Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Demo disappointments

So this month's OPM comes with demos of Need for Speed: Most Wanted and King Kong. If these demos are to be believed, I weep for the future of gaming.

N-F-S must spell "gay" these days. The Hot Pursuit games did great things, including awesome two-player action, crazy jumps and shortcuts, and adding things like driving thru a forest fire. Then Underground came along, and I was enjoying my ability to ignore its utterly consumeristic vibe, but now that it's been fused with HP and resulted in Most Wanted, I have little interest left in this playable commercial of a franchise.

I've played the PC, Xbox, and PS2 demos of Most Wanted, and the console demos lack the few good things of this outing. The first is the ability to turn off the EA Trax. The fill-in instrumental track is awesome and pumps up the action more than the latest hip hop feces. The next horrendous omission is the free-for-all and roadblock running modes, featured prominently in the PC demo. In the former, you just run around the city evading traffic and an insane number of nutty cops. The roadblock run is similar but point-to-point, where you have to clear a number of roadblocks without getting snagged. The only included mode for the consoles is a shoddy checkpoint race that you'll probably never finish since the time constraints on each checkpoint are not forgiving for someone who's never played it before. Isn't that contradictory to the whole IDEA of a demo?

Moving on, all the King Kong previews had led me to believe that it'd be something like an open jungle where you tracked Kong and then tried to deal with him via your crew. Nope. Get ready for...CORRIDORS! And lots of scripted events! And nothing fun! The demo begins with you losing track of people, but you can't help but find them since there's only ONE way thru the jungle. Then you find them, and they run away screaming like pussies and order you to shoot the T-Rex while they fumble around trying to open a wooden door. They will not succeed and you will get eaten. Of course, you have a machine gun that could splinter the fucking door, but nevermind silly things like realism.

The other mode of the demo is Kong vs. T-Rex. Yawn. So since the T-Rex is so prominently featured in this game, why don't they call it Tyrannosaur? Makes a lot more sense to me, given what I've been shown thus far.

Ubisoft is turning into another EA, so they might as well give up the ghost and let themselves get bought by the king of the yearly update. Prince of Persia 3 looks pretty generic so far when held up against the gold that was Sands of Time. King Kong sounds like a snore. Splinter Cell 3 got screwed on the PS2, losing all the new multiplayer maps. There probably won't ever be another Beyond Good and Evil, so I suggest Ubi just quit while they're ahead.

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