||[Oct. 8th, 2009|12:23 pm]
Eddie from Jersey
games for september:|
Gun Nac (NES)
This wasn't a bad little shooter. It took a couple of tries (I think, I can't really remember), but it was over relatively quickly. There are a few different weapons that you can get and power up, as long as you don't accidentally pick up a power up of a different weapon, in which case you'll have to start all over again. None of the weapons are particularly stronger than any other which makes for a good balance in the game. It's an NES game, so there's no real in-game story.
Assassin's Creed (360)
Going around killing templars in 12th century middle east is fun, not to mention well animated. The framing device was fairly interesting and helped explain away a lot of what would otherwise be ridiculousness in the game. Basically, you're being held captive in some facility because your ancestor found out some information that your captors wants. The premise is that one's ancestral memories are passed down through one's DNA, so they hook you up to a machine and you "sync" yourself up with those memories by acting them out. Your ancestor was a member of the Hashashin, which is where the term "assassin" comes from. It's funny listening to people say "Why would someone do something like that" when you make your character run up and climb the side of a building in a busy plaza. However, a lot of things in the AI just don't seem right. You can murder someone 20 feet in front of a guard, walk past him as he approaches the body and hear him say "Did anyone see who did this?" The controls can be a little picky at times, especially when jumping around the pier, which led to a lot of restarts. The (non-stealth) combat plays a lot like a rhythm game, which often works, but sometimes you seem to get hit for no foreseeable reason. Despite these flaws, the whole of the game made it great, but not superb. Also, I don't find any joy in going around collecting flags just for the sake of collecting them. If I wanted to play Animal Crossing, I would.
This game was a huge letdown. You control this jerk named Maxwell, and it's unclear whether you, the player or Maxwell (through your actions) are writing things in a pad. The aforementioned things then appear in the game for you to place wherever you want as long as the game decides it's a valid place to put it, i.e. not in a wall (or apparently too close to a wall). I assume the game is called "Scribblenauts" because everything in the game looks like it was drawn by a 5-year-old. The designers pride themselves on putting over 22,000 writable items in the game, but I would venture a guess that 80% of those things are plants or animals that you've never heard of.
There are certain sparse, fun moments when you realize, "Hey, I could create *this*!" and you do, and it's a meager shell of what you wanted to create. Want a UFO? Well I hope you want a huge 5-year-old-drawn clunky UFO that can't fit anywhere you'd like to use it. Also, the game is really picky about adding modifiers to the nouns you throw at it. Ladder? Check. Long ladder? No. Large ladder? No. The way you get a long ladder is by typing in "fixed ladder." Ice Floe? No, "Large Ice Layer."
Did I forget to mention the plot of the game? That's because there isn't one. I'm sure if I could find the instruction booklet for Gun Nac, it would have some information about evil aliens trying to conquer the world and you trying to stop them. As for Scribblenauts, there is no story at all. You play two types of puzzles: "Puzzle" which is you doing shit for someone, which could be as basic as typing in "bone" for a dog, and "Action" which is you just getting a star. By the way, this star could be locked behind a door that may open up if you, say, type in "bone" for a dog, therefore eradicating any difference between the two modes.
But by far, what is worst about this game is the controls. You control your character, Assface, with the stylus. Click on someplace in the playing field, and he'll run ten feet past it, or simply jump repeatedly if he gets stuck behind some kind of barrier. Also, whenever you create a new object, it's centralized on the screen and you need to put it somewhere before it actually exists in the game, but when you use the stylus on it to drag it around, sometimes the game thinks you want Fuckwad to run to where your stylus is instead, despite the fact that you point to the direct center of the Glacier you just conjured. This is great when you're constructing some elaborate combination of items and you want someone to start jumping up and down on it, knocking everything everywhere.
On top of all this, the game has bugs. I watched a truck flicker, facing left and right and left and right, slowly rising off the screen and out of the game for no understandable reason. The ropes, which you end up using many times, act like snakes with buttholes that they believe you are trying to ram suppositories into. Half the ideas you come up with simply don't work or aren't programmed in. If a switch on the wall is up and you drop a crate on it, it doesn't flick down, it just bounces off! Fire makes ice explode, and anyone with out a weapon just fights by slamming themselves into each other until one falls down and then explodes. When I picture the programmers of this game, I imagine them coding in the same way that the characters fight.