Mini Game Reviews

The source for all things IskatuMesk and then some. From projects, to articles, and even Let's Plays- it's all here for the taking.

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Mini Game Reviews

Postby IskatuMesk » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:00 am

You know where to find the full reviews, but here's some mini reviews if you're curious about certain games.


Genre - Action RPG
Playtime - 20 hours
Plot summary - You're War, a horsieman that gets rubbed the wrong way and stabs some pigeons + demons to work shit out.

Darksiders is a taste of puzzling with a strong hint of God of War. Voice acting and sound work is top notch with graphics matching those of modern PC titles. It is a console port, however, and is subject to unusual controls and issues derived from lazy porting.

Alice: Madness Returns
Genre - Action RPG
Playtime - 16 hours
Plot summary - I have never ever seen Wonderland before but apparently Alice is some crazy broad and is now going crazy.

This is an Action RPG in the vein of Darksiders and God of War. It suffers from a considerably clunky locking system and some exceptionally irritating checkpoints, but otherwise is actually quite solid. The voice acting is fairly decent and even the platforming was only slightly irritating even though I despise platforming. It is a console port, so the graphics aren't really amazing, but the sound work makes up for this. Definitely recommended.

Hunted: Demon's Forge
Genre - Action RPG
Playtime - 18 hours
Plot summary - I'm still figuring this one out. I think it has to do with BETRAYAL, LOVE, POLITICS, and DRAGONS.

Hunted is a game oriented around co-op but many of the things in it really bring into question the amount of effort put into testing. It's a console port, and the interface is amongst the worst of them all. On top of that, it uses gamespy of all things. HKS and I had to use Battle.LAN just to get an online game going at all. Yeah, LAN! You don't really want chat channels, do you?

My video review of this game will go much more in-depth, but basically - decent graphics and sound, repedetive gameplay, annoying checkpoints in some locations, good length, hilarious bugs, no effort in porting or genuinely supporting co-op (didn't even give us intro cinematic or tutorial level in co-op). It's a decent game but it deserved another few months of content put into it. It also deserved to be a native PC title.

Alien vs Predator 3
Genre - FPS
Playtime - 6-7 hours
Plot summary - Some weird cyborg guy finds a planet with random pred tech on it and stupid confusing shit happens as a result.

Another console port. This game's wacky AI, hideously lazy sound and music work, oddly accents decently done graphics. At the end of the day I am left wondering how the fuck this made it to beta. Oh, yeah, and it's a console port. ...

Dungeon Siege 3
Genre - No idea?
Playtime - ?
Plot summary - Insert random cliche bs here

This game is the mother of all console ports. WASD is terrible. A and D control the camera, not your character, and mouse movement is just flat out irritating. The interface has mandatory animations for every part, and there are many parts, with big puffy casual-friendly buttons. From what I played before I ragequit, I found the gameplay to be a fairly tremendous step backwards from Dungeon Siege 2, a feat I did not think was possible. No, copying cookie-cutter MMO quest grinding that dumps money and items on you is not gameplay. Fuck you.

Duke Nukem Forever
Genre - FPS
Playtime - 5 hours?
Plot summary - 12 years and all I got was this shitty console port.

Another console port. This game doesn't even deserve a review, but here it is: even Halo is better than this game.

Genre - Action RPG
Playtime: ~7 hours at most
Plot summary - BLEIGH

The premise of the game is decent, but the advertised "thousands of spells" are more like a few dozen spells. What will catch you by the balls is how retardedly buggy this game is. Indie developers take it upon themselves to use the "indie developer" tag as an excuse to avoid QA, and it shows. Magicka gave us a plethora of issues, ranging from desyncing to lag to flat out repeated crashing and breaking the gamestate. The game for the most part is extremely easy in multiplayer, while supposedly quite difficult in SP - a result of no balance testing whatsoever.

It's the players that make this game, not the developers. If you've got fun players, it will be enjoyable. If not, it won't be. Even then our patience was tested. The game would have been quite a strong title if it wasn't for the shortness and horrific crashing.

I don't know how games this buggy make it past Alpha. I really don't. The Blizzard motto "if it compiles, it's gold!" must apply.

Starcraft 2
Genre - RTS
Playtime: ~20 hours, depends if you're bad like I am, if not then quicker.
Plot summary: Raynor reunites with his long lost love, Kerrigan, despite the lack of such a connection in Brood War. Terrans expand like unholy locust and meanwhile Tassadar ascends and the DARK VOICE makes comical one-liners as he smears shit all over our hopes and dreams.

Sc2 is a trainwreck. Nothing about it makes the slightest shred of sense and the production quality reminds me of Command & Conquer 3. Those five interns hired for sc2 took 7 years to recycle wc3 and take a shit all over it.

The only redeeming quality of SC2 is that you can hunt down Ricky like a herring in a steam bath and stab him over and over again.

Genre - FPS
Playtime - 6-7 hours
Plot summary - Guys get rubbed wrong way by general and seek revenge.

This is one of the best shooters I've ever played. Not because of the gameplay - it's nothing new, much less the rest of the shooters seen in the last decade - but because it's witty and well put together. Bulletstorm runs on the U3 engine and flows beautifully. The controls are snappy and responsive as a result. Their whole revolutionary "skillshot" system is overshadowed massively by the game's good points. Mechanically, the game feels like an Unreal 3 mod. Not as much as that horrible trainwreck called Killing Floor, it's considerably more polished, but at the same time it's a decent break from "super realistic" shooters that ultimately fail horribly in realism. Looking at you, Modern Warfare 1+2!

The dialogue in this game is fucking great. The voices for the characters are perfect. Weapon sounds are nice. Music is okay. The game's a console port, so the graphics aren't really taking advantage of the engine. But the experience provided by the dialogue and plot is more than worth the time invested into this game.

My biggest gripe overall with these games is they're too fucking short. I just get into it and, bam, it's done. Just like that. I'm glad I didn't drop $60 into it, because $10 an hour would buy me the most expensive Canadian hooker in town.

Front Mission Evolved
Genre - TPS
Playtime - 6-8 hours
Plot summary - Watch Gundam 00. Now you've seen FME's plot, but with actual effort placed into it.

FME feels like an Americanized Gundam 00 with about a week's worth of work placed into the gameplay. It is terrible. The multiplayer is practically unplayable with the desyncing we experienced (shown in XXE 3). The weapons in the campaign are grossly unbalanced and certain things are not very obvious and can make gameplay almost impossible in the right (or wrong) circumstances. Meanwhile, the sniper rifle remains insanely overpowered compared to most of the other weapons. If I switched away from the sniper rifles I immediately became overwhelmed with how much health enemies had. Switch to sniper rifle, ez pz. The infantry missions are so laughably easy I opted to beat most of them with only melee attacks using a rocket launcher. In gundam mode your allies do ZERO FUCKING DAMAGE to enemies and are utterly useless outside of being indestructible. Good thing enemies focus on you instead!

Most of the boss fights are retardedly irritating except for the last two, the first of which requires actual effort to beat and the second just takes a bit of patience. The ones before that are just retarded.

Just fucking terrible. People told me it was terrible. I didn't listen.

Playstation 3

Viking: Battle for Asgard
Genre - FPS
Painfully Bad
Playtime - 15ish hours iirc
Plot summary - Stab demigods and gods with permanently bloodied swords.

Viking had a colossal amount of potential and pretty much fucked it up in ways only Western developers could fuck up a game. The combat system is solid but there are next to no enemy varieties. The voice acting leaves you confused and the SFX are casually ripped from Blizzard's library of commercial cds, while the graphics suffer from some nature of blur filter. Viking pulls off several things quite well, such as battles and controls, but seems to have never even underwent a single playtesting, as insanely blatant and game-breaking bugs/oversights seem to have made it into release. Oops! Better fire those interns, Bill!

Most of my playtime was spent being mad or lost or both.

Killzone 2
Genre - FPS
Playtime - 6-7 hours
Plot summary - Invade a planet and kill nazis with fire and lightning

Killzone 2 was, until killzone 3, the most graphically beautiful game I had ever played. The only games rivaling it would be Heavenly Sword, God of War 3, and Unreal 3 stuff. Crysis and co don't compare to the setting and style set forth by Killzone 2. It does have its problems, however, mostly related to the unresponsiveness of controls. This doesn't make the campaign that much less enjoyable, which has its fare share of decent voice acting and superb sound work. Some areas in the campaign needed some monkey work to get around, but this was playing in a screen area 1/5 my monitor size.

Unfortunately, the game is short. Real short. Shooters just don't have lengthy campaigns anymore, each trying their own luck at trying to steal the CS/Halo market. Much like the onslaught of MMO's, Killzone 2 is one of those games that piggybacks everyone else in design decisions, restricting most of the game's weapons and abilities to "unlockables" in multiplayer. There does happen to be a bot skirmish, but it doesn't have any functionality even comparable to "modern" bot support, seen in Perfect Dark and Timesplitters 3, but most notably Perfect Dark.

It just seems to me that single player content gets massively shafted a bit too much.

Killzone 3
Genre - FPS
Playtime - 6-7 hours
Plot summary - Invade a planet and kill nazis with more fire and lightning

Killzone 3 seems a bit rushed plot-wise. Avoiding spoilering the game, there's a lot of things that just up fuck what out of nowhere and suddenly the game entirely changes. What bothers me most about KZ3 is that none of the characters seem to have their old voice actors. They all sound entirely different. This is incredibly jarring. Killzone's creators seemed like they wanted to make big cinematics but they felt too pressured to hasten them and make them play out super fast. This is jarring and completely ruins potential opportunities for memorable cinematic experiences. Also, a lot of the dialogue doesn't match the subtitles.

The controls are snappier and the game plays more smoothly. In KZ2 you could only have your pistol and a rifle or launcher. In 3 you can have the pistol, a "medium" weapon like a shotgun or rifle, + a heavy weapon like a launcher or a HOLY FUCK *************** GUN. KZ3 has one particularly annoying rail event but otherwise plays out fairly smoothly. The graphics improve admirably on the precedent set by KZ2 and as far as I'm concerned are currently the best in the industry outside of the UDK demo map.

The sound effects take an entirely different direction but turn out quite well. Unfortunately, with my headphones, the whole surround sound effect began to give me a headache by the time I was done playing. Again, the game felt too fucking short and, again, the skirmish mode lacks customization value.

Was it decent? Yes. Was it worth the $70 I paid for it? No, not really.

Dante's Inferno
Genre - God of War clone
Playtime - 8ish or so hours (need to check)
Plot summary - try to save your whore of a girlfriend from lucifer's seductive black cock

Dante's Inferno seems innocently inviting enough at first - A more violent/creepy God of War (according to the pre-rendered CGI I had seen previously, I was genuinely expecting to be offended and/or disturbed by this game) with a few different mechanics and a new world thrown in. I was, however, to be disappointed.

The art direction in Dante's Inferno visibly suffers as the developers skipped as much on texture depth and detail as possible, supposedly because they were having issues keeping the framerates up. I just assume they're bad at programming and had to compensate for it by axing the game's graphics. It still looks decent enough to pass as a ps3 title, but falters when challenged by most of the games I would consider to be graphically appealing. It's enough to get by and the world is pretty enough I suppose (on my low-rez preview window anyways).

Virtually NONE of the pre-rendered cinematics I had seen on youtube appear to have made it into the actual game, though! What the fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck

The sound design is quite good. As the level design is incredibly simple and to the point, it often relies exclusively on audio to give the sense of scale and immersion. This it does quite well, and the voice acting is enough to carry it along.

Where Dante's Inferno truly stumbles is the gameplay. The incredible repeditiveness of the fights, which wildly swing in difficulty from stupidly easy to nearly impossible with a single difficulty change, makes the game more of a chore. The game also uses a fixed camera, much like God of War does, but unlike God of War this makes several areas a little annoying to navigate. The autosave doesn't save after fights, so if you happen to fall to your death like I did several times, prepare for another 5-10 minute fight on normal difficulty.

To elaborate on the difficulty changes, they dramatically increase the damage enemies do. Dramatically as in, from what I could see, anywhere from 6x to 10x damage bonus. The difficulties don't seem to change the health of most monsters except for bosses. The last boss in his final phase was virtually impossible for me to defeat on normal difficulty because of how much health he had.

The smaller monsters have an extremely fast undodgable attack that they tend to reserve for the moment you move out of block. It's so fast that you can attempt to attack out of block and still get hit. The bigger monsters have an unavoidable unblockable instant knockback they use when you're attacking them, usually interrupting your attack and sending you into hit recovery. Their power attack 1shots you if it hits you in the air, but on normal it scarcely moves your health bar. The penis wenches were extremely irritating to fight on hard, but trivial on normal.

This game seems to be extremely poorly balanced and poorly thought out in general. I would have rated it much higher if it wasn't for the sheer rage I endured through button hammering mechanics and the aggravating trash fights, irritating camera and idiotic autosave layout.


Genre - RPG
Highly Recommended
Playtime - 20+ hours
Plot summary - You're a prophesized young boy who needs to knock up some blondes, pull flies out of flaming meteorites, wrestle bears to death with your bear hands, battle psychotic puke piles and bludgeon gundams with your penis. It doesn't get any better than this.

Earthbound is a classic. It suffers from some of the PRNG issues that many older games suffer from, which made my LP exceedingly more and more painful as time went on due to repeatedly shitty HP rolls, but I also played like a dumbfuck and missed half the items in the game. As much as some things in this game made me mad, it's more about me being extremely narrow-sighted and impatient. Earthbound is still amongst my top games of all time, unchallenged by most post-2000 titles.
Warning: dialogue contains politically incorrect content. Viewer rearsore may occur.

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