Up this month are the first demos of the year I’ve been playing, (or my girlfriend because of game content). So let’s dive right in!
I liked Outland. It was a pretty smooth little ride. I don’t pay attention to the story line too much ’til I own a game so don’t look to me to fill you in on this part, but the game play was great. It’s a side scrolling, action platformer. You basically have your sword, a few baddies and a giant level to traverse which makes the game fun and totally reminds me of all those old school games circa NES aka Ninja Gaiden. If you like low key, good clean action, Outland is for you.
Amy is everything you don’t want in an arcade game. Firstly it’s an XBLA game….so tell me, WHY?! WHY does this game cause chop on the 360? Toss in horrible controls and the fact you can’t traverse anywhere in the game without babysitting Amy, a frightened psychic child during a zombie apocalypse. No one wants to play a buddy zombie game with a dumbass human suitcase. DO NOT BUY.
Looks like there’s more side scrolling goodness lined up for you guys. Tight controls, what appears to be hand drawn characters, and smooth animation makes this a funny little distraction from your main stream shootem ups. I especially liked the gore, and the pseudo fatalities.
Ok, the game is alright. It’s well made and controls are great, but I don’t know anyone who said “Hey I wanna play a helicopter flight sim that flies in one direction, and pick up passengers also I would like the ability to squash them” What you see is what you get with this one. If you are an air medic or really really REALLY into helicopters…I guess this is the one for you.
I’m sorry, but hyper-violence was great 10 years ago to make up for a lack of content, but D2 falls short even as a FPS. Within the first 30 seconds of the demo you get to watch a model catch a bullet with the back of her head and shoot a bunch of mooks that look nearly identical. The catch they try to throw at you is your Darkness ability is basically what amounts to some demon tentacles that rip people in half in fantastic ways, but really does nothing more than serve up the macabre in HD. If you like the lackluster then Darkness II is perfect for you.
I take back everything I said about wanting more original IPs. If you think being Indie gives you the license to just throw stuff together hodge podge …just stop. You play a weird little girl who was raised by an octopus, has an eye patch and tentacle (apparently a theme here). You start in a tree house hub which offers the demo level and a training dojo. Within 3 minutes I was then forced back into the dojo which I had already endured. While some of the ideas are fresh, it really offers nothing worth 1200 Microsoft Points.
Let’s move into some Kinect games now. Haunt for starters, is an XBLA Kinect game which I found to be rather entertaining. It’s animated and modeled after ,what to me, appears to be sort of an old school haunted mansion vibe circa Disney. The controls function rather well in that you feel like you are empty handedly doing everything you transfer to the screen. Such as holding a flashlight, or opening chests and cupboards. The game also requires you to walk in place or run and sometimes punch a ghost. While I am not a huge Kinect fan, I would say this game is probably one of the few I would purchase for it.
Kung-Fu is probably the most amusing Kinect title I’ve seen. You start off with a series of poses you need to strike before being super imposed into a comic strip. I had my girlfriend start this one and it was quit surprising to see her wielding a chainsaw over head after a couple snaps. Then you are thrown into a basement brawl and I could not help but think “I’m finally a Mortal Kombat character”. The fighting seems responsive and it was actually fun to be able to do whatever pseudo karate moves I have in my bag and still be able to do damage. Plus you get super moves that draw heavily on Johnny Cage’s Shadow Kick style. If you are looking for a decent Kinect fighter look no further!
Those wacky Raving Rabbids are back. This time they bring the party with hilarious guitar hero spoofs, which gives you an air guitar that works and my personal fav. which placed me behind a shower curtain folding into impossible shapes to make shadows in an attempt to scare the Rabbids out of my bathroom. There are 3 games in the demo, the 3rd which amounts to a physical version of Whack A Mole. Kind of hilarious stomping the life out of these little guys, although they do leave marks on the floor from digging into my living room (not really).
This has got to be the most entertaining Kinect title. It places you in the roll of a marionette puppeteer, your goal: to guide the Gunstringer on his quest for revenge. Having been left for dead, you set out to destroy those who left you face down in a shallow grave. Also it makes you watch a lumberjack puppet and an alligator puppet get it on to Marvin Gaye to explain another characters background story. So go ahead and get your finger gun out, cuz you’re gonna need it!
Sadly this concludes my January demo reel. But before I go, I’ll toss one more bone your way.
Like some of the other games I highlighted this time around, I forced the girlfriend to play, and she obliged. Although I couldn’t talk her into filming it, or singing the karaoke part of it, she did enjoy the dancing. Now while I don’t know a whole lot about the movie or songs, I’m 90% sure they use the original music, uncensored which was a bit surprising to me hearing the cartoonish avatars sing about having a pussy wagon but hey…it was a simpler time. The Kinect sensor seems to be tuned fine for this one, so if you like Grease, singing and dancing….this might be your shining star! Also the dance moves are totally inspired by Travolta.