Sorry for the lack of updates on here, the draw of Twitter and illicit underpants have ensured that my time online is fleeting, but right now I am sitting in the dark while the kids play Marvel vs Capcom 2. So I think it is fitting to have a nutshell post, off we go!
Dante’s Inferno managed to hit the spot in a VERY attractive way by providing a heady blend of God of War and massive demon tits. The storyline is far more involving than it has any right to be and the level design is two parts genius/four parts total batshit insanity. I found myself wanting to play the game more and more as I played, which is a rare thing indeed, but mostly I was simply impressed with the design of the thing. Yes it suffers from camera issues, but what game of this type doesn’t? A game you may not have considered early on, but is worth a punt at some point.
I managed to make some time for most of the Heavy Rain demo after taking part in the exceptionally well handled ARG promo online. The first thing I have to say is that it did not disappoint one little bit, but it didn’t excel past my expectations either. Not that this is a criticism, I adored Farenheit and knew roughly what to expect, but what I was not prepared for was the level of intensity the game provided, often making me feel more involved than I’ve felt in a long time. Needless to say I am still planning on rushing to get this one, but it isn’t for everybody. The interface for QTE controls is subtle yet manages to catch you less off-guard than most QTE sections in games. Not one for Morrissey, but for those who have the will to go through it I think this one will be a classic for the ages in the same vein as Psychonauts, Ico and to some extent Farenheit.
Another game I’ve plowed though like Lexington Steel recently was BioShock 2. As a massive fan of the first game, and having already written three ‘inspired by’ pieces of FanFic based around the nautical Utopia of Rapture I was cautious about a sequel’s validity. The first game did all it needed to do as a game, but the world of Rapture is too tempting to not return. The plot is well constructed, perhaps better than the first in many respects, and the ending system is put to far better effect than the overly short endings of the first game. Sea-floor exploration is not as free as I had hoped with strictly linear paths only allowing for a minor bit of manouver to explore, but you do get to harvest some ADAM slugs, if sticking you hand into something cold and slimy is your bag – looking right at you there Johnny! Multiplayer was the single area I had zero interest in, but I looked at the achievement list and figured a couple of easy ones could be grabbed in a couple of rounds, and by Scrote I am glad I did, it is essentially Timesplitters 2 in BioShockland. Very different and fun. Overall I was very pleased with my return visit to Rapture, and was even more impressed with the fact that I plumped out for the Collector’s Edition version and EVERY piece was of quality (more to come on this later).
Chime easily became a must-have due to it’s charitable status, bargain price and impulsive gameplay, but I note that a lot of Lolocausters haven’t dropped points on this gem of a game. Essentially a blend of Guitar Hero, Lumines and a How Many Fat Sheep can you Fit in a Mini game all rolled together and seasoned with a smattering of decent music. The gameplay is simple, relaxing and super-addictive, plus sixty percent of profits go to kids charities through the One Big Game scheme, which supports my own personal fave charity, Starlight. 400MSP is nothing for a game of this quality regardless, and the charity donation should make this a shoe in… for the ‘cheev whores out there know this, just for starting the game you get a 50 point achievement for making the world a better place. Can’t recommend this enough.
Demo wise Sonic All-Stars Racing made me smile knowingly while proving to be a genuine challenge, Aliens Vs Predator was mishandled as I think team based demo play would have been more fun and enticing for a final product, which wasn’t the issued for BF: Bad Company 2 which excelled in multiplayer mode. I dare say I enjoyed it more than Modern Warfare 2, which is little surprise to those who know about my exploits with Ollie and some medipack madness. The follow-up to Superstars V8 was a bit too slim on style to really beat away competition from Forza Motorsport III and Need For Speed: Shift, which is still amazing me with the jump in quality from Undercover to Shift. Finally Dark Void kinda backed up my earlier claims that games with flying blokes in with always suffer on the ground. (See Lolocaust Podcast 1 RE: Iron Man)
Finally an honourable mention to Beat Hazard which can be found in the Xbox 360’s Indie Games section for 400 MSP. Essentially a revamped blend of Asteroids and Geometry Wars with a splash of Vib Ribbon-esque visualiser play. The game reads music on your hard drive or PC and elements in a level will appear to the music, cetain tracks/albums will make for a harder experience, but the game tracks your progress on each album. Power ups to be collected increase the volume of the original track which makes you more powerful and eventually you become a near immortal, always immoral Beat Hazard, blasing space craft into oblivion. I simply cannot express how good this experience is, and straight after buying Chime you should consider this.
So there you go a healthy selection of gaming nuggest for you to pop in your mouth and savour.
Until we next meet, buy Chime and be a superhero for real.
Oh and yes, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is a deliberate omission… more on that soon…