Posts Tagged ‘ Zombies ’

LRRHZBBQ and other things

I apologize for my lack of updates of the past couple months, I blame the industry (Read: Other people) more then myself, but in the upcoming summer months I pledge to bring you new content every two weeks at least. To that end I will be taking suggestions to games you’d like to hear about. Leave your suggestion in the comments or private messages or…I dunno, carrier pigeon? Anyway, with that I present to you…

Little Red Riding Hood’s Zombie BBQ

Momo is the guy at the bottom.

Scientific Purposes

A while back I picked up Little Red Riding Hood’s Zombie BBQ, henceforth referred to as LRRHZBBQ, for about 15 bucks in a Best Buy discount bin. I’d gone through all of my Advance Wars and Phoenix Wright games and needed something new for my DS, so why not. I mean, it has a T for Teen rating for “Blood and Gore, Crude Humor, Fantasy violence, Mild Language, and Mild Suggestive Themes.” At the very least, I had to check it out, at the very least for scientific purposes.

"Oh my"-George Takei

My results? Basically, I’ve determined that LRRHZBBQ is pandering at its finest, at least as much as you can get in a DS game. Spain based Gammick obviously knows what they’re doing, maybe a bit too well for their own good. It’s got zombies, guns, a buxom lass with an unreasonably short skirt, and a Japanese guy who shoots ninja stars that look like peaches. Ok, I’m not sure who this Momo “Kamikaze” Taro character is or why he shoots peaches, but he’s cool…I guess. Never really played him. Maybe it’s a Japan thing. Who would to, what with Little Red “Ready to Rock” Riding Hood, whose hobbies include hunting, cooking, collecting guns and being charming, available to play? That and the fact that they are functionally identical. Except for shooting peaches. Weird.

Actual Gameplay!!!

Anyway, the whole affair is actually a very fun game. You, presumably Little Red, are on the lower DS screen moving left to right on one of eight panels. You move forward through scrolling levels where zombies buried beneath the streets rise to nom you. You are armed with an infinite ammunition machine gun (or rapid fire ninja star gun…) along with a variety of other collectable but limited weapons, including shotguns, flamethrowers (the only part where the BBQ comes into play), or a giant death lazer. Yea, don’t get that one either but it’s cool nonetheless. You fire by touching the lower screen with the stylus and Little Red fires from her current position toward it. To reload, you lift the stylus up. Use the D-pad or stylus to move across the bottom of the screen and tap your character to duck. Pretty simple, right? LRRHZBBQ has the feel of one of those old-school arcade games that everyone could pick up after looking at the controls. Both simple yet intricate and, eventually, incredibly challenging. As far as DS games go, this one is actually difficult. The first levels are easily doable, even at the hard difficulty setting, but after a bit it becomes almost unbeatably hard. And on any other system that would be a bad thing, but this is the Nintendo DS, the system you use when the alternative is reading a book. If it were easy, you’d sail through it in an hour and wonder what you were going to do for the rest of your road trip but, as it is, it takes time and development of skill to beat. Even when it gets really bad it’s never the game’s fault for your dying, since every attack can be avoided or dodged if you’re pro, so it isn’t infuriating to fail. Especially when you get to see a bit more of Red. Rawr.

LRRHZBBQ is also one of the few DS games I’ve played that effectively uses both screens without using the touch screen exclusively, the top screen left as a stats display or some other useless stuff, or using the touch screen as a large button. The map stretches across both screen and you can, and will often need to, shoot from the lower screen to the top. All of the bosses, and most of the minibosses, inhabit the upper screen leaving the lower screen for various attacks and allowing Red to hop around without cluttering the already small space with an overly large boss. Personally, I prefer to keep Zombie Pinocchio as far away from me as possible.

So dramatic

Speaking of Zombie Pinocchio, don’t get LRRHZBBQ for a good story. As far as I can tell, there’s an evil scientist or something who’s released a virus, I think, that is awakening the dead. You, being Little Red, have to get to your grandmother’s house to save her. After you kill the zombie big bad wolf you carry on, trying to find the source and killing fairy tale characters. There’s even a zombie Santa. I guess this is what happens when Spain and Japan collaborate. Weird.

"Aspects"

Graphics-wise, LRHZBQWXOZLALALA is about average for a 3d on the DS (rendered, not 3DS). It has some good 2d drawn images, but those aren’t important (unless…weird). The in-game graphics are a bit blocky and pixelated at times, but for the most part they’re decent enough. Partly, I blame the DS touch screen, and the rest on the…concentration on other ass-pects aspects of the game.

Overall, LRRHZBBQ is entertaining to say the least. The most detrimental thing is that no one has ever heard of it. It’s certainly no Professor Layton, but it should keep you entertained for a few dozen hours, unless you have something against firing hot lead into the Zombie three little pigs. That’s completely normal, right?

DAWWWW

Call of Duty: African American Ops

Released November 9, 2010 for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, and PC by Treyarch studios, the group responsible for Call of Duty 2 and 3, and recently condemned by the Cuban government for being too violent is the newest game in the Call of Duty series Call of Duty: Black Ops. Personally, I believe that this game has, thus far, been a little too well received. I have heard reports that there was literal dancing in the streets (and laser tag) to celebrate the release of this game as well as an average Xbox Live population of over 5 million. Just let it sink in that, right now, there are more people playing Black Ops on Xbox Live than live in the state of Oklahoma. Frankly, I don’t understand this but I suppose it can’t be helped, but I digress. As COD:BO is similar in form to Halo: Reach, this review will be split into 3 separate parts, each being rated on their own merit: Single Player, Multiplayer, and Zombies.

Single Player

The first thing you notice while playing the campaign portion of Black Ops is that you, Alex Mason, are strapped to a chair and being tortured for information about the Russians or something. This is where most of the campaign’s story originates from, most of the missions being Mason’s flashbacks. The flashbacks are of your adventures during the Cold War. The missions involve all kinds of neat gimmicks, from flying a spy plane to running through poison gas in a hazmat suit, but all eventually devolve into kill the Russian/Viet Cong/Nazi/British enemies rushing at you with whatever gun Mason can get his hands on. Normally, this would be fine, but after you assassinate Fidel Castro,

You also get an achievement for headshotting Castro.

the first mission and the scene that caused Black Ops to be condemned in Cuba, the game becomes highly repetitive. Run into room, shoot enemies in front of brown border, and repeat ad nauseum. A few hours in and the player starts feeling tortured. The campaign does, however, pick up during the infrequent vehicle based sections. These are the more fun and intense sequences that kept me playing but were often over as quickly as they started, possibly because you don’t die as much, something you do a lot of when on foot.

Outside of the flashbacks, the game feels like it was made exclusively for people suffering from ADD. Flashing lights and constant camera cuts to nothing in particular make the scene incredibly hard to focus on, possibly because someone told the game industry that’s what the people wanted. The story, once you can find it, is childlike in its simplicity. There are two major plot twists at the end, one of which is spoiled by the third mission (if you’re paying attention) and the other seems tacked on to the end out of nowhere. I won’t spoil anything, but let’s just say that Oswald couldn’t have done it better.

Black Ops also suffers from somewhat lackluster acting, which is surprising given the cavalcade of stars brought in to voice the game. The two main characters, voiced by Sam Worthington and Gary Oldman, are more annoying than anything else. The voices are backed by a very impressive soundtrack, featuring selections from Credence Clearwater Revival and other original compositions that are quite good. Especially for a shoot ‘me up video game.
Realistically, the single player is not why anyone will purchase Black Ops, as it is far too weak to stand on its own and is just bad in its execution. The online multiplayer is what the Call of Duty series is known for and what is selling Black Ops.

Multi Player

Nice Dog-OH MY FACE!

The meat and potatoes of the Call of Duty franchise is the online multi player, and Black Ops expertly implements its version. At its heart, the multi-player is just like that of its predecessors but there are a few important differences from the previous Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Firstly, Black Ops is more balanced as many of the weapons and perks that were before considered unreasonably overpowered and easily abusable have been neutered or cut entirely from the game giving a more entertaining and fun experience for everyone involved.

Outside of the core gameplay a few new game types have been added (including wager matches which are always fun) and the weapon upgrade system differs slightly from COD:MW2. Players still level up to unlock weapons, but everything (except the starting set) is truly unlocked by purchasing it with COD cash (also known

Stick and Stones: Best MP mode ever.

as space bucks). Each piece of equipment for each gun comes at the price of 2,000 space bucks (average earning for a match), as do as the guns after you unlock them. This system is more flexible than the achievement based system from before, except for unlocking guns, which are, oddly enough, still level based. It just seems like an odd system when you have to unlock a gun and then buy it, even if it is for a relatively small amount.

Overall, the multi-player aspect of Black Ops is very fun to play. The new maps are very clean and nice looking. There is enough balance for even new players to have a chance at winning. As far as multiplayer games go, Black Ops isn’t a bad choice.

Zombies

A staple of Treyarch’s Call of Duty: World at War, Black Ops ships with the much anticipated Zombies mode. Here, four friends can pit themselves against undead Nazis as historical figures John F. Kennedy, “Tricky Dick” Nixon, Fidel Castro, and Robert McNamara (no one cares about him) in the Pentagon. Why are they there? Who cares!? It’s time to kill Zombies. There are a few other maps with different characters but they all follow the same high-concept, just with less historical relevance (I think one is about time travelling communists?).

World leaders at work.

 

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