Copyright Adam Schlosser
Contact:
aschloss@gmail.com


Copyright 2005 Adam Schlosser


Posted by Pip

AD3- Or A Maid That Knows Kung Fu

Alfred is the standard all butlers should be judged against. Sure they pretty much all serve you and clean up the joint, but if your butler can't beat down an intruder, you're kind of missing out on the complete package. Building you a suit of robotic armor is also an acceptable butler trait.
That kid has her priorities straight. Silver may be pretty and all, but if she can get it off, that gold one can be hocked for a better price. But Rhett's had awesome spikes. Tough choice, tough choice. Spikes or no, Rhett really could use a bodyguard. He tends to get eaten, possessed, and stabbed a lot more than the other hosts do.


Long, Finally I get to act on my dreams of destroying England Review: Tornado Outbreak- TO is like Katamari in that you're just a complete dick getting more and more powerful by ripping apart the landscape and crushing all that gets in your way, which makes you even bigger and lets you destroy more and more until you're flattening towns and anything in your way. It's just flat out fun to pretend you're a super villain while playing the game. But then it kind of takes some of that away from you by trying to actually have a plot. Katamari had a plot too, but TO takes itself waaay too seriously. There's some whole grandiose backstory and fate of the Universe style plot then they try to explain away everything video gamey by making it part of the story. Katamari's "story" worked because it didn't take itself seriously and just made the King insane and that was that. I think I may have been happier if they just said "you're confined to this area, go nuts". I like the designs on all the little elemental guys but the two main characters are kind of doofy. It has a better camera and controls than Katamari but it's most definitely not without its faults. The stomp attack you learn later on is very fussy about making sure you hit something in exactly the right place when you're small and you're not allowed to tilt the camera up/down, only left/right. That means that when you get large towards the end of the stage, you block about 1/3 of the screen with your character and you can't see anything that's directly in front of you. There's a nice addition where objects you can pick up wobble a little. Katamari always felt like a guessing game and it wasn't always clear why you were large enough to pick up one object but not another. TO still gives you situations where you can pick up one car but not the car right next to it but at least the first car shakes and the second one doesn't. The timer is annoying in the second half of the game. It becomes so restrictive at the end, that the game stops being fun. You have to replay missions over and over until you find through trial and error what path you can take that lets you get larger fast enough to complete the level without destroying the items that give you time back. In the first part of the game, I focused on finding all the items and getting 100% on levels, but at the end I was just passing them with the bare minimum to move on. It's not a steady progression either. One stage took me four attempts and I only passed it with seconds to spare but then I beat the stage after it with 100% destruction and over a minute left on the clock. The boss battles are odd but I give them kudos for actually having bosses in a game like this. So while they're not great, good for the company for trying and doing it all right. The last stage is a lot of fun in theory because it has you doing some interesting things and the scale is at its largest point, but the game takes away your ability to control the camera so you can't find what you're looking for and the hit detection gets really wonky. Thankfully, they take away the timer and give you unlimited lives, so I think they were aware of the stage's problems but just went the easier route rather than fixing them. The production team seems to have tricked itself into thinking it was making a big game, but it's a budget release through and through and it's in the bargain bin now, so it's worth the price of admission.
Sins Committed: Bad camera, False difficulty (timer), Bad story
Virtues Acted: Fun, Good gameplay, Stylish art, A good dozen godawful weather-related puns