Nut Load. Mini reviews of games old and new. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional shock face.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Resident Evil 4 (2005)

Genre: Survival Horror, 3rd Person Shooter | Players: 1 | Developer: Capcom

The reinvention of a classic series that redefined the genres of both horror and action.
Players control Leon Kennedy from a new over-the-shoulder perspective as he battles new horrific monstrosities with knives, guns and explosives. Aiming is possible with laser sights attached to each weapon. This new system allows for accurate fire which is good since enemies now have limb specific damage, allowing new tactics like shooting feet to stumble enemies or shooting arms to make them drop their weapons. Weapons can be purchased and upgraded to increase stats like reload speed and firepower. Items now are properly sized in Leon's attache case so an herb no longer uses the same amount of inventory as a gun. Also the presence of Ashley turns large portions of the game into escort missions, but not the frustratingly lame ones of years past. Capcom deserves a medal for making that possible.
The new control scheme makes the old tank-like controls of past entries fluid and dynamic, but still makes the game challenging while keeping the feel of the old games.
The voice acting is excellent albeit with some unintentionally cheesy lines which isn’t exactly new to the series (master of lock picking). The soundtrack also enhances the atmosphere as well as little details like enemy chants and chatter that can really add to the creep factor.
Leon is sent to rescue Ashley, the President’s daughter, from a rural farming village which may be hiding even greater secrets.
Buyer’s Guide:
Available on numerous platforms and multiple editions. There is the GameCube original, then PS2, PC, and Wii ports with extra bonus content and then there are retooled versions of the game available on iOS for iPhone, iPad and various mobile phones. Newly remastered HD versions are also available for download on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. Physical copies are available on PS4 and Xbox One.
Regular versions can be found as cheap as $10 while mint collector’s editions will easily run you more than $100. The PSN and Live versions can be had for $20 and 1600 Microsoft points respectively.

5 chainsaw decapitations out of 5

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Metal Arms: Glitch in the System (2003)

Genre: 3rd Person Shooter | Players: 1 -4 | Developer: Swingin Ape Studios

A somewhat overlooked gem of an action title by a rookie developer before they were bought up by Blizzard.
Players control the droid Glitch in a third person perspective to battle numerous hostile robots with a wide variety of weapons ranging from machine guns and flamethrowers to missile launchers and some more unique options like a gun that shoots entire sawblades and one that allows control of enemies to do the fighting. All of these are also upgradeable to add new features and firepower. There are also different grenades and vehicles to take advantage of. Another cool feature is limb-specific damage. Tough enemies can be neutralized by destroying their weapon arms or hampering mobility by destroying their legs. Multiplayer has all the standard modes with some new ones that take advantage of the enemy control. Before online was ubiquitous there was 4 player split screen which is what you get here.
Standard shooter fare as one stick controls movement and the other controls the camera. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Cool industrial aesthetic with a few minor hiccups, but nothing gamebreaking.
Great soundtrack with a mix of metal and electronic. Voice acting is top notch with special consideration for Dan Castellaneta as Krunk, the foul-mouthed repair droid.
On the planet of Iron Star, miner droids have been enslaved by a race of military droids led by the giant General Corrosive. The miners start a rebellion led by Colonel Alloy and when they find Glitch in pieces, they repair him and put him in the fight.
Buyer's Guide:
Easily found and cheap too. Can be had on Xbox, PS2, and GameCube for between $5 and $20. Also can be found on Xbox 360 as part of Xbox Originals for 1200 Microsoft Points ($15).

4½ robot related puns out of 5

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Grand Theft Auto San Andreas (2004)

Genre: Sandbox | Players: Mostly 1 player but with some co-op  | Developer: Rockstar North

This game is basically a Massively Single Player Offline Role Playing Game.
Practically every single vehicle can be driven and they all control differently. While the missions drive the story that’s only a small part of what’s available for you to do in this expansive world which includes such things as gang warfare, paramedic, taxi cab driver, shooting pool, low rider DDR, and even micro games in the arcade cabinets scattered throughout the world. Hell you can even earn a little money by pulling off crazy stunts just by tooling around and jumping stuff.
The customization is pretty darn high too with options for haircuts, tattoos, a huge wardrobe of clothes, and even auto tuning and custom paint & parts for cars.    
I haven’t gotten a 2nd controller nor have I anyone to play with so I have no idea what the co-op is like. :foreveralone:

Walking around, riding bikes, driving cars and trucks, swimming, flying planes, scoring a headshot with a 9mm form a block away all control solid only thing it does take quite a bit of getting used to. Here’s why:
The 1st R-trigger is for auto aim but you also have to hold it down for manual as well so you’ll most likely target and shot innocence and police when you’re trying to shot an enemy and end up making things worse. Now the 1st L-trigger brings up your stats but it’s the fire button when you hold down the R-trigger. It’s also the fire button in vehicle mode, but it’s the jump button when you’re on a bicycle, but when you’re in a hydraulic vehicle the left click stick is for jumping.
As you can see every button does something and there are tons of options for you but you’ll need to remember what does what when and where.  The jetpack would be a great start for a good Gundam control setup.

With a massive world packed with tons of people & vehicles the PS2 is pushed to its limits to render everything. There are times when buildings and roads won’t fully render or are completely transparent which can lead to slamming into a building or tossing yourself off a bridge into the river. Other times you’ll have to wait a few minutes for people and cars to spawn in areas and others they’ll just all suddenly pop out of hyperspace right behind you. The sketchy drawing of graphics can be troublesome but for the most part everything runs with no slowdown and looks decent for the most part.

Great voice work by not only professional voice actors but also some high level Hollywood stars coupled with a script filled with witty and humorous dialogue gives the characters and world they live in some genuine personality.    The music soundtrack is jam packed with jams that spans everything from the obvious rap and hip hop to rock, reggae, & country with modern (by 1990’s) hits to classical ones.  

After years in another city you return home to bury your mother only to be swept up in your old life of crime. Do what you can to survive.

Buyer’s Guide:
Avalible on:  PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, PC and Mac.  There have been tons of ports and reprintings of GTA:SA including a few “greatest hits” bundles with other GTA titles. I don’t believe there’s too much difference between them.  You can get it for under $10 easy.

5 Popes shitting in the woods out of 5