Back on top?

GTA IV was released waaaayyy back in 2008 and at the time, it pretty much set the standard in open world games. There was almost no limit to the stuff you could do. The problem is a lot of it was executed pretty poorly. The camera was bad, the cars controlled terribly, the shooting was awful. The cops were on your ass for the slightest infraction. Then there was the relationship aspect, where you had to hang out with friends and significant others when they called you on the phone or your relationship suffered. In the meantime, we've had games like Sleeping Dogs, Saints Row III (and IV) and even Lego City Undercover (and to a lesser extent games like Infamous 2 & Arkham City) that all improved on at least one aspect from GTA if not several. Is it even fun to drive around in a city anymore with semi-realistic traffic and physics anymore? You can get way crazier in other games.

Basically I hated GTA IV and was really, really ready to hate on GTA V. But you know what? They fixed a lot of stuff. No longer is the camera your enemy. The auto-aiming works incredibly well. The driving still kinda sucks but is also a lot more forgiving. The hand-to-hand combat is non-existent so if you are looking for something deep there you won't find it, but that's pretty minor. Probably the best part is unlike IV beyond a few opening missions you really are free to proceed at your own leisure. You have a cell phone but it's a helpful tool rather than an annoying obligation. It's also really funny in some incredibly dark ways, but that's GTA. If anything, like many grand scale open world games, it may offer a little too much in ways to truly waste time (playing the stock market? watching a movie? playing golf?) but since all that is very optional it doesn't bother me.

Probably the only big negative I can point to is that I find the 3 central characters to  be extremely unappealing. Granted for somebody who just wants to cause mayhem in San Andreas that means nothing, but I do care about story and I won't get heavily invested with characters I don't want to spend time with. But at the end of the day, this is a great step up from GTA IV and a really fun open world game overall that has that Rockstar presentation and polish you don't get from any other developer, so it's well worth your time. If my plate wasn't so full already I'd probably spend a good month or so on it myself, but as is it's better for me to wait for a sale or the GOTY next-gen edition everyone is predicting.

And just some quick thoughts on Wonderful 101-It's really fun. Like weird Japanese games, it doesn't explain itself extremely well, but once you get the hang of stuff you'll be making awesome heroic morphs in no time. What I don't get is why it's getting knocked for that when other games that don't explain jack and punish you way worse like Monster Hunter or Dark Souls get praised. Whatever. Granted I can't highly recommend this over huge titles like GTA V but I'm enjoying it more than Pikmin 3 and it's a very worthwhile purchase for Wii U owners.

That's it for today but I should have a Gamer Cinema up tomorrow.

No comments: