Thursday, July 16, 2009

Double Review

This last week I decided to pick up both Overlord 2 and the Ghostbusters video game from the local video rental franchise. Convenient in that the closest store is less than half a mile away and I could probably walk there if I care too.

Overlord 2 has everything that you liked about the first, and a few of the things you didn't. It's hinted that you are playing the son of the previous games Overlord, who went missing after exploring the Infernal Abyss, the setting of the Raising Hell expansion. From a child, the minions and Gnarl raise you into a much more buff Overlord than the previous games. Sadly, you still can get your butt kicked in combat quite easily, forcing you to rely on your army of little dudes and sheer dumb luck-- until the game forces you in the Imperial City to journey through a sewer teeming with enemies and no minions to support you. At this point, I declare the game officially broken. To it's credit, it improves on a good number of areas...for one, the areas are much larger. You also get to conquer two towns rather than the first games one. But to truly conquer them and benefit you have to track down all 100 citizens and pull off your Force Lightening Mind Control spell on them without killing them-- this puts them to work mining cold for you, paying you tribute, and making weapons for your minions. You could also opt to just raise the town and go the Destruction path over the Domination-- but what's the point of being an evil master if there's no one to cower in fear of you?
Despite broken game situations later on I still give Overlord 2 a 7/10. It's worth as least a rental.

Ghostbusters the video game is a welcome sensation to the senses to anyone like myself who grew up watching the adventures of Ray, Egon, Peter, and Winston in cartoon form back in the 80's-- Granted, Peter looked and talked a lot like Jerry Seinfeld than Bill Murray in those days. The game is very dear to the license, and plays out in it's story and action segments like you're experiencing the covetted "Third Movie". You play the role of a mute, generic looking rookie to the team who gets to try out all the new prototype equipment-- meaning we get to try out the toys first before the rest of the team to ensure nothing blows up when the trigger gets pulled. The main reason I understand why they didn't allow us to customize out character is because-- we get to see his face a total of maybe seven times clearly. You see your guy from the back, so it's easier just to pretend. Wraggling ghosts is the games high point. The object is to wear the ghost down with your arsenal, then fire your regular Proton Beam at them when it's low enough to activate the Capture Stream. This acts as a lasso as you wrestle with the Ghost, who's desperately trying to get away. You can make you job easier by Slamming the Ghost against walls, furniture, the ceilling...other wear it out even more until you get it over the trap. Getting it over the trap can be a pain, because you have to be pretty precise-- it helps when the games actually very good AI lends a hand and the rest of the team helps you lower him in.
The only downfall of the game is it's slight spikes in difficulty. When you lose all your health, represented by a green meter on your back, you fall over-- if there's a Ghostbuster nearby, they run over and grab your butt to wake you up. That's what it looks like- they're grabbing your butt to drag you back into combat. Your teams Survival AI is also lacking...I have had to grab many a ghostbuster butt because a Class VII Animator chucked a bunch of cinderblocks and wiped out half the team. And, to my count, the reload screen to the previous checkpoint takes a little more than a minute.
Overall, with nostalgic throwbacks to the movies (you can even talk to Vigo the Carpathians portrait in the Ghostbuster HQ), incredibly fun Ghost Wrangling and tight controls- I loved this game, even for it's boner moments. 9/10.

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