Sunday, September 27, 2009

Blazing Angels 2

Just completed Blazing Angels 2 for the 360. It's an arcade flight WW2 game, kinda like Crimson Skies but not quite as polished.

-Large plane selection
-Lots of interesting mission objectives (flying through tunnels, blowing up air balloons to clear a path, detonating sea mines in order to damage an underwater submarine...)
-Interesting defensive weapons to take out enemies behind you (flash blinders, tesla coils, anti-engine smoke...)

-primary machine guns are nearly useless. 99% of the game is fought with special attacks like rockets or missiles
-distracting "air particle" graphic effect that is supposed to give you a sense of speed but mostly just dirties up the graphics
-can't move the camera around manually
-the windows in the cockpit views are all dirtied up for a "grungy" look, but it just takes away from the look of the game. Not being able to change from third-person to first-person view on the fly sucks too (gotta go into options to do it)
-planes will automatically level themselves out, making Simulation control scheme crappy

Rating: 6/10

Bought it for $12 total so I'm pretty satisfied with it. Online multiplayer sucks, but at least there's split-screen co-op.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

New Peacewalker trailer. Great stuff. The end music jumps in at a weird time, but overall I was blown away by this :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dirt 2: Pro driver takes gamers for a ride

Haha, love the reactions.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Red Alert 3

They should call this game "Crap Alert 3." See what I did there? I replaced "Red" with "Crap." Hahahah.

But seriously, what's the deal with these C&C games? Every single one I've played has had the same terrible netcode that results in a very sluggish game. It's as if the same game code has been recycled for 15 years of C&C games.

I figured they would've fixed the problem by now, but nope.

Sigh.. waste of 10 bucks. And they even force you to associate your CD key with your EA account, thus preventing you from selling the game off after you're done. And they don't even bother telling you that this is going to happen until after the deed has been done. Sheesh.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Star Wars Republic Heroes & Transformers 2 Demo Impressions

I just finished trying out the new XBL demos for Star Wars: Republic Heroes and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

Star Wars is pretty crappy, unfortunately. I was hoping it'd be a cool co-op online action game, of Ninja Gaiden or God of War quality, but alas, it is a fairly simplistic cash-in aimed towards a very young, LEGO Star Wars-type audience. The demo allows you to play as a Clonetrooper or as Jedi Anakin Skywalker. In the Clonetrooper mission, you move and shoot with the two joysticks (like Smash TV or Geometry Wars). Gameplay here is very simple and braindead stuff. The most advanced tactic you can perform is take cover behind a box by hitting the crouch button. From here, the droids will have a harder time hitting you. Yep, that's the single challenge of the entire Clone Trooper experience in the demo. Blech.

The Jedi mission is a little more interesting I suppose. Nothing too challenging here, either. You can just charge at any enemy, jump over their fire, then slash them to pieces, with little problems. Sometimes you'll have to commander a droid by putting your lightsaber in its back. By doing so, you can control its laser guns and movements for a little bit. Yawn.

Finally, the camera is often set very far away from your character. The result is that all the fairly well done visuals go to waste. :(

Rating: 5/10

The Transformers demo was great fun, though. It comes with one singleplayer mission, and one multiplayer map you can play online in. The multiplayer is great! The controls took a while to get used to, and I don't think they are quite optimized as much as they could've been (it's difficult to control your speed in car form with the trigger), but overall everything works pretty well.

Each of the Transformers has a different set of weapons, special abilities, and of course, vehicle forms. Gameplay was much deeper than I expected. Some of the bots have a long range sniper setup, while others have a short range shotgun type setup.

Other examples of the gameplay's depth are the advanced transformation moves you can do. In order to transform and travel around in vehicle form, you must press and hold the Right Trigger. While doing this, you can hold down a different face button so that when you release your Trigger and revert to robot form, an advanced action is performed. Holding down X when reverting to robot form will cause you to perform a powerful melee attack as you leave vehicle form. It's cool driving at high speeds, seeing a Decepticon, then crashing into him and then doing this attack. The attack stuns your enemy by knocking him down, thus giving you a couple seconds to blast him with your guns.

The graphics are great, with excellent physics and environmental destruction effects, although there is a great deal of jagged edges on everything (I wish more console games would let me turn on anti-aliasing in exchange for lower detail elsewhere). Transforming into a F-22 fighter jet as Starscream, and shooting missiles at cars and robots on the ground simply kicks ass :)

The biggest presentation problem of the game is the sound. The sound designer forgot to turn up the bass on his sound effects, as everything sounds very lightweight and tinny. Driving around in vehicles like police cars or construction vehicles should have some rumble to it, but instead the engine sounds of the game remind me of a remote control car. Melee attacks and gun sounds are also lackluster. Very dissapointing here :(

I assumed this game was of poor quality, as movie tie-ins tend to be. But this demo really impressed me and I'll definitely be picking up the full game some time soon. Perhaps the game received low reviews due to its full $60 price tag on release. With the game now going for $30 used on Ebay, I think the game is worth a purchase.

The singleplayer portion did not seem triple A quality stuff, but it was still quite fun, thanks to the game's faithful recreation of the MICHAELBAYEXPLOSIONS theme of the movies.

Rating: 7.5/10