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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Game Review: MAFIA 3

Here’s the thing, I played the game then finished it, then checked my personal trusted gaming media & review sources like the crew from N4G Radio Podcast, re-experienced the game then come to this point eager to share my thoughts.

It is not until several further observations that have put me into to reviewing this game.

But here we go, I spent a lot of hours in this game and the more I played the game then finished it the more I identify its strength and weaknesses especially after playing more hours of Shadow Warrior 2.

One of the most noticeable comparisons between Shadow Warrior 2 and Mafia 3 was the quick access to areas or some would call it fast travelling.

With simple commands, you will be able to fast travel from one area to another in Shadow Warrior 2 but in Mafia 3 you can't. You need to manually travel from one point to the next and does not have an option to at least teleport to discovered areas. I think had they made that fast travelling system in the game I would have seen the game a lot better than right now.

But that’s just one of its issues. However, I should acknowledge on where the game shines.

The presentations, music, dramatic acting performances, gunplay & stealth hit most of the spots in this game. Mafia 2 left me with strong storyline between Vito and his Best friend. Mafia 3 got me immersed the setting and I felt like I was there until the end. I was also amazed on how the actors performed excellently well on their assigned roles especially their dramatic pause effect in hopes that the audience would build some dread or some sort of impact between pauses. I love it!

However, I need to address the negative issues here but I hope I won’t disappoint the readers for these are all based on my experience with a help of other things that opened my mind to conclusion.

As mentioned, I didn’t like the feeling of driving myself all the way from point A to B in the game, had they at least give us the option to fast travel I would have viewed the game differently. I know that its predecessors also didn’t have the feature but it would have been a lot better that this instalment was the game to finally introduce it. I mean, the map is huge and at least they could have put that in the end just to keep me interested to play more and not waste additional time by traveling from multiple areas.

Knowing that I was expecting a story focused game just like Mafia 2 did when in fact it did but the balance between doing almost the same thing on missions to each district can get boring & the excellent experience on stealth and combat gameplay wasn’t enough to cover up the flaws. So, it can be a bit of a mixed bag there and to add on getting all the collectables in-game can fall into a chore especially when you discovered that you missed one all the way from where you are up north to the bayou down the south. Indeed that ZTGD from N4G Podcast said that it may take around 30 hours minus the side quests and extras you do in-game to finish it and that may very well be true because 50% or so from that game-time will contribute highly to travelling from one point to the other.

Okay, let’s go back to the good stuff, in terms of improvements from the last Mafia 2 there are a lot to mention. But to name the things I like the most is that they finally put a lot of things in the map than just typical traffic obstacles for you to avoid just like in Mafia 2. When we’re talking about conveniences, they nailed a lot of them down despite the travelling system as one of them.
Specifically, you can call in supports for a car or a caretaker to transfer your money to the bank so that you won’t lose 50% of them if ever you get killed…etc.

So I think that I know where the developers are coming from by putting that feature to call in supports anywhere and time.

The stealth mechanic works so well for me to the point that I don’t want to easily blaze myself towards enemies every time I go in mission areas. Plus the executions are brutal and satisfying especially when they’re done in stealth.

And one of the major things I really like in the game is that you’re not going to take over the place alone, you will need to work with three underbosses and each has perks to aid you in-game whenever you assign them to certain rackets or districts in the map to take over.  However, if you won’t balance their share, you may find yourself losing one or two of them and will end up being your enemies in the game and you will have to take that underboss down. But to ensure their loyalty towards you, you can optionally do their loyalty missions and even do side missions to other three underbosses who are loyal to corresponding three underbosses you mainly assign to. But however, that will cost extra travel time and that’s the only major issue with the game.

Conclusion

I think it helps to contain the excitements and truly understand the differences when identifying first impressions to a full-scale view.

I mean, it’s normal to get hyped on things but we should also acknowledge their faults especially when we discover them afterwards.

I really love this game regardless the imperfections it holds. However, only when passed my excitements I finally open myself to its obvious flaws and honestly, it needs to be addressed.

I personally love this over [url=http://store.steampowered.com/app/271590/]GTA5[/url] even though it’s not as “open world” as it is. It’s because of the story telling, the clear goal on what to do just to get there and the things you need to get there. It was a long but satisfying journey to me in the end but at the same time I cannot ignore nor welcome one of its major flaws that hinder my interest to do all the repetitive side quests at the end and that sadly killed my interest to go further and just get done with the game main campaign.

Am I recommending the game? Yes, especially when you’re a Mafia 2 fan but it’s true that you don’t need to know much about Vito to play this game because he felt more like a supporting character and seems to aged a lot because of how powerful the protagonist is but all characters were great.
You know what? I like Vito more than Lincoln, it’s sad that they didn’t put enough details for Vito and what happened after the ending of Mafia 2. I guess we’ll never know…
The story and setup of the game is actually very sensitive and tackles racism in the United States of America with racial wars, the Vietnam War and assassinations of actual personalities like JFK and Martin Luther King.

However, I won’t recommend this game if you’re not willing to spend some half of the game-time travelling from one point to another.

But I thank the ones who made this game possible; it’s indeed a huge step up from the previous game despite the imperfections and lack of wide customization on cars and apparel.

Replayability? Possibly especially if you want to see different outcome of the game like killing some of your underbosses and take over their territories or check different endings.

In the end, I enjoyed the game but I guess that it's not going to be one of my personal GOTY contenders because the mechanic and technicalities of the game killed the concept and awesome idea of this game. It’s a shame that I didn’t end up loving the game more but maybe, just maybe if the devs would tweak at least the travelling issues I just might get back to it and who know, I would probably do all those fetch quests in the game.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Game Review - PC - Overture (Steam)

Steam store page

My review on steam page



So I bought this game in a bundle and ended up loving it.

The mission is simple:

  1. Pick a character/class within a class. 
  2. Get in dungeons and kill as many enemies as you can to gain Exp. points
  3. Pick loots and monies plus possible companions as you go
  4. Face the guardian as soon as you clear the floor.
  5. Face the boss the repeat the process to the next floor. 



All that will only take you less than 5 minutes which is awesome.

There are four type of classes and within them are sub-classes in which you can unlock with monies you've earned from every run. So that means whenever you get killed, everything will be gone except the money you earned. You can then spend them on two things, unlock new sub-classes or level up individual sub-classes.

The cycle is simple but addicting. The combat is intense like a bullet-hell style so some may get distracted on the shiny effects so be careful guys. But I don't have any personal issues with it since I've already played games like Beat Hazard.



Some classes have different combat styles and not everyone appeals to certain players. Some do damages on close range and some are from afar. They also have different speed of mobility so in the end, each has their own strength and weaknesses.

Don't worry about having issues with certain classes in the game. You can earn gold to unlock another until you find the right one for you.

Pros

  • The game is short and fun so it's a perfect game to pass some few minutes
  • Looting is leveling up is addicting
  • Gamepad support and plays perfectly well
  • You will die a lot (well you have to but this isn't Souls game lol) and you need to until you get gradually well
  • One of those games that I can talk/voice chat with someone while playing so it doesn't really need too much concentration

Cons

  • Particle effects can sometimes confuse or distract the player's concentration while in intense combat
  • Screen shot is disabled for some weird reason (if someone can correct/help me please do)