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Monday, August 01, 2005

Dumpster Diving

I'm a pretty big sucker for games under $10, and it kinda bit us last night. After having watched other people go through virtual adventures for almost 48 hours straight, first with my friend and I making our way through Timesplitter's coop and then with me finishing up the frustrating end to God of War, The Girl wanted to try some new things out.

First up was the Fellowship of the Ring, $8. Unfortunately, we had no idea that this title was utterly removed from EA's later titles and instead of being a third person masher is rather a third person adventure. Still, she tried to soldier through as the designers sought fit to have Frodo worry about the Bag End deed, and hitting a warning bell that didn't really warn anyone and then the Bag End key and ... well, that was about it. Bad controls and no map or indication of where one is supposed to actually go sucks the fun out of such a title. I briefly tried it, only to quickly run into the "task" of sneaking past Nazgul ... which I failed instantly after the instructions came on the screen ... without seeing a single Nazgul.

After putting it away, The Girl said I should know right where it's going. When I said the trash, she said I might be able to at least get a buck for it at EB. But the public good, I reminded, if we do that there's a chance someone else might try to play it.

Next was Giants Citizen Kabuto. $5. Had heard a lot about, but never really understood. Much better start than FOTR, The Girl actually made her way through the first mission without a hitch. The backdrop is certainly inventive, even if the graphics have clearly not aged well. Controls though, seemed equally dated and possibly just not very console friendly. Using the Mekka jetpack on the second mission was far more chore than fun. Not a failure, but Kabuto is on probation.

Even though Project: Snowblind was a shooter, The Girl was willing to try it next. $17, so it was the most expensive of the bunch. Snowblind isn't completely Deus Ex Lite, but it's really close. Most notably gone though, is the stark lonesome of Denton's world - replaced with levels stocked with allies and enemies trading shots at each other. She was really trying to get her teeth into it, but Snowblind is a pretty full meal for someone not accustomed to shooter controls.

Which is one reason why every console shooter made today should have a viable coop mode. Hands down. Studios need to realize that shooters aren't the easiest thing to control for even avid gamers, and if they could just bring a friend along it would help considerably. The Girl was doing well enough during the game that if I just could have her back, she probably would have been fine. But there was enough action that I was struggling to make through the second mission, so the game seems somewhat inaccessible for those less experienced.

I think we still have a cheap copy of Gauntlent: Dark Legacy laying around, so maybe that's next.

1 comment:

Hieronymus @ The Game Chair said...

A man after my own heart in two ways: cheap games and co-op mode.

I'm always on the trailing edge when it comes to computer games. I hate spending top dollar on a game when I have enough to keep me busy until the prices are much lower.

I also love playing co-op. I have a regular co-op game night on Wed nights and we've pretty much explored all there is to explore when it comes to co-op games.

One thing I can tell you - stay away from the Gauntlet games. Dark Legacy had to be the worst button masher of all time and was boring as hell even co-op.

I recommend the Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance series, as well as the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. We also had a blast with Starsky and Hutch, but only if you have a light gun. One person drives the other person shoots. If you like real button mashers, you might try the Dynasty Warriors series, but it was too much for us.

Look for my article on co-op game on The Game Chair. I've been working on it for awhile, and hope to finish it up soon.