My main problem is that whenever I get the urge to do a full review of a game on here, it never goes anywhere and I'm left with a bunch of jumbled words in a messy beta blog. Well it hit me that maybe all I really want to do is complain about the game?
Not as spry as I used to be, video games are getting more complaints from me than anything else. So here's the idea: Take a game that could probably be reviewed, don't review it, instead focus on what bothered me about it. It's shorter, it gets one main argument across and there's still room to be creative... and so forth.
I would like to take a moment to address something that happened to me recently. In the midst of Summer heat and backlog spelunking, I had to stoop pretty low. I had played a few games (a couple of old ones in the mix) where I needed to use FAQs.
Yes, hold your head down in shame, I know I did. It really upset me because with the complaining I do you'd think I was at least good at games still. Not anymore. In the old days I'd have figured out that stuff, but it seems my gaming career now includes using the video game equivalent of adult diapers.
So I just want to apologize to all the games I've bitch'd about, on my blog and elsewhere, and potentially any developer hurt by my words. Because maybe it was not the game after all but just the reviewer. What a shell of my former self I have become.
That being said, here is something I had zero apologies about writing!
So here's the problem with...
Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition
...it's masturbation sans the enjoyment. Seriously, my main beef boils down to I can hardly consider mashing one button gameplay, if it is all you do. R1 R1 R1 R1 R1 R1 R1 (x10 to the power of 50 69ing with God). I'm not kidding, it got so bad that I had to reassign the controls out of paranoia that I'd ruin my controller. And then again a few more times. That's unlike any other game in my experience. It's like a car, every ten freaking thousand button presses or so you gotta change.
What's worse is the darkness of the levels and, probably due to the distance of the camera, how hard it is to make out a moving zombie from say a stiff one. Lots of them tend to sneak up on you because you're often not even aware that the huge line of the fuckers coming at you from the front is equaled by a line of 'em from the back. At times the game is so dark it gives the feeling of having tunnel vision.
From there the movement is tiresome. You run around in eights and ampersands because the zombies of course are much faster than you. Which would make you think at least you're not standing in one spot and mashing away. But honestly, that would probably be better. I say this because the running around just feels so aimless. It's easy to get stuck on things. The camera takes a whole three seconds to adjust when you move behind a building and another three to realign when your character emerges back into view. Just stand me in front of every zombie at this game stationary, like a gun range. That would save me running about like a headless chicken.
And the levels are plainly oversaturated with zombies to kill. You're forced into holding down in a nearby radius to make your way through the level because the waves are too numerous and thus impassable till you kill 'em all. So you make these little baby steps of progress. I unlocked the second Kill X number of zombies trophy just halfway through the game. That's about 10,000 zombies or so.
Now what if it's just not my cup of tea and it does the job for others. Hey this started out sexual, why stop at line 1? Yeah it occurred to me at some point that if the camera perspective was any different I might enjoy it a bit more. In other words, just because killing thousands of zombies from an overhead POV high up doesn't appeal to me doesn't mean Dead Nationis bad. In that case it's just a specific style and new comers ought to be warned that this game is an acquired taste.
This issue came to a head during this one moment in chapter 7 (I'm not going to spoil anything story wise, only in terms of gameplay here) at the last section, it starts out, like every other part of this games, with waves of zombies. Very weak zombies but a pain because they are faster and hard to see with the map 80% unlit. So it quickly becomes stand-and-shoot fest '14. I mean these things didn't stop coming. So I am running my eights and killing, but I realized there had to be something more to do to advance because they were (later I found) endless.
Going to the other side I found there were these four houses with breakable doors and bigger enemies inside. Those were the source of the lesser ones spawning. Well this is a poor design choice; up until this point when waves are coming at you, you just man one spot killing them off and continue once they stop. Bit by bit you advance in this way. So seven chapters in you are already conditioned to just wait, but doing that here screws you because the waves spawn indefinitely.
There wasn't much to clue you in of how this level works different. Still, it just didn't make sense because the general idea thus far was thinking at some point they'll let up. If we can equate gameplay to the developer teaching the player then the developers have taught us to play this way by making the game so stop and kill heavy. Say what you will, the developer picked a really bad point to throw in infinite spawning zombies. Or at least make the area visible, it would encourage the player to move up.
That's how bright the stage should have been.
At the end of this, the game is plagued with annoyances. Though it might be up to personal taste -- if you love dark overhead games more than I do -- there's no denying even for that type of game the developer skimmed the fat, supple polish. Polish that could have made this game great. That's my recommendation for Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition, not really one in fact. Watch some gameplay to see if it's your cup of tea. So I guess that's two so far.
Butthanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed it and I will be back for another installment sometime later where I am currently not entirely sure what I will be talking about!