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    jp's Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)

    [September 30, 2011 11:08:34 PM]
    Having finished the game I thought I'd give the multiplayer a whirl. I was actually surprised to see that there were people online I could play with AND that I wasn't the only noob idiot. Well, almost. There were definitely people playing who had a lot more experience and time with the game than me (based on their rating/rankings). I tried a few of the "typical" competitive modes and was mostly disillusioned. After all, the combat mechanics are the same and I didn't particularly enjoy them in single played. Multiplayer wasn't going to be any better, obviously. The co-op modes though, were a little bit more interesting, mostly because the bad guys are AI, making it more likely that I wouldn't be a complete disaster. Sort of. I guess I mostly felt non-plussed by the whole experience. Sure, I guess I could spend some more time and learn to play, get some more experience, and acquire some better equipment. However, to what end? It's not like there aren't OTHER games I'd rather get to.
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    [August 23, 2011 03:56:09 PM]
    Drake is in some sense an endearing character. He spends most of the game huffing, puffing, moaning, and groaning as you subject him to a physical workout that would have left an Olympic athlete begging for mercy. Drake's vocalization of his effort humanizes him, it makes him more real. And this is a good thing. Drake isn't indestructible or superhuman...

    Once I finished the game, I went into the "extras" and discovered that it's possible to purchase extras with the money you've earned by getting trophies. There are different kinds of unlockables including variant "character skins". Most of these looked like costume changes, so I was intrigued by the one called "Doughnut Drake". It's an expensive one ($50K in addition to requiring two earlier purchases for $20K each). Surely it must be special.

    And it is.

    Doughnut Drake is an overweight version of Drake. Drake looks bloated and fat (go on, look for "Doughnut Drake" images on Google). It's a neat gag. But, as I played through the first mission's a little bit more than that. This time the grunts and groans take on an entirely new meaning. Now Drake was grunting and moaning because he (in my mind) was fat and out of shape. Rather than feel sorry for him, I almost felt angry at him for not being fit. THAT was a weird experience, was I angry because he was overweight and might not be able to do the job? Was it ok that, at least for a while, I chuckled a bit at how he looked? Was his voice different? (I'm not sure) Why was I making all these new assumptions and interpretations ONLY because the character looked fat. As far as I know, controlling Drake is essentially unchanged.

    For me, the experience of playing Doughnut Drake (after having just finished the main storyline) was a surprisingly eye-opening experience. And one of ethical reflection as well...

    BTW, a little Googling shows that I'm not the first to have this reaction:
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    [August 16, 2011 12:52:33 PM]
    I finally finished this the other night (yay!) and, a few days later, talked to a friend about the experience. He hasn't played it yet, but mentioned to me that the game had been highly recommended by all sorts of people. I'm not sure whether to "highly" recommend it or not. It's a strange game in that I feel that most of its charm and fun is in the cut-scenes (and voice acting, and other things the player only gets to watch) AND in the beauty and detail of the environments in the game. For me, the weakest part of the experience was the gameplay (including the controls). Actually, I mean the combat (which is at least half the gameplay in this game...). I never really felt all that comfortable with the aiming, shooting, and so on (it did get better once I realized that hand-to-hand can be pretty effective). I think I'm probably in a minority on this since (from 2-3 hours experience only) the online component of the game is basically shooting...and I think it was (still is?) pretty popular.

    So, should I have recommended the game? I think I may the equivalent of a snazzy summer blockbuster film. Popcorn for the eyes and ears...
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    [July 22, 2011 03:42:08 PM]
    I noticed something the other day that I think is REALLY cool and that, as far as I know, hasn't really been explored/implemented in other games. When you move the cross-hairs around (as in "looking in different directions"), the camera focuses on whatever you are looking at. So, if you look at some trees that might be a bit further away, everything that's closer will get blurry. Similarly, when you focus on the closer things, those that are further away get blurry. I haven't experimented more fully with this (how does it actually work, in what circumstances, and so on), so what I've just written is from memory from having played a few days ago.

    Anyways, I think it's REALLY cool. I've been thinking a lot about the challenges of 3D (stereo) videogames (and movies) and why they ultimately fail. The reason is obvious, a 3D movie emulates stereo3D. What it can't do is let you (the viewer) choose where to focus. If something looks out of focus in a 3D movie, that's because the director made that choice. When something "pops out" at you, it will always be in focus (even if you choose to focus on something in the background). However, it doesn't HAVE to be that way with games. In a not-too-distant future perhaps games will track your eyes and will know where you're focusing and (on the fly) make the necessary adjustments, but for now I was surprised to see this kind of adjustment going on in the game. Way cool.
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    [July 16, 2011 09:50:27 PM]
    I'm a third of the way through (according to my saved game) and I'm kind of enjoying the game, but nos as much as I thought I would. I'm quite surprised by how good the game LOOKS and by the actor's and the dialogue...but the game itself isn't all that special. There are some neat parts, and, as I just mentioned it looks amazing (and beautiful, and awesome, and so on), but at the end of of the game just seem wonky. For example...

    1. Most of the areas have hidden collectibles called "treasures". Per se, they aren't a bad idea except that I've realized that they really detract from the (intended?) pacing of the game. At times I'll stop and look around just to see if I've missed something. Or I'll head in a direction I know isn't the correct one just to see if I'm not missing a treasure. Perhaps the worst offender was a treasure I found hidden in an area you start in right after a bunch of security guards are trying to nail you (red lasers strobing around, and so on). In this area, you're supposed to feel panicked and scared as you dodge around trying to find a way out. I dodged and ran around trying to find a treasure I thought was there (it was), before then aiming for the exit. Yes, it's my own fault for spoiling the experience, but the promise of the collectible can be quite enticing. ESPECIALLY when there's trophy for getting more collectibles. Sigh.

    2. Maybe I thought this game was more Tomb Raider than shooter...but there really is a lot of combat and it's not all that exciting (especially coming off playing an FPS game). I feel like the camera movement is too slow and hard to predict at times, so I spend a lot of time just bumbling around. It's awkward. Granted, I've been getting better the more I play. I'm starting to figure out (pay more attention) to cover (and using it), as well as melee attacks. At times I it's just faster to rush the enemies than trade potshots for a few minutes.

    3. While figuring out where to go isn't that hard (so far) and there aren't really any environmental puzzles (so far), the game looks so good that "climbable" places aren't signposted in ways that are THAT evident or obvious. They are signposted, and I'm starting to learn the visual cues a little better, but early in the experience I spent a lot of time jumping around and trying to climb un-climbable scenery and that sort of thing. It still happens now, especially when I enter a "new" area... The reason I jump around and waste more time is also tied in with the infamous collectibles. I think I'd almost prefer a game-mode for finding treasure that cut out all the combat and cut-scenes. If you want me to explore...let me do so!

    Although I may be sounding very negative... I'm really surprised by the attention to little details in the game that I actually appreciate. Such as...

    1. When Nathan gets wet, his clothes look wet. Similarly when there's a lot of dust/dirt in the air, he looks dusty/dirty.

    2. The Marco/Polo trophy (for jumping in a pool) cracked me up.

    More later...
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    jp's Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Wednesday 6 July, 2011

    GameLog closed on: Friday 30 September, 2011

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    Definitely an enjoyable blast to play through. It's the equivalent of a summer blockbuster popcorn flick.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

    Related Links

    See jp's page

    See info on Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

    More GameLogs
    other GameLogs for this Game
    1 : Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3) by dkirschner (rating: 5)
    2 : Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3) by mobmarkymark (rating: 5)
    3 : Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3) by wlj17 (rating: 5)


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