The best excerpts from Wikipedia’s Xbox 360 Backwards Compatibility Guide
- Tire screeching noise can last throughout an entire race.
- Cannot use Pump It Up dance pad.
- Every time disk is started, requires console reboot.
- The option to assign keys to the Right Trigger in the Settings menu is missing.
- In certain regions, such as around the Pyongyang Airport, the game will abruptly freeze.
- In night-time races, the moon appears as a large blue square in the sky!
- Text, compass, and prone status not sharpened.
- Also framerate drops slightly at points where a lot of “action” is going on.
- certain graphics lag (e.g., Snow, Explosions).
- Afterburners show up as black voids instead of white mist.
- Traces of blood dropping from the HUD may remain over the black bar on the bottom.
- Game may also crash after a double KO.
- Create-A-Boxer’s facial hair cannot be seen on cab. Some patches on the head of a boxer are completely transparent.
- When the controller vibrates, it occasionally doesn’t stop vibrating.
- Sometimes solutions to puzzles are presented BEFORE the actual puzzle is given.
Finishing my playthrough of RAGE (which I refuse to lowercase for the same reason Doom is technically DooM) I started around release, I’m reminded of a note I made 25 minutes in:
This shotgun is AWESOME
Yeah, it’s a fucking stupid thing to say when it comes to Real-Ass Game Criticism but it’s something I don’t think I’ve said about any shooter in way too long. And it really says something about the way iD makes games.
Don’t get me wrong, RAGE isn’t the best, as by now you probably know. It’s linear as hell, there’s no ending, the hyped MegaTextures only work about half the time, and it has multiplayer options that just don’t cut it in this post-CoD world.
But the weird this is, RAGE fails when it comes to the extras that we expect from modern AAA titles in general, the basics are absolutely perfect. That probably is a given when you’re the people who basically invented first person shooters but let’s think about the things that you expect from an FPS:
- Movement in 3D space
- Environments to do said killing with aforementioned Guns
Granted, that’s the literal bare minimum. But RAGE absolutely succeeds in all of those. All the guns (including but not limited to the Awesome Shotgun) have a tactile heft and feel that’s near gone nowadays. When you shoot someone with these guns you can tell that it absolutely hurts (so, check killing) instead of just sorta falling down. The surprisingly really well handled driving mechanic of the game counts for a ton of movement in 3D space. And for the environments? Well the half the time the MegaTextures do work, they’re quite pretty.
Ultimately this isn’t enough, which is why I’m not surprised to a lot of poor reviews about the game having some version of the phrase “stuck in the past” in them, but after year after year of games being accused of all skin and no bones, here’s the skeleton of a much better game.
Oh, and the shotgun is awesome.
Meh-sonance of Fate
(Even the protagonists look sort of bored with this game.)
I’m about 20 hours into Resonance of Fate, but I’m having a hard time sticking with it. By all rights, I should adore this game, since it avoids many of things that I profess to hate in RPGs:
(1) I hate lengthy, plodding, cutscenes with over-the-top dramatics, and RoF doesn’t have any of that. The storytelling is, in fact, refreshingly sparse. There are cutscenes, but they’re usually only a few minutes long—no more than evocative vignettes, sketching in the backstories of the characters. There are a few hints of what the actual storyline will be, but no overt foreshadowing. The writing and voice acting aren’t great, but they aren’t offensively bad either.
(2) I hate simple battle systems that reward mindless grinding over good strategy and tactics, and RoF isn’t like that. RoF’s battle system is actually… fun. There’s a good mix of character building strategy, in-battle placement tactics, and real-time dexterity. It’s tightly constructed, too, which I like—there are a minimal number of stats and upgrades, each of which has pretty clear implications on how battles will play out.
(3) I hate interminable, intricate side quests in RPG, especially when they’re focused on exchanging “key items” with NPCs (instead of, say, exploring the world or defeating enemies in battle). So I love that the side quests in RoF move along quickly. There is some random walking around towns and talking to people, but there aren’t very many “fetch quest” type missions (where you have to trade something to a guy to get a thing to trade to another guy ad nauseum).
So if Resonance of Fate does so many things right, why do I feel like quitting? I’m not sure. The only complaint that I can put into words is that the “dungeons” (really just battles chained together with no chance to save in between) are too long and too… “samey.” Sometimes you’ll fight the same bunch of monsters on the same terrain three or four times in a row, which just isn’t fun. It’s possible that the game, in general, moves too slow for my tastes.
At least, I hope that’s enough to to explain why I don’t really want to quit playing. Otherwise I may have to re-evaluate what I like in a JRPG. Maybe I really do like ham-fisted, cutscene-riddled JRPGs about adolescent spike-hairs who grind their way from town to town after town talking to random NPCs in order to find a brooch belonging to someone’s grandfather’s pig so he can trade it to a bearded guy for an airship…?! Yikes.
Come On Now, People, Make A Stand
Navy Fleet is an iPhone game in the vein of Picross or Sudoku, a logic puzzle built around Battleship-like placement of a specific set of ships of varying sizes in a field of water. Using clues telling you how many spaces on each row contain ships and an occasional starting space or two already revealed, you must uncover the location of all of the ships. It’s a pretty simple concept and there are only 100 levels but I’ve been really enjoying it for the past few days.
I’d like to see the developer add on to the game with levels that change up the concept a bit, maybe with a larger board and a different assortment of ships. Still, these are keeping me busy for now (I’m about to unlock Admiral, the last set of puzzles) and I consider it $1.99 well spent on a simple, well-executed concept. I’m still waiting for a truly killer Picross game to come out on iPhone (I keep an eye on this pretty carefully, and have not been impressed by any so far), so this is a nice game along the same lines to play while I wait.