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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Game Play Quickies: Big Willy, The Force Unleashed Demo, Zak & Wiki and Tenchu

Generally when you're sick, if you aren't watching Robin Hood - you're playing games.

Destroy All Humans: Big Willy Unleashed (Wii)
I haven't been this wildly disappointed in a title in some time. The Girl and I are more or less fans of the series and probably would have been in line to play another one "just because" and while in general this game suffers from concepts which feel cut and pasted from the other titles - that's not the real crime here.

The real crime is that for the Wii this game was released half-cooked. The textures are simply inexcusable - sub PlayStation 2 for certain ... they'll make you wonder where your N64 controller is hiding. The HUD, and this might be some kind of odd HDTV conversion, looks miserable. There are weird additions to gameplay like hitting floating orbs to mind control which seem tacked on to appease someone who thought it would make for "good Wii play".

It's just bad, and in an cheap and ugly way.

The Force Unleashed Demo (PS3)
I think I had been warned about this in a preview - the problem with The Force Unleashed is that you'll run around slaughtering people left and right and the suddenly, jarringly, run into some boss or miniboss which gives you an absurd amount of difficulty. Even on hard I mowed down every bipedal foe in the demo except for the AT walker at the end. Which, damn you Kratos, seems to require beating up to a specific point and then engaging in some "follow the button" minigame to kill. If there was a game mechanic I wish people would think twice about using - this would be one of them.

Don't get me wrong - I'm either buying or renting this game. This is largely, though, because the Star Wars games end up being such better experiences than the movies (as the apparently wildly disappointing Clone Wars can prove). Basically if you want a good Star Wars movie these days, buy a game or call Genndy Tartakovsky.

Zak And Wiki (Wii)
Love it. Looove it. Wish I had unwrapped it when I got it so many moons ago. There's not much to say about the title since most everyone else has mooned excitedly about it - but it's an adventure title which harkens back to the good things about King's Quest with very little of the bad. Completely brilliant.

Tenchu: Wrath Of Heaven (PS2)
Remember when I bemoaned the lack of PS2 compatibility in the new PS3 models? This is the reason why. Tenchu still looks pretty decent upscaled and aside from some lingering camera issues still delivers the goods when it comes to sneaking around like a ninja, jumping on victims from above and doing very sinister animations on them.

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