Tuesday, September 23, 2008

BC Rearmed and Vampire Rain:AS reviews

Bionic Commando Rearmed (Xbox 360) review

There is a copy of the review for the PS3 version on Gamers' Temple as well since the review compares them. They were scored the same since they both have their ups and down and come out about equal in my eyes.

I still play BCR all the time no matter how many times I grind my teeth at the difficulty. The overall polished gameplay keeps me coming back to it so very often no matter how much trial and error I go through. I really hope that the same level of commitment that went into this game is displayed in Bionic Commando for the next-gen systems. I'm really looking forward to that future title.

Has anyone finished all the challenge rooms? Mentally, I can only take about 2-4 per night with how difficult they get as I advance. I've finished up to around 25 so far last time I tried them. As indigo said in my last BCR post, they're quite addicting. Even though I am now up to the point where simply completing them is a major task, the thought to go back and try for a five-star ranking still lingers after each completion.

Vampire Rain: Altered Species review

Now this game surprised me. Based on all the reviews I had read, I was expecting one craptacular experience here, but I was pleasantly surprised to find an alright stealth game hidden within. The main flaw that I found to the game is the absurd violent reaction of the enemies. Once they spot your character, if you can't defeat them before they reach you then the game is over. Period. Nearly no redemption.

The game was overall mediocre, but I still think its worth a try if you're curious. The first few stages seemed the worst to me. Once I actually got some better weapons that helped me to actually defeat enemies the game got a bit better.


Brian said...

I actually haven't touched BCR in a while, and still haven't done any challenge rooms :/ However, I like the pick-up-ness of all the Arcade games, so I don't feel guilty not playing for a while, 'cause I know I'll get a hankering eventually :P

I'm surprised by your review of Vampire Rain. I was interested in it because of the music and character design, but knew from the beginning that it would be a hard sell... I do find it ironic that you found the frustration/repetition at the beginning though. It's usually the other way around for most games :P

BTW Megaman 9 is out... I'm waiting to get it for the 360 though so I haven't picked it up yet. Are you planning on getting it?

Brian said...

By the way... you'll love to find some new RE5 news on Famitsu... I'll just tease it by saying it made me smile :)

Berserker said...

Oh, wow! I wasn't expecting them to show him this early. Must be pics from the TGS trailer that they are preparing.

As for MM9, yeah, I'll be waiting for the 360 version as well. It should be released in just a few more hours for PS3. The achievement whore deep down wants it to appear on my gamer profile though, haha.

Back of MM9 box :D

Berserker said...

Ah, I didn't even thank you for the link. Shows how out of my head I am at the moment. I've had a cold since Tuesday and spent most of yesterday and good chunk of today in bed. But anyway, thanks for the link, buddy.

I'm downloading the demo for MM9 on PSN right now. :D

Berserker said...

Besides graphics, the game is definitely retro in difficulty - I couldn't even beat the demo stage on my first attempt. Once again, it is a learning experience just like the older Mega Man titles, where you have to become familiar with a stage in order to beat it judging from the demo stage.

Some enemies actually dissappear if you walk away from them and walk back after the screen scrolls. xD Even though it has an 8-bit presentation, it doesn't appear to have any slowdown like the older MM titles.

Brian said...

Well, they probably took that out for the demo. It's a feature you can turn on or off in the full version. And don't worry 'bout thanks and stuff man, it's all implied and good. Hope you get well soon :)

I notice you've Infinite Undiscovery on, haha. I want to try it out but I just can't wrap my head around the graphics and the story. Not stylized enough for me, and the girl reminds me too much of Tifa at maybe 14 years of age. >_> How's it faring for you?

Berserker said...

Infinite Undiscovery is actually really good so far. I was expecting a boring rpg in terms of story tell you the truth based on the average to mediocre reviews that I have read, but it seems to get better as it progresses. Most of the characters seem interesting so far. Capell kind of gets annoying sometimes. The only thing that screws the characters for the most part is the questionable voice acting. Sometimes the voices sound whiney all of a sudden and make me want to mute my surround sound. The voice acting does not match up with the lip movement at all sometimes either, it's like they didn't even try if you happen to watch the lip movement.

It's got quite a cast of characters so far. I think it has 17 total. I wish you could actually set one of the other characters as the party leader - I thing you might be able to later in the game though since I notice the option for multiple parties which is off limits to me at the moment. I want to try out Balbagan - the berserker. :D

The combat system seems simple at the moment. I'm hoping that the main characters can get more skills later on. It has normal combos and combos that knock the character to the air or ground. Attacking the enemy on the air or ground will yield different stat increases once the enemy is defeated, such as bonus HP or AP respectively instead of the usual bonus EXP.

The graphics are only average really. They could look better for a 360 game. I'll have a full review of it up later. :)

Berserker said...


*sigh* Blogger really needs an edit button for comments...

Brian said...

Hopefully they let you play other people, or at least change Capell up a bit. :/

Anyway I just spent about an hour on Dead Rising again. It's really hard! I keep wandering and then get my ass kicked by running into an early psychopath fight, totally unprepared -_-; And because of my lack of foresight, I don't save enough and end up having to redo an entire hour. Must save more...

Berserker said...

Yeah, many of the psychopaths are hard if you don't know how to fight them, or arrive at the battle with a weak weapon. There are a certain trio of psychopaths that are absolutely insane if you aren't prepared for them - sometimes even if you are.

Go pick up some Mannequin Torsos from the Paradise Plaza warehouse or the glass display near the north end of Wonderland Plaza. The Mannequin Torso is one of the best normal weapons that you can get - Sledgehammer and Battle Axe are good also. Do the "Out of Control" scoop and you won't have any problems with a good weapon. That one yields the most broken weapon in the game, haha.

Just a little warning to you, Case 2 has some hefty time constraints and is easy to fail. Beware on your first time through.

Brian said...

Hm... I'll look for that torso next time. I'm also kinda miffed at how poorly I handle swinging weapons. I always start the heavier ones too late and end up getting grabbed, or run up closer than I have to before attacking. I feel like I'm doing something wrong when I'm clearing out a path among 50 zombies at a time.

Berserker said...

Haha. You won't be calling it "that" torso once you see it's effectiveness later on. By the time you get to level 50 it will kill any zombie with one swing. It should already take a good bit of health from bosses. Besides the novelty factor, it's an incredibly useful weapon. It's only major flaw is that it can usually only hit one zombie at a time.

The only difference between the actual mannequins is one of their arms. One of the arms is slanted and can be tossed like a boomerang. Every other body part is the same. :D

Give the Acoustic Guitar a try also. It's inside Tunemakers in Paradise Plaza.

Berserker said...

I meant to put *male and female* mannequins when I mentioned the difference. Again with the edit button... The female has a curved arm. All other body parts can be used the same. It's hilarious to backhand or slap zombies with mannequin arms. :D

Brian said...

Haha, will do :P

Now after a bad night I'm probably going to hold of until the weekend (and daytime) to play Silent Hill. I couldn't sleep last night because I kept having visions from the movie and my mind kept wandering... For some reason I don't get restless as much when I'm watching a movie than when I see it in my mind's eye, with my eyes closed. I will now begin to sound like an extra crazy person:

It eventually got so bad that around 3 AM I realized that I was recreating an entire alternate ending to the film, where I guess it's closer to the game. The husband shows up before Rose gets possessed, and of course the evil little girl gets angry. Prompt her summoning the Janitor, except now he's got a Licker-level tongue to complement then nasty veins he spews everywhere. Of course this tongue latches onto Rose, but as she struggles her hubby manages to get a fire ax and cut it off. The Janitor slinks away. Cue explosiony stuff as the couple runs for the elevator. Screen fades to black.

Now, this thing actually happened not as I was sleeping and dreaming it, but it was like every time I closed my eyes my imagination would wander and I'd start to conjure up the continuation of the scene. This, and constant flashbacks to some of the nasties in the movie inevitably made me get only 2 hours of sleep, if you could call it that -__-;; Even better, I wake up to find that the day is muddled and *sparsely* cloudy, enough so that the outside just looks gray. CREEPY! And then I see my first lightning bolt in the distance for the first time in years.

Now, considering that I handle games much worse than I handle movies, I don't wanna compromise my work or studies with random sleepless nights. I nearly fell asleep on the road because of my lack of sleep, and the last time that happened I got into an accident, so... >_>

Brian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian said...

...Damn that's long enough to be a blog post. I think I will make it a post :)

"edit": blog version, with more insane details!


Berserker said...

Wow, even my Cid Highwind custom didn't remove the SH images from your head? :p

I didn't show you all my new cutstom characters last night. I got bored a few days last week and spent that time creating custom characters. :p

Brian said...

Haha, like I said my mind is easily swayed ^_^;; Sorry but I'm not enough of an FF fan to really appreciate Cid like he's supposed to. I understand where you're poking fun with Cid, the manly man, doing girly jumps but I am unfortunately not too fazed :/ Still, it is a good recreation of his design!

Berserker said...

I got the idea from a kid that made him up on PSN. I thought it was hilarious when I first saw the design with Seong Mi-na's style. I'm not one to make up FFVII characters, but it was too awesome an idea to leave behind. :D

As for SC news, I think I might try out Setsuka some since she kind of interests me. I've basically started to play with Rock now more than Yun-Seong and Starkiller. Yun-Seong is getting a bit boring in a way. Rock is incredibly fun to play with though.

On a random note, I just noticed that Frank West is up at GameFAQs for their character battle. Awesome!

Brian said...

Haha, good luck. In offline play Setsuka is killer on the fingers with her half-life combos and Just Frames. I purposely made her with black hair so she'd look normal enough when I was training with her. In online play though you can spam her 33B, 66BA, and 1A for the entire match and call it a day. Trying to use some of her other stuff online is just dangerous XD

I'm finally used to about half of Maxi's stance transitions. I won my first ever match in the local scene with him actually. My Mitsu is fairly easy to defend against as I have some very obvious patterns. However, paired with Maxi's inherent looping and the fact that he's hard to read makes me much less predictable :P

Berserker said...

Yeah, changing her hair color would be one of the first things I'll do before trying her out. :p

I'm still figuring out some new mixups with Rock. I'd like to use him as my lead main character instead of Yun-Seong.

As for BC: Rearmed, I am now at challenge room #45. Only 12 more to go (counting 45)! They are incredibly hard later on, as expected. :D I want to try to get everything for it like I did with Commando 3.

Brian said...

Oof, good luck with all those, haha.

I had a question about the future hacking rooms though. Do the puzzles get progressively harder, or do they just stay relatively random like they do at the beginning of the game (I'm still on the third stage or so...)? I love 3D puzzles, haha. It's one of the more fun things about Half-Life 2, even though the game gives me headaches for no good reason.

Berserker said...

The puzzle difficulty in BC:R is kind of strange. It seems to get hard randomly as go through the game. Sometimes the puzzles are still easy even on later levels but sometimes they are harder - and then once you fail them once the puzzle changes to an easy once.

I don't find puzzles that lead you in the wrong direction that often. I'm kind of interested to see if they are any harder on Hard mode. They actually give you an achievement for solving all of them on that mode.

Berserker said...

easy *one*.

Brian said...

I think it's all totally random :/ oh well. Maybe on Hard its more organized, though they probably count by rooms as opposed to by actually solving all the different puzzle types.

Man I just sat through a 2.5 hour class. I can't believe I'll be doing that twice a week -_-;

Berserker said...

Yeah, those classes over 2 hours are always torture on the 'ole noggin. I had four of them one year at a community college that I went to. 6:30pm - 9:15pm each.

Brian said...

Egh, at least mine are during the day. I can't handle late classes. My brain starts to daydream like mad after 5. I've been lucky to only have class past then twice thus far.

But anyway, I got your message through xbox.com :D I am curious though... does stopping to write detract from your play experience? I'm surprised that you go for the guide your first run through, as I'd think stopping to write could be a distraction. Maybe you've gotten used to it and can appreciate it all the more because of it :) For me, stopping to even read guides can screw up my in-game mojo :P

Berserker said...

I do have to frequently pause the game and type out information, but to me, it makes the experience more fun and the writing sounds a lot better also. I can't convey as strong of an emotion toward a scary part on the second time through as I can on the first time through.

On the flip side, it's hard to formulate a strategy for enemies on a first time through. I'm having some problems with this in Homecoming, so I'll have to go back and edit some of the strategies since I'm realizing better ways to handle some of the enemies as I go through the game.

The only time I get distracted in a video game is when trying to strike up a conversation with someone. I can't play and talk at the same time that well. Slight talking isn't that bad, but I can't focus on a conversation and play well at the same time - no offence to anyone that talks with me over Xbox LIVE. I mean detailed conversations mainly.

Brian said...

My bad if all my comments last night got distracting. If you're focused/busy there's no need to reply right away :D

Anyway so I just saved at the graveyard. Man that was a long time gap between the last save. I was starting to wonder if I wasn't looking hard enough, thinking maybe the strategy guide was off >_> So far I've only had one legitimate startle, hearing the dog in the backyard made me jump a couple inches. I also realized that playing suspenseful parts of a game make me hold my breath o_O

Anyway, I can see where your "eh" initially for the combat comes from. It isn't that bad but because of the framerate it's hard for me to always get them dodges down. The F.E.A.R. guys had it right from the get-go: Sometimes the scariest moments are the ones where nothing happens. I find myself more scared going for minutes without combat and just exploring than I do in combat -- at least the buggers are actually in front of me!

For a while I was actually thinking maybe Alex isn't a soldier, and that was just a grand hallucination -- after all, the American Flag on his jacket is backwards (as in like seeing it in a mirror)! Very odd. Then, with the missing photos, I was really thinking maybe he contrived his own family... until his Mom said his name. I'm thinking that even then he still might not be their son.

Berserker said...

That's what I like the most about messaging each other. If one of us is busy then there is no need to reply right then. Anyway, that comment wasn't addressed to you or anyone else over Xbox LIVE. It's in real life mainly. :)

I'd advise you to spend some time with the dodging. As you progress further into the game, it becomes mandatory for defeating some enemy types. When fighting more than one enemy the combat suffers a lot to me, because you can't see all enemies on the screen at the same time while locked-on yet they can all hit you.

Also, when the enemies start appearing in the streets, you really can't run that well like you can in other Silent Hills. If you run then enemies will stay right on your tail all the way to your next destination and then they will actually wait outside of the building that you enter. Once Alex exits the building, they will all be grouped outside waiting for him! That is, unless you spend a real long time in one place.

The save points are few and far between. I'm starting to realize this as well, especially while writing for it. About Alex, if you look at all the pictures in his house, they only show his dad, mom and little brother in each pic. Alex is not in any of the pictures. He mentions that when you look at some of them.

I like how just about everything in the game can be examined and Alex will have some sort of unique comment about it. It sounds a lot better than "its broken" or some other comment like that. There's still the jammed and broken lock doors though, but that is to be expected in Silent Hill. :p

Brian said...

1up Show highlights Resident Evil 5!


Dunno how much is anything new though, as I stayed away from 50% of things post E3 :)

Berserker said...

Thanks for posting it.

It's interesting to hear about a new secret mode. I'm willing to bet that is it some sort of Mercenaries mode. Hopefully they will let us play with different RE character like last time. :)

Brian said...

Even better -- co-op Mercs :O

I mean, he answered that way when the question was "Are you looking at coop for future development" -- nothing about hidden modes :P