Where the Grass is Green…
Posted by deckard47 on August 1, 2008
After the disappointment of Soul Calibur, I was hoping that my Gamefly queue would pull out a winner, and it has. By the way, isn’t it annoying how you never know what’s going to show up, because half of the games are on crazy availability, half are on medium availability, and half are on NEVER availability (like ICO!)? Yes, it is annoying.
Still, Burnout: Paradise rocks. It really does. It’s everything I’d hoped it would be, a combination of Burnout and Midtown Madness that soothes the soul. I’ve unlocked around 10 cars, I htink, and there are 75 total to find, so I still have a ways to go. The jumps are cool, the crashes are absolutely amazing (no really, they’re fabulous, they’re ridiculously fun), and the ability to explore a (mostly) open city is great. The cars handle differently, even within their respective classes. Personally, I like the Road Rage challenges the best: take down as many cars as you can. I do find it annoying that there isn’t an instant restart option for failed races. It sucks having to drive back to that distant street light to start the race over. Still, no matter where you stop, there’s bound to be a jump or race you can find nearby. You know how you’re supposed to get distracted in GTA and have trouble finishing the game? That actually happens in Paradise. Oh, and the graphics (on my PS3 version)? Really sweet. I could watch tiny bits of glass fly from my broken windshield over and over, and not get tired of it. This game rocks, and if you haven’t rented it, rent it (or buy it). I think it is highly unlikely that you will be disappointed.
On a side note, my brother recently bought me three games as presents: God of War 2, Star Wars Battlefront 2 (is that it’s name?) and Okami, all for PS2. I’ll have to check them all out, but I need to beat God of War first. I gave it a try last night, and I remember why it attracts and repels me better now: the gameplay is solid (yes, better than Heavenly Sword), the puzzles are pretty good, and the setting is pretty interesting. On the other hand, the story is silly (shit, he’s evil…! But he feels bad! But he’s evil! Aaaaaah, moral conundrum!), and the game is just so over-the-top violent/sadistic. Look, a helpless guard in a cage… Burn him! I guess I accept evil gameplay in Bioware games because the point of the game is to force you to make interesting decisions and then show you the consequences. In God of War, you murder people because that shit is cool. Errr, I mean it’s part of the nuanced story. About murdering being cool shit. Also, it’s so weirdly brutal and violent. I was talking with Owen about this, and he was commenting on the way that video games are so slavishly violent. Gears of War 2 and Dead Space are good examples of this. He picked up a GamePro (I think) for me at the airport, and we were both struck by how the coverage of these games is always: “well, you can dismember him in 50 ways,” and then the magazine treats this like an amazing selling point, you know, like I might tell you “and then, you realize that the peanut butter chocolate chip cookies have huge chunks of peanuts and peanut butter, and you fucking lose it.” Really, why so violent? There are so many other gimmicks, but this is the one that is trundled out for all to see, time and again. To be honest, I feel that it’s necessary/appropriate sometimes (Dead Rising), but I’m a callow youth, weaned on violence, sex, and high-resmolution video games. More on the graphic violence later, I guess.