[ Quickie Review ] Three-Way Quickie

Like I promised, here’s some quick reviews – games I’ve either breezed through, don’t feel deserve or need a full review, or games that have already been done a million times and I feel I don’t need to extrapolate further on – for the games I’d mentioned before: Remember Me, Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection, and Two Worlds II.

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Remember Me

Playstation 3, XBOX 360

Pros

This game is extremely straightforward and easy to get into. There’s a lot to see and hear here and it’s often a treat to take in a lot of the sounds and sights. The developers have made it clear there is a message here that they want to portray and they don’t pull any punches with it.

Cons

While the game is presented well, it’s executed poorly. Also, the game’s thematic messages come off a little strongly and a bit vengeful. While it’s appropriate in certain contexts, I feel that, in this case, I’m the guy watching some guy burst a blood vessel over something insignificant.

I wouldn’t call Remember Mebad game, by any measure of the imagination, I just wouldn’t call it great, either. It’s a case of a game that got way too big for its britches and feels weighed down by its themes of oversharing, propaganda, and government in control. I know this isn’t the first time that these themes have been approached in a game and I know they can be done well – but a good game has to be built around these themes and this game just comes across as a simple button-mashing third-person action title. It almost feels as though the developers made this game as accessible on purpose so that way they could push their thematic message to a much greater audience but instead of feeling like I’m being talked to in a way I can understand, I feel as though the developers are talking down to me, as though to say: “You’re an idiot that would never think these things, so we’re here to think them for you, to present them to you in an easy-to-digest game because an idiot like you would never really understand if we just told you them.”

That said, if you completely removed the story and themes from the game you would have a fairly stripped down melee combat game in the same vein as Dyansty Warriors. Is that cool? As much as it can be, I guess, when you add in arbitrary features like combat-based healing (normally, this comes in the form of enemies dropping stuff that heals you but this game actually insists you use certain combos in order to heal yourself) and corridor movement… it feels as though this game could have been much better instead of feeling like a vehicle for someone’s bitter message.

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Metal Gear Solid

The Legacy Collection

Playstation 3

Pros

This is a must-have collection for two types of people: the collectors and the people who have been itching to get into Metal Gear Solid but haven’t had a good reason to, yet.

Cons

This collection isn’t really all that much extra for those of us that already own all of the HD versions of these masterpieces. It’s a really friendly price for newcomers and collectors but there’s just not enough here to justify spending extra money on something you, essentially, already have.

This game compiles most of the canon content that’s ever been released in the Metal Gear saga, focusing mostly on the Metal Gear Solid series, especially the HD renditions of said games. There’s not a whole lot more to be said, really: great for collectors and newcomers, not that great for existing owners. Also included in the package is an art book – it’s less than I was expecting, honestly. While there is art inside, it’s only snaps of promotional material and posters for the games contained within the package. It’s really kind of disappointing to me – I was hoping for actual art from the series artist, Yoji Shinkawa. If it wasn’t priced at such a friendly point, I would certainly take issue with this; however, I have something I didn’t shell out a lot of money for, relatively, so I’m actually pretty thankful.

Two_worlds_2_3

Two Worlds II

Playstation 3, XBOX 360

Pros

Truly a “poor man’s Oblivion”, meaning that there’s a lot to be seen and done in this game. There’s a ton of characters and everything looks great. This game has great ambition and it’s apparently a huge improvement over the last.

Cons

Truly a “poor man’s Oblivion”, trying to do a whole lot but falling short just about everywhere. Most spots aren’t incredibly terrible and it’s still playable but there’s just about as many annoyances as there are things to do.

You notice that I put the same thing twice for both rows, there: it’s true in the sense that being a “poor man’s Oblivion” is its greatest strength but also its greatest weakness as well; the thing about this game is that it’s extremely ambitious. There’s a lot of content to be had but the motivation to seek it all out just isn’t there. The story reeks of your typical epic and all the puzzle pieces are there to make a great game but it just falls short on every aspect. However, even though the title feels ambitious, the title also gives me a feeling that I shouldn’t really expect triple-A quality out of this one and the fact that it has fallen short doesn’t really disappoint me that much. I mean, there’s some things that just wouldn’t make sense in a triple-A title: having to draw your weapon manually, an excruciating prologue laced with tutorials, maps and other side information actually put on the face buttons instead of halfway buried in the interface, clumsy controls and, finally, really bad graphical cover-ups. I just feel good for the developers to have come this far and to have their story enjoyed by some in the North American market, instead of feeling the need to bash them – this feels like stuff that has been borne from inexperience and not incompetence. You tell me.

Finding it in a bargain bin was exactly where I was expecting to find it but you can still find copies going for full price and that’s the only real shame here – I spent fifteen dollars on my copy in the USA and I wouldn’t spend a dime more. That was a great deal, I realize, but that’s all I feel it’s worth and if the localization team wants anything more than that, they can kiss my ass.

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