Since Asura’s Wrath was announced at TGS two years ago, I have been optimistic and somewhat excited for what the final product would be. With CyberConnect2 developing and Capcom doing the publishing, the early footage displayed what could be an awesome cinematic action game in the vein of Devil May Cry and Bayonetta.
However, after playing the new demo released yesterday, my optimism has been somewhat inverted. Let me state first and foremost that I am among the many gamers who have grown weary of QTE (Quick Time Events). This style of game play started in games like God of War and Resident Evil 4, but has since then saturated every genre from racing to role playing games. I have grown very, very tired of this feature, and Asura’s Wrath seems to be built upon it.
The demo lets the player select two different boss fights to sample, with one fight based on ranged combat and the other focused more on melee. However both battles end up being almost identical in that they are so heavily composed of timed button presses and little else. As with most games featuring QTE’s, the entirety of the game play feels taken out of the player’s hands so that the cinematic nature of the bosses takes priority over having real input.
As with many demos, the two boss fights take up so little of the full game itself that it’s impossible to judge the retail release based on this one demo. However, if the full game does little more than recycle what is featured in this demo, then Asura’s Wrath might not end up being the big surprise I was hoping for.
If you own a copy of Batman: Arkham City on Xbox 360, you are in luck. Irritated that you never got all of those sweet downloadable costumes at launch? I have a code that will unlock all of them! I will post it in a few hours around 2:00. It's first come first serve, so good luck!
IGN has a quick look at the new Beast Mode in GOW3. You can play as any kind of enemy unit now (well, except for Brumaks). All I can say is "wow". This is gonna make multiplayer insanely fun (that is, until people find all the hacks and ruin it).
I cannot express how excited I am to play this game. I love the series, and I'm dying the play the third and final chapter. This new mode might be the thing to bring me back to the series' mutiplayer, as cheating has become widespread across it's predecessors.
Enough sarcasm, this sucks balls. Not sure whether I'm in range for warranty or not. Guess I'll just have to send it back to MS and see what they can do for me. At least its not all bad; I did pick up Red Dead Redemption today (for the PS3). So that will be sure to keep me busy for the rest of the summer (unless Transformers: War for Cybertron turns out to be good).
Question? This is my third Xbox 360 to die on me. How many systems have YOU been through?
With 2010 now three months in, I look back at the entertainment of 2009 and I see a great year. A year of great exclusives, raging fanboyism, and the first time in awhile that I actually had a hard time making a top ten. Seriously, there were so many good games released last year that I cannot fit them all into a top 5 list. But I did, so here it is.
Well, lets get it out of the way. Here are my top five favorite videogames of 2009.
1. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)
Why? I absolutely loved the first Uncharted back in 2007. It was one of my favorite games that year and, up until now, my favorite PS3 exclusive. Well, now the sequel has taken those reigns. Not only is Uncharted 2 my favorite game of 2009, its one of the best games I have ever played. Ever. With fantastic characters, a rollercoaster of a plot, and the best pacing I have experienced in a videogame, this is easily the best sequel ever. And the multiplayer, instead of feeling tacked on, is expansive and very addicting. If you own a PS3, you really should own this game.
2. Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3, 360, PC)
Why? Lets face it. Aside from a few fun NES titles, Batman has never been in any good videogames. Rocksteady Studios changed that last year when they released Batman: Arkham Asylum, the best superhero game ever made. Everything from the villians, to the gadgets, right down to the tons of collectibles; this is the ultimate Batman game. The Bioshock-like atmosphere draws you in, the combat is simple yet a blast to pull off, and the voice acting is a treat for the ears. All of this, set up in a Metroid-style open world, and you have one of the best adventure games in years.
3. InFamous (PS3)
Why? I was psyched for this game since day one (I'm a HUGE Sucker Punch fan). A neat super-hero storyline, a cool main character, open world platforming, and lots of sweet powers. Sure, some of the side quests got a bit monotonous, but the core game itself was fun as hell. Racing around rootops and sniping enemies with lightning from afar? Who doesn't like that? As a whole package, InFamous was a very fun sandbox game that's a great addition to anyone's PS3 library,
4. Killzone 2 (PS3)
Why? I'm one of the few who really enjoyed the first Killzone, but this sequel is head and shoulders above its predecessor. A truly epic campaign with some awesomely addictive multiplayer, this game has no shortage of things to do. The weapons are great and have a real punch to them. The graphics are beautiful, and the sound design is some of the best you'll hear in a videogame. In multiplayer, the objective is constantly changing so things stay fresh as you blast the enemy team. If you like shooters and own a PS3, Killzone 2 is the a must own.
5. Left 4 Dead 2 (360, PC)
Why? While I enjoyed the first Left 4 Dead, it was over too quickly and a lot of the campaigns weren't a lot of fun to replay. This time around, things are WAY better. Funnier characters, awesome new melee weapons, better guns, what else can I say? New items, new modes, sweet new Infected types, the list goes on. Co-op is tops, and Versus Mode with the added Infected is more fun than ever. Better apocalypse indeed.
I literally just wrapped up The Saboteur about five minutes ago. I, like many in these interwebs, had been hyped for this game since it was announced years ago. The concept of a Nazi-controlled Paris that is saturated in black and white, that when liberated would become colorful once again. Just this idea alone had sold me many years ago. I got a little worried, however, when Pandemic's 2008 title Mercenaries 2 (another title that I had been hyped for) turned out to be a glitchy mess. But after hearing that The Saboteur was to be Pandemic's swan song, I felt it obligatory to pick it up. Is it a worthy send off?
Sean Devlin is an Irish race car driver who is caught up in Nazi-occupied Paris and must help the local resistance overthrow the Nazi regime. He's also there to get revenge on the main baddie, Kurt Dierker. He kills your brother and you want revenge, blah blah blah. Sure, the plot is both unoriginal and sometimes hilarious, but it keeps you motivated and interested enough to follow it to the end.
If you played Pandemic's last game, Mercenaries 2, then you should be used to the look of The Saboteur. This is both good and bad, since Mercs 2 is a 2008 title. It looks decent, nothing to write home about, but it gets the job done. Character animations are hit and miss, with a lot of Sean's actions looking downright silly (climbing buildings looks incredibly awkward). Also, facial animations can get weird too The black and white of Nazi-occupied areas looks neat, and the coloring effect when you free an area looks cool, but as a whole the graphics are just average.
There really isn't anything original here, and even the stuff it does are not great. Competent is the word I would use. The shooting is average, the driving is average, and even the climbing (once you get used to it) is just average. Again, nothing great or original, but its definitely not bad. However, there is a BIG emphasis on blowing stuff up. And its fun too. The mission structure is rather archaic, with the only good way to get around being a vehicle. Luckily you can stow away vehicles that you either pick up or steal. An extra bonus is getting a fast racing car or a Nazi-mobile with some weapons on it. On the downside, Sean can be very clunky and doesn't always respond like you'd want him to.
Now here is where the game shines, but not in the way that you would imagine. The voice acting is downright awful. So awful, in fact, that it makes the game that much better. Its very clear that the entire cast is American, and that all of the accents are fake. Its brilliant. Everything that comes out of Sean's mouth is stereotypical Irishman funk ("Fuck'n shite!!", "Who do ya have'ta bothur to git a pint o' whisky?"). And on top of that, most of the other voices are French, so you get a lot of people saying "Wi wi!", as if every French person constantly says that (I'm just kidding, I know they do). The music does a decent job of setting the mood, with big crescendos when you're doing something epic like blowing up a tower or when you're being chased by Gestapo.
The story is a decent length, as I finished it in about nine or ten hours. There is also quite a bit of stuff to do. There's duck hunting (no shit), racing, and liberating more of Paris to name a few. Its a good little package, but it might be worth just a rental for those who are not entirely sold. If you are REALLY interested and are looking for a new sandbox game, I think it should be dropping in price soon (sadly, I don't think its selling well).
The Saboteur is a decent game that, despite its interesting premise, just isn't original or executed well enough to run with the bigger sandbox games. Its worth a look for anyone willing to put up with its shortcomings, and there's definitely some fun to be had here. As Pandemic's last game, The Saboteur stands as a summary of what Pandemic has been good at making all of these years: not perfect, but fun titles that tided us over until the next AAA title hit. See ya around, Pandemic.
Question of the Day: What was your favorite Pandemic game?