Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Lazy Review #5

Streets of Fury

Streets of Fury is a generic sounding street brawler that uses some pretty slick motion capture to pay respect to the 2nd generation brawlers from back in the day. I was really impressed by the amount of moves, animations and characters. The controls are little tricky (namely switching 'planes' - front, middle, or back rows) and sometimes I found the collision to be a bit off, but overall this is a good head-bashing time and pretty funny as well.

It suffers from some issues like repetitive enemies and confusion caused by too many characters being near each other screen - but honestly there isn't much like this on XBLIG right now and the overall look/feel is sexy. I imagine that co-op is a blast too. I wasn't able to score a token for this one or else I probably would have done a more thorough review. I didn't see any 2-by-4s or baseball bats to pick up, just FYI - maybe later on in the game. (240 MP)

Ninja Guardian

Here's a unique looking little game with a not-so-unique ninja lead character. I found the art style very appealing, with colorful and dramatic landscapes in a cartoon-Asian painting style. The large panels you see in the screenshot create a pretty small gameplay area bordered by large pieces of art, but they also act as sliding (rice paper?) doors like we're accustomed to seeing in ninja movies. It's a unique design choice with some obvious pros and cons.

Thankfully the gameplay is vertical, with the goal to bounce and fight your way to the top of the game area. This is not a unique mechanic (basically you need to keep making contact with platforms or else you fall back down to your death) but there is quite a few additions to that. You can attack, double jump, and become invincible for a bit. I found it pretty challenging to incorporate these other moves while also trying to navigate with misstepping - but I am no expert nor are my reflexes what they used to be. Had this been a pure platformer rather than a ascension/bounce type game, it might gather a larger audience - but I still really liked the art style and the gameplay (should you like this type of game) is well-polished. (240 MP)

Wacky Karts

The problem with Wacky Karts is not that it isn't a fun game, it's that anyone who has played Mario Kart will probably be let down. Ah here lies the problem in emulating a hit. This is essentially a direct adaptation, but without Mario characters and without the professional polish. It's still fun to race around the tracks (and probably much more so on 4-player mode), but it doesn't bring anything new to the table - and the comparison is unavoidable. I like the simple graphics that surely look alot like the original. And there's nothing like it on XBLIG right now so if you like kart racing games, it's worth a trial.

My main issues were that the wall collision is really bad and almost game-breaking. Hitting a wall is doom - you don't bounce off, you just stop and get stuck. Hitting other drivers often results in weird deceleration that is unpredictable. There is also less satisfying powerups, less application of realistic physics like sliding or drifting, and the AI seem to have advantages (not sure, but they don't seem to ever vary speed if they go untouched). Some of these issues are just because I am used to the high polish on the Mario Kart games, but the collision/stuck-on-walls issue really needs to be addressed. This has potential to be a really cool re-make, but needs to add one more layer of polish/originality if it wants to stand out. (400 MP)

1 comment:

  1. Wacky Karts was rough for me at first but the more I played the more I like it.

    I like Ninja Guardian's art too but I wish they use the whole screen to play.