Demo Update

3 09 2009

Dirt 2 (recommend)
I’m not a big fan of most racing games but I do like off road. The original Dirt was fantastic and Dirt 2 doesn’t seem like it will disappoint. The graphics have really been taken up a notch and I absolutely love the hub and menu design and transitions. Car handling felt a little more loose than I remembered but I started to get the hang of things the more I played. I’m not sure why I was sucking so much on the Baja track but I aced the rally level. The narrowness of the track combined with long drift turns and intense speed reminded me why I like this style of racing so much. At the very least I’ll definitely be giving this game a rental.

WET (skip)
A third person action/shooter game that is heavily influence by the grindhouse style that has been popular of late. It seems particularly influenced by Kill Bill from Quentin Tarantino. The shooter aspect is all based on shooting while performing slow motion acrobatics (running along walls, sliding, etc). Guns seemed useless in real time as they shoot about 5 times slower. For such a stylized, over the top game the targeting is way to precise using an extremely small reticle. The mechanics for the guns was not satisfying. Swordplay is oddly one hit kills so it’s much more effective to close distance on enemies. The level design seemed to make poor use of the PC’s abilities. Visually, WET looks ok although the second sequence looked really good in a blood red filter. The core gameplay and general execution on all fronts needs a lot more work. Just so much squandered potential here.

Section 8 (skip)
Essentially a less technically impressive Battlefield style multiplayer shooter. I was impressed by the atmosphere drop in used to respawn players but as soon as I landed I was ready to exit the demo. Visuals are fairly bland with some pretty abysmal level design. The guns felt weak and the controls unresponsive. You have an autotargeting ability that is availabe every so often but it makes the action feel cheap. I’m not a huge fan of open, large scale multiplayer class based shooters but you can do much better than this.

Mini Ninjas (borderline)
A simple but adorable RPG styled hack and slash that really captures the feel of martial art films. I really liked the voicework which although in English has a heavy Asian accent. There are a lot of different systems underlying what’s going on (fishing, cooking, mutilple playable characters, quick-access menus, etc) but something seems missing. I’m not exactly sure what it is but I didn’t feel completely fulfilled. At times I enjoyed the demo and at others I was ready to move on. Your mileage may vary.

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