Copyright Adam Schlosser
Contact:
aschloss@gmail.com


Copyright 2005 Adam Schlosser


Posted by Pip

VOD2- Not A Farnsworth

Oh the undead reanimated golem humanity! Nobody upstages Murdoch and gets away with it, heís a main-minor character! And he was cute being all happy and cocky but now thatís gone. Time to bring on the impolite laws of Nature!

Thanks once again for Pilli from Pilli Adventure for the cameo!
http://pilli-adventure.com/


Quick Review: Phoenix Wright Case Files Volume 1- People that havenít followed the games will probably think the comics are silly and weird but after a second reading understand who all the characters are and have a general gist of what theyíre doing, but fans of the games should get a kick out of the collection. Most of the stories are only a few pages long so youíre not going to get any thought provoking cases or in-depth stories, in fact most of them are jokey and fluff, but theyíre almost all pretty fun. They feature a lot of characters from the games and make a lot of little references to items and evidence from the series, but at times they get a little forced (Larry especially seems to be shoehorned in the most). The art is really the only downside. They use different artists for each story and itís always serviceable and many of them are great, but there are a few that not only donít fit the Phoenix Wright style but theyíre actually a bit ugly as well. Definitely a worthwhile read for fans and a silly diversion for newcomers. Oddly little shouting of ďObjectionĒ and ďHold itĒ though...

Long, Geeky Review: Spider-Man: Web of Shadows- WoS is easily the best Spider-Man game Iíve played, but seeing as how all the others have been... lacking, how much is that really saying? The storytelling is really good for a comic book game. Everything starts off very much like 2,3, and USMís fighting gangs and robots and the boring stuff, but when the gameís plot takes over, you really arenít expecting it. And one of the really great things is that Peter Parker isnít in the game at all; itís all Spidey. Mary Jane is hardly in it up until the end and you even get the option to ignore her and hang out with Felicia at one point. Extra kudos for that. And may I say that Black Suit Felicia is awe-some. The sound is also really well done, which surprised me. The music pops up at action-y times or to set the mood during spooky segments and then youíre left with only the city noise when youíre swinging around or going somewhere. The wind is very nicely done and different areas of the city have different sounds. Itís an oddly satisfying experience hearing the wind whip about while youíre on top of a tall building or to hear it rush past you when you make a diving leap towards the ground.
But since this is a Spider-Man game, itís still loaded with problems, mainly the lock-on system and the camera. The lock-on just has a mind of its own; it will randomly stop selecting enemies, it will lock onto the infinitely respawning grunts instead of the boss, it loves to target civilians instead of enemies, and youíre going to take plenty of beatings because itís focusing on an enemy literally three blocks away from you while another one is bashing the back of your skull in or divebombing you. The camera can only be described as nauseating and prolonged play gave me headaches. It spins madly when you try to climb buildings (but you know, when does Spider-Man ever do that?), it will jerk and shake if you try to try to quickly change direction, it faces the wrong way if you jump from enemy to enemy, and there are times when you can only get it to point directly up at the sky or directly down at the ground and you canít see the enemies or even Spidey. While not nearly as bad as The Hulk or SM3, WoS is still pretty buggy. Enemies will clip through buildings so you just have to stand around until they walk out again, you canít web to some structures so even if you have buildings on all sides of you youíll act like thereís nothing there and slam into the ground, thereís one mission where you have to protect an APC but it turned a corner and just suddenly flipped over despite not hitting anything and with no enemies around so all of its ďhealthĒ drained away and I couldnít complete the mission but the game wouldnít recognize that I failed the mission either so I had to kill myself to get the mission to restart, another mission has you dropping markers for an airstrike and the game recognized that I successfully placed one, the timer counted down giving me time to get away, but the plane never came and since the strike wasnít successful, I couldnít pick up another marker to call in a different strike, and the enemies have a tendency to spawn underground so you canít get down to them and they canít get up to you so thereís nothing you can do. They also carried over the godawful token collectathon thatís always been awful and yet shows up in every Spider-Man game. And this time around there had to easily be over 1000 of the damn things.
Boss battles are the key to a good superhero game and this game is mostly good but still has a few duds. The first Wolverine fight is great (I got two wrong) (and Steve Blum is an amazing Wolverine!) and the second Vulture fight is flat-out epic (you fight him about a mile above the city and thereís nothing to stand on so you can only stay up by bounding off of enemies and latching onto him). The chase fights are awful though so sadly Venom and Electro get two of the worst battles. The second Wolverine fight is pretty lame too because he blocks everything so you just wind up using the same uppercut attack a few hundred times. Thatís pretty much how all the combat in the game goes. You can upgrade and learn new moves, but the only things you ever need are the uppercut, web balls (so overpowered and cheesy as all heck), and the attack that lets you bounce from enemy to enemy. Thereís some attack that letís you counter an enemyís counter but itís almost impossible to do so itís useless. If you see an enemy is going to counter you, just break your web and jump over it and since itís in the counter animations, you can just punch it in the back of the head or just break the web and attach another one until it stops countering. Those two tricks work 100% of the time and will beat almost every enemy and boss. There are some diversions to break up the standard missions but thereís still too much focus on fighting, like the lousy Hulk game that just came out. Minions are supposed to be diversions on the way to fighting a boss or supervillain, not whole missions by themselves and no matter how many enemies you beat, more just respawn so youíre overcome with a feeling of futility very quickly.
And just a special note for people like me, the game uses Quick Time Events. A lot of them. As it usually goes, theyíre pointless and stop you from doing scenes that you could actually be playing instead of watching, you have to focus on the buttons instead of being able to watch the action, and if you get one thing wrong, you have to do the whole scene over again (even Spider-Man 3 let you branch out to another series of presses if you messed up). You donít even get to fight the final boss. You beat him by pressing X, O, Square, and Triangle (Pro-tip: in that order). There you go. Final boss battle ruined for you and spoilers ahoy! And the battle takes place during a cinematic with lots of dialogue so if you miss the second they give you to hit the right button; you have to watch the whole cinema all over again. Plus the bossís voice is so distorted to sound menacing that you can hardly understand what heís saying, so having to listen to it four times is maddening.
Sins Committed: Bad camera, Bad lock-on system, Quick Time Events, Repetitive combat, Buggy