28 December 2009

Demo Peek: Army of Two: The 40th Day (PS3, Xbox 360)

Okay, a lesson learned. One should never say things like 'this is the worst excuse for a game like forever' like I did in the previous entry about Dante's Inferno. Because there always will be something that is actually even worse, even in those cases you were completely sure of your judgement.

So let's just say Army of Two: The 40th Day is the worst excuse for a game like forever - for now. Where do I start? First of all, the mind boggles about the fact EA releases a sequel no is interested in because no one was interested in the first game. But that's EA today. Not having a clue about... well, anything. On a more personal level, I wanted to throw up when going through the phases in the demo. This isn't even a game! Just press the 'GPS button' and follow the glowing arrows on the ground. Then press the buttons the game wants you to. Then shoot some stupid generic enemies. Going to a shop during post-Christmas sales is more of a game than Army of Two sequel.

Let's see what else is bad in the game. Macho bullshit. All over it, spilling over the brim. It starts with hulking and bulking character models with proportions and features out of a WildStorm comic. And that's not a compliment since I have always hated their screwed up take on human anatomy and facial structure. 'Max out the attidude, duuude!' continues with the lead's talk and actions, again something out of a WildStorm comic. Adolescent, shallow and immoral glorifying of violence justified by the... attitude, duuude!

Controls are lazy and clumsy, viewpoint awkward, level design unimaginative... the list goes on. I didn't find a single redeeming factor in the game demo. Damn it, next time I want to play a demo I can write at least one positive point about!
Just look at these guys! Man, are they 'ard!

23 December 2009

Demo peek: Dante's Inferno (PS3, Xbox 360)

There was a time, decades ago, when Electronic Arts (acronym at the time 'EOA') was a synonym for a great game. EA today, well, that's a different story. It could be argued the downfall begun with the omission of 'O' from the acronym. The journey from greatness to crapness is worth of an entry of its own so lets leave it at that for the time being. One Mirror's Edge can't save the company from being nothing else than one big turd factory. As for the latest offer from EA we have a game with a magnificent title, Dante's Inferno. And magnificent it is - in being the worst, most horrid excuse for a game like forever (really, at this moment I can't remember a game more appalling than it). Nothing at all to do with the source material the name was stolen from, Dante's Inferno is a dumb, moronic run-of-the-mill 3rd person hack'n slash with completely unimaginative gameplay. You have seen similar games many, many times in the past but even the worst of them is better than this.

The audiovisual department is equally of poor standard. Flat backdrops with no sense of 3D, blocky textures, bad character models and ropey animation, not to mention music and sound effects which were probably borrowed from some generic sound library CD the developers found from a bargain bin of some cheap-o-market. To call Dante's Inferno a game is like calling a piece of shit a hand-made Swiss chocolate. Download the demo today and be amazed at its total awesomeness of utter incompetence. I really don't believe the full game would be better than the demo. Quite the contrary, it just offers more of the same lacklustre wasteland of a game. We can only hope Dante's Inferno sets an example. The example how not to make a game.
lol

18 December 2009

Rare Velvet Assassin Cover

Subscribers of a Finnish games magazine Pelit got this cover for their August issue. Much better than the retail cover which featured some hyped-up no-good big-@$$ game, I don't even remember what it was. Oh no no. I'm not a subscriber of Pelit magazine. I got this issue from a second-hand bookstore.
Probably the only cover the game got

Anyway, kudos for the reviewer mr. Niko Nirvi for giving Velvet Assassin a fair review, 80/100. It's okay by an objective viewpoint. The game has its shortcomings (mostly in the form of zombie-like acting enemies) while otherwise being a thoroughly entertaining and exciting stealth affair deep behind the enemy lines during World War II, player assuming the role of Violette Summers, an attractive, cunning and totally lethal English spy (not forgetting her sexy voice - without being intentionally sassy). From the subjective point of view I would have given the game a couple of points more, given the fact not many have heard of Velvet Assassin, even less who have bought it and out of those few most probably dissed the game for demanding too much patience. "You should be running with guns blazing!" Fools!
Deep behind the enemy lines, a confontration...

So, please do yourself a favor. Velvet Assassin can be found most probably from bargains bins by now, for PC and Xbox 360. Grab a copy, appreciate the narration, unique atmosphere and stylish execution. And executions...

17 December 2009

Halo: Bleuch

I feel sorry for Microsoft. Sorry for giving statements like how Halo: Reach will be the game of 2010 and all they have to back up this preposterous bold statement is a downloadable "premium trailer". You can never judge book by its cover or game by its trailer but the trailer for Halo: Reach is really, and I mean really uninspiring by all imaginable counts.

Tired music, flat graphics, dull editing, mediocre character models and nothing really exciting happening. Heck, nothing at all happening! All you get is few 'spartans' hanging around (wearing armors which look like made out of foam with no feeling of weight). The trailer feels like some Halo spoof, showing how spartans idle between the missions. I was already half-expecting a spartan in his underwear in the middle of night fetching a bottle of milk from the fridge - wearing his trademark helmet, of course. Maybe pink helmet. Because she might be a girl. Yes, we can see from the trailer there are girl spartans too - who put their helmets on after the mission briefing, so that we can see they are girls.

11 December 2009

Snaaaaaaaaake!

Yes yes, got Playstation 3. About time to get some real cutting edge console technology, a blu-ray player and... Metal Gear Solid 4.
Snake is still da man even though smoking is bad for your health.

7 December 2009

Revenge of the Revenge of the Mutant Camels

A while ago me and my friend were remembering the old days. Old days of gaming, that is, and she recalled Jeff Minter and his obsession with camels and other animals of the same ilk. Come next weekend and a country sale hits the parking lot of the nearby supermarket. Hidden in the far corner behind booths filled with (over-priced) foods, candies, countryside goods, trinkets, clothes and whatnot were also a jumble sale. And what do I find from there? A more than a handful of Commdore 64 games on tape, among them... Revenge of the Mutant Camels! It was one of those moments you think life's but a Truman show.

Well, the common sense took over and I noted it as a funny coincidence. And a very lucky one too, given the fact mr. Minter was running a small family company with his mother so the number of copies produced were very limited and how many of them actually found their way to the shores of Finland? The game was almost in mint condition and worked perfectly when loaded. A zany shoot'em-up on acid, with hardware tricks and other clever bits for its age. Oh, and look at the description of the game on the back cover! A work of genius! And I'm not kidding.

I was happy to find out Jeff Minter is still in the business and makes games for XBox Live Arcade!

1 December 2009

The art of creating a face for RPG character (Dragon Age style)

Step 1: Imagine a face you want to make. In this case, something resembling a drow, a dark elf from D&D universe with ebon skin and white hair.

Step 2: Spend hours pushing sliders back and forth and damn the limited options available.

Step 3: Fail miserably.

Step 4: Begin to see that while the face you made is nothing like you wanted, it looks rather good.

Step 5: To complete your creation, crank the skin and the hair color to the opposite directions.

Step 6: Gasp at realizing the thing you created is a spitting image of your lovely dark jedi you played Star Wars: The Knights of the Old Republic with. (Taking into account the hardware has got better, she looks in fact a whole lot better now.)

Step 7: Enjoy and start adventuring with your city elf rogue (or whatever you created)!