Archive for January, 2008

Off-Road Velociraptor Safari (Web)

Yep, you read that right. This is a free, web-based 3D driving game, in which you drive into raptors. Requires the download of a seemingly harmless and very common plug-in before you can play and the framerate on my iMac is pretty atrocious, but it’s good fun.

Worth a look, and not just because it’s got a silly name.

Play it here.

Call of Juarez (360)

I’m on the fence with this right now. I’m really not if I like it or not. Shooting people if fun – when you can see the enemies. Sneaking is fun – when you don’t get seen seemingly at random. Moving around is acceptable – except when you fall down a tiny gap and die. It looks kind of okay – except that everything’s too dark and it’s all the same colour. (There’s a brightness setting, but that just washes everything out.)

I don’t know. When it’s good, it’s good, but far, far, far too much of my time is spent moving the crosshair around the screen waiting for it to go red, simply so I can find out where the enemies are. They’re too small and blend in far too much the surrounding scenery. It’s very, very annoying indeed and I think it’s going to kill the game for me. It may have already, actually – I’m not at all sure that I’ll ever go back to this game.

It’s such a shame, as I love the setting and I’ve been really trying to like it. I guess it’s just a half-decent PC game that’s been thoughtlessly ported across to 360. (The unreadably small text at the start of levels is more evidence of this.)

Turning Point: Fall of Liberty Demo (360)

An FPS based in an alternate 1953, where the Nazis are still around and have just launched an attack on America. Nice chunky graphics, lots of things wooshing by, slightly dodgy controls and, of course, Nazis to shoot in the face. I rather liked it, though I seem to be the only person on the Internet not to hate it.

I’m very tolerant of games where you can actually see what you’re doing.

Undertow (360)

I can’t imagine why anyone would pay for this; I’m not really satisfied with it and I got it free.

It isn’t as bad as I thought it was when I played the demo, I’ll give it that, and maybe the fun lies in the multi-player mode, but in single player it’s repetitive and seemingly random.

Devil May Cry 4 Demo (PS3)

Downloaded this on the PS3 rather than the 360 due to 360 users complaining about the controls. It’s okay to have to use R1 a lot on the PS3 pad, but having RB on the 360 pad as a main button sounds awful. It’s not often that the PS3 wins out in terms of controls, but here’s a rare case.

Anyway, there are two modes. The first is a big chunk of a level, which gives you ten minutes to run around killing things and solving basic puzzles. Actually, that’s a bit too kind. It’s less puzzle solving and more just pressing X when you reach a dead end. The combat, however, is great. You’ve got three different attack buttons and everything you do just looks and feels very cool indeed. (Except when you idiotically try to use melee attacks on enemies several yards away, as I was doing far too often.) Top stuff, even with the millions of tiny cut scenes taking control away from you before and after every encounter.

The second mode gives you a boss fight… apparently. I didn’t manage to make it past some underlings before I even got that far. They kept freezing me and doing far more damage than the pathetic enemies in other part of the demo. I’ll probably try again. Boss difficulty will make the difference between “budget buy” and “avoid forever” on this one.

PixelJunk Monsters Demo (PS3)

This is a Tower Defense clone, with a difference. The difference being that you control a charater who has to run around avoiding monsters, collecting dropped money and gems and building and upgrading towers. It’s all set to a soundtrack that’s charming for about five minutes, when it suddenly flicks a switch in the brain and becomes the single most annoying piece of game music I’ve heard in years. Still, there are options for that sort of thing and the game itself seems great, with a difficulty level set somewhere between moderate and hard.

As it’s only ¬£3.49 (possibly for a limited time) and Sony already have my money I might actually buy this at some point.

Pocket Physics (DS)

Not a game, just a little homebrew app that lets you draw 2D shapes on the screen, which then obey the laws of physics – or gravity, at least. It’s fun to play about with, but slightly hampered by a small drawing area and big crayonish lines. (At least, if you’re as hamfisted as me it is. The screnshots and videos online show an accuracy that’s beyond me.)

Still, if you can use this sort of thing, I heartily recommend giving it a download.