So although this post is long overdue, it’s finally time for me to sit down and slog through my pages of notes for all the demos. I went to MCM as press, and decided to try as many demos as I could. Some were good, some were bad, some were… interesting. I got to play four demos in all, and what a four they were…
I’d heard of the anime and the dragging on manga that was seemingly never getting more chapters, but not the game. Beserk’s visuals are somewhat dated and reminiscent of an old JRPG, but this in no way hinders it. You can jump straight into the action without any prior knowledge of the series, and it’s a great mishmash of gory hack’n’slash and high fantasy.
You can slaughter your way through demons with ease, since you’ve got some massive ass sword and a ton of blood and rain effects to keep you entertained. It doesn’t feel like you’ve overwhelmed by the mobs; you’re actually getting somewhere, whittling the numbers down. I was having a ton of fun, plus the helpful minimap that also displays enemy locations is a thing of beauty. My one complaint was that the spurts of blood and quick movements from Guts makes it more than a bit disorienting, but on the whole? Totally recommend.
This is one I believe I saw a preview for – maybe E3 – a few months ago, and was absolutely charmed by it. The soft, claymation-esque art style in the evocative mood lighting, topped off with the suspiciously mundane environments? Oh yeah, this was right up my alley. It reminded me of Coraline and I adored it, so this was a great surprise.
The control scheme, however, left a lot to be desired – you had to hold R2 and X to climb and move things, respectively, and there’s no way of knowing what is and isn’t movable, so I spent a lot of time stuck in the first room and awkwardly clambering up things, because the R2 button is just flat out uncomfortable to be holding down for extended periods of time. There definitely needs to be an objective market to cut down on frustration levels, and perhaps using just the X button for climbing. However, this does not a bad game make. I’m excited, it looks creepy as hell, and maybe I’ll work up the guts to review it. Maybe.
This is a weird one. It’s a verrryyyy old fashioned visual novel, straight from Japan, yet it’s a hardboiled Western noir with a sci fi twist on it. It’s almost like an arcade game with really clunky controls; you use the arrow keys to move and snap between static objects, for example. While I do love my visual novels, this one is insanely wordy, which I reckon is going to put a lot of people off unless it has the most exciting murder mystery case of all time. Visual novels already sell terribly over here because the mainstream crowd don’t want to read, so I can’t see this doing much better.
Gal Gun Double Peace
I know, I know, I know. I was morbidly curious, is my only excuse. I wanted to see how a game this creepy could actually see the light of day outside of Japan and the PS Vita, no less. It’s a shame it’s so horrible, because really, the art style is quite nice. Look!
It’s clean and colourful, and generally really nice to look at – the text is a great font, too, for blind people like me to read easily. Then we got to shit like this, and I forgot any praise I was going to give about the shooting mechanics:
I accept that perverted and pornographic games exist, I do. I may not like them and think they’re pushing worrisome stereotypes, but as long as these games have characters that are of age and consenting, c’est la vie. But Gal Gun is full of ambiguously aged characters that look nowhere near 16 (and yes, I’m aware the age of consent is 13 in Japan), in increasingly skimpy outfits, put into sexual situations where they’re visibly uncomfortable and distressed. Is this really a turn on for people? I left feeling like an utter creep, and if I’m honest, kind of disgusted this made it to retail. Fanservice is one thing, but can we please keep in between actual adults and not preteen girls?
And then there’s this:
Yep. Free girl’s underwear with the limited edition. I give up.
(definitely check out the others, though!)