Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Bulletstorm Mini Review

Bulletstorm is a pretty good game with some fun mechinics. It's nothing to orignal though, other than having a funky slowmotion kick and whip to send the enemy reeling or flying towards you in slow motion. There is also a scoring mechinic but I don't find it as fun as the scoring mechinics found in "The Club" also Wolfenstien 3D had a scoring system so it's nothing new.

In a sense this is just like the old school shoot-em-ups. You know the ones, games like Serious Sam, Painkiller and Doom where you shoot wave upon wave of enemies and you know what that's cool. It makes a huge change from your standard military shooters that big name companies seem to keep crapping out these days.

Bulletstorm is a fun romp with some great set peices but it's appeal only lasts so long, about as long as one play though of the campaign mode. I found myseld not bothering with the multiplayer because playing with randoms is no fun (seriously stop kicking people in to the enviromental hazzards it does not score very highly!) and the ECHO mode which is the score attack mode of the game is not as compelling as The Club's or most of my Xbox Live Arcade titles I have installed at the moment on my Xbox 360.

Overall I enjoyed Bulletstorm but I was not compelled to play it for very long but it's definatly worth checking out as it's a fun game and a break from the norm but I would strongly wait to the price is sub £20 and then check it out otherwise you might be a little disapointed. [7/10]

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Golden Axe Beastrider is officaly the worst game I have played in 2011 so far...

I love the Golden Axe games but there has not been a good Golden Axe game since the second arcade game which was released in 1993 confusingly called Golden Axe 2 ~ The Return of Death Adder. This is a strange name because Sega released a game which was already called Golden Axe 2 on the Megadrive one year before. But like I said, this is neither here nore there because there have been no attempts to bring the series back to it's former glory which is a shame because the Golden Axe mythology is very interesting.

In 2008 Secret Level and Sega decided to try and recapture some of the magic of the series by rebooting it thus was now have Golden Axe Beastrider. All I can really say is congrats Golden Axe 3 and the crappy Sega Ages PS2 remake of Golden Axe, you are both no longer the worst Golden Axe game I have played. Beastrider is so painfully generic, so punishingly dull. so brutally devoid of any kind of charm that the old Golden Axe games from the early nineties had that it's a crime to even compare Beastrider to them despite it's beast effort to crib from those games with knowing winks and nods.

Generic enemies? Check!, Generic backgrounds? Check! Awful redesign of a classic video Game heroin? Check!

My biggest problem and this is the biggest crime you can level against any game in my opinion is that the developers did not even try to aspire to anything other than cheap cash mediocrity. simply put this game does not strike me as a labour of love. This is a crying shame in my opinion because like I said before I would of love to of seen a decent game biased in the Golden Axe world. It's a simple concept of some bad ass heroes romping around an fantasy world vanquishing evil and tyranny as they uncover it with the aid of their weapons, powerful beasts and mysterious but powerful magic.

Instead what we get is a generic hack and slash game set in some generic levels (which half the time are not very well designed) killing some generic villains while using a generic and very boring combat system with a generic and broken counter system which despite the game's best efforts to convince you otherwise does not work well when surrounded with more than a couple of enemies at a time thanks to the horrid camera which allows the enemy to land cheap hits on you (seriously FUCK THOSE ROCK THROWING GRUNTS!) and even when you do notice the attack coming if there is two enemies doing an attack you are boned anyway because they just hit you while you are countering or during a dodge. The counter attacks are also worthless, yeah they do more damage than a standard attack but barely meaning that it's going to take awhile to kill any enemy, even at the beginning of the game let alone when you have to fight giant mid-boss like characters.

The beasts while being well animated are not very useful during battle, or very fun to ride for that matter!

The gameplay is dull and the levels are dull but is it worth it for the storyline? well no not really! As a fan there are several other "things" that annoy me about this game too. I don't like Tydas Flares "redesign". It's obvious they tried to "sex her up" even more than she was in the 16bit games. They also turned the Golden Axe, one of video gamings most iconic weapons in to a lame joke of a throwing weapon, good job guys. One of the biggest problems with this game though is the magic.

Magic in the Golden Axe games made you feel powerful, well at least in the first couple of Arcade and Megadrive games anyway. I mean in the arcade version of Golden Axe 2 is was possible to cast fire magic so powerful as the barbarian "Stern" that it would literally melt the bas guy's face off!

Now compare that to what you get with Beastrider. A crappy fireball spell that barely does anything and a not so crappy area of effect spell that reeks of genericness. Not exactly like summoning a great fire breathing dragon from the first game is it? And this is why the game is so boring, it never changes. The combat does not change, the spells do not change, the weapons eventually change but don't change in to anything that's meaningful or make the game fun. apart from the counters, all you have in this game is three spells (the Golden Axe is only used to gain access to new areas though) and a light and heavy attack. I mean you can run and jump but both lose there impact when you figure out that they add nothing to your arsenal so to speak, well that's a little unfair as running does get you from place to place a bit quicker but it nowhere near as useful as the 16bit games where you could shoulderbarge motherfuckers in to bottomless pits.

As dull as this game is the worst thing is that is DRAGS! Oh dear lord does it drag. I played this game for some considerable time, longer than you might expect for a game of this type and I am still nowhere near the end. I know people wish that games kept the length of games in the old days but you know what in this case I really wish this game was a long as the original Golden Axe games as then at least my suffering would be over much quicker.

In summary I don't like this game. It will be forever known as the first retail game I decided to play in 2011 and I regret that decision now as this game is a gigantic waste of everyone's time from the people responsible making the game to the actually game player. No one partaking in a recreational hobby as proved to be so fruitless to so many people at any one time. Congratulations Beastrider for wasting everyone's fucking time! [3/10]

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Some thoughts on DW Strikeforce!

Dynasty Warriors Strikeforce represents something a little different from KOEI which after all these years of pumping out DW games can only be a good thing even if it's only to chase after the mad Monster Hunter yens. Originally a PSP game I have been enjoying the company of the Xbox 360 version as of late and I have to say I am liking the changes that have been made to the tried and true DW formula.

For a start you can now play the game with up to three other friends online during the campaign mode which is fantastic. This is something I have always wanted in a DW game and now KOEI have finally delivered so good job guys. But due to the mostly online nature of this game it means that the action has to be scaled back some what. This is also a good thing for this title in my opinion because unlike most DW games I can play this in the space of ten minutes with some friends and actually get somewhere which is a refreshing change from previous non strikeforce entries in the series. KOEI does make up for the smaller scale by having all the enemies be completely crazy. No longer are you just pounding on defenceless subscripted peasants. Now you could be fighting laser beam firing turrets or thirty odd flying magicians who all are firing fireballs or LU BU RIDING ON HIS 40 FOOT LAZER BEAM FIRING AND FIRE THROWING FIRING TIGER! It's safe to say that because of the whackyness and the extremes the developers go to, to make this title feel different it worth checking out if you are a fan of the series.

Don't get me wrong I like love me some DW but I am liking that KOEI are willing to put more effort in to trying out new ideas for their games now. The weapon switching from this title (which effectively allows you to change weapons on the fly giving you more options in terms of attack) is now being included in the new mainline DW game, let's hope they also keep the online functionality of the Strikeforce series as well because one thing I have notice is that playing DW is a lot more fun with friends.

Monday, 17 January 2011

My thoughts on Red Dead Redemption after finally beating it!

I have to admit I did not like RDR all that much when I first started playing it. In fact I brought the game near it's initial release and after playing it for about a few hours decided I was "not in the mood" to play the game and forgot about it till January 2011.This is a shame because this probably would of made it to my top three multiplatform games of 2010 if I had gotten though the game sooner as the game has some great storytelling in it. It also has some of the best set pieces I have ever seen in a third person shooting game and considering this is a sandbox game that's saying something.

The thing I disliked about the game the most was the huge amount of travelling which is thankfully gotten around by using the "camp site quick travel trick" and the dueling which to this day I still don't understand how it's supposed to work properly. I mean I know if you shoot a dude in the hand and don't kill him you get more honour and I managed to do that a few times but I am unsure how to fire after "painting" the target a couple of times as supposed to unloading an entire clip in to the poor sod killing them in the process.

With that said I still loved the combat and the story of this game. I also like the presentation as it really makes the game feel like your in some kind of crazy spaghetti western this is thanks to the wonderful music which changes depending on which area you are in. The story in RDR is pretty messed up (but in a good way) and the ending alone was worth playing though, in fact I won't spoil it for you but this game could of ended multiple times and it would of still been a satisfying end to what is probably one the greatest sandbox games I have personally played despite it's flaws. Oh and did I mention that more games need the "Dead Eye" mechanic? No well it does because it makes you feel like a complete bad-ass so Fallout with your stupid VATS system take note!

Overall I would strongly suggest picking this game up as it's one of the few Sandbox games with any kind of merit to be released in this generation of consoles, it's superb. [9/10]

Monday, 10 January 2011

Let's Play Rainbow Six 3: Mission Six - Mansion Hostage Rescue!

Yep I forgot to post this on this blogg because I am a plebb. Anyway I hope you guys enjoy this video!

Vanquish Mini Review

Vanquish faces an uphill struggle from the very start. It is an eastern developed game aimed squarely at a Western audience but with a short 4 to 5 hour single player campaign and no multiplayer of any kind to speak off it's a pretty tough sell for anyone let alone a duck 'n cover shoot-em-up fan that may of been looking to pick this up between the Gears of War games or something.

With that said Vanquish does have some thing going for it, creativity. Yep that's right even though this is a game where you are a futuristic space marine shooting robots in some future colony of the future somewhere there are a some very well design set pieces that take full advantage of the setting and more importantly the fact that you rocket boosters for kneecaps! The battlefields you fight in look nice and are well designed and the evil Russian robots you end up shooting look menacing and are well animated with cleaver attack patterns. Did I mention this game gets crazy!? I mean with all that rocket sliding from cover to cover and the amount of enemies the game throws at you the battlefield becomes a very hectic place to be, perhaps a little to confusing at times as you can get "insta-killed" by an attack from a sneaky robot you may of not been paying attention to even with the game is generous with the whole "bullet time before death" mechanic it has which normally helps but not with said "insta-kill" attacks.

Vanquish is a fun ride while it lasts but the thing is it does not last for all that long. The game is varied enough in it's shooting gameplay throughout the brief period that the game lasts for but if there is one Platinum games game from 2010 that you should be buying this year now that's it's hit the bargain bins up and down the country it's Beyonetta as it's not only a much longer of a game than Vanquish but it's also a bit better as well. With that said if you do manage to find this game for say sub-fifteen pounds then I highly recommend giving it a shot if you like third person cover based shooters as it's one of the more interesting games of this type in the market at the moment. [7/10]