Friday, February 20, 2009


Hack and slash games aren't very common nowadays. And apparently for good reason. I can sum up this game in one word.


The game has a fairly unique style. Animé-style characters, realistic-looking world. It's an interesting juxtaposition, but it's purely stylistic. There's nothing deeper to it. And the game goes right for the T&A.

The main character's the classic scantily-clad buxom heroine of any of 37 million other games. The difference is this one wields two gun-blades. Weapons that are theoretically cool, but patently ridiculous when you think about them realistically. I mean, logistically, trying to point those things to shoot is silly. In addition to the dual-gun-blades, you get several skills, and the only reason to buy any of them is because you're forced to in order to exploit the weakness of whatever enemy you're fighting. If your enemy doesn't have a weakness, you can just spam the basic attack until everything's dead. There's not really any reason to get in to more complex maneuvers. 

There's no linearity to the game. There's no open-endedness either. Both of those imply at least some form of continuity. Each arena is its own set piece, not linked in any way. You go in, it's closed off, you fight a bunch of stuff, you walk out the arch, it loads a new place to fight.

I just really cannot recommend this game as a purchase. It's amusing enough that you may wanna rent it for a console when you're bored some weekend, but that's about it. 


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mirror's Edge

I picked up this game for the 360 when it first came out. But I held off on reviewing it. Because the console version is junk compared to the PC version. 

The graphics in this game are beautiful, and the PhysX acceleration makes the world breathe. 

The sound is completely immersive. Ambient sounds just suck you in. Voices are clear, and easily understood.

The biggest problem with the console version was the inability to quickly change what you were looking at, but mouse/keyboard controls have fixed that nicely, so you can check your feet for those big jumps.

The improved controls can't completely save the combat though. It's still awkward at times to disarm the enemy, and you feel like you should run most of the time, but you're forced in to it. Story mode's okay, but you're really only playing it to unlock the time trials, so plow through those sections to get to the good stuff.

This is still a quirky title, and if a first-person platformer doesn't sound like something you'd enjoy, you're probably right. If you want something a little different, then you should have a fun time with this game.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Crysis Warhead

I got me a new graphics card, so I figured it was time to put it through its paces. To that end, I borrowed one of the most graphically intensive games ever made. The half-sequel to Crysis - Crysis Warhead. Following Sgt. 'Psycho' Sykes' story, you're still a super-powered bad-ass in a nanotech suit. As for plot? Who. Cares. You're a super-powered bad-ass in a nanotech suit. Any plot is just an excuse for you to go shoot stuff and blow up everything. So, how's the shooting and explosions? Let me tell you.

There's a wide range of weaponry in this game, and you'll find a weapon or three that you like, and use the snot out of. There isn't really a bad gun. Just ones you'll prefer. As for the explosions? Very nice. 

They revamped the engine for this, so it's not quite the resource hog that Crysis was. What this means is you get all the wonderful, beautiful, stunning graphics of Crysis, but without the crawling frame rates. If you shied away from the first one because your machine just couldn't handle it, give this one a go. It'll still kick your machine in its graphics card, but at least it won't stomp on its neck as well. 

One last warning though: this game is difficult. I'm playing on easy, and doing well. However, I think I'd get chewed up and spit out if I went for even normal difficulty. This is definitely not the game to start your FPS career on. But, if you've got several games under your belt, and the machine to run full graphics, you are in for an amazing ride. Make sure to stop and smell the roses.