Thursday, July 30, 2009

'Splosion Man XBLA Review

I'm always skeptical of brand new developers. The people must be skilled to be producing games, but do they really know what they are doing? Can they produce games to the quality of long standing companies?
When Twisted Pixel Games released The Maw on XBLA a while back I was proven wrong. It was the perfect example of what fresh blood can bring to digital media.

The developers’ next title, Splosion Man, is much of the same level of creativity and ingenuity.

Simplicity is key here. Effectively, you have two controls in single player: the ability to move left and right and 'Splode' (which is basically a jump). The aim is to traverse through the 50 single player and 50 multiplayer levels, sploding your way through and past various traps, enemies and puzzles.
Simple often translates as easy, but Splosion Man isn't willing to fall into this category lightly. You see, you can only Splode three times in succession before having to recharge by landing. And add into the equation that you will have to time your splodes very carefully, some of the later levels get very challenging without getting too frustrating and stopping you from playing. At one point, I even died so often the game humorously offered to let me chicken out of the level and skip it.

The multiplayer allows you to romp through an entirely different set of 50 puzzles with a pal. This adds extra depth as you are required to splode with the other person (adding your third control, the ability to countdown to your splode) to propel one, or both of you, higher, or further, through the level. This definitely took some practice, especially section that didn’t allow you to stand together before sploding, and it got a little confusing at time, but practice makes perfect.

So what happens after you complete the 100 levels? Glad you asked! The design of the games leaderboards means that you'll be fighting for the best times on your favorite levels. I found myself thinking of ways to shave valuable seconds off my times, whilst also sploding enough scientists and equipment to boost my score.

All in all, this is one of the more enjoyable XBLA titles I've played this year and at 800 MSP it's a bargain.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Monday Musing 06/07/09

I’m feeling very music’d out. I’ve played guitar. I’ve played bass. I’ve sung my heart out and beat the crap out of some drums. All of this makes me feel like it’s supposed to, like a Rock Star (or at least someone with musical talent!).
But after all this, I’m not sure I can be bothered any more. I think I’ve finally gotten bored of music games and the endless ‘updates’ are making sure I put the plastic guitar away for good.
I don’t want more peripherals littering my, already full, front room. I don’t want more discs that aren’t compatible with anything else in the past. I don’t want ‘band’ titles. I don’t want ‘greatest hits’ compilations. I want one master game that does it all AND has all the previous songs in one place. I want it to be easier to switch instruments with my gamertag. I want simplicity.

Sort it out developers

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Avatar Xbox 360 Review

Man, this is probably the worst game I have played on a current generation console.
It really does need to be seen to be beleived.

The graphics are truely substandard, being on par with a late PS1 game. The characters barely even move in the cut scenes.

In all honesty, I got the 1000 GS from this (achievable in less than 5 mins, that no joke!) and then I sent it back to the place it was rented from.

If it weren't for the easy gamerscore then I would give this game zero but as it stands...

VAPF Rating: 1/5

Friday, July 3, 2009

TMNT Xbox360 Review

Primarily, this will be a game for the kids, though I played it because of its easy achievement list.

Made by Ubisoft, its easy to see that this game was made to test out some of the acrobatic features that would be later used in Prince Of Persia. There are a lot of control issues that will cause you some major headaches and frequent trips of the edges of the levels, but the infinite respawn at your last checkpoint (which are fairly regular) means a second go isn't far behind.

The platforming sections are very easy, control issues aside, due to the auto camera pointing you in the right direction constantly. These are usually followed by a one-on-many fight that won't be too much off a problem for most people. The boss battles add some element of strategy, but once you figure out the weakness its just a case of rinse and repeat.

All in all, this game if perfect for the achievement hunters out there, but is not recommended for those looking for an enjoyable, engaging experience.

VAPF Rating: 2/5

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Xbox Monday Musing 29/07/09

Here’s a list of people that assumed I’d grow out of playing video games: My parents, all my girlfriends, my work colleagues, my teachers, most people in authority and all of my friends who don’t also play games. But, at 23, I’m still booking days off, closing the curtains, eating junk and not washing or sleeping for three days whenever a new Call Of Duty comes out. Where do these fascinations stem from? Am I destined never to ‘grow up’? Personally, I don’t care. I like being the guy who spends his time after that elusive ‘Mile High Achievement’. Give us more games that remind us of nervously putting in the disc to GTA1 even though we were drastically underage. Balls to growing up, I say.

Slight Change

Ok, so this blog was initially designed to be a place to document my survivalist progress.
But, progress on that front is mighty slow being that it costs a lot of money to learn and time that I don't have.

So, in between survival blogs I will post about things that I deem necessary or cool or whatever (like a normal blog then).