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odintal avatar 12:22 PM on 12.06.2009  (server time)
Love/Hate: Too Human

As one could guess by my online moniker I love Norse mythology. My infatuation with it began in high school when I took German as my language class. The most interesting tale I thought was how blind Hodr's accidental murder of his brother, Baldr, tied in with Ragnarok.

If you don't know the story, or haven't played the game, here is a brief rundown:
Baldr, was pretty much a golden boy. Handsome, powerful, and pretty much invincible. You see, knowing that his death would lead to Ragnarok his mother Frigg granted him invulnerability by asking real nice of all the animals and plants to never harm her son. Everyone thought that preventing the end of the world would be a good idea so they all agreed save for one plant, the mistletoe. No one thought that the mistletoe could ever do any real damage so they kinda just said fuck it.

Later on when the Aesir were throwing a party to show how fucking awesome Baldr was they started playing a game. The game was to throw shit at Baldr while he laughed about it. Everything you can name was thrown at him. Knives, swords, axes, bricks, whatever a god could get his or her hands on they chucked at Baldr. Everyone was having a good time except Hodr. Seeing as how he couldn't see, he just sat in the corner by himself, when Loki approached him. Loki told him I'll help you out bro, just throw this little dart of mistletoe at your brother and I'll help you aim so you don't miss. Feeling like Rudolph finally getting to play the reindeer games, Hodr took the chance and ended up killing his brother while all the other Aesir stood watching in shock.

Too Human sounded way too good to be true when I first read about it. Diablo style item upgrading and dungeon crawling with a cybertronic version of my favorite tale of Norse Mythology? Fuck Yeah, I'll take 2!

Then came the delays, If memory serves this was originally going to be a PS2 game that never saw the light of day. I didn't care, it still sounded sweet and after I got a 360 and heard it was coming exclusively to that console I was psyched once again. At release time I didn't read any reviews and only briefly glanced at articles mentioning the odd control scheme.

Certain things become commonplace to gamers after a while. For example, in a 2d fighter pushing up gets your character to jump. This is common because it works well. I can't even think of many fighters that don't conform to this standard. We come to expect this. In 3d action games the right analog is for moving the camera around. This is common because it works as well. When you throw something new in like making the right analog stick your method of attacking, it fucks up what we've come to expect. I would be ok with that If they didn't make the camera completely frog balls retarded.

Everything besides the concept of this game felt rushed. The graphics were pretty shabby, voice acting was completely phoned in, some characters were well designed including most of the Aesir aside from the main god damn character.

The worst part of all was the infamous death cut scene. This is one of the worst "wtf were you thinking" design choices I've ever come across in gaming. It's about 15 seconds long which doesn't sound like a lot but in the heat of battle it completely fucks up the flow. On top of that you will probably die pretty often. The game isn't difficult by any means. There is no real penalty for death aside from watching this awful cut scene every time it happens. Some times you'll just get gang banged by a couple of Lieutenant type monsters without much you can do to avoid crumpling like an accordion under a steam roller.

Despite all the mind numbing frustrations of this game, I still love it. It's still one of my favorite games to play this generation for the small glimmers of hope and potential it did show. Fantastic setting, great dungeon crawling, great character customization and building. Each class you chose has ways to customize to fit your play style in a way similar to Diablo and Titan Quest. It's a blast to play online and you even get to skip the horribly acted cut scenes to get straight to the action which is pretty good once you get accustomed to the odd control set up.

I still have hopes for a sequel. The story ends so abruptly that it begs for one. You're left with an Empire Strikes Back ending but almost no hope for a sequel because of how poor the execution of the game was. I pray that the IP will be handed to a different team that can do one of my favorite stories the justice it deserves.[img][/img]

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