Video Games

Bullet Points: Far Cry 3 (Animal Edition)

I’m gonna have a lot to say about Far Cry 3 in the next few weeks, as it’s a game with a lot of fantastic features and some seriously baffling shortcomings. So, I’m gonna go piece by piece, and I want to start off with one of the high points: the animals.

There are a lot of animals in Far Cry 3. From farm animals like chickens and pigs, to sea creatures like sharks, rays, and turtles, to birds like vultures and these horrible vicious walking birds that I can’t remember what they’re called but they’re very mean. There are bears, panthers, tigers, leopards, boars, buffalo, komodo dragons, crocodiles, and even crabs (though they’re not mudcrabs, as everyone is not constantly discussing them).

The animals have a couple purposes: you can hunt most of them for their skins, which allows you to craft things, like extra holsters for more weapons, bigger ammo bags for more bullets and explosives, and bigger satchels for more health syringes. They also have second purpose, a more important purpose, and that is to make the game incredibly and hilariously unpredictable. The animals roam where they want, and often in the midst of exploring or combat, they’ll just sort of pop up and make a big hilarious mess of things.

Here’s my bullet points of the most enjoyable, funny, and deadly animal encounters I’ve had:

  • While exploring, I came across a group of pigs crossing a bridge. I just think that’s about the best thing I’ve ever seen.

ERMEHGERD: BERGE PERGS

  • Climbing a radio tower, I heard shouting and gunshots below, and figured I’d been made. Nope. Just a komodo dragon attacking and killing two enemy soldiers, and then proceeding to chase down and kill some nearby goats. Somebody was hungwee!
  • I was trying to flush an enemy thug from behind a tree, so I chucked a grenade. He saw it, took two panicked steps out from cover, and was promptly savaged to death by a leaping tiger neither of us knew was there.
  • After taking over an enemy stronghold, I found a cage with a giant walking bird in it. I said “Aw, don’t lock up a giant bird, you jerks!” and let it out. It promptly kicked the shit out of me.
  • While creeping through tall grass toward an enemy stronghold, I heard a grunt. I looked to my left and saw a pig just as he looked to his right and saw me. We both went on our way, me to conduct my violence and him to conduct his pig business.
  • Deer on a beach? Why not. Deer on a beach.

I hunted them with my most reliable weapon: the Jeep I was driving.

  • I successfully fended off an attacking leopard, only to turn around and get the shit kicked out of me by one of those giant walking birds. Again.
  • While perched on a cliffside, trying to snipe an enemy on the road below, a boar charged me from behind and knocked me off the cliff, to my death.
  • While taking an extended hang glider tour, a vulture swooped in and flew along side me for a bit. Good idea. Stick with me, and you’ll have plenty of corpses to dine on. Possibly including mine.
  • While cornered in a shack by two enemy soldiers, I heard a roar. Then nothing. When I peeped outside, I saw a leopard had dispatched them both.

Who’s a good leopard? You is! Yes you is!

  • While trying to run over a komodo dragon with an ATV (I HAD MY REASONS) he slithered out of the way and I drove off a cliff and died.
  • After taking over a stronghold, a group of those big walking birds wandered in and basically kicked the shit out of my allies. I just sort of watched, thinking there was no way three guys with automatic weapons could lose a fight to four birds. But lose they did. Those birds are jerks!

My money is on the bird.

  • Finally, there are sea turtles. They don’t try to kill me or nothin’.

Video Games

Bullet Points: L.A. Noire, Part 2

So, I finished up L.A. Noire, at least the main storyline cases.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. The game has plenty of problems and there are a number of elements I wish had been handled differently, but I have to give Rockstar and Team Bondi some kudos for trying something a little different and succeeding where they did. Looks like it took me about 27 hours to finish the cases, handle about half the street crimes, and just muck around in general: well worth the price, and I’ll probably play a little more from time to time until there’s some DLC.

As for where they failed and succeeded, well, I don’t want to get specific. There’s some mostly general, non-spoilery stuff below.

[Read more...]

Video Games

Bullet Points: L.A. Noire, Part 1

Los Angeles. Nineteen-forty-something-or-so. My name? Chris Livingston. I’m a police officer. My name? Cole Phelps. So, uh… forget about the Chris Livingston thing. I got confused.

I’m investigating a murder. It’s not just any old murder. It’s a tutorial murder. Maybe it’s the damn heat, or maybe it’s just this damn city, but tutorial murders are up 23% on my beat. Damn these tutorials! They cost too many lives. Lives this damn city can’t afford.

I find a gun, and take it to a gun dealer to see what’s what. The gun dealer won’t give me a damn thing, except for the fact that he had the gun in his shop, that he sold the gun, the name of the person he sold it to, and that person’s home address. Fine, play it cool, Buster. Let’s see how cool you are when I closely examine all the DECORATIVE WOODEN DUCKS you’ve got in your store. Feel like talking now? Oh, wait, you did talk, and you’ve been extremely helpful. I’ll just put all your decorative wooden ducks back and leave. Thank you for your time, sir.

[Read more...]

Video Games

Bullet Points: Portal 2, Part 2 (Spoiler-Free)

Well, I finished Portal 2 last night. To avoid spoilers of any kind, this installment of Bullet Points is going to be pretty short. Even the spoiler-free reviews I read after finishing the game gave away stuff I’m much happier to have found out myself while playing, so don’t read any of them! Don’t even read this one! (Actually, this one is fine to read.)

[Read more...]

Video Games

Bullet Points: Crysis 2, Part 5

I played great gobs of Crysis 2 over the weekend. Enjoying it still, for the most part. I’m seven hours in, according to my Steam stats.

I think I’ve been a little too sloppy with posting spoilers, blatantly listing out the storyline and such, so sorry about that. I’ll try to be a little more general with my descriptions from here on out, for those of you who haven’t played but are interested.

[Read more...]

Video Games

Bullet Points: Portal 2, Part 1 (Spoiler-Free)

There will be no spoilers below, I’m just going to be talking in very general terms about the game (which I haven’t even finished). There’s too much fun stuff to discover on your own, which is why I avoided as much of the pre-release media blitz as I could. (And I feel like I’ve probably had too many spoilers in the Crysis 2 stuff I’ve been posting). I’m not even going to post screenshots. About the only thing I mention specifically below is about an actor who does some voice-work in the game.

Anyway. Portal 2! It’s finally here, and out a few hours early to boot. It unlocked for me around 10pm last night, and after about ten minutes of waiting for the files to decrypt, I was able to start playing. I played about two hours last night, and followed it up with a little more this morning (I called in late). I haven’t tried multiplayer yet; I want to finish the single-player stuff first.

How is it? It’s great and you should buy it and play it. Some general deets and thoughts below. If you leave a comment, please keep them spoiler-free as well.

[Read more...]

Video Games

Bullet Points: Crysis 2, Part 4

I’m starting to realize that the stuff Prophet was doing in the intro movie is a bit different than the stuff I’m doing. He was jumping off buildings and blowing up trucks and ripping giant guns off vehicles and staring down helicopters like they couldn’t even hurt him. Me, I mainly sneak around, invisible, shooting people when they’re not paying attention and then scamper off and hide.

Not that I’m not having fun, I am. But if we were both in The Fantastic Four, Prophet would be The Thing and I’d be The Invisible Woman, if the invisible woman had a machine gun.

[Read more...]

Video Games

Bullet Points: Crysis 2, Part 3


I had a bunch of Cokes with dinner, so I wound up wide-awake at 11pm last night. Played some more Crysis 2, and this morning I’m a tired, half-unconscious mess. Here’s the run-down.

[Read more...]

Video Games

Bullet Points: Crysis 2, Part 2

Picking up where I left off: there’s an alien virus in Manhattan, which somehow causes aliens to invade, and there’s a bunch of enemy soldiers, and I still don’t really get the plot because I was too busy kicking things to pay attention.

Reading the Wikipedia page helps a little. The enemy soldiers are military contractors who want to kill me because they think I’m Prophet, who they were trying to kill because he was infected with the alien virus. So, it’s just a wacky case of mistaken identity that could be cleared up by me telling everyone that I’m not Prophet. Or, you know, I could just keep killing them. I think I’ll do that!

[Read more...]

Video Games

Bullet Points: Crysis 2, Part 1

Video game reviews are tricky for non-professional (or, in my case, unprofessional) game writers. Unlike career game journalists, the hobby gamer doesn’t get an early look at most games. We have to buy them ourselves, which can get expensive. And, when a game contains ten or twenty or more hours of playtime, it may take us weeks to play through them, trying to find time to play among our other obligations, such as our real paying jobs and visits to our parole officers. Even if we do finish a game in a timely manner, there are already dozens of reviews already online, rendering our thoughts a bit moot.

There’s also the fact that I don’t finish playing every game, or even most games, I buy. Sometimes they’re just not fun, sometimes they’re too hard, and sometimes they start out okay but get boring. Should I even be reviewing a game that I’ve only played partially, weeks after it’s been released?

[Read more...]