IDreamElectric


REVIEW: The Legend of Zelda – Skyward Sword
January 22, 2013, 8:47 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Image

Screw you, Amazon reviewers. I mean, really, I hope you are all happy tucked up in bed clutching your precious Skyward Sword whispering how much you love it, and how your Wii remote has never been moved like that before.

I thought I had taken precaution. I checked each review carefully, weighed out the pros and cons, assessed whether these people were people like me. But they weren’t. Which leaves me with three conclusions. Behind these shining reviews lurks either 1) teenage girls satisfying their need to control a tiny Justin Bieber 2) reverse-trolls 3) masochists with a penchant for being patronized to the point of humiliation.

It might seem a little late to be reviewing a Wii game. After all, a new Nintendo console has taken to the stage and eBay has assumed responsibility for the burial of the old one. But this game has taken so long to complete, not in a value-for-money way… in an only-gin-numbs-the-pain way. My relationship with Skyward Sword can be summarized like so:

1) Oh neat, a new Zelda game! It has been so long and I have waited so patiently.
2) Here you go, Amazon, here are my hard saved pennies. I am so excited about receiving happiness in 3-5 working days.
3) inserts disc
4) Wh… why is Justin Bieber on my screen wearing a green hat. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH LINK, TINY JUSTIN BIEBER??
5) It’s fine. I’ll feel a lot better when I’ve got my horse.
6) What the fuck is this.
7) Ok, but roaming around talking to charming characters will still be fun.
8) Hello, quirky-looking gentleman!
9) Really? You work here with your wife? Aw, That’s nice.
10) Yes, you told me about your wife.
11) Yes, I know, you already told me that.
12) Yes I know. Are you having a stroke?
13) Right. Trying not to panic. The gameplay must still be superb.
14) Switches wii off and shouts at nearby cat.
15) Waits two months. Repeats from step 3.

I do have a detailed list of what I do and don’t like about this game, but actually there is little point in going into the specifics, because, for therapeutic reasons, this is more rant than review. There may be a few groups of people that will enjoy this game…. Probably those that haven’t played previous Zelda titles before. And I think that’s my problem – my expectations were just too high. I can’t admit to experiencing Zelda as far back as the NES, but jumped straight in at Ocarina of Time. And from that moment onwards, my standards would never go lower. But there is so little in Skyward Sword that resembles OOT; the format is not recognizable to me. Link is less ‘hero of the people’ and more ‘frustrated teenage boy chasing the girl’. It treats the player like a child (which is insulting to children) giving patronizing information over and over again as if the player lacks any basic ability to figure things out for themselves.

And the design, whilst is not terrible, falls way short of what I had expected. This may be a fatal symptom of spending so long on the Xbox, particularly having spent a self-destructive amount of time playing Skyrim.

Wii Motion Plus was the final straw. Forking out another £30 just for the privilege of being able to… erm…

Well, that’s what I’m not sure about. I purposefully didn’t read up on what it does to see if I would notice anything different, and guess what. I faithfully followed the tutorials, determined to give it every chance, knowing full well that the SECOND it did something different to what I instructed it to, I would descend in to an angry, flailing, thrusting mess. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure it’s packed full of cutting edge, fine tuned, space age technology, but the designers seem to have forgotten to do their customer research. For every Wii player I know flails and waves and thrusts in the vague direction of the TV, usually having a lot of fun doing so, and doesn’t really want anything more to deal with. To whoever designed Wii Motion Plus: your talents are wasted. Go and work for Microsoft.

And whilst this game has so, so many flaws, I can handle all of them but one. A game can throw bad design at me, dodgy mechanics, poor gameplay, and even a questionable storyline. But the one thing that I absolutely am unable to forgive this game for? I was bored. BORED. The biggest sin in the gaming world: The anti-game.

Why finish it then? Well, I was determined to give it a chance, right to the bitter, boring end. And if another Zelda game were to be released, well, I’d probably give that a chance too. In the meantime, I’m going to read more books.

Advertisements


REVIEW: Red Dead Redemption (Xbox 360)
October 23, 2010, 2:08 pm
Filed under: gaming | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

 

It took me a while to get round to buying Rockstar’s latest offering – Read Dead Redemption. I’d heard the sterling reviews and seen the gorgeous screen shots but something was holding me back. When I played GTA IV I found it quite difficult to get into. I really wanted to like it; I really should like it; but I just didn’t get into the story and in the end stopped playing it. Same thing with Bully. Enjoyed it, but not enough to see it through to the end. Thought I’d be better off saving my pennies for Fable III. Anyway, curiosity and boredom got the better of me and finally Mr. Postman brought me a shiny new game.

The first thing that struck me was the landscape. It felt real. Not just realistic – real. I hate it when there are teeny tiny little weaknesses that keep nagging at you, the ones that remind you it’s essentially a bit of programming. But here, it felt so natural that I didn’t even think to look. It’s one of the few g ames I didn’t mind getting hopelessly lost in because it allows you to take time to explore. The attention to detail is incredible, and if you get b ored of exploring you can always go and shoot some animals for meat and fur. On a side note, you know you’ve played a game for too long when you leave the house and the first instinct on sight of a bird or rabbit is to reach for your rifle. Fortunately, I never have one to hand.

I defy anyone, man or woman, not to fall a little bit in love with John Marston. He is probably my favorite computer game character of all time, and that’s not just because I fancy the chaps off him (yes it is). But there are dozens of characters in the game that help to tell this brilliant story – they made me laugh, repulsed, scared, angry and yes, fine, maybe there was a tear in my eye at some point. Once. But I know for a fact I’m not the only one and I refuse to be ashamed. As you play, you make decisions that affect your Fame and Honour meters – each level, whether you decide to be good or bad, has its own consequences, and it helps to make the character more your own.

This game is phenomenal. It appears that Rockstar have sat down to watch every decent Western film ever made, taken all the best bits out of them and made an epic game. Like reducing down a Westerny broth to make nutritious Cowboy soup. Mmm. The storyline is phenomenal, the scenery is beautiful and I found the controls really intuitive (possibly from playing previous Rockstar games). There’s just the right balance of main storyline, side tasks and free-roam to keep me interested. Whoever was in charge of designing and programming the horse’s movement (or indeed any of the animals) got it closer to reality that any other horse-related game I’ve played. The characters are believable, the dialogue is entertaining. The only thing that let it down is the unbelievable amount of bugs and glitches I came across whilst playing it. Perhaps they used a different QA team but it really started to get on my nerves – particularly when it means you get stuck or can’t progress. Forgivable, but a real shame. Hopefully they’ll have sorted it all out by the time thet release RDR II, which I hope we’re not left waiting too long for.

Conclusion? Play this game. Play it. Play it now.



REVIEW: GTA Chinatown Wars (Nintendo DS)
June 5, 2009, 12:28 am
Filed under: gaming | Tags: , , , , , , ,

GTA Chinatown Wars arrived fresh from eBay on my doorstep yesterday. My last experience of the series was GTA II on the PC in 1999, and I’ve missed out on roughly nine games since, yet somehow I don’t feel like I’ve missed a thing. This game has most of what I remembered and enjoyed from the game I played 10 years ago. Sure, in the X-box or Playstation versions there’s bound to be superb graphics, effortless controls and captivating story lines, but all it really comes down to in the end is mindless theft and killing – with regular food and gin breaks. You just can’t fault Chinatown Wars on this one. To think that I can now sit on a train and embark on a spree with a flame-thrower gives me thrills. I’m sorry, it does.

It may sound like I’m suggesting the graphics/control/storyline are rubbish. I’m not, and they aren’t. This game is on a hand-held, and really it would be unfair to compare it with its console-based siblings. This is one of the best games I have ever seen on Nintendo DS, from all aspects.

The graphics just make me resent my other DS games for not looking as good. The camera angles change to allow for full view around buildings and you can now hotwire cars with the help of your trusty stylus. The one blip so far is the game control – the D-pad doesn’t quite do it’s job if you’re travelling at any angle that isn’t up, down, left or right. This can send you veering into some poor unsuspecting citizen, thus frantic police chase ensues (fine if you’re looking for trouble, not so fine if you’re on a mission). I’m sure i’ll adjust with a few more hours under my belt.

The mapping system works really well, the GPS abilities are cool. Receiving emails on the go is also a nice feature, though I do miss the old-school answering the ringing phonebox scenario. The story line is good so far, thought through no fault of the game, these usually tend to bore me. Something to do with a man being killed and avenging his death and a sword and blah blah blah. (Apologies, Rockstar).

So first impressions are very good (to be honest, Deadmau5 on the radio soundtrack can make up for anything). I think I’ll leave it there for now, will aim to post an update a bit further into the game.

// idreamelectric