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Journal of No. 118


July 2nd, 2010

Red Dead Redemption @ 03:04 pm

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Finished the main story of RDR a couple days ago. Before changing my white hat for black, I'm trying to squeeze out the last few percent of completion. Evidently, the gods of the Old West are not satisfied until I shoot a songbird, and pull in a few more bounties. And probably one or two other things I've missed.
The game is just beautiful, and the first half or two-thirds is really great as you settle into the Western milieu, learn/gain the different skills you'll need, and explore the world and the story. I'd say the last third starts to drop off in both quality & fun as the game has now run out of new tricks to teach you, and the focus turns more and more to killing passels of bad uns. I also think the Dead Eye (a slow motion effect that helps you dispatch your many foes) may actually be too much of an advantage. Don't get me wrong, I still get killed from time to time, but the Dead Eye makes it sadly easy to waste a bunch of dudes.
I guess Rockstar must still feel the burn (so to speak) from Hot Coffee, but it's still a little weird that the most you can do with the many, many lingerie-clad filles de joie is tip your hat to them. Well, you can knock them to the floor and shoot them in the gut, of course, that goes without saying.
I found the treasure-hunting side-missions strangely enjoyable. There's very little 'game', it's just about noticing the natural feature depicted on your treasure map, and then recognizing them when you come across them as you roam the landscape.
Lots of nice details everywhere. I saw a guy stop his horse and suspiciously (I thought) skulk off the side of the road. I followed him to see what he was up to, only to find him taking a leak on a rock.
The AI poker players have 'tells'. Even the guy who doesn't speak a damn word.
I haven't tested out the online multiplayer yet. Maybe soon.
As for minuses, besides the weakness in the story at the end, there are some issues with bugs (none too serious) and some issues with control (sometimes frustrating/bewildering, but mostly only with things you don't do frequently).
But really on the whole a great game.
 
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From:ian_tiberius
Date:July 2nd, 2010 10:56 pm (UTC)
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I also think the Dead Eye (a slow motion effect that helps you dispatch your many foes) may actually be too much of an advantage.

I haven't played RDR (and likely won't until it comes to PC) but Fallout 3 had the same problem. It's a great game, but when it's clobbering time, you just kick into slow-mo and shoot everybody in the face and the fight is over. After the opening stages of the game, I pretty much only got killed by surprise (a rocket-propelled grenade to the back of the head will end the fight, even in slo-mo.)

Ironically, the very first game I ever played that had this feature did it right. Max Payne had a bullet-time meter that you had to fill up by killing bad guys at regular speed; something slightly different might be called for in a game that offers challenges of types other than shooting people, but MP forced you to be very stingy with your bullet-time, using it only when absolutely necessary. Fallout 3 could have benefitted from that feature, and it sounds like RDR could too.

(Fallout 3 does limit your slo-mo time, but it's generally enough to shoot everybody in the face, and it recharges fast, so if you miss somebody, you can usually hide behind a chunk of rubble or something and wait for it to recharge before coming back out to chow yun-fat the remaining villains. This has the odd side effect of making wild animals more dangerous foes than people armed with assault rifles; the latter will hang back behind cover and give you time to recharge, whereas the former - which have to get right up close in order to hurt you - will relentlessly pursue you instead of giving you time to recharge your slo-mojo.)
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From:ian_tiberius
Date:July 2nd, 2010 10:58 pm (UTC)
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and as long as we're talking video games, I'll briefly plug "Batman: Arkham Asylum", which is the best game I've played in years.
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From:essentialsaltes
Date:July 2nd, 2010 11:02 pm (UTC)
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Dead Eye does require you to recharge it by killing people in normal time, but there are many other ways to refill it that are much easier. Like drinking moonshine.
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From:oohbarracuda
Date:July 3rd, 2010 06:22 am (UTC)
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Ben and his brother have this game. He told me about this one scene (or whatever, I don't play video games so excuse my lack of jargon) where this guy is totally having sex w/this large Latina woman and you see all the naughtiness. Gross! The end.
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From:essentialsaltes
Date:July 3rd, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC)
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Oh, you're right. And you don't even have to pay to watch!

Journal of No. 118