Thursday, March 24, 2011

[REVIEW] A Lot of Games, Volume 2, Part 2

Look familiar, right? You're looking at a series of six posts in the second volume where I gather together a bunch of games I haven't talked about, write mini-reviews on them, and serve them straight to your noggin. Sure, they may not get the attention they deserve, but I get my point across fairly well. This time, I start way back in September and work my way up until early March. We're looking at a solid 24 games to be reviewed here. Be sure to brush up on the Review FAQ to make sure you understand my scoring before you whirl-up a bitch-fest.

Ahh, part 2. This quintet of games, well, there's not much I could do to sum these up. Sure, there was one that was riddled with nostalgia of sitting on the edge of my bunkbed 3 houses ago, eating a sleeve or Oreos and drinking a tall-ass glass of milk after I came up from school, said "fuck you" to homework, picked up the controller, turned on the 13" CRT TV I had in my bedroom and played for hours, never beating the fucking thing.

Oh, this is a review, right? Shit. Ok, well, here we go...

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1
Release Date: September 14
Platform: Xbox 360, iOS

Finally, after nearly 15 years, Sonic the goddamned Hedgehog is back in our loving grasp at the angle we grew to love him: profile.

Sonic 4 is nothing more than an homage to those that Sega has pissed off over the past 10 years of shitty Sonic games. Who the fuck thought bringing in Shadow, giving him a gun and his own game was a good idea? The only extra character we needed was Knuckles, and he's a badass. Flying through the air with spikes on his hands that allows him to climb walls? Fucking right.

Unfortunately, Knuckles isn't a part of Sonic 4, as it focuses primarily on Sonic, as the box art proves that. I did play the game on two different systems (that's why 'iOS' is listed under 'Platforms'), and, sadly, the iOS version actually gives a more sense of speed than the 360 counterpart, but the whole screen spinning thing while you're going through a loop is annoying. An overworld aspect is fucking brilliant, but something seems amiss about the numerical fourth entry. Perhaps is an HD-ified version of Sonic that throws everything off. But here's to hoping that Episode 2 makes amends for the strange wonkiness of this title.

Oozes with Nostalgia This is what nostalgia is all about. Sure, the levels are picked right out of the original games, but this what we've wanted. The levels, the's all there. Just crank up the speed on Sonic, and you've got a winner.

You Fucking Haters This is exactly what we've asked for over the past 15 years, and once we get it, all you people can do is just hate on this game? It's Sonic the Blue Marsupial Fucking Hedgehog; get over yourselves. Thanks for giving the team the motivation they need for Episodes 2 and beyond. Dicks.

Grade: B

Medal of Honor
Release Date: October 12
Platform: Xbox 360

Another war shooter? Do we need another one? Just repurpose an older game, mix up the multiplayer levels and add Achieveables.

Sadly, EA and DICE thought that reinvigorating their version of Call of Duty would help bring some money back into their pockets. Unfortunately, Medal of Honor does absolutely nothing to warrant a purchase, nor a sequel. The gameplay is bland, visuals are pitiful in some areas, level design in clichéd to the point where you could have sworn you've gone through this war-torn village made of sheet-rock that's held together by shit with that wavy metal that acts as a doorway (which, you probably did; any Tom Clancy game, Call of Duty game or anything that has you wielding a multitude of guns has this level on reserve, ready for a copy/paste job for the inevitable sequel).

Just because your poster-child/box-art cover man/dude that helps you on a mission has some rockin' face armor doesn't mean it's enough to save your game. Cut your losses and give us Mirror's Edge 2 already.

Nothing Sorry, but I cannot find one thing about this game that I truly enjoyed. Perhaps putting it back in the GameFly envelope and sending it back was joy. I'm not sure.

Too Passé Sure, you tried your best. You brought some war vets in to get their opinion on the game; having someone who's been through what you're trying to portray would give a more realistic view on the shit that's going down in the world, right? Well, apparently not, because this game was bad. Like, real bad.

Grade: D+

Release Date: October 19
Platform: Xbox 360

Platinum's third game pretty much hit the nail on the head: fast, action packed and a lot of "holy fuck, I'm sliding around in an exoskeleton shooting every which way but into my ass!"

After MadWorld and Bayonetta, Platinum went in a similar fashion: give us a simple concept and blow it out of proportion. Jack had a chainsaw on his arm, Bayonetta had guns on her feet, and Sam has jet packs everywhere. Vanquish takes the third-person, cover-based shooter genre (that Gears popularized after Rainbow Six introduced it), and basically re-polishes it. Sliding around everywhere is the exact same thing as roadie-running around the world in Gears. However, the gameplay is actually a tad better, in that your weapons can be upgraded. The catch is that, in order to upgrade, you're ammo count needs to be maxed, so that when you pick up a weapon that is the same as in your inventory, it upgrades rather than replenishing ammo. I found weapons would downgrade after a while - I couldn't narrow it down as to why - which became bothersome, because having maxed out rocket launcher was awesome.

The HUD is where the game lost me; neon-green and red for a HUD gets boring after a while, and, honestly, a little disgusting (yes, I'm aware my reviews use the red/green system, but every post isn't a review). I know Platinum doesn't do sequels (as of yet), but I can definitely see Vanquish getting a sequel - or two - later down the road.

A Spin on Roadie-Running Cliffy popularized the function, but Platinum takes it to a whole new extreme by sliding around the stage left, right, sideways and backwards.

(Lack of) Enemy Variety Not every minion is the same. Sure, they are robots, but it gets boring after a while. I like the powerful sub-bosses, but the little shit-stains need more flavor.

Grade: C+

Fable III
Release Date: October 26
Platform: Xbox 360

I never like Fable. I thought it was a bit bleary. I borrowed it from a friend, played it for a day or two, and gave it back.

Fable II, however, was a good game. I got it during that small window of opportunity when it was free on XBLM. I felt that it's sequel would end up being better, because, let's face it, Fable II was buggy as all fuck.

Fable III enters, and it was actually a mediocre game. Nothing fancy has changed (you get a dog, you can marry people over Xbox Live and you're aiming to be king). Gameplay is entertaining at best, the story is atrocious, and the king's decisions at the end are the most absolutely fucking retarded things I've ever done. Up taxes so we can save money to thwart an evil presence that threatens to kill us all? Hell yea I'll raise...why the fuck are you commoners getting pissed at me? It's either higher taxes, or your ass dies, you cheesedick. I don't give a flying fuck through a rolling donut if you're in poverty. You're ass is about to be in a goddamned grave in a year's time. Why can't I lower taxes after a while?

"This is bullshit" was a common phrase.

Weapon Morphing I did love this, where depending on your fighting style, the weapon morphed whenever you leveled up.

More Fucking Bug Why do people think Molyneux's games are above everything else? The entire Fable series is riddled with bugs and glitches. The dupe trick? That's how I survived the darkness onslaught at the end whilst maintaining my non-asshole nature in-game.

Grade: C

Next week, we're looking at the first sequel to a series, which the story arc acts as an interquel to an out-of-this-world movie franchise, some wild west zombie killing, another interquel, but to a game who's protagonist is ripped like Leonidas, and finally, a thevious racoonus who's games I haven't played until now.