Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good

One of the main games I'm still excited for, that hasn't released yet, this year is Alice: Madness Returns that's being developed by Spicy Horse and published by EA. I'm not usually a fan of EA games, but loving the original I'm wanting to give this one a try. The fantastic news regarding Alice: Madness Returns, is the fact that they will be releasing American McGee's Alice for download on the consoles.

 McGee was quoted as saying, "There's also going to be pretty significant release which is the original Alice brought over to the consoles so that a person who's purchased Madness Returns gets a download code and is able to bring Alice 1 onto their console and play through the entire original game alongside playing Madness Returns."

Although I would prefer it to be on the disc alongside the new game as opposed to a token for a download, it is still very exciting news, and I'm hoping that they tweak the graphics and upgrade them for the HD consoles.

The Bad

With the release of Mortal Kombat today, it is found out that there isn't an Xbox 360 exclusive character. However, there is a PS3 exclusive character - Kratos for the God of War series. The developers have come out saying that it was the circumstances that denied them the opportunity to create a 360 exclusive character and that they would have liked to.

This seems like a Sony marketing ploy; along the lines of paying to have dlc released early on a console. To me it sounds like Sony contracted the MK developers to create an exclusive character for them and at the same time deny the 360 that luxury.

The Ugly

FortressCraft is a Minecraft clone for the 360 released under the indie section of the XBLA. By clone, I actually mean almost an exact copy. And in it's first six days of being released it has sold 58,572 copies, and the demo has been downloaded 84,006 times.

These types of sales are phenomenal for an indie game, and I'll be the first to say that indie developers deserve every penny they can make. But these numbers are atrocious for a cloned game. A game that is a blatant ripoff should not sell this well period. I love the indie market for the simple fact that they are required to be innovative, to come up with new idea because they don't have the budget for a major graphical game and FortressCraft has ruined that idea.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mafia II - A Short Review

Mafia II was developed by 2K Czech and published by 2K Games and 1C Company and released August 24 2010. I just now got around to beating the game. I gave the first one a try when it originally came out for the Playstation 2 and didn't find it particularly enjoyable. But I figured I'd give the second one a try after seeing some of the reviews and the fact that I'm a big time mafia movie fan.

The story was cliched. It was a reminder of all the good mobster movies, from Godfather to Goodfellas, with a bit of Casino thrown in for good measure. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's a strong story, but one I've seen too many times before.

The controls are damn near perfect. Driving especially so, being able to drive cars from the 50s and up was great and really makes you feel like you're in the golden era of the Mafia. All the characters are done extremely well although some aren't as fleshed out as I'd like them to be. There are a handful of main characters that you learn about but there are too many side characters that show up once and then were abandoned.

Which leads to the game's biggest fault the lack of side missions. Mafia II is set up as a sandbox game but 2K failed to fill it with anything. The only thing to do in the game is to drive from point A to point B to start the next part of the chapter. This entirely defeats the purpose of it being an open world.

My other big complaint about the game is the sheer amount of glitches in the game there were atleast two missions where the AI screwed up and I had to either restart the mission or push the NPC to the next point of reset. This type of glitch is inexcusable from a major game developer.

The graphics are nothing impressive. The story is lackluster and cliche. The game is riddled with glitches. And it's an empty sandbox, nothing more than the main story and too much driving and running between the mission starts. However despite the flaws if you're a fan of the mafia genre of anything it's worth a play, however I suggest waiting until it price drops to around $20.