Gaming Backlog Final Thoughts – Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

The final entry in the original PlayStation 3 trilogy is my favorite Uncharted game yet.

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Adventuring through my backlog of games, one game at a time. 

Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: October 2015 (Originally Nov. 2011 on PS3)
Played On: PlayStation 4

backlogWe come to the last game in the original PlayStation 3 trilogy. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception builds upon all the successful story beats and action moments from the sequel and crafts an even more enjoyable cinematic action-blockbuster, easily creating my favorite Uncharted game (so far).

The third game takes full advantage of its larger, established cast of Sully, Elena, and Chloe, and even throws in a new character, the Guy Ritchie-esque British gangster Cutter. While the story may have lacked the opening flash-forward of the train escape in the second game, I loved the alley brawls and underground tunnel excursions in London, leading us to our new villains in Marlowe and Talbot.

This time around Drake and company are back to investigating Nathan’s namesake, Sir Francis Drake, and the lost City of Iram of the Pillars. If you’re thinking this is very much like finding the lost city of Shambhala last game, you’re correct. A running theme here is that it apes much from the last game, but frankly does everything a bit better. Continue reading “Gaming Backlog Final Thoughts – Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception”

Gaming Backlog Final Thoughts – Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Does Uncharted 2 remain one of the greatest games of all time?

Adventuring through my backlog of games, one game at a time. 

Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: October 2015 (Originally Oct 2009 on PS3)
Played On: PlayStation 4

backlog gamingThere was a time when Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was considered one of the best video games ever made, and certainly one of the best to emerge from the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 era (it comfortably sits at a remarkable 96/100 on MetaCritic).

To me it’s mostly the sequel to Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. Uncharted 2 is an improvement over the original in many ways, yet still hampered by some of the same flaws, including a horrendously awful final boss fight that’s even worse than the original.

*Note* – since I’m playing the remastered edition from the Nathan Drake Collection on PlayStation 4, I haven’t played, nor cannot comment on the multiplayer components of Uncharted 2. These Final Thoughts are based entirely on the single player campaign. Continue reading “Gaming Backlog Final Thoughts – Uncharted 2: Among Thieves”

Gaming Backlog Final Thoughts – Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune

How well does the original Uncharted hold up a decade later?

Adventuring through my backlog of games, one game at a time. 

Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: October 2015 (Originally Nov 2007 on PS3)
Played On: PlayStation 4

backlogAnd so begins my grand backlog adventure into the Uncharted series.

I’ve never held any dedication or fandom toward Sony or Microsoft. I dabbled in the PS1, loved my PS2, and then skipped the entire PS3 generation in favor of the Xbox 360.

With this console generation I’ve returned to Sony with noticeable gaps in my gaming history. Thus much of my current backlog gaming will be dedicated to playing catch up some of the biggest PlayStation games of the last and current generation.

You already read my Final Thoughts on The Last of Us: Remastered. Now it’s time for Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, beginning with Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. Continue reading “Gaming Backlog Final Thoughts – Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune”

Gaming Backlog Final Thoughts – The Last of Us Remastered

How does one of the most beloved PlayStation 3 games hold up?

Adventuring through my backlog of games, one game at a time. 

Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: July 2014 (Originally June 2013 on PS3)
Played On: PlayStation 4

backlog gamingWhen playing through my backlog I occasionally reach a game whose reputation is impossible to ignore. It becomes an interesting exercise to see whether a beloved classic still holds up, particularly if I lack the nostalgia factor.

My experiences with such games have been all over the place. I’ve gone back and played classics like Half-Life 2, The Longest Journey, Baldur’s Gate 2, and both Portal games, and come away with just as much respect and admiration as their ardent supporters.

Yet a few beloved cult classics, such as Psychonauts, The Witcher 2, and Beyond Good and Evil mostly fell flat for me. Their aging graphics and clunky gameplay not quite able to keep their memorable qualities on a high enough pedestal.

Despite not being all that old, The Last of Us Remastered falls somewhere in the middle. Continue reading “Gaming Backlog Final Thoughts – The Last of Us Remastered”

Gaming Backlog Final Thoughts – SteamWorld Heist

Does the turn-based tactical combat of XCOM work in a 2D game?

Adventuring through my backlog of games, one game at a time. 

Developer: Image & Form
Publisher: Image & Form
Release Date: December 10, 2015
Available On: 3DS, PC, PS4, Vita, Wii U, iOS, Switch
Played On: 3DS

gaming backlog final thoughtsIt’s been far too long since I was able to properly start and finish an older game from my backlog. My workload as a freelance writer continues to increase (and part of my job is to play new games), and 2017 in particular had a bunch of long games that have taken up a big chunk of my personal play time, such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Divinity: Original Sin 2 (consequently, the #1-3 games on my Top Ten list).

But thanks to waiting in line every day to pick my daughter up from school, I’ve been slowly plugging away on my Nintendo 3DS, finishing a lot of recently released games like Pokémon Moon, Metroid: Samus Returns, and Monster Hunter Stories.

After those I fired up an older game that had been sitting in my digital library for so long that I accidentally purchased it again during a Steam sale at some point: SteamWorld Heist.

SteamWorld Heist is a spin-off of the SteamWorld Dig series that takes place in the same steampunk-robots-in-space universe. But instead of another action-platformerer, it’s freakin’ 2D XCOM, and it works brilliantly. Continue reading “Gaming Backlog Final Thoughts – SteamWorld Heist”

Gaming Backlog Final Thoughts – Transformers: Devastation

How does Transformers: Devastation treat one of my favorite franchises?

Check out my previous Final Thoughts for Rogues’ Adventures. Keep up with my adventures in backlog gaming via the Facebook group.

Rogues’ Adventures Season Eight

Final Thoughts #61

Developer: PlatinumGames

Publisher: Activision

Release Date: October 6, 2015

After two big AAA stealth-action games I opted for something a bit tinier in scope. I’ve already had to shuffle my schedule around this season as my initial line-up of games proved far too optimistic in the amount of time I could devote to backlog gaming.

Transformers: Devastation caught my eye for obvious reasons. I love Transformers! The eye-popping art style and slavish devotion to the original 1980s cartoon characters was right up my alley. Unfortunately I fought with the gameplay the entire step of the way.

Continue reading “Gaming Backlog Final Thoughts – Transformers: Devastation”

Gaming Backlog Final Thoughts – Dishonored 2

The long-awaited sequel in a unique steampunk-magic world.

Check out my previous Final Thoughts for Rogues’ Adventures. Keep up with my adventures in backlog gaming via the Facebook group.

Rogues’ Adventures Season Eight

Final Thoughts #60

Developer: Arkane Studios

Publisher: Bethesda Softworks

Release Date: November 16, 2016

I played the first Dishonored nearly three years ago during Rogue’s Adventures season four. At that point the game was already several years old, and I was able to play all of the post-launch DLC.

Dishonored 2 was a long time coming. As far as sequels go it plays things pretty safe, presenting the same cool steampunk world and satisfying magical-stealth gameplay. Where Dishonored 2 succeeds is in its incredible level design and far more engaging story. Continue reading “Gaming Backlog Final Thoughts – Dishonored 2”