—by Nathan on January 7, 2012—
Another blog on video games, which is, like, one of five topics I blog about frequently. Oh, well. From the title and from what I just said, you can probably infer that this is about shooters. Yeah, I do play some first-person shooter-type video games, some of them are better than others. One of them happens to be one of the more disapponting games I've played, but more on that later. So, lock and load 'em. Game time.
Paintball: This is probably my favorite shooter game we have, if it even counts. Yes, it's in first-person, but you shoot enemies with paint instead of bullets (hence the really obvious title and why the game isn't called "Bulletball"). Unlike the other games I'll mention, this one is for the PC. We actually had an older version of this game years ago, and I have a distinct memory of playing with my dad against my cousins in Arkansas (actually, he shot and moved while I jumped) one time when I was sick. We later upgraded to Paintball 2 (and, as far as I know, there isn't a Paintball 3, sadly), but got rid of the game later. Recently (summer 2010), we somehow decided to put it back up on the computer, and it continues to be a favorite, even becoming a rival of the attention of the Wii. With Paintball 2, you can play on a public server or host your own game. Whenever I play with friends or my sisters, we usually host private matches between our two computers and laptops. Public matches are great with skill-building and making a name for yourself (cause fame's the name of the game). Basically, a lot of the games have teams playing various game types at various maps, such as Capture the Flag or Siege, where one team tries to capture the other team's flag which is is inside a base. It's a one-shot kill policy, so avoiding getting hit is key. There can also be four-way team battles, and even everyone-for-himself type matches where players try to be the first one to reach a certain number of kills. These solo style matches happen to be my favorite, but they seem to be unpopular among the Paintball community as of late. There are different types of guns, ranging from a pistol type (PGP), to rifle types (Spyders and Tracers), to faster machine guns (Carbine, Automag, and Autococker). I prefer the machine gun type guns, but different people have different preferences. Players can also launch two different types of grenades. Paint grenades spew paint all over, killing anyone who gets hit. Smoke grenades cloud up an area, making vision difficult. Another neat feature is jumping. Jumping actaully can help you pick up speed, which is useful for speeding over ramps and really getting airborne. Players can also do a double-jump, which helps get to certain ledges or on top of boxes. This game is really fun to play, especially in a large group. Players can talk to another, adding a community feel. Funny phrases are shouted out upon death (including Homer Simpson's "D'oh!" and the "I'm not dead yet!" line from the peasant in Monty Python and the Holy Grail), even when players accidentally kill someone on the same team. One of my favorite games for computer, Paintball will hopefully be a game I continue to play over the years.
Conduit 2: Inspired by a few friends who had the game, I bought Conduit 2 off of ebay this past summer. It was the first ebay purchase I made and may very well be the last. The whole auction thing is nerve-wracking. I bought Conduit 2 instead of the first game (bearing the word "The" in front of "Conduit," which somehow got deleted from the sequel) because I'd heard that the graphics and gameplay were better. Besides, I had two people who could testify to it. There are two main aspects to the game, story mode and multiplayer. The story takes you as Michael Ford as you follow your main nemesis, John Adams (who, yes, is the real Adams and is actually an alien...it's really weird) in a bid for revenge after Adams kills your family. Joined with Prometheus (who, yes, is the actual Titan...apparently, he's an alien too...did I mention this is really weird?), who happens to be in a device known as the Eye, you journey to Atlantis, where you get a cool alien suit. Your job is to find beings of a group called Progenitors and take their power in order to boost yourself for the final showdown with Adams, who is also a Progenitor. Easy? Naw. Adams wants both you and the Progenitors, so he sends a bunch of his soldiers from his group the Trust after you. Also, there are a bunch of alliens on Earth as well, known as the Drudge. They see you as a liberator and are willing to help along the way. Sounds like a good story, right? Well, yeah. The only problem is that I managed to beat it in a week. Also, the dialogue can be corny to the point of ridiculous (such as Ford, when he learns Adams has killed his family, shouts "You monster! I'll kill you!" Oh, brother). Not the best campaign I've played, but I really bought the game for multiplayer, which I shall address now. There's two game types for multiplayer. Invasion and Competetive. In Invasion, the object is to destroy the swarms of enemies trying to kill you. Pick your loadout (which includes two guns, a bunch of grenades, and a couple of special abilities), and choose your map and difficulty. You and your partner (or just you, if you want) are taken through five rounds, each with three waves or so, of madness, as alliens and humans both come for you. Each round gets harder, with tougher and upgraded enemies coming along. Humans can throw out really odd catchphrases at times (like "You can't kill me!" by the guy who gets sniped in the head three seconds later), and alliens shout gutteral grunts (like "Guh!" by the guy who just got sniped in the head). The first couple of times I played, I got the jitters cause it felt real. That may sound geeky, but the game conjures up a very realistic feeling. On my own, I've come close to beating it fully, and I've managed to beat it twice in the same day with a friend's help. Great game for two to four people to play. Competitve pits players against one another. With your loadout, you run around, trying to kill your enemies. There is a variety to the gameplay, such as making teams or making a Capture the Flag game. One of my favorite things to do is make people's lives "1," which pretty much makes it a one-shot death, and having players use only pistols or shotguns. Very fun. Again, Competitive is great.
Goldeneye 007: This is a James Bond game (cause that's who 007 is, duh), and has a much better campaign mode than Conduit 2. The main story is that you, as Bond (voiced by Daniel Craig), have to stop Russian terrorists from getting their hands on a satelite so they don't do...well, that's a secret. You travel all over the world, finding contacts and escaping dangerous situations as a seemingly-endless army of enemies pursue and try to kill you. From the snowy tundra of Russia, to a fancy nightclub, to the tropics of Africa, Bond tries to stop his foes from unleashing their plan. Death follows him, hoping to trap him, but always a step too late. I have yet to finish this game (mostly due to the introduction of a new game) but it has been fun so far. Like Conduit 2, this is also a great multiplayer game. Up to four players can fight each other in competitive matches. Unlike, Conduit 2 there is no cooperative mode, which is perfectly fine with me. There are four modes in multiplayer. But first, you have to pick your weapons and character. Weapons range from pistols, to machine guns, to shotguns, to rocket launchers. Characters can be all sorts of people, including classic Bond characters and new characters for the game. The first mode is Conflict. Choose a map and go head-to-head as players try to be the one to reach the number of points needed to win. Extras allow you to change things up, including time limit, point limit, and even an extra that lets you slap people instead of shoot them. Team Conflict is pratically the same as Conflict, except you're on teams (duh...man, this game is really obvious...). You Only Live Twice lets you select a number of lives each player can have. Once your lives are up, it's-at the risk of sounding cliche-game over. Golden Gun is my personal favorite mode. In this game, there is a golden gun (again, obvious) somewhere on the map, and the first player who reaches it gets to use it. Whereas all the other weapons give players on point per kill, the Golden Gun gives the player five points per kill. Even better, its a one-shot kill gun. While there are other guns like this (such as certain sniper rifles), this is the only one with a five-point gain. With a large variety of characters and guns and a bunch of cool maps, multiplayer doesn't get dull easy.
Metroid Prime: Trilogy: Every other shooter I have is a single game. Metroid Prime: Trilogy takes three games and combines them into one, tripling the awesomeness. This is great because this means a lot of game time. The Metroid Prime games follow the adventures of the bounty hunter Samus. Samus goes on various missions, fighting Space Pirates, leech-like Metroids, and even a giant robotic dragon. However, with her armor and weapons, she's one tough character. The games are Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime: Echoes, and Metroid Prime: Corruption. In the first game, Samus crash lands on a planet once inhabited by the beings known as the Chozo. Space Pirates have now come to this planet, setting up a drilling station of sorts. As Samus unravels the mystery of the Pirates' presence, she finds a new type of creature. The Metroids. The Pirates want to use these beings for their own devious purposes, and Samus has to stop them. In the second game, Samus finds a world that's split. Aether is a world of light. Dark Aether is a world of darkness. Samus is forced to travel between worlds in order to bring light to the shadows of the dark planet. Unfortunately, the air of Dark Aether is poisonous to her. Therefore, her time in Dark Aether is limited. Luckily, light crystals, when shot, give her a force field of light which she can be free from the shadows for a short time. Faced with shadow monsters known as the Ing, Samus has to bring light and save the day. In the third game, Corruption, a power known as Phazon has corrupted Aurora Units (which are like sentient computers) across the galaxy. Samus and other bounty hunter are sent to various worlds to uncorrupt these Units. Sadly, the bounty hunters themselves are corrupted. But there is an intelligent mind behind this corruption, and Samus has to put a stop to it and its plan. These games have great stories and awesome action. In each game, Samus loses many of her power suit's functions at the beginning. Part of the game is finding her abilities, which include missles, a grappling hook, and a spider ball (which allows you to climb up certain walls). Also included in the Trilogy is a multiplayer mode (surprise!). Players fight each other on stages, utlizing missles, bombs, and lasers in their mission to destroy their enemies. It doesn't have as much in variety when it comes to weapons, characters, or stages, but it still is fun.
Metroid: Other M: This is the disappointing game I mentioned in the beginning of the blog, so you can skip it if you want. But for those of you with adventurous spirits, read on. Being a Metroid game, I expected this to be really good. But it turned out to be not as great as I thought. Samus journeys to a space station, where she runs into a couple of soldiers of the peace-keeping organization known as the Galactic Federation. She knows some of them, but has a strained history with their leader, Adam. The station needs to be explored, so Samus joins them in exploring it. As players navigate their way through the station, they soon find the unraveling plot of the creation of biological weapons. They also run into this annoying white creature which looks like a rabbit on chicken legs and pops up every so often. Turns out that this is just a first skin for an enemy who goes down into the annals of Samus's greatest foes: Ridley. During gameplay, Samus contemplates on her past, before she was a bounty hunter, back to the days she was under Adam's command. Also, someone is picking off members of Adam's squad, which only deepens the mystery. While the action and animation is pretty cool, and the flashback sequences give a a good look into Samus's past, this game was disappointing in the respect that, like Conduit 2, it took me about a week to beat. I even beat it when I was under the weather, so that either speaks for my skills as a game player or, more modestly, displays the effort put into the game. Interestingly, this game allows players to switch between first AND third person points of view, giving a new depth to the gameplay. Like the Prime games, Samus has few abilities at the beginning, but, instead of finding her powers, she needs Adam's consent before using them, which is kinda annoying, but creative. Unlike the Prime games, there's no multiplayer aspect, so when you're done...you're done. A game that I have given another try recently, it is not, however, on my list of Top Ten Games.
Forget Modern Warfare. Forget Battlefield, Battlefront, or Call of Duty. The shooters above are good enough for me...most of them, at least. Fun, exciting, full of adventure. And perfect for more than one player. I don't need to join the army. The war comes to me.