Sunday, December 23, 2012

Week... Whatever

     So I haven't been keeping up with this whole blog thing for a number of reasons. First, it is difficult to chronicle a playthrough of any game over a number of entries without repeating praise or criticism. Second, I haven't really been playing as much as I would like.

Third, I'm considering sprinkling regular video game discussion in the future, and didn't really feel like writing another entry about Red Dead Redemption. Not that it isn't worth it, but I don't want to be written off as a simple fan boy who loves what he loves with no real insight into a game.

I'd like to get more topical with things in addition to keeping up with my playthroughs.

Part of me wants to abandon the replays and focus on the games I have not finished, but that wouldn't fulfill my desire to, for once in my life, have every game I own completed.

I've owned SNES, Game Boy, N64, Gamecube, PS2, XBox, and XBox 360. Across those consoles, I've played upwards of 250 games. In the early days, it was easy to finish a game because I didn't buy a bunch at once.

Once I got a job, I started buying games and it built up. I've never had a substantial backlog until the last couple of years and I hate it.

So what this boils down to is quite simple: I'm broadening the focus of this blog, and take a less linear approach to my backlog. If I get tired of playing a game, I'm going to move on. If I want to talk about a new release, something I'm looking forward to, something that bothers me in the gaming universe, I'm going to talk about it.

But who am I kidding, how many people are actually reading any of this?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Weeks 9 and 10: Shooting Sh*t

     It would be wrong of me to try to cut corners in describing Red Dead Redemption. The world is wonderfully crafted, the story is engaging, the gameplay is straightforward, and like most of Rockstar games, you aren't tethered to one unbroken storyline.

Freedom is the name of their game, and Red Dead Redemption may be one of the best games at delivering on that promise.

At the most basic level, RDR is Grand Theft Auto without the crowded skylines and sprawling cities. I played Vice City and loved it. I played San Andreas and loved it. When I played GTA IV, I found it difficult to connect with the game.

I didn't care for Niko Bellic, despised the forced friend interactions, and found myself avoiding most of the missions to just drive around and create chaos on the city.

RDR, on the other hand, puts you in the shoes of John Marston, a man looking to right his wrongs for the sake of his family. A man who doesn't lie about his past, and knows he's damned for what he has done.

All he wants to do is close that chapter of his life and pick up his simple life on his family ranch with his wife and son.

I'll stop myself before I go into too much depth about the intricacies of the plot, though it is fairly straightforward. The gameplay is what really matters for me at this point.

Unlike the GTA series, you aren't given an array of weaponry and vehicles, nor a sizable population to terrorize or affect. You have a knife, a gun and a horse in a god-fearing, prejudiced world that is lawless at times just as it is strictly governed at others.

If you kill a man just to watch him die, the law will catch on to you and make you pay with blood. If you kill a man who has stolen your horse, or is beating up on one of the saloon ladies, you've got every right to take his life.

Then there's Thieves' Landing, where anything goes as long as your prepared to gun down everyone in town for one offense.

Some may lament the relatively barren landscape, but f*ck them. It's the early 1900s. Things are still spread out. It would remove the genuine approach to the game by putting in a bunch of bustling urban environments just to appease a few gamers.

I like the build to Blackwater, the one city with paved roads and a cosmopolitan feel.

Enough praise, let's get to updating what progress I've made thus far...

To be honest, I haven't made much of a dent in the game. Too busy enjoying things to speed through missions. I take my time, hunt a bit, do some gambling, but otherwise, I'm only just branching out from Armadillo.

Helping out West Dickens and Seth, while stealing the Gatling gun out of the mine.

Clearly I spent too much time gathering the heaps of praise, and lost track of what I've actually done... Oh well, I'm making my way through the game, and enjoying every second of it.

Part of me wants to take on some bears with nothing but a knife, but that's a ways away from where I'm at in the story.