Monday, February 16, 2009

If You See This, You're Dead

To start... the intro is a mess. Japanese game. Yes... it makes sense, just 'Japanese sense.' Kind of like Lost Planet in that - as a player and participant in a story - you have to constantly be asking yourself, ok, ok... i am following this, oh, they said that because of this earlier. However, being involved in this type of game you have to also allow for the 'what the...?!' moments. Although, through my short time with Vampire Rain I haven't experienced that. Well, outside of the made up special forces faction of a made up secret information gathering government agency. Hey, the main character I'm playing is a secret WITHIN a secret. Does it get any better?

Artoon, the developer has been around for almost a decade. Yes, a Japanese game maker. From what I've read it looks to be made up of a handful of guys from Sega's old AM2 studio (Sonic, Panzer Dragoon). I also see that I've never played any other game developed by them as the Artoon company.

I am playing the game though, not too far in to be honest, but I've got to tell you... It's not very fun. Would I say 'bad'? Well... that raises a much larger question.

Is a bad game on a current generation console as bad as a game perhaps made for a glitchy PC from the early '90's? or how about a generic platformer from the SNES and Genesis days? How about a really thrown together game from the Atari days?

I think immediately I can remove the case against the glitchy PC game. Generally speaking I can just categorize them as 'Broken'. With current console games rarely do you get a game that is 'just broken' in the sense that there is a bug that prevents you from playing the game. Although, I don't like the current business model being used by some companies in that they seem to be launching games incomplete (as far as testing) and later update them via Xbox Live. I'm not sure if this is a way to see if the game is worth investing more money in based on initial sales or not. But I personally think it is a bad way to release games, if indeed that is true.

So what makes a game poor on a current gen system? Exhibit A would be Vampire Rain. It's just not fun. At no point does it draw you into it's world, which is necessary for a game like this one. It kinda has a feeling of Left 4 Dead. But without the fun and you can never, ever, improve your situation if things go bad. There are vampire type things that will kill you in 5 seconds and there is nothing you can do about it. NOTHING. I can get into trying to sneak around them but to what reward? Just reaching the next checkpoint?

Anyway, mess with a 'Nightwalker' and you are dead. It goes past funny, to sucking, back to funny when writing about it. Playing it is not funny. Sure it's funny when you are three stories up, thinking you are safe, thinking... 'okay, I know this guy is going to go ape shit once I start shooting, but i'm way up here, three stories up on a roof.' bang bang... you're dead. GAME OVER.

Seriously... you get a 'game over' screen.

In blood.

No comments: