Game Diary - April 14, 2008

OverlordOver the weekend I…

  • Finished "Kane & Lynch," making the complete scumbag decision at the end. I believe it cost me the chance to play an extra bonus level, but I did what Kane would do. I can't compromise his morals for mine, can I? Now that I'm done, I can re-consider Jeff Gerstmann's review. He described it as "a revenge tale where you don't actually care if anyone actually gets their revenge." That's a pretty good assessment.
  • But good gameplay can compensate for any flaws in a game story, right? "K&L" had some fun set pieces: man vs. dumptruck; jeep vs. taxiing plane. But the cover system and the friendly squad AI were inferior to what I've experienced in other games. I can't say I'm shocked at the content of his review. At least now I know for myself.

  • Battled through a couple more levels of "Universe At War." In the middle of the three campaigns, the framereate finally got bad. I pushed through it and just love controlling the Hierarchy race's walking battlestations and walking factories. Commanding them really is a 2008 must-play experience. 

     

  • Got closer to the end of "God of War: Chains Of Olympus," a game that continues to sell me on something I never thought was possible: epic grandeur on a handheld. I know that the idea of PSP as portable PS2 led to some poor development choices, but I do hope that we will not only get PSP games that feel small in the future. The PSP can render spectacle. I'd love to see more.

  • Started "Overlord" on the Xbox 360. This game makes the player an evil medieval armored lord who you command with a left thumb stick while directing a flock of mischievous goblins with the right stick. All I need to be told is a game is like "Pikmin" and I'm there, as I was with this one. Too bad no one has said anything like that since 2004's "Pikmin 2."

    If you told me the game was "Pikmin" crossed with "Fable," would I have still been there? Some of the British humor in "Overlord" is wasted when played in Brooklyn. The game is fine to control. What is exceptional, as the reviews state, is that the game is fun to watch. It's merely nice to send 10 brown goblins into the halflings' dining hall to ransack it. It's sheer joy to have the goblins smash the plates, stand on the tables and gulp the drinks and the return to the Overlord's side, each of them wearing the pumpkins they smashed as helmets and enjoying a moderate armor upgrade because of it.

Next: I may finish "God of War" PSP. I think I'm close...