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dbarry_22's Video Game Reviews (218)

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Dead Cells 4.5/5
Mario vs. Donkey Kong 4/5
Bloodstained: Ritual of... 4.5/5
Bloodstained: Ritual of... 4.5/5
Red Dead Redemption 2 4.5/5
Blaster Master Zero II 3.5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Li... 5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Li... 5/5
Golf Story 4/5
Tetris 99 3.5/5
Red Dead Redemption 4/5
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes... 4.5/5
Mega Man 11 4/5
Octopath Traveler 4.5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Sp... 3.5/5
Bloodstained: Curse of ... 4/5
Everybody's Golf 3.5/5
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe 4.5/5
Super Mario Galaxy 2 4.5/5
Castlevania: Portrait o... 4/5
Final Fantasy X / X-2 H... 4.5/5
Final Fantasy X / X-2 H... 4.5/5
Kirby's Dream Course 3.5/5
SteamWorld Dig 4/5
Super Mario Odyssey 5/5

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Red Dead Redemption 2   PlayStation 4 

Bigger, More Beautiful, and More Refined    4.5/5 stars

Red Dead Redemption 2 is a fantastic game that tells great stories, provides beautiful, lush, and expansive environments and can provide practically endless hours of entertainment barring you have the endurance and will power to get through the slow parts.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is the sequel to Red Dead Redemption which came out on PS3 in 2010. But, the story isn't a sequel, It's actually a prequel to the events that happen in the first game. You control a man by the name of Arthur Morgan who is in the same gang as John Marston who is the main character in the first game. The basic premise of Red Dead 2 is that you and the rest of the gang under leader Dutch Van der Linde have just fled from town called Blackwater and are trying to find a place where they can settle down and live a quiet life. While the search continues, the gang continues to encounter other gangs and unruly people along with law enforcement which accounts for most of the action and story progression. One great thing about this game is that as you approach the end of the game you have the chance to choose what an outcome is going to be. Are you going to do the "honorable" thing or are you going to do the selfish thing that best helps the gang? There are actually multiple endings to the main story.

Rockstar did an absolute fabulous job with the graphics in this game and they knew it. The game opens in the middle of a snowstorm and it's quite impressive. Sunrises, storms, forests and prairie, it doesn't matter the game looks great. This beautiful lush environment is probably the biggest improvement over the first game on PS3. The PS3 was basically set in a desert which allowed them to have a large environment and not push the PS3 too much. The PS4 they were able to have dense forests, rivers with waterfalls and bigger cities. It allowed me to become even more engrossed in the old west setting. And don't worry, the voice acting for the most part is on par with the graphics too.

Red Dead 2 is definitely a sand box game. While you are following the events of a main story line you can and will be easily distracted by constant side quests that you can tackle at your leisure. This includes hunting, fishing, and treasure hunting. The side quests I most enjoyed were the stranger missions. Some NPC's you encounter in the game have more signficant stories that can be played out. Whether it's mediating a dispute between 2 brothers, helping a photographer take wildlife pictures or gathering items for a man who is building an electric chair for executions they all for me were quite fun. The side quests can either be a blessing or a curse because you can get so caught up in doing these that at times the main story comes to a grinding halt.

Much like the first game, I felt like the main story felt padded. At one point about 30-40 hours into the game I wondered when things would actually change. When you play the game I guarantee you will start to wonder how much longer before the gang does something different. It feels like all you do for a while is try to get money and then flee when things get bad. That repeats itself a little too much for my taste.

Game play in Red Dead 2 is still solid but nothing special. Riding a horse feels good and it's pretty easy to handle which is good because you'll be on a horse a lot. Operating weapons is like any other third person shooter you've played. It's comfortable and plays well. The Red Dead meter returns. When activated, everything will go into slow motion for a short period of time allowing you to target and take out multiple enemies if needed. It's also used in duels which can be frustrating if you aren't completely sure of what you're doing.

I am glad that the mature content was toned down a bit in this game. In the first Red Dead the violence and sex appeared to be catering to a immature late teen/early 20's audience. While that stuff still exists in this game I felt like it was much more appropriate and well done.

Now lets get to my complaints of the game. In general they are minor but they did affect how I played the game. The game game isn't glitch free. There were multiple instances my horse got stuck next to a fence or on an incline and I had to take extreme measures to remedy. Also, Red Dead 2 is definitely a slower paced game and if you sit down hoping to really accomplish something it can get to you. One great example of this is the inability to run in your camp. I realize it's small but when all I want to do is get to my bed to sleep or turn in some pelts I want to run through camp instead of chatting with everyone around me while I go. Just let me run! Another thing is the high volume of collectibles you can get in this game. Whether it's cigarette cards, treasure maps, or outfits it feels like there are a million things to do which can get overwhelming. How many hours is it worth to decipher a certain treasure map or to complete a set of cards when the reward really isn't worth that much? That's a question you'll have to ask yourself as well at some point. I felt like this is a game that's not worth get to 100% just because of the time it would take (assuming you're not using a guide of course). On that point, as of this writing less than a third of people who've played this game have actually finished the main story. This game has been out well over a year. Either most people are playing it so much that they haven't reached that point or the game takes so long and is so padded that people are giving up on it. I think it's the latter.

Lastly, I'd like to comment on playing as Arthur Morgan instead of John Marston. Personally, I thought Marston's story line in RD1 was much more interesting than Morgan's in RD2. That made me wonder why Rockstar decided to have a completely different character to play as in this prequel instead of having you just continue as Marston. I think they just wanted to do the unexpected since it seemed like an obvious choice to play as Marston. People wanted to know more of Marston's backstory and this was a way of giving it to the fans but still be different. I find it pretty stupid though. While you get to know a lot of the characters that appear in RD1 more intimately, Morgan is never mentioned once in the PS3 game. It's quite obvious this guy was made up after the fact and it causes plot holes to the point where it hurts the lore of the series I think. I just cared more about the Marston character then Morgan. I know there are others would disagree with me and that's fine. It's debatable.

Overall Red Dead 2 is a fantastic game. I do believe you'll get even more out of the game if you play the first game in series first. While it's not perfect, with it's major flaw probably it's pacing, the game is a great old west experience. It's beautiful, well acted, and fine tuned. Rockstar has figured out how to do this series well. It should definitely be on the shortlist of best games on PS4.

4.5/5
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