By Video_Game_King 8 Comments
The Disney Collection(OK, this is where things get weird.) Because The Disney Collection is actually a repackaging of Castle of Illusion and QuackShot into one cartridge, I have to write two reviews. I've made it somewhat easy below, but I thought I'd give you the warning in advance.
Castle of Illusion(You know, I've learned something about Mickey Mouse.) What I have learned is that Mickey Mouse is a complete douche. Yes, I was surprised, too. He spent his early days either getting piss drunk or being racist, and many of his video games follow the same plot: Mickey, bored out of his tiny little mind, decides to find Pete and beat the piss out of him. Oh, sure, in the end, Pete may have done something that could possibly warrant assault and battery, but I'm not fooled. Mickey was doing it for the thrill one gets from flogging a cat thing.
However, what makes Castle of Illusion unique is that this is one of the few Mickey games to not revolve around punching Pete in the face repeatedly. Instead, Minnie has been captured by a witch with the intent of recreating Runaway Brain. Mickey, rather than getting another girlfriend, does what all video game characters do: tries to rescue his only love interest from certain doom. But in order to rescue Minnie, he needs to collect the Chaos Emeralds and form a rainbow bridge to the tower where she's being held. I am not making this up.
The Chaos Emeralds are scattered through various rooms of the castle, and he has to search all of them for the Emeralds. Once in the levels, you'll find that the gameplay is standard platformer fare. You jump about the levels, killing enemies, collecting objects, the normal stuff. The reason Castle of Illusion doesn't do many original things is simple: the game is fun. I know, the word is used as a crutch in many reviews, but that's really the only thing that comes to mind when describing this game. I can picture myself as a little kid enjoying the hell out of this game, and that's not something that happens often.
Why do I think it's fun? Well, aside from the semi-memorable levels, there's the attacks. You have your standard shot that requires ammo, but that's not what I'm interested in. I, ladies and gentlemen, am an ass man, and so is Mickey. If you hold down while you jump, Mickey will present his iron ass to the earth below, destroying anything that dares cross paths with the Mickey Mouse ass. If you don't see anything awesome about this, go to K-Mart and buy a soul. They're not that expensive. And while you're in there, buy this game. It's pretty good, if a bit short and simplistic.
QuackShot(Hey, remember my last blog?) Remember how I reviewed DuckTales 2? Well, it turns out that QuackShot has the exact same plot. That sort of fucks things up for me, since I usually ease you guys into the blog by regaling the tale that the game regaled to me. I can't do that here, since I pretty much did it with DuckTales 2. The only difference I could find between that plot and the story of QuackShot is that the latter is a parody of Indiana Jones for some reason (my guess is massive irony).
Outside the plot, though, QuackShot and DuckTales 2 share very little. OK, fine, they're both duck-based platformers where you choose your levels, but that's really about it. As I have just mentioned, one of the major features of this game is the level selection, which is a bit perplexing, given how crap it is. The choice is an illusion, as there's a pre-established order you have to play the levels in; all you do is select where to begin the trial and error. This is how it works: you pick a level, get halfway through, discover that you need a certain item to proceed (the game will tell you this bluntly), go pick another level, and repeat the process until you make some sort of progress. What the hell's the point of all that? To give the illusion of choice? Or just to fool me into thinking the game is longer than it actually is?
It can't be to cover up for a lack of ideas, since this game has quite a few of them. In fact, it's the antithesis to Castle of Illusion: rather than being an OK game that takes very few risks, QuackShot is a game that tries several new things but fails on most of them. For example, you have three weapons at your disposal, each one with their own use and feel (from another game). There's the corn gun (ripped from Gunstar Heroes), which is by far the best weapon, but sucks up ammo faster than a Magneto/Deepthroat combination. There's also the gum bomb thing, which is OK, but finicky to use. Yet by far, the weapon you will use the most is the plunger, which coincidentally the worst weapon you have.
Combine them all into one, and you have...well, a game that's better than I'm willing to admit. Yea, the weapons kinda suck and the level system is screwed up, but I can imagine somebody having fun with this. It's hard for me to imagine me having fun with it, granted, but I'm sure one of you reading this will probably like it. Me, I just can't get past the aforementioned problems, along with other minor problems like piss easy bosses and invini-CRAP, I forgot to mention the Temper feature. You know how in most games, all you need to do to become invincible is collect a star or orb or whatever? Not in QuackShot; here, you have to piss off Donald to the point that he brutally slaughters anything in sight. How do you achieve this? Build damage over time (like a Limit Break) would be the obvious answer, but the right answer is eating peppers. Can somebody explain that to me? How did Sega miss such an obvious gameplay aspect? Why can't Donald just get the crap beaten out of him. And to top it off, they only appear in one or two levels in the entire game! WHY!?
Review Synopsis(I'm not doing bullets for two reviews, OK?) Moving on, as I said earlier, The Disney Collection is nothing more than a 2-for-1 deal. Ultimately, the quality of this game hinges on that of the two that make it up. As I have proved, both the games are decent, meaning...well, you should know. And now, as I do for all reviews, I shall end the review by giving this game the Ass Award. Why? One character kills with their ass, the other can moon enemies. Enjoy it, Disney Collection. You deserve it.
I'm going to assume that most of you don't watch TV. In that case, here's a crap commercial I found on several channels. Wait, did I say crap? I meant crapé.
Gears of War 2(I can already hear the alarms in your heads blaring so loud that I can hear them.) In fact, I'm quite sure a lot of you have already typed up your response to this blog, memories of Halo 3 still fresh in your minds. Well, I have a few things to say. One: let it go. Second: let me reacquaint you with my reviewing process, this time with one little step added. That step may seem weird, but trust me, it's there for a reason. Third: I actually liked the game, it just took me a while to decipher how I liked it.
Now then, let me piss you guys off by starting with this statement: I played the game on Normal. No, wait, that's for later. I meant to say "I have not played the original Gears." I've seen it in action from firsthand experience, but that's about as close as I can get. However, none of that matters, as the enitre beginning of the game is meant to welcome neophytes to the series. There's an optional tutorial framed into the story (a bit dickishly, if you give it some thought), and the first cutscene explains what happened in the last game: they thought they killed the Locust, but didn't. Now they have to do it again (even though they didn't AGAIN). Why? Well, that's where Gears 2 somewhat falters. The Locust really don't get any development throughout the story, and I was never told why I need to kill them. All I found out was that they were having a civil war, but again, no explanation. Hell, I would've easily accepted "the glowing ones were keeping the non-glowing ones up at night."
The protagonists also have this problem, but not as severely. I could make a joke about how they're all ultra-manly to the point where Duke Nukem wears a skirt and curtsies in their presence, but egoraptor beat me to it. I could also go on about how Dominic mentions his wife too often, but by now, we all get it. However, I'll delve further into it by saying that I found the moment where he finds his wife to be fucking hilarious. For those who haven't played the game, let me explain: after many long fought battles, Dominic finally reunites with his only love in what seems like a luvy-duvy moment that makes me hate so many romance stories. And then finds out she's a walking corpse on the verge of death. I can imagine this being a sad moment (Fire Emblem 4 did the same thing, albeit knocked up a few notches), but I just found it to be incredibly funny. Does that make me a bad person?
Then again, most of you have already judged me to be a bad person based on past actions/opinions (the latter I stand by). Yes, I'm bringing that game back into the spotlight, but trust me, it makes for a good transition. One of the problems I had with it was the inventory limit. You guys say it was for balance, but seriously, just stop. Everybody always goes for the energy sword and the bulky laser pointer of death. In Gears 2, however, the inventory limit actually kinda feels balanced. Rather than just getting a limit of 2 weapons, you get a limit of 3 types of weapons (grenades not included), each with their own use. There's the small handgun for when you use enemies as a shield, the powerful weapon for when I feel like sniping (all the time), and the medium-power-shotgun category for every other time. As I've just said, it works really to make to you think about what the hell you're carrying.
Another thing that works better? Cover system. There's a very good reason I like it, but I'll address that near the end. All you need to know for now is that it doesn't get in the way of me feeling like a badass. I can still go up and shoot my enemies shitless and not feel patronized when I need to hide behind a nearby chest high wall. Hell, I actually liked it when I peaked out from behind cover, saw an enemy do the same, and blew their brains out with a sniper rifle. (Oh, and one thing I've learned from this and COD4: I love sniping.)
But of course, there are some flaws with this game. What, you thought I'd just declare it the best thing ever made since BioShock? Hell no, of course there are going to be a few errors with it. This isn't Conker's Bad Fur Day or anything! The first flaw that comes to mind is that it rips off a few games. About halfway through the game, you encounter a mansion with this very System Shock-esque feel to it (quite weird, since I've never even played the game but can still identify rip-offs of it), and a few hours later, you're riding a Reaver in a Panzer Dragoon-esque scenario. I actually loved this portion of the game in the same way I loved Panzer Dragoon.
Just replace all the artistic charm and brilliance of Panzer Dragoon with the muddy, greyed up graphics of Gears 2. Don't get me wrong, the graphics are excellent from a technical perspective (everything is high detail, shooting your environment has noticeable effects on it), but from an artistic standpoint, they quickly experience a sharp dip in quality. As I just mentioned, copious amounts of grey and brown. Essentially, Gears of War 2 looks like just about any other shooter you'll find on the market: manly space marines beating up squishy aliens in the drabbest of environments. However, as I've pointed out time and time again, a game doesn't have to be original to be good (see Banjo Kazooie, Star Ocean 2, the Genesis version of Aladdin, etc.), and Gears 2 is one of those games that manages to prove that. Hell, it doesn't even need to be original to win the Best Cowboy Game So Far Award. What, you're confused?
Let me explain: throughout the game, I kept getting the impression that the experience would be better with a cowboy theme slapped on it. Can you imagine how awesome that would be? Hiding behind tables you kicked down, wildly firing your Colt Revolver at drunk men with funny mustaches, riding your horse into the distance as I described the Panzer Dragoon thing. It wouldn't even be a hard conversion, since most of the characters already fit perfectly into it. Hell, there was a character early on who could only be classified as an "old coot." Why hasn't this happened yet!?........Well, that's about all I have to say on the review. Might as...something feels weird. *checks list of beaten games* OH MY GOD!!! GEARS OF WAR 2 IS THE DEVIL!!!! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!!!!! *tears off clothes, runs around screaming*
- Cover system is fun, does not get in the way of being awesome.
- Graphics are technically good, but artistically lacking.
- Characters thinner than the disc they were written to.