Friday, March 7, 2008

Video Game Review: A Few Mini-Reviews for the PSP

Warriors of the Lost Kingdom
A mediocre dungeon crawler for the PSP. It doesn't really bring anything new to the table and has limited classes. An interesting change is you don't use money in the game. The shop operates by a trade system - in order to buy certain items you have to trade other items. While interesting on paper this provides an extraordinary amount of annoyance as you'll have to go through complciated trade chains to get what you really want rather than just being able to fork over cash. Also worth noting is that the female Dark Seeker character's default armor is actually called bondage gear in the game. And you thought Bloodrayne was bad...but at least WLK admits they're pervs.

KR Rating from The Future: [2] BAD

Star Wars Battlefront 2: Renegade Squadron
You undoubtedly remember this game. Pretty much every TV channel played commercials for it twice in every commercial break, signs were plastered around every electronics store, they even released a special white Vader PSP to commemmorate its release. When it was finally released it cost half again the usual price of a console game, much less a PSP game. It also managed to be a profound disappointment on every level. Don't get me wrong, I could never fault a game for not living up to the hype, but this isn't even as good as a regular game. If you've played the other Star wars Battlefront games before you'll find nothing new here, and if you're anything like me you'll get so good at this game as to totally trounce it within the first hour or so, and I'm not even usually that good at video games. Of course, there's the character customization angle, which was the main selling point of the ad campaign (customize your units, better your squad), but honestly they didn't even fucking try. The extent of customization is exactly nine options for each faction and the extent of the "bettering your squad" is that there is no bettering. You have all of the weapons accesible from the start and have 100 "points" to spend on equipping them, and this number will never change. There's no room to grow, no unlockables, nothing at all to keep the novelty of this game from wearing off within the first few hours.

KR Rating from The Future: [1] HORRIBLE

Rogue Galaxy
Rogue Galaxy is a game that, I can't believe I'm actually saying this, got horribly ripping off everything around it right. You play as a blonde, handsome young man who was raised by someone other than his parents on a desert planet* before his home is attacked by enemies and he escapes the clutches of a tyrannical galaxy-spanning empire to go on an adventure with a crew of spacemen and discover his hidden destiny. If that sounds familiar to you it's because I just finished talking about a video game based on the movie it's stolen from. (You even get a robot that talks just like C3P0.)

But it can't be all that bad can it? Oh, you naïve fool. Gameplay is not slightly but EXACTLY like Final Fantasy 12 (which is forgivable because Final Fantasy 12 is just Chrono Trigger in 3D anyway and has no right to call out anyone else for being uncreative) and I'm fairly certain at least one of the PCs is Yuna.

But none of that changes the fact that Rogue galaxy is a fun and lovable game and is definitely worth a look. Just don't expect anything ground-breaking.

*For that matter, video game designers, Hollywood, and everyone else: Earth can not be the only planet in the universe with varying ecosystems. The idea of a "jungle planet," "desert planet," et cetera is not only highly unrealistic but also stupid and lazy.

KR Rating from The Future: [4] GOOD

PS. If your first reaction to the last review was "But Rogue Galaxy isn't for PSP"...good for you.

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