Welcome back! I think it's time for another round of game reviews. Even though the next generation of game systems of coming relatively soon, new titles are still being released on the current game systems every month. I tried a few different games, including Batman: The Enemy Within, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, and Call of Cthulhu. They're not first person shooters or role-playing games. Did these games work for me or did they seem disappointing? Keep reading to find out.
The Enemy Within is season two of Batman: The Telltale Series. Bruce Wayne encounters a new collection of rogues, including the Riddler, Harley Quinn, Bane, Mr. Freeze, and others. Depending on the player's choices, Batman will form uneasy alliances with various characters, such as Amanda Waller from the Suicide Squad. Friends might become enemies and villains may show a change of heart. Ultimately, everything depends on the player's choices.
I usually address the game's positive elements first and The Enemy Within doesn't have many of them. Luckily, the voice acting is very good and it kept my attention. The characters have realistic and expressive voices that are appropriate for the Batman series. I can't say a lot of details beyond that, but it's one of the game's better elements.
This game has really fun combat mechanics, even though it's a graphic adventure. The player uses a point and click system that requires really good reflexes. Basically, you'll see awesome fight scenes if the right buttons are pressed in sequence and on time. It's kind of like watching an animated movie. The fight scenes are definitely the best part of the game.
In the end, I don't like this game very much. The animation of terrible for a Telltale game. Sometimes black blotches randomly show up on the screen. Character's eyes might point in weird directions. Most of the characters walk like marionettes and I didn't see any visual improvements from season one. It's very disappointing.
I didn't enjoy the plot either. The story is convoluted with a multitude of subplots. It just doesn't make a lot of sense. Unfortunately, the complexity and confusion doesn't add substance. The plot might be hard to follow, yet it doesn't have any material that will make the player think on a deep level.
This game is also quite unfaithful to the source material. Everyone acts out of character. Heroes are making alliances with villains. Sidekicks are bigger threats than Batman's most important enemies. Many of the characters have completely different personalities, backstories, and careers than anything we've seen in earlier Batman works. Major characters also die in the middle of the game. I just don't understand. Is this game trying to reinvent Batman? It's not working for me.
Here's the worst part. The Enemy Within isn't a real Batman game. It's actually a Suicide Squad game, but I'm pretty sure Telltale Studios needed to use the Batman name to sell copies. Batman is the protagonist, but the entire story revolves around Suicide Squad characters and themes. It's just false advertising. I believe this game was a huge missed opportunity.
My verdict isn't very good. This game is disappointing and I don't think diehard Batman fans will enjoy the experience. Just skip this game. You're not missing anything.
The next game on this post is the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. It's a remaster of the original Crash Bandicoot games on the PlayStation. This anthology features a wacky, genetically engineered marsupial who escapes from a mad scientist. Crash befriends a mystical, living Tiki mask and goes on many wild adventures.
In general, I enjoy the Crash Bandicoot games. The franchise is basically the gold standard for people who love platformers. This particular collection is fun, immersive, funny, and suitable for gamers of any age. Each installment gives Crash more skills and abilities, so I encourage you to play the games in order.
The animation in this game is definitely a huge improvement from the original releases. There was nothing wrong with the original animation back in the nineties, but that was several years ago. The N. Sane Trilogy has modern graphics and it's a great fit for today's game systems. Everything looks better and it still feels like authentic Crash Bandicoot.
This is a very nostalgic experience for gamers who grew up with the franchise. It's the same platforming experience with a few improvements and I think Crash Bandicoot fans will be quite happy. This collection is also a great way to introduce younger audiences to the series. I'm pretty sure kids will enjoy the N. Sane Trilogy, even though the games can be challenging.
I have to point out a couple flaws. Ironically, this remaster doesn't fix some of the issues in the original games. One would think certain elements could be fixed or modernized. For example, the camera angle still moves around awkwardly. It's important for the player to master toggling camera angles during the gameplay. The vehicles are still very difficult to handle and killing enemies can be a hit or miss experience. It's also easy to slip off ledges and die. Maybe these issues couldn't be fixed, but I assumed at least the camera situation would be better.
Additionally, this trilogy can be frustrating because the player will die many times. It just happens. That's part of the Crash Bandicoot series. That's probably the main reason why Crash can accumulate a maximum of ninety-nine lives. You'll have to learn specific patterns to move through the game with less frustration. Luckily, extra lives and checkpoints are plentiful. Watch out for the bonus levels as well. They're a complete nightmare.
In the end, I definitely recommend this game for most people. It's a lot of fun and a nice reprieve from role-playing games or first person shooters. However, some gamers don't click with platformers. If you're looking for a substantial platforming experience, pick up this trilogy.
Finally, I'm reviewing Call of Cthulhu, based on the short story by H.P. Lovecraft. The story takes place in a fishing community near Boston during the early 20th-Century. Edward Pierce is a war veteran and private investigator who takes a case in a strange little town. He uncovers a violent murder, a frightening cult, and a terrifying supernatural phenomenon. Edward might survive, but this town could destroy his sanity.
Honestly, this game is awful, but I can mention a couple positive elements. This game isn't very scary, but it's atmospheric and the environment is creepy. Some moments are shocking and it has a few good jump scares. I'll give credit for decent world building in a horror setting.
This is a mystery game, somewhat like the Sherlock Holmes series. However, you also have the opporunity to build a skill tree and it definitely makes the experience better. The player can build different kinds of abilities that alter the gameplay. You can build Edward's investigation skills, first aid, milking information from other characters, brute strength, and knowledge about the occult. I appreciate the role-playing elements.
Unfortunately, the rest of my review is pretty negative. This game is unbelievebly boring. I yawned several times and became quite sleepy. It's a slow game that lacks genuine scares. An H.P. Lovecraft game should be interesting, but that's simply not the case.
I didn't like the voice acting and characters either. There's very little character development and it seemed like the voice actors weren't invested. It reminds me of PC games from the eighties and nineties with bad voice acting. Characters die and it doesn't matter. Why should I care about characters who are mundane and bland?
Other elements are a mess too. The plot is disorganized, convoluted, and inferior to the short story by H.P. Lovecraft. It's a mish mash of body horror, murder mystery, and elements from the Dagon mythos, but nothing is put together well. This game also steals many elements from the Dishonored series, such as telepathic whale monsters. I realize Dishonored borrowed elements from H.P. Lovecraft, but the original Call of Cthulhu story didn't include talking whale creatures.
I recommend skipping this game. It's not fun, scary, or interesting. Fans of Lovecraftian work will be disappointed. If you want an interesting murder mystery, play Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment. I suggest playing Until Dawn if you want a cinematic experience with survival horror.
That's the end of my triple feature review. Have you played any of these games yet? Tell me about your experience in the comment section. Next week, I'll post some photos from my outing at the Dapper Day Expo and Disneyland Hotel. I'm also posting more film reviews in the near future. Keep watching for more content and I'll see you guys soon. Have a good night!
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