Tug Your God Out

Dwell into the pasttime of empowerment; video games

Ramblings: Naruto UNS2 demo, Scott Pilgrim The Game, XBL Indies

The Naruto Shippuuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 demo hit XBL yesterday and thus I snatched it up along with the XBLA version of Scott Pilgrim (get it, if you haven’t already; it’s the bee’s fucking knees) and some XBL Indie trials that looked interesting or caught my eye.  I tend to do that from time to time, just go on a trial spree on the indie tab and get about a half dozen or so.  It’s a shame that even probably a year after the service started that I can count the number of interesting titles on one hand.  I own four XBL Indies — Protect Me Knight, Shoot 1-Up, Zombie Sniper HD, and Breath of Death. 

I know these guys are working with a limited tool set, no budget and obviously (in most cases) no sense of art direction but do you honestly realize how awful your games are? Why would you release such a blight upon the world? Have you no fucking soul? You honestly can’t be making that much money off of the XBL Marketplace at 80-240 points a pop before Mircosoft takes their cut.  Who the hell would pay for the majority of this crap after playing the free trials?  Five of the six I picked up today were just straight butt from the word GO. A sixth one (Chieri no doki-doki uhm some kanji I don’t know….Cherry heart-flutter something or something something) had a lot of polish and looked promising — yet had either shitty controls or my 2nd grade Japanese couldn’t really figure out the manual screen. I did keep it to give it a try again (maybe with a dictionary) but I don’t hold out hope on it.

Protect Me Knight, though, I pretty much expect it to be high on my final games of the year list. It’s easily the best thing to come out of the indie channel just beating out Shoot 1-Up.  If you haven’t given it a try it’s a kind of tower defense game but with 4 player co-op — if you ever do find yourself and three friends in the same living room at the same time.  You have the Princess in the middle of the screen behind a bunch of defenses and you as a knight, mage, ninja and I guess an amazonian *shrugs* must defeat hordes and hordes of goblins and trolls who are trying to break down the defenses and do what goblins and trolls do best — kidnap princesses.

It’s got a hyper 8-bit style with some really kick-ass chiptune music as well as a nice sense of humour. It’s frantic and fun and I can’t get over how far ahead it is from virtually everything else on the service.  I would pay more money for this on XBLA or PSN with acheivements, maybe online co-op and leaderboards. Same with Shoot 1-up and even Zombie Sniper HD — add leaderboard and achievements to those and you have my $5 or $10. Someone at Microsoft is asleep at the wheel apparently.

Back to the Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 demo — it’s worth a good look but sadly it’s only one fight, and it’s probably what will be the first fight in the game anyway — Kakashi vs. Naruto in the training grounds right after Naruto’s return to Konoha. Yeah sure, in the manga it was Kakashi vs. Naruto and Sakura but she’s regulated to a support character as she should. My disdain for Sakura since part two/Shippuuden started cannot be put into words.  Yes, it might have to do with me being a Naru-Hina supporter, shut up. But even then it was quite awesome to see Sakura break the ground with her fist, or the team up sequence at the end of the fight.

The fight controls exactly how you expect it to (if you’ve played the first title) with a few subtle control improvements. Support characters (only Sakura in this case) seem to take longer to recharge for their next use. I don’t know if that’s just for this battle or all fights are like that. 

While it seems to be cool to be a QTE (quick-time-event) hater, I’m sort of mixed on them here.  On one hand it’s a nice break from the fight and you know you’re about to see something fucking awesome.  On the other, the sequences are so beautifully animated and put together that it’s a shame to cover them up with out of place button prompts that force you to pay attention to the prompts and not the action.  Seriously, some of these sequences blow the anime adaptation out of the water — something the first game did quite a bit of.

But what the hell — we only get that one fight?  At least give us an optional fight to look at.  Give us something with Sasuke in it — I mean Sasuke does equal ratings right? And how about just a little of the free-roaming portion of the game. As cool as it was to see the entire village of Konoha in a free roaming section of the first game, they weren’t exactly my favorite portions of the game.  After the intial wow factor wore off, running around Konoha seemed to be quite a chore really.  I wanted to at least see how they might have improved these sections. I’m not asking for the whole game — just give me ten minutes to run around the enviroment of Konoha.

I’m guessing from the promotional artwork and logo that the game at least goes through the Naruto vs. the six realms of Pain fight so that’s a pretty good chunk of part two/Shippuuden. But c’mon you have to end it on a Sasuke vs. Naruto fight.  Either you’re going to make one up or could we possibly see Sasuke vs. the World until the reunion of Team 7? It’s possible they’re not showing it as the anime hasn’t gotten that far, but more than likely it ends after the fight with Pain. It’s dramatically the best spot and honestly the Sasuke vs. Naruto reunion is kind of a let down in terms of a fight (i.e. there really wasn’t one.) And if the game is promising 40 playable characters (in the versus mode) then I’m doubting we’ll see Sasuke vs. The World.

If I had to pick 40 it’s not too hard: Naruto, Sakura, Kakashi, Sai, Yamato, Kiba, Hinata, Shino, Choji, Ino, Shikamaru, Asuma, Neji, Rock Lee, Tenten, Jiraiya, Tsunade, Gaara, Kankuro, Temari, Chiyo, Orochimaru, Kabuto, Sasuke, Juugo, Suigetsu, Karin, KillerB, Itachi, Kisame, Deidara, Sasori, Hidan, Kakuzu, Konan, and Pain make an easy 36. Usually Naruto has more than one character slot, probably at least one for Sage Mode and maybe a 4-tails version. Sasori, Sasuke, Juugo, and KillerB are also likely to have different versions. Minato is apparently a hidden character who’s already unlocked if you buy the special edition. I’d also assume Minato will be joined by Madara/Tobi as a hidden character. Still there’s not much room for all the characters Sasuke fights so I guess we’ll have to wait until Ultimate Ninja 3.  I call dibs on the Godaime Mizukage.

I don’t know if the demo is out on the PSN because well it’s PSN, I don’t feel like taking half a day to update my PS3 and download the damn demo.

And going back to Scott Pilgrim — just download it. I know everyone’s bitching about no drop-in and out co-op and no online co-op but it’s only 800 points and maybe they’ll patch that stuff in? The soundtrack is fanastic and the game is fun and it’s fucking Scott Pilgrim for shit’s sake. How can you not enjoy Scott Pilgrim? *glares at his wife*

There are still a few old school design choices they make in the game that just really irk me.  Honestly, you can feel ‘old school’ without resorting to shitty design choices.  Games have evolved for a reason.

The achievement list looks alright although I’m probably never getting a full 200 points on this one. Beat an entire world without getting hit? Are you insane? I can see it being somewhat possible if you do co-op and let other people do all the fighting but your family more than likely doesn’t quite understand the concept of  ‘achievement trading’ and ‘achievement boosting.’ Beating the game on Supreme Master difficulty while in single player also looks like it’ll be a pain.  I’ve said it before for XBLA games but the cap of 200 points needs to go. Beating a level without being hit needs to be more than friggin 10 points.  Clearing the game on Supreme Master is only 20. It’s bullshit.

Still the game makes me smile and feel good, even while being frustrated. I was slightly dissapointed in the Summer of Arcade offerings so this and (hopefully) Shank make up for it.  I have downloaded the Shank demo, just haven’t bought it yet.

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08/25/2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment