By Mento 4 Comments
03/05/12 - Game #3
The source: GB user spilledmilkfactory.
The pre-amble: Alientrap, the Indie team behind arena shooter Nexuiz, later tried their hand at this run-and-gun platformer with grapple physics. Your little spaceman dude wakes up in a lifepod that has landed on an alien planet teeming with aggressive lifeforms. In each stage you need to progress to the exit, collecting ammo and jetpack fuel to help you get past the environmental obstacles and hostile xenobiology.
The playthrough: Man... some hard truths today. First is that my PC is not perhaps the best rig out there, even for running these smaller Indie games which I figured would be peanuts bought with chump change at the convenience store on easy street. Second, this game isn't so great. I wanted to like it, largely because I received as a gift from one magnanimous GB duder's giveaway and I at least owe that guy something better than a half-hearted "feh" spread out two paragraphs, but I could only suffer so much of the jerky, woefully inaccurate shooting controls and equally hard-to-pin-down generic-looking enemies. What little Metroidvania-esque exploration there was wasn't exactly enthralling - and while that isn't to say an elaborate exploration element is either what this game intended or required, it would certainly be a lot preferable to the occasional secret wall with a 1-up behind it. I mean, what is this? James Pond 2: RoboCod?
Talking of retro, this game is clearly an homage to those run-and-guns of the 90s (which, I believe, was the last time I even heard the term applied to a new game, the more platformy Ratchet & Clanks be damned) and I was especially reminded of Turrican in particular - that other game featuring a mostly metallic protagonist shooting the bejeezus out of a great malevolence of alien entities across an uneven 2D landscape. Well, that and Metroid. Or I guess half of the Amiga's library now I've thought about it a little more. I'm not even sure if you can even use "malevolence" as a collective noun, but when you have half of Planet Zebes chasing after you there's not a lot of time to cogitate on semantics. So in conclusion, I don't like this game, but I appreciate that it's trying to bring back a very specific period of gaming history, like so many other heartfelt Indie projects championing their respective bygone eras. Personally, I'm content to leave these games in the 90s where they belong, alongside my pogs and my predilection for calling things "radical".
The verdict: I think I'm done.