Monday, September 13, 2010

Today on CD Lifestuff, we get CD GAMING! :D

Well, I promised a couple of reviews recently so here we go.

Let's start with Two Worlds.

Two Worlds is an open world, action RPG that is heralded as one of the worst games ever released for Xbox 360. Well. Let me tell ya, while it is no gem, it is certainly worth the few schillings it is going for these days.

The graphics from a distance look good, a sort of "drunk pretty" appeal with great environments after all the pop in grass and plants and trees come in. The faces and overall character models are like the environments. They look good from a distance, as up close they look rubbery, and truthfully, last generation. The musical score is great, but the sound effects are weak and a little overdone.

The story is interesting enough. You are part of a family who hid an ancient evil artifact in pieces all over the world. Some evil sorts with hockeymask like faces kidnap your sister and make you go fetch all of the pieces so they can bring some evil god like thing back to the world. They don't do it themselves because only your bloodline can handle the pieces of the artifact. That and because there needs to be SOME REASON why you are running around this big open world, so it services that need nicely.

The game will draw many comparisons to Oblivion and Divinity 2.For some reason, Oblivion is heralded as the be all end all to Open world fantasy RPG's. Personally, I think this is quite unfair. Oblivion suffers from many of the issues, plus a whole bunch more critical flaws, that this title has to deal with. Bad clipping, mucky combat, and some wonky graphical issues in general. All open world games like this, save for Fallout 3 I find, have many technical issues and I wonder if it's just something we'll all have to deal with until the next generation of more powerful gaming machines comes along. In two worlds, there is some graphical stuttering and framerate drops, lots of pop in, and some strange draw in distances for various things. Truth be told, once you get past the initial shock of "ick" you'll feel from this, it's really not that bad and quite livable. The world, when experienced, is quite vibrant and interesting, filled with all sorts of interesting badguys and wildlife. The demons look demonie and the animals look sufficiently furry, and they all can die at the tip of your blade or arrow. The armor you and other denizens wear looks fantastic and suitably worthwhile to find.

One of the absolutely great ideas in this game is the ability to combine like objects to create a more powerful object. For instance, got two sets of hauback armor and no space left in your inventory? Combine them for a more powerful set of armor and pick up that alchemy object. You can do this RIGHT FROM THE START OF THE GAME, which is awesome. There are plenty of skills and jobs within the game which you can do pretty much right off of the bat without having to trudge through 15 levels of experience like most other games. You can build bombs, apply weapon and armor augmentations, and brew strange potions right from the getgo and they are all worthwhile doing.

The horseriding can be a bit of a chore, as the instruction for doing so is weak and the controls are difficult. To go forward, don't put forward and continue to hold forward as you would in any other game, just tap forward once and the horse takes it from there. Luckily, the game developers had some foresight and placed magical teleporters all over the world. With these, much of the open world running around is skipped and you don't really need to ride a horse save for getting the 5 point achievement.

Overall, the game is worth a look for adventure fans. There are some frustrating moments, but to be honest with you, many other games in this style have the same issues and they are lauded as revolutionary and must plays. While this certainly isn't revolutionary, it's still a decent game and should be checked out. With it typically retailing for $10 or less, it almost makes it a must buy.

7.5 out of 10


I was really disappointed with Spider-man: Shattered Dimensions. It came out Tuesday past and I really feel gipped by it. While many reviewers were excited for it because they were trying to make a far better attempt at a Spider-man title than in years past, when I picked it up and started to play it a little, it felt like more of the same. There are 4 different worlds, Amazing (standard Spidey), Noir (stealth world war spidey), 2099 (future spidey) and Ultimate (kid spidey with the venom suit). Amazing and Ultimate really feel like playing the truely DREADFUL Spider-man: Friend or Foe, especially Amazing. The graphics are different for each world, Amazing being cel shaded, Ultimate being similar, Noir looked great and monotone, and 2099 being very slick and shiny.

I'm about halfway through, and so far outside of the Noir world, it's the same beat-em-up you would expect a linear Spider-man title to be. Noir is all about takedowns, similar to the stalker mode of Batman, Arkham Asylum. I loved that stuff. Everything else is just blah. It could be any character, any game, similar in feel to that of Streets of Rage from the old Sega Genesis days. I would recommend renting it before anything else. Don't buy it unless you are a Spidey enthusiast. I'll give a full review when I'm finished it.

That's it for today!


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