January 22, 2012

Sweet’N Low – My Haunted Weekend

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , — Jamie Love @ 2:08 pm

The Hidden Sweet N Low
It’s a well established fact that ghosts are jerks – they move furniture around while you’re away, drive your electric bill up by playing with the lights, and though I realize you may not want to hear it, they do sometimes stick things in your mouth while you’re sleeping.

Within the videogame medium, ghosts have an equally dickish reputation, from the boards of Pac-Man to the haunted houses of Super Mario Bros. But this weekend I had a chance to catch up with perhaps the worst yet via The Hidden, which released for the 3DS back in November.

The augmented reality game asks players to walk around areas in the real world while the 3DS camera is used to layer blob-like phantoms on the screen – the game seems hesitant to call these creatures ghosts, but they fit the ghostly bill. The player’s task is to scan and destroy these creatures, which will have you spinning around as if grabbed by a seizure as these ghosts quickly twitch out of your field of vision while throwing some form of ectoplasm excrement at you. The player must somehow meet the challenge of calmly readjusting their perspective to keep these critters on screen without throwing the 3DS into the nearest ditch.

The game is hilariously terrible, perhaps the champion of such pursuits on the handheld to date – one of those interesting ideas that has no room to evolve beyond the “hey isn’t this neat for five minutes” factor.

The real long-term humor stems from the game stressing players be mindful of their surroundings, but at the same time making it necessary to visit new Wi-Fi areas to discover more ghosts and progress the game. The Hidden absolutely encourages players to find new destinations in which to play, and thereby look like a complete ass in public, which is just a little bit wonderful despite the awful act of playing the game.

If you still owe any of your frenemy’s an xmas gift, this might just be the ticket.

September 11, 2011

Review – BloodRayne: Betrayal

Review BloodRayne Betrayal
I am fail.

While that conclusion will come as no surprise to some, the suspicion was finally confirmed for me after clearing the first of Betrayal’s stages, wherein I was awarded an “F” grade, and the designation of “wormfood”. That the same reward awaited me at the end of every stage would seemingly suggest that WayForward’s resurrection of Majesco’s dhampir vixen is a difficult affair. And while plenty of voices across the Internet support this argument, it’s simply not accurate.

The near infinite supply of health, unlimited lives, consistently well placed checkpoints, wide-sweeping attacks, and even a laser cannon that spreads across the entire screen, make it ridiculous to suggest that Rayne’s 2D debut reaches anywhere close to the difficulty of nostalgic side-scrolling titles that kept gamers grinding their teeth and stores selling a steady supply of replacement controllers back in the day.

Betrayal does liberally sprinkle stages with cheap trickery however, situations that depend as much on luck as a mastery of the controls – split evenly between platforming sections that unleash floating projectiles while requiring precision jumping, and arena areas where waves of enemies work to drain the blood with the advantage of restricted space.

The real difficulty of Betrayal is in reconciling the shortfalls that leave a promising release far less the experience it could have been, delivering a digital title where every element that makes it excel also directly causes it to disappoint – where the high point of Betrayal causes direct gameplay hiccups that undermine the effort and expose the under-developed nature of the entire game.


January 18, 2011

Pet Zombies in 3D

Filed under: News Feed — Tags: , , , , — Jamie Love @ 11:52 am

Pet Zombie 3D
Majesco has upped the zombie quota coming to Nintendo’s 3DS with the announcement of Pet Zombies in 3D this morning. The release will offer players a chance to raise and care for their own human zombie pets, with attention paid to dietary preferences, bodily maintenance and morbid activities. The undead pet simulator will offer various customizable backgrounds as well as the opportunity to customize your growing horde.

The 1st Playable Productions developed title was announced for a Fall release on the 3DS, alongside Majesco’s other 3DS entry, The Renegade Kid developed, Face Kart: Photo Finish – if you guessed the game lets you put your face in the driver’s seat, you win!

The countdown for tomorrow’s North American and European Nintendo 3DS blowout begins.

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