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 Post subject: The obligatory "review the last game you completed" thread.
PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:23 pm 
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The thread title says it all. Just make the reviews slightly more interesting that "I plaeyd Final Fantasy and it was brill. 10/10." Annnyyywayy, I wrote the review a while ago but having just replayed the game again I did me some copypasta for the sake of this thread so everyone can feel the joy of Michigan: Report From Hell. Enjoy!

[Reveal] Spoiler: Michigan: Report from Hell
Before Suda 51's Grasshopper Manufacture made art-house-film-as-FPS Killer 7, they worked on survival horror curio Michigan. Taking control of a cameraman in the employment of news network Zaka TV, it's your task to investigate a series of bizarre happenings and monster sightings in the city of Chicago, Michigan. So with only a video camera, a busty anchor woman and Brisco, the world's most disturbing soundman for company, you head into the city. Once on the streets, it's not long before hideous beasties start crawling out of the woodwork and all hell breaks loose in a typical survival horror fashion.

The first thing that will strike you about Michigan (other than its rather lax approach to geography) is the first-person perspective; the game is played entirely through the lens of your camera, giving the proceedings an unnervingly voyeuristic feel. More peculiar are the location shoots themselves where the game begins to morph into some kind of cumbersome point-and-click adventure. I say cumbersome as the only way you can interact with the environment is through the anchorwoman. Say a door needs opening; she'll complain rather stiltedly that the door is locked and then wander off. In order to get it unlocked you must find the key, film a close up of it and then wait for the anchor to come over and bend down to pick it up. Similarly, on the occasions where monsters threaten your party, zooming and clicking on them will prompt her to pull out a revolver and blow their brains out. And while she's doing all the leg work, you can get down to your job as a cameraman. And film her knickers.

You see, whilst the real meat of the game involves simple lock and key puzzles to progress from area to area, points are awarded on each shoot in three categories: suspense, immoral and erotic. Suspense largely involves filming the anchors as they describe the horrific incidents taking place in the town or zooming in on their face as they console a dying man. Because you're a heartless bastard like that. On the other hand, crouch down and shoot hours of footage of the presenter's underpants and breasts and you'll be awarded immoral and erotic points. Bonus erotic points can be scored by filming the pornographic magazines that litter most areas or (in one memorable case) your colleague's arse when she's gagged and bound on a pool table.

Of course, all of this would be morally reprehensible if it wasn't for the fact that the game is so laughable, both intentionally and unintentionally. The voice acting errs on the Resident Evil and Deep Fear side of dire and features possibly the greatest line involving armoires yet heard in a videogame. Similarly, getting your anchorwoman to do anything is painfully laborious, thanks largely to the fact that it will take her an eternity to find the item you're pointing at despite standing directly in front of it. Even more frustratingly there are some moments where the main character dies for no apparent reason (usually during the poorly scripted boss encounters) leaving you wondering precisely what just made the game grind to such an unseemly halt.

That said, Michigan still possesses the ability to unsettle despite its ridiculousness. Any player will doubtless feel something rather unpleasant within themselves after deciding to film their colleague as she's dragged kicking and screaming from sight by a hideous monster, just to capture that look of terror on her face for extra points. Or feel that little pang of guilt when a replacement host is assigned to you and at the back of your mind you remember how the previous one was ripped to pieces in front of your viewfinder.

Despite the first person view, this is a game that makes you feel strangely distant from the action. It's survival horror in which, instead of controlling Leon gunning down a Ganado, you're left in control of the camera that captures that moment when the chainsaw ladies rip through his neck and cleave his head off. It's an interesting approach to the genre; one that forces you to direct rather than participate in the action, and it works to some extent. It's not edge-of-the-seat horror action, but it still entertains in it's own eccentric way. Conversely, the lack of any real interaction can make the game feel a bit tedious, giving you little else to do other than zoom in and pan over a string of poorly acted cutscenes. Albeit a string of poorly acted cutscenes with added breasts.


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 Post subject: The obligatory "review the last game you completed" thread.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 12:00 am 
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SPARTA!!!!!
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I'm pretty sure no one wants me to review WoW :wink:

(completed pre WoTLK)

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 Post subject: The obligatory "review the last game you completed" thread.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 2:50 pm 
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Mew Mew's apprentice
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I'm going to resurrect this thread, so I can vent about the recent game I played :P .

Well, last weekend I decided to go on xbox live (I was soooooooo bored) and download some demos to play. I grabbed a few "horror shooters" (yawn), Mirrors edge and 2 J-rpg games - Blue Dragon and Eternal Sonata. So after playing through all the demos within 3 hours I decided I really liked Blue Dragon and Eternal Sonata, and I went and bought them for £5 each at GAME.

All this week I've been playing Eternal Sonata and finished it yesterday after 20 hours of play. Well at least it lasted longer than most offline games I play.

[Reveal] Spoiler: The Game
What is Eternal Sonata? It's a turn based JRPG (for the Xbox 360) - that's ultimately the gameplay. Then there's also "History lessons" dumped in about the pianist Chopin; as well as boat loads of social commentary. The whole game is centred around "music" - all the characters and places have some sort of "music concept" stuck in there somewhere.

The game started out really good. You slowly met more characters, got new abilities and fought your way through to "Count Waltz". The game peaked for me just before you head off to stop a Prince from sacrificing himself. After that it just turns into a "I can't be bothered writing any more scripts, lets just give them uber items and go home".

You get entangled with the characters relationships and problems. After each cut-scene you want to know what's going to happen next. Or you want to know what the next ability is you are going to get. The world you travel though looks great too. The details and scenery are nice to look at, even though there are occasional frame rate dips. Even the history lessons were acceptable, although they got repetative after a while.

By the time I fought Count Waltz I was level 32, then within the final hour I was level 56. (because surprise surprise, he isn't the ultimate bad guy -.-) The final boss was easy, he did tiny damage, was really slow and had low HP.

The creators also managed to destroy the scenery by having the compulsory "looks like shit" land. Throughout the game you are met with lovely and detailed lands full of flowers etc. But then they go and dump you in a black room with glowing lights (rainbow road?), then an empty red land. It just totally destroyed the game for me.

The ending was so annoying as well. You get all the characters talking at you about "If this is a dream, how do you know it's a dream" blah blah blah. And it just goes on and on. It's as if they are trying to talk you out of suicide.

Then you see the main female character sacrifice herself, only to be met with more social commentary. Then you get to see the intro again. Then she comes back to life. Then you get ten years of credits. Then it's a childish story about a snail and caterpillar asking about "the shape of life". Then it dumps you on a blank screen and you're forced to enter the dashboard. That all took about an hour to pass.

They've managed to destroy what could have been a great game/ending and created a "I'm bored now, let's end this" game. Everything you work for at the beginning of the game (levelling up, collecting items etc) is destroyed within the last hour by giving you god mode items and truck loads of exp.

However the game did keep me occupied for 20 hours, and everything, apart from the last hour (+ ending), was enjoyable. I would only recommend this game if you're a turn based RPG fanatic or you're really bored and want something different (like me). You can also get the demo on Xbox Live if you want to try the gameplay out.


BT


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 Post subject: The obligatory "review the last game you completed" thread.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:09 pm 
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Just finished MadWorld on the Wii. A nice fun family friendly title with lots of blood and slicing and dicing with chainsaw, signposts, spikes, grinders, saws and anything else that's handy. Brilliant commentary which includes Greg Proops(of Whose Line is it Anyway fame) Very funny.

Also finished The Force Unleashed. Another fun game.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Facing off against a guy who was hard to kill before? Pick him up and drop him over the edge using the force. Want to rush through a level? Force Push!

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