Copyright Adam Schlosser
Contact:
aschloss@gmail.com


Copyright 2005 Adam Schlosser


Posted by Pip

AL6- I Like Them Too

One of these days theyíll invent fire extinguishers and youíll be safe, Fortune! One of these days...
Enough with the friendship and joy and back to the brutal beatings of monsters and spontaneous combustion! Scratch the ďman-eatingĒ and I think Fortuneís description of Gluttony fits for most of them. Except Greed. Heís cuddly and adorable no matter the circumstance. Sloth at least gets the freakiness of being living goop.

Quick Reviews: Darjeeling Limited- Iím a big Wes Anderson fan, but compared to his other movies, Darjeeling Limited is weak at best, dry and uninteresting at worst. Thatís certainly not to say itís a bad movie, but for a film that amounts to little more than a road trip movie, it never gives us any reason to care about the people involved. If you donít have a reason to care, not even necessarily ďlikeĒ them, itís nothing more than watching three strangers move from one place to another. Outside of one really well done montage, there isnít much here worth your time. Bill Murray is in the film for maybe two minutes tops and really doesnít say much, but I found myself far more interested in his characterís story than anybody else involved.

Dragon Quest and the Obscenely Long Subtitle (Wii)- The new Dragon Quest is like one funny joke that you keep hearing over and over. The combat, the characters, and the few good ideas here are okay when you first start but by the end of the game, youíre oh so sick of them. The story is fluff, if not drivel, but it gets the job done, however the characters are downright annoying. You have your standard mute hero and ludicrously effete mamaís boy prince (who is literally sexless. He wears tight tights and his crotch is a perfect V. Itís scary, man!) and then for some reason the heroís dad (who is a drunkard and doesnít seem to be quite certain whether your mom is dead or simply on a trip) and a French goth-lolita maid (a Japanese fetish thing I totally donít get, and why is she so overly French? The townspeople are all British or French and the bad guy is German. Itís the Call of Duty of fantasy RPG time). You can upgrade your weapons, but to do so requires items that you can only get by mindlessly repeating levels and everything is so damned expensive that by the time you can afford the new armor, a newer more expensive set is available. While the game does revolve around a mirror world, that really shouldnít give the team license to get so lazy with naming. You have the Rorrim mask and a boss named Draug (see, thatís Mirror and Guard spelled backwards, hi-larious isnít it?) and they keep this up throughout the whole game. All right, enough minor niggling; the gameplay, right? Basically, it would be a neat idea to make an FPS action RPG, but you have to make sure your motion detection isnít complete and utter pap. The motions you make seem to have little to no correspondence to what the in-game character does. Motions from down to up will make him slash right to left, moving left to right will make him slash diagonally down, and on and on. For the first half of the game, I couldnít jab because the motion wouldnít register (move the remote towards the screen) and through the second half of the game, horizontal slash motions would somehow turn into jabs. Itís not even real motion detection because to attack anywhere other than the center of the screen, you have to place a cursor with the A button to the part of the screen you want to focus on. That pretty much means that the gameplay would be no different with a normal controller with an analogue stick. Levels boil down to: walk down a corridor, get into a battle, place a cursor, flail like mad, move the cursor, flail, repeat until enemies are dead, return to corridor and continue walking. Sometimes the corridor is in a field or in a forest or even a volcano, but you spend the entire game walking forward in a straight line. There are multiple paths sometimes, but they always take you to the same place or are dead ends that will place you back on the linear path. Your character has a sword in one hand and a shield in the other, so itís a perfect chance to use the remote and nunchuk to fight, eh? Not a chance. Youíre not allowed to use the nunchuk at all. To use the shield, you hold your sword and press another button to turn it into a shield. This game was one of the big reasons I got a Wii because I could picture some intense battles with skill and strategy where youíre deflecting shots with your shield while slashing with the sword. Instead, itís more akin to the original Punch Out. You block with the shield, counter with the sword, enemy gets back up, block the attack, counter, continue until you give up. This game was supposed to be a launch title delayed until just recently (of a several year old plug-and-play TV game nonetheless) so for them to not take the time to properly implement the systemís features is inexcusable. I may not be a fan of Square but when they translate a game, they fix it up before bringing it to the US. The American/European versions of the games are frequently improved upon from the Japanese version (and then they turn around and add an extra feature to the US version and rerelease it in Japan for even more money), so to say that the developers didnít have enough time to make the game decent is bunk.