Okay, so yesterday I beat Bulletstorm. all-in-all, I liked it. The story was... interesting, the dialogue was... interesting, the game play was... interesting. Okay, so it was an interesting game.
at first, I tried to play Bulletstorm like I play many games with achievement-like gimmicks (like actual X-Box 360 achievements so... every game, I guess) in that I was going to play all the way through it without looking at the list of skillshots. Then after completing the game, opening that list and taking a look at what I naturally got through the course of the game and then playing through again trying to get some of the specific skillshots.
For those of you who don't know, a 'skillshot' is a new game mechanic (or is it a feature?) that rates you on how creative your kills are. For example, a standard kill is awarded 10 points. If you happen to nail them in the head, you gain 25. If you leash an enemy forward, kick him into the air, and shotgun him into the mouth of a giant man-eating plant, you get 100 points. The game has some general skillshots , like killing an enemy after kicking him, or blowing up one with an environmental hazard, up to the extravagant, like using a flare gun to launch one enemy into an other and the resulting explosion killing both. All of these skillshots are tracked in your menu, allowing you to view how to perform the shot, and giving you the name after you perform it.
As I said, my initial approach was to play as I always do. I found myself becoming very frustrated and bored with the game very quickly this way. It wasn't until I actively started striving to get these shots that I started really enjoying the game. Working with your guns and attempting to get some of the more specific skillshots was very addicting and fulfilling. I did pine a bit for some more weapons (the game gives you around eight or so), but it was a minor complaint.
Some of the set pieces that Epic Games brought into the game really lived up to the developer's name. My favorite (for obvious reasons) involved controlling a robotic Godzilla-like monster with a remote (RIP Wimpleton P. Tallylicker).
The story wasn't very deep or enthralling and every major character seemed unusually reluctant to finally pull the trigger on any other major character (James Bond, much?) and the characters were pretty hypocritical. That isn't to say that the dialogue wasn't funny and entertaining (I didn't make up the name for the Dinozilla up there). The voice acting was surprisingly well done and the beginning of the game had humor on par with Brutal Legend. The gratuitous language used didn't bother me until the end when it really started to sound forced - the main antagonist couldn't say a single phrase without some sort of 'wacky' use of a swear being forced in.
I've been hearing some complaints about the length of the game, but it took me perhaps six to eight hours to beat, and with the dwindling length of first-person shooter campaigns anymore, that's nothing to gripe about. also, as I said, a lot of the 'epic' set pieces were very cool and exhilarating.
All-in-all, I'd have to say that if you had an interest in this game, pick it up, it's a fun ride. If not, then wait until the price drops some before trying it out.
Now, MvC3. I'm terrible at fighting games. I tend to get very frustrated and irritated with them and in general, don't enjoy them. I'm going to take a pass on the new Mortal Kombat this spring, I've never played a Tekken or a Street Fighter, and Soul Calibur is somewhat of a stretch for me. I was drawn to MvC3 however, by it's pretty graphics and character selection.
So far, I'm happy with it. I'm still terrible (I've been known to get my ass handed to me by the computer set on 'Easy' from time to time), but I'm enjoying it.
My only real problem with it is the same that I have for most fighting games: it's a button masher. I understand that after a while, as you learn the combos and strings of attacks, that you could be unstoppable. My problem is that as a beginner, I resort to jamming on every button that gains me a positive reaction on screen. This is why sometimes I can do absolutely awesome, beating my opponents down before they have time to breathe. These moments actually trick me into believing that I know what I'm doing and - more importantly - can do it again. Then, the next match begins and I flail about wildly, usually taking several punches to the jaw, kicks to the ribs, and laser beams to the face.
It's still fun, though. Just don't expect to ever see me online playing it.