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Monday, November 19, 2012

[Review] Call of Duty Black Ops Declassified PS Vita

I like the Call of Duty games, just haven't bought one in a while because they seem redundant  BlackHood4 has Black Ops II for Xbox 360 so we may see a review by him soon. He's finishing the campaign as we speak.

The PlayStation Vita has everything that I've longed for in a handheld, mostly with the dual analog sticks. Call of Duty uses these very well.

I've played the campaign, multiplayer, and Hostiles. To start, some may be wondering, "What's 'Hostiles' and where's the zombies mode?"

There doesn't seem to be a zombies mode for this Call of Duty release for whatever reason. However, Hostiles comes as close as you can get to zombies. In Hostiles, you go through hordes of enemies and fight. At the end of each round, you have a care-package that drops for you. The maps are a bit hard to navigate (twists and turns) so if you aren't close to wherever the care-package is when it lands, you may be out of luck in reaching it in time. The weapons in this mode are a bit redundant as each enemy seems to use the same weapon. Although, I haven't played too far into the mode to be able to see if they vary.

The multiplayer is actually lots of fun! For console Call of Duty fans, the maps will be very small. The teams are also small. I think every game that I've played has only had 8 people with 4 on one team and 4 on the other. This isn't bad for something like Team Deathmatch and Kill Confirmed because it kind of evens out. I have had more timeouts when trying to connect to the servers than I have actually playing multiplayer games. Normally, games played online work where I am on the second story of my house (the router is downstairs) even for most PS Vita games but for some reason, the connection doesn't work for Call of Duty. Sometimes it pretends to throw me into a match, then randomly sends me to the main menu. Other times, the game will just freeze on the background screen with movement but no menu or other available actions. And the screen just sits there. I have the WiFi model so I cannot speak for those with a 3G connection but trying to use my phone's 3G hotspot didn't work. In fact, the game says something about a "NAT error" and further research has said that they don't allow NAT 3 connection to the game. So playing away from home is a bit difficult for those of without 3G. If I want to play, I usually sit directly in front of my home's WiFi router and it always works. It's just a pain considering that this is supposed to be a handheld game yet I'm restricted to one area of the house. Even sitting in the next room, which is our kitchen, still gives me problems for online connectivity.

The game's campaign is fun. However, it is frustrating especially it being the first time using these new controls. The game, overall, is hard to maneuver  I let my co-worker play who often plays Modern Warfare 3 for his Xbox 360 and he was also talking about the new differences. Luckily, nothing is really changed except that the analog sticks are a bit shorter so sensitivity should be a bit higher and the grenade and knife buttons are on the touchscreen and not physical buttons. I often die during the campaign missions and it gets even more frustrating that I have to restart an entire level because I died near the end of the level. I have not seen any check-points in any of the levels.

Running is set to automatic because I have not found any way to manually run when I'd like or one doesn't exist. In both Battlefield and Call of Duty, I enjoy the running and use it often. In this version, your character runs on automatic but it isn't enough for many of us and turning around corners causes him to stop running.

Overall, the game is decent. I will be updating to 2.00 when released just for this game and in the process losing my hack. The game could use some work if another release is planned and Sony ought to consider installing clickable analog sticks on future models to really get the true feel for most of these FPSes. I am enjoying the game and will continue to do so for a while, hopefully.

Update 11/29/2012:

I've been playing this for a few weeks and have noticed a few more things that should be added.

I've been trying to play the Campaign, emphasis on trying, but it hasn't gone so well. I have only just, as of today, passed the first two campaign missions. And I am playing on Regular. The reason why it's so difficult is due to the game not having checkpoints. No matter where you are in a mission, if you die or fail the mission objective, you are required to start all over again from the very beginning. It can get very frustrating.

Using the Vita controls compared to that of a console is also a bit of a challenge. The analog sticks aren't as big and can't move as quickly and you die quite often. The game doesn't seem to have many bugs, but seems to be rushed as most Call of Duty titles are. I say rushed in that I can't believe that beta testers had an easy time playing the campaign without seeing that it needed a checkpoint system of some kind.

Also, the touch screen isn't as responsive as it ought to be. Often times, I will click the screen 2-3 times before it finally knifes someone or releases a grenade. Often times, it is the difference between life and death.

The Hostiles mode is fun, but not as fun as Zombies.

And the fact that I can't hop on my phone's WiFi hotspot really makes me enjoy the game less. I haven't played much online because whenever I'm near a hotspot, I'm usually at home and play my other consoles.

I'm not as infatuated with the game as I once was. It's a cool game and glad that they finally got a CoD title on the Vita, but it just isn't what I or many others expected. I'm unsure whether I'll keep it or sell it. I wonder if any map packs will come or any changes will be made to the game that will change my and many others' minds.

Stay tuned to this blog post for any additional information I may add in the future.

Below are some online retailers that are selling the game. Buying the game from any of these links generates revenue for us at no extra cost to you. Each link corresponds to a different seller.

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