On the day of the PS Vita's launch, I did a little spending. By "a little", I mean gratuitous amounts of money-giving to strangers. Along with the Vita itself and a game for it, I picked up a cheap, used generic-boxed copy of Wet. I have heard nothing good about this game other than how over-the-top it can be at times, and that was enough for me to stay interested. Four days later, I've put my fair share of hours into it, completed the story mode, delved a bit into the challenge mode, and returned with my DIR.
Wet came out in 2009, and since then, has garnered nothing but mediocre reviews. There are claims of it's lackluster story, shoddy controls, and copied Grindhouse-style art direction. The one thing many sites and people have agreed on, though, is it's never ending adrenaline rush. From exacerbated set pieces like car roof chases with quick time events that allow the player to jump from car to car, all while shooting enemy passengers to a dive out of a plan to all to grab a book is what keeps a game like Wet moderately entertaining.
The game stars Rubi, a "gun for hire" who begins the story looking for a man. People were shot, things were exploded, and she gets what she came for. As per ushe with many games and movies, Rubi gets double-crossed, which sends her to a few big locations looking for her betrayer. The story itself starts off slow, gets slower, and ends with a cliffhanger that sets up the next game. While I had a hard time pushing myself to complete mindless shootout after another just to get through the chapter, I have to admit that maybe I had a tiny bit of fun doing so.
Gameplay wise, Wet is a clusterfuck of elements that I want so badly to work together, but in the end, just feel awkward and uninspiring. Rubi's ability to jump, slide, dive, climb, and wall-run in combination with her choice of four different guns and a sword make for some interesting combinations. Put them to use in actual gameplay, and you're left at the end of each level feeling like you didn't do anything cool. Almost none of the acrobatics you perform transition in to one another smoothly, which is a shame because that is how you're supposed to play. I spent literally 90% of the game repeating the "dive-shoot-slide-shoot" mantra. The only time you do anything other than those is when the game's level design forces you to do something differently (i.e. - The floor is missing so you have to wall-run while shooting bad guys on the other side of the room.) Mixed with half-working controls, and you'll find yourself continuously calling a Rubi a cunt for dying 6 times in a 3-minute span.
Sometimes Rubi will shoot a guy in the face and get his blood all over hers. This triggers an alarm-sounding, insanity-driving rage mode. Like almost every other game that includes a rage mode, this will allow Rubi to deal more damage for a set time ( in this case, an area). Unlike other games, however, Wet does it with a completely unique art style that is unlike anything else. The screen is filled with shades of black, white, and red, and it is really cool to watch enemies shatter like mirrors after being killed. After playing a few minutes in rage mode, it's definitely a little heart-breaking when you have to return to the normal gameplay.
Out of all the "meh" in this game, the one aspect that really stands out and shines above the rest is the soundtrack. It is one of the coolest collection of songs for a video game that I've heard in a while. Surfer rock and flamenco guitar reminiscent of Pulp Fiction are infused into the game amazingly well. The game is still frustrating as a motherfucker when you keep dying, but when you run back into the room and "You're Dead" by The Brains starts playing, it's like an energy boost... until you die again.
Rubi as a protagonist and as a character in general is well put together, with spouts of swear words, a fondness for blood-gurgling noises, and an odd predilection towards toy monkeys, she can hold her own. Throw her into a game like Wet, and for some reason, it just doesn't mix well which is extremely disappointing. The visual style, music, and premise for a game like this sounded like something that was different from everything else, and it turns out that's exactly what it was, but for all the wrong reasons. I hope that Behaviour Interactive gets its shit together and makes Wet 2 the kind of game its predecessor should've been.
The PSP successor releases to us round-eyes tomorrow with its shiny, dual-analog stick, two touch sensor glory, but what about it so appealing to you guys? From what I've personally seen, as well as read from many of you, it doesn't have a lot going for it right now. The launch titles are pretty weak, with the exception of Uncharted: Golden Abyss and my personal favorite, Touch My Katamari. I've personally thought about getting one for the sole purpose of finishing my PS1 games in the bathroom, though that isn't reason enough to spend $300 for it and a memory stick. I'm interested to know what your opinions on it are and if you are picking one up tomorrow or not.
[I pick up games a while after they are released and play the shit out of them like they're day one purchases. These are my DIR]
Yesterday, I finished Catherine. The game itself tells the story of Vincent Brooks, a 32-year-old, commitment-fearing alcoholic who ends up cheating on his bitchy, long time girlfriend, Katherine with a younger, hotter, blonder girl named... Catherine. If you have a girlfriend or an insecure boyfriend, It might be better to give them a few bucks and tell them to go downstairs and get a snack or some shit. The story is heavy with themes of adultry, deception, and sex, as well as less in-your-face ones, such as the balance between chaos and order in the world. This is where I end the plot, because I know I'm not the only one who doesn't play games day one.
At first glance, you wouldn't peg this for an Atlus game. Not just because it isn't Shin Megami Tensei, but other than the opening credits screen, it doesn't feel like something Atlus would put out. That's not to say it isn't good, it is. It's really good, but I still feel iffy saying Atlus made a stress-inducing puzzle game. The graphics are impressive. I appreciated the detail in Vincent, especially. It was fun watching his face contort in shock and horror, and watching him stumble around after getting drunk actually made me chuckle out loud. Animation is smooth, and almost all of the characters have a real presence. You actually remember other people besides the protagonist.
There are two sections to the game. One on hand, you walk around, drinking and talking to everyone in the bar or in your nightmare while sometimes making verbal choices that affect your morality throughout the game. The second section is straight get-to-the-top action-puzzle. The design of the puzzle levels are tricky and clever, to say the absolute least. To say that they are mind-warping clusterfucks is being a little bit more rational. I cannot count how many times I had to watch a video guide to help me beat most of the levels. Then again, I played it on hard. The bosses at the end of each night are terrifying, and had my heart racing as I tried desperately not to die in the many, many ways the game provides. There are multiple endings that require multiple playthroughs, but if you're like me, beating a game like Catherine once is enough. For most people, trophies are really the only incentive to go through the 10-12 hour story numerous times. For those who want to have even more of an aneurysm, there's Babel - a collection of randomly-generated puzzles that people can try to get through together online.
Catherine is a quick-to-start, slow-to-end, funny, witty, and charming game that definitely deserves more attention than it has been getting, but only if you have an attention span longer than today's average.
note: Ratings are given on a "Balls - Tits" scale where there is nothing good about balls, and tits are always worth checking out.
Over the past 5 years, (or however long since the 360 came out) I've had about 5 360's and about 3 PS3s. They don't keep breaking or anything, I just have never been able to make a decision on which one is for me until now. I have to go PS3, just because being a college student in my own apartment, it's financially easier, what with the free online and all, and besides almost all of my friends are PS3 users. Sony, in my opinion, does get the better exclusives as well. I really like Gears of War when it first came out, but 2 and 3? Goddamn... I was glad right away when Dom died. The same goes for Halo, I enjoyed 1 and 3, but the horribleness that is Halo 2 and every game since then has failed to keep me interested for more than 20 minutes. I'll talk about games I'm playing/ have played/ am excited for.