Posts Tagged ‘Marc M’

Henry Hatsworth – A Troubling Adventure

June 22, 2009

I’ll keep this brief.

Hatsworth suffers from a bit of an identity crisis. With its mix of action platformer and Planet Puzzle League game play — and lighthearted “tea and monocle” aesthetics — it aims to draw in the more casual crowd; yet halfway through the game the difficulty ramps up so much that I doubt the intended audience would have the patience to get even as far as I did. It doesn’t help that the game also contains some of the many game play elements that continually get my ire up, such as:

  • Checkpoints only at the start of a level section, so have fun playing the last 5+ minutes again if you happen to die right next to the exit.
  • “Upgrades” that merely keep you on even footing with the enemies, rather than giving you any apparent advantage against them.
  • Enemies that take too many hits to kill later in the game, without posing an equal amount of challenge to warrant such a high amount of health.
  • Bosses with too many “Gotcha” attacks and more phases than necessary.
  • and finally, Artificial challenge: the amount of Special Power you get from clearing puzzle blocks is significantly reduced during boss fights without explanation.

I have to admit that I was sour towards this game before even playing it, due to a rumor I had heard from the ListenUP podcast and a few other places. Supposedly, the second half of the game was not put through the normal play-testing regime so they could release it sooner. I’m not sure how true that is, but after experiencing the overly long levels and numerous unbalanced fights I can at least say the game should have been given a few more passes in the testing department.

So if you like games that are hard or just slightly broken, give it a look. If you’re a more sensible person however, stay away from Hatsworth. You aren’t missing much.

inFAMOUS – Energy non-Crisis

June 12, 2009

I’ve been struggling to write this for awhile now. It’s very easy to talk about something that’s bad; the bile flows easily from my mind and into text, and soon I have an over abundance of complaining to work with (see: Bionic Commando). When confronted by a truly good game — one where the enjoyment is mainly derived from actually playing it — I’m kinda at a loss as to how I should discuss it.

So I’ll try to keep this short, simple, and electric pun-free.

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Bionic Commando – In the Swing of Things

May 28, 2009

As someone who did not own an NES, Bionic Commando was one of those elusive titles I would often hear about but never got a chance to experience. You’ve got a bionic arm, you can’t jump, and you swing around and blow up Hitler “Master-D’s” head? Sounds kinda interesting, I suppose.

So it was a welcome surprise when Capcom released Bionic Commando Rearmed — a 2.5D remake of the NES original — last year, which I promptly downloaded. Most reviewers familiar with the original agreed that this remake was an overall improvement on an already great game. Having never played it myself  it was all new to me, but I mostly agreed; The game was challenging but enjoyable, and I could see why people liked the original so much. The fantastic “Neo Chip Tunes” style soundtrack was worth the price of admission alone.

Rearmed’s release was also a lead up to the fully 3D sequel, coming a full 20 years after the original version. The remake did a decent job of getting me a bit hyped up for this game, which was obviously Capcom’s intention to begin with. I liked Rearmed, so it makes sense that I’d like the sequel, right?

…right? *cricket noises*

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Performance Review – Fringe

May 14, 2009

Around 8 months ago I heard tell of a wonderful thing: A Science Fiction show that would be a veritable mishmash of the X-Files and other past greats of the genre! It’s co-created by J.J. Abrams, you say? That’s a guaranteed recipe for mystery and craziness if I’ve ever heard one! It’s going to be on FOX, huh?

At this point my response was, “So, has it been canceled yet?”

However, FOX’s general ineptitude with (good) shows these days is not what I am here to discuss. I’m here to talk about Fringe – the previously alluded to sci-fi show co-created by Abrams that evokes the X-Files as well as other past hits (and/or misses) – which has just wrapped up its first season. So is it everything it was hyped to be? Is it the new Lost? Are various orifices explored in the name of science!? Read on and just maybe you will find out.

The answer to that last one was yes, by the way.

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