I have a gift card to Gamestop, and there's an additional preorder bonus of an in-game sword and PSN theme, so I was going to cancel my Best Buy preorder and preorder at the Gamestop I frequent. I went in, the employee tried to do the preorder, but the system wouldn't let him. So he ordered it from their site to ship to my house, but it was forcing express/same-day shipping which is obviously more expensive. He called another Gamestop up the street, and that one has the office of the regional manager, who he spoke to and found out that the stores had already reached their allotments of the special edition. The system was forcing the expensive shipping because the game would be coming directly from Sony.
So maybe the special edition really is just that for once.
I haven't played this game in any form, so I'm looking forward to it. Amazon doesn't have the special edition available, and Best Buy only seems to have it for in-store pick-up. No shipping. The Best Buy I usually go to doesn't have it available either. I'm hesitant to say the special edition will be so limited, but it is odd.
It's just really hard to buy games from Amazon when Best Buy is killing it with sales and the GCU discount. I don't buy games from Amazon much anymore unless I have credit to use. That said, I'll probably get a pop filter from Amazon in the next week or two. So there's that.
This is a solid game. A very solid game. The writing (done by writers of The Punisher comic at the time) is well done and the story is interesting. The design leans toward the 2004 movie (released just before the game), so The Punisher's supporting cast is taken from the movie more so than the comics. There are cameos from other Marvel characters, however, which are brief, but used well to enhance the story instead of detract from it. The voice acting is really good, and I like the banter and quips the enemies say as you make your way through the level. The levels themselves are well designed and there's a good mix. Only one area is repeated, but you move through it quickly so it's not bad. There's a couple different systems here: interrogation, choice of starting load-out and upgrades to The Punisher. Everything you do is scored, and you earn medals for both end level score and difficulty to unlock challenge modes for each level as well as secrets, codes and behind the scenes extras. I was also surprised at the length of the game. It took me somewhere are 8-10 hours, but I was moving methodically. On repeat playthroughts, once you know the level layouts and enemy placement/spawn points, no doubt it can be finished quicker.
And that's the crux of the game the first time through. I struggled on most levels just to get a bronze medal while playing on normal difficulty (gold is only obtained by playing on hard). Each kill adds to your multiplier, which is the only way to get a decent score. But without knowing the levels and where enemies are, you will get hit and lose your multiplier with one shot. Shots are represented as lines, as if the bullets have tracers, but even then it's sometimes difficulty to tell where fire is coming from. At times, especially the last couple of levels, enemies also spawn behind you leading to getting hit and losing the multiplier unfairly. Enemies as a whole are smart and will move around to flank you, so again, level memorization is key.
The biggest negative I have, though, is the hit detection. Sometimes you can take a non-armored enemy out in one headshot, and other times it takes two or three. With the same weapon. Also frequently is hitting an enemy in the head, but they drop their weapon and grab their hand instead. If an enemy drops their weapon, they will try to find a new one, which is cool, but I noticed this more and more as the game went on. You can upgrade your accuracy four times, and the first three were my first three upgrades, but that didn't seem to make much of a difference. As a result, the game became frustrating as I would typically take a hit because I was exposed for longer. You can crouch, and the game encourages using cover, but it's not an actual cover system. You just crouch behind an object and move out to shoot.
I have a couple other complaints too. There are melee weapons, but unless you use the up-close, quick kill action, you can't swing them, only throw them. It's really weird. Likewise, the boss fights are a joke. They are the worst programmed enemies in the game, and it takes hardly any skill or strategy to kill them.
For your fights with Bullseye, he just somersaults around the area throwing knives until you knock him with a grenade. Then you have to shoot him in the bullseye on his forehead, otherwise he doesn't take any damage. Your first encounter with The Russian tasks you with stunning him, jumping on his back, and ramming him into an environmental hazard. Ridiculous because you start the level with your guns sitting on the table in front of you, but you can't pick them up.
I mentioned the interrogation system earlier, and for the most part it works well. Depending on where you are in the environment, you can grab an enemy and use various methods (choke, punch, wall slam, etc.) to extract info from them. Regular enemies have a chance of triggering a very brief flashback for The Punisher, while enemies with a white skull over them will give important info on where to go or hidden items/areas. There's also special interrogation spots where you use a specific item in the area. When interrogating, you see the enemy's life bar above a meter where you have to keep the meter within a yellow bar for 3 seconds as the meter works its way down. Threaten the enemy in a certain way pushes the meter back up. As I said, for the most part they work well, but too often the actions were too touchy and it was too difficult to keep the meter in the yellow. Other times it flat out killed the enemy on the first push. I eventually just used the choke, because it was the most balanced. There's sporadic specific kill spots too, but they are few and far between.
And while the voice acting and sound is well done overall, there are times where character lines don't match the scene. Sometimes during gameplay, everything but the music will cut out, which makes it hard to hear where enemies are. The music itself is more atmospheric than symphonic, and you can barely hear it without turning it to 10 within the game, lowering the dialogue and sound effect, and then manually turning your TV's volume up. The game utilizes surround sound, and it's incredibly helpful for determining where enemies are, unless it cuts out. Again, this happened more as the game progresses, so I'm wondering if the devs had a certain date they needed to meet and couldn't properly test (the last couple of levels have infinite spawning enemies too, which is out of place from the rest of the game's design). One last negative is the graphics. They are good, but clearly nothing was done by way of using the Xbox's extra power to improve them over the PS2 version. There are a lot of jaggies. Like, everywhere.
In my opinion, this game should be approached two different ways: the first time, I suggest enjoying the story, and learning the basics of each level and enemy placement. Then, on subsequent playthroughs after upgrading The Punisher, treat the game as an arcade-style high score affair. I think any Punisher fan, Marvel fan or action game fan will enjoy this one, and there's plenty of replay value.
1) 'Xeno Crisis' has concluded its Kickstarter campaign and is set to release at the end of this year. Check out the OP for further information on what is in the game and what the DC version will be like.
3) Within that preview vid from JoshProd, 'Saber Rider' was featured, which seems to confirm a 2018 release. Though the devs haven't not announced anything.
4) Also in the JoshProd preview vid, there were a couple frames that seem to show the character Sydney Hunter. 'Sydney Hunter and the Sacred Tribe' is set to release this year on DC from Collectorvision, but no announcement has been made. It's also interesting, because up to this point, Collectorvision has published and distributed all of their releases themselves.
It's actually been this for a few weeks now. I managed to get the only Inside Out Infinity play set in this part of the state. I figure for $1. Too bad they didn't have the other three Inside Out figures in stock.
I'm a little behind the ball, but the 'Xeno Crisis' Kickstarter has hit two more extended goals. The first is a two player co-op, playable with two male characters, two female, or one of each. The second goal is a new area complete with a new boss and additional cutscenes. Finally, more translations. Here's a list of confirmed languages:
- English - French - Italian - German - Spanish - Portuguese (+ Brazilian) - Dutch - Japanese
The dev also confirmed the style of the DC release will be like the NTSC-J jewel case releases. The mock-up looks similar to the way JoshProd produced NTSC-J style cases.
The next goal, at £55,000, less than £4,000 away, a bonus stage, boss rush mode, more enemies and settings for speed runs will be added. The Kickstarter closes in 5 days.
You know, I feel a GTA has no business looking this good. The game is just so smooth when it comes to scrolling and traversing the environment. It's not all perfect (characters' heads will turn transparent if they stand still and you rotate the camera around them), but the detail and everything is just awesome. I really enjoyed the story. It felt like a GTA story, yet still fresh (Trevor legitimately creeps me out), and the writing is sharp. Franklin especially has some great lines that are just delivered perfectly. In fact, I would love to see a side-story sequel of sorts, a la Vice City Stories, with Franklin, because he's hands down the best character of the bunch.
Some things with GTA, though, haven't advanced quite enough like character movement. It feels like you're always trying to direct a mini-tug boat the way they move. This started in GTAIV and I had hoped they would change it. Other minor quibbles I have is in some of the missions it's not entirely clear where to go or what to do, and I would die as a result. That and the open world-ness raised its ugly head a few times. I was doing the hunting tutorial mission with Cletus as Trevor, and all we're doing is slowing walking to the determined spot for the mission, and some kind of animal (I think a white dog) came out of no where from behind me off screen and killed me instantly. I never saw that animal at any other point in the game. Also, the traffic tends to not go on green lights and go on red lights, which can cause problems during missions.
Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed this entry. I still have some random side stuff to do at some point, but it's just fun being in that world.
Via a Kickstarter update YouTube video, The dev of 'Henshin Engine,' Sarumaru, explains why the game missed its Christmas deadline. Through the copyright process of the game's name, the devs discovered another company using the 'Henshin' name already had a copyright already in the same space the devs were applying for. As such, everything has been rebranded with the game's new title, 'FX Unit Yuki: The Henshin Engine.' (A better title in my opinion). Obviously, this costs money and they didn't have extra to fight the copyright claim. Via post-Kickstarter preorders, that has helped cover the additional costs.
The PC Engine is effectively done, and they plan to get the master copy to manufacturing in two weeks. It'll take 2-4 weeks to complete the PC Engine copies. Outside of the PC Engine and PC versions, the other versions are being contracted out to other studios for the various ports, including the Dreamcast version. Those studios need an additional 2-3 months to make the changes, so Sarumaru is targeting the end of May for the Dreamcast release.
The dev also stated that more games in the series are planned, but nothing will be worked on in 2018.