REVIEW: Hitman: Absolution

Français : Logo de Hitman Absolution

Français : Logo de Hitman Absolution (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Eidos Interactive Português: Logo da ...

  English: Eidos Interactive Português: Logo da Eidos interactive (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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HITMAN: Absolution

Developer: Eidos Interactive

Publisher: Square Enix

Agent 47 is back and ready to quiet assassinate those who stand in his way. Or is he? It’s been over 6 years since the last Hitman game  – Has Eidos lost their touch or is it just as good as it predecessors?

Story

Hitman Absolution is the first story to add the human element to Agent 47. He’s been ordered to take out Diana Barrows, his old handler from the previous games. Diana had taken the Agency, a clandestine assassination organization, from the inside and the Agency wants her dead. Knowing this, Agent 47 takes the job. He finds Diana and just before she dies, She asks Agent 47 to watch after a very special girl.Hitman-Absolution-Human-Agent-47-IO-Interactive-header

With Diana’s death at his hands, Agent 47 decides to cast aside The Agency for good and take the job protecting this special girl from anyone who want to get their hands on her.

The story, again, is a very humanizing experience for both player and Agent 47 alike. It’s a straight forward story about betrayal and trying to keep this special girl from the bad guys. While the story itself feels more in line with one of the recent Transporter movies – It’s definitely a welcomed change of pace from the typical cold story of Agent 47.

There’s more intrigue added to the over-all plot as well. While still simple, Hitman Absolution gets the job done.

3.0/5.0

Gameplay

The gameplay has been updated tremendously to include enhanced and more difficult AI and gameplay mechanics have also seen their share of updates as you can use “Instinct Mode” which can help you keep disguise while walking past an enemy or predict where a target is going. Hitman Absolution also utilizes a “Dead-Eye” mechanic that allows you to select your targets and rain fire at them without having to aim every time. The catch? Your instinct gauge must before partially filled or filled completely as it drains when you are selecting your targets.  Them game scores you based on your performance. Rewarding you when you hide a body or penalizing you when you get caught.Hitman__Absolution_13513703789697

The gameplay is another welcomed change of pace as it requires variety and patience to get it right. A welcomed addition to all the fast paced stealth games such as Assassin’s Creed. On the downside, you can’t just pick up the game and play. The distraction mechanic can be very glitchy when trying to distract a target but works majority of the time and hitting walls or even other objects can easily dislodge any object or tool you may need to get the job done.

Players have to endure a level-integrated tutorial which would irritated repeat players keeping them from possibly replaying. Hitman Absolution also integrated “Contracts” to go against your friends to see how high you can score on specific hits. These hits have varying characters which is fun but you might not find yourself going towards.

In a nutshell: Absolution may be a one-off for some players due to the complicated disguise and Instinct mechanics. S0metimes players might find themselves pulling their hair out as players are usually punished for treating the game like a third-person shooter.  Being stealthy is almost always the way to go in this installment.

2.5/5.0

Presentation

The graphics are what you’d expect from current next-gen titles. However, there are some texture errors and glitches to be seen occasionally. The physics engine isn’t perfect and it shows when you are dragging bodies or fighting enemies.Agent47-1024x640

Some users have experienced bodies or disguises disappearing or worse, a vital tool being stock in a place where you can’t get to it. A lot of objects are accessible and allow from brilliant distractions which tend to be all over the levels you play in.  Collision detection can be overbearing when holding objects or trying to grab them. Frame rate issues aren’t bad in this title however and load times are decent.  Hitman Absolution also suffers from game ending glitches from time to time. Overall – the textures on a lot of main characters are good. Agent 47’s is the best in the game. However, the rest of it definitely will not win any rewards.

3.0/5.0

Verdict

Hitman Absolution is a welcomed change of pace for current fans but may have a hard time winning over a newer audience.  The game doesn’t do too much to catch your attention aside from the main storyline and the gameplay mechanics can be very frustrating especially to newcomers to the series. This game will be a one-off to most of the fans as it offers very little replay value. Absolution punishes and rewards you for every step you take making getting into the game irritating.  This game is better bought on discount or used rather than brand new.

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My Top 5 Video Game endings!

The Illusiveman here! To tell you about my top 5 video game endings of all time! This is a short one, but enjoy!

UPDATED WORD-PRESS EDITION

1. Mass Effect 2

Quite possibly one of the most innovative games out there right now. This game, while not completely free roaming or completely interactive, is quite possibly the best game as far as the overall outcome. Making Commander Shepard into a complete badass or a hero in the universe you can also influence your friends and their lives or how much they like and relate to you. In the end, if you played the first one and end it with Mass Effect 3 it will be the most personal of all games. kudos Bioware – this is definitely a gaming classic.

mass_effect_3_render_by_n4pcroft-d3hxh7v2. Xenosaga: Episode One: Der Wille zur Macht

– This is one game that became stuck in the minds of anime fans and gamers alike. With its complex story and character development – this just so happens to be one of the better satisfying game endings I’ve ever experienced. While some say the soft music at the beginning didn’t help during the escape from Proto-merkabah, I believed it to be just as good. The ending has a very Star Wars type ending which adds to the fun and the drama. While the game suffered from its long-winded dialogue and repeative gameplay, the ending was well worth the effort and every bit as rewarding.

KOSMOS

3. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

This is the story about the rise of Big Boss. You’re Naked Snake aka Jack as you try to uncover a soviet plan to steal the philosopher’s legacy and the construction of a Nuclear launch vehicle. You’re hunting down “The Boss” after she defects from the US (see below). Your orders are to take his former mentor and adopted mother before the Philosopher’s legacy is lost. The defining moment in the Metal Gear Solid franchise when Naked Snake takes down “The Boss” and is awarded for killing someone close to him causing the now christened “Big Boss” to resent the government that put him up to it.   EVA reveals that The Boss did not defect to the Soviet Union; rather, she was under orders to pretend to defect so she could infiltrate Volgin’s ranks and find the location of the Legacy, which could be brought back to America. The final part of her mission was to sacrifice her honor and die at the hands of Snake, under the guise of a traitor, to prove the U.S.’s innocence in Volgin’s nuclear attack from the beginning of the game.. Later, he arrives at an anonymous grave, The Boss’s, just one of thousands located in Arlington National Cemetery. Laying down The Boss’s gun and a bouquet of lilies upon the nameless gravestone, he scans the endless rows before him, salutes, and sheds a single tear.

That very moment when Big Boss lets loose a single tear is the one of the biggest and most heart-tearing moments in the series next to Liquid’s and Soild Snake’s final battle.

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4. Halo Reach

This was a suitable ending for Bungie’s Halo..(now owned by 343 industries which is half of the original halo team) – It served as an epitaph for the Spartans – one specific team that gave it all and lost on the planet reach. Noble 6 has everyone and is stranded to fight the covenant and hold the last bit of ground he can on reach. Surrounded by the enemy; it’s never made clear whether Noble 6 was defeated or simply survived. Everyone assumed the worse. Even so, He went down like a bad-ass!  It gave you a since of both beginning and the end…and please…don’t ever hope to beat the secret unbeatable mission.

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5. Final Fantasy VII

A foreboding, puzzling and epic end to one of the most epic anime games known to RPG fans (short of the WOW fanatics) FF7 Resolved all with one question – and Advent Children, ruined it.  While AC Complete was a far superior version, all it was was an epilogue to a great game. The ending from the game itself will always be in the hearts and minds of the fans and probably one of the reasons why a remake might be made. The ending payed the player off by showing what their efforts against Sephiroth brought them. It’s a very cinematic style ending and the first for the Final Fantasy franchise.

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REVIEW: Final Fantasy XIII-2: Is this the superior successor? *Warning Spoilers*


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FINAL FANTASY XII-2

PublisherSquare-Enix, Ltd

Release date: January 31, 2012

Originally Posted Via Facebook  February 25, 2012

 Another direct sequel to the flagship series, Final Fantasy, this adventure follows Serah Farron and Noel Kreiss on their journey through time as they repair paradoxes and restore history’s natural timeline. On this journey, the find that the pain and suffering to come with their journey into the ultimate abyss of time is only the smallest of prices to pay but, how does it hold up? Is it as better than its predecessor? How does it hold up? Well, We’ll just have to find out….

Story

 Most of the Final Fantasy franchise is noted for their cryptic story-lines and their world ending plots mixed in with a little love and romance to drive the characters to face their biggest challenges yet. At the end of Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning has been transported after the fall of Cocoon by Etro which, in turn, erases her from everyone’s memory except for her sister Serah Farron.

The main story begins in Valhalla where Lightening (or Claire Farron) is  fighting a mysterious villain named Caius Ballad.  Caius is the immortal guardian of Seeress Yeul. Since Yeul is a Seeress, she can observe changes in the timeline. The resulting shock from the changes in the timeline takes  it’s toll on Yeul eventually killing her at a young age which results in her reincarnation years later.  After hundreds of years of experiencing Yeul’s death over and over again, Caius vows to kill Etro and release chaos in order to stop time and having to see Yeul die once more. So Lightening, now a guardian to the throne of  the weakened Etro, sends newcomer to the story Noel Kreiss to find her sister Serah in order to put a stop to Caius and fix the various paradoxes that have appeared throughout the timeline.

The story differs from the norm having introduced Caius as a very unique character. Caius is a character whose motives are known but are more empathetic than most generic bad guys. He’s the antagonist trying to protect someone he cares for; which makes the story more compelling.    The Story is somewhat  cryptic and engaging and exceeds at getting you attached to its characters and their plight. However, both playable main characters are typical hero types whose stories are a bit tragic but forgettable.  The plot also gets lost in translation a bit during gameplay and some of the explanation on how the universe and time travel works is almost completely nonsensical. For Example; Changes in the Future Affect the Past. Essentially meaning that unnatural change ripples throughout the timeline and affects everything. The game relies heavily on Cause and Effect scenarios and is almost as every bit of interesting as it sounds. It’s an emotional ride filled with Sorrow, Happiness and everything in between. The game also comes with a primer so if any players are not familiar with the world of Final Fantasy XIII, they can simply read up on the story so far.

3.5/5.0

Gameplay

While Final Fantasy XIII-2 wasn’t revolutionary by any means it did, in fact, improve upon the flawed Active Time Battle gameplay of the previous title. Battles are more fun, more time-consuming and require more paradigm shifts this time around as the boss battles require more strategy.  The auto-Battle still assumes much of the player’s control while you can actively choose your attacks, especially special ones, why do it? The ATB system still leaves a bit to desire but left the garbage back in the original title.

There are added bonuses  this time around as you now have the capability of capturing monsters and enhancing their abilities. Well, Raise them, if you will. Raising your monsters is easy and can be fun from time to time. Chocobos, Robots and Cait Sith’s are by far fun to enhance and watch them dance. You are also allowed a bit of platforming just like Final Fantasy X-2 but only in most scripted areas. You can free jump and There are very few that allow you to jump without the indicator. The chocobo’s also make a return as you can buy (or collect) greens to ride them. Although chocobos consume the greens and only can be rode for an allotted amount of time, still fun occasionally. They reintroduced minigames as essential to the fragment gathering quest you can pursue during and after the game. A brilliant distraction, but no where the scale of Final Fantasy VII. They also added in dialogue choices in the game to give players more control and even unlock “Paradox Endings” which allow you to experience what happens to the world or people around you as a consequence of your actions. No where near the tier of the Mass Effect franchise – it’s still an added touch that’s more than welcomed.

4.5/5.0

Music

 The music in this title runs the gamut from badass Devil May Cry angry rock to your typical JRPG J-Pop songs. Vocals are introduced into more of the tracks during gameplay this time around with every other song having its own set of lyrics. Themes from the previous game are also recycled in this installment as well but still adds to the atmosphere.  The over all score of the game compliments the gameplay as well as the battles whether it’d be downright serious and epic or funny and cartoony.  The soundtrack is the better part of the experience of this installment.

3.5/5.0

Verdict

Overall this game is enjoyable, at times engaging and time consuming like a normal RPG should be, but on the opposite side of the coin, it slows down when it needs it’s just picking up.The platforming can be tedious and the Active Time Battle System is still auto-fight in a lot of respects. Sounds like quite a bit of negativity, but it far surpasses that of its predecessor.
Where the game falls short, it makes up for. The story features a relatable villain and very emotional moments that get you involved with the characters as they journey through time. There might be another Final Fantasy XIII Around the corner as the story leaves you with the very unsatisfying “To be Continued” cliff hanger. The multiple endings also make it a worthy title and requires more than one playthrough to achieve which is a first for any installment in the Final Fantasy Franchise.  This game is worth a full-purchase buy.