JP Curzi

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    Bouncy bouncy…

    With all the anime side boob going on in this game, it is one tentacle monster short of being bumped from Teen to Mature rating. Despite a Teen rating, they do not miss an opportunity to do a […]

  • Review: Wasteland 2

    Review: Wasteland 2

    Wasteland 2 is the game I wished Fallout 3 would have been. That’s not to say that that Fallout 3 was a bad game; I had a lot of fun playing it, but the shitty FPS platform was a turn off for me. Wasteland 2 is a turn-based RPG with tactics-style combat similar to X-COM: Enemy Unknown for you newer gamers out there.

    I have never played the original Wasteland that inspired two of my favorite games growing up (Fallout 1 and 2), but its sequel is sweet! As the name implies, this game is set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland full of ruthless fanatics in robes, steam punks, mutated wildlife, and a live nuke just sitting on a table with a shiny red button. Would you not push the button and never know if the nuke really did work? I won’t spoil it for you, but I will remind you to save often.


    Wasteland 2 is hard! As a veteran Fallout player I brazenly attempted “Seasoned” difficulty (only the second of four) and got a lot of my squad killed fairly early on. In the interest of seeing as much of the game as possible for this review, I clicked through a lot of the dialogue, which usually ended up with me having to kill that person, and all of their friends…and the entire rest of the town. Still, there is a lot of well-written story in this game and it pays to read carefully. A note to people who do not like reading: this game has a lot of reading. There is a little voice acting for some of the characters, but the majority of the time you are reading text. Of course the people that this warning is meant to help have probably not read this far into my review.

    So far I have put 40 hours into Wasteland 2 (much of that time spent spamming through chat options and killing a lot of people) and I still haven’t finished it. It seems like I have a ways to go yet, and there were numerous other paths I could have taken. This game has awesome replay value. This particular playthrough I made a sniper, a thief (lock-picker and safe-cracker), a beefcake (max-strength brawler with iron knuckles), and a utility character (to disable alarms, use energy weapons, and carry my shovel). This team makeup has been pretty successful, although I did turn the difficulty down so I could see more of the game.

    Now, despite my love of this genre of games and fanboy attitude towards anything Fallout 1 or 2 (the Fallout Pip-Boy has been my online chat icon for years), this game is not perfect. I’ve experienced many glitches, though most of them were minor, but having the text dialogue not match up with the voice over can be a little disorienting. I did find one useful bug however; when applying skill points, you do not need to commit them until you leave your character screen. Since your inventory is on the character screen, you can put points into gunsmithing, tweak your weapons, and remove the points. In order to do this you need to have a character with free skill points, but after your weapon is all pimped out, you can put the points into your main gun mastery.

    All in all, I think Wasteland 2 does a good job preserving the harsh, lewd, and often funny post-apocalyptic RPG genre. This game’s minor shortcomings are easily outweighed by its strengths and I would recommend it to any fans of the genre.

    I give this game 4.5 stars out of 5.

  • Good to know. Maybe when I’m at my friends’ houses mooching off of their Wii U I will try those out.

  • e3 tank     E3, the veritable video game Mecca, has come and gone again. Although this was my first year participating, it went about how I expected; that is to say that there were a lot of booths showing off games and the entire Zerg army disguised as nerds were swarming the place. I was a little disappointed by the number of iOS games, and “kiddy” games, but that didn’t stop me from having fun. Below I will some of the games that caught my eye that I will be anxiously awaiting.




    What I am anticipating eagerly:

    civ be     Civilization: Beyond Earth – Imagine my surprise seeing that one of my favorite series is not only getting a new edition, but it is expanding into space. Unfortunately I was not able to land an appointment to check it out, so at this point all I can do is speculate. It is going to be a rehash of the old Alpha Centauri? Or maybe Civilization is branching out into the space 4X genre. Either way I am totally ok with it, and since doing a Google search or contacting 2K for press released information would be WAY too easy, I am just going to let my imagination run wild on this one. Civilization is one of the few series that has not disappointed me yet, so fingers crossed!



    gaunt     Gauntlet – Am I the only person who thinks “it’s about damn time they released another Gauntlet?” If so, let me get an “Amen,” and if not, I pity your childhood. The upcoming Gauntlet looks a lot more like the original than some of the later installations from the post NES generations of consoles. It is definitely prettier than the old one (as if I need to mention that), and has a slightly isometric view rather than the traditional overhead view. I especially like that they added the ability to bomb through certain walls, because anything inspired by Legend of Zelda is legit.


    smashbros     Smash Bros. – This game looks awesome of course, but I doubt I will go out and buy a Wii U for it. Fortunately I know which of my friends will, so guess where I will be hanging out once Nintendo drops the latest edition of the game that is keeping their company alive. I grew up with Nintendo, and there is a certain soft spot I have for them, but there are only so many gimmicky controllers and games designed for 8 year olds I can handle before I stop giving them my money. The Game Cube controller is ok and all, but it is hardly the best one available on consoles (yet it has somehow survived 3 generations for the sole purpose of accommodating Smash Bros. players). As usual there have been some character changes (most notably Little Mac who seems pretty OP), but at least they didn’t nerf Samus in this edition!

    mariomaker     Mario Maker – Maybe I’m old school (I do occasionally bust out a game of Tetris), but when I was growing up Mario Bros. was the shit! Soon, Nintendo will be rereleasing Mario Bros. with an awesome twist: you can make your own levels. Although I did not stick around long enough to try the demo they had set up, the concept alone has me excited.



    H1Z1 – h1z1This game has me excited because, ever since War Z (now called Infestation: Survivor Stories so they wouldn’t get sued by the author of World War Z) came out, the idea of a huge, open world, MMO zombie survival game has been very appealing to me. The problem with this genre of game is that none of the developers can seem to deliver on what they promise. The games are notoriously buggy, and are often riddled with hackers. Trying to survive a horde of zombies with nothing but a canoe oar is hard enough without having to worry about some asshole with a .22 head-shotting you from 1000 yard away. Although I have not seen the multiplayer aspect of H1Z1 yet, the demo showed great promise in terms of game stability, and actually had a professional looking interface. As with all games in this genre, I will not be giving them any of my money until the game is fully released, and appears to be functioning, but this game has serious potential. Anyone familiar with this genre probably just rolled their eyes and said, “I thought the same thing about Day Z standalone, and all the others, but they still turned out to be crap.” I know, I know, but I can still hold out hope that someone will eventually get it right.

    mgs5Metal Gear Solid V – You can abduct goats, ‘nuff said. All I got to see of this game as a developer controlled demo of one of the levels, but the stealth mechanics on this game look awesome. The only disappointing thing about this game is that the PC version is on the back burner. I don’t mind playing PC ports of console games, but when they make the controls hard to use, or over simplified for people who are not playing with an entire keyboard of buttons, it can be frustrating.


    • Wii U has other options besides the upcoming Gamecube controller adapter. The Pro controller is pretty similar to an Xbox 360 controller, and then you have the Classic controller and Classic Controller Pro.

    • Good to know. Maybe when I’m at my friends’ houses mooching off of their Wii U I will try those out.

      • The classic controller and classic controller pro are Wii controllers by the way. At the moment, the Wii U has 6 controller options, with the 7th one being added later this year with the Gamecube controller. All of them but 2 worked on the original Wii.

  • TASP2-gameMy first impression of the Amazing Spider-Man 2 was “this is a clunky version of Batman Arkham (insert Asylum, City, or Origins here) with web swinging instead of flying.” Turns out that my initial reaction was right on the money. But with a movie based video game, what do you expect? I was playing the PC version of this game (which has horribly unintuitive controls) and I was forced to use my Xbox joystick. Switching to the joystick made this game much more enjoyable since web swinging can be done by using the triggers rather than by a complex combination of buttons on the keyboard and mouse.

    Right away I noticed the combat system was just like the Arkham games; spam X to attack and Y to counter when your Spidey Sense starts tingling. There are a few web moves you can use in combat, but getting them to target the guy you are looking directly at, if anyone else is nearby, is damn near impossible. This led to many frustrating battles trying to shoot my corrosive web on an armored guy so I could knock him out, only to end up spamming webs on every other bad guy in the area besides the one I wanted. Another problem with this game are the seemingly uninspired boss fights. I was able to first try almost every boss in this game, although being able to fully heal yourself whenever you want helps.

    The web swinging and web pull are sort of glitchy as well. Often when swinging, the web will not attach even though there is an enormous building next to Spidey, and other times the webs will seemingly grab nothing. One example of this is if you look up to try to web pull yourself to a ledge, and aim a little too high, you will attach a web to the sky and rocket yourself over the building you are trying to reach. The camera when moving around on the walls and ceilings is very squirrelly as well; like when you hit a building and start running in a seemingly random direction regardless of where the camera is facing.  When the web swinging is working as intended however, it is actually pretty fun swooping over mid-day traffic like a Tarzan who met the Queer Eye people.Spidey 1

    One thing this game attempted (poorly) was a stealth system. Aside from not having to fight the guards directly (by button mashing X) there is little incentive to be stealthy on most missions that the guards do not have some absurd amount of firepower. Even then, with web upgrades, guns are little threat since you can disarm opponents (assuming you can target the correct one). The AI is pretty stupid as well, letting you sprint up behind someone you are about to use a stealth takedown on. I like the idea, but the system could use some polish.

    The upgrade system was not very exciting either. Yes the upgrades helped as I went through the game, but they felt a little half-assed.

    Spidey 4

    One system I did not like was the reputation system. By doing heroic deeds your reputation bar moves into the blue and you are hassled less by the cops. This meter, however, is arbitrarily reset during the main story quests, and goes negative if you fail to do the side missions in time as they pop up. I tried maintaining my reputation for a while, but I found that the cops were not a significant enough threat to bother, and just let my reputation fall all the way negative. They are easily avoided, and if you are caught, easily beaten or evaded.

    Spidey 3

    Another thing that made this game feel sort of “cheap” was the voice-overs, especially in combat. Repetitive smug Spidey remarks, that are the same on boss fights (where they seem a little out-of-place) as they are against your run-of-the-mill goons, get a bit tiring after a while. Six more hours of game play and I would have been playing on mute.

    Spidey 2

    All in all this game was fun despite the buggy feel and so-so graphics. As expected of games these days, the story took less than 6 hours to beat, although I did not do many of the side quests (I would estimate another 6 hours or so of content and a few more if I was going for 100% achievement completion). I did chase down a number of comic book pages (the Spidey equivalent of Riddler trophies minus the puzzles) which unlock vintage comics you can read in Stan Lee’s shop, but as a gamer first and Spider-Man fan second, that is not enough to hold my interest in this game. For true Spidey fans there is probably a lot of lore that would appeal to you that was lost on me. To be fair, for a movie based PC game, this game is stellar!

    Final Score: 4 out of 5

  • Planetary Annihilation (PC)

  • any chance of The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing (PC)?

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  • i do, but i don’t play console games (and no xbox live)

  • other requests:
    Company of Heroes 2 (PC)
    Sang-Froid (PC)

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    Set in the near future, The War Z throws you into a world where food and water are in short supply, guns are in even shorter supply, and friends are nonexistent.

    The War Z is an MMO zombie survival game, […]

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