Copyright Adam Schlosser
Contact:
aschloss@gmail.com


Copyright 2005 Adam Schlosser


Posted by Pip

AL42- One Way To Shut Him Up

Another chance to play the Sins whistling name that tune. Shouldnít be too, too hard of one to do, either.
Content comes bearing intrigue and shiny things to amuse and mystify, like aluminum foil to somebody thatís stoned. You get some violence, threats of more violence, and a promise of a look into the inner workings of Forces and the Universe. What more could you ask for from this page!?
ďBestillĒ is a fun word. Like ďensuingĒ, and I use that one in a few pages as well.

Quick Review: Mirrormask- Mirrormask is a considerably more expensive equivalent to a bad artist discovering lens flares for the first time. What could have been a neat effect is used over and over and without substance. Somebody recommended this one to me and if I can remember who you were, youíve totally lost your recommendation privileges until you redeem yourself...
Sins Committed- Annoying style, no substance

Resistance- From my review of Ratchet Future, it should be obvious that I hold no ill will towards Insomniac. However, complete devotion to one of their series doesnít prevent me from calling BS when they make a lousy game. Pretty much every category of bad design or choices is here in flagrant display. Most problems stem from two main things: itís hard to the point that itís unfair and completely devoid of fun and everything is brown. I fancy myself a decent game player and Iíve been playing for a long time and have completed more than a few tough games. So when Iím dying three or four times a level on easy mode, there are some issues to blame. You have no radar and enemies are everywhere. Pretty much every corner you turn, every time you pop your head up, every room you enter; there is an enemy there that will fire and hit you the second you appear. And if there isnít, it means there are five enemies standing just outside of your field of vision and by the time you see them, youíre down to almost no health and you have to pray you donít die in the process of running away. Enemies are strong, ludicrously strong, obscenely strong, it no hyperbole takes half a clip to kill a single regular enemy strong. If you meet up with more than three enemies at once, youíre toast. You die from a few measly hits but a regular enemy you encounter early on can take a shotgun blast to the face without flinching. Grenades are pretty much useless because of the enemiesí health. I snuck around to get behind three enemies, threw a grenade into the middle of all of them, and not a single one of them died. It simply alerted them to my position and they shot me. A lot. And, for reiteration, this is on easy mode. To compare it within the company to Ratchet Future, Ratchetís final boss is hard, but in a completely different way. I died several times but each failure was not only invigorating and motivated me to go at it again with a refined strategy, but I was laughing and having a good time despite losing. Yes I died a lot, but I didnít feel robbed or beat down, I just needed to go back and try a different approach and after a few attempts and learning how to avoid attacks or notice patterns, I beat the game and got a sense of accomplishment from it. Dying from a mine you couldnít see or because enemies can fire through walls or because the gang of enemies was out of my view gives you none of that. The second major issue is the coloring. The joy and awe you experience when first entering the enemy stronghold doesnít come from the alien tech all over the joint, it comes from the fact that youíre seeing a color other than brown or gray for the first time. Thereís a glowing blue tube and nothing could seem more foreign or alien than something that isnít brown. Because everything is brown, itís damned hard to tell if that brown blob is an ally or an enemy, so coupled with your alliesí love of throwing themselves in front of your bullets, thereís going to be a lot of friendly fire going on. The giant sea of brown coupled with the lack of a map or radar also means itís damned hard to even tell where youíre supposed to go. Levels are poorly laid out and your allies simply mill around or run into you once a fire fight is done, so there are several areas where youíll spend a good couple of minutes going through every nook and cranny trying to find the path to move ahead. From a distance, it looks like that grayish-brown structure meets up with that brown structure, but if you get close, you can see a gray path in-between the two and thatís where you have to go.
All said, the game is a travesty and the only minute clue that it came from a company as great as Insomniac is the interesting story, but even that gets marred by the fact that almost nothing gets explained and the lead character is clichťd and boring. Nathan Hale is manly and he scowls a lot. That sums up 90% of his character. And again, I love Insomniac, it seems like an awesome company, Ratchet is one of the best series in game history, I even regularly listen to The Full Moon Show but you guys tried something different and you failed miserably so you just need to put this to rest and get working on the next Ratchet game. Which of course we all know isnít whatís going to happen because the sequel is already slated for release.
Sins Committed: Everything is brown, no map/radar, enemies are too strong, unintuitive level design, boring lead character, EVERYTHING IS BROWN