Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Dr Phil of gaming

Sometimes I really wonder what 'professional' writers were expecting when they write bitchy reviews. When I come across a game that tickles my fancy, currently Front Mission Evolved, I will go back and take a peek at what people who are actually paid for opinions thought about it, simply out of curiosity. It usually serves as a reminder that what I like and what I am supposed to like are rarely in line with one another. Case in point, Front Mission Evolved is a relatively simple third person shooter with rudimentary customization options that looks good, controls well and sport nice big explosions. I had fun with it last night, will finish it tonight, because I am taking it for what it is, not complaining about what it isn't.

Now read this review (it isn't very long).

It is quite clear to me that our reviewer friend went in expecting an experience on par with Chromehounds, got a souped version of MechAssault, and never got over his disappointment. Most of his complaints are simply not applicable, as this is just a dumb action game, the equivalent of an 80's action flick, and is not supposed to be some deep experience in micromanagement and battlefield tactics. You are encouraged to blow shit up in a giant robot, occasionally get out the robot in levels that should really have been left out, then get back in and blow more shit up. What's not to like? Every game does not need to be a giant sandbox allowing you to pick and choose everything little thing, waste time with pointless activities, then gather up a dozen AI partners to lead an assault in which you must simultaneously be commando and general to succeed.

Is Front Mission Evolved a AAA title that I will come back to years from now as a shining example of anything? Of course not, but it is fun and a good way to kill a weekend, and I was not expecting anything else out of it.

This was an oddly positive entry. I know, tomorrow I will complain about how Bioware is cheapening their own fiction in Dragon Age II by incorporating silly items designed by web comic writers. Imagine if Count Strahd von Zarovich had a Pepsi machine in front of his Ravenloft castle, because that is where this is going to end up.

+50 nerd points if you know who Strahd is. Or were Ravenloft is. Or if you ever rolled a 1 there and killed yourself with a vorpal sword.

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