Reviews by TartFlavor

84

Some silly fun

TartFlavor | May 2, 2013 | Review of Brutal Legend

Although originally released on console in October 2009, the game was not available on PC until February 2013. I may as well start off saying that you need a controller to play this game. Don't have one? Don't bother reading any further. Without a controller the controls feel very clunky and it greatly detracts from the experience. I would consider it playable without a controller, however I would not consider it enjoyable. Even with controller though, the controls still take some getting used to and feel a little clunky at first. It feels like they tried to jam a bit too many commands into the controller causing them to be a little overwhelming.

Now that we've got that down, let's take a look at the actual game. The story is centered around Eddie Riggs (Jack Black), a roadie that is sucked into land of rock. The game is open-world and in third person, as well as being an interesting combination of action and real time strategy.

While no Skyrim, Brutal Legends has a fairly decent sized map. However, while Double Fine got the size down, the map is barren and not very diverse. Much of the landscape looks the game and it feels a little half-hearted. Much of the map feels closed off with walls that you can't go over and other barriers. As well as being enclosed by physical barriers, the missions seem highly linear.

Now to talk about where this game excels - the combat. As I mentioned earlier, Brutal Legend is a cross between action and RTS. For the action side, you fight as an axe-wielding roadie that likes to cut things up. Another main weapon is your other axe, your guitar. The axe is your melee weapon while your guitar is used for ranged attacks. You can also use to summon things such as your car or to rally your troops by playing a few notes.

In terms of RTS, you must buy units in a major battle from points accumulated based on the number of "fans" you have. Fans are acquired by building merchandise booths in certain areas. You must protect these as well as destroying the enemy's. You control your troops through a series of button combinations. This is where the problem with the controls comes into play. The RTS part feels clunky due to the lack of buttons on a controller as opposed to mouse & keyboard. Another complaint is that there is a relatively small unit variety at your disposal as opposed to other RTS games. The same is true with a low amount of enemy variety.

The game has a lot of customization options such as new skills and combos, as well as upgrades for your weapons and car. It even has reskins available for some things, like the car. While some of the upgrades are generic such as "do more damage", there are some pretty fun ones that include spewing blood everywhere with a car attachment.

My favorite part of the game by far is the humor. The game is hilarious ranging from the enemies to the descriptions of items. With a cast consisting of people like Jack Black and Ozzy Osbourne you can guess how good the voice acting is. The game also has some great music from bands such as Black Sabbath and Judas Priest.

Overall, the game has decent mechanics and an acceptable art style. Where this game really excelled is with its humor and voice acting. If you're looking for something to dive into and just have some dumb fun as well as laugh at some jokes, this is the game for you. If you're looking for a more in-depth game you might not find this to your taste. Personally, I loved it.

50

Only for hardcore fans of the genre

TartFlavor | April 5, 2013 | Review of Dungeon Siege III

First off, I have never played a Dungeon Siege game before. I was going into this game on a clean slate and cannot compare it to the previous games.

Dungeon Siege is a fantasy action RPG with lots of loot. In game, you have the option to choose to play as one of four characters. Each character has a different play style. There is a swordsman, mage, elemental (spear & fire), and a rifle/musket character. Here is where the problems begin to arise.

The game is unplayable with mouse and keyboard. Like Dark Souls, this game should have a disclaimer on steam that says using a controller is strongly recommended. Even after switching to my gamepad, the controls still felt a little clunky. The next thing you notice right off the bat is that the camera is in a really awkward top-down position. When going under a doorway, the camera may bob up and down. This caused me to start to get motion sickness, and after a while longer even puke.

A positive thing I found upon entering the game was the graphics style. The game has fairly high-def textures and the graphics add a nice feel to the overall game. The menus, while obviously laid out with a controller in mind, are fairly easy to navigate.

However, as I delve deeper into the game I began to discover even more flaws. While the some of the voice acting in the game is pretty good, the conversations are far too long and dull. Another major complaint is that the combat seemed to be designed more for melee combat than ranged. I played as Katarina who uses a rifle and duel shotguns for combat. In a top-down RPG it is extremely difficult to aim my gun where I want it to shoot.

One of the things I found most annoying was the tutorial. One thing not explained in the tutorial was "how to save your game". This later led me to having to restart the game completely after my first death, about 45 minutes into the game. This at least allowed me to come to terms with the controls, after I had switched from my keyboard and mouse to my gamepad. The main reason I died in the first place was that the game doesn't have a menu that shows you the keybindings for the controller, only for mouse and keyboard.

After a bit of playtime it became clear that playing the game solo was not the way to play it. The game was obviously designed as a co-op game and adapted to become singleplayer. This is shown from features such as non-character specific loot drops and a system where if you die, you'll be able to resume the mission if your partner can make it through. However, if you die in singleplayer you just go back to your last save point. In an attempt to fix this, I tried to find an online game. The only problem was that there weren’t any, as the multiplayer for the game appears to be dead.

Another thing I discovered was that after death, all enemies that you killed respawn. This can lead to you being mobbed by multiple hoards of enemies at once, causing a no-win scenario (yes, it is possible Captain Kirk) and forcing the player to reload an earlier save.

While the game appears nice on the surface, it is riddled with small problems that add up to make it a poor experience overall. I would only recommend this game to someone who deeply enjoys the genre and has a buddy to play co-op with.