Posts Tagged ‘2D’

Let’s see. How many Sonic games do I have now on my Xbox 360? Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic 3, Sonic and Knuckles, Sonic Spinball, Sonic 3D Blast, Sonic CD, Sonic Adventure, Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing, Sonic Generations, and Sonic 4: Episode 1 (I also have it on my iPad). Man that’s a lot of Sonic games. It’s safe to assume that I’m a big Sonic the Hedgehog fan. I’ve only been playing the games since Sonic 1’s original release on the Sega Genesis. The blue blur sure is fun to have around. Now Sonic is back with a whole new adventure and this time he’s not alone.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2, from Sega, brings back a familiar face (other than Sonic) to the 2D platformer. That’s right…it’s Tails. In a way, Episode 2 feels like I’m playing Sonic 2 all over again except without the cool Chemical Plant Zone (I still can’t get that tune out of my head. It’s catchy). Four brand new yet familiar zones to blast process my way through and it’s fun. Sega even brought back the special stages reminiscent of Sonic 2 which held both excitement (getting the Chaos Emerald) and frustration (when Tails hit those damn bombs causing me to lose rings and lose a chance at a Chaos Emerald) at the same time. The one thing I really got a kick out of is the team up moves where Sonic and Tails would do a mid air high five and then work together to get out of a tough situation that could possibly involve dying. Let’s also not forget the bonus Episode Metal content starring Metal Sonic (you must have Episode 1 for that to work).

After playing the game last night, as well as acquiring a few achievements, the big question I had was “Why are all the reviewers trashing this game?” Sure it’s not perfect in any way, but it is a big improvement over Episode 1. I felt like Sonic was a bit faster in this version, the graphics are well improved, and the Tails team up moves bring a fresh change of pace to the game as well. However, I will agree with some of the reviewers in terms of how the invincibility power-ups are in locations where there are not any enemies to take down. I also agree about the boss battle music that seems to be on an endless loop every few seconds which gets quite annoying. Where’s Amy’s hammer when you need it most? Speaking of boss battles, these were some tough fights that require a bit of trial and error to get through on the first time, but become much easier each time you play it.

Clearly Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 is no Sonic Generations, but it is better than the Sonic the Hedgehog game released on the Xbox 360 in 2006. I’m still trying to forget that one. It’s a blast from the past, and it allows us to enjoy playing a Sonic game the way it was meant to be played…in 2D! What more can you ask for? Well, maybe Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 3 with Knuckles?

Publisher: Sega
Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
Players: 1 to 2 (Local or Xbox Live co-op)
Price: 1200 Microsoft Points ($15.00)

2D Deathmatch Gameplay Is Fun
Looks Nice Graphically

Limited Maps, Classes and Game Modes
Nobody Online For Multiplayer
Not Much Replay Value

After a brief delay Take Arms was finally released to the masses on Xbox Live Indie Games. One of the final games on the Summer Uprising brings us deathmatch style gameplay all on a good looking 2D plane. With all that said I was really hyped up about the game. Sadly, Take Arms is nothing more than a poor man’s ZP2KX.

Take Arms, from Discord Games, can be considered as a stripped down bare bones 2D version of Call of Duty. In other words you get what Call of Duty is supposed to do without all the extras. The multiplayer based shooter really doesn’t say why your fighting, but then again neither do most other shooters. It’s basically red vs green in the ultimate battle for supremacy. So what color do you want to be?

Featuring three game modes (Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and Capture The Flag), three maps, and three weapon classes it’s safe to assume that Take Arms has the infamous “Rule of Three” down to a tee. For a game of this type I would expect more, but didn’t get it. Maybe it will be DLC. According to Discord Games, you can expect some content down the road. However, I feel that more maps were needed now, because the three that are available will bore you after a few games.

As for the gameplay itself, Take Arms accels with fun 2D gameplay which I found enjoyable. Those familiar with ZP2KX will notice the familiar 2D deathmatch gameplay. It’s actually quite fun and Take Arms does a good job here with it. Your character will run, jump and shoot across large stages filled with bunkers, bridges, tunnels, and so much more. Grenade throwing will become your best friend when characters are hiding in lower levels, and snipers won’t be camping long especially in these wide open environments.

I took a long while to write this review due to the reason that Take Arms is strictly a multiplayer game. You can play alone by choosing bots, but it doesn’t feel the same. One of the game’s biggest setbacks is the lack of online players. I wanted to test my killing skills online, but I couldn’t find one game on Xbox Live where people were playing. Considering the fact that there’s way to many other games out there it’s safe to assume that Take Arms will be hearing crickets online.

Another problem that I have with Take Arms has to do with why they have an XP system. What is the purpose of leveling up? Well according to this game it might just be there to show how good you are. There’s nothing special about leveling up. There’s no perks, upgraded weapons, nothing whatsoever. This is a huge disappointment. There’s no real incentive here to keep playing past a couple of playthroughs.

Overall, Take Arms is a game filled with so much potential, but fails to execute. Graphically, the game is nice. The action is well done. Sadly, everything else is not exciting enough to warrant a purchase. Add on to the fact that nobody is playing the game online makes this the icing on the cake in a negative way. Try out the demo if your feeling froggy, otherwise this game is a pass. Time to go back to ZP2KX.

A big thank you goes out to James Petruzzi of Discord Games for providing me with a review code of the game. Thanks again James. BH