Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions was on my must play list of games for the fall season. One of the producers of the game gave me an Eyes On Demo earlier this year and I’ve tracked the game’s progress since that time. I loved Web of Shadows from a few years back, but hated all the other Spider-Man games because I’m not a fan of Open World Sandbox games. Web of Shadows does a fantastic job of blending Open World mechanics with story driven narrative, I never felt lost or like everything was pointless and the web combat and web swinging was pretty tight.
Shattered Dimensions was supposed to bring the best elements of Web of Shadows, while bringing something new, namely the idea of play four different versions of Spider-Man. Beenox – The developers, do a fantastic job of making the worlds – Noir, Ultimate, 2099 and Amazing feel really distinct from one another in terms of look but they dropped the ball on the most basic things and that’s Spider-Man’s powers. While I don’t like Sandbox games, I’m forced to admit Spider-Man is a character where it’s a necessity.
I don’t know what it is about the Prince of Persia series. I think I’ve always liked them more as a concept and via watching the cool trailers than actually playing. Eventually, all the wall running and jumping along with the bad camera angles gets a bit tiring after awhile. The Sands of Time remain the high watermark of the series, last year’s game was just ridiculous, they took away most of the combat and you every time you missed a jump your partner was there to save you. That I didn’t mind as much because I hate starting over a lot.
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands takes the game back to its roots, the combat has returned and you actually have to make all your jumps now. The story takes places sometime after the Sands of Time but before last year’s game. It’s an odd duck, because it’s not a tie in to the movie, just timed to release along side it, but there are some elements early on, like adding a back story to the Prince and the inclusion of his brother into the story. His brother foolishly unleashes an Army whose goal is to topple their Kingdom and rule the world.
I’ll admit it I’m over the Music Band thing; I think the folks at Harmonix and Red Octane have gone about as far as you can go with this genre. There was a brief moment last year when Harmonix rekindled my love of plastic instruments with their amazing, loving work on The Beatles Rock Band; their follow-up is an odd choice – Green Day? Really? That’s a band significant enough to warrant it’s own Rock Band game? Ok. Come on, where’s Prince Rock Band? Or U2?
It’s pretty amazing, Sony’s new multiplayer game MAG has been talked about for years, for some reason I feel like I saw a clip of this game as part of the PS3 “sizzle” reel 3 or 4 years ago. The game was supposed to be a showcase of how awesome the Sony PSN Network is because it’s the first multiplayer game that’s designed specifically to have 256 players battling it online in one big world. The problem is, the game doesn’t live up to its promise.
Who says January through March is a slow month in the gaming industry. After taking the month of December off, the industry has returned with a vengeance in January, we have 5 big games this month Bayonetta (which I hated – 15 minutes of cut and loading screens for 5 minutes of gameplay), Dark Void (which I hated) and Darksiders. Then next week we have M.A.G. and Mass Effect 2, this Gut Reaction is about a weird little gem called Darksiders. I’ve played about 8 hours of this game so far, but according to the game stats I’m only 2 1/2 hours in – how is this possible?
Many early reviews have said that this game is a Zelda done right for the next generation and yeah, I can see some similarities between the two games, but I don’t think it’s as blatant as everyone is making it out to be. I mean sure at some point in the game you get a horse (which I haven’t seen yet) and you do have to collect skulls to sell to some demon to get your weapon upgrades and you are running around castles instead of dungeons, but really by now aren’t these standard gameplay mechanics by now? I think reviewers who spend hundreds of words talking about how this game is like Zelda misses the point.
Wet is one of those games that I hate to review because it has so many interesting concepts and things going for it but the one important thing – gameplay. It seems like every time the developers reached a crucial junction they went with option B instead of the easy A. Let’s start with the positive.
I love the presentation of this game. Playing it I felt like I was in a Tarantino movie. The grind house tint, the over the top violence, the funny/cute intermission videos, the cool spaghetti western and alternative soundtrack really fit the mood – I would love to buy a Wet soundtrack. The story is told in a breakneck, fast paced way that kept me interested throughout most of it. The drawback would be the Developers should have saved the money they used to get Eliza Dushku to voice Ruby. The rare occasions she actually has something to say comes across as bored indifference, which in a strange way fits Ruby’s character because she is, after all, a mercenary. The feel and look of the game goes a long way to making me forgive a lot of the game’s major drawbacks. I was genuinely sucked in Ruby’s strange world. The cut scenes are all nicely rendered, integrated seamlessly and skippable after the first viewing.