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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Memorial Day Mini Reviews

Just doing some spring catchup here.

Devil May Cry
Yeah, I know ... it's been out for like ever. But someone is going to have to explain to me what I was supposed to see in this game, because after a moderately cheesy cinematic and some incredibly annoying jumping "puzzles", it went back to GameFly in a hurry. It was supposed to have stupendous combat I believe? Then why did it begin with me jumping like a gazelle off of statues?

Resident Evil 4
Again, I realize everyone and their mom has finished this game and moved on. I originally waited to see if I was going to get a cheap GameCube or wait for the Revolution/Wii. Since I'm waiting, it finally earned some game time. I haven't gotten terribly far into the game just yet, but it's impressive to see the franchise finally emerge from it' pre-rendered backdrop roots with some grace. I can't tell if the shooting controls are a might goofy or if I just haven't gotten the hang of it yet. Next up are a gang of crazy villagers, so I'll find out soon enough.

Titan Quest (demo)
Tried this on my cheap PC. With the settings down, it played admirably enough. Largely it's a Diablo clone without much new to offer to the format except for better graphics and some new tricks (like day cycles and the like). Were it a 2-4 player game on the PS2, I'd have bought already. Being just on the PC, that's probably not going to happen.

Black actually took up a decent portion of my weekend. Well, about a day. It took longer than it should have because a smudge on the disc kept one of the cinematics from playing. In fact, I probably spent a third of my time with the game cleaning the disc. It's really that short. The final battle barely even feels climatic ... in fact it feels undercooked. It was the only time I noticed a real bug (some baddie firing an RPG through a floor) and was the least plausible with weird spawns from monster closets and the like.

That doesn't mean the game isn't good. It's stunningly beautiful. Having just finished KillZone I would have thought my bar couldn't be raised much more for the PS2. Black pours on the detail, down to it's lovely destructible walls and props. The environment is most likely the cause for the game's length ... every column probably took as long as it used to take to do a single room.

Black is one of the last unapologetic shooters to be made, I imagine. You are gleefully rewarded for causing as much damage in as short of a period of time as possible. Stealth is an afterthought. There are no buttons, key cards or puzzles. Heck, you open doors with your shotgun - a design aspect which captures Black's mood entirely. Is it completely practical? No, but it sure is fun.

It's way too short for a purchase, although it's tempting to play it again to uncover all the hidden "treasures" and bonus material. Definately a rental though.

I was close to dropping Gamefly's rental service because they couldn't seem to mail anything to me in short order unless I actually purchased the game. Black arrived in just a couple days, however. It's probably too late for its redemption, however. Once we get a shiny new mortgage, gratutious monthly expenses like Gamefly will likely go away.

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

I keep waiting for Black to drop in price. It launched at $40 and it's still hanging at $40. Makes me wonder if EA's plan is to run a game at $40 for a really long time before dropping to make up for not launching at $50.

When it goes down to $20-$30, I'll consider picking it up.

Anyway, thanks.