Monday, July 2, 2012

[REVIEW] Moar reviews!

I Am Alive

Release Date: March 7, 2012
System Reviewed: Xbox 360

Ed. Note: Here's a quasi review of the game once I first finished it back in March.

What's Great: The sense of disparity between you and the others within the city. I absolutely loved the feeling of being afraid of not being comfortable whenever I move outside of my comfort zone, which is about 10 feet in either direction. Once the game was done, I realized that we only explored about 70-80% of the map that we were given (not counting the blocked off areas), but there was that north-western corner we never explored (at least I didn't). I enjoyed the ending very much, as it shows that those intermissions-as-cut-scenes we were watching via the camcorder were, in fact, being watched posthumously by Julie, with Adam's gear strewn across the table, heavily hinting at his death.

What's (Not So) Great: The climbing mechanics can get frustrating, and the shimmering silver accented hand holds don't really stick out all that well across, what can be seen by some, black and white backgrounds. I do wish that the climbing hooks you can place to rest were treated less like a perishable and more like an upgrade that you could retrieve (especially if you accidentally put one in the wall), but that would end up breaking the game. Not all of the map is explored, either (see above). Most confrontations can simply be averted by pointing a gun at people. Now, there is some brevity between raising your gun at someone and them not reacting as quickly as you'd like, or even not reacting at all, which I wish was addressed. There is that likelihood that, if faced at the raw end of a gun barrel, most of us would clam up and GTFO, but I felt that combat system wasn't as refined as Ubisoft had hoped it would be.

Bottom LineThe overall game I enjoyed greatly, and I'm glad the game saw the light of day in at least one form. I wish everyone would enjoy this game, but some people were just shitting on it, simply because their expectations were set too high. Probably because they had a throne in their closet to the few bits and pieces of promo art that were released when the game was first announced with the reveal trailer playing on a loop.

GradeB-



Devil May Cry HD Collection
Release Date: March 29, 2012
System Reviewed: Xbox 360

What's Great: If you haven't experienced Devil May Cry, here's a great way. $40 for three games is a great deal.

What's (Not So) Great: That's all there is, really. Everything else is pretty fucking terrible. Earlier cutscenes are pretty bad video quality, time has not been kind to the camera system, and the feel of DMC1 is pretty awful. So bad, in fact, that it warded me away and prevented me from enjoying the other games in the package.

Bottom Line: If you've never played any Devil May Cry game, you should pick this up. However, for those fans of the series, I honestly do not remember the game being this fucking difficult. I know the series is known for it's rampant difficulty and it's ability to bend you over backwards, handcuff your arms to your ankles and destroy you nine ways from Sunday. This is far more difficult than I remember, and I've played all of DMC1, 3, and 4; I own 2, but never touched it. I would like to go and attempt to play DMC3 on this collection, but I'll have to rent it from GameFly again.

GradeC+



Fez
Release Date: April 13, 2012
System Reviewed: Xbox 360

What's Great: The fantastic art style, and the way the environment fucks with you. Hell, I firmly believe that MC Escher possessed the souls of Polytron during development and mind fucked everyone that played this game. The puzzles are mind bending the further you get in, and the amount of detail put into the game, such as the language created for it, is astounding.

What's (Not So) Great: The absolute bewilderment you'll experience once you step out of the purple waterfall room into the first grand open area. That map? Fuck that map. That map took me forever to understand fully, and until I was able to get the warp system down, my head was up cow's ass without the butcher to tell me which way to turn. You'll eventually get the hang of it, but that initial feeling is just mind blasting.

Bottom Line: Asides from the abomination that is the map - couldn't there have at least have been a tutorial on the map system - this game is a fucking gem.

GradeA



Prototype 2
Release Date: April 24, 2012
System Reviewed: Xbox 360

What's Great: The over-the-top, more-than-superhero feeling you have of leaping across buildings, gliding, running up towers and buildings alike...the movement system is what Crackdown should have had. The powers are grotesque, but in a good way.

What's (Not So) Great: The story is just fucking stupid, I'm sorry. You play from the angle of Heller, who was transformed by Alex Mercer from the original game, who seeks vengeance against his family who Alex killed. The promotional material makes it out as if Heller is seeking vengeance from the zero hour, where, in fact, Alex doesn't show his second face until about 25-30% into the game's story.

Bottom Line: I honestly wish Radical didn't go under, as I felt this was a prodigy child of the free-roam, superpowered anti-hero genre (not too many installments in there, but still). Sure, the games could use some refining, but they are great games in general. I pray to Thor that a respected developer picks up the rights to the game, as, even though the game is spearheaded as the maiden on the bow of the ship that is Radical, it's a piece that should be savored for future generations to experience and enjoy.

GradeB