Crusader Kings II – The Republic Review

Posted in Uncategorized on February 22, 2014 by killercowreviews

NOTE: I’ve had this review in my documents for ages, but just forgot to upload it. I only just remembered because I am planning to restart this blog.

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Going from the Old Gods to The Republic, I was left a little disappointed. The Old Gods, with all its vast scale in terms of time and who you could play, dazzled me. I felt it added a huge amount to do the game. The reason I mention this is because The Republic DLC does kind of the opposite: it forces you to downscale tremendously: to focus on minute details and to forget about the sprawling land masses and instead be happy with money.

As a merchant republic, money and trade is the main goal in this expansion. It’s what you work for: not land or making a huge empire, but money. You acquire this by building as many trade posts you can, as quickly as you can. Throughout your attempts of building a great merchant rule, the other republics will try to thwart your aims, and various choices such as embargoes can be enacted so that you can maintain dominance. It sounds pretty different from the main game, doesn’t it? It is, and it doesn’t really fit together well with the rest of the game. One feels disconnected from all the other grand strategy in the game pretty soon through the play through, making it lose what made CKII great.

While the outside world feels ignored, I did enjoy the inter-family mechanics of The Republic. As an elected ruler, you must make sure, primarily through campaign funds, that your heir is voted in when you die. If he doesn’t, it’s not game over, but it’s a definite advantage. All this intrigue and the great new random events, such as family feuds, kept my interest for quite a while. Forming vendettas that last centuries is certainly entertaining, but the closer-to-home intrigue lacks the detail to justify being the reason to buy this game.

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Perhaps I am being overly harsh on the expansion now knowing what is capable from this game with the Old Gods DLC, but to me, when faced with the option of playing this, or even the base game, the base game would win almost every time. The novel scenarios could warrant one or two playthroughs, but it’s hardly an endless mode to sink your teeth into. I would only buy this expansion if you have somehow managed to exhaust the main game and the other DLCs and even then, it still is not a blind buy.

New Ideas

Posted in updates with tags , , , on September 1, 2013 by killercowreviews

For those of you who don’t know about my RSI, it means that I won’t be able to game for long enough periods of time to get a good impression of the game. However, there is more to life than games isn’t there? I’ve decided that I’m going to move into movies and TV for the time being and the first ‘series’ I’ll start will look at a director/actor and review all their movies, tracing the improvements, starting from their breakout role or film. Not only does this allow me to keep my reviewing skills sharp, but it also means that I’ll get to see films I might not usually have seen.

I’m going to try and keep it chronological in what order I review the films but if some are more readily available (e.g Sky Movies, Netflix) then I might have to review them first. Films I missed in the cinema that haven’t been released yet are obviously impossible to review but I might catch up on them once they come to DVD

At the moment there’s a lot of contention about Ben Affleck being cast as Batman in the next Superman film (an article covering that should be out this week) so I think I’ll start with the director of the reboot- Zack Snyder.

His break out film in terms of box office was, without a doubt, 300, so I’ll review all the movies he has directed since, and including, 300:

-300
-Watchmen
-Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole
-Sucker Punch
-Man of Steel

Breaking Bad-Final Season Predictions

Posted in Features, TV Stuff with tags , , , , on August 10, 2013 by killercowreviews

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    SPOILERS


These are my thoughts on how Breaking Bad may end. I’ve only got into it since my RSI, so I think my fresh look at it puts a nice perspective on what I’m viewing.

Mainly, I’ve been thinking about how the show might end based on the ‘language’ of the show and its characters. First of all, I think two observations need to be noted:

1) Breaking Bad has an incredibly well realised world and so whenever something needs to happen, they will always do it with existing characters or plot points. Things that they have especially pointed it out will always play a larger part later on. This means that I’d be very surprised if the ricin did not play an absolutely integral part in the final episodes.
2) The cancer will play a part. If I’m not mistaken Vince Gilligan has talked about how it might come back and I think that most people agree that it will at least play some role in the remaining half-season. This will take the control out of Walt’s life, that he has achieved with his persona of Heisenberg.

With that, I think that Walt will always end up killing himself, as that is the only way he can at least hold on to some control over how his life ends, even if he has had very little of it over the rest of it, and I think the ricin would suite that. It would be a fitting end to a chemist who ‘respects the chemistry’ (quote) of something as harmful and damaging as meth.

I think Jesse will play a far more subdued role in this season. He wasn’t really happy with how 10 people died just to save their skin, so I wonder how he’ll act if Hank reveals his intentions to bring the whole Heisenberg thing down? Jesse’s also back to slogging around and I wonder if maybe he’ll get back into the self-destructive attitude before Mike showed him he was useful

Speaking of Hank’s intentions, I think that he will also not launch into bringing Walt down immediately, and it will take a couple of episodes before he accepts that they’re are no other alternatives.

Skyler, who I don’t really believe could be happy with Walt after him just saying he’s out, as it appeared in the idyllic dinner scene before Hank’s revelation, may finally get what she wanted with Walt going away, assuming he kills himself, or Hank takes him down.

I’m really looking forward to how Walt Jr reacts now that his dad may be in serious danger of never cooking him breakfast again! In all seriousness though, his whole world crashing around him could go to some interesting drama.

Saul hasn’t been much of a target of thought for me, but I think he’ll live. What may be cool to see is to have him emotionally affected by what happens to people he has been around, as up until now, he’s been pretty self absorbed.

One final observation: Did anyone else think that Walt tried to behave like Gus since his death, giving the same sort of facial expressions and remaining quiet, attempting to appear in control? However he just looks like a bit of a meek loser (sort of going into the theme of male impotence).

Bad News

Posted in updates with tags , on July 27, 2013 by killercowreviews

I really don’t want to announce this but my hand injury has got worse again. This means that not only can I not play as many games but I cannot type for more than a small amount of time. For this reason, the site is going on an indefinite hiatus, but will hopefully back by the turn of the new year.

Sorry again

PS3

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 21, 2013 by killercowreviews

Hey guys,

I just bought a used PS3 via eBay. This has opened possibilities for me to review the PS3 exclusives. Now I know I usually stick to games less than a year old, but I’m thinking about creating a series that will go through all the exclusives I can get my hands on:

Uncharted (the whole trilogy came bundled with the console!!)

Little Big Planet (1st one came with the console)

Killzone (maybe just the 3rd game)

God of War (Again, the original trilogy came with the bundle)

The Last of Us (This game is the main reason I decided to get the console-it looks stunning)

Update: Steam Sales

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on July 14, 2013 by killercowreviews

Well, it’s that time of the year again: The Steam Summer Sale, a time when many PC Gamers lose their money to both Indie and AAA Titles for mostly less than a tenner. It’s a gold mine for a reviewer, so expect some reviews I’d have never expected to be done:

Tomb Raider (first impressions- it’s excellent)

Fez (first impressions – gorgeous)

Kerbal Space Program Alpha Discussion

And more (depending on the sales)

Batman Arkham City: Harley Quinn’s Revenge Review

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2013 by killercowreviews

After picking up the Game of the Year edition of Batman Arkham City I decided to try out the DLC add on that continues the story- Harley Quinn’s Revenge.

SPOILERS WILL BEGIN NOW
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After the climax of the main game, in which the Joker dies, I was stunned. I didn’t know how to react. It was a satisfying end to a great game. Unfortunately, I did not find the same appeal in this DLC.
Being set several weeks after the Joker’s death should be a great way to show the inner turmoil of Batman. The catastrophic events in his life that had just resulted in the death of his lover, Talia, and his arch nemesis (who’s death Batman feels is his own fault) meant that I was expecting this DLC to give me a gripping and compelling emotional arc of how Batman deals with the guilt and grief. Instead, I get a lazily finished story. None of the emotional weight I wanted is portrayed in detail, and the ending is particularly bad, with a cheap out of the blue result.
Batman has been missing for a week or two, and so you primarily play as Robin, who suspects the distraught and grieving Harley Quinn has done something. Like I said, it’s a good setup, but none of it is explored in the actual play time.

20130703-065015.jpgHarley has certainly got a little more crazy after her beloved’s death

The gameplay of this series has been praised again and again, and it does deliver here. Getting to play as Robin in an actual story, as opposed to just challenge maps, was a thrill and allowed for some new strategies. His combat style feels similar enough that you can hop back into the game, but different enough to feel like he isn’t just a re-skin of Batman. Some of his abilities, such as his shield, did result in gimmicks, such as blocking steam, which just slowed the game down, and in my opinion these sort of activities were completely unneeded, but he feels fast and responsive. However, I was disappointed with the amount of time I actually spent playing with Robin. Thinking playing as Batman would perhaps be 10% of the game, I was extremely disappointed that it is closer to 50-50, and so this new character that is fleshed out into the actual story is not used as well as he could’ve done.
The game also sees you in Joker’s Funhouse for the entire duration of the game, and you are often in the same areas, going back and forth. Like the story, the quests were poorly justified, and I would have liked a more open area, instead of the confined and repeated one that was produced.

One thing that maintains its quality is the voice acting and the atmosphere, where the loss of the Joker really feels like his funhouse area is emptier and sadder. Harley’s ‘Mourning Costume’ is creative, and reflects on her amplified madness as a result of the Joker dying.

20130703-065126.jpgThe costume is creative and reflects the character well

There is a flaw so major however, that it completely negates that positive view. For a DLC of £19.99 or your regional equivalent, this game is just 2 hours. 2 hours for half the price of the actual game at its original price is a complete rip off

Picking it up in the GOTY edition means I didn’t feel too burned, but with the flat story and the short game, this is an absolute avoid to buy on its own.

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