Review by Mastah Disastah
"Ah, Perhaps A Change of Attitude Will Fare Better On This Game"
I previously wrote a review for this game, which was somewhat contrived, but I felt wasn't too harsh, yet have received much flak for it.
Hopefully I can have this replace it in hopes of perhaps giving more accurate and less-insulting opinions on the matter at hand.
On to the review.
This game is a clever romp through a world of giants. Presented as an early-nineties horror film, the creators of this game take heed of several cliches and over-done ideas, and meld them into a game filled to the brim with nostalgia and an overall let's-poke-fun-of-the-past mentality.
GAMEPLAY: 5 of 10
When playing a game on easy, medium and hard modes, there should be very different feels to the game.
For instance, when a game is on 'easy' mode, it should not only help a player get into the gameplay by slowly introducing them to various aspects of the game, but should also offer lessened challenge in every point possible.
This game, for example, throws the player into the first stage against a single opponent. It is simple enough to complete this level. You defeat the Ape by diminishing his HP and you will receive your tally of victory tokens. It seemed apparent, as I played, that more tokens were rewarded by defeating your opponent more quickly, though I'm not completely sure to this (I was sometimes rewarded with 1500 + Tokens for defeating the boss, sometimes rewarded with 2600 + tokens), but I suspect damage taken and damage dealt to the city around you, were factors as well.
When going into the second level, You face two opponents, one after the other, the second armed with a series of tanks that can seriously diminish your HP.
The levels become more and more difficult, but not in moderation, they jump sporadically in difficulty, but the majority of this lays within your opponent's concept of 'fair-fighting', which in my experience isn't employed often.
More often than not, an opponent throws spears through you, when you're attempting to find health and when you finally manage to reduce their health and nearly defeat them, they manage to escape you, run for the hills and gather any and all health they can find.
I found this to be extremely cheap, especially when I found myself growing extremely good at pulling off combination attacks and special moves.
In later levels, when playing against multiple opponents at once, no amount of skill can stop an enemy from spearing you while being preoccupied with another opponent. The game mechanics just don't allow a player to multi-task. This IS a form of difficulty, yet this form of difficulty simply prevents the player from being ABLE to do anything about it. So often have I been attacking one opponent, until their health was whittled away, only to be impaled by the second opponent while the first completely restored his health and I was attacked from behind by the second opponent.
This is something I wouldn't even expect on hard-mode. Since the AI is almost like a second-player, it is impossible to predict attack patterns and actually save yourself from imminent defeat, whereas a good learning curve would associate itself with varied attack patterns and a somewhat distinguishable trail of difficulty.
CONTROLS: 8 of 10.
When not frustrated from the extensive annoyances I felt in single-player mode, I was often able to jump, attack and chain hits together while doing exactly what I set out to do (as long as nothing interrupted my course of action).
About the only frustration is targeting when facing multiple targets. I found that targeting focused on the furthest opponent away (but perhaps that was coincidence and locked on to the weakest existing opponent) when I was obviously attempting to lock-on to the closest opponent. Alas, by the time the targetting feature had affixed itself properly, I had been attacked by my close-by enemy.
MINI-GAMES: 4 of 10.
I only managed to unlock and enjoy two mini-games, which were a catch-and-toss, hot-potato style game, which I found to be very boring soon after beginning it. Even with a friend, it was frustrating, since the ball's mechanics aren't handled very well, it seems to remain in perpetual motion as long as it can, despite hitting objects, which results in the ball nearing your opponent, and you being caught in the headlights. BLAM! 1-0.
I disliked the mini-game in which you propel your characters from a roof-top onto another roof-top via a rising and lowering plate that launched you at various altitudes. Unfortunately, those mechanics were also somewhat faulty, considering that launching yourself straight-up resulted in further distance than launching yourself straight-forward, and height generally depended upon the speed traveled. Letting go of your propulsion button caused you to drop nearly straight down, but at least your weight carried you, as it should.
Other than that, they were quite monotonous and not very entertaining.
SOUND: 9 of 10.
The sound never really bothered me. This is surprising because the music seemed to be right out of a classic horror-film. That kind of music doesn't appeal to me, but it fit well with the game. The sounds of demolishing buildings was well-done and fit well into the entire formula.
GRAPHICS: 10 of 10.
Nearly everything in every level can be destroyed, such as buildings, vehicles, pillars, trees and whatnot. Even things that will not break, can be used as melee weapons. Even more interesting still, is the fact that Oil Tankers actually explode on contact. The interaction with the levels is incredible.
I chalk this up to graphical content, rather than gameplay, mainly because of the attention to detail that many game-developers overlook. Despite what many people say, graphics can make all the difference.
REWARDS: 1 of 10.
I'm going to have to state my lack of enjoyment with this, seeing as how every ending was nothing more than a small FMV of the creation of the monster which you chose to complete story mode with.
Victory Tokens are applied to unlocking two secret characters and various outfits for each existing and secret character. I was less than impressed with all of them, except perhaps Congor's Ice-Ape outfit. I heartily disliked the secret characters, especially when the First Boss, or even the Final Boss would have made much better rewards for such hard work and serious amounts of earned Tokens.
STORY: 3 of 10
I disliked the presentation of this game. It felt quite corny and often left a tear-drop in the corner of my eye from cringing at said presentation. I know it was meant to do so, but I've never been a fan of this type of storyline, but it was done well, for its intended purpose. Still, a storyline I dislike is a storyline I dislike, so I can't bring myself to give it a higher score.
I enjoyed this game thoroughly, except for first-player mode, which unfortunately posesses the only method of obtaining Tokens.
I disliked all rewards in this game and felt it was a game that put forth the idea that ''The gameplay is the reward'', which I've never been too fond of. I've always felt that a game is to carry one through a series of plot-twists and enjoyable excess features. If a game isn't varied enough (which I feel this isn't), it tends to be stale and less-enjoyable.
I had no problem beating one-player mode with nearly every character, but found myself aggravated by the sporadic enemy attacking patterns and obnoxious abundance of health, placed in the favour of the enemy's reach and knowledge of every level.
I felt it was more frustrating than enjoyable, and thusly ended up discouraged at the prospect of purchasing it.
I would definitely consider this a rent, but nothing more.
I give it a 7 out of 10 and hope that the Sequel makes serious improvements on the lack of varied gameplay, and reconsiders their rewards. I would have much preferred only to start off as two characters and unlock many others, than to start off with many characters and unlock only two.
I hope this is posted in stead of my previous review, which has stirred quite a bit of controversy.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 01/20/03, Updated 01/23/03
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