Friday, 21 January 2011

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West Review

Its 2011 now! Can I please stop playing bad standalone 2010 games?

Well thats a bad way to start a review isn't it. Enslaved is a game by Ninja Theory, the same people who made heavenly sword, a game so short I completed it in 3 hours in a speedrun. Enslaved seems to take the worst from both of these games in my opinion, with its short length and the female character that I hate with every fibre of my being since she first opened her mouth.

There are only three major characters in this game, and I only really liked Pigsy, which is in effect the comic relief. Unfortunatly he comes in about three quarters of the way through the game, which is a shame as this makes me think that this character was introduced too late to make a difference and he was meant to have a bigger part in the game. I feel no attachment to either of the other two only characters in the game, "Monkey" who the player controls, and "Trip" who is possibly the worst female character I have ever played with as a escort character. The basic plot is that Trip needs to be taken back to her village, so puts a explosive headband on Monkey so that he will help her. I'll go into what I think of the story later, but believe me it gets bad.

The combat is great. It works, although a bit slow to react at some occassions, and some of the upgrades simply are not worth the money that you spend on them. All you need to know is that for the most part, the combat is near perfect.

The story on the other hand, is a huge mess. One second they are going to a village to check on a character's father, which was well organised if uninteresting, but then in quick succession they learn of a super mech, and go to "the Pyramid" to do.... something. There is almost no story in the narrativeafter the first half, and this is just wasted potential. No matter how good your combat is you can't just tell us that these characters are doing something now and its good. When you get to the pyramid as well there is one of the scenes that I think is the most I have ever seen for wasted potential.

You get to the pyramid, and you find out that all of the slaves have been put in virtual reality powered by one man's memory of the old world. He created this to give people a chance to live out their lives in the virtual world and it to be easy, rather than rebuilding the current world and it being hard. Monkey sees the perfect world, and Trip decides to kill the man powering the whole thing. This is just wasted potential. You could have had this scene go so many other ways. Lets just look at one of the ways you could have ended it, from a perspective if we eliminate any labels of good or evil. Trip goes to murder the guy, Monkey gets a choice to either stop her, or let her do it. If he stops her they go to live in the perfect world and live out their remaining days, and if he lets her kill the guy, they help to rebuild the lost civilisations. What we got however was a ending where Trip kills the guy and makes a bad cutscene even worse by saying "Did I do the right thing?". We never get a response from Monkey, or any closure as then the credits start.

What happened to the mechs?! Was that guy controlling them? Did he create them? How did he create them?! How does he control them! So many unanswered questions!

I paid just under £20 for this game, and I do think that I got my money's worth from this game. The thing is now though as we come out of the sales, this is how much this game is worth. If I had paid anything more than this for it, I would feel ripped off.

Overall, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West gets a competant score of 6/10, with the alrightness of the first half and combat, balancing out the ending that I thought was horrendous.

Lets hope that Castlevania: Lord's of Shadow can impress.

This is Tyramatt, signing off.

Mirror's Edge + A bit of a 2010 Rant

Mirror's Edge was a game that I got free with my ps3 back when I purchased it back in 2008. I hated it then, and was actually unable to finish it as I just couldn't bring myself to play it through til the end. So now three years have passed and I am older and wiser, so lets see if I can get through this game the second round.

Mirror's Edge is a "groundbreaking" first person free running game, where everything is the colours of the flag of Denmark. A bit of blue sneaks its way in there as well, and green on trees but I digress. You take control of "Faith", which I joked was aptly named as many people had faith in the game being good after the demo, who is a member of the runners. The Runners are basically your framing element for the narrative of this game, but all you need to know is that the police don't like you. You uncover a conspiracy and have to find out the real culprit of a crime, while roaming the city tops and viewing the wonderful scener-- AHH!! MY EYES!!

Sorry about that, just got a bit blinded there by the excessive bloom that this game offers off it's shiny white buildings. My main problem with Mirror's Edge is that the story is rubbish. I have almost no drive to uncover this crime, or to save the framed suspect. This is partially due to Faith being a very unlikeable character, and partially due to the strange decision to have anime-style cutscenes. I understand that they were trying something different, but it just comes off to me as out of place. The controls are unimpressive and the combat is clunky and interesting. What really kills this game from a control perspective is when you try to jump from a hanging edge or a pipe, and Faith slowly turns to see where to jump to. This really hinders a game from the first person, and in a firefight, it is crippling to gameplay.

I paid £3.50 for this game and I still feel that this was too much. At times Mirror's Edge felt like a chore. I had fun at points, but these very quickly fell back into the metaphorical gravy that is bad gameplay choices, bad level direction, and huge glitches at points that can leave you hovering in midair and having to restart from the last checkpoint. Just so you know this happened at least 20 times.

Overall, Mirror's Edge, an experiment, lets hope they do better next time. Whenever that is. 4/10.

Now a bit of a rant about 2010. Now 2010 to me was a very disappointing year for gaming. We had some good sequels to some otherwise alright games, see Red Dead Redemption and Mass Effect 2, but we also had some sequels that just didn't live up to the original, see Bioshock 2. What I want to say here though is that this could have been a good year for gaming. Its just that we have had too many good years already. In my opinion 2007, 2008, and 2009 were good years for gaming. 2010 will not be remembered as a good year for gaming, and thats because it was a very, very, mediocre year. It started off strong, but the ending was weak. The sooner we forget about this, the better.

Just for the record, I am still working through the 2010 games that I wanted to play but didn't, so 2010 could still score some points with me, but this is my defining arguement.

This is Tyramatt, signing off.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Game Quickie: Call of Duty 4: Modernish Warfare

Just a short thing here, this is only concerning the single player of this game. I only care about the story! On this, it falls flat. Most of the very short campaign I had little to no idea of the overarching plot.

You jump from the perspective of many soliders during the "Modern" conflict, and i'm sure you all know about this by now. There really is no point me reviewing this is there? Everyone and their dog has already played this game. You already know if you like it or not, and its not like my opinion of the single player is going to change your opinion of the multiplayer.

Huh. Seems this has turned into a games quickie. Best change the title. Will do that now.

Basically, Call of Duty 4 is alright, story is bad, hopefully black ops is better.

Next Up, Mirror's Edge!

This is Tyramatt, signing off.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Game Quickie - Vanquish

Vanquish is a brilliant example of how graphics can blend seamlessly into gameplay to create a fun, fast-paced experience, that is sure to keep you glued to the screen for hours on end. The problem with it is that the story is lacking, so if you like story in your game this is not for you. The story is not very well explained and the whole story in general feels like it has been latched onto the game to surround the parts of the game that had already been done. Once again, if you think story is the most important thing in a game, avoid this one.

For those more interested in the gameplay and graphics the control is fluid to the standard of perfection. The graphics also assist with creating the cyber city scenery that everyone wants to see in a near-distant future.

You take control of Sam Gideon as he retaliates against a Russian assault from a W.M.D that fires a laser that destroys San Francisco. What follows can be up to ten hours of gameplay depending on difficulty setting, all encompassed in the space colony just outside of the earth’s orbit. The game also keeps a running total of your score throughout the missions which add to the replayability factor as you try to beat your last playthrough score.

This is one of Platinum Games’ best games yet, and with outstanding titles such as Bayonetta and Madworld in its previous line-up, it towers above these and more.

Bottom line, 3/10 Story, 8/10 everything else. You make the call.

This is Tyramatt, signing off.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

2011 Double Review - Fallout: New Vegas + Bear

Happy 2011 Mighty Spaceman from the Future! So, its been a while. But now we are out of the Christmas period I thought we could do with some new reviews here on gamesJunction so here they are.

The first thing I wanted to talk about was Fallout: New Vegas. There has been alot of flak around this game because of the numerous bugs, the game crashing constantly, and the fact that it was on an "outdated" engine. I have now completed the main story from one of the factions, as well as a number of sidequests, and I have to say these do not stop it from being a good game. I know people are going to disagree with me when I say this but I think it is better than Fallout 3. It may have a smaller map, but there are were alot better with their space management this time around. More towns, more sidequest trails, and more of an overarching plot than Fallout 3 had. If I had to summarise my experience in one word it would be "fast". The plot moves as quickly as you want it to, but some of the sidequests can be completed by either talking down to people or by shooting them in the head. This is not a bad thing as they are trying to cater to many playstyles of different players, but if I have a short time avaliable to play, I am going to go for the shorter option. The good thing about this game though is that it always keeps you guessing. For example, do I help the super mutants who only want to be left alone and gain infamy amongst the people I am trying to help already, or do I kill them and gain the infamy amongst the super mutants? It is also about the risk versus reward in these kind of scenarios. If I help everyone, I might get more or less. You just don't know. So to end this part of the review, Fallout: New Vegas, not as bad as you might have heard, good game, 7/10.

So to move onto a movie that I bought a while ago and never got around to watching until last week. Bear. This is by far one of the most entertaining movies I have ever watched. It is so unbelievably ludicrus, that it flys high above everyones expectations. I will now summarise the plot. Some people get a flat tyre and crash into a forest. They replace the tyre and decide to camp out for the night in the forest despite the fact that they don't know where they are. A bear appears, and then walks off. As the bear walks off, one of the guys shoots it eight times for some reason and the bear doesn't even notice until the seventh one. Bear dies, its mate comes to seek revenge. What follows is the most fun I have ever had taking the piss out of something. Let me just list the more stupid parts of the film:

  1. A bear tips a fully stocked people carrier on its side
  2. The four skinny people tip it back over
  3. The Bear has a flashback to what happened eight or nine seconds ago
  4. The Bear tips the people carrier over again, but on its back this time.
  5. A guy leaves to go to a lodge nearby that he hasn't ever mentioned up to this point
  6. Two of the skinny people tip the people carrier over FROM ITS BACK.
  7. The guy comes back from the lodge and says that they are all dead, probably from the ONE BEAR THATS ATTACKING THEM.
Rage over now, back to the informative stuff. Bear is a bad film. It doesn't cost very much though, and if you want a cheap laugh watching people do what they call acting, it is definatly worth a look.

Well those are the first reviews of 2011, so heres hoping that this year brings us more reviews, and joy all around.

This is Tyramatt, hoping that Dead to Rights doesn't get a sequel this year.