Thursday, 12 August 2010

Split Second

Played it for only a short while, but quite liked it actually. A very good, fast paced, manic racing game with big visual set pieces built into it. Nice stuff too.
The timing of setting something off is a bit dodgy as you can't really tell the exact second to fire, but it still works very well. Great tech too!

Friday, 6 August 2010

Alpha Protocol

Ok, Started playing yesterday. Wow. One of the most slow paced games I think I've ever played. It begins ok with an action starter that lasts all of 10 mins and then suddenly plummets to a tortoise pace. Lots (lots!) of stuff to read through and information to take in. I think they've basically tried to bring 'information' to the 3rd person action adventure genre with the characters constantly suggesting that you do your homework and read up on everything and anything.
The whole game is a bland mixture of RPG and 3rd person action adventure with neither side coming out very good.
The main new thing they have added is a conversation mechanic that allows you to select the mood of how you speak to people and then they will react accordingly with a knock on effect of how your conversations affect your relationships with other characters. At this early stage, it's not clear exactly what effect this has as no-one does anything different according to whether your professional, suggestive or angry etc.
Overall, the game just seems to be a little mis-concieved to me. The idea of having a major USP based on simple choices as to the mood of conversations and the effect that has on relationships comes very secondary to the mechanics of stealth and combat - neither of which are as polished as many other similar games.
TBF, the game has a lot of depth and you can approach missions in various ways, but it suffers here too as a single mistake using stealth simply defers to shoot-em up action - you can't recover from a simple mistake.
The mechanics aren't great and the player feedback for them isn't very clear either. Just feels like design has made some high level choices without thinking too much about the low level game play. Not sure I'll keep playing for very long tbh. Shame as it looks like it could have been a good game with a bit if fun and better action.

Thursday, 5 August 2010


Well. Talk about your pleasent suprises. Nier is not the game I thought it was and it's not the game it looks like it is. You'd think this was a traditional 60 hour play through hard core RPG. But it isn't - at all.
Nier is actually a hybrid game; part RPG, part 3rd person action adventure. It reminds me a little of Darksiders and a little of older, more traditional JRPG's - remember PS2's summoner? Something like that.
Anyway. The game itself is quite unpolished and certainly doesn't compare to major AAA games (it's no where near as polished as Darksiders). Visually, it's a little old school, yet the architecture of the locations is actually very interesting and appealing.
The game has a way of keeping you come back for more after you think you've had your fill of it. It has a nice back story (with a bit of emotional attatchment), nice characters (really sexy sidekick) and some very nice locations making this worth playing for me.
Unfortunately, some people won't be able to look past the slightly dated graphics and certainly, it takes a while before it really kicks in added to the fact that when seeing its box art and screenshots etc, it looks like a stale old JRPG. But if you can get past those things, there's a very good, interesting game for you to play here.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Mario Galaxy 2

Well, what can I say? Just an amazing game. Has built upon the the sheer brilliance of Galaxy 1 to offer another polished, smooth and fresh game. Adding Yoshi is just great. The levels feel fresh and new and each one plays like a dream.

Can't lavish enough praise on both this and #1.

Only thing I would say is that I miss the world map. Had they just fixed navigation issues - where you couldn't figure out where each galaxy was and therefore spent ages trying to find them - it would have been perfect.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Dead to Rights: Retribution

Bad start - you kick off playing as the dog in a tutorial level where you just run and attack baddies. Nice idea (hero guy is on the floor, almost dead and the dog has to protect him), but badly implimented - it doesn't play that well tbh. The next level doesn't even include the dog so what was the point? Is the dog really that important and that interesting to the game? Not for me.

When you get into it, it has good and bad points. You need to get into your head that ammo is in very short supply and much of the combat is hand to hand, leading to weapons combat (by stealing enemies weapons). I quite like the idea of this, but suprise, suprise, the hand to hand isn't great - infact, it's pretty poor.

Still playing - just.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Clash of the Titans

Been playing for a week or so. At first, feels like a very clumsy game. The graphics are well below par - especially the landscapes. The characters aren't that great either.
Narrative is poorly written (and dull) and the story is stunted by the stop start flow of everything being broken down into chunks (missions) and having book ends with points awarded - similar to Devil May Cry 1. That was ok over 5 years ago, but not now. Really silly thing to do IMO - just stops any flow the game could have.
Once you get past the very low production values (on pretty much all fronts), there is a half decent game trying to get out.
Combat is it's best attribute and apart from being a little too complex, it's a decent enough system and tech.
The two things that kill the game for me though are:
1. VERY low production values - looks like a last gen game.
2. My God it's dull. Dialogue, story - I got bored very quickly just by the game presenting itself in a dull way!

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Iron Man 2

Oh. My. God. I am truly shocked at just HOW utter shite this game is. I literally couldn't play it for more than 20 mins.
Iron man is pretty much uncontrollable either walking, flying or fighting. How someone thought the control system was a good one I just don't know.
The cut scenes are well voiced but look awful! The character models are pretty poor and when compared to current gen games, well, they look last gen.
Sega should be fined for releasing this in this state and Microsoft should also be fined for allowing it to pass their quality checks. I haven't got a single good thing to say about this game - and that's quite unusual for me. I know I shouldn't expect a great game from a movie tie in, but this harks back to the 16bit days when they were completely unplayable!
Awful, awful, awful.