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Why The Last 2 PS3 Exclusives I Played are Complete Trash

On 05/26/2013 at 06:29 PM by Raised_on_Nintendo

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Heavy Rain and God of War: Ascension.

Before I get into the gory deets, let me point out that although I am Raised_on_Nintendo, it doesn't mean I don't give Sony and Microsoft a fair shake.  I own a PS3 and 360 and have played dozens of games on each, many of which I like, so please don't think this is a fanboy bashfest.  Hopefully, after you read my reasons for writing this blog, my objectivity will shine through.  First, we'll start with Heavy Rain:

I started playing Heavy Rain and it completely immersed me.  Depite the lengthy load times, I did in fact enjoy its heavy QTE, dialogue driven nature.  What gripped me most is it's mature storyline.  I never watched any of the Saw movies, but I know what they're about - make extremely difficult decisions, huge sacrifices in the hopes of attaining the greater good - and could sense a Saw influence in the game.  I don't want to spoil any of the game, but there was one point when I felt really, really, really bad about killing someone just to try and save my character's son.  I never experienced a moment like that in any other game, and I was quick to sing Heavy Rain's praise.

That was until I got to the chapter late in the game in which you control the female character (forget her name) and enter the home of a doctor to try and find information to help the main playable character who is trying to save his son.  In this chapter, the doctor tries to basically date rape you, and if one is wise enough to decline the beverage he offers, he goes into another room, allowing you to search the dwelling for clues.  It's at this exact point when the game froze on me.  I checked the disc, found a scratch, said oh well, sent it back to GameFly.  I was so enamoured with the game, though, that I went to a local used game shop and bought a used copy.  I put the prestine, unscratched disc into the PS3, loaded up the game, and it still froze at the same spot.  At this point it is abundantly clear that the disc wasn't the culprit, but a buggy game build.  Are you friggin' kidding me?  I scoured the web for a workaround, some sort of glimmer of hope that would allow me to continue without starting over.  There are none.  Reluctantly, I abandoned my quest to save the boy trapped in a sewage drain, after being ever so meticulous about performing every quicktime event flawlessly.  What a crock of #$%#$.  I will never play Heavy Rain again.

And now, for God of War: Ascension:

I absolutely love the God of War franchise.  I've beaten all previous 5 (includes PSP to PS3 ports) and enjoyed every single one.  In fact, the only platinum trophies I have are from the GoW franchise, proving that I do in fact traverse every nook and cranny of these great games.

I was estatic when my coworker, after incessant requests, let me borrow GoW:A for a week.  Yes, I will beat this game in a week's time, I told myself...

Not so fast!

For starters, I must reiterate my stance of playing all games on hard difficulty.  It's what I do, after feeling cheated, beating many games on normal and feeling unfulfilled over the years.  In the GoW franchise I beat all previous 5 on hard, and yes there are some tough spots, but I still managed to get to the end and win.  In GoW:A, I'm a mere 1.5 hours in and have already lost all patience for its *updated* combat system.  I won't get into the precise details, but sum it up by saying the game demands flawless combat execution in order to power up Kratos' rage meter for slightly greater-than-moderate damage attacks.  

The spot I'm stuck on is where Kratos receives the fire element upgrade and must immediately defeat numerous aggressive foes in a small confined area.  The new attack feature that the fire element provides - the one the game nudges you to employ - is about as powerful as a wet rag.  It stuns enemies, but so what?  They get right back up and hammer you, and hammer you, and hammer you some more.  

So I try precise blocking, parry moves, stop-and-pop attack/dodging, every single strategy Krato's arsenal of moves will allow, and it's no use.  Death, death, death.  The AI is heavily unbalanced, and feels sloppily metered so.  In previous GoW's, no matter how difficult the fight, a successful tactical approach would always reveal itself.  Even if it meant dying dozens of times, the route to victory simply meant making no mistakes while on the attack/defense.  Not so, here.  It's complicated to the point of cumbersome.  Combine that with the 1+G game patches one must install and it's clear to me that GoW:A was poorly planned and hastily delivered.

I could play devil's advocate and defend GoW:A, but I won't.  This is inexcusable.  Same with the problem I had with Heavy Rain.  These are AAA Sony exclusives that people spend good money on.  Yes, I am playing these games rented/2nd hand, but that doesn't change the fact that they are substandard.  These aren't launch titles that may earn sympathy due to early, unfamiliar programming techniques with new dev-kits.  Both of these games were developed well into the PS3 life cycle.  GoW:3 got it right, but GoW:A didn't?  Why?  

These are the 2 most recent non-Nintendo games I played and they leave a nasty flavor in my mouth.  Forgive me if I neglect to join the next gen bandwagon (aside from WiiU, of course).  Why should I?  All I experience nowadays is broken.

I really want to post positive blogs.  I hate all this negativity.  Maybe I will after I finally beat NSMB:U or ZombiiU.  We'll see.  After this blog is posted, I will try GoW:A for the hundredth time, but doubt I will make substantial progress before my week is up.

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05/26/2013 at 06:38 PM

Sorry you had a bad time with Heavy Rain, when me and my sister played it it never did that so I dont know what to tell ya there, it ran smooth and never once made us start over or restart the console. I actually have only played a lil bit of the first GOW so I have no clue on how its track record has run with flaws and glitches.


05/26/2013 at 06:48 PM

I absolutely recommend any of the first 5 GoW's.  They are amazing! 

As for Heavy Rain, my gf beat it, got the poor ending, which is why I bothered to begin with.  She sat next to me, cheering me on, and then BAM, it froze.  I do want to go back and start again, because the game is that good, but there's no gaurantee I won't run into the same problem.  It's the same reason why I can't just pick a previous chapter and start from there.  I have no idea what the game-breaking factor is.  There's obviously something not adding up in the algorithm, causing it to crash.  I see it as a waste of time, which is a shame.

Matt Snee Staff Writer

05/26/2013 at 06:46 PM

I never had any problems with HEavy Rain either, and I loved it.  That scene in the doctor's house is a bit much though, I will admit. 

Hope you still give Beyond: Two Souls a try!


05/26/2013 at 06:50 PM

I will definitely play more current gen games.  That is my plan.  I'm glad both of you were able to enjoy Heavy Rain.  Who knows, maybe my PS3 is the problem?  I am sure, though, that others also had problems with Heavy Rain, as per the results of my Google searches.


05/26/2013 at 06:47 PM

EDIT:  I finally got past the point I was stuck in, however I had to use the mid-air grapple/throw attack (tap R1) over and over again to do so.  Had to do that again at a second point, too.  This disappoints me, but maybe I can get through the game after all, we'll see.


05/26/2013 at 08:24 PM

I played the Heavy Rain demo but to this day I have not played the full game. I may do so one day but right now I'm struggling just to play a game from beginning to end without getting distracted.

Blake Turner Staff Writer

05/26/2013 at 08:35 PM

 Eh. I'm not a massive GoW fan. I mean, I've finished them all, but I just can't take Kratos seriously. He's a whining bastard who essentially kills things when he doesn't get his own way. He is the very image of entitlement, and he's just kind of annoying.

 As for Heavyy Rain, I took the same options as you and I didn't encounter that glitch? That sucks man.


05/26/2013 at 10:25 PM

Ahhhahaha, yeah, you're right.  The graphics and set pieces are epic, though, and I like the combat, when it's properly balanced.

Super Step Contributing Writer

05/26/2013 at 09:37 PM

I watched Heavy Rain by way of an online Let's Play with no voice track (there was out-of-game text that was kind of amusing), so there's one way you could at least finish the story.


05/26/2013 at 10:24 PM

Great point.  I might just do that.


05/27/2013 at 02:00 PM

I have yet to find somebody who's attempted comedy on a Let's Play that I find funny.  It's always wannabe-clever and the commentator feels the need to fill every second of silence with their trademark "wit".  Sometimes they hum or sing the music.  It's silence or nothing for me!

Super Step Contributing Writer

05/27/2013 at 02:26 PM

I know exactly what you mean. In this case though, the text actually helped, cause it was genuinely funny observational humor that filled in gaps where nothing much was going on. It was well-edited too, so the text knew how long it could carry a scene and when it was just time to cut. Great producer, that text.


05/27/2013 at 07:55 PM

I found a great Let's Play for Superman 64.  Unfortunately, whoever produced them stoped about halfway through the game.  It's really well made, though.


05/27/2013 at 12:01 PM

I lost patience with God of War after the 2nd game.  I never did beat Heavy Rain, but I appreciated what they tried to do with the game.


05/27/2013 at 01:58 PM

Did you ever end up watching the end of Heavy Rain?  Find out who the murderer was?  Sigh........


05/27/2013 at 07:50 PM

No.  Man, now I'm going to have to find out!


05/27/2013 at 08:09 PM

Are you sure you want to know?  Don't you want to preserve your pristine memories of the game?

Chris Yarger Community Manager

05/28/2013 at 07:01 AM

I never played either game actually.

Heavy Rain never really interested me because I play games to play, not to necessarily watch a 'movie game'.

And God of War: Ascension was a game that I just haven't gotten around to playing yet. I'll heed your advice though and maybe start it on Normal.. Of course though... after playing Ninja Gaiden 3:Razors Edge, I think I'll be able to plow through GoW:A with no problem.. NG3RE has been such a bitch as of lately.. lol


05/28/2013 at 08:59 AM

I'm starting to enjoy GoW:A.  In hard mode, only the four times an elemental is gained is when I need to spam attack.  Everything else is balanced, and I'm steadily chipping away.


05/31/2013 at 10:03 PM

I liked Heavy Rain. I have stalled playing through God of War: Ascension. I don't mind it being more of the same and such but I am stuck at a puzzle. I don't much like finding answers online.


06/02/2013 at 03:24 AM

I'm with you about finding answers online. I did look at one strategy for getting past the Trial of Archimedes (didn't help much). Other than that I was able to beat GoW without any help. I'm curious to know which puzzle you're stuck on.

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