A Review By Hidai Moya
I’m 7 years late to the party but I finally finished GTA V for the very 1st time. Being the #1 grossing action title in all of gaming history it had a lot to live up to.
As someone from California, what I respect most is its immaculate recreation of Los Angeles & the surrounding county as its playground for mayhem. It’s a very life like imitation of the streets of LA (I also found its graphic rendering very good).
Like GTA SA however its scope & broad nature can often make the gameplay feel too unfocused. Rockstar really likes to show off its world to the point where no one thing stands out from the crowd. Michael being a “Tony Soprano” clone, Franklin being a soft interpretation of a contemporary CJ more or less, & Trevor being a wildcard all have their own unique attractions as characters but none of them ever impressed me the way that someone like Tommy Vercetti did. As a result their individual goals felt less personal and more generic in the long run.
GTA V is a very polished game with numerous possibilities to stir things up. The driving & shooting is good but it’s not like I hadn’t gotten better experiences doing these things in more focused games about those genres.
In the end I was just “whelmed” by it all. It’s certainly a fun game but not the GOAT experience I had hoped it would be.
A Review By Hidai Moya
‘The Witcher 2’ isn’t for casual gamers. Though the story is a grand tale of political intrigue ala ‘Game of Thrones’, its a significantly shorter & denser game than ‘The Witcher 1’.
This can lead to a few issues since the complex story zips by so fast its narrative doesn’t really get a chance to sink in & even the most attentive gamers can find it challenging to keep track of its big glossary of people & places that are constantly referenced. The combat is rough & unforgiving, the side content is anemic, some of the boss fights are unimaginative, & there is also a perplexing lack of music. What little music there is is fantastic which is why its so absurd that CDPR decided to use it so sparingly. This game never awed & surprised me like the amazing world building, pacing, & story of the 1st game.
I think it was a mistake to make this game so short & hamper the open world design with maps that behave more like glorified hallways. As the middle chapter of a trilogy much of its plot is more concerned with edifying story points that don’t actually pay off in the end since they are just placeholders one has to wait until the 3rd game to get resolved, as opposed to a singular closed story arc.
The truth is that ‘The Witcher 2’ is an average middle chapter that is bookended by its much greater counterparts. Nonetheless its secondary characters like Triss & Vernon Roache are well written & acted that their company make the short journey enjoyable.
A Review From Hidai Moya
Finally fulfilling the desire of many to have an open world Samurai game, this finally brings that idea to life even if it isn’t the watershed gaming moment some proclaim it to be. Unlike the ambitious, complex & highly detailed historical worlds of Rockstar or Ubisoft this game takes a far more austere approach.
It doesn’t offer gamers the type of interactivity with its world in the same way as the aforementioned titles do opting for a more toned down and reserved approach to its land. I wish that suckerpunch put in more effort into the filler content. Half the side quests are literally the cliched “rescue the farmers from the bandits” quests & getting rewarded with sword runes & colored headbands felt hollow.
Nonetheless the terrain of Tsushima is indelibly beautiful, the main quest itself is genuinely good (as was the memorable ending I got), & I also respect the combat animations for being astute in their brutality. However Tsushima island can often feel austere & lacks any significant innovations to the open world formula.
In any case its the only game in town that offers gamers a historical samurai fix to sate them. This is a good game but I wouldn’t call it a “great” game.