Game: Onimusha Warlords
System: PlayStation 2
This is a pretty interesting game if you’re really into Resident Evil or samurai. Onimusha uses the same game engine as Resident Evil 1-3 which means the controls are totally unintuitive and the camera angles are fixed in place. I actually attempted to play this game before, about 2 years ago, and was totally turned off by the faults I just mentioned. Now that I’ve spent a lot of time playing RE I was totally fine with it.
Here’s the basic formula for this game: Resident Evil – zombies + demons – SWAT team + samurai – guns + swords – bad voice acting + good voice acting. It’s also missing all the tension and suspense of RE, replacing it with more hack and slash type action. It’s enjoyable while it lasts but it only took me about six hours to finish. If I’d paid $50 back in 2001 I would have been pissed! Everything looks pretty good for a 1st generation PS2 game. Even though it’s feudal Japan, modern sensibilities interfere as one of the main characters is a female ninja who predictably wears a somewhat impractically sexy uniform.
Do you like RE? Feudal Japan? Try it!
Personal conclusion: Doesn’t live up to potential
Game: Super Dodgeball Brawlers
Developer: Arc System Works
VERY MIXED FEELINGS. If you’re a veteran of the series, you’ll be happy to know that Brawlers feels like a genuine Super Dodgeball game through and through. That’s a good thing. You’ll aso be pleased to know that the gameplay has been mixed up to some degree. Random objects fall into the field and can be used to damage opponents even when you don’t have the ball. You can also make short forays into the opponents’ court to land punches and kicks. Unfortunately, the overall package is somewhat underwhelming.
The graphics, as is typical for so many DS games, are totally underwhelming. They basically look like they could have been pulled off on the SNES. Retro is nice but so many of these old franchises simply stagnate on the DS rather than innovate graphically. The music is slightly better but somewhat nondistinct. What really hurts Brawlers is the game modes. There is a tournament mode just like in the other games but it’s EEEEAAAAASY and not particularly long. In playing through the game on Normal and Hard modes I NEVER LOST A MATCH. Come on! I should have at least lost the first time I made it to the championship. Where’s the challenge and where’s the motivation to keep playing?
On top of all that there’s no Wi-Fi. This is exactly the kind of game that should let you play against strangers half-way across the world and the option is totally absent. There is a beanball/brawl mode like in the NES game but it’s a dead end – there’s no tournament mode associated with it. It’s just a one-off time-killer. Overall, the package is underwhelming and disappointing and it COSTS THIRTY DOLLARS!
If you’re a fan of the series, wait until you can get it used somewhere for $10.
Personal conclusion: Goddammit
Game: Grand Theft Auto III
System: PlayStation 2
I have to admit, I did not finish this game. I just didn’t feel like it. I looked in one of them online walkthroughs and it appears I’m about 3/4ths into the game but I just don’t have it in me. This must be the most overrated game ever. Its average score among professional reviewers is about 9.3 and I really can’t see why. The open environment of the city truly is something special. It’s a lot of fun to kill cops and crash cars into old ladies but that’s where the fun ends. The real meat of the game consists primarily of runnin FUCKING ERRANDS for mob bosses. For instance, they’ll say, “Go kill this guy” and you drive all the way across the city, which takes five minutes, and then engage in some lame gunfight or lame car chase. It’s quite boring. And the reviewers eat it up. This is one of many examples of ways in which the whole game reviewing industry is fucked up. It’s not a bad game but just not very well thought out. And the graphics are pretty terrible, too.