Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Call of Duty 3 (Completed) vs. Red Steel

Now that I have completed Call of Duty 3 and worked my way through the first two hours of Red Steel, I felt I would review them against each other.

Both games of course are first person shooters and on the Wii. Both were released at the launch of the Wii. In most aspects the games are alike, even though it may not seem that way. Linear paths for forward progression with objectives and goals that need to be accomplished.

Red steels most anticipated attribute is sword fighting. With the controls you dodge and parry the slash at your opponents, it is fairly interactive and a neat feature. COD melee portion is less often and subtle. Through out the game there are small things you must do with the wii motes in order to create an action, such as rowing a boat, planting c4, and wrestling with the enemy. In Red steel this interaction felt like a mini game, where as COD gave you immersion into the game. COD also had a few missions where you controlled vehicles, this was a great break from the normal FPS frolicking.

The difference in controls for the games was flat out astounding. Red Steel seemed to be very buggy. At times my cursor would be in the middle of my screen and jump a few inches in any given direction. This made precision shooting problematic. During the sessions of play I often felt motion sickness. In my opinion this is attributed to the flow of the controls and how they are correlated on the screen. Also when zooming it required you to push the wiimote forward, this was not only uncomfortable but it was hard to aim and sustain the zoomed position. The sword fighting while fun felt off. The sword position would mimic the position of your hand while holding still, but took a decent swing of the wiimote to get the sword to swing. COD however was smooth and extremely precise. With the single shot rifles I could clear a line of enemies one shot one kill with very little problem. When zooming it appear that the ratio between movement of the wii mote and movement on the screen changed. A motion form the wiimote that would normally spin your screen around only moved the cross has a smidgen. This made aiming with a sniper rifle easy and precise, yet realistic in its own manor.

COD was all that I expected, great character models and environments. The smoke grenades when let loose gave a fairly realistic sensation as the filled a room. Red steel on the other hand really felt like an updated version of golden eye. The majority of 3D models in the game seemed simple and colored strangely with out realism in mind.

COD while only trying to recreate history was a little scattered. The different factions of allies you play from mission to mission gave an over all picture. But it didn’t give you the chance to bond with the character you were playing. Red Steel appeared to be a standard yakuza story, but I found it entertaining. If the plot had not been in Red steel I am not sure it would have made a real difference.

In the end my over all feeling would be COD any day of the week over red steel. COD is a solid FPS that is easy to control and fun to play.

Call of duty took me right around 12 hours and I would consider playing it again.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess – Completed

The latest installment of the truly loved genre of RPG games from Nintendo. I am a Zelda fan, sadly this will be only one of three Zelda games I have completed. The others being Majora’s Mask and Wind Waker. Though playing this game on the Wii proved to be an unparalleled experience. Even though I power housed the game and was able to beat it in just over a week (logging 37 hours), it never grew tiring. Few points of frustration which I will get into later.

The basis of the story is an evil menace has unleashed its power on the land of Hyrule. Forcing it into the twilight where humans are transformed into spirits and only have fear of the dark beasts around them. As Link you have been choose to save the world and you can entire the twilight. But when you enter the twilight you are transformed into a wolf. In the form of the blue eyed wolf you do not have access to your gadgets, rather you have your own special abilities. This made for a good change of pace with in the story of the game. Once you had thwarted that portion of the twilight Link would return to human form. There is also the introduction of a new character named Medina. She is from the twilight and assisting you only as a means to gain the power she wants. She acts as the voice of help when Link is lost on his quest and looking for the path in which to continue.

The basic controls involved directing link with the nun chuck’s analog stick, slashing by making movements with the wiimote, aiming your bow by pointing the wii mote at the screen and pressing the B button to fire. Over all I found it simple to adopt after the first few hours. When I first played the game it only lasted maybe two hours. My wrist started to ache and the game was shelved for a few weeks. After some good ol ribbing from a friend of mine I gave it another shot. The second time around everything felt comfortable and easy. Oddly enough not being restricted to hold my hands together like with a classic controller elevated the majority of hand pain in long gaming sessions. Another bonus for being able to play on the wii.

Something very bad happened to me in the midst of the game. After finding the sky cannon I save my game and walked away for a few hours. When I came back I noticed something odd was going on. The game would not let me move forward, transform or warp out. Apparently when you find the cannon an event starts. If the game is paused during that event the characters that need to be there to let you move on are gone. Yet they will keep link from leaving the small room to try again. There is no fix for this and Nintendo is aware. Lucky for me an Admin on the Nintendo forums sent me a save file that puts me right in line where I was with the story, making it so I could finish the game. When this happened the game really was tainted for me. This left a bad taste in my mouth that there was two minutes in the game if you saved all was lost. But it is software and they can only test so much.

Out side of my unpleasant experience the game was amazing.

For me it was 9.5 out of 10. While many could argue that it should be a 10 my personal experience and opinion is my own. This score is not based on the glitch but rather the fact that what I found difficult in the game not the fights. It was trying to decipher how to beat a boss or where to go next. This is extremely frustrating for me and can almost turn me off certain games completely.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Rampage: Total Destruction - Completed

First off this game was not just completed by me. Athena and I were able to play through the campaign mode together cooperatively. At least it is supposed to be cooperative, Athena definitely nailed my monster a few times while flailing about.

Rampage is a game of destruction, you punch and kick your way through cities. Meanwhile police and armies try and thwart your destruction by attacking you in droves. The game takes you through major cities such as New York, Hong Kong, London and so on. Through out the levels there are challenges that can be achieved to unlock special powers for your monster. At the end of each city is a boss of some kind and they were definitely challenging.

One really great feature is being able to find new monsters. There appear to be quite a few hidden in buildings just waiting for you to unleash them. The monsters do not seem to be much different other then appearance, however a walkthrough I read suggested that some hit harder while others have more hit points. After unlocking the turtle I doubt any other monster short of Godzilla would impress me, but finding them is fun none the less.

This is the second WII game to be completed in my home and its hard for me to express my appreciation for the system. I am impressed to say the least. The controller scheme does use the WII motion sensing. But game play does not depend on it. Your punching and jumping are controlled by the A/B buttons and movement with the analog stick. This allows you to play as if on a normal console. Motion sensing is used to snatch people up from the ground by making a right left motion the with controller and to perform a ground pound you make an up down motion. This adds to the game and the motions you are making really give a good feel to what happens on the screen. The mixture of controls is very fun and easy to pick up.

This game gets 8 out of 10. There could have been a lot more put into it. But it was only $20, and I would recommend it to any of my friends that have WII’s and girlfriends who like to destroy things. The story is also kind of neat and quirky, which I didn’t really touch on because it didn’t affect the game.

brooklyn naval shipyard