Tagged "Enslaved"

Nov 11
By Matt Gander In Reviews No Comments

Long before Enslaved there was a TV series shown in the 70s called Monkey that was also based on the 16th century Chinese novel Saiyūki. According to the TV show theme tune 70s Monkey was “the funkiest monkey that ever popped”. If you called this new Monkey a funky monkey he’d probably pop you round the chops, being the tough videogame character that he is. 70s Monkey could change forms though – in one episode he turned into a hornet – so it’s swings and roundabouts regarding which Monkey is the best, really.

That’s quite enough monkey business for now. After an enthralling first level that will stick in your mind for years to come, hero Monkey finds himself in a war-torn and abandoned iteration of New York along with tech-savy female Trip. Trip can be given simple commands via a menu system and because she has control over Monkey, if she dies then Monkey will also snuff it. After a few hours of play the story progresses to outside the city and introduces a third character – Pigsy. Pigsy is a fat slob of a man who brings some humour into the mix, even making fun out of the lead character’s Jedward-alike hair. (Apologies if you read this review in 2011 and don’t have a clue who Jedward are).

Ninja Theory’s last game – the PlayStation 3 exclusive Heavenly Sword – was, and still is, a very beautiful game. Obviously if Enslaved looked any worse then it would be considered a step backwards for the studio, but fortunately this isn’t the case. The developer’s interpretation of a fauna and flora covered New York is superb, as is the facial animation and lip-synching of the three characters. Another treat for your eyes involves getting an old windmill to spin; the view of grass covered mountains in the background as you climb up the sails is astonishing. Even the swamp you have to visit looks colourful due to having brightly coloured mech fuel haphazardly poured into it.

Although combat doesn’t feature as heavily as you may expect, there are still plenty of instances to give the mechs a good whacking with Monkey’s whacking stick. Some enemies have guns that can be torn from their robotic limbs and used against them, while others will summon more mechs if you don’t take them out in good time. This means that you often have to prioritise which enemies to attack first, and as some have shields that have to be deactivated first it’s far from being a mindless button basher. It speaks volumes that I sometimes let them summon more troops just so I could give them a pasting. The boss battles are satisfying and creative as well, although it is a little lazy how one of the bosses shows up twice and can be beaten the same way as during the first encounter.

Even so, Enslaved is very hard game to criticise without sounding nitpicky. It is however not a very hard game. There’s one achievement for finishing a level without dying and another for finishing a level without taking a hit. Unless you forget that there’s a block button then I don’t see anybody struggling to get either. Trip’s animation is a little bit robotic in places when compared to Monkey’s extravagant jumping animations but like I said – it’s nitpicking. I’d happily say that this is one of the best adventure games of the year and quite possibly the best female escorting expedition since Ico. And no, I don’t mean female escorts in that sense. Trip is a classy lady.

Nov 08
By Matt Gander In UK Charts 1 Comment

UK Charts

GoldenEye 007 hasn’t managed to make it into the top 10 chart this week, but don’t feel down because 007: Blood Stone hasn’t made the cut either. Instead they’re at #13 and #17 respectively. I think Activision themselves are partly to blame – what were they thinking launching them both just 4 days before the biggest game of the year? 007: Blood Stone hasn’t had much publicity either, while reviews for GoldenEye 007 were held back until the last minute even though it’s a very fine game.

But I digress – there’s a new #1 in the form of Football Manager 2011. FIFA 11 is at #2, Fable III at #3, Just Dance 2 at #4 and up three positions is Professor Layton and the Lost Future at #5. The X-Factor game is doing a little better than last week – it was at #37 but it’s now at #22. It’s also swings and roundabouts for Enslaved and Castlevania – Enslaved has risen from #34 to #30 while Castlevania has dropped from #18 to #40.

Blur has made a re-entry at #36 presumably as it has been reduced to due to £12.99 at Blockbuster and £12 at Tesco.

Oct 25
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

UK Charts

Like Fallout 3 before it, which went straight to #1 back in 2008, Fallout: New Vegas has hit the jackpot for Bethesda and has also managed to outsell its predecessor on launch. Medal of Honor is now at #2, FIFA 11 at #3 and at #4 it’s a new entry for Professor Layton and the Lost Future. Sega’s Vanquish is the next new arrival at #12, followed by EA Sports MMA at #23. I thought MMA would do a little better than this seeing that UFC: Undisputed rode the chart high.

Both Enslaved and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow have had bad weeks – Enslaved has dropped from #11 to #31 while Castlevania drops from #10 to #20. That’s nothing though when compared to Naurto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 which has fallen all the way from #9 to #37.

Despite good reviews DJ Hero 2 has only managed a #25 placing. This, coupled with the fact that Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock hasn’t sold anywhere near as well as the last few Guitar Hero games, suggests that music games are on their way out. If EA’s Rock Band 3 fails to sell well then that’ll pretty much confirm it.

Oct 18
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

UK Charts

Were a few rather critical reviews ever going to harm Medal of Honor? Of course not – even though it has been a few years since the last MoH it’s still a franchise that’s popular. As such, it enters at #1 in the UK chart, beating my prediction of a #2 entry. I wonder though how many people are planning to trade their copies in on the 11th November?

This means FIFA 11 is now at #2. Just Dance 2 enters at #3, Wii Party rises from #10 to #4 and there’s also a surprise new entry in the top 10 – Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 at #9. Enslaved and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow are both on the way out of the top 10 already, currently at #10 and #11 respectively.

Elsewhere, Mass Effect 2 is back at #16 as Game are selling it for £5 if you buy Medal of Honor at the same time. Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition at #35, completes this week’s new releases.

Oct 11
By Matt Gander In UK Charts 1 Comment

UK Charts

In the all formats chart Castlevania: Lords of Shadow managed to outdo Enslaved: Odyssey to the West by one place – Konami’s fang-tastic romp goes in at #6 while Ninja Theory’s monkey man jumps in at #7. Likewise in the PlayStation 3 chart Castlevania sold more than Enslaved did but the Xbox 360 chart tells a different story with Enslaved ranking higher than Castlevania by one place. What does this tell us? Probably that more PlayStation owners are bigger fans of Castlevania.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 is the highest new entry though at #2, currently unable to shove FIFA 11 off the top of the chart. Wii Party – which comes bundled with a Wii Remote – boogies into the chart at #10 while WRC: FIA World Championship skids in at #11. NBA 2K11 is the only other new release making a chart appearance at a respectable #19.

There’s still no sign of movie tie-in Despicable Me in the top 40, and neither has Front Mission Evolved managed to make it. It does though make it into the Xbox 360 chart at #25.

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