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1:30 PM on 03.05.2012

Peer Review - Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days

I guess I will start by saying I never played the first Kane and Lynch game, so if any expectations or standards were set by that game I had no chance to be influenced by that. I grabbed the second outing of our troubled protagonists from a bargain bin after being diverted away from it by some less than encouraging reviews.

I had initially felt an interest in the game upon it's release due to its unique art direction. The shaky handheld cam, low quality digital video look, the Eastern setting. It looked like some care was brought into the presentation (or lack thereof depending on your stance).

Unlike our resident reviewer Jim Sterling however this game really worked for me. Provided I did not spend full asking price (infact I spent less than a tenner). The pace of the game is constantly ramping up and the short play time of about 4.5 - 5 hours ensures that it doesn't really ware out its welcome. I thought the style they were going for and how the narrative is presented added something unique and intense to the usual third person cover based shooter.

The controls were fine and the shooting was intentionally sloppy as bullets often spray around the target and only a percentage of them hit the mark. This seemed to be quite intentional and I think being able to perform precise head shots in the busy messy gunfights would weaken the experience.

The plot is pretty minimal but since its presented in the fly on the wall fashion in the middle of choas it works just fine. There is actually a lot of unique dialog constantly being delivered by better than usual voice actors. The goal I think was to create something that felt like the famous bank heist gunfight in Heat and I think this often successfully came through. The AI was pretty weak and didn't do anything other than provide a steady supply targets. The nature of the story and the fact that by the time you end you are fighting the military might be a little bit much considering the set up and the skill level of the protagonists.

In the end though I had fun. I had alot of fun infact. I was able to get caught up in the simple we got in over our heads narrative the gross out scenarios the gunfights which I think often used the setting well to add variety. The weird little visuals and camera distortions were nice as well as the blurred out faces of victims and nudity as if it had been edited for the news later.

I would definitely recommend giving this game a shot at the very low price it is now being sold at its a quick nasty little diversion with enough unique elements to make it a memorable experience.   read

10:49 PM on 02.27.2012

Gaming and Me: a tale of two sticks.

Ok so Iv'e been a bit of a slag in this part of Destructoids a community. A mere lurker and commentator on news articles. So I feel the best way to get to know a gamer is by knowing which games they enjoy.

A list ? Lists are a pretty lazy endeavor for the most degenerate of writers. Therefore I bring you a list.

I suppose I will start with where I started gaming the old NES.

My favorite games for that platform in no particular order:

Mike Tyson's Punchout!!! fucking A despite not having an order I would put this on the top. Pattern recognition, a great learning curve, superb character design and "dialog", a relatable protagonist, and difficulty at it's fairest and finest. Beating this game is still one of the most satisfying gaming achievements in my life and it is also one of the few NES games I can still get totally caught up playing.

Mega Man 2 - great challenge and fun. I love the Mega Man set of of picking boards and boss challenges with weapony rewards. Mega Man 4 falls close behind CHARGE UP AND SLIDE forever!

Mario - 1,2,3 - of course brilliant stuff all around I love platformers and this is where it started. The guy who made Raymen doesn't like the physics but I sure do (I also love Rayman and see the difference for sure)

Zelda - just the first I hated and was absolutely confused by the second which I never owned. The Legend of Zelda however I played to no end bombing every square of the game hoping for a secret. I actually dont know how I figured it out without the internet, oh the word of mouth days. up up up up up LEFT!

Tiny Toon Adventures - Lots of characters lots of levels lots of fun!

Ninja Turtles - every one of these beat em ups got heavy rotations in my little grey box.

Battletoads - Goddamn that hover bike level, but I was obsessed with the one where you pelunked and punched birds.

Adventure Island - Higgins was the man and you could ride dinosaurs. Also started my life long vendetta against eggplant.

SNES/ Genesis :

(secret tip I never owned either and relyed on friends)

Donkey Kong Country - so much fun in co-op platforming heaven.

NBA Jam Tournament Edition - Boom Sha - Ka - Lakah

Mario - yeah yeah yeah

PC: I had a very brief PC stint then only to resume now-

Rebel Assault 2 - star wars, static rooms, and space flying. very fun then. not sure id like it now.

NBA Live 96 - literally dating myself - Horace grant was my MVP

Duke Nukem 3D - weird Titties all the way, the perfect primer for the cake scene in Under Siege,

Wolenstein/Doom - more shoots BFG

N64 - The first system I bought with my own hard earned cash!

Blast Corps - A nuke , some Robots, some tonkas with explosives, addictive expertly crafted fun. Now Do It Faster!!!

Perfect Dark / Golden Eye - 4 player fun on the bun. I cant even contemplate how many hours I spent on these two. Mr Blonde and a Golden Gun are all I need.

Banjo Kazooie - not mario but close

Mario 64 - this game blew my mind, still one of the best 3d platforming options.

Star Fox 64 - beat it about a thousand times I love that game (though not the submarine stages)

Ocarina and Majora -hours spent in hyrule I loved both of these titles and all they provided.

1080 snowboarding - a great racing game.

Body Harvest - Kind of a mess of a game and the main character was painfully slow, god help you if you fell in water. Vehicles time travel open world bugs eating school children! Rockstar (DMA) needs to bring this back and give it what it deserves.

Game Cube - Ps2 - Xbox

(Ok I only owned Gamecube - as you can see I was a bit of a Ninty purist, but it was college I played them all a ton)

RE4 - couldn't get enough of that game

Timesplitters 2 - challenges Co-op humor

Viewtiful Joe - it just keeps getting better the more you play

GTA3 - Violence just got real

Halo/ Halo 2 - booze induced lan parties all through college make these memorable for me. All day saturday perfect pregame um game.

Ikaruga - I found this game tiring at times due to my long standing inability to pass the 4th level but I eventually got there.

Freedom Fighters - send wave after wave of my own men at the kill bot errm russians until I won!

SSX 3 - This was my go to casual game especially when I was on the exercise bike.

NBA Street 3 - also a great addition to the arcade sports genre (I hate realistic sports games but love these) I may have spent more time giving all the moves disgusting names over playing it though.

The Present-

Super Meat Boy - I love platformers and this just feels perfect to me.

Trials HD - amazing game great satisfaction and physics

Splosion Man - more hilarious platforming goodness

Dead Space/2 - Perfecting the formula Resident Evil 4 started

Limbo - gorgeous puzzler

Braid - Memorable fun interesting puzzles

Outland - Ikaruga meets prince of persia an underrated game

Endless more - well that is a taste of what I have played and enjoyed anyways just to give you all an idea.   read

12:14 PM on 02.20.2012

Warhammer 40K - Space Marine

Alright so I figured I would give this game a shot when I saw it for 15 bucks the other week. I didn't know much about the series other than having heard its name a couple times and didn't really have much expectation for the title.

It plays pretty damn tightly with some fun weapons and satisfying melee combat. The pros of the title are strangely intertwined with the cons. Its as straight forward of a game as you can get.
The story is fine and passable if barely present, just enough for context but it doesn't really bog itself down in it or get too cheesy.
The shooting mechanics feel pretty tight though could maybe use a little more weight to the guns and how they feel when they strike a foe. The dive into a crowd and hack and smash approach feels fantastic and will be the go to way of fighting a lot of battles.
However the health system is a little annoying at times where you have to perform a finishing move on characters to regain health. This triggers different canned animations which are cool and vary depending on weapon and enemy type being killed however they also slow you down and allow baddies to surround and cheap shot you when you are most vulnerable. The game often brings lots of cheap deaths due to this being the only way to regain health which often turns into a mad attempt to string these kinds of kills together hoping you can regain health faster than it is ripped away.
Space Marine is a pretty repetitive affair but fun none the less it comes with a few frustrations but nothing a little patience can't overcome. Also the title is fairly short so it doesn't really have time to wear out its welcome, If it were any longer I'm sure I would have been anxious just to be done with its endless repetitive conflicts.
There are a couple of Boss moments which are actually kind of fun and mix up strategy however usually its your hulking Marine against waves of the same 4-5 different goblins.

The game itself isn't great looking with some muddy textures and most levels do little to differentiate themselves. It's not hideous just merely unmemorable and could use a little more color.

I'd say grab it if you want a mindless hack and slasher and can find it at a lower price I doubt I would recommend it at full fare. It does what it does pretty competently and some fun will be had from this well paced straight up action title.   read

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