Saturday, July 9, 2011

[REVIEW] A Lot of Games, Volume 2, Part 4

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.

And we're back! I'm making double-damned sure Blogger is (auto) saving my blog posts to avoid the debacle that was the last entry.

Super Mario All Stars 25th Anniversary Edition
Release Date: December 12
Platform: Wii

You would think that for the 25th anniversary of anything, that company/couple would embark to create the most memorable anniversary ever, right? Apparently, Nintendo is in their own world.

[Note: I will be reviewing this as a collection, not a game.]

For Mario's 25th Anniversary, we get this, a collection of the original Mario games in their original colors, with nothing too spectacular to call home about. Super Mario Bros. 1, 2 and 3, with All Stars hardly qualifies for an anniversary collection. Doing it up with a fantastic poster (like something offered on Club Nintendo), with perhaps a statuette (again, like they offered for Club Nintendo platinum members last year) or something other than the original games would have been amazing. An art book collection of not only Nintendo art, but fan art (just search around DeviantArt for a little while to see some of the most spectacular fan art ever) as well. All we get is a soundtrack of Mario music, a book on Mario's history and ROMs-on-a-disc. 

At least the packaging was pretty cool...

Nintendo Honoring Their Betrothed Mascot If it weren't for Mario, Nintendo probably wouldn't be where they are right now. Hell, hanafuna cards would be the last successful endeavor of theirs, right next to the love hotels they had. Giving Mario a 25th anniversary collection is a fantastic way to honor him.

The Collection Itself Nintendo could have done so much more for Mario. Considering all the money they've made off of him for the past few years, the least they could have done was taken him out to dinner, because I'm sure he would prefer to be wined and dined before they fucked him

Rating: D+

Dead Space 2
Release Date: January 25
Platform: Xbox 360

We had two, fantastic games come out in the winter of 2008/9, one of which was completely fucking ignored by EA. Here is that other game's sequel, two and a half years later.

Dead Space 2 sees a completely, mentally un-fucking-stable Isaac, revisiting his nightmares of fighting off the Necromorphs, with a few new additions to, not only his arsenal, but the so-called "undead" he fights. With the additions we see to the weapons he uses, there's also some well-welcomed upgrades to Isaac's suit. Being one that isn't a fan of the new design of his suit (it's OK, but a bit drastic), I do love the new locator, being able to curve around corners, as well as hone down on not just your current objective, but also save stations, stores and benches. 

If you were a fan of the level of gore and outlandish mutations you came across, you'll have no problem with the first 10 seconds of the game, as it introduces you, face-first (yes, that's a double entendre), to how someone mutates into a Necromorph. The larger mutations are just freakier than what we've already grown accustomed to, and judging by the ending, we can look forward to even more of Resident Evil: In Space.

More of The Same I really enjoyed Dead Space. A lot. And Dead Space 2 delivers. More necromorphs, more disgusting ways to watch you, your adversaries, comrades and companions be torn, ripped, shredded, maimed, tortured, mutated, mutilated...fuck, this list could go on and on.

I'm Not Sure Here's the problem with great games: it's really hard to find fault. Dead Space 2 is much like Assassin's Creed II, where in that the problems that existed in the original have been fixed, overhauled or thrown out the window to ensure gamers have a blast. That we did. At least I did. That's what counts...

OH! I remember now. The goddamned Plasma Cutter replica in the special edition. That is the dinkiest fucking thing I've ever seen. At least this thing has lights on it, or I'd peg it as the worst thing to come with a special edition right next to the Batarang that came with Arkham Asylum.

Rating: A-

Killzone 3
Release Date: February 22
Platform: PS3

What can I say? I hate Killzone. I picked up the sequel before playing the original, and I hated it. Hell, both were bad games. Asides from being plagued with shoddy coding and riddled with bugs and glitches, the short draw distance, terrible control map and retarded AI. Killzone 2 was the father of "holy shit, games look like this on a PS3?" It looked amazing, but with the core issue of the game lying with the controls - weapons being too weight, aiming/firing mapped to L1/R1, not L2/R2, and only being able to keep one primary weapon on you at a time - it was incredibly hard to enjoy it.

Fast-forward to Killzone 3, and Guerrilla said that the controls have been tweaked, to allow for more of a "run-and-gun" gameplay. I figured this would be a better way to enjoy the lore of this franchise. Yet again, Guerrilla let me down. Big time. Yes, the controls have changed, and it's for the better, but still, it's too convoluted up there on the shoulder buttons to save this game. I got further in KZ3 than I did in KZ2, but I didn't last long before I sent it back to GameFly.

Sorry, Guerrilla, but fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

A Change For The Better They've done some fine tweaking to the controls, which make it easier to handle, and you can actually carry two weapons this time. Bravo, Guerrilla; you're catching up to the other 99% of developers.

Never-Lasting Gameplay Killzone 3, and other shooters in recent memory, are nearly identical in how they play, offering little-to-no improvement over their industry counterparts. The entire beginning of the game forces you walk at a snails pace in a Helghast facility, following one bloke as you encounter chatter of others; this level lasts for 20 fucking minutes. If your game can't hold my attention for more than a few hours total spread across a week, you need to change how you do business.

Rating: D

PixelJunk Shooter 2
Release Date: March 1
Platform: PSN

I'm a recent fan of PixelJunk and Q-Games; my first foray with them was Eden. It was fun, but didn't quite capture my attention as I imagined it would.

Fast forward to Shooter's unveiling, and I fell in love with the music, the art direction, and, most importantly here, the gameplay. It harkened back to a day of yore where the world was in front of me and all I had were the simple things, namely, my video games. Shooter's premise was simple: you're a ship, find your mates, shoot those bastards, win die be eaten at the end. It was a great game.

Then, as a surprise to everyone, Q announced their first, full-fledged sequel to any of their games. Why? Why do this? Shooter was perfect. It was a fantastic game. "More of what you loved", you say? "New elements to play with", you say? Well, say what you will, I'll be the judge of...


...this is actually a very solid sequel. Granted, this isn't their second game overall; they've been doing this business for years. Sure, the difficulty level has been kicked up several notches higher than it's predecessor, and it can get frustrating at times (fuck you, purple stomach acid shit), but it's a solid game.

It is "More of the Same", But in a Good Way I like more. And if it's more of the same, then I'm all for it. Just don't fuck it up, unlike what Q did, and made it successful. I mean, look a little further up into this post to see why.

Purple Stomach Acid Yes, I'm aware there was a patch recently that addressed this, but it doesn't help this came 7 months after the fucking game was released

Rating: B

Here we are, at the end of another road. It took for-fucking-ever for me to get to the end of this post, but I hope to get the next one out in a more timely manner. Next time, I'm shooting for a retextured Zelda-ripoff game, my first dip into the Pokemon franchise since Gold, another DLC pack for a game who came in second place for three separate categories in my GOTY awards last year, and finally, a Diablo clone that is actually worth the money.