Gaming Post 16: 007 From Russia with Love

The random number generator has determined that the next game I should write about is James Bond’s 007 From Russia with Love. I played it on the GameCube, and it probably was the first James Bond game that I beat.

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Not that I was unfamiliar with 007 games; I always looked to James Bond games for multiplayer, starting with Goldeneye on N64. I fought AI Bots for the first time in 007 The World is Not Enough, and in my opinion, the best multiplayer experience in the series came from the game NightFire for GameCube.

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From Russia with Love had a pretty interesting multiplayer mode too, but I don’t remember playing it all that much. I think that was because I like first person shooters better than third person shooters. The game modes had interesting premises. Most notably, I remember a stage in which there was a huge rocket in the center of the level. If someone found the launch key, they could ignite the rocket from behind protective glass and cook anyone who happened to be in the main room of the level.

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From Russia with Love’s single player mode is pretty good too. It was interesting to me because it was a depiction of the second James Bond film staring Sean Connery, and I had only played 007 games that featured Pierce Brosnan’s portrayal of Bond.

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The story brought me to a city called Istanbul. At the time, I didn’t realize just how important Istanbul was as a city of the world, but now I do. In fact, I had no idea that I would years later travel to another virtual version of the city via Assassin’s Creed Revelations.

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I would recommend this game to fans of the 007 movies, although I’m pretty sure that it has aged a bit since its original launch. This game made me want to see all of the James Bond movies. In college, I watched most of them. I think I got to the end of Pierce Brosnan’s run and stopped there. I’ll see Daniel Craig’s Bond movies eventually, but I’ll wait to watch them until some random day in the future.

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Thanks for Reading! =)

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Gaming Post 6: Halo, Spartan Ops

Sometimes I count Downloadable Content as a full game, especially if that content takes longer to complete than the main story. In this case, it did. My random number generator AI told me to write about this Halo DLC. Here goes!

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Spartan Ops is an extra story in Halo 4 that takes place after the events of the game. It consists of 50 missions that each take about 15 minutes to complete. I played it on Xbox 360 and needed an Xbox Live Gold Membership to play it, but I got a pretty good deal. I’m not sure whether or not you need Gold Membership to play Spartan Ops on the Halo: Master Chief Collection, but I have heard that Spartan Ops was recently added in a patch to the game if you want to play it and have an Xbox One.

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Considering that Halo 4 only had 9 missions that were only slightly longer than the missions in Spartan Ops, you might think that with 50 levels, Spartan Ops is pretty difficult to complete. This is not true. The key to Spartan Ops is persistence. The saving grace of such a comparatively long game is that if your character dies, you simply respawn. Whenever that happens, no progress is lost. All the enemies you killed before are still dead and in fact are in the same places where they were at the moment you died. You can die an infinite number of times and still win.

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There was one situation I encountered where a level was impossible to complete, and it’s the only thing that really bothers me about this DLC. Sometimes, one of the enemies with a jetpack might accidentally glitch its way behind a cliff in such a way that it’s impossible to find it and kill it. In that part of the game, the objective is to kill all the enemies or else you can’t progress. I wasted a lot of time in what should have been a 15 minute level looking in vain for a way to kill that one bad guy. I think that 343 Studios should address that problem with a patch. I have heard of the problem occurring in more than the level I found it in.

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There are some pretty good cutscenes that occur every 5 missions, and they presumably set the stage for the upcoming game Halo 5. I won’t be getting an Xbox One to play Halo 5, but I will mooch off my friend Bryan and play through the story after it comes out.

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On to the next Gaming Post!

Gaming Post 3: Shadow the Hedgehog

The random number generator has chosen another Sonic game. At least this one is pretty good.

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Shadow the Hedgehog was actually the first Sonic game I ever beat to completion by myself. I was familiar with Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 already, and Shadow was my favorite character in the Sonic series at the time. Shadow the Hedgehog is for GameCube, PlayStation 2 and the original Xbox.

I found out about this game one day when my friend Puck and I decided to walk under the power lines for several hours. We went from my house to the closest Wal-Mart which was several miles away. I remember in particular that I had a boombox that was playing adventure music inside of the backpack I had on. It also might have been Christmas Eve, though I’m not sure about that. What I do know is that it wasn’t snowing and I nearly got lost looking for a “shortcut” to Wal-Mart. At some point I realized I had no clue where I was going, turned back, and rushed to Wal-Mart the conventional way before my mom got too worried about me (I think my cell phone ran out of power). In any case, after I got to Wal-Mart, I noticed the game Shadow the Hedgehog for GameCube in their video game section, and I just had to have it. Not only was my favorite Hedgehog the main character, but he was also holding a gun. Such a ridiculous premise had to be good.

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Essentially, the story takes place after Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Heroes, and it’s about Shadow trying to figure out who he is and where he came from. Each mission can either be completed by running through the level or meeting a good or evil objective within the level. The way you complete the level will determine which level you go to next. In that way, there are branched endings, which leads to the main problem with this game.

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In each ending, Shadow discovers the truth about who he is, but depending on which ending, that truth is different. The first time I played, I didn’t do any optional objectives, and Shadow ended up thinking that he’s a robot, which I don’t think is true. My favorite ending is the one I think makes the most sense, which I believe is the second from either the bottom or the top on the level map above (I completely forget, but it ends with the song Chosen One).

There is a final ending once all the endings have been achieved, but it doesn’t explain Shadow’s origin, so in a game about clarifying Shadow’s origin story, Sega just makes it more confusing.

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That said, the game is still fun.

It’s ridiculous. I love it.

Until next time, thanks for reading! =)

Gaming Post 1: Sonic Unleashed (Wii)

My plan has backfired. The random number generator told me to write about the game Sonic Unleashed for the Nintendo Wii System. This game came out for the Wii as well as Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

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My first impression of Sonic Unleashed came from this video entitled Night of the Werehog.

The real game wasn’t nearly as good as that video. From what I can tell, Sonic Unleashed is an example of a game that demonstrates that Sonic games aren’t as good as they used to be, at least from the perspectives of people who played Sonic games as kids and are now adults.

The game is divided into day levels and night levels. The day levels feature regular fast sonic running through courses and the night levels feature a slow monster version of sonic in which you fight many enemies.

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I don’t remember the game being particularly bad though. Perhaps that was because I went into playing it with low expectations (I was working on beating the 3D Sonic games).

Also, the first scene of the game was pretty great.

My friend Cam told me that the Wii version of Sonic Unleashed isn’t the same as the 360/PS3 version, and that the 360/PS3 Version is worse (his opinion). I’m tempted to try out the 360 version eventually, but to be honest, I’m not all that eager to play any sonic games until they get good again (That doesn’t mean I won’t).

I will consult the random number generator to determine the subject of my next gaming post.