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    The Void: Dead Rising 2, FIFA '10 and Soldner-X2

    Amazing what a Google image search will get you. I promise to never use this again.

    I’ve gotten a couple tweets about doing more game reviews and its appreciated. I’m doing the best I can over here, but thanks to the small success of the site, work has actually picked up. This is only partly the reason why you don’t see as many video game reviews. A contributing factor would be that a lot of games have been sucked into what I’d like to call, The Void.

    The Void is the nebulous area in a small portion of my brain that never quite gets into whatever media I’m imbibing. This could mean me playing a game for 10 minutes or 10 hours and still not making any significant progress to determine a feeling.  This also applies to a plethora of media that I often quit midway through [sorry Boardwalk Empire, I’ll wait for the DVD box set].
    Recent entries are as follows:
    It's sad when you can shoot a dynamite-tipped arrow at your fellow man and become completely bored by it. What have we become?
    Dead Rising 2:

    In the time it took me to type this, cook dinner, have an hour-long conversation with my mother -- then realize dinner is burning. Dead Rising 2 may have loaded the first area of the mall for you to explore. They’ve already taken Frank West and the photography mode out of the game, but to give me this? A game that struggles loading cartoon-y textures and forces me to struggle with a camera system out of the Playstation one era?

    The good I found in Dead Rising 2 [thus far] would be that I actually want to buy it for its campy story. The voice acting, surprised me. I don’t if I’ve come to expect tired dialog from Japanese-made games or if the voice talent and localization is just that damn good. I’ll come back to this game once it’s in a bargain bin somewhere and I’ve decided to start a new hipster movement that involves worshipping the irony found in log ass loading screens.

    Oh, and the multiplayer didn’t move me. I spent as much time as my short attention span would allow for killing zumbeez in a semi-lackadaisical manner.

    If there is one thing you should take from any recent FIFA game, and it's that the product placement is oh-so subtle.
    FIFA '10:

    I know its 2011 and another FIFA was already released, but I’d heard so many good things about FIFA ‘10 that I delved into the game for about two weeks and still felt pretty non-plussed after playing for a few hours.

    This is gonna seem strange. Every since I was a kid I’ve always had a go-to sports game to play on [insert console here]. And for the life of me I’ve had some rotten luck with this current generation. Seriously, why does it take eight button presses to throw a touchdown pass or shoot a puck into a net?

    FIFA ‘10 is an odd representation on both ends of the spectrum. I could play one position and ‘hope’ that my team A.I. isn’t rock dumb enough to let an opponent run rough shod. Or, I could micro-manage every movement around the ball from the camera to the player’s dribbling skills. I chose the latter and I came out exhausted with a game with clear depth and appeal -- for someone else.

    It would also help if I found the sport of soccer more interesting.

    Beautiful level isn't it? Be prepared to see this level several times over until you grab a tiny glowing yellow orb. Oh, you missed it? Sorry, start over.

    Soldner X2 - Final Prototype:

    Shooters. You remember those right? You look down the barrel of a gun, explode a head for points and Activision hops in a pit of money -- Scrooge McDuck style. No, side-scrolling shootem’ ups [or schmups]. It’s rare that I get a chance to talk about them, because, well -- no one plays them in the mainstream gaming sense.

    I also don’t get a chance to talk about indie games that much. Presently the indie games that are covered must either feature an angry bird or powerfully emo-story. Soldner X2 - Final Prototype stands the best chance of getting a full review/analysis this year from me, because it seems like the designers genuinely wanted me to play it. Several times. To the games detriment.

    The game has seven stages that require you to play through the first four -- several times in order to unlock the next three. Now, if you miss one of the key items on a preceding stage, you might as well quit and start over because the next stage won’t unlock because of your folly.

    The sound explodes with every epileptic-inducing scatter shot you rapidly launch. Had it not been for me playing the same stages over this snippet of a review would be more glowing. Probably one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard for a schmup, but I’d be lying if the repetition didn’t leave a sour taste in my mouth. I see why the side-scrolling shooter went through this dark age post-Dreamcast. A hard game can be fun, but this game is the epitome of punitive.

    Sidenote: Keep in mind, I haven’t played the co-op mode of Soldner X2. I do get the impression that this game is more-so geared toward co-op enjoyment.


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