Copyright Adam Schlosser
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Copyright 2005 Adam Schlosser


Posted by Pip

LFL14- Is It A Happy Word

She has experience with alcohol and medicine uses alcohol to sterilize things, so I think she has this whole science covered. Sure drinking one will make you go blind and pouring the other over open wounds may sting a little, but the words are the same and that's what counts. What else could she need to know that's not printed on labels or that can't be cured by lollipops? Chopped off a toe in a farming accident? A Tootsie Pop will make you forget all about that and eventually the blood loss and your dwindling consciousness will ensure that you continue to not be concerned with the issue.


Long, Show's over Shakespeare Review: Dead Nation- Dead Nation gets a special shout out for having the absolute worst initial loading for any downloadable title I've played. It's entirely stored on your hard drive but it still has to load for five minutes. Five freaking minutes before you see the first screen every single time you want to play it. I reset the system the first time I played because it's just a blank screen for that long so I was sure my system had frozen. Once you get into the game, it's a twin stick shooter but not much more than that. The camera is pulled too far away for the game to have any real style. Some of the zombie types are funny or interesting but you can't really make out what they are. It took me a while to realize that the tiny green blobs I have fighting were a zombified football team and its cheerleaders. That's the kind of thing that would have made the game more interesting if I didn't have to squint to make it out. Even with the brightness jacked up, the game is too dark and as you take damage and get up close with enemies, the screen clouds up so once you're in a mob and get hit a few times, it starts getting exponentially harder when you need things to be their clearest. Most items are hidden in alleyways or behind objects that are off camera on top of it so even what you can see isn't always helpful. Gameplay isn't balanced well either. 95% of the level will be a piece of cake with you mindlessly killing grunt enemies so you want to put it on a higher difficulty, but then there are a few spots where huge mobs just magically appear from all directions that make you want to scale the difficulty down so you're never happy. Killing dozens and dozens of enemies in a flash mob only to die and have to kill that mob all over again doesn't make for a compelling game.
I'm all for a twin-stick shooter that actually has a story rather than the tedious "kill unlimited waves of enemies" they usually do, but DN doesn't really have a consistent feel. The cutscenes are moody and dark and then you enter the game and start shooting zombie clowns that make whoopee cushion noises when they die. The main story is typical zombie movie fare. You play as the lone badass that's somehow survived all alone, you go to seek out other survivors, get a radio message about a safe zone, and evil scientists are involved. I'm sure somewhere out there there's a kindly or helpful scientist creating zombies. They don't all have to be involved in conspiracies.
Dead Nation just gets boring after the first few stages. There are hundreds and hundreds of enemies in each stage but they rarely take more than one shot and they come at you single-file at times so all you're doing is standing still and firing in a straight line. Even the special infected only require a strategy of "back away while firing". I gave up about halfway through. Every level is practically the same thing and that one thing wasn't a ton of fun to begin with. If I had paid for the game I probably would have lowered the difficulty and soldiered through, but for one of the freebies offered in the whole PSN drama, it's not worth the time. I'm by no means sick of zombies, but I am sick of zombie games being nothing more than shooting galleries.
On a side note, you have to sign an EULA before using the online features and if you refuse to, it asks you to sign it after every single level. There's no reason the game should be pressuring me to sign contracts because it wants me to post high scores I don't care about. I could possibly understand it for playing online multiplayer but if I'm playing a solo game, leave me alone.
Sins Committed: Repetitive combat, Unfair difficulty, Boring, Too dark
Virtues Acted: Some of the enemy types are funny if you can actually see them and make out what they're supposed to be