A while back steam had one of it's legendary, bank depleting sales. Among the titles I bought lay Prototype the Xbox 360's answer to Sony's Infamous. While I had no intention of playing it at the time recently I decided to give it a try. I went into the game expecting a moderately fun but by no means groundbreaking open world action title. Did it exceed my expectations or crash and burn as just another open world game?
The game starts you off near the end of the narrative in something of a god mode, you get to play a short level with every power unlocked. They give you a taste and then they take it away. There are many powers to try out and I had a fair amount of fun unlocking them but throughout the course of the game I found myself sticking to only a few of those powers. To gain powers you consume, an action in which you absorb the enemy and steal their identity and memories, specially marked soldiers, kill enemies and complete missions and challenges for experience which you use in the upgrade menu on not only powers, but health, disguise abilities and combos. But I rarely felt in control of my character unless I was doing very basic combos. Some of the upgrades worked fairly poorly mechanically, for instance later in the game you could hijack a helicopter which was accomplished by pressing a button when you got near it. But you had to be so close that only a couple of times did I get it to work and so found it fairly frustrating. Overall the combat did not feel very coherent and I feel could have been better implemented. The other parkour portion of the gameplay felt stronger than the combat. I actually found it pretty fun to run around the city on buildings, jumping and gliding off of them. The game did a good job making you feel like you going extremely fast.
But running through the city one block appears the same as the last, the buildings unless infected varied little in colour and a park in the centre of the city is a exciting as it gets. The whole art direction I found to be somewhat uninspired, and the graphics haven't aged particularly well even since it's release last year. The framerate though was excellent once I found the proper graphics settings and apart from the very rare slowdown when the game got extremely busy stayed consistent the whole way through. One thing I really liked though was the very small amount of loading. There was loading when you booted up a save and when you started missions but the rest of world was completely seamless, granted the world wasn't enormous but I found there was plenty of room to play. And even when there was loading it took a mere 3 or 4 seconds. This was very good since some of the later levels become pretty tough and took me a few tries to get through, which would have become a major pain in the ass if I had to wait 30 seconds between deaths which near the end of the story, did become somewhat frequent.
Despite the difficulty the game was generous with the check points so even if you died you never lost too much progress, the usefulness of which I found to be twofold. First it made the missions bearable but also because the game fairly frequently crashed on me. Frequently being every 1 or 2 hours. The first time it happened I hadn't saved since I started so had the game not autosaved I probably wouldn't have even started a second file. The game only really gets tough near the end. The reason being an almost insane number rockets and explosives with deadly accuracy, even running and jumping at top speed, were beginning to wear out their welcome and piss me off, the second of course was the controls.
The story is told to you in small chunks mostly in the form of a somewhat frantic memory fed to you after story missions. Unless you decide to actively pursue the web of intrigue targets, story is left out of the missions, in that way it could have been better integrated. As for the Web of Intrigue the web itself is just an interface to access old memory videos but how it works is certain civilians, military officers and soldiers have special icons above their heads and if you consume them you experience a short addition to the story again in the form of their memories. I was not really compelled to actively seek out the web of intrigue targets but if I did see one while on a mission I would almost always take the time to pursue it at the expense of the objective. I found the story to be fairly interesting but I did not feel that it wrapped up properly and left several questions and threads unanswered. The story mode can be easily completed in under ten hours though that depends on how much time you to spend dicking around.
There are several things you can do apart from the main story. The game has a multitude of challenges which you unlock as you advance the story and there are two factions. The infected and the military. Each has bases around the city with a radius shown on the map how much of the city they control. You can destroy the bases to loosen each factions grip on the city, or you can infiltrate the military bases for web of intrigue targets and various upgrades. As far as the faction control mechanic goes I did not find it to have much bearing on how the game played out. As for the challenges there are several types to try, one which is essentially a race in which you have to run, jump and glide to waypoints as fast as possible, another in which you have to destory a certain amount of enemies in the time limit, and one where you have to jump and glide from a building and land as close as possible to a bullseye, to name a few. But I did not find the rewards, given in the form of experience to be enough for me to do more than a few challenge events. Besides the events and the story there are some collectible orbs hidden around the city but to look for them would be a pain in the ass and to just explore the city I found not to be all that exciting.
As long as you're only looking for an exercise in empowerment and not an engaging narrative or something with long lasting appeal you might like to give this one a try. And while it does fall somewhat short in many categories I feel like my 9 or 10 hours weren't wholly wasted.
With the recent advent of the fourth year anniversary I would in my own insignificant way, commemorate it with this post.
10. Destructoid is the first site I have ever been "emotionally" vested in while I may have accounts with IGN, gamefaqs or 1up and other similar places none have received my daily attention nor affection like the community and staff of Destructoid. Scarcely a day has gone by in the last couple of years I haven't checked this site and I don't foresee that changing.
9. Not too long ago I moved from my home of 18 years across the country. Very few things stayed consistent in my life, thankfully one of them was Destructoid.
8. RetroforceGO what would I have done without you. Sadly I only started listening the last 40 episodes or so but every week I would check for itunes to update. Oh how sad I was whenever Chad's jeep would burn or Colette was on a plane. When it ended it felt as though an old friend left my life. Topher, Chad, Dyson, Colette and Stella, you guys did such an incredible job.
7. I know this is kind of cheating but the podcasts have been a big part of my life. With said reason number seven is Podtoid. It was awesome and hilarious to see (hear?) it grow from the days of Summa hosting to when Anthony took over. I would say I miss the days of Nicole Wiebe but many other almost equally memorable jokes have taken it's place. Podcastle should at the very least get an honourable mention.
6. Jim Sterling. Need I even elaborate?
5. Hey Ash, Watcha playin' Not only is it hilarious and clever, and yet another periodic feature to look forward to and long for but I've been apart of it since the beginning. There is not a whole lot of stuff I witnessed from beginning to end but I can be proud to say that HAWP is/will be one I will proudly proclaim.
4. The crazy antics of the forums. Every time I stumble upon something or someone like the great valentine my heart leaps with joy. So rarely do I read or experience something as mindblowingly stupid or hilarious as some of trolls who happen upon the treasure cove that are our forums. Also, I wish office quest would happen.:(
3. The CBlogs. So few places offer a service as awesome as the community blogs that even the existence of such a place deserves commemoration. But when one of the staff posts an article an 53 people follow suit it doesn't get better.
2. I love the care the staffs put into this site. They ask and listen to the community for how they want the site changed. I love how they don't let just any ad take up space, and when an ad becomes obtrusive they take steps to change that. I don't know how where they find the time but we get so many well written features from the staff besides their regular contributions. I just can't imagine the time Niero (happy birthday) and the others put into this site.
I know this article hasn't been particularly clever or funny. But it has to some degree represented my "feelings" toward Destructoid and it's the community. Those reasons were not ranked in order I merely numbered them as I thought of them. Destructoid, you are the best thing that has ever happened to me.
Ditto (メタモン ?, Metamon) a normal type pokemon, whose default form is a gelatinous but is known to be able to take the form of any object. Unique to it's species Ditto has no gender and so is highly sought out for it's special breeding properties. Ditto can be found in most environments though most notably in forested areas and cav-DITTO USED TRANSFORM!
Ekans (アーボ Abo?), is known as the Rattlesnake Pokémon. The name Ekans is the word snake backwards. Ekans' Japanese name, Arbo, is a reversal by morae of the word boa. This reptilian Pokémon has a rattle at the tip of its tail, and is mostly purple while its underbelly, eyes, rattle, and the "bands" on it are yellow.
They swallow whole the eggs of small bird Pokémon, such as Pidgey or Spearow. Ekans are able to detach their jaws to swallow large prey whole, although this makes their bodies heavy. Its highly poisonous fangs make it a hazard in the wild as they slither through the grass and unexpectedly strike. Ekans also shares other characteristics as snakes, such as using its tongue to test the air for the presence of prey, and shedding its skin.
In the anime, the most notable Ekans was owned by Jessie, who had received it for her birthday. For most of the original series, it was her only Pokémon. It was extremely loyal to her and eventually evolved into an Arbok just to make her happy. In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Team Go-Getters Out Of The Gate!, Ekans serves as a male character and one of the members of the Team Meanies, in which it was commanded by Gengar to eat all the berries Team Go-Getters collected.
Score: 10 -- Flawless Victory (10s are as close to perfect as you will get in a genre or on a platform. Pure, untarnished videogame ecstasy.)
Sometime ago when the land was still gripped in the icy hand of Winter herself I picked up my dusty PSP and inserted a new game into it's innards. Turning it on and beginning a new quest I was greeted with a silly story, vexatious voice acting, and crazy characters.
Beginning the first level and finding myself with an army of one thousand lives. Throwing the protagonists into the perils of the level. They died in many hilariously gruesome ways; death by impalement, by fulmination, by the sword, bombs, knives and every manner of cruel weaponry. Never was a thought given for their sacrifice, they were naught but a pawn for the fulfillment an arbitrary end. As the level neared it's close the poor slaves thought respite was near, only to be crushed again and again by the final unyielding enemy. As they grew weary their foe was finally vanquished. Their objective completed, they ventured back to their sanctuary licking their wounds, preparing for another day.
Braving every new hazard with unyielding stoicism each new peril was overcome, nine hundred lives, every objective was conquered, eight hundred lives, with every boss destroyed, seven, six, five, four, three two hundred lives remain. With every objective completed the little soldiers headed back to their refuge ready for one final mission. All that remained was to collect the final item.
Leaving their lair they ventured to what was thought to be only a fetch quest. Entering the final level to retrieve their prize they were greeted by a vicious assailant. Not to be defeated after so long a journey they threw themselves at their adversary dieing one after another. Only after many were defeated was their foe vanquished with great joy did they step forward to claim their prize, just to discover that one last obstacle lay in front of them. Every enemy they thought permanently disposed reappeared for a final battle. Though low on numbers the minions attacked, one destroyed, two, three, could it be done?! Four, Five, as each boss was defeated the thralls were felled, as each subsequent enemy was bested our little heroes were whittled away.
THE FINAL ENEMY APPROACHES!!
But there is only one to challenge him. Being unprepared for his power, the small champion dies shortly afterward leaving the quest uncompleted. What a sad day it is. Of the thousand lives none remains the quest remains unfinished. One thousand lives and many hours wasted the game will be left unconquered.
Prinny: Can I really be the hero? remains undefeated.