(P)review Roundup: Killzone 2, Bejeweled 2, Savage Moon, and more.
By FriskyTanuki 02-06-2009 03:22 PM
So this week was a bit awkward for work, beside it being my birthday being today, with a few that popped up at the last minute and others that presented issues that conflicted with when I hoped to get them out, but this week I've got a Bejeweled 2 review and an impressions article for the Killzone 2 demo. I'll add some thoughts on Savage Moon as well since I was having issues with that this week.
The Killzone 2 demo was way too small to really pull anything from it as far as where in the game it's from, the story, or anything like that, so the focus really is on the gameplay itself for the ten minutes of the game that you get to play. Just from the demo, the game seems to be at least a solid FPS that I will check out when it's out later this month. I like the new cover mechanic that attempts to get away from the standard Rainbow Six Vegas-style third-person cover mechanic that a few FPS have adopted instead of trying to keep the whole game in first-person. It takes a bit of time to get used to being able to do that instead of just standing/crouching behind cover or a wall as a makeshift way to do cover. That's probably the main thing that Killzone 2 seems to do that's new for console FPS since everything else is more of a refinement of what you've seen plenty of in other games. The only issues I really have is that it would be nice to have the option of fully customizable controls like R2.
I've already talked about the good multiplayer in a blog post a few months ago, so you can read about that here, but if you want to read more about demo impressions, you can read it at Gamer 2.0 here.
Bejeweled 2 is pretty much a known quantity by now, so you already know if you are up for buying the game or have had enough of Bejeweled and its many clones. My main issue didn't really have to do with the game, but just the choice of bringing this two or three year old game over when there's supposed to be a new Bejeweled game that came out this past fall. Otherwise, it's a nice time waster when you've got 30 minutes to waste. You can read the full review at Gamer 2.0 here.
Savage Moon is the new tower defense game on PSN and it has the lofty goal of being as good as PixelJunk Monsters, which is the pinacle of the genre in fun and simplicity as far as console owners are concerned. Savage Moon's setting consists of dirty moons where you have to protect your base in a level against Starship Trooper-esque bugs that come out of their hives in waves. The main mode features three moons with four levels each that you must get through and beat to move on to the next. Every moon you complete is opened up in Vengeance mode, which is basically an endless set of waves to see how far you can get before your base is destroyed.
The main difference besides asthetic between this and PJM is that Savage Moon offers more depth with more freedom in tower placement, bugs that can attack your towers, blocking towers that force the AI to either find a new route or break through the bricade, and some more additions that gives it the potential to be better, but it hasn't quite done that yet. I got through the first four levels, AKA the first moon, without really all that much trouble, so I was enjoying it quite a bit.
Then came the second moon. I get through the first level just fine on the first try, but this level introduces the tank bug that can send out two shots at a tower about every second or so and it moves slowly and in packs, so that may give you a hint as to how annoying these can be. The last wave of the first level pretty much turns into a cluster as almost every bug type I've faced comes out at once and I managed to finish them off on the last portion of the map right in front of my base. This tank bug essentially turns the game from being all about the strategy of tower placement, upgrades, and AI wrangling to now having to consider building replacement towers quickly as these tank bugs roll in and me over very quickly.
The second level seems to be the same thing, but throwing out tank bugs in the second wave, forcing me to research the repair tower and hoping to get enough money to afford the anti-air tower for the following wave's flight bug, which brought out the cluster very early. Luckily, I looked for some help on Youtube and found a good video that detailed how he beat the level, which was quite different than I was initially taught to set-up towers. It's this kind of change of pace that another tutorial covering new bug/tower types or even some kind of hint system, even something like how PJM hints at what a themed level features in its description, would have been really helpful. This kind of shows, for me at least, that this isn't quite as easy to get into as PJM was.
I do have one great thing to say about Savage Moon, which is that the Vengeance mode is really good. As I said before, it is an endless version of all four maps of a planet that you've beaten, so it's all about endurance and building a good set of towers to combat the many waves you'll face. I would love to see this kind of mode come to PJM in a new update or maybe even a sequel or new add-on pack since it offers extended replayability to maps that you've conquered with the set wave limits in the main mode. The review will come as I put some more time into it and see if the issues I had on levels five and six continue with the second half of the game.
As for what else is on my plate, I planned to have an MLB 09 preview for today, but because Sony didn't get to updating the PS Store yesterday until 8 PM, I couldn't get it downloaded in time to get one written up. That will have to come this weekend along with the planned Savage Moon review. I also have a little early treat in the form of Flower, which I received a review code for already and have caught the eyes of a few people on my friends list while trying it out yesterday. There's an embargo on that review until Monday at 12 PM EST, so I cannot say anything specific about it other than I'm liking it a lot and it's an absolutely gorgeous game. I also have another interview in the works, but you can check out our new Godfather II interview if you've made it this far in this blog post at Gamer 2.0 here.
|Comments (Total Comments: 3)|
|antlp89 - 02-06-2009, 06:15 PM|
|Thongsy - 02-06-2009, 06:44 PM|
|FriskyTanuki - 02-07-2009, 12:09 AM|
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