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Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2007-05-14 06:04:16
Sometimes, Hotness Just Isn't Enough
It's funny. On Friday, I defended Twilight Princess as being a stellar title despite its old school trappings. Today, I need to bitch out Lost Planet as being a poor title despite its old school trappings.
It's essentially a throwback Capcom arcade shooter: run and gun gameplay with random weapons, mechs, and exploding barrels strewn haphazardly about. A cable for reaching elevated areas even evokes ancient memories of Bionic Commando. Unfortunately, Lost Planet's 3-D design has thrown that formula into a blender with shit flavored smoothie mix. The controls are imprecise and the camera fights you every step of the way. When you died in Contra, for example, you knew it was your fault. In Lost Planet, it's possible to get wedged in between polygons while the epileptic camera stutters as it tries to swing around you. The ultimate crime is that the action just isn't pressing. Whereas games like Metal Slug bombard you with non-stop action, the beautifully rendered hordes of enemies in Lost Planet engage you with all the urgency of a Windows tutorial teaching you how to point and click.
But yes; it is absolutely gorgeous. The snow looks amazing and the bosses are fantastic, filling the screen with their glorious immensity. It boils down to Starship Troopers on Hoth, with the best snow effects I've ever seen. It's a total shame that these assets weren't put to better use, as I can't recommend Lost Planet as anything more than a rental at best.
I just downloaded Catan on Xbox Live Arcade. I'd never even heard of this massively successful board game, and I'm completely hooked. It's simpler than Risk in design, but as strategically deep as Axis and Allies, with a greater demand on skill over luck than either. The conflict is economic in nature, as four players compete to colonize an island. For those of you who even remotely enjoy tabletop strategy games, I can't recommend it strongly enough. I need to find three online friends to chuck dice with now.
Rank: A (It's difficult to rate something like this, as it clearly will not appeal to a general audience, but given the context of what it is, I can't imagine it being much better)
Now Playing - Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and Catan (360)
Xbox Live Gamertag - Vawce