got some reviews to take care of so they won't be long.

Condemned 2:

I must start this off by saying I never played Condemned 1, apparently that game had a different feel to it and that turned off people on the sequel. I came into this with an open mind and what I found was a very unique well made first person horror game. Combat comes mostly through melee attacks and its handled very well with combos, power moves, blocks, this is some of the best melee first person combat I have ever played. There is gun combat but its not handled as well, aiming and shooting does not feel right at all. As the game goes on some levels require you to use guns, it does not play like a normal FPS at all, you have to aim carefully and conserve every bullet. It doesn't fill up much of the game so it did not bother me.

What I loved most about the game was the pacing, level design and mixing of gameplay elements. Each level brings in something unique whether its running through a cabin being chased by a bear or solving puzzles in a doll factory, or having to stealthy move around a museum. Its not the same thing over and over, the game does a great job of keeping things fresh for the 8 hours of play time. Scattered throughout the game are forensic puzzles where you have to examine a dead body and answer questions about what happened, these can be tricky which means its actually a decent puzzle. There are even some decent boss fights, which is rare in a FP game. Gameplay wise this game kept me entertained from beginning to end.

The graphics are nice, the sound is very creepy. This game has some foreboding environments, you will be creeped out from time to time. The scare tactics used in this game do become predictable, they use a lot of the "catch a glimpse of an enemy has he runs and hides" but you always know the enemy is waiting right around the corner cause of it. The game has multiplayer but I didn't try it out, doubt its any good. There are some extra modes and plenty of secrets to find, so it has an ok amount of content. I guess the main complaint about this game is that it focuses more on action, that it has too many shooting sections. Maybe the first is way better; all I know is that this is a great game on its own.

Overall Score: 8.2

Hotel Dusk:

I heard a lot about this game, its become almost a sort of cult classic. So I decided to try it out, what I did not realize was that 90% of the game is just reading, yeah this is more a book than it is a game. For the first few hours I was disappointed, there was little for me to do except move the character around and solve obvious stuff like use a wire to open a lock door. But then something happened, as the game went on I got hooked to the story, the characters and the puzzles got slightly better. The game's story is a detective mystery novel all taking place in this one Hotel. At first it seems like everyone staying at the Hotel has his or her own agenda but soon you start to find that everything is almost magically connected. It really is a great story, every single character is so fleshed out, the writing is so good, for a videogame its very rare.

But we don't play games to read them we play cause we should have some interaction, this is where i feel Hotel Dusk missed the mark. You control the character with the stylus you move around a map screen; on the other screen you see a first person view of the hotel. Like an adventure game you click on stuff, find items and figure what items to use on what. When you use items most of the time you will be taken to a little mini game which uses the DS features, its usually very simple mini games where scratch here, drag and put stuff there, nothing that innovative. What bothered me the most is the amount of hand holding that goes on in this game. You almost can't walk three steps without a character stopping you to talk or some event occurring. Rarely do you have to figure out where to go, its almost always spelled out for you.

Conversation is a major part of the game, sadly you don't do much except ask preset questions. As the game goes on you do get to ask your own question in which you must determine what is the most appropriate question to ask at the moment, if not you almost always get a game over. Its a decent mechanism but its so do this or you fail, you have to answer all questions right, one wrong and that's it, obviously when you replay it you will now know the right answer. I don't know what they could have done but I some more input from the player during these moments would have been much appreciated by me.

I may be down on the game but I still enjoyed it a lot, believe me you will not soon forget the story and characters of Hotel Dusk. It is engaging, you will be hooked. It is long, like 12+ hours, so you get your moneys worth. I just feel like there was a lot of potential to make a genius puzzle adventure game and instead you just get a very simple one with lots of hand holding. I still recommend the game if you think its something you would like.

Overall Score: 7.0

Bionic Commando Rearmed:

Last week I said Eden was the best downloadable game on PSN, that did not last long. BC is an instant classic, for many it already was a clasic just reborn, but I did not have the pleasure of playing the original so its all new to me. This game is 2D action/platforming bliss. I figured the game would be like most side scrolling shooters just with an grappling arm mechanic, I was wrong. This game is as much an adventure game as it is action, it reminds me of games like Castlevania 2 or Zelda 2 but more focused. You can choose levels to go into in a non-linear fashion but some require items that you find in other levels or bases. Stages include many secrets that can upgrade your armor or weaponry. In each level you can hack the enemy computer (through a nifty 3D block puzzle) to learn vital hints on how to defeat the level boss. All this comes with the nail biting action and platforming you come to expect from great games like say Mega Man.

The star of the game is you mechanical arm, its what sets the game apart from any other 2D game you have played. But at the same time it maybe what some may criticize the most. Its a paradox, having no jumping but instead this unique grappling mechanic is what makes this game stand out for me but at the same time its that same grappling mechanic that I feel hurts the game in some ways. For instance, grappling all over the place is no where close to as intuitive as say jumping around but having the mechanical arm allows for almost puzzle like platforming sections where you have to swing one way, or have to pull off some crazy sing maneuver to get around, so as a gameplay decision it works fine. But the grappling mechanics can be counter intuitive at times, just to swing, let go, grab back at a different angle to swing farther requires an insane amount of button presses at just the right timing to perform. I am being honest here, my fingers hurt when I play this game, its like I have to be a disc jockey on the d-pad to get around. To be fair though this only becomes an issue in the later levels and challenge levels, most of the main game is an absolute joy to play. I know its confusing, I am kind of complaining about the controls but at the same time its these same controls that make this game unique and awesome, I am confused too so don't worry.

As I said before the levels offer a perfect blend of combat and platforming. As the game goes on your character acquires many different weapons, some more useful against certain types of enemies. I was shocked at the decent AI, especially in a 2D game. Enemies will jump for cover, they will team up against you and in later difficulties use grenades and diagonal shooting. You can only shoot in horizontal line so that can make combat a bit more difficult than you are used to, but its done so that you use the grappling hook in combat, for instance you can grab a human and use him as a human shield. Its fun and very challenging, exactly what I look for in old school games like this. Boss fights are more puzzle like, you have to figure out the weakness and then exploit it a few times, you know Zelda like. What I did not like was that in true Capcom fashion, bosses are reused, you will fight every boss twice, but they get harder, you know the drill.

The main game takes 3-5 hours, there is a huge challenge mode which puts you in the most demonic hard as hell platforming challenges known to man, this adds many more hours of play time. There are multiple difficulty modes which change the enemy AI drastically, there are achievements to be had, secrets to find, scoring leaderboards, and even a fun multiplayer mode and offline co-op. This game is freaking loaded with content, at $10 its a STEAL. Graphically its beautiful, this is one of the best 3D models in a 2D game look I have ever seen.

This is an old school classic reborn that no one should miss out on, unless you are a baby and can't handle hard games .

Overall Score: 9.1

Posted by Dvader Tue, 19 Aug 2008 21:42:31 (comments: 6)
Tue, 19 Aug 2008 22:57:08
Good reviews, dvader. Too bad I'll never get to play any of these; my DS and 360 are both broken.

Hmm, is there a particular reason why you're not using the Reviews section for these? Just curious.
Tue, 19 Aug 2008 23:25:43
I forgot about the review section.  I do this in a blog at GS so I just copy it over here.
Wed, 20 Aug 2008 06:57:46
The shortest (I assume) game got the longest review!

Man, you've managed review 3 games I desperately want, and made me want them even more!
Wed, 20 Aug 2008 10:13:30
I had the first condemned. It was allright, just far too repetitive and the story was unsatisfying.

I wanted more real world interaction as an agent and more forensic stuff. The sequel never really enticed me enough with other games to choose from.

On Hotel Dusk I disagree with the hand holding. There were quite a few times where I was aimlessly wandering about or knocking on doors wondering what I was suppossed to be doing. But that's what graphic adventure games have, trigger events that need to be triggered.

When the game was conceived and first shown it was said to be an interactive novel and I feel it lived up to that. However I do feel like it's a unique graphic adventure style game. The only problems I had with the game were that I wished it could go on forever and that I got a bit annoyed aimlessly knocking on doors when I didn't know what to do. It could have used a few more puzzles too.

Overall I love the game and gave it a 9.2 I think.

If I can ever get on live. Oh yeah if I can ever get on live and get a hard drive and a wireless..... okay I'm never getting Bionic commando re-armed.

Thanks for no wii version crapcom.  

Wed, 20 Aug 2008 22:16:09
The game is probably way to big for the Wii to handle space wise, I dont think its Capcoms fault.
Thu, 21 Aug 2008 11:14:18
Retail version.
Log in or Register for free to comment
Recently Spotted:
SupremeAC (8m)
Login @ The VG Press
Remember me?