Copyright Adam Schlosser
Contact:
aschloss@gmail.com


Copyright 2005 Adam Schlosser


Posted by Pip

MF14- Call PETS On Them

Forget kung-fu grip, Meena and Fina has some awe-inspiring pushing action going on here. And for somebody that gets so self-conscious about killing people, Lust sure doesn’t mind wrecking up the monsters that get in her way. Especially in the head/face region. I guess that comes with the territory of being a more human-based sin. Lovable Greed is never that cruel to his animal brethren.
If Lust hadn’t stolen “Raspberry”, Anger could have gone with “Blue Raspberry” and been the greatest Italian ice and Slurpee flavor. Of All Time.

Friend of Sins, HiT, has a fancy pants new webpage so go check it out! It will make the inevitable cataclysmic battle between Heroes and Sins all that much more tragic when the new page is decimated.

http://www.herointrainingcomic.com/

Long, If You’re Going to Hire Steve Blum, Make Him the Damn Hero Already Review: Bionic Commando (2009)- Just getting the big things out of the way in one quick shot: The characters in this game are hideous, uninspired, poorly acted, poorly written, and entirely unlikable. The original BC is fun, silly, and hilariously 80s. The new BC is what you’d get if you gave a 13-year old free reign to make the most “badass” thing he could. The main character never stops sneering or grunting, everybody in the game is a needless jerk to one another (often times their insults to each other are just bafflingly stupid), and the team subscribes to the “if you can’t write well, just jam the script full of cursing”. The main character curses constantly in cutscenes and when just playing the game, enemies curse when you listen to their casual conversations, and enemies lay down a stream of curses when attacking. It’s never offensive; it’s just lazy writing and maybe trying to go for some shock value. And the ending... Oh gods the big “twists” in the game are gratuitous by any standards and just shamefully bad. And it’s not even enough that the story and ending are horrible, but the story doesn’t even really end. The bad guy’s motivations are completely unexplained, some plot points are just ended in a flash, and some plot points aren’t even mentioned in the last third of the game and get no resolution whatsoever. It completely feels like they were running out of time and decided to cut out a forth act. You “fight” the last boss (you do the same quick time event five times and then a cutscene plays) and in the middle of the cinema, the game fades to black. In order to blatantly set yourself up for a sequel, you have to manage to not horribly suck in your first outing. The original Bionic Commando had little more than a few paragraphs of story and plot but compared to the new one, the original is a well crafted masterpiece, Engrish and all. So let’s back slowly away from the characters and story while not making eye contact and look at the gameplay. The swinging is all right but nothing great. It’s easier than the hard mode swinging in Spider-Man (2, I think) but requires a little more timing than the easy mode. You’ll pick it up quickly and it’s fine for getting you from place to place but it just isn’t... fun. And that’s probably biggest problem with the game. You go through the motions but it’s never all that enjoyable.
Combat is by the books, generic third person shooter. You never get any unique weapons, you can only carry 1 gun and your pea shooter pistol at a time, and, aside from the pistol, you only ever have a few shots and then you run out of ammo. The oddest thing is the game’s zoom feature, or really lack thereof. You can zoom to change the view to an over-the-shoulder perspective, but the reticule barely gets any more precise. There’s almost no reason to zoom in with any weapon other than the sniper rifle. The target is so big that unless you’re right on top of an enemy, the reticule covers their heads and upper bodies, and if you’re that close, just grab them with the arm or use a melee attack and save yourself some ammo. Most enemies are just... grunts. They’re almost completely brainless, they like to bunch up for easy group kills, and they’ll rarely ever come after you if you hide or run away. But man do they have some awesome vision and aim. They can hit you while you’re crouched far away with a sniper rifle, they almost never miss, and they can “see” you through walls and solid objects. The snipers are some the worst ever put in a shooter. They reload almost instantly, they hit you no matter how much you’re running, jumping, diving, or swinging, and they’re frequently behind radiation zones so you spend several minutes of them picking you off while you run all the way around the radiation to get to where you can actually approach them. The robots are big and boring and all you have to do is dodge until you find an opening or throw something, run away, through something, run away, lather, rinse, repeat. The boss fights are more interesting but there are only three in the whole game, so... yeah. Not exactly a lot of variety here. The radiation weakens the already unimpressive swinging and really kills this game. You have this giant 3D city to look at and all that you get from it is “Can’t go there, radiation is blocking over there, can’t go down, and radiation is making a ceiling over there”. What’s the point of making the game 3D if you’re going to make the game on small, linear path? Just make a 2D game if you don’t want to give players freedom of motion or movement. Your character has this great gimmick in his bionic arm and your mind runs with the possible uses and tricks and places you can go, but once you get playing, you can’t really do any of it. The arm is reduced to little more than a long melee weapon and a long jump. I would have been happier if the game was littered with invisible walls instead of the radiation because at least then you wouldn’t be killed every time you climbed too high, chased a flying enemy, or wanted to see what was around a building. Worst of all, the placement of the radiation just seems completely random at times. There may be a small pocket where you want to go, but you can pass by it just a few feet to either side. By the time you find out that some areas are radioactive, it’s already too late. Enemies can enter the radioactive areas, so simply by following the thing you’re fighting, you’ll find yourself dying instantly. Grapple onto an enemy at the wrong time and you’ll go flying into the radiation. Jump to the top of a building to get a better view and there’s a cloud of radiation. Swing around the side of a building to get the drop on a group of enemies and find out that half of the building is radioactive but the other half is fine. There’s never a time when you can just cut lose and use your bionic arm in a strategic way. You’re better off just facing all your enemies head on because the game punishes you for trying to think. The challenges just aren’t fun but your upgrades are dependent on them and several can only be completed in very specific circumstances that only show up a few times through the whole game. Worse yet is that you can complete a challenge but it just won’t register. Your first challenge with the grenade is to kill one guy with a grenade. I did that better and killed four guys with my first grenade, so what’s the next challenge? Kill four guys with one grenade! But you don’t get credited for already doing it so you have to find ANOTHER spot with four weak guys grouped together and do it all over again. Another was to kill two guys with a single thrown object. I did that better again and killed four guys with an object, didn’t get credited for completing the challenge, later in the stage I killed three guys with one object, and that did complete the challenge. There are collectible token scattered through stages but I quickly got bored trying to nab them. They’re often placed right next to radiation zones so if you stray a little, you get the token but then be killed by the radiation and when you respawn, you’ll no longer have the token. If you die after completing any challenges or collecting any tokens, you lose them and have to do it all over again and relay any fights since the last checkpoint. That really drains any motivation to go after them. You complete a tricky swing to get a token and get killed in the next firefight or find yourself killed by one of the random radiation zones and you have to do it all over again. It’s not like the unlockables are even that good. I finished the game with 36 of the gallery items and the vast majority of them were uninteresting level concept art or pictures that are readily available on any video game site.
The game’s sole high point is the music. Just like in Rearmed, Grin and Capcom may have completely botched the gameplay, but the score is fantastic. Most of it is just remixes of old BC music, but if the engineering side of Grin was shut down and only the audio department left intact, the company would be better for it.
There are very few options for multiplayer, no level or skill system, and the whole thing just kind of feels tacked on. In Capture the Flag mode you need 4 people to start a match. I waited 7 minutes to start a round and only one person showed up but then quit waiting after three minutes. That is most definitely not a good sign for a game that’s only a few weeks old. I found a team deathmatch fight after a few minutes but the only guys that joined were in a clan and kept yelling into their mics. A regular Deathmatch round came fairly quickly, but I we were all disconnected a few minutes into the round. I went through the process again and couldn’t find a CtF or Team match, but got another Deathmatch round. After waiting the minute and a half for the match to start, one member dropped out almost immediately and the rest of the match was three of us running around a giant map and rarely ever meeting each other. The only decent weapons are the sniper rifle (because the maps are so huge and it’s a one-hit kill) and Joe’s gun (because it can kill a fully armored player in two seconds and has insane range). The bionic arm adds almost nothing to multiplayer outside of getting across the over-large maps and every match I played just came down to avoiding snipers. So as awful as single-player is, multiplayer seems even more worthless.
Sins Committed: (Deep breath) Bad: writing, acting, characters, story, controls, gunplay, checkpoint system, collection, extras, Punishes exploration, Artificial difficulty (radiation and snipers), Empty multiplayer, Same old Deathmatch multiplayer
Virtues Attained: Great music, I got to write a semi-needlessly hate-filled two-page review of a lousy game