Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Coming Attractions, Ninja Blade and American Idol  

.
.
Having some trouble sticking to my normal update schedule this week, but I've got some great stuff lined up in the next couple of days-- you'll definitely want to stick around. In the pipe are interviews with Nathan Vella (Critter Crunch, Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes), Nathan Fouts (Shoot 1UP, Grapple Buggy) and Kirby Krackle, nerd rockers supreme. In the meantime, help yourself to a stiff cup of Coffeecola…
.
.
Games: Dangerously close to RPG overload, I'm proud to say that I put it in high gear and pushed through to the end of Divinity II the other day. I didn't complete the game with 100% (which would actually be an enormously huge amount of content to get through) but I did earn the last few levels I needed to put myself past the insta-death threshold during the final battle and credits rolled. Look for the full review at GameCritics soon.
.
.
In the meantime, I decided to go in a completely different direction for the last few days prior to Mass Effect 2’s release (WOO!) and start getting caught up on my action titles. The first one in the queue was FromSoft’s Ninja Blade, and it's a hell of a thing.
.

.
Although I've heard some people call it a ‘poor man’s Ninja Gaiden’, that's an awfully dismissive and lazy way of describing it. (Especially since Ninja Gaiden SUCKS.) From where I'm standing, Blade is a much more approachable and exciting experience than anything Itagaki’s ever turned out, and I will take Ken Ogawa over Ryu Hayabusa any day.
.
The game takes place in a parasite-infested Japan where evil worms have violated the citizenry and turned them all into various sorts of growling, drippy mutants. Following a bizarre sort of logic, the only force capable of cleansing the country are a group of super-ninjas who take on the biggest and baddest creatures roaming loose. Suffice it to say, this game is not trying to shed light on the human condition or bring any serious issues to the table… it's all about completely insane, extreme balls-out action and unbelievably over-the-top set pieces that explode with adrenaline.
.

.
The graphics are fantastic, the action controls well, there's lots of variety and the game also sports lots of little touches that help push it over the top for me… things like being able to completely customize the colors of the main character's costume, the slo-mo flip as he leaps out of a wall-run, and the way From has implemented Quick-Time Events (QTEs) in order to deliver some of the most absurdly awesome action sequences I've ever seen.
.
Although some may be put off by the number of QTEs, any game that lets me ride a motorcycle in freefall, jump it off of airborne cars and crash it into a flying school bus in order to incinerate the inside of a worm the size of a skyscraper can include as many QTEs as it wants to. I'm not done with Ninja Blade yet, but so far it's a massive, smoking, shuriken-throwing thumbs-up.
.
.
Just a couple other quick notes before I sign out for the evening... I got the chance to spend a few minutes with Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes on DS, and from what little I saw, I definitely wanted to see more. I would have, in fact, except that the wife also liked it and immediately laid claim… also, Dark Void was released this week. It's definitely been one of the titles I've been most looking forward to, so the amount of negative reviews it's gotten has been pretty disheartening.
.
As one of the people I follow on Twitter quipped this morning, hopefully this will be another Bionic Commando situation: most reviewers seem to hate it, but the ones who really know what's up recognize that it's a quality title, and well worth the attention. We hope, anyway…
.
.
TV: Just gotta say that I'm glad American Idol is back on. If nothing else, seeing hordes of clinically insane people humiliate themselves on national TV always brings a smile to my face, and becomes a great bonding moment between the wife and I.
.
That said, I do have to admit that I miss Paula Abdul a teeny little bit because her absence reduces the whack factor… even more than Paula, though, I will definitely miss Simon-- if this does indeed turn out to be his final season on the show. As far as I'm concerned, he is the heart, soul, and backbone that keeps the show going and I can’t honestly say that I would be as excited or interested in watching next season if I knew he wasn't going to be on it.
.

.
The guy is so rich by this point, I doubt there's any amount of money that the AI producers can offer to keep him on, so instead I will wish him luck in (reportedly) bringing his version of X-Factor to American shores. Gotta get my Simon fix somehow.
.
Now, if he would only hire Paula on to be his co-host, we'd be set...
.
.

What next?

You can also bookmark this post using your favorite bookmarking service:

Related Posts by Categories



2 comments: to “ Coming Attractions, Ninja Blade and American Idol


  •  

    I am really surprised by your Ninja Blade comments. After playing the demo i was completely unimpressed by it and yeah for me there were too many QTEs (of course GoW has too many QTEs in my opinion).

    I might try and get a cheap copy of this and try it later. Also Might & Magic is a game i am really looking forward here in Europe!


  •  

    Migh & Magic was a lot of fun, but I think I emailed you about it a while back.

    I gave the Divinity II demo and Vandal Hearts demo a try the other day. DivII was something I could definitely see me getting into, but I just don't have the time and, well, I still haven't seen about 95% of Fallout 3 and Oblivion. Too busy, I guess.