fight the exact same way: hit heavy attack until it was over. I can overlook some flaws in a game if there is one aspect that really stands out, but there’s nothing like that here, so all the little annoyances just pile up while the big ones become increasingly more aggravating.


You’ll fight this “Dog” a few times. None of them are entertaining fights.

The exploration sections are just as bad. Even the simple act of walking from A to B is a pain as monkey would often start moving in the opposite direction as the one I was telling him to go. I could deal with this when the camera changed position, but this happened pretty much every time I tried to get Monkey to move. And again, that’s not where the issues stop. The platforming requires you to be in a rather specific spot in order to jump from one platform to another, and if there is no platform Monkey just sits there or stumbles. Platforms you can uses have a shine to them that’s meant to help you know where to go, but I found that this was either unnecessary due to the ease of the section or to underdone to be of any help.

My last issue with the game play is a major one, but it may just be an issue with my copy, so take this complaint with a grain of salt. Near the middle of the game there is a puzzle involving a windmill where you have to have Trip start and stop it in different positions in order to drop each sail. This part of the game gave me more trouble than any other part of the game as my orders wouldn’t go through. After having Trip stop the Windmill and getting on to finish the puzzle I often couldn’t get her to start it again. After trying off and on again for two days, constantly shutting off my PS3 and restarting the game I finally managed to get the commands to work and got through the puzzle with ease as it wasn’t hard to figure out. If that was an issue with my copy of the game, fine but if not that is unacceptable.

The one kind of decent thing about the game is how pretty it can be. Once all the textures have popped in (which an take a while) the games does have a rather nice look to it. The game is colorful and stylized which makes the rusted machines and abandoned cities overrun with foliage a pleasure to look at. But then characters start talking and all that effort is gone to waste. Monkey and Pigsy sounds like every other “gruff” character from the period, meaning they talk like they eat nothing but rocks, except when Pigsy whispers. Then he sounds like every “disgusting fat guy” character mumbling “you like that, don’t you” while watching a porno that I’m sure you’ve seen in some low brow “comedy” you probably didn’t laugh at. Not only does he come off as gross, but it almost sounds like he had two different people voicing him.

I’ve heard before that this was a retelling of the classic Chinese book “Journey to the West”. Having not read the book I can’t say if that’s true or how accurate it is to the source, but I can say that there is a film adaption on Netflix that was pretty fun to watch (though again, I don’t know how accurate it is as an adaption) and that I a much better use of your time that this shit storm would be. I can not think of a single thing this game does that hasn’t been done better somewhere else. Literally the only good thing I can say about this game is that it’s technically not broken to the point of unplayability. There are games I hated more. There are games that disappointed me more; but I cannot think of a single game I played that failed this badly on this many levels while there are so many better versions of everything it has to offer.


Be an Ally to the guys from GameTrailers

Back in February the website GameTrailers was shut down after  13 years in business. With such a talented team it was hard to think they would just disappear, but i assumed they would be scooped up by larger sites looking for talented writers. Well, today we learn that i was wrong about that, as the team behind GameTrailers have started a project, Easy Allies, and they’re asking for your support.

If you enjoyed the content  GameTrailers had been producing and want to see more of it, consider throwing them a few dollars on their Patreon page.

If you’re like me and can afford too, may consider following them on twitter or subscribing to their youtube or follow them on twitch. 


Dark Souls III Opening Cinematic and Impressions

I don’t think i’m going to be alone in saying that the story is not what really draws me to Dark Souls. I’ve watch more than my fair share of lore videos about the franchise, but the game play has always been the real point of focus here. Because of that, you’re going to have to forgive me for not having much to say about this particular trailer. There are really only two things that pop out at me: 1) This is a much better opening that Dark Souls 2 had (but that’s not hard to pull off) and 2) this just looks stunning. If you’ve been reading my stuff for any amount of time you’ll know i hardly talk about how a game looks as i just don’t think graphics matter as much as others do, but god damn this looks fantastic. The Souls games have always had really beautiful vistas in them, but this blows them all out of the water. Maybe that’s just due to this being made with more powerful hardware, but this is a game i just don’t want too stop looking at. If you hear any weird stories in the coming months about some idiot trying to sell his soul for a PS4 and a copy of this, there’s a chance that might be me, because that is a tempting offer right now.

Nintendo Inroduces…LINK….As a Woman!

CTpozoYWoAQ8k87.jpg largeBack in 2014, when Nintendo showed off the first trailer for “Zelda Wii U” the one thing that everyone was asking was “is this link a girl?” Which made sense given the slightly more feminine look of the character.  While i do believe (though this isn’t certain at the time) that the heads of Nintendo did say the character in the video was Male, the have now given us an offical Female Link, named Linkle, who will be a playable character in Hyrule Warriors. Now the big question is, will the next main Zelda game have a female link, or even allow players to chose links gender, or will we be stuck playing the default male link again? I’m really interested to see where this goes, but it’s too soon to tell as of yet.

Bethesda Reveals Fallout 4’s Trophies

Bethesda has released a list with all the Fallout 4’s Trophies, giving players a small taste of what the game has in store while some of these are the typical “reach a certain level” or “complete this story mission”, there are more than a few interesting items on the list. Check it out and start thinking about which you want to get first, because chances are competing this list will take quite a while.

  • “Platinum Trophy” — Collect all other 50 Trophies for this Trophy
  • “War Never Changes” — Enter The Wasteland
  • “When Freedom Calls” — Complete “When Freedom Calls”
  • “Unlikely Valentine” — Complete “Unlikely Valentine”
  • “Reunions” — Complete “Reunions”
  • “Dangerous Minds” — Complete “Dangerous Minds”
  • “Hunter/Hunted” — Complete “Hunter/Hunted”
  • “The Molecular Level” — Complete “The Molecular Level”
  • “The Nuclear Option” — Complete “The Nuclear Option”
  • “Institutionalized” — Complete “Institutionalized”
  • “Mankind-Redefined” — Complete “Mankind-Redefined”
  • “Powering Up” — Complete “Powering Up”
  • “Nuclear Family” — Complete “Nuclear Family”
  • “The First Step” — Join the Minutemen
  • “Taking Independence” — Complete “Taking Independence”
  • “Old Guns” — Complete “Old Guns”
  • “Semper Invicta” — Join the Brotherhood of Steel
  • “Blind Betrayal” — Complete “Blind Betrayal”
  • “Ad Victoriam” — Complete “Ad Victoriam”
  • “Tradecraft” — Join the Railroad
  • “Underground Undercover” — Complete “Underground Undercover”
  • “Rockets’ Red Glare” — Complete “Rockets’ Red Glare”
  • “Sanctuary” — Complete “Sanctuary”
  • “Community Organizer” — Ally with 3 Settlements
  • “Benevolent Leader” — Reach Maximum Happiness in a Large Settlement
  • “Gun-For-Hire” — Complete 10 Side Quests
  • “Mercenary” — Complete 50 Misc. Objectives
  • “Scavver” — Gather 1000 Resources Used For Crafting
  • “What’s Yours Is Mine” — Pick 50 Locks
  • “RobCo’s Worst Nightmare” — Hack 50 Terminals
  • “Armed and Dangerous” — Create 50 Weapon Mods
  • “Wasteland D.I.Y.” — Craft 100 Items
  • “Never Go It Alone” — Recruit 5 Separate Companions
  • “Lovable” — Reach Maximum Relationship Level with a Companion
  • “Fix-Er-Upper” — Build 100 Workshop Items
  • “Future Retro” — Play a Holotape Game
  • “…The Harder They Fall” — Kill 5 Giant Creatures
  • “Ranger Corps” — Discover 100 Locations
  • “Print’s Not Dead” — Read 20 Magazines
  • “Prankster’s Return” — Placed A Grenade Or Mine While Pickpocketing
  • “Masshole” — Kill 300 People
  • “Animal Control” — Kill 300 Creatures
  • “Homerun!” — Get a Homerun
  • “Touchdown!” — Get a Touchdown
  • “They’re Not Dolls…” — Collect 10 Vault-Tec Bobbleheads
  • “…They’re Action Figures” — Collect 20 Vault-Tec Bobbleheads
  • “Born Survivor” — Reach Level 5
  • “Commonwealth Citizen” — Reach Level 10
  • “Unstoppable Wanderer” — Reach Level 25
  • “Legend Of The Wastes” — Reach Level 50
  • “Prepared for the Future” — Decide the Fate of the Commonwealth


Bioshock Infinite Review

By William Shelton

Release Date: March 26, 2013
Systems: PS3(reviewed), Xbox 360, PC
Developer: Irrational Games
Rating: M
Metacrtic Score: 94

The original Bioshock was one of the greatest games of the last generation and one of my all time favorites. But even with all of my love for the game, it was hard to get excited for Infinite when Bioshock 2 was such a massive disappointment. The move away from Rapture was a good start, as I didn’t want to see yet another game adding on to what should have been a competed story. Plus, there was a prominent female character, and that’s always good too see. I was liking what I was seeing, but it was hard to shake the idea that this would be another useless entry to the franchise. So, how did it turn out? Well, I liked it, but this is one of the few games I loved that I can honestly see why some people may not be able to get into it.
This division starts at the story. Unlike most of my other reviews, I’m going to assume you know at lest the basics of the games story. In case you don’t, here is a really simple run down: you play as Booker Dewitt and you have to save a girl named Elizabeth from the floating city of sky racists known as Columbia. That’s the what you should know before playing, and if you haven’t played the game yet, get out while you can cuz in order to really talk about the game I’m going to have to spoiler the shit out of the game. Before I get into why I like the games story, I’m going to address of the issues I’ve heard people bring up that is valid but also misses the point of the game. This is the use of racist imagery throughout the game. While it’s clear when playing the game that the developers do not think highly of racists, the game never makes a point about racism. Comstock (the main antagonist), does not suffer any consequences due to his treatment of the black population of Columbia, and in fact neither does any of the citizens of the games world. This has led to a fare few people I’ve meet not liking the game for adding in “useless” or “edgy” racist imagery for no reason. Now, here’s my thing: I think it is perfectly valid to see this imagery and the lack of punishment for it and not wanting to deal with the game, but it’s inclusion was far from pointless. In fact, with out these topics being in the game, it’s ultimate twist would not have worked so well.
See, part of what makes Bioshock Infinite so good is that it is a follow up to the original Bioshock. As much as Shakespeare would have us believe that a name is irrelevant, the fact is that with a name comes expectations. If the next Mario game was a gritty first person shooter, it would be a bad Mario game even if it was a good shooter. A Silent Hill game were you and three friends enjoy a sunlit day on the beach while playing a collection of mini games would be a bad Silent Hill game, even if it made for a fun “Wii Sports” like party game. The beauty of Bioshock Infinite is how it plays on and against our expectations on what a “Bioshock” game is supposed to be.

See, in the first game you start off thinking this is just one mans story. You are trapped and need to find a way out of Rapture. But by the time the credits role you’ve learned that the real story was much deeper than that. It was a condemnation of Rayndian Objectivitism, it was a meta narrative about interactive storytelling. Infinite does the same trick, only in reverse. Upon entering Columbia you are hit with a flood of big idea topics, and you’re left to ponder what it’s all leading up too. And it doesn’t lead up to anything. This really just is the story of Booker and Elizabeth. Everything the game was asking you to think about, racism, classism, the exploitation of the working class, it was all an act of subversion. It kept you looking for the big political twist when there wasn’t one. Personally, I think this was the best way to go. Honestly, other than “Racism really isn’t that bad and Slavery was a good thing” what kind of twist could the developers even have added here that players wouldn’t have seen coming? What could they have really said about the topics they presented that would have had the same power as “Would you kindly” or “A Man Chooses, A Slave Obeys” that wouldn’t have also been a retrograde endorsement of bullshit ideologies we should have already have moved on from?

The City is Beautifully crafted.

The City is Beautifully crafted.

And then the ending. My god does this game have a great ending. It’s the kind of thing that gets called “pretentious” by…well, the kind of people who label things as “pretentious”: idiots who don’t like being asked to think. And again, I’m about to spoil everything here, so move on if you haven’t played the game.
So, it turns out that Booker and Comstock are the same people, but from two different time lines. Both men committed atrocities as soldiers and both sought redemption through baptism. Booker (the one you play) decided not to go through with it and turned instead to self-destructive behavior like drinking and gambling. Comstock, on the other hand, takes the baptism and starts a religion dedicated to reconstituting his war crimes as acts of heroism. What the two men have in common is that neither could face the fact that they were, in fact, bad and violent people. After killing Comstock Elizabeth makes it clear that the one act didn’t matter as there are an infinite number of worlds with an infinite number of Booker’s and Comstock’s and the only way to make sure the world is truly safe is too go back to the point where all they all converge and stop the split for ever happening, back to the baptism ever Booker allows himself to be killed so that Comstock could never exist in the first place.
While the game does have it’s issues (Comstock’s isn’t as interesting a character as Andrew Ryan and his plan is a little too “cartoonish”) it is one of the most narrative ambitions games I’ve ever played and it’s absolutely on par with the original game, although I do have to say I think I prefer the first game just a tad more.
Infinite is superior on the game play front however. While I was originally disappointed that you were limited to only two weapons at a time, this didn’t turn out too be as much of a hassle as I thought it would be. These plenty of ammo lying around for whatever you’ll be carrying, and switching between guns and “vigors” (the games “plasmids”) is the best it’s ever felt, so shooting an enemy then hitting them with a fireball when you’re low on ammo feels like a viable strategy instead of a last ditch effort. Although, I do have to admit that by the time the game was ending I was playing it more like a strait shooter, almost completely ignoring the vigor’s altogether. I think this is because it was so much cheaper to level up guns that it was too level up vigor’s, so near the end of the game shooting was just more effective.
The sky hooks are also a good bit of fun, and they make good use of the vertical elements of the world around you, but as time progressed I found myself using them less and less. Riding along at full speed then jumping off and punching some dude off a cliff never got old.

Become a roller coaster of Death and Kill some racist. what more could you want?

Become a roller coaster of Death and Kill some racist. what more could you want?

The best part of the game, however, is Elizabeth. Not only does she keep you stocked on health, ammo and money, but she also has the power to open “tears” parts of the world she can change in order to give you a leg up in battle. The can be weapon stockpiles, cover, hooks so you can reach a vintage point and many more. While I may have started to ignore my vigor’s, I was always on the look out for tears because they were so useful. And they even found a narrative driven way to make it make scene that enemy would just ignore her while you’re in a firefight: Comstock wants her back a live, and none of the enemy want to anger their Profit.
However, there are still a few issues. The biggest one being the two “boss fights” in the game. The first of these is with the ghost of Elizabeth’s mother. This has too be the most aggravating fight i’ve played in a while (where the game wasn’t a broken mess. Yeah, looking at you “Ninja Gaiden Sigma”). She keeps bringing back dead soldiers to fight for her and there is no clue as how to get them to stop coming back (shoot them with lightning before killing them and they wont come back). While this is a great moment in the story, this boss could have been scraped and I can honestly say it would have made the game better. Or at lest not make us have to do the same thing 3 god damn times in a row.
Then there is another boss where you have to protect a ships power supply against waves of foes and it just keeps going. By the time it ended I was ready to not have to fight another enemy for the rest of the game. It’s filler. Worse than that, it’s late game filler, where you can feel the end approaching, but it just wont come because you have to keep dealing with these assholes. This makes the last few minuets of real game play more of a chore than a reward, and it’s a let down that the game’s last fight is one that’s so damn annoying.
I have no complaints about the sound design however. Troy Baker and Courtnee Draper do a fantastic job as the two leads, and Kiff VandenHeuvel gives a weight to Comstock that was desperately needed to make up for the underwhelming nature of his plan. It’s also a joy to listen in as NPC’s talk about random things, from political debates in the streets to a man complaining about working with Artist to a lowly worker complaining about his job as he scrubs the floors, they all feel natural and in character with the world Irrational created. Plus a lot of the music is as beautiful as the city itself, although most of the games songs are best in context.
Overall, this is a game that needs to be played, just like the original Bioshock. While some of the games content may make some players uncomfortable, it very much was the point of the game too do so. I can understand those who may choose not to play if their a bit extra sensitive towards racial issues and need the validation of seeing racist punished because they’re racist and not despite it. But if that’s not quite where you’re at, then I say give this game a look.


Persona 5 TGS 2015 Trailer and Impressions

So, first thing you need to know before we start this: i do not speak Japaneses. I did watch a version of the trailer with English subtitles, but that was taken down before i had the chance to do this trailer review. So a lot of this is going off of slightly old memories, so please forgive me if i’m wrong about a few of the finer points here.

So, the main things that i remember is that this game focuses on a demon that can steal peoples hearts. Literally, it’s not a charming devil, just a devil. Like in P3, at night the school changes form, this time called “The Palace” where are protagonist have to explore in order to stop the villain. At first this bothered me because one of my big issues with Persona 3 was that the dungeon began to feel the same after a while.  However, it seems Atlus may have found a way around this. in the trailer you see the group jumping into paintings a la Miro 64, so maybe the paintings serve as the dungeons? I’m not quite sure yet, but that seems likely.

Then there’s the masks being the catalysis for summoning Persona’s. I rather like this too be honest. It goes with the theme of being a thief, and i think it would be interesting, as seeing that the mask comes off when using magic, if there was a boss battle with someone you know and can’t use your personas so they don’t learn your identity.

overall, this was a good trailer and got me even more hyped for the game. Unfortunately, Atlus finally admitted that the reason we haven’t been given a release date is because the game is being pushed back till summer 2016. if it means the game will be good, then fine, whatever. but….damn i really wanted this game….