Happy (early) Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom and especially my wife, who is a shining example of the best mom ever.

I’m just recovering from some weird virus/flu...think flu without any cold symptoms. Sort of knocked me out of my schedule for a while, but I had a great week of gaming regardless.

I finally finished off Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus. My overall impression is “Meh”. I think had I played it when it was released I would have been more impressed, but it wasn’t quite what I was hoping for. The visuals hold up very well on the PS3 re-release and mechanically everything is usually fine, but I just couldn’t escape the growing tedium I felt the longer I played it.

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Thankfully the last two missions ended up being fairly quick to polish off, though I think this might have been in part to bad game design or an end of project rush. The fourth mission in the game is rather dull overall. I loved the Chinese flair to the snowy mountains and the few platform levels were alright, but almost half of the levels in the mission consisted of mini-games that you had played already in previous missions.

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It is an odd game for the ratio of platforming levels to mini-games. The first mission is essentially all platform gaming except for one level which is a mini-game. As you go through the missions, you see less platforming and more mini-games. It feels like a bit of a bait and switch from the core game. Steadily less and less platforming levels in a platform game is just wrong.

The final mission is somewhat interesting and the final boss is actually a lot of fun, but the game falls in to the pitfall of many games where the final stretch to the boss relies less and less on the skills you learned during the rest of the game. Plus, there were a lot more mini-games on the way to the boss.

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So yeah, it was kind of fun and I’ll stand by my overall rating of “Meh”. Lots of people have told me that Sly 2 is where the series really comes in to its own, so I’ll look forward to playing that in the future. For now, I need to decide on a new game and one that hopefully involves lots of first person shooting.

Speaking of shooting, my son and I finished Halo 3 on the Halo: Master Chief Collection yesterday. Man, that was a blast! The pacing in Halo 3 is really tight and it kept us coming back for more every day after school. It doesn’t hurt that the game is gorgeous and the level design is top notch. It was even more fun than I remembered, and I remembered it being an amazing game.

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Having polished Halo 3 off, we thought we’d have a peek at the first level of Halo 4, since my son didn’t want to wait to find out what happen to the Chief and Cortana at the end of Halo 3.

I’ve never played Halo 4. By the time I got around to playing it, Microsoft had announced the Master Chief Collection on the XBox One, so I figured I would wait for that.

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Wow! Holy crap does that look nice! I am so in love with the new visuals, the new HUD, and the new weapon sounds. My eight year old couldn’t stop talking about how much better it looked than all the other Halo games. I am definitely excited to play more Halo 4 after that intense and breathtaking intro level.

I of course kept The Elder Scrolls Online guild shops fed all week, though I didn’t spend nearly as much time stealing stuff from the locals as I was occupied with Sly. I also managed to start playing Super Metroid on the WiiU while I was sick with the flu on the couch in the family room. I haven’t played that since it launched on the SNES, but that game holds up so well that I was hooked right away yet again.

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So, hopefully I’ll have a chance to play some more Halo 4 with the boy this weekend and I’m excited to figure out what to play for my single player game. I’m thinking TimeShift on PC solely for the purpose of house cleaning to make sure I can be shed of my 360 version of the game.

If you aren’t spending time with your mom this weekend (or better yet, gaming with your mom), what are you playing this weekend?