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The Big Boss
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Re: My (old) game reviews


(see my Lego Star Wars II comment few posts above)

Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars (PC) 7/10

LSW3 was a bit different than other Lego games I've played because it wasn't based on movies like most (except Lego Batman for DS wasn't directly based on anything). I never even saw most of Clone Wars series.
It's also different than other Lego games for having a large part (maybe around third?) of it being somewhat separate style and genre than rest of the game. OK, most Lego games have had some kind of racing levels - that kind of oddly are missing here - but LSW3 has sort of strategy-action stuff that makes a cool 2-player bonus mode which would be okay as bit of change, but gets real tiresome when you have to grind it 10-20 hours.

LSW3 has better controls than LPotC or LSW2, but shooting/aiming is still not practical. Another major fault is same as all Lego games: the further you get the more you open stuff up and the easier it gets (except the nice bounty hunter missions, that's how you put extra content to a game). So the first 10 hours is the hardest and most tiresome part - except for the "strategy" levels.

On the positive, this game hardly had any grinding for money (unlike others of the series), you'd get enough while playing the stuff you must. (Though one level seems to have some kind of bug that threw on me over hundred times the money I assume I should've been getting...)

LSW3 I another proof of the power of franchises: you want to play the movies you know by heart. Perhaps the levels are more based on Clone Wars episodes than I realize and someone who knows them better would enjoy this more, but for me this was least interesting of the Lego games I've played.

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Jun/30/2017, 21:47 Link to this post Send PM to Kaunisto
 
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The Big Boss
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Re: My (old) game reviews


Gran Turismo (PS1) 9/10

In driving games it's easier to point out what's bad about them than what's good. A driving game is great when you can't find faults in it, even if you can't really explain why it is great.

This is why I'll mostly comment on the faults in GT, while rating it exceptionally high.

I never like rubberband AI and when starting/learning GT, it's just ridiculous. You lose 5 seconds to winner; drive the same race again 10 seconds faster... and you'll lose 2 seconds to the winner. Or maybe 10 seconds slower than the first, but if you screwed up in beginning and drove the end awesomely, you'll win.

Controls are among better ones of driving games - depending on car/settings/track - but there's one major fault. When your speed falls low (below 25 mph or so) in slow corner or due collision or spin, the track changes to ice. The car starts doing donuts on spot like on ice. This means that if you make mistake and spin, you'll be there turning on spot in worst case 10 seconds or more before you get going. By then, race is lost.
It's not realistic, it doesn't make sense as game design, it's simply a bug/design fault that apparently for one or other reason couldn't be removed without messing rest of controls.

The game structure, divided to two separate game modes, arcade and simulation, is excellent. You can play either or both, as you wish. Arcade is just driving, in simulation you buy and tune your cars. Though there's not much replay value once you've won everything.
However there is one gigantic design mistake in the simulation side and that's the license trials. They are like a compulsory tutorial that doesn't actually teach you anything and is the hardest part of the game. (They would have bonus goals with even much harder times than required to play other parts of the game and those bonuses - which would only give couple additional cars - are the only part of GT I have not achieved.)

Difficulty is at some points hard and often unfair, but if I can win every race in this game then so can... well, I guess it depends if you've played half as many driving games as I have.

All in all GT is a very good car game, among best I've played. It doesn't quite have thrill of driving of Ridge Racer Type 4 (closest competitor on PS1 that I've played), but the amount of content (instead of grinding) puts GT ahead.

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Jul/23/2017, 19:58 Link to this post Send PM to Kaunisto
 
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The Big Boss
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Re: My (old) game reviews


Clock Tower (PS1) 7/10

Clock Tower is a horror-adventure game that is sequel to original Japan-only Clock Tower SNes game. It's a point'n click adventure than could be compared to ca. 1990 computer games like Laura Bow 1, Loom or King's Quest 5.

I've played the SNes original on emulator as fan translation and that was awesome. The Playstation game is a direct sequel, so I strongly recommend you first play either the SNes game (also available for WonderSwan in Japan - though that's black and white) or the PS1 remake Clock Tower: First Fear (I haven't played that, but I'm sure that gives you the same story).

CT is a short and easy game - sort of. It branches to 10 endings and while you can pretty leisurely play it through couple times to get few of them, getting all - particularly the best - endings made me go get walkthrough. And besides the 10 endings there's an extra goal to get the best ending while saving every possible person (to unlock cool bonus content); that was the real tough part of the game.

CT isn't quite as scary or good as the first SNes game, but decent fun. Main annoyance is that once you reach one of endings, it's impossible to tell about your latest save whether it can be used to get other endings; you don't know if there's still something you haven't done/found that can be done or if your save is already locked to this one ending.
The system of 10 hints hidden around game (some of those helping about getting all ends) helps some, but it'd be a tough job to gather all endings without walkthrough - even if it is short game to play through once.

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Aug/14/2017, 14:46 Link to this post Send PM to Kaunisto
 
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The Big Boss
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Re: My (old) game reviews


Unreal 2: the Awakening (PC) 8/10

U2 is what you get by combining original Unreal (a Quake clone with strong story) with Halo. In many ways it does resemble Halo 1, but you can also see the PC origin of series.

All round U2 is enjoyable basic scifi shooter with generic but not bad story and characters. however there are some complaints. Jumping/climbing on environment doesn't obey physics: sometimes you can't jump on a lower object if it's not meant to be jumped on while you can on higher next to it. Not to mention tilted surfaces, it's anybody's guess which are meant to be walked on and which ones act as invisible walls.

Weapons are nice selection, but the way they are arranged is confusing: there's up to three weapons on buttons 1-5 and they aren't divided by clear logic like most games have weapons of a type grouped together and order from weak to strong. Many weapons are some kind of gimmicks (or have such as alt-fire), but in the battle you don't have time to find or learn to use them.

There are some special missions. Most common of these is defense - keep enemies from getting to door/person/whatever - and these are actually pretty interesting, works as some change like intended. But other special cases, couple platformer moments and a sniper job, are the worst part of game.

The game is something like 10-15 hours (experienced shooter player can likely make it much faster).
U2 is basically single player; multiplayer was added as an expansion I haven't gotten yet.

Unreal 2 is recommended for PC players who enjoyed Halo.

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Jan/15/2018, 20:49 Link to this post Send PM to Kaunisto
 
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The Big Boss
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Re: My (old) game reviews


(As usual, I'm judging the game as single player - which is somewhat unfair to such multi-player oriented game.)


Battlefield 1942 (WWII Anthology) (PC) 8/10

In the 15 years Battlefield series has existed, I have embarrassingly not known what kind of games they are. I always assumed them as just another FPS.
I did some years back (search this topic) play Star Wars: Battlefront 1&2 (the old ones), so I was familiar how this kind of game works. I like to call these "strategic shooters" (because "tactical shooter" is taken).

BF1942 must've at it's time been novel and interesting game, a pioneer. But since then the same thing has been done too many times and probable lot better - at least by the other 15 BF games. This very first game of the still continuing series doesn't have really huge faults, but you meet constantly little annoyances that hopefully later games fixed.
Of two biggest problems one is lack of content, even with the two expansions Road to Rome and Secret Weapons of WWII and few bonus levels included in the package. However map editor kind of solves that.
The worse is stupid AI. It has decided to fight the battle on certain simple strategy and it sticks to it. No matter what heroics player does to give our side huge advantage, AI just lets that go to waste. Nor does enemy ever try any trick, they all just head straight at each other.
I'm sure multiplayer is whole lot different...

Like SW:BF games, BF1942 (as single player) lacks a meaningful larger game mode. It's more of a game for just a random 15 minute match now and then. Which is as close to casual gaming as you can ever drag a proper gamer like myself.


(I usually grade expansions separately, but here they aren't enough "game of their own" for that.)

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Jul/17/2018, 21:48 Link to this post Send PM to Kaunisto
 


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