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Mar 4, 2010

More Missed Game Reviews

Sega, Platinum Games
Available for Xbox 360, PS3

Bayonetta is possibly the weirdest game I’ve come across in a long time, though in my defence I don’t import games from Japan, so I’m pretty shielded from the truly weird stuff out there. Created by the director of Viewful Joe and Devil May Cry, Hideki Kamiya from Platinum Games, Bayonetta is action game that focuses on a beautiful witch named Bayonetta who uses guns and magical attacks via her hair to defeat her enemies.

The game centers on Bayonetta’s search for her lost memory as she was revived 20 years early from the bottom of a lake with no memory of her past. Enzo, an informant directs Bayonetta to a person which holds a device called “the Right Eye” which is somehow linked to her past. She must fight her way through angels, witches and other various creatures in order to restore the missing pieces of her past.

This game may as well be a sequel to the Devil May Cry series as opposed a standalone game because it has multiple elements parallel to the DMC series from the game play to the story line. If you’ve played the DMC series though, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing because those are great games to play – hard games but fabulous games.

You will have to fight a lot of the same enemies, mini bosses and main bosses multiple times through the game which just seemed like lazy programming to me. The developers were either trying to lengthen up a short game or they just got lazy and didn’t want to make new enemies in order to finish the game. There are a lot of combos to memorize in order to master the game unless you want to run through the game like me – pushing random buttons and hoping that you kill something.

Ultimately you have to check out this game just to see it for yourself as Bayonetta is one of those characters that you aren’t sure if she was meant to be serious or slightly comical. The girl has guns in her shoes and hair that attacks enemies, so you tell me?

Rating: 7 out of 10
Rent it!

Halo Wars
Microsoft Games Studios, Ensemble Studios
Available for Xbox 360

Halo Wars was my first Halo game ever and probably the reason I decided to give Halo 3: ODST a chance in the first place. While I finished Halo War probably within a few days of receiving it, my review of the game took a back seat of the other games I had to review that the time and then I just plum forgot to review the darn thing. I regret not talking about this great real time strategy game especially since it sparked my interested in the Halo franchise, so today I’m finally going to talk about this title.

Halo Wars was the first non-FPS genre game for the Halo franchise but it didn’t fail to live up to the excellence that usually follows the Halo name (I say usually because I saw Halo Legends a week ago and it was good awful). Taking place before the events of the first Halo game, Halo Wars follows the missions of a UNSC warship called The Spirit of Fire which is commanded by Captain James Cutter. You control through most missions though, a marine named Sergeant John Forge and all units under the UNSC like Spartans, Warthogs and more. Like a RTS, you are given missions with objectives, then various units and building to controls in order to complete those missions. Forge is a hero unit with special abilities which is usually given to you in the beginning and must survive all missions.

The campaign mode follows the missions of the UNSC only but the multiplayer mode lets you play as either the UNSC or Covenant. The Covenant has their own units to play with and it was a darn shame there wasn’t a campaign mode for their side.

While most RTS games played via consoles do not play as well as their PC counterparts, Halo Wars was surprisingly easy to control and felt suited for the Xbox 360. Of course, there wasn’t a PC version to compare it to but I think Ensemble Studios did a great job putting together this game either way.

Besides the Command & Conquer series by EA, I can’t honestly think of any good RTS games made for the console in the last 10 years, so Halo Wars is easily a recommended buy for RTS fans. It has excellent online multiplayer support and a lengthy campaign mode with 3 difficulty settings plus this is probably a budget title by now which will make it cheap to buy.

Rating: 9 out of 10
Buy it!

Fable 2
Microsoft Game Studio, Lionhead Studios
Available for Xbox 360

Believe it or not, Fable 2 was my game of the year in 2009 and I never actually reviewed it – how’s that for procrastination? It was an amazing game though and there was been a lot of coverage lately about the third installation in the series which is slated for release for either this year or the next, which is why I wanted to go back and finally talk about Fable 2 and how amazing this game is.

Fable 2 puts you in the role of an adventurer (male or female, your choice) who witnesses the death of their sister at the hands of the crazed Lord Lucien and now is on a quest to stop the Lord from building a giant magical tower which will destroy the land. You are one of four fabled heroes that destroyed the tower once before and you must find the other 3 in order to complete the group and stop Lord Lucien.

The main concept of the Fable series is creating your own character and story through choices – both good and bad. You have your main quest to complete but also side quests which how they are completed will affect how you look, grow and are seen in the eyes of others. Ultimately though everything in the game affects you from the food you eat to the tattoos you wear. The world is your playground of choices - you can marry anyone you want (anyone), choose your clothes, advance your skills, change your weapons, make money via local jobs and even have sex and make babies. This game tries to give you the full life experience which is something we’ve never seen in a console game before.

A new and cool addition to the game is the dog companion which helps you find treasures and defends you against enemies. The original version of the game gave you only one breed of dog to play with but additional downloadable content packs now available will give you access to potions that will change your dog into different breeds.

Most of the time when I review a game, I play it as least halfway through if not all the way through to the end, time allowing but Fable 2 I actually played twice over plus. I was obsessed with this game to the point I was trying to get all the achievements and that never happens to me with any of my games. If that isn’t a stellar recommendation I don’t know what is.

Also this is probably the best buy out there right now if you haven’t already pick this game up as you have three different ending to play towards which means great replay value and Fable 2 is now a budget title, so it’s easy on the wallet.

Rating: 10 out of 10
Buy it!

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