Tuesday, March 16, 2010

James Cameron's Avatar The Game Review

Platform: PC
Genre: Action

So, James Cameron made a new movie. The movie got a huge publicity campaign. That's one reason for me not to rush to see it. Days passed, the game was out. A few more days passed, I started hearing stuff about people commiting suicide after seeing the movie.

After saving a bit of money, I was on my way to the cinema, to see what was so special about it (apart from the visual effects). Some hours later, eyes strained from the 3D-glasses I was going home and thinking ... "I wasn't expecting much from from the story but it surprised me", and yeah it was special (not in the "sorry my son is chewing on your shoe, he's a bit special") and enjoyable.

So, why not give the game a shot ?

The game is kinda of a prequel to the movie. After you choose your ... dude or chick you land on Pandora where you get to do some missions to find out who the mole is. From here on the game splits into two campaign: human campaign and Na'vi campaign. Also it creates a save point so you can start the other campaign (after you chose one) from this point on.

The game has a RPG feel to it. You get XP and when you leveled the game gives you new armor/weapons/skills. Also, on every map there are some side-missions. These missions vary from exploration to destroying a number of things.

Playing as a Na'vi is a lot of fun, you are granted melee weapons and bow's/crossbow's. You get XP from killing humans and their structures and from missions. Also you can restock your arrows from plants scattered around the world. Also you get to ride almost any animal in the game.

On the other side, humans get vehicles, lots of them, even the big dragoon from the movie and are rewarded xp from killing .... well ... almost anything.

There's not much to say about the game, it's fun, it looks nice, it has a full 3d support, and the two campaigns are different enough to keep you entertained for about 50 hours (if you do all of the "sidequests").

Of course, it stay on the idea from the movie, human-way .... BAAAAD, but the only thing I didn't like is that, as a Na'vi you get to be another Turok Mak'to and acording to the moovie there was only one... two with the protagonist :P. Also the side-missions get repetitve after a while and in both campaigns (although on different maps) you get to do the same thing.

the bad: can get repetitive, few maps where you can use "flying-mounts"
the good: looks nice, playing as a Na'vi can give you a nice feeling lol

Friday, March 5, 2010

Dante's Inferno Review

Platform: PSP
Genre: Action

"Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate"

After finishing the demo a few ... too many times on the XBOX 360, falling asleep at the movie ... well, I mean animation, I got my hands on the PSP version of Dante's Inferno. This action game was rumored to be a nice contestant for God of War.

So ... is it any good ? Well ...we shall see.

The story of the game is based on the first part of Dante Alighieri's lenghty poem "Divine Comedy". It starts with Dante being killed while fighting in the Crusade. After obtaining Death's Scythe he returns to his home to witness his beloved Beatrice taken away by Lucifer. The story of the game represents Dante's journey through the nine circles of Hell trying to redeem himself from the sins he commited and saving Beatrice's Soul.

In the massive publicity campaign surrounding the game a animated movie appeared. Good thing I slept half of it ... because it can spoil the whole story. Even the boss-finishes from the game are in the movie.

As a action game, Dante's Inferno isn't revolutionary or very good. There are few combos, only 2 weapons and some upgrades. The game offers you some moral choices by letting you absolve or punish the souls trapped in Hell, but their only use is to upgrade one of the two weapons. If you punish them you will get points to invest in your scythe, if you absolve them you will gain points to upgrade your other weapon. The other weapon is Beatrices cross and it's a raged weapon. But whatever you choose you will get the same ending. And I find it logic, the game has to go after the poem, and judging by the "To be continued..."... there might be a Dante's Purgatorio.

The thing that has drawn me to the game was the artistic concept. I haven't read the poem only after finishing the game and researching the matter. I was amazed at first of how christianity mixes with the pagan believes. You are guided by the poet Virgil, and during the game you will get to meet/fight Cerberus (represented by a three headed worm), Minos (the judge) and get a trip on .. Charon, all which are realted in greek mythology to the passage in the realm of Hades. Most of the circles have their unique theme ... like the forest of the suicides where you have to keep Dante from taking away his life and so on. Even the enemies add some color to this gruesome Hell, you will be attacked by babies with swords instead of hands (the unbaptized) or huge fat creatures (representing gluttony). The only problem I have is that after you encountered them, they appear in other circles as well, which represent something else.

So, I liked the graphics, at least the artistic design. Even so, for the PSP is one of the pretty games I ever saw. The sound is top notch and the loading screen ... well ... that crying Beatrice slightly turning her eyes at you ... that's deep. The levels could've been bigger, or at least more opened (many corridors). Also, I heard a lot of complaints about the game abusing of tits. Well ... yes, you see tits every 2 minutes .. in cutscenes, monsters, huge-bosses, but i felt that it gave a more deeper feel of .... sin.

On the other hand the game's difficulty is kinda unbalanced, and if you change from normal to easy ... it should be called Dante's Walk-in-the-Park.

I almost forgot, the CGI cutscenes are great... and even greater are the cartoon bits which come in from time to time and represent Dante's past, his days in the crusade.

the bad: not much of a action game, story can be spoiled
the good: artistic touch (GJ guys)

again...I do not own the screenshots, all rights go to their respective owners