Friday, March 30, 2007

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance - Completed

Another one of those games that my past influences me to play. Being as I still have around 200 comic books sitting in my garage (mostly marvel) how could this game not have appeal. The game is a 3rd person hack in slash, in the same style as X-men Legends. The characters include marvel legends such as: FF, Avengers, Spiderman, and a few X-men. The characters that proved to be my favorites would be Iron man and Captain American. The game has a unlock system that seems to be based on the amount of kills you get with each character. For instance with Iron man I was able to unlock his classic armor as well as his Man o War armor. These tidbits did wonders for the nostalgia of the game.

Now something to take into account is I played this game first on the PSP and then on the PC and hated it. The pc controls are completely unreasonable. You have to click the mouse to move the character and click the same button to attack. It was quite the debacle and really kept the game from being enjoyable. The day after I bought my 360 I went to Brian’s house and since I only had table tennis he let me borrow M:UA. On the 360 (with no clicking and a GOOD analog stick) the controls are smooth and work as one would expect. This changed my entire view of the game and I actually started to enjoy it.

The story is quite typical, the masters of evil are trying to destroy the universe as we know it. Only the collective of super hero’s can band together in order to stop the tyranny at hand. The CGI cut scenes are amazing, if we could only get an ultimate avengers movie done in this style I would pay $9 to see it. Then when it transitions to the game screens it looks well done as long as there are no close ups. Then things get a little blocky and N64ish.

For the most part you just hack… slash… rinse… repeat to get through the game. The boss battles are a little less difficult then you might expect. Perhaps this was because I was being a slacker and played the game on easy. When you encounter the bosses it seems half of them use the “Press this button” syndrome. This seems to lack the epic feeling that you should get while fighting Galactus. Honestly its mother fucking going to devour your world Galactus. Yet all I have to do is throw two switches and let the silver surfer fly around his head like a bug. This is no way to combat one of the most powerful beings in the universe.

The game is fun for the comic book wanna be hero’s like myself. But I would call it 7 out of 10. Content, graphics, controls are all good. But lacks being epic to give the game a final polish and could have been 10 if they would have let me tear it up with the punisher.

TMNT - Completed

My generation caused the turtle crazy when I was about 12. I have seen all the live action movies and the majority of the cartoons. Deep down inside there’s a little turtle fandom. When the preview for the new movie popped up I was ecstatic, almost as if I were 12 again and thought to my self “I wonder how good the game is going to be” as I played TMNT2 on my play choice. In all honesty I was not let down and did not regret purchasing the game.

The game is a plat former that almost seems based off god of war. The camera is fixed and adjusts itself automatically to the angle which is need for the section you are in. Unlike other fixed camera games I rarely felt that it would not allow me to see what I needed to. In god of war every level appeared to have a point I would die due to lack of visibility. Then there is the control scheme, two buttons for attacks, a jump button, and a turtle switching button. There is some stuff to do with the triggers, but the entire layout is simple and easy to use. Even when it came to combo turtle attacks it was a single button push. The quality of the camera and easy of controls made the game pretty much stress free.

The game is based off the TMNT movie and the graphics seem on par with it. All of the cut scenes are direct excerpts from the movie in its CGI goodness. Being as I went and saw the movie halfway through the game it was nice to see that the game did not give away the entire plot. But it did fill in some gaps and allow you to understand some of the subtle things in the movie. It was also nice to see a turtle game that was not overly focused on dialogue (cowabunga) or pizza.

There are essentially three parts to the game: Roof Jumping, Fighting enemies in confined space, fighting the Boss. The roof jumping reminds me of crackdown only on a vary liner path. On occasion you have to call on another turtle to swing you that little extra. Fighting enemies was enjoyable and almost like a mini game. Pick which turtle you want and fight away, do a combo hear and there pretty much just senseless fighting with no blood. The boss battles were a nice refresher to what a boss battle should be like. There was none of this “hit x now, alright hit y now”. The boss attacks you and you fight with as much tact as possibly.

The game is fun and the easiest 1000 achievement points to hit the 360.

For me a TMNT lover and the fact I enjoy a simple plat former now and again this game was 8 out of 10.

If you want a real gaming experience then this would not recommend it.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Lost Planet – Completed

The story this game is based around is defiantly something that has crossed my mind in the past. Humanity ruined the earth and we have to find a new home. Well they found one but sadly it is infested with giant insect like aliens, oh and there is snow. The idea is the planet needs to be terra formed, yet the bugs keep killing everyone. Compelling isn’t it?

The big drive on this game is the ability to use mechs or as the call them VS’s. The come with an assortment of weapons that can for the most part be interchanged to your liking. Some can hover, some have drills, and others can turn into snow mobiles. This adds to the game play and actually gives you a sense of power when using it. One of the best parts about the game is you don’t always have to have a VS to get through the game. One of what I thought was the hardest bosses I finished off with a rocket launch on foot, yet in a VS it is difficult to kill soldiers on foot. This was a great balance between the two fighting situations in the game.

This is one of the best games I have played since TLP for boss fights. The boss fights switched between fighting other VS’s to the bugs. While the VS battles were pretty straight forward and pure combat, the bug battles we stages and well thought out. The sequences to defeat the bugs came fairly quickly and were not incredible hard. This gives the player a sense of accomplishment with out much frustration.

The game to me was 8 out of 10. Great graphics, solid game play, compelling story and easy to control. Also according to Ben the multiplayer is incredible. Only playing a few online games myself, my own preference would be to play 2142 online rather then this.

Crackdown - Completed

There seems to be a growing trend in my Xbox 360 games. Primarily they are all shooters, and Crackdown is just another addition. The initial concept of the game got me very excited. Instead of being a criminal or fending off an alien race, you get to be a super cop. Actually trying to do well by the people.

The story while not overly compelling gives you a sense of good and evil. When given your first mission do not expect to be a Batman type hero, this is much more like the Punisher. It all boils down to the fact that you kill a bunch of mobsters. Each mission has a dossier on the mobster in which you need to kill. Unlike other sandbox games this is the only mission type. The game became very repetitive due to this.

As far as controls going the game like every 360 game thus far were very well done. The camera could have used some work, but that has been a programming nightmare for years and I no longer expect it to be perfected.

The highlights of this game was kicking cars, jumping from rooftop to rooftop, and taking on 50 enemies and being victorious. This kept me entertained through the majority of the game.

As a side bonus I got the Halo 3 beta with the game.

The game is 6 out of 10 for me. While I did enjoy it, the game play was repetitive and the game play has very little lasting value.

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