Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hunting Unlimited 2010

I love hunting games.  A good portion of my childhood was spent in front of a computer hunting various furry critters.  It's been a really long time since I played any hunting games though, so I thought I'd give them another try.  I happened upon Hunting Unlimited 2010.

I was excited to have a new hunting game to explore and even more excited about it being an open world.  An open world can really enhance the gameplay of a game, if it's done correctly.  When gamers are offered an open world we expect more out of our game.  An open world should mean more interaction, more exploration and above all more entertainment.  I found that with Hunting Unlimited 2010 I was sadly disappointed.

An open world in a hunting game can either make or break it.  Open worlds can make the game more realistic and exciting by adding elements of tracking animals, factoring in wind direction, blinds and vehicles.  While all of these elements were present in Hunting Unlimited 2010, I found the open world to be frustrating for 3 reasons.
  1. They made the areas too frickin' big
  2. They made the character and other modes of transportation too frickin' slow
  3. There were hardly any animals making them too frickin' hard to find
Now, in all fairness, I didn't make it completely past all of the tutorial hunts, mostly because I became too bored to keep going.  I spent much of my time driving all over the map on my 4-wheeler looking for animals I wasn't finding.  I was finally able to find a bighorn and take it down, but by that time I had already decided that I was finished playing.

I really wanted to get past the tutorial and play at least a few hunts before writing up this review, but then I decided that if it was that much torture just making it through the tutorial, then I didn't need to play any more of the game to get what I needed to know.

The graphics in this game were not terrible.  They were by no means spectacular, but they deserve a solid okay.  The graphics were okay, although the moment did make me a little motion sick at times.  The controls are fairly straight forward, using the arrow or wasd keys to move while other keys controlled standing, crouching, laying prone and your equipment.

Overall, I think this is a game that I would have enjoyed were it not for the frustrating amount of time spent wandering the map.  The map may not have even been that big, but the character is extremely slow, even in running mode, and the 4-wheeler goes about 5 mph.  That is until you go down hill.  You can get a pretty good speed flying down hills, but on the other side is an uphill that will not only take you back down to speed but almost stop the 4-wheeler completely.

If you like hunting games and want to check it out, there are a few things to really like about this game, so long as you don't mind spending a lot of time wandering around the map.  As for me, if I never see this game again it will be too soon.

Jess the Geek Girl's Rating: 2.5/10

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

I ran down the darkened hallway, thrilled with my first small victory.  I had found the key and I could now make my way to the Wine Cellar.  I sped around the corner and that's when I saw it.  It's horrid cry chilled me to my bones.  It's mangled face turned towards me, hungry for my flesh.  I couldn't help myself, I screamed in utter terror.

And that's when my husband told me that I nearly broke his eardrum and was grounded from playing Amnesia: The Dark Descent until I could learn to control my screams.  I quickly shoved my character into a closet before saving and exiting the game, ashamed at my own lack of control.

As far as survival horror games go, this one has got my vote as the best.  Not only is it the scariest game I have ever played, the storyline is fantastic and draws you in to it's dark reality.  I thought that as an experienced paranormal investigator I might be immune to this game's frightening moments, as I've become immune to most of the horror movies these days.  (I mostly blame that onto what horror films have become, but I'll move on).  This is of course not the case with Amnesia.  Even replaying through the first part, I find myself drawn in once again and freaking out right along with Daniel.

The beginning of Amnesia: The Dark Descent can be very confuddling at first.  You're seeing only flashes of the scene around you as your character struggles to remind himself who he is.  After a few of those you finally black out.  The next time you wake up you find a note that you have written to yourself, explaining that your name is Daniel and that you have to descend to the pits of this fortress to kill some guy named Alexander.  Oh, and by the way, there's a shadow chasing you, so you might want to not let it catch you.  Oh well, that's good to know.

And with those words you begin your terrifying journey.  I absolutely love the way this entire game is setup.  The attention they put into every little detail is amazing!  And although the scenery is a bit creepy, you have to admit that it's pretty freakin' amazing.  Going through the game you're constantly surrounded by background noises which only add to the paranoia that something is after you.  You start to hear footsteps around you, groaning, doors opening and closing, and it doesn't help that your character, Daniel, tends to let out a whimper every now and then.

Now the thing that I feel really sets this game apart from any other in it's genre is that sure, they've got creepy looking monsters just like any other horror based game, except in Amnesia you can't do a thing about it.  That's right, you're supposed to go the entire game without any weapons of any sort.  The closest thing you've got is hurling boxes and chairs at the enemy, and those only stun them for a short time.  It's a game based around running, hiding and playing it safe.  So be sure to look around corners, or you'll be coming face to face with one scary looking Grunt.  Oh, and don't even get me started on the monsters in the water…

Check out this teaser for some intense moments in game play.

Also, as you would probably have imagined, this game has inspired some rather amusing reaction videos as well.  This video has a few of my favorites.  Although be warned, there are spoilers as well as swearing.

And finally, last but not least of the videos is a great live action version of Amnesia: The Dark Descent.

This guy is hilarious, but I don't know who to be more afraid of, the ex-girlfriend, or the ex-boyfriend who's breaking into his ex-girlfriend's apartment in the middle of the freakin' night.

And finally, great news for all of your lovers of the game.  It does look like there is a sequel in the works.  A teaser website is up with an awesome looking picture.  When the website was first published when clicked the picture would take you to a Google map of China, but now it seems to be pointing to a small island off the coast of the UK.  What could this mean?  The teaser site nextfrictionalgame has been confirmed to be a legit part of Frictional Games, the original developer of Amnesia: The Dark Descent.

So if any of you are fans of the game, let me know what you think of it in the comments.  Also, if you've got any video of you freaking out, I would desperately love to see it.  ;)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Welcome to Jess the Geek Girl Game Reviews

Congrats on finding this page!  If you have it means that you're super awesome.  But seriously, what is Jess the Geek Girl Game Reviews?  My name is Jess, I'm a geek and a girl, obviously.  I'm a co-host of a show called Residual Haunting Revived where I do a classic Sci-fi movie review every week.  Head over to my Movie Review blog to check them out.

I thought it would be an extra fun treat for listeners of RHR and everyone else out there if I started doing a few game reviews as well.  I want to do a lot of different reviews with no particular focus on one console.  I also want to review a few older games as well, including some of my favorite classics.  I don't want this to just be main-stream new games, I want to give everyone a different perspective on some games that they already know and love, or have not even heard of before.

To find out more about me and to see some of my adventures in every day life, head over to my Jess the Geek Girl blog and join in the fun.