This post contains major plot spoilers for The Last of Us Part II, please read at your own discretion. ..
As I stated in my review for The Last of Us Part II, it is an ambitious and evocative masterpiece that pushes the envelope in video game storytelling and character perception. Many do not agree with this statement, which is perfectly fine and valid. I absolutely loved the game and if you did not, then that is your opinion which you are entitled to. I would like to address some common criticisms I have seen swimming throughout social media, in hopes of providing explanation and perhaps perspective to those who dislike the game. Again, this post contains heavy spoilers for the major plot and themes of The Last of Us Part II, so consider this a final warning.
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Obvious spoiler warning for Uncharted 2 and the series as a whole. You have been warned…
In honor of the successful reception and recent admiration of Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, it felt appropriate to relay my thoughts on, what is easily, one of the greatest and my own personal favourite video game series of all time. More accurately, however, I’d like to dissect the unanimous favourite of the trilogy, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, which also happens to be my preferred entry and unsurprisingly, one of my favourite games of all time. Originally released back in 2009, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves arguably set a golden standard for action-adventure as its impeccable pacing, jaw-dropping set pieces, and exquisite character development were second to none, mirroring that pristine joy of a thrilling, quality summer blockbuster. The original’s under-performances and limitations are largely responsible for its sequel’s success as expectations regarding Uncharted 2 were manifested with the original being the standard. Naughty Dog desecrated its initial standard and unfathomably exceeded expectations, improving on every minute detail that the original Uncharted crafted, outclassing it in every way imaginable. Uncharted 2 is the renowned example of how to make a proper sequel; improving and expanding on the initial formula, catering to what exactly made the original so beloved, and never giving into the fear of working with the safe and familiar, upping the ante ten fold if needed. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves exceeded its brethren in terms of sheer scope, fantastic writing along with the exceptional development of their beloved characters, impeccable pacing that’s second to none, its gorgeously cinematic world that raised the bar for graphical possibilities, its bombastically iconic soundtrack, and riveting expedition that boasts a mirroring quality to some of Indiana Jones’ finest work. Even though Uncharted 2 is a masterpiece, it is by no means a perfect game; there are actually several inconsistencies that are notable to say the least, and although they never detract from the masterful experience that is Uncharted 2, they’re still prominent factors that ultimately make Uncharted 2 a flawed masterpiece.
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Classic corner will be a recurring segment where I’ll either re-experience or inaugurally play a classic title and give my thoughts and impressions. Does the game still hold up after all these years? Does the game rightfully deserve its critical acclaim or animosity? Read more to find out!
Often regarded as one of the greatest games of all time, Ocarina of Time is an immediate classic that helped pave the current gaming world that we’re so enamoured with. I didn’t own any Nintendo consoles as a child, except for the excellent GameBoy Color; I was primarily a PlayStation kid, so I grew up playing Spyro and Crash Bandicoot instead of Mario and Zelda. Luckily Nintendo EAD and Grezzo made the smart decision to port and update one of the greatest Zelda games to the 3DS so people, like myself, can properly experience it for the first time. So does the Ocarina of Time live up to the insurmountable praise it has received over the last decade and a bit? Absolutely, but most of you knew that already. Ocarina of Time is a bonafide masterpiece and rightfully deserves its title as “one of the greatest games of all time”. Hell, it even joined the ranks of my favourite games of all time. The exploration is sublime, the puzzles are intricate but rewarding, and its implementation of time travel and item usage to access new areas is masterful. Its joyous musical score is simple, yet iconic and its innovating lock-on system forever revolutionized character interaction and combat in a 3D environment. Link first entered the 3D landscape of gaming back in 1998 and it still stands the test of time, continuously setting the golden standard for not just our favourite video games but the vast amount of titles to come.
2014 is coming to a close very shortly and with that comes a moment of reflection. Over the last two years, the current generation of consoles have invaded the living rooms of the general mass and those who haven’t jumped on the current-gen bandwagon are diligently waiting for the right opportunity. The Wii U launched in November 2012 while the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 arrived the following year. After a decent amount of time on the market, how well have these consoles fared? Well in terms of sales, they’re doing exceptionally well with the PlayStation 4 in the lead, but with the Xbox One treading not too far behind. Even the Wii U is currently picking up in numbers. So as someone who owns all three current-gen consoles, people constantly ask me which one is most deserving of their well-earned money. It’s all a matter of preference really. Do you want the machine that has the superior graphical capability or the machine that has a stronger gaming library? Out of all the current gaming consoles, I definitely play my PS4 the most, as that’s where my player ecosystem resides and where I indulge most of the third-party titles. My personal favourite current-gen console, however, is Nintendo’s peculiar Wii U. Followed by a confusing reveal and a shaky launch, the Wii U had a struggling first year, but 2014 was the Wii U’s time to shine, and boy did it shine ever so brightly. Redefined tweaks resulting in a more accessible UI, the release of a robust collection of fantastic first-party titles, an unbeatable price advantage, the resurrection of a personal favourite gaming mode, and so much more make the Wii U a great, albeit sometimes faulty, console.
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