£5 well spent.

Posted by Yummylee (22518 posts) -
Everything about this game's visual production, from the graphics to the animations, is brilliant

I've always been curious in checking out the Lost Planet series. The idea of this extremely weighty and animation-heavy shooter has always sounded pretty appealing to me, in a similar way to my fascination with the Monster Hunter series at that, given that Lost Planet is essentially, ''what if Monster Hunter was a TPS''. Though while I'm still waiting on the off-chance that Monster Hunter is released on a console I own or am going to own (AKA, not a Wii U), I'm outta luck on that front. But Lost Planet is ever accessible so I finally decided to give it a shot!

Lost Planet 2 wasn't exactly the most well received of games, nor was the reception to the reception... the reaction to Brad's two star review was bad enough that it created a mini-disaster. Of course an outcry of utter outrage at a review isn't exactly rare, but Lost Planet 2's is certainly up there with the likes of the Catherine and, yes, the recent DmC review.

After putting in roughly around 13 hours thus far, a lot of the criticisms are most certainly justified. Some, however, I've found to simply be a matter of taste. The plodding movement speed and animation-heavy actions of your characters? Bloody love it! All the more so for the ultra-powerful mech 'Vitality Suits' you can use. Much like for the same reason as to why I've always enjoyed the driving in GTAIV, the weighty nature of the mechanics just make everything about you feel tough; like you're lugging around a giant suitcase full of 20 ton badassery. Lost Planet 2's shooting also has a really great kick to it. Weapons feel powerful and have superb sound effects, and the meaty roar of its shotgun is especially pleasing to the ears.

Even besides the sound effects, the game in general is still quite the production power-house. Given that it's Capcom it comes to little surprise, considering even 2009's RE5 still looks really pretty to this day. I was pleasantly surprised to see how there's a good variety of locales at that, all of which carry their own specific style of atmosphere from the early snow blizzards to the late game spacefaring.

For as video game-y as they are, giant, glowing weak points always makes for a fun target to shoot

However, while I have enjoyed my time with Lost Planet 2, I'm still a little reluctant to call it a good game. Pieces here and there I've genuinely found to be a lot of fun--the giant, glowy weak-spot equipped Akird boss battles in particular--but there's still a swath of problems to contend with. I should also note that the game's been patched a couple of time since its release, so the version I've played was assuredly a great deal friendlier than how it was at launch.

Even still, the fact that it's built from the ground up as a multiplayer game only to disallow drop in/drop out capability is insane. Though weirdly enough people are still playing this thing! With a little patience as I hanged around in my lobby, I was able to pick up two randoms; too bad they decided to leave after only one chapter. And that's another thing; the way the game is segregated between sections that can sometimes literally be completely in like 3-5 minutes long is awkwardly designed. Consistently having to go through load screens and menus, and then having to wait through the ''get ready - Go!'' load at the start of every level, only breaks up the pacing of the game.

Furthermore, the story is a nonsensical mess, with you constantly switching between generic facemask wearing pirate faction after pirate faction, all of whom lack any distinctive characteristics (besides the silly 'Banditos') and for the most part are defined by their outfits and their 'cool' generican (generic American...) accents. All in the name of stopping some evil corporation who barely exists beyond a name. To say that the story is undeveloped would be an understatement in any case. Which is unfortunate, because the cutscenes are well directed and carry a lot of style to them. Of course Capcom in particular are known for being all style little substance, so a story that only barely hangs on shouldn't be too much of a surprise.

Not being to use your customised characters in the campaign until you've completed it, however, was. I mean seriously, the cast of this game are more avatars than they are characters, so forcing you to play as the defaults for the sake of 'canon' or whatever the Hell is really strange. That said, the amount of weapons and cosmetic doodads you can unlock is really appreciative, especially for someone like me who loves him some variety when it comes to their video game characters. The roulette wheel you unlock the stuff from does seem annoyingly biased in the title category, but I unlocked quite a few goodies just from a single completion.

One thing that really took me surprise was how easy this game was. Again, I must reiterate that it's been patched a fair bit since launch, but hearing all of the horror stories involving the train bit in particular never left me with the same impression. Don't get me wrong, the train akrid boss battle is a load of bullshit if you're trying to manage the cannon (especially in single-player where it's practically all up to you), but falling back on the helicopter VS on the cart below was all I needed and I went through little hassle. The ending boss battle was a little confusing, though, and not to mention anti-climatic. But overall I'd say the game is perhaps a bit too easy least on the normal difficulty.

Laying waste in a VS made for some of the most fun I had in LP2

The fact that any sort of AI for the human enemies barely even exists was the biggest contributor. It's been a rather common occurrence for where a human enemy will literally just stand there, empty headed and confused about what's going on around him. Until I add to that empty headedness when I nail a headshot with my ridiculously overpowered Plasma Sniper Rifle. And even when they take action, they'll do little besides shoot at you on the spot. Of course, AI of all kinds has also never been one of Capcom's strong suites.

And even with all of that said, for as much as I enjoy playing the game, there's still some control squibbles that can get on my nerves. Like how you can't use your grappling hook mid-jump or the awkward input you need just to do an evasive roll. See, you can only roll from a crouching position and by then pressing X; not only is this an unnecessarily needless combination of inputs, not only do you crouch by pushing in the left analogue stick, but there's no option to set it to toggle, either. You have to permanently hold in the left analogue stick to crouch... and then press X from that position to roll. It's fucking lunacy!

LP2 also still has its competitive multiplayer of course, but after 3 years on when pretty much 9/10 server is being run by a Japanese player, I found it pretty difficult to compete as I keep getting creamed by weapons I've never even seen before in the story. Plus for as much as I enjoy the heavy everything about this game, I don't think it fitted the competitive scene quite as much.

Still, tinkering about in the campaign has been a bunch of fun, and I got a solid 13 hours worth for a fiver. I originally headed in to LP2 mostly for 'scholarly' purposes, so all in all I came away pretty satisfied with the end result. Make no mistake, even after the fixes, LP2 is a highly flawed game. But there's clear ambition here and some of it at least managed to hit the mark. You just don't find many shooters like this anymore, and LP3 looks to be a lot more generic in regards to the gameplay and is unfortunately an UE3 game at that. The writing and its story still look to be well and beyond prior Lost Planet's, but it's unfortunately comes with the price of morphing into much blander style of shooter.

At the low price Lost Planet 2 can be found at nowadays, I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to try out a shooter that's a little more methodical and deliberate. It's no doubt all the better on PC as well, so getting three mates together to shoot down some giant alien bugs--if this style of game appeals to you--is more than worth the pittance.

#1 Edited by Humanity (10056 posts) -

The main complaint I've heard about this game is that unless you're playing co-op with a friend it can be really irritating as the AI was apparently terrible. Most reviews, at the time, mentioned a specific level where you're riding a train and operating a giant cannon that requires everyone to participate - load shell, turn cannon, etc, and apparently when playing with AI it's borderline impossible - so did you play it in single player or with friends? Cause I'm wondering if the patches did any good.

#2 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

@humanity said:

The main complaint I've heard about this game is that unless you're playing co-op with a friend it can be really irritating as the AI was apparently terrible. Most reviews, at the time, mentioned a specific level where you're riding a train and operating a giant cannon that requires everyone to participate - load shell, turn cannon, etc, and apparently when playing with AI it's borderline impossible.

I played it recently and had no issue. Even when I played it when it came out that level was not broken to the extent reviews claimed.

#3 Edited by Yummylee (22518 posts) -

FFS, I kept getting errors when I tried to post it to the forums and now it's got itself a duplicate...

#4 Edited by Humanity (10056 posts) -

@the_laughing_man: Normally I'd agree that reviewers have a ton of issues in games where regular gamers do just fine, but I do remember a GameTrailers review where they actually showed the AI standing around doing nothing. Granted this was ages ago so maybe I'm not remembering correctly..

I tried playing Lost Planet 1 and the strange controls and stiff animation really drove me away. I played a bit of the demo for LS2 and found it slightly better than the original but all the reviews said to stay away unless you had friends to play it with - and I knew I could never convince my friends to buy it.

#5 Posted by Yummylee (22518 posts) -

@humanity: Well if you read the blog you'd know that I make note of that part U_U. Yes, trying to beat that boss on the train the way you're meant to is really annoying. Your AI will at least bring up the rockets to the cannon, but will otherwise flutter about doing very little, leaving it up to you to cool the train down, reload the cannon, aim it, turn it around when necessary ect. Plus there were times where I wasn't able to load the cannon and could never figure out why.

So instead i just used the helicopter mech and beat the boss by whittling it down; never even got hit and it all went along pretty easily. It's still a pretty busted boss battle for single-player, though.

#6 Posted by Humanity (10056 posts) -

@yummylee: Reading before commenting is for chumps! I mean c'mon.. read an entire Yummylee thread about yet another awful Japanese game he's playing with horrible animation priority? Too much deja vu!

#7 Edited by Yummylee (22518 posts) -

@humanity: You wound me, sir... And after all that junk I gifted your Dragon's Dogma pawn.

Also, what other threads have I made talking about Japanese games as of late? All that comes to mind is me championing the factually flawless (!!!) driving in GTAIV, and dat ain't no Japanese anything.

#8 Posted by Pie (7110 posts) -

Well, you convinced me to reinstall GTA4.

I really enjoyed Lost Planet 1 but never got 2 due to poor reviews and the fact that it was very co op focused, seeing that you enjoyed the single player I might pick this up now.

#9 Edited by Wampa1 (742 posts) -

@yummylee: Do you plan on checking out Lost Planet 1 then? It comes as part of a pre-order for Resident Evil: Revelations so I'll likely give it a try, the Demo had that same feel with the Mech's just this big heavy nothing can stop you feel that I can't help but appreciate.

Side Note, This makes me think a Sci-Fi Dragons Dogma could be really interesting.

#10 Edited by AjayRaz (12475 posts) -

i actually ended up playing this game in co-op with two other friends. while i was playing it, i was in between enjoying it and hating it. i ended up finishing it with a bad taste in my mouth, but in retrospect, there are a few things i liked about it. as you said, the feel of the shooting and the weight of everything is pretty cool.

that train cannon mission was probably the highlight of the entire game. it was tough, but it was a whole lot of fun to pull off in co-op. the entire time, i was wondering how anyone could do this in solo.

i saw you playing this game yesterday, and i was like what the hell is this guy doing. soon after, i realized i was playing Resident Evil 6. what the hell was i doing

(also, GTA IV's driving is the best)

#11 Edited by Fredchuckdave (6136 posts) -
#12 Edited by GunstarRed (5448 posts) -

I'm trying to find the right letters that make up the noise I made at the screen. (something like bleughhhhghztttt)

I really wish you could have played the game before they patched the hell out of it. 40+ mins to get into games, no checkpoints between chapters that fucking train... fuck that train.

edit- looking back at the patch notes they both increased the damage your weapons do and how much damage you can take. It got ridiculously tough very early on if I can remember, that paired with the lack of checkpoints made sections of it feel almost impossible with the AI or co-op partners constantly losing your lives.

#13 Edited by Humanity (10056 posts) -

@yummylee: Resident Evil 6 was the last one and I do believe there was something else. Dragons Dogma? Although that is an EXCELLENT game and I am planning on writing a blog about it myself.

#14 Posted by connerthekewlkid (1843 posts) -

I hate that there going back to the "One man on his own" style for Lost Planet 3 instead of the giant episodic adventure thing they had going on with 2.

Also I never really found the game hard either but I don't remember whether I played the Train mission in co-op or not.

#15 Posted by granderojo (1792 posts) -

Lost Planet 2 was such a bummer. It's not that I think Capcom was lazy. There were a lot of improvements over the last game, but the changes to the formula were an absolute farse. The game lost it's entire soul to me.

#16 Posted by Rorie (2986 posts) -

Nice post! I liked Lost Planet well enough. I'll give this a whirl if I can get it for super cheap.

Staff
#17 Edited by ArbitraryWater (12105 posts) -

I have no real intention of playing this game, but having finished Syndicate a while back I can understand the concept of enjoying a game far more because I paid barely anything for it. If I'm going to play any Capcom developed 3rd person shooter of questionable quality, I'm going to play Resident Evil 6... as soon as it's on sale on steam or something. I also pre-ordered RE:Revelations for cheap, so maybe that will count too.

Really though, what I can thank this game for is that it directly led to the dissolution of the infamous Wii Defense Force. And that's like 4 stars right there.

#18 Posted by Demoskinos (15133 posts) -

I had my moments with this game. I fell off of it pretty quickly once my co-op buddy moved on to other things.

#19 Posted by Yummylee (22518 posts) -
@pie said:

Well, you convinced me to reinstall GTA4.

Great Success!

@pie said:

I really enjoyed Lost Planet 1 but never got 2 due to poor reviews and the fact that it was very co op focused, seeing that you enjoyed the single player I might pick this up now.

Great Success X2: Success Harder!

@wampa1 said:

@yummylee: Do you plan on checking out Lost Planet 1 then? It comes as part of a pre-order for Resident Evil: Revelations so I'll likely give it a try, the Demo had that same feel with the Mech's just this big heavy nothing can stop you feel that I can't help but appreciate.

Side Note, This makes me think a Sci-Fi Dragons Dogma could be really interesting.

I actually bought the original Lost Planet shortly after spending some time LP2. Gotta admit, I'm really surprised how much praise that game got when it happens to share an awful lot of LP2's idiosyncrasies. Of course. 4 years is a lot of time in between the two, so I guess expectations and standards changed a fair amount during that time.

Anywhoo, I like it, but not nearly as much as LP2. Ironically enough I think the original LP is a bit too slow; even for my tastes, not having any sort of sprint function is really off-putting just for starters. Plus, the way you aim your reticule is really dated and sluggish, and it almost looks like it was designed for a mouse more than a regular gamepad. The gameplay overall isn't just quite as refined as it is in LP2.

Still, I've enjoyed my time with it so far. Though it can get pretty difficult in spots, especially when you're forced to fight against enemy VSs with rocket launchers equipped. The amount of smoke that surrounds the explosion from a rocket in this game is extremely frustrating as it pretty much clouds your entire vision. I'm also not a fan of how when you're in a VS, it's the same button for picking up new weapons/ammo and getting out of the mech. It's lead to an annoying amount of me jumping out of the VS when I tried to collect some gatling gun ammo.

Some pretty fun boss battles, though, like the Green Eye akrid whatever that I just recently beat. Story's really stupid.

@ajayraz said:

i actually ended up playing this game in co-op with two other friends. while i was playing it, i was in between enjoying it and hating it. i ended up finishing it with a bad taste in my mouth, but in retrospect, there are a few things i liked about it. as you said, the feel of the shooting and the weight of everything is pretty cool.

that train cannon mission was probably the highlight of the entire game. it was tough, but it was a whole lot of fun to pull off in co-op. the entire time, i was wondering how anyone could do this in solo.

i saw you playing this game yesterday, and i was like what the hell is this guy doing. soon after, i realized i was playing Resident Evil 6. what the hell was i doing

(also, GTA IV's driving is the best)

Ha, I was just about to mention the same thing, oh kettle calling the pot black :P And yeah, the train boss battle looks like it could potentially be a truly standout cooperative-centric set-piece, it's just so unfortunate that it's completely unbalanced when going solo.

Also, have you played enough of RE6 to form any sort of judgment BTW?

@yummylee: It's no Resident Evil 6

You're right, it's still so much better!

#20 Edited by Yummylee (22518 posts) -
@connerthekewlkid said:

I hate that there going back to the "One man on his own" style for Lost Planet 3 instead of the giant episodic adventure thing they had going on with 2.

Also I never really found the game hard either but I don't remember whether I played the Train mission in co-op or not.

I don't mind that they've reverted back to how it was in the original with a more narrative-focussed design, but I am disappointed that it's only barely emulating how the previous games played. It all looks a lot more loose, and while it'll no doubt be a lot more accessible for most people, it's a shame that they couldn't have focussed on a LP3 to aspire to create what LP2 should have been.

@granderojo said:

Lost Planet 2 was such a bummer. It's not that I think Capcom was lazy. There were a lot of improvements over the last game, but the changes to the formula were an absolute farse. The game lost it's entire soul to me.

They were clearly aiming pretty high and there's still a lot of potential here. But yeah, even after the fixes, there's some incredibly asinine design decisions in here. I mean, this game has zero pause function -- not even when you're playing solo. Like, what?!

@rorie said:

Nice post! I liked Lost Planet well enough. I'll give this a whirl if I can get it for super cheap.

Well gosh... I see a lot of your PR experience has shone through lately j/k :P Really cool to see how involved you are with the community; of course, you look at all of the other guys post counts and it's clear they started that way, but then... Guess we'll see how long your enthusiasm lasts in the coming months haha

@arbitrarywater said:

I have no real intention of playing this game, but having finished Syndicate a while back I can understand the concept of enjoying a game far more because I paid barely anything for it. If I'm going to play any Capcom developed 3rd person shooter of questionable quality, I'm going to play Resident Evil 6... as soon as it's on sale on steam or something. I also pre-ordered RE:Revelations for cheap, so maybe that will count too.

Really though, what I can thank this game for is that it directly led to the dissolution of the infamous Wii Defense Force. And that's like 4 stars right there.

I was considering adding that to my little introduction up top, but I got a little gunshy since that sort of stuff is frowned upon by the mods in talking openly about it. But yeah, that was a joyous turning point for GB all the same ;P

Also, I don't think Revelations should count as far as shooters of questionable quality go! While I still haven't played it myself, but I've heard little besides the utmost praise. Of course, after both RE6 and Operation Raccoon City, it may be overcompensating a little... Been a fair while since we've had a solid RE game after all; perhaps Revelations is only as 'great' as it is because of how low the standards have reached. Really looking forward to finding out for myself in the next couple of weeks in any case.

@demoskinos said:

I had my moments with this game. I fell off of it pretty quickly once my co-op buddy moved on to other things.

That's a shame. If you have someone in mind to play with, I'd say it's totally worth it in giving this game another go sometime.

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