I'm not saying that the bar was exceptionally high.
Friday, June 26, 2009
I'm heading off to a nice vacation and will, sadly, have to leave my consoles behind. I'll also have to leave my newest Gamefly arrivals: Afro Samurai and Tomb Raider: Underworld behind in yet another cost-ineffective attempt to cycle through lots of games.
Monday, June 22, 2009
I've been sitting on a couple of my Gamefly games for several months now. It's really quite frustrating because at this point my rental fees are more than the used game price of Starwars: Force Unleashed and Metal Gear Solid 4. Anyhow, they're both going back in the mail tomorrow.
- There were no opportunities to practice core game play controls and mechanics in safety.
- Too many movies broke up the opportunity to rehearse and master controls.
- Controls were not layered on in any sensible way (e.g., start with one or two items, then slowly add more items of the same category, and then new categories of items). I never really understood how to use any of my "items" and found my weapons hard to equip and aim.
- The stealth game play HUD seemed even more complex than the one in Assassin's Creed. I was never sure what the various color codings of my Stealth Gauge meant, nor could I understand how the health bar depleted or what changes in Snake's stress level meant.
- I could never figure out how to set my camera correctly. There were three places to select vertical camera (invert or normal) and I could not figure out a way to get my in-game camera to be inverted while NOT also inverting the map-scroll camera. And, yes, I did try all 8 permutations (3 binary choices).
- Although almost all UI options did have help text, the help text was inevitably jargonistic and not very helpful in terms of explaining what changes to each option meant.
- The "Drebin Store" UI hurt my brain in multiple ways. It was unclear what the "receipt" option did, how I could sell off equipment to get points to purchase new equipment, and what the various highlight colors referred to.
- The minimap was quite confusing: It contained a large arrow (which did not denote the direction you needed to go in), a red marker (which did not indicate enemy presence), and a hard to read "N" (which was supposedly the north compass point).
- Weapon and item selection was confusing. I tried to choose the "cycle" option, assuming that tapping the shoulder button would cycle me through available weapons/items. Nope. I couldn't figure out what that option actually did, so selecting the weapon/item I wanted to equip was a constant chore.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
- Limited dictionary. Seems like the same words come up fairly frequently.
- Limited leaderboards. It's hard for an infrequent player like me to keep up with folks who are glued to their PCs or cellphones all day. I need contextual leaderboards that show me how I'm doing relevant to similar others. Unfortunately the current leaderboards only display top 5 players and there's no way to drill in further to see how I'm doing.