Game Review Round-Up!




Crotchmail is mainly one person… me. But I play a lot of video games when I’m not generating oodles of hilarious and I’ve blown through a lot of disappointing games in the last few years.

Mostly because no one I know has played them but they sounded interesting and like they might have Promise. If you’ve played game after game lately and just found yourself bored and disappointed, you can use this list a guide. This Review Round-Up simply hits the salient points of why I did or didn’t like a game, or that despite the hype, I simply wasn’t impressed or engrossed. Some of these games I didn’t enjoy but you might have, this means you are stupid. Let that sink in.

Also, don’t get me wrong, I can write pages of how much a game sucks (or is great) but this is a Round-Up so one or two lines about each game and why it sucks, or surprisingly doesn’t. If you want more reviews or scathing accented critique try zero punctuation, but that takes too damn long, and gives me a headache (the fast talking)

Game Reviews:

Aion


Massive Multiplayer Online RPG

Premise: The MMO to end all MMO’s – Played internationally across millions of users, with super high quality graphics never before seen in an MMORPG, very highly polished interface and system

Reality: There is no doubt, this game is incredibly beautiful, an expansion in september promises to move them from the already impressive – if dated – far cry engine, to the psychotically high detail “Crysis” engine. This game will only get more beautiful and amazing to look at. Which will help you while you’re endlessly fetching useless pieces of shit for NPC’s that don’t care. Why is this the formula for a game?! Incredible graphics, and attention to detail and the same bored tired “go kill 20 of these and collect 5 of that” gameplay that is prevalent in EVERY other MMO. There has been NO MMORPG to deviate from this endless boring psuedo-addictive formula that keeps people paying monthly fees to fetch crap and team up with people to fetch crap. Re-think the WHOLE genre, people.

Assassin’s Creed (1)

Free Formed Action/Stealth/Parkour 3rd Person

Premise: With amazing graphics you become “Altair” who is a deadly assassin working for a shadowy brotherhood in an amazingly realistic historical cities of both reality and legend. Using your parkour style skills you scale the city and elude capture while killing those who are chosen to die.

Reality: With some weird technological “Framing Device” The developers decided to put a secondary techno-plot onto a medieval assassin’s game. It’s just utterly unnecessary and serves to break up the already stilted action. The fighting is crap, but there’s not enough opportunity to simply always kill by stealth. This game tries to do everything and ends up just looking pretty and being boring as all hell. You will marvel at the detail and movement for the first few missions before it becomes a john grisham novel with a rinse-repeat approach to learning obscure quest details to use in the future for some oblique reason. This game is confusing, slow and generally not worth finishing, let alone putting in more than a rental’s amount of time. (RENT IT, Don’t buy) – I’ve heard part 2 is much better but I’m waiting to see if it’s true.

Borderlands

Co-op oriented FPS with Cell shaded graphics and RPG style upgrade system

Premise: In a post apocalyptic wasteland – you and other players can team up to tackle hundreds of missions, buff your characters and choose from 1000’s of gun combinations to suit your style.

Reality: We don’t need 1000’s of guns in a game, since they mostly look the same and act the same the effect is minimal. The cell shading graphic technique is great and very well done but the choice for the color palette and environment is terrible. It’s an endless brown/grey drab wasteland with huge stretches of nothing at all. Far from Fallout who does it right, the arcadey co-op oriented gameplay takes away any semblance of atmosphere and loneliness that might otherwise be present by the overly massive environment. It’s a high concept game that essentially falls flat. Which is a shame, it has a great style and all the right elements. But the focus is all wrong and eventually you’re just level grinding and doing endless fetch quests. I simply DO NOT care if an NPC needs to build a hut, or potion, or gun, or brain transplanting machine. The humor in the game saves it from being a total fail, but once again I’d say the stretch of a Rental is more than enough time to experience all you’ll ever need. (RENT)

Crysis

Ultra Detailed FPS with Elements of Stealth/Action

Premise: Building on the open world lush-jungle environment of Far Cry, a brand new game engine brings a whole new level of immersion coupled with impressive physics and cinematic shootouts and boss fights.

Reality: This has been out a while, and not all the games I’m reviewing are remotely new, just the only things that sounded worth mentioning recently. Crysis is a solid win in a field of overpopulated pretty FPS games. It’s suit system that allows you to free change between super speed, stealth, armor, or strength adds a ton of adrenaline and excitement to a stale format. The graphics are nothing short of breathtaking and the plot, while slightly blaise, is well paced and the game is quite challenging. This is a game worth playing and owning and going back to later.

Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion

Graphic Intense open world RPG environment, do anything, be anything, save the world.

Premise: Undertake a sweeping saga in a massive environment in the style of a classic RPG brought to life. Train in any number of skills to be the kind of player you WANT to be, mage, rogue, archer, scoundrel, nice guy. And save the world.

Reality. With some amazing graphics and a well done starter to this game it takes off fairly well. But you’d better hope you’re completely hooked after the first two hours, or you are in for a long bumpy ride. After learning that the very gates of hell are opening up and the king is dead leaving you with an important mission. You are then simply dropped on a farm somewhere to ‘figure it out’ it’s not that hard to simply follow your cues and the plot but the massive environment ends up working against you. You will simply run and run and run for hours, eventually getting a horse only slightly pares down this incessant travelling with nothing but the occasional wild animal to fight and beautiful vistas to watch, it seems pointless. There should NOT be 20 minutes of holding “Forward” in any game, PERIOD. Later on when you teleport around more effectively the game is still bogged down by too many side quests drawing you away from any kind of plot completion. It’s a game to simply get lost in for hundreds of hours becoming a god, or to really not bother with. I think this one is about 50/50 depending on how into the RPG mindset you are and how strong your “W” key finger is.

That’s Part 1 of our Round Up with many more to come. Here’s some of the other games we’ll be covering (and you can comment to request your own review if you’d like)

Coming Soon:

FEAR 2
Fallout 3
FUEL
GRID
Hazen: The Dark Whispers
Left 4 Dead
Serious Sam HD
Shadowgrounds
Street Fighter IV
Torchlight
Zeno Clash