Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tom Clancy's HAWX (360)
HAWX is the least Clancy-ish of all the Tom Clancy games. Unlike the plodding, annoyingly realistic Ghost Recon and Splinter Cell series, this one features some fast-paced dogfighting gameplay that's actually fun. I typically don't put the words "Tom Clancy game" and "fun" in the same sentence, so I was pleasantly surprised to have as much fun with this title as I did with the early Ace Combat games. It features incredibly simple and easy-to-use wingman controls, and the option to turn flight assistance off for evasive maneuvers. Some missions are infuriating, but they're balanced fairly well for the most part. Many of them are predictable, however. There were tons of missions that make it seem like you've completed them, only to have a "wait, what are those planes doing over there?" call come through. Overall, it's an entertaining title that's sure to please fans of air combat games.
Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers (Wii)
Bikini Zombie Slayers immediately sounds like a project born from the minds of executives that have no idea what makes a game good, and only a vague understanding of their audience. I'd imagine it started with some asshole thinking - "Let's see...what do nerdy, socially-retarded, pimply adolescent idiots like? Tits? Zombies? Violence? Hell, throw it all together and we've got a hit on our hands!" While there's certainly a large amount of gamers who enjoy their share of tits, zombies, and violence, there's one other thing they like - good games. Onechanbara serves up the former three aspects in spades, but fails miserably on the latter. I can't easily think of another action game that so miserably fails to be an entertaining experience. I did far better when randomly flailing my arms around than I did when I assumed the game must have some coherent control system. Level after nearly identical level is filled with the same enemies and the same "action". It's a mess overall, and the constant (and unnecessary) motion controls really highlight the weakness of many Wii games.
Deadly Creatures (Wii)
Deadly Creatures is a shoo-in for the "Best Insect-Related Game Featuring Voice Acting by Billy Bob Thornton and Dennis Hopper" award at the next SpikeTV VGA ceremony. You'll play as both a tarantula and a scorpion that travel through the desert defeating other insects while listening to Angelina Jolie's ex and the bad guy from Speed discuss finding treasure. The previous sentence is one I've never typed in my life, and I'll never type again for as long as I review games. It's actually not a bad action game, and features some decent visuals for the Wii. Boss fights aren't exactly plentiful, but the ones that are included break up the gameplay and require some strategy. God of War it isn't, but it's definitely one of the better third-party offerings on the system.
Retro Game Challenge (DS)
While there's no shortage of retro game collections on consoles and portables, Retro Game Challenge has a bit of a new twist on the formula. Namely, that it features "new" old games. Your character travels back in time to when he was a child, and participates in challenges involving games from his youth. None of these are actual games from the era, but some are blatantly obvious take-offs of classics like Galaga. After completing a few basic challenges in each game, you unlock the Freeplay option that allows you to play it in full. RGC is full of fun extras, such as fake videogame magazines you can actually read through. These magazines even feature codes that work for the games you're playing, which is a cool touch.