Review by SolidFantasy
"Contradicting the Music industry, games named after girls aren't great ... they're apparently awful"
Let me start off by saying that I am a huge survival horror fan. Silent Hill 2 is actually my favorite game of all-time. Amy is a survival horror game from VectorCell with an interesting premise. Unfortunately that is about the only good thing I have to say about this game. It is clear that Amy was originally meant to have a retail release; it is even clearer why the title was moved to XBL/PSN and is now being sold for a measly $10. This will be the shortest review I ever write and it's not just because I could not muster up the strength to actually beat Amy. Amy, at the time I am writing this literally cannot be beaten. That is just a taste of how broken the game is, but nevertheless let's discuss what else makes playing Amy the equivalent of eating dog s*** that you've already ate
Story: As previously mentioned Amy is a 3rd person survival horror game with an interesting premise. You play as Lana who I assume is the mother of the autistic little girl Amy. She seems to have psychic abilities as mere moments after drawing a building being blown up an explosion is heard in the background. Suddenly the train stops and the station is now infected with zombies. That is the basic plot and it honestly never gets interesting. I think Vince Russos's storylines during 2001 of WCW were more entertaining than Amy. By some chance let's say there is a mind-bending twist. You will never see it because unless this game gets a patch you cannot beat Amy. Multiple people are stuck at the very same section and 90% of them have given up because there is not one reason to continue playing.
Gameplay: I will be honest; the first chapter of Amy does show off a glimmer of hope that you may have spent your $10 on something worthwhile. After the train stops Amy is gone and you're alone. After exiting the train to the station you notice a zombie and feel a sense of terror. I walked up to him and bashed him with my 2X4. The first thing you will notice is that the zombies just melt and disappear when you kill them. It looks ridiculous but it's something you can easily deal with. I continued my search and came across another zombie and this time I noticed something. Even though there is a dodge button, it's useless. Combat in Amy suffers from the same thing the Saw video game suffered from which is the fact that whoever hits first will win the fight. If you get hit you're most likely stuck in a loop until death even after dodging. Right off the bat I know I'll be avoiding enemies and hoping that somehow the gameplay gets better. And then you meet Joe Pesci or a look alike. All I know is that like everyone else in the game he looked deformed and ridiculous. He had the height of Danny DeVito with hands the size the Big Show's. Like many things at first I ignored this too, and then he gave me a DNA cracker. Yes, a bum on a train station gives you a DNA cracker. You are then sent on a fetch quest hunting for DNA until you find the right sample that allows access beyond the encoded door. After all of this nonsense I had found Amy and the game actually started to pick up. If Amy had a saving grace it would definitely be the puzzles or cooperative aspect between Lana and Amy. Even though the puzzles themselves contain no logic (Lana can easily fit in crawl spaces too but can't) they are fun. You will have Amy entering rooms via crawlspaces, hitting switches, grabbing keycards, operating elevators, and more. For the first few chapters it's actually fun and again the only reason you probably won't have shut the game off already. Unfortunately, things go downhill, and Amy's real issues unfold right before your eyes as you progress.
Amy contains a ridiculous amount of trial and error. Most of the time I was playing I was wandering around aimlessly without a clue what I should be doing. I understand it is survival horror and wouldn't even have minded but unfortunately Amy is plagued with extremely cheap deaths. There are points where you must put Amy somewhere or leave her behind and go do something in order to progress. As you spend time away from Amy you deteriorate and become a zombie. Your movement slows to a snail's pace until you eventually die. During one part I had to place Amy through a crawlspace and rendezvous with her on the other side. I had absolutely no idea where that was though so I died repeatedly. Checkpoints in Amy are awful. You will replay up to 10 minutes at a time every time you die. A section that should have took maybe 5 minutes with a competent checkpoint system or logical directions took me a freaking hour. It only got worse as near the end of chapter 2 my 360 froze. In every single f****** game this generation this isn't a problem because games save quite frequently and you can resume at checkpoints. In Amy you resume at the very beginning of the chapter
*breaks down crying*
Whoever designed this game is absolutely sadistic. Especially considering once again, chapter 5 cannot be beaten. For some reason Amy transforms into Metal Gear Amy with game overs whenever you are seen. The game actually expects you to move around objects directly in the line of sight of these zombies completely undetected.
I didn't even touch on Amy's special powers but honestly it adds nothing. Occasionally you will come across glyphs that Amy can draw. You can then activate a power such as creating a barrier of silence. There's more but honestly, it's pointless. There is one last hideous flaw in Amy that must be brought up and they are the controls. The movement is godawful and will you be stuck on walls constantly; the entire scheme is completely ridiculous. There are multiple commands assigned to some shoulder buttons while half the face buttons do absolutely nothing. Finally, there is a camera that constantly messes you up by going AWOL. Summing Amy up as a mess just doesn't do it justice. I would rather repeatedly castrate myself with a fork than play Amy, and truthfully it would be more entertaining.
Graphics/Sound: Amy has an extremely solid framerate. There's just one problem, the framerate is about 20 per second. From the opening scene you can tell the game is a choppy mess. As usual, Amy is horrible in this department. I don't care if the character models are somewhat detailed, it's all for nothing if the game runs like a slideshow done in Microsoft PowerPoint. No, I take that back. The PowerPoint presentation on World War 2 I did in American History ran smoother than Amy. The animations are hideous as well as every characters facial expression. If you don't know what Autism is before playing Amy, you'd probably just go "oh! it's some sort of facial deformation disease"
Replayability: How do you grade a game in this category when it cannot be beaten? I guess the first chapter or 2 are entertaining, but still not worth $10
Some of the cooperative puzzles are neat
It literally cannot be beaten
Verdict: Take out $10 right now. Burn it. If you were planning on buying Amy I just helped you find a better use for your cash. I would not recommend this game to anyone, not even hardcore survival horror fans. I would rather have bought Nickelback DLC for a Rhythm game I don't own than this game. I sincerely hate this game. 1.3/10
Note: If a patch is released or a solution to chapter 5 is found, I will bump the score up to a 3.
Reviewer's Rating: 0.5 - Unplayable
Originally Posted: 01/13/12, Updated 02/17/12
Game Release: AMY (US, 01/11/12)
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