Boros here, and is a shooter about the horrors of war automatically hypocritical? After playing this game for the first time, I've looked up lots of other reviews to find that the consensus is split. There is no middle ground. Either you love the game, or you're really annoyed by it. Well, when I really thought through my experience with the game, my thoughts were also a little scrambled, but when it really comes down to it, I loved this game, flaws and all. It's because the story is told so damned well, and it's willing deconstruction of the military FPS genre cheered me up immensely. It's so damned dark as well, which I also enjoy. The gameplay is probably the reason for the big split on this game, because the story is air tight. Let's take a closer look to see what I mean.
Like I said just now, the gameplay is the reason for the big split. It's a third person shooter that feels like Mass Effect with a not so durable character, single button squad management, clunky controls, and piss poor cover mechanics. One of the reasons of the poor cover mechanics is that the A button is responsible for about 50% of things that are needed throughout most of the game. It's for running, getting into and out of cover, and slipping out between two pieces of cover. It would be nice if all of that s#!t didn't have to be the same button, because there are times when you'll stand up out of cover when you meant to slip out to another piece of cover, and then your face will have some brand new piercings. Plus, some covers in the game are mono-directional, meaning that you can only take cover on one side of the wall and not the other. This leads to a particularly annoying moment late in the game when you're pinned down and attacked on all sides by douche bags wearing some bulls#!t armor that protects their heads from the first shot which kills most other enemies. You are also basically alone at that point, so you're absorbing all of the gunfire from these bastards as well. It also doesn't help that the game has an obnoxious load time each time you die, and as established earlier, it is pretty easy to die, so it make the game all the more frustrating.
It also has probably the clunkiest controls of any shooter I've ever played. That's not saying too much, because I haven't played any infamously bad ones, such as Duke Nukem Forever, but the controls are pretty bad. The only way I can describe it is it's simular to how Neko Belic from GTA 4 controlled, but it's even worse because at least Neko ran when he was told. When you can run in this game is... well, it's quite random really. It usually lets you run during combat, but sometimes, it seems like double tapping A is the only way to get running while under fire. It also seems to work like a toggle switch at times instead of normal when you just hold the button to run. I'm not sure about this because sometimes it works like a toggle, but others it works like normal. Maybe it's a glitch, and it's sad too. If it wasn't for these two things, I don't think anyone would think less of the game for having this style of gameplay. As it stands now, the controls and cover mechanics are a spear of frozen bulls#!t sticking out of an otherwise perfect game. Being though that this is a shooter, that's a pretty big f@%king spear.
While the gameplay is dripping with assh0les that just soiled themselves, that really isn't the point of the game. No, we're here to get our story on. You play as Captain Walker, leading a small delta force of 2 other guys into the city of Dubai which was totally destroyed by sandstorms. You were sent there to look for survivors as they received a broadcast from Gen. Konrad who was sent in to help evacuate Dubai along with the 33rd battalion. However, the first survivors you see are hostile, and start firing. It starts off very typical of a military shooter, because you're objective is to shoot all of the brown people until you can move foward to shoot up the next area. It starts breaking from that formula when american soldiers start getting envolved with the shooting for unknown reasons in chapter 4. As the plot unfolds, the 33rd are known as the damned 33rd because they stayed to help Dubai survive the storms. Then, it went to war with itself over control of Dubai, and the CIA had to get involved to try to cover it up to prevent a war between the entire middle east and the U.S. There are a bunch of political issues here.
As Walker and Delta Force blunder through this hostile environment becoming more and more desperate to survive and help the surviving civilians, eventually their desperation to survive culminates in chapter 8, when Walker does something pretty horrific. I'm not going to spoil but it makes you think maybe that the easy way out isn't always the best way out, and that there is always a choice, even if it seems as though there is only one way to survive. Walker and his men could've just turned around and walked away, but they didn't because they wanted to help the people and become heroes so badly that they were willing to go through extreme lengths to do it. It wound up with a horrific screwing of the pooch. This is the kind of thing that really cheers me up, when peoples arrogance and want to be loved by all leads to a horrible result and becoming a pariah.
After that, Captain Walker and his men spend next 7 chapters spiralling down into pure madness, trying harder and harder to atone for what they did and failing in new and even more spectacular ways. Walker himself, the character you play as mind you, seems to be the most insane, because you start hallucinating in game wise. You begin seeing things that aren't there, hearing things. You even fight a boss fight while having a psychotic breakdown. The lights start flickering and you shoot at a heavy trooper, which have way too much god damned health, and the second a bullet hits him, he vanishes into thin air to be replaced with a manikin. This happens several times in this fight. Also, hallucinating people look like his squadmates is part of this as well. This is a perfect example of story meeting gameplay, and it just adds to the atmosphere of the story. I just love the way that the story is told, and it's a damned shame that it's attached to a less than sub par shooter.
I've heard criticism of the story in that it's overly linear, and you're force to make the bad decisions even if you don't want to. My rebuttle is that the story would have nowhere to go if you didn't make the bad decisions. A lot of great stories were told via a bad decision, and they wouldn't work if the protagonist had made the right decision in the first place. Like the Silent Hill series, the correct thing to do would have been to just leave the area, but nobody does. Granted it's for various reasons and I have played all of them, but the ones I played didn't have anything tying them to the area other than either want, desire, or just plain ignorance. As for the over the overly linear argument against the story, I say not every game can or wants to be Mass Effect. That game is based solely on choices made by the player which changes the story accordingly. However, not all games tell stories like this, and it'd get pretty boring if they did. Every game would have very simular first playthroughs, and make the world a much more boring place. Sometimes, it's better to have a story carefully constructed by someone else to go through so that the world can see their vision.
However, speaking of Silent Hill, this argument against criticism of the story did lead me to have a revelation about Spec Ops: The Line as a whole. Think about it, a linear but excellently told story involving the main characters psychosis, trying desperately to survive in an uncaring world surrounded by death and things trying to murder you, being confronted by the human heart at it's darkest, and gameplay with a frozen spear of bulls#!t sticking out of one temple restricting how well the player does in combat situations. Spec Ops: The Line was never a shooter. It was a horror game, all along. Almost every aspect of a horror game is represented here in a great fashion. It even can be a little scary at times, like with the light fickering strobe effect against that one heavy. So, with that said, maybe the game would've been better recieve if it was in the horror genre to begin with. But, then really, when it comes down to it, it's not that scary at all really. So, classifying it as a shooter means that theres the cover mechanics suck monkey f@%k problem, and classifying it as a horror game leaves it with the problem of not being scary. It has a major problem, either way.
In conclusion, I can see why someone wouldn't like this game. But, hopefully, they could see why someone would love this game. The story is so good that it literally makes a bad game fan-f@&king-tastic. Imaging if this was on a decent game, or hell, a good game. If the flaws were ironed over better, this would be my favorite game. As it stands, it's an excellent game held solely by the story. The other legs it has are way too weak to hold up the mountain of dookey that is the gameplay. I simply love this game for everything that it is. I'd recommend it to any lovers of great story.
Boros here to review Carnivores, a dinosaur hunting simulator from the late 90's for PC. Honestly, I played the hell out of this when I was young. Constantly shooting all kinds of different dinosaurs (usually Stegosaurus) and having tons of fun. However, I was a very stupid kid, and only played this because it had dinosaurs in it. Now that I'm older, and MUCH more mature, I feel it time to go back to the past to see if this game that I had cherished when I was growing up was actually a slice of pickle cock or a gem rising from the infinite sea of s#!t.
Hilariously, right off the bat, some crows feet emerge on the game, like the simplicity of the control scheme. There is no simplicity or straight fowardness to it. I had to exit out of the first hunt I went on just so I could go into the options menu just so I could f@%king move. On top of that, there is no pause button. It's been quite some time since I last played a game with no pause button, and it's a convenience that I've taken for granted in the new generation of games. This is seriously f@%ked up, because several times during the hunt, I'd have to go answer the f@%king phone only to come back to my character having his guts ripped out by a Velociraptor.
Plus, the first two weapons are very inaccurate and pretty much fire where ever they want to. The shotgun makes a bunch of noise but seems to be a bit more reliable in close range. It's pretty much designed for making an aggressive meat eater charge you just to get it's face molested with bullets. The other weapon is a crossbow which is silent, fairly accurate, and has the most ammo of any gun in the game, but it's unreliable, and has a s#!tty learning curve to try to learn to use. The damned thing has two sights; one on top of the other. The top sight is the short range sight and the bottom sight is the long range sight, plus it's difficult to gauge your distance in game wise length. Other than that I can't describe it. The best weapon is the third and final gun which has to be unlocked, the Sniper Rifle. Accurate as hell! Plus, having the ability to use the scope to help your viewing. However, the drawback, even the game says, if your being charged by a meat eater with an appetite for a man salad well then good luck.
Speaking of which, I should talk about the dinosaurs, and how hunting them works. There are only 7 to hunt from and 3 have to be unlocked. Each dinosaur also has a killzone which is the only place you can shoot the dinosaur to kill it. Do you see why the sniper rifle is the best weapon yet? Hell, it's the only weapon capable of taking down the T-Rex. It's killzone is the eye, and nowhere else. If you hit the eyebrow, it just pisses the thing off, and you have about 1.1 seconds to fire again and hit it in the eye while it's charging. It really makes me which there was a two hit rule, like if you hit the killzone, it dies instantly, but two shots to the torso also kills it. No dino in the game has a kill shot in the torso which is stupid. It's usually head, neck, or spine which makes sense, but why not if I shoot the dino 5 times in the gut does it not die? It may be a giant tough lizard but it's still mortal, damn it!
While there might be some frustrations, the game is actually fun and absorbing. I could spend hours trying to exact petty revenge on the Allosaurus that just ate me when I was sneaking up on a Velociraptor, or trying to increase my trophy collection to make it the best it can be. Plus, there are a lot more of the dinosaur that you are hunting running about, not letting the action get stale like a lot of hunting sims do. Also, all of the places are pretty accurate as well as fun to explore. Some places allow you to get bored hunting, and jump into the pool of hot jam by the temple. It's also really funny when T-Rex kills you. I won't spoil, because he's basically the final boss if you could call it that, but it's hilarious.
The reason I said that about the T-Rex is that the game has no story. It's as simple as you pick a place, a dinosaur to hunt, your gun, and the perks to use, then just go hunting. I don't quite know why there's no story to this, but it might have been a detriment to the game. I think it works because of how streamlined it is, and it might not work otherwise.
To sum up, I think it still holds up as being a fun little thing to play every now and then. If you can manage to find it, which I found my copy at a Goodwill for Christ's sake, then it's worth picking up. Just be prepared for the frustrations that also await. It's simply taking the bad with the good on this one. It makes me wonder if the sequel to this has also held up? That's right! This game has a f@%king sequel, and I intend to review it. I'm off to the internet to search for the sequels.
Boros here, and, you know, while I've already reviewed Rayman Origins, before that, I never really gave Rayman the light of day. I was a Nintendo kid growing up because of money restrictions, so I never had the chance to broaden my video game scope back then. While I did play the Rayman games, it wasn't really enough to form an actual opinion. You may ask yourself, "Why am I bringing this up?" Well, it's because recently, I had the chance to take a chance on Rayman 3D for the 3DS. I knew nothing of this game before I bought it, and have since played through it. I had no idea that it was a port of Rayman 2, even though remake sounds more like what this is. It was almost a complete train wreck... Almost. It's actually very weird, because the stuff it gets right, it f@%king bulls eyes, and the stuff it gets wrong makes the game seem like a s#!t spewing anal gusher. Also, it's about half and half on the excellence to bulls#!t ratio. Let's take a closer look to see what I mean.
Let's just go over the story real quick, because after Origins, I know the story doesn't matter too much. Rayman starts out captured by pirates but then is saved by his friend named Globox. Rayman then sets out to find a fairy named Ly, who is also a good friend of Rayman, so that he can regain his powers. One thing I noticed is that there is more character developement than in Origins, but it's that boring kind of developement from the N64 era, with generic characters run a muck. Rayman is just a tool, as in comparison to that high functioning autistic from Origins. The only thing giving them more developement is that they talk in this game, almost to the detrament of the game. While no one talked in Origins, I got more of a feel for their personalities because they stuck out so much. This kind of story developement just annoys me, and I'm glad that this kind of thing died EONS AGO!
Just a quick little aside for the graphics, and I don't usually mention them unless they really impress me, or are really a problem. Well, they're a problem here, because they look about 20 years old. From the akward transition between figuring out the full potential of the N64. You may say it's because of the new handheld, but that's no excuse because I've seen much better on this thing, so why couldn't they improve the graphics from the initial release?
Finally, let's talk about the gameplay which is the most important part. It plays like what the Legend of Kay SHOULD have been. If that's too metaphorical, then think of Ratchet & Clank if it had the pacing, movement control, and platforming of Mario 64. It's pretty slow paced and boring usually. Even the combat gets boring, because it doesn't throw enough enemies to make it a decent challenge. It feels like it belonged on the N64, and come to think of it, why didn't I see that this was a port? I've done mentioned how this feels like an N64 game in 3 different aspects, and I guess they didn't age well.
Plus, the ability to strafe one enemy just makes it too easy. In fact, I only died in this game when I either fell into a pit, or during the numerous vehicle sections.
Oh, god! Their back! F@%king vehicle sections! All of the bulls#!t! F@@%@%#$%#@$%#$K!! ...Yeah, I hate vehicle sections in action adventure games. They just feel f@%king shoehorned in games like this. It works in sandboxes because a bunch of things seemed shoehorned in, so it doesn't feel out of place. It also works in racing games (duh), but it doesn't work in anything else to me. However, this game did something impressive that no other game has ever done.
The vehicle sections in this game are just as bad if not worse than all of the other ones I've played. Clausterphobic environments filled with clutter, smacking into anything kills you, checkpoints way to far apart, this game is the works on bad vehicle sections. All, but one. There is one vehicle section in this game like no other. While it still has the instant death bulls#!t and the physics get really f@%king wonky at this part for some reason, you have complete freedom of range to move about in an actual environment, instead of a clausterphobic tunnel. I had a ton of fun just running around exploiting the physics glitches, and blowing things up. The only down side is that when I did try to figure out where to go, it was a pain, but it was fun while it lasted.
Also, the game came to life for me when the pirate ship chases you around, and you have to platform quickly or get blown to hell. This is when it comes to life for me, and it can be a little difficult, but it's so fun, I didn't notice the annoyance I was feeling. It invoked two feelings of fun and adrenaline at once, and while it's not nearly as awesome as the final chase in Origins, at least this game can come to life.
In conclusion, the game has a bunch of cool moments, but also has equal amounts of frustrating bulls#!t, and boring crap to say that this is a skipper. If you love Rayman, check it out, but it won't blow your socks off even then. I thought it was ok, plus I only had to pay $10 for it, and I almost got what I would call $10 worth of enjoyment out of it. So, it's not a bad value game.