Tag Archive: First Impressions


That’s right folks, this year has been a great year for video games and I’m ready to look back now with some End of Year Awards. You’ll find that stuff posted this week. Overall this is a pretty big week for Player 1 Only!

I’ll have my Video Game Awards kicking off this week, with winners being revealed all throughout the week. Not enough daily content for you? Don’t worry, while awarding the best games this year I’ll be sharing with you folks my Top 10 Most Anticipated Games of 2010, revealing two every day counting down to my most anticipated game of 2010. Still not happy?  Well no fear, I’ll be posting my First Impressions of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, and also look out for reviews for Brutal Legend, Borderlands, and Assassin’s Creed 2. That should satisfy. Also look out for news articles throughout the week, if there’s any of course.

That should wrap that up.  Even though games are done coming out for now, I’m still playing loads! I’m working on Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, then moving on to Red Faction: Guerrilla, then moving on to The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, and much more. With school finally over I got loads of time to catch up and loads of time to write. So stay tuned, lots of cool stuff is coming to the site!

Ever since Dante’s Inferno was announced it has been slammed by many people as a shameless God of War clone, and in a general round-about-way they are completely right. The control scheme is completely God of War-esque right off the bat, and the general feel of the game is also very similar.To try to convince people that the game is more than a shameless rip-off EA has released a demo for PS3 owners first, to try to convert the God of War fans.

The demo starts off with a CGI cutscene showing Dante sewing a cloth cross into his skin which details Dante’s many sins. This cross is used to introduce anime cutscenes that go into depth on Dante’s past, and his dark secrets. Both the CGI and anime cutscenes are used in an effective manner, and both have very high production values and work well and add variety to the story.

After some story dumpage we go into the past where Dante is in Acre as a crusader, where he comes under attack by some weak human dudes who fall pretty quickly to your halberd’s light and heavy attacks and combos. After slaughtering those fools you move on and then get stabbed in the back by an assassin.

As Dante is left to die, Death himself comes to claim his soul and send him to Hell. Dante refuses to face his destiny, and prepares to do battle with Death.

All of this transpires with in-game cutscenes, which compares poorly to it’s fantastic CG and anime brethren, but the characters animate well. And I really enjoyed the voice acting, Dante doesn’t sound like a gruff soulless badass like Kratos, and instead has a very soulful and emotional voice actor who portrays the character well. Other characters have good voice work also, with Death and others sounding like they should.

As a first boss battle, Death is good and fair and as long as you block and dodge you’ll survive and triumph. After inflicting a good amount of damage to Death, you switch out your halberd for Death’s badass scythe and precede to beat the crap outta Death.

Combo’s with the early halberd felt wrong and out-of-place, but as soon as you gain the scythe everything comes together well and feels right. Another quicktime event kicks up with Death begging for his life, up until Dante cuts him in half.

After surviving his confrontation with Death, Dante decides to head home back to his wife Beatrice, but finds his house in ruins and arrives in time to find her dead with her soul getting stolen by some dark force. Dante gives pursuit, fighting off mysterious dark demons as he heads to the church. Here he finds Beatrice, seemingly being raped by this dark force, who then drags her to hell. This is where you gain your other weapon, the cross, which functions as a range/crowd control weapon.

Here the game introduces its upgrade mechanic and pseudo-moral choice decision system. By grabbing enemies with your scythe you can choice to either completely obliterate  them with your scythe, or save their souls with the holy cross.

You gain extra souls pertaining to either the Unholy upgrade tree that powers up your scythe, or the Holy path upgrading your cross. The two upgrade trees are incredibly deep, and seem like it’ll be impossible to fully fill up both of them by the end of the game. Obliterating enemies is quick and satisfying, while saving them takes a great deal of time to accomplish and probably gives the greatest benefit.

Once you make your way through the church you find yourself at the gates of hell, which happens to be modeled after Auguste Rodin sculpture, but you cannot open it. Here you find Virgil the poet, who claims that Beatrice asked him to guide you through hell to her.

Dante swears an oath to save her, Virgil gives him the power to unleash devastating attacks called Magic. After which hordes of the unholy erupt from the ground around you, trying to kill you.

After long long fight sequence, a new powerful demonic enemy with goat horns confronts you who is a little harder to kill than the little dudes you fought along the way. After more fighting a gigantic beast with a rider on top breaks through a wall.

Once you’ve worn it down, you’ll enter a quicktime event where you gain possession of the beast. Which controls incredibly well, then you use the beast to kill more enemies by smashing them and breathing fire.

After all enemies are dead you steer the beast over to the gates of hell, and using the beast you rip them open. As Dante enters in, the demo ends.

The demo was fun and a pleasure to play through, the controls were incredibly solid and offered no hinderance to the mayhem you caused. Technically the graphics were a little on the weak side, though the game ran at a steady smooth 60 FPS which really added to the experience.

Once of the most surprising thing about Dante’s Inferno was it’s upgrade system, was which incredibly deep reminding me of Diablo and Borderlands right off the bat. And the Punish and Save system is an interesting innovation to the hack ‘n slash genre.

Another good thing was that the story was very interesting, and was told well with a good mix of CGI, anime, and in-game cutscnes. And I’m intrigued on how it’ll develop.

The ultimate sin of the Dante’s Inferno demo is that it doesn’t take place in hell, which, from the videos, looks incredible and shows Dante’s Inferno’s unique artstyle.

Despite that I fully recommend that PS3 owners try this out, which is out now while 360 owners will have to wait until December 24th.  The game will be in stores Feburary 9th, 2010. Prepare to go to hell.

gran turismo psp 2

Gamefly was happy to send me this game right away after I put it in my GameQ, now I’m not really a driving game kinda’ dude, the furthest I’ve ever step into the genre was my safe little hole called Burnout. But after playing the Forza 3 demo, I found out something. I REALLY like racing games. This realization urged me on to try out Gran Turismo on the PSP, an entry from the popular console series of games that I’ve never played.

After popping the UMD into the handheld and starting it up, it immediately went  “DUDE, YOU SHOULD TOTALLY CHECK OUT THE CHALLENGE AREA TO LEARN HOW TO NOT SUCK AT THIS GAME!”. Shrugging my shoulders I opened up the challenge mode and started up the first mission. I’m not sure what it was trying to teach me really, as all I had to do was stop the car inside a little box.

Bleh, said I, race time!

Before that however I decided to check out the cars that I could buy at that dealership. The games generously gives you quite a lot of credits in the beginning to mess around and buy some cars. Now, I’ve read that the game has over 800 cars which is quite an impressive number, but the weird thing is that the game doesn’t show them all to you. The game tracks your progress with ‘Days’, each time you race a day goes by, and each day a new set of cars will show up.

It’s kinda weird that they don’t just have them all there for you to pick and choose what you want, instead of relying on luck, hoping they have the car you wanted.

gran-turismo-psp

After that I bought a couple of cars and got into the meat of the game, the single player race mode. Now a terrible mistake the developers did that I noticed right away was they did not create a career mode for you to race in, instead you just pick from a list of a bunch of tracks and races. And you even have to unlock harder AI modes on EACH TRACK so it becomes boring having to out race D ranked AI constantly.

Now the driving itself is fine, cars sound good and each are different to drive and are fun to learn how they work. The graphics in the game are pretty impressive considering it’s on a PSP, the stand-outs being the car models themselves while the environments looked kinda’ plain and dry.

Overall I had fun with the little bit I played of it, even if the experience was very unstructured and confused as a whole.

That was my first hour of Gran Turismo, stay tuned for a review coming out this week.