Friday, February 16, 2007
Ghost Ride The Whip!!
Wow, where to begin. Well since I am on holiday I decided to get back into the swing of things and play some videogames. Of course the first game I had to pick up is Ghost Rider. I had played a little bit of it during E3 so I knew what to expect. Such great things as him going into the pose to pull a lever just like Kratos then deciding to kick the lever instead.
The game has been getting terrible reviews and it's really *not* that bad. It's not a great game by any stretch of the imagination but something about it makes me smile. Mostly because I know what it's like to work at a 3rd party developer and some publisher comes in and is all, 'make this really boring license that no one cares about and these games are really popular (gow and dmc) so make it like them!' Trust me, I was in plenty of those meetings with games that fortunately ended up getting cancelled. Every damn meeting for like 2 weeks after MK5 came out wanted blood just like that game.
So the opening starts and it has decent presentation done in a comic book style. I beat the whole game and I still don't understand the story so bleh on that one. Something about my motorcycle leaves fire trails and the path i was forced on opens up a gate to hell!!
Back to the beginning of the game - you get introduced to wayyy to much at once: these 2 different meters that took me about 2 hours to really process which one is what. L2 seems to do a lot of damage at once where as L1 is sort of like Devil Trigger mode where you do more damage on all of your attacks and take no reaction and everyone gets circles above their heads and if you throw someone you drain the rest of your meter but kill that monster off right away. It's not a bad system but for some reason it's all sorts of confusing in the beginning. Mostly because they are like - these orbs do this and blah blah and never really explain how it works. Either that or I just skipped the whole damn thing.
The controls...are strange. He has neutral jump attacks and running jump attacks. Why? I'm not really sure - seems like a waste of animation space to me. It was like neutral jump triangle was good and running jump square was good - i would have removed the other two personally. Going from stand to run is a frame or two laggy but nothing terrible. There are a ton of small problems that drove me nuts like holding R1 for block then still holding R1 and pressing square to do an attack but not going back to block even though I never let it go. Although...doing the same thing with triangle and I do go back to block.
Although not the worst idea but maybe the worst presentation is how they have a combometer just like DMC with words that say how great you are doing and it going from D to C to B to A to S. Enemies show up with a shield around them that actually have the text to indicate which level you need to be at. So if you need to get your combo to 'Brutal!' level the enemy will have a shield of 'Brutal!' floating around them. It's not a bad idea but seems like there could have been a better way to convey it.
The motorcycle parts are..interesting. The motorcycle gets double jump even though you don't! Haha, not really sure why - something about Earth Magic makes the motorcycle double jump. They do one decent idea - Square attacks fools on the left, Triangle attacks fools on the right. It's a nice mental divison so the player doesn't get too overwhelmed. Although I upgraded my motorcycle attack really early on (triple homing shot!) so all I did was spam that button and never had a hard time what so ever. Besides not being able to see due to how dark the levels were and I even turned my brightness all the way up.
It's a short game (4 hours on normal mode) and I think every level is re-used twice - once forwards then backwards. The upgrades unfortunately don't keep the game interesting long enough. I maxed everything out so early that i was getting bored near the end.
There is a documentary on the game that you can unlock that left me a little bummed. Just comes off as instead of saying dmc, ninja gaiden, etc have good combat ideas he just makes fun of them. Oh well - i'm fucking sick of arrogant european developers trying to say everything else is 'rubbish'. This one goes out to Alex Ward when I say, "I beat Ghost Rider!'