By Video_Game_King 24 Comments
Star Wars: Battlefront( Wait, I think I'm noticing a pattern that has nothing to do with semi-recent non-obscure games.) Look at the games I've blogged about lately: Bad Company 2, Wolfenstein, Chessmaster Challenge; these are all multiplayer-focused shooters! And here I am, only playing the single-player modes, pissing off those who bother reading this in the process. Well, to make up for that, how about I tell you about how awesome Battlefront is? That oughta work.
Oh, wait. It's a Star Wars game. That's gonna cause some problems. How, exactly? Well, first off, this game is meant to cover both the prequels and the Special Edition (I'm not taking any risks in Star Wars territory), but it came out in 2004. Granted, the game's focusing more on the wars than the Skywalker family (I'm fairly certain that being able to kill Luke isn't canon), but I'm fairly certain that some important things went down in Revenge of the Sith. I'm also sure that some important stuff happened in the other two movies, but it's kinda hard to glean that from the game. The only story you get comes in three flavors: the intro crawl (which oddly decides to swallow its own tongue in the Special Edition), your commander relaying some info to you (although oddly abstaining from some important stuff, like what the crap a Techno Union Ship is), and clips from the actual movies. That last one's gotta be pretty cool, right? Sadly, no. It's abridged to hell and back, and it doesn't really give you a good feel for what the movies are about. Hell, if these clips are to be believed, the prequels are mostly Yoda saying "the Clone Wars have begun" before holding a parade. The Special Edition doesn't fare much better; those three movies were kind of about Luke becoming a Jedi and discovering his family and identity and blah blah blah, so removing all of that leaves you with Ewoks battling Storm Troopers under the command of General Bugs Bunny. *exasperated sigh* Why did they seem to get the worst of the Star Wars movies when they chose the clips?
So what exactly do I like about this game? A little something called "everything else". First, the first level consists entirely of murdering Jar Jar Binks repeatedly until the game decides you win. (I know what you're probably going to say, but which of those would you really want: a world where Jar Jar understands the Hindu concept of reincarnation, or one where he is but one of many of his kind?) Second, despite all the mean things I said in the last paragraph, Battlefront does a great job of making you feel like you're in the war. (As I said earlier, the problem's figuring out just what the fuck that war's about.) Here's how it works: you choose a place to spawn on the map and then pick a class to play as (sorry, but no Vadering it up in this game), all in the span of about a second. Hey, look at that: a really strong point. There are tons of classes to pick from, all with their own unique way of putting a laser between a dude's eyes (or funny binocular helmet). That also applies to the vehicles, but half of them suck, so don't expect me to say anything about them. Instead, it's all classes, and they're all pretty awesome. Granted, I almost always chose the regular straight shooter, but that's because I was playing this alone (remember the second line at the start?). (Also, part of it was that one of the classes controls like shit.) If I was playing this with friends, I can imagine everybody taking specific roles and forming strategies to overtake the enemy. You know, like you're in a war or something.
Oh, and speaking of strategy, the difficulty is all over the goddamn place. It seems that victory depends A LOT on simply knowing the maps and which spawn points to spawn to at the right time, but oddly enough, only exactly half the maps are really hard. Those are the maps where nothing happens and then you suddenly start losing for some reason. And since you can't entirely control how fast the enemy wipes out your allies, you can't do a lot about getting your ass kicked. But then there are those other maps, where you apparently gain immunity to explosions. (Speaking of, you gotta love how grenades send your corpse straight into another sci-fi universe.) The ones where enemies drop like flies and you can spend the last five minutes doing jack shit. All I can say about it is that it's really weird and unsettling for the difficulty to bounce around like it does. Of course, up to this point, I've only been talking about the historical campaigns, so maybe the Galactic Conquest mode is better about its difficulty? Hell no! You just hop from planet to planet and absolutely decimate the opposition until the game resigns itself to the corner to sob into its elbow. This gets especially odd when you're playing as the Rebel Alliance. You know, the guys who were supposed to be the underdogs in the fight against the Big Bad Empire? Speaking of the Empire, I decided to play as them in another scenario, and discovered all those modes are exactly the same, just with different factions, so don't expect too much of a leap in difficulty. I should also mention that because these are all exactly the same, they're all Star Wars: Battlefront. Given what I've said in all these many, many words, that's definitely not a bad thing.
- Should I watch the movies to get the story, or was this a good idea?
- No, this was a good idea. After all, where else can I get great class-based shooting? Oh, right...
- Of course, you should probably play the multiplayer mode, since single-player can't decide on what difficulty it wants to be.
Speaking of class-based shooters...
Mega Man Zero 3 ( Apparently, I wasn't kidding with the title.) I really am reviewing games from seven years ago, aren't I? I'm known for two things, and "reviewing games from seven years ago" isn't really it. (Those two things, by the way, are "talking about modern games, like everybody else" and "covering obscure Japanese games from 30 years ago that even I haven't heard of, somehow".) Wait, why am I lamenting this? Mega Man Zero 3's a cool game. Granted, it's pretty much the same as the other Zero games, but they were awesome, too, so it gets a pass.
Speaking of the other Zero games. There's a reason why I ended that with a period instead of a comma: that's how the game begins. It's like it knows that even though I pay attention to the story in all the games, I still have no idea what's going on. Like I said, MMZ3 isn't any different. I think it's been 100 years since the last game, and somehow, they still have yet to solve the energy crisis. I guess Capcom wanted some realism in their future robot game. And it looks like they're not gonna solve it any time soon, because the energy crisis has little to do with the game. Instead, it's about stopping Omega and Dr. Weil (no Y, because that's a tad predictable) from being evil and stuff. Sounds simple, right? Well, it isn't. Remember what I said earlier? You know, about not being able to understand the story? That still applies. There's something about previous villains and humans and a fake Zero and Puppet Leader X (as in " he's literally a puppet") some other crap, but it's kinda hard to see how it all fits together. Wait, what? How's that possible? Like all the other Zero games (try to keep count of how many times I say something like that), this game puts a lot of work into its story. I know that previous games did it, but I still like the effort they put into all the cutscenes (like the fact that there are cutscenes (remember: this is on the GBA, and it's a platformer)), even if the end result is kinda... crap.
But you know what's not crap? Just about everything else in the game!...Perhaps I need to be more specific. But where to start? The elves seem the proper place, since I don't have a lot to say about them, allowing me to transition into something that actually fucking matters, for once. Anyway, the elves: they serve as upgrades that you have to equip yourself. Why, exactly? Because actually using the elves leads to lower grades in levels. Can't have you exploring a decent, well fleshed out system, now can we? I just remembered that I'm supposed to like this game. I guess that means "levels." Like every other Zero game before it (all both of them), there's more to the levels than just jumping and stuff: missions. Of course, those are very easy to ignore and I'm not sure that they do a helluva lot, so it's just jumping. Not that that's bad or anything; if anything, it's the best part of the game. I wish I could describe it beyond "very solid platforming", but as I'm sure I've made abundantly clear, I'm not very good with words. The game's just pretty good with platforms and spikes and variety and the proper arrangement of such. Throw in a cool weapon system (it's like the previous games, but with a pogo stick. So it's better than ever.), and I almost regret all the nasty(ish) things I'm gonna say in the next paragraph.
No, it doesn't involve the weird Cyber Plane mechanic (so I get to play the level the same way, but everything's more green?), but how much easier it is than the last two games. Oh, sure it starts off hard enough; your health starts in the negatives, and the bosses manage to eat up so much space on the screen that the game isn't even playable on the GBA Micro. Oh, and throw in the fact that enemies regenerate when you're not looking, and things seem normal enough for a Zero game. But give it time. Wait until you have a few elves, and you're capable of adding elements to your attacks. That's when things get easy. I'd say how easy, but I'll leave it at "I played most of the game with the sword (the one that requires you to be a foot away from your enemies to kill them)". Not that I'm complaining about that or anything; what's not to love about slashing dudes with swords, especially when you're doing it in a game where you're not supposed to slash people with swords? What's that? "Previous games did it"? So what?
- Something about arcades and an energy crisis and this asshole called Lloyd. I can't figure it out; can you?
- It's pretty much the previous two Zero games, only just as awesome.
- How's it not like the previous Zero games? Well, it's easier, and....uh....yea, that's pretty much it.