November 30, 2014

Review – Legend of Korra

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Brad Johnson @ 8:40 pm

Legend of Korra Review
Although I could hardly describe any game from Platinum Games as perfect, I afford the studio a significant level of pedigree.

With titles like Vanquish, Bayonetta, and even the underrated Revengeance, they have routinely provided unique, well-crafted experiences, carried on the shoulders of robust and complex gameplay systems.

In theory, a technical brawler in the Avatar franchise developed by Platinum should have been an easy home run. Instead, perhaps the most frustrating aspect of Legend of Korra is that there’s no good reason why it should be so frustrating.


November 5, 2012

Demo Report – Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Demo Report Metal Gear Rising Revegeance
The Zone of the Enders HD Collection hit retail shelves last week, harkening back to the golden days of the PlayStation 2 – all the more so for the demo disc it includes with a fresh look at Platinum Games’ spin-off from the Metal Gear franchise.

The short demo offers a different trip from the one appearing at E3 earlier this year, beginning with a new optional VR tutorial, which attempts to ensure players get familiar with the game’s blade mode before stepping into the game proper.

Holding down the left trigger on the 360 controller, the right analog stick can be rotated to see the angle of a potential slice, engaged by letting go of the analog stick for a precise single strike. This proves useful for slicing cardboard enemies in training, but in the field, getting Zen with hitting the analog stick repeatedly to unleash a fury of slices comes in handy for quickly dispatching the Gekko’s that appear.


July 3, 2012

Hands On with Project P-100

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , — Jamie Love @ 8:36 am

Project P 100
There’s a bit of a snipe hunt for the game that puts the Wii U in perspective and makes ownership mandatory, or at least that’s the vibe I get whenever gamers talk with me about Nintendo’s new hardware. Since the publisher recently held an event in Toronto to offer local press the opportunity to sample their wares from this year’s E3, I had the chance to revisit titles Nintendo is currently showing, still suspecting some surprise announcements before the launch later this year.

I can’t claim to have found a system seller in the mix, but a lengthy session with Platinum Games’ working title, Project P-100, did go a long way toward convincing me that the incentive for early Wii U adoption is materializing.

The game was stationed next to Pikmin 3, which made it easy to compare the surface play style as I took command of a squad of brightly colored super heroes from an angled overhead view. As with Pikmin, players lead their team into combat, commanding them to attack the various enemies encountered throughout the city. However, Project P-100 works to bring legitimate evolution to the familiar via the Wii U gamepad.


June 13, 2012

E3 2012 – Hands On with Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Metal Gear Rising Revengeance E3 2012
Despite being the only Metal Gear title without the word Solid since the original two MSX releases that gave birth to the franchise, Solid is the first word that came to mind after playing through the E3 demo for Platinum Games’ and Kojima Productions game with the strange name I’ve come to love.

The second word was relieved.

I was relieved to find that Platinum Games’ had found the means to balance their distinct brand of third-person action with the original premise of the Rising trailer first seen at E3 2010. No one is going to be accused of reinventing the wheel here, and as suspected, the spirit of Platinum’s Bayonetta and Vanquish shine strong in the offering, but said offering seems poised to deliver another solid action title from the developer, and fans of those previous efforts can expect the same level of chaotic polish they’ve grown accustomed to.


November 4, 2010

Return of the Review – Vanquish

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Brad Johnson @ 5:15 pm

In my capacity as a Sugarperson, I really only serve two functions: sometimes I manufacture prettiness in an effort to make it appear that the site was not, in fact, designed in my basement, and other times I play games, and then I tell you about them. This is one of those times. As tasks go, it is not the worst one could hope for. In fact, the only way it could be better is if it caused the numbers on my bank account to increase, or perhaps if writing overly long sentences made me irresistible to nerd girls.

Vanquish is a game that, upon playing, I was compelled to fulfill this second duty; to write words and deliver them to you, so that you might understand their meaning. Accordingly, in addition to our regular review of Vanquish, I am here to provide a rare second opinion. Let’s begin: if anyone tells you that Vanquish is not worth playing, your duty is clear. Cut this person out of your life forever, as this person is a liar who wishes only misfortune upon you. If, after taking this action, you still doubt the value of Vanquish, I suggest the following: visit youtube, and search for “Casshern.” When you come to the inevitable realization that “There should be a videogame of this,” return here, and I will present to you, Vanquish.


October 20, 2010

Review – Vanquish

The squad of marines pushed forward as enemy grunts shimmered Soviet-era red from cover points along the hillside. At the peak, a giant robotic crab tossed wreckage indiscriminately, forcing me to rush between cover while pumping bullets into robotic soldiers never shy about disregarding their own safety to invade my personal space.

Quick melee attacks cut them in half easily enough – the trick is in making sure to finish the job, least their broken carcasses scurry along the ground hoping to detonate as close as possible.

About halfway up the hillside, a tower collapsed and spread more debris and smoke over the battlefield while a horde of enemy reinforcements broke through an opening to thwart my advance.

All that cover may make it seem worth stopping for a smoke break until the dust settles, and Sam Gideon is always willing to steal a few puffs whenever the moment presents itself, but sitting to wait the war out from a safe vantage point is rarely an option. Momentum encourages players to keep moving with a beat that begins the moment Sam crashes aboard the orbital space colony at the center of a fresh Russia vs. America conflict, and Vanquish uses every last enemy capable of carrying a weapon to keep your ass moving.

The achievement for surviving the first stage of the invasion is dubbed “Space Normandy” for good reason. Platinum Games has married the gritty realism of battle typically assigned to games based on the Second World War with the anime lasers and sheen of influences like Neo-Human Casshern to create a third-person Sci-Fi D-Day.

Along the way it becomes clear that the rumored irrelevance of Japanese videogame design continues to be greatly exaggerated, with Vanquish offering a level of exquisite mathematics that make trigger fingers tingle with a workout unmatched by heavier North American releases.


October 7, 2010

It’s Nearly Vanquish Time – Smoke ’em if You Got ’em

Sony held their annual Holiday preview event in Toronto this week, spreading this year’s wishlist for the PlayStation set around the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. A few titles that won’t be making it to shelves before 2011 were in attendance, such as Killzone 3 and LittleBigPlanet2, but the primary focus was on releases vying for your wallet before the end of 2010.

A quick tour around the building managed to reunite me with Vanquish, which meant a glimpse at a stage not available in the earlier released demo, which in turn gave me something new to think about regarding the game before it hits shelves on October 19th.

Soaking up the greenery this particular stage offered, I’m still pretty impressed by just how much seems to be going on within the game at any given moment, which makes AR mode something increasingly significant despite my initial doubts.


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