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What began as a game with original gameplay, an interesting story and unprecedented technology ultimately ended as a disappointing, degrading experience with monotonous dialogue.
L.A. Noire began to rub me the wrong way from the very beginning. I had it all planned out: Play in black & white, turn off all hint systems and never use intuition points. My goal of an engaging authentic experience was quickly shut down. Playing in black and white was not an option because the game forces the player to find gold-coloured doors which don't exist in black & white. How exactly does something this simple pass through QA? Was it too much to just keep door handles gold?
Each person the player talks to is a liar in some capacity. Nobody tells you the whole truth, no matter how much a person is willing to help. Everyone is guilty of at least wasting your time and it gets old fast. Where are the innocent citizens? Where are the characters wishing to give you all the information they have?
Very often there will be two possible correct clue selections for choosing "Lie" and the game punishes you for selecting what it believes is wrong. Selecting "Doubt" isn't any better. Cole Phelps' dialogue is unpredictable and again, the game punishes the player for it. The jarring "losing" jingle rubs it in just a little more while being forced to wait for dialogue to complete.
If you've yet to complete L.A. Noire you may want to avoid this paragraph for it's a spoiler. In the last quarter of the game is a case involving a house fire. Unlike every other case in the game, some cigarette butts are a clue you must find before progressing. These are the same cigarettes that are non-clues throughout the rest of the game. The game trains the player to ignore these objects just like bottles, but somehow we're supposed to think these smokes are somehow different in this one instance? In fact because this clue is far away from the house fire itself, I was forced to use an intuition point. I was outraged and had enough of the game.
At this point I'd lost all trust and interest in L.A. Noire. I began skipping cutscenes wherever I could. As soon as I got to a crime scene I would run as fast as I could mashing X (A on the 360) until I found a clue. I didn't care about questioning; even though I had intuition points left I would press anything just so this insulting experience would end. When the credits rolled I was relieved. The torture was over.
L.A. Noire is a game with great graphics, an engaging story and a welcome change for an Australian developer (with the help of Rockstar Games) to make a game on a real budget. This is all nice, but when your nitpicks repeat themselves over and over again it leaves a sour taste in the buyer. I'm glad I hesitated on purchasing the Rockstar Pass for it would've been a waste of my money and internet. L.A. Noire has already robbed me of my time and money. Without an extensive range of improvements and some spare time I refuse to invest in a sequel, and that's the truth.
I was excited by the rumours of Nintendo's upcoming console before E3, but after letting the announcements and revelations sit for a while I'm angry. I'm angry at Nintendo's incompetence, self-righteousness and cluelessness in regards to a high definition console in 2012.
On June 2011, Nintendo showed us a console featuring a standard definition resistive touchscreen controller capable of recognising only one stylus touch at a time. This console cannot play DVDs, cannot play Blu-ray discs, has not shown a demo of a technically impressive game running in 1080p and nothing substantial has been revealed about the Wii U's online structure.
Nintendo's public figures like Reggie Fils-Aime have touted that Nintendo intends to get the "hardcore" audience back by launching a high definition Nintendo console. The issue is that this console is outdated and it's still a year away from launch.
To demonstrate the Wii U, the most graphically pushing Wii U software at E3 2011 was a tech demo of The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess running at 720p. The same 720p that Xbox 360 games could easily display in 2005. Is that really all this thing can do? Twilight Princess is a game originally created to run on the GameCube so this and other tech demos generally do not show the full potential of the console. The difference is that tech demos are also supposed to look better than products already available. All Nintendo could show us was that the Wii U could keep up with the Xbox 360; a console which released in 2005. E3 is the biggest video game convention of the year and this is all they could squeeze out of the Wii U?
Nintendo have released very vague technical specifications of the Wii U. Why keep secrets? Why not give us hard facts instead of garbage quotes akin to "Dude, this console is as powerful as your mind will let it." I want REAL specs Nintendo, not more hippy PR. The Wii U may have specs similar to 2005's Xbox 360, but keeping that a secret won't make your console any better; it only creates another outlet for disappointment just like the Wii.
Even if the Wii U is more powerful than current consoles it's already apparent that the leap is not by much. When the Wii U launches it won't be far ahead of the next PlayStation and Xbox consoles. I don't think third parties will truly commit to this console despite Nintendo's wishes. They'll port titles from current consoles up to Wii U at launch and port down to Wii U once the next Xbox or PlayStation releases.
The Wii U controller has been outcIassed long before release. The phone in my pocket has a capacitive touchscreen capable of multitouch and despite having a much smaller screen it still has a higher resolution. The Wii U controller display is more than six inches in size yet Nintendo think they can get away with a standard definition display. To pinch an old Wii Joke, the Wii U controller is like two DS's taped together.
Even though Nintendo want to take on Apple's iPad and other tablets with this controller, they want us to neglect the Wii U when it comes to playing DVD's and Blu-ray discs. Little things like this are reasons for your console to not "gather dust". It's a reason for your console to not be unplugged. It's just another way for your console to not be forgotten and an excuse to power it on. I think omitting BD and DVD playback is a big mistake. While it may not affect console sales, it will affect software sales. The more reasons a console owner has to power on their system, the more inclined they are to purchase software for that console.
Nintendo have not shown us hardware of the future. In fact they haven't even shown us hardware of the present. Instead Nintendo have shown they will release 2005 technology in 2012. With a console that can only play a Legend Of Zelda GameCube game in 720p, one would be right in suggesting Nintendo on a hardware level are literally selling us a link to the past.
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