Monday, 22 April 2013

Review by Geo: "Virtual Hydlide" (Saturn, 1995)

Cumbersome Rotters.

Killer trees, deadly dragons and bloodthirsty zombies are rife in this magical slash and hack adventure. To the haunting strains of the atmospheric soundtrack, explore the super-realistic 3D fantasy world, warping to different dimensions, collecting powerful weapons and mysterious objects and tackling weird and wonderful foes. The amazing landscape generator creates a completely new adventure every time you play, providing a whole new dimension in rpg gaming.

 "Quick, there's Noel, STAB HIM...oh, it's a tree..."

Thats what it promised me when I was standing in the PDSA with a fresh two pound coin, with 'Virtual Hydlide' and 'Radiant Silvergun'. So I chose Vitual Hydlide naturally because of the zombies and the deadly dragons.
You play yourself on this almighty quest to do something which is probably good like rescue the princess, beat Dr Robotnik, destroy Hal, save the universe, discover the cure for aids, turn this fucking shit off etc etc etc . (It's actually rescue the princess by the way).

 The general idea of this game is good, but the result is about as fun as eating a cut off bit of cancer with broken glass and Jason Crouch for a starter. Thankfully it's not as bad as looking at Noel James' shitty little monkey face. ( You stole my scooter monkeylad).

 What the fuck?!?

Graphics are rubbish as (insert swear). Do you remember when we first had PC's back in the 'Nam, there was a screen saver which put you through this amazing 3-D maze...well its nothing like that. It's more like its aborted 3d sister '3-D fucking shit maze-etta'. Its lifelike main character looks like an Ewok with growth problems who has robotic legs and long arms. Textures have had no love put into them and the sound has been constructed of noises soley made from crisp packets.

 "Geo panics as he realises he's stepped into Hydlide's gay tavern - The Pink Knight."

Gameplay is as good as a shitting dog.

The only redeeming feature this has is that it generates a new world for you to play in every time you start a new game. Wow.
And what the fuck are those green blob things!!!!!!!!!!!
Dont bother offending your eyes, leave locked in a box with 'Clayfighter 63 1/3'.


Review by plume: "Fatal Frame/Project Zero" (PS2, 2001)

I fucking HATE this game.

Not because it's shit you understand, because it's not shit. It's actually really good, minor faults withstanding.
I fucking hate it because it almost gave me a heart attack one night and an irrational fear of cameras, which I have since overcome.
Hang on, that's just a blatant lie. On with the review eh?

First of all "Project Zero" kind of sounds like an early Jackie Chan movie when they were good (especially "Wheels on Meals"), and I'm kind of torn as to whether this name change was a good move or not.

Right, I love wasting stuff in games, especially zombies.

There's no zombies, but you do play a Japanese schoolgirl, so that's ok then.
You get to skulk around a huge fuck-off mansion equipped with a camera and a short skirt, expected to vaquish ghosts by taking photos of them. Yeah right. I'm telling you if I came across any of these in Real Life(tm) I'd be sitting in a corner talking in tongues and wallowing in my own faeces.
When I was living in Ireland in a big fuck-off house (not a mansion, mind), I opened up a fuse box at the top of the stairs one night, and a fucking moth flew out. I almost had a faecal implosion then. A fucking moth.

I must mention that the graphics are particularly fabulous throughout, a lovely shadow technique is employed, making the shadows dance by torchlight, having the delightful and pant-soiling effect of "something in every corner". Although a game full of just "Corners" and "Things" would be as shit as chocolate coal, Probably.

It's ok, he's great with children...and a salad. Sorry.

The textures are generally high quality, with very few turning to an unidentifiable mess when up close, which can only be good news as far as ghost snapping is concerned. I mean I dont want to be wasting precious film trying to dispatch of a "freeform full-torso floating apparition" (Ghostbusters, P.S - I'm a twat), only to find out I've been trying to kill a fucking kettle. Or a cabinet.

As I'm sure you horror aficionados are aware, good use of sound is one of the the most important aspects of a horror flick.
1. Imagine no sound at all. There is nothing scary about a silent horror movie.
2. Imagine a horror movie with Dido as the soundtrack. The wrong use of sound can lead to death and mass suicide.

The sound which is present is pretty sparse, but does a very good job delivering stabbing orchestral jabs and haunting chorus. The undead will occasionally mutter a just audible "Help me" or "You've got some Babybel on your cheek, do you want a tissue to wipe it off with?" or "DIE SHITHOUSE", along with general moaning. Because that's all ghosts do is bloody moan.

Although most praise for this game is duly deserved, there nevertheless exists some flaws which, to be quite honest were quite annoying a few years ago, and amazingly still exist today in titles such as Resident Evil 4. (But due to to mitigating circumstances like...ummmm, oh yeah, IT'S FUCKING AMAZING and AUTOSAVE, we let it off).
For one, WWHHHHHHYYYYYYYY do I have to collect things in order to save my game? When you have reached so far in a game and want to explore a bit, you are effectivley being punished for straying too far and being too inquisitive. It really shouldn't do that.

This is "Kirby's Fucking Wonderworld". Happy now Geo?

The inventory system.

You cannot tell me that there is no simpler way of doing this other than pausing the game, selecting and equipping an object, unpausing the game and into the foray once more, forgetting that you needed the knife to slash the bears face in, and not the shitting "GREEN HERB".

Perfect dark had a sometimes bewildering array of items and weapons in the inventory at once, even cycling with a shoulder button was tedious. It got around this problem by having the player hold down the weapon select button and a circle of weapons and objects would appear as an overlay on the action (still visible). as long as the button was held down the stick could be used to select an icon (easily distinguishable in a firefight), and the moment the button was are back where you belong: Not the Real World(tm). You can breathe again.

Now I fully understand that this method is not suitable for every genre of game, but truly believe that it may be a huge help to the survival horror / third person category of game. Even RE4 suffers from the inventory problem when you need to select a few weapons / items in a short space of time, and I've not even played it that much. 


Now I've been going on for too long and I'm tired. And hungry. And tired. And hungry. And tired. And hungry. And hungry. And tired. And tired. And hungry.

Maybe if this game were to come with a real ghost in the box, some trousers which have been shitted already (to save you the trouble), and maybe a japanese girl, then it would be a truly momentous game indeed. Not to mention highly illegal. As it stands, it is merely a great game and, thankfully, entirly legal.
Apart from the special edition apparently...Actually no, I'm lying again. 

 "...I think I've leaked..."