Posts Tagged ‘comic book’

So my experience with The Walking Dead has mainly been with the television series on AMC. I know that the series is based on the comic book series, but I really don’t read comics. As for zombies, well my experience with them dates back to when I was a young zombie slayer through my ever expanding imagination from reading books and watching movies. Yes, I had cool parents who let me watch Rated “R” movies. Currently, I get my zombie fix from the first two seasons of the television series on Blu-ray, but when I learned that The Walking Dead (based on the comic books) was coming to Xbox 360 I really got excited. Then there was the part where I found out that there were five episodes with one releasing each month. I thought that sucked, because I’m sure the anticipation to see what happens next drove everyone crazy. Well I decided to wait until all five episodes were available so I can just play them all without the agonizing wait in between. Well let me tell you that the long wait was worth every minute.

PROS:

Lee Everett
From a convicted felon to a near father figure for young Clementine, my experience playing as main protagonist Lee Everett was amazing. Probably the best character I’ve ever played due to the fact that all his actions and decisions were based on my choices. Like a choose your own adventure book, I helped shape what Lee would eventually become, and I’m quite satisfied with the results whether I wanted to be somewhat of a good man or a complete asshole and not give a shit. This is the zombie apocalypse by the way. Making friends, along with trusting others, can be a little tough especially considering that I’m taking care of a little girl who just wants to get back to her family.

For Clementine
Other than Lee, Clementine plays such a key role in the actions I chose to partake in. She may be a little girl that I’m protecting, but when you think about it she can also be quite impressionable. Killing the “Walkers” or even certain people can come at a price especially if Clementine is around when it happens. For example: I took a hammer and beat the former babysitter’s head in a few times and Clementine watched in horror as it happened. The screen said that she will remember it. This sort of had me second guessing about how I choose to kill, because I surely didn’t want to scar her for life. Then again it is the zombie apocalypse right? For me it was all about keeping Clementine alive, and I did just that through my adventure.

The Story And Overall Atmosphere
I really liked the point and click style of storytelling that Telltale Games uses. Coming from some of their previous games I played including Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures and Sam and Max Save the World, The Walking Dead was more of a shock to me. I never thought I’d see Telltale make a game on a more “mature” angle, but they pulled it off perfectly. Sure the graphics may resemble something on the lines of a Saturday morning cartoon, but the game’s theme is far from it especially with moments where I blew a cop’s head off with a shotgun, and watching Walkers devour people piece by piece. The best part is that Telltale Games kept to the series’ dark-sided roots. I also liked how they incorporated new characters to the series like they were always there as well as seeing a few regulars along for the ride including Hershel Greene and Glenn.

Decisions, Decisions
What makes this game so unique is the tough decisions I had to make. Who do I choose to align myself with? This determines how characters reacted to me. The most important decision was the tough choice deciding on who lives and who dies? That decision alone shapes the overall course of the game. I always wondered whether I was making the right choices, because I could really feel the weight of the decision and the pain that Lee Everett suffers through. Later on, when an episode ends, I get to see a board with the overall community’s decisions just to see if other people agreed with me. Now I wonder what happens if I went in the other direction. I smell replay value.

CONS:

Easy Achievements
I’m really disappointed with the overall easiness of earning achievements in this game. Just completing each episode gave me all the available achievements. Sure the achievement whore in me is quite happy as I add another game to the completion list, but I what I really wanted was some sort of extra challenge on some of the achievements making that “Achievement Unlocked” tone more worthy of attaining. Hopefully Telltale Games works on that for Season 2.

The Long Wait For Season 2
I now understand the anticipation that gamers had when anxiously awaiting new episodes every month. I waited for five months just to get all the episodes, and now I have to wait even longer for the next season to come along just to see where the story goes next. I feel your pain everyone, because waiting sucks.

IN CONCLUSION

Sure it’s a point and click game, but The Walking Dead feels like it’s so much more. Left 4 Dead it is not. The Walking Dead is a game filled with amazing storytelling, character development, intense drama, and tough decision making. Basically what this boils down to is an amazing experience that should not be missed by anyone. I enjoyed my time with this game and I plan on revisiting the drama and horror again and again. The Walking Dead is a definite must buy for any fan of the series whether it’s the comic books or the television series. Maybe it’s time for me to read those comic books as well.

Developer: Telltale Games
Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
Players: 1
Price: 2000 Microsoft Points ($25.00)

Pros:
Controls Flow Well With The Game Action
Excellent Multiplayer

Cons:
Game Is Too Short
Asking Price Is A Little High

In a world where a mad bomber is hell bent on destruction, one man will be charged with saving the day. He must be strong. He must be brave. He must be fast. He must also have a grappling hook. Let’s welcome Speedrunner to the latest batch of original superheroes. The latest title in the Xbox Live Indie Games Summer Uprising brings us a battle of good vs evil. Sadly, this adventure is over as soon as it starts.

Speedrunner HD, from DoubleDutch Games, is 18 levels of fast paced action as you make your way from Point A to Point B in the quickest time possible. Each action packed level  is an obstacle course filled with jumps, slides and grapple points. along with that comes dangers like gaps, spikes and other obstacles meant to slow our hero down. In between all the action is comic book inspired cutscenes to get you involved in the story. At first I quickly passed through this to go to the stages just to play the game. Later I went back to get myself involved with the story and found the comic fun to read.

As I was literally going balls to the wall through each level, I saw myself getting into the action. Each move you make is fluid and flows nicely with the game. I’ve also had no signs of hiccups in the jumps and slides which is a big plus. With all that said you would think that I thought the game was easy. Well your wrong. The early levels feel more like a tutorial, but the later levels are a true test of patience. Get ready for some trial and error in Speedrunner HD because your going to die quite a bit almost to the point of wanting to throw down your controller in fits of rage.

One area I really enjoyed is multiplayer. You and three other wannabe heroes can jump into some local multiplayer action. Just having a few friends by to play the game made for some interesting competition. I will tell you that the multiplayer action almost felt reminiscent to Mario Kart as everyone was running for their lives in mass confusion while also trying to figure out where to go to reach the goal. This makes for some great party game action.

If there was one thing that I had a problem with in Speedrunner HD it would have to be how quickly the game ended. With the fast paced nature of the game, Speedrunner’s heroic adventures end almost as quickly as it begins. Around 30-45 minutes is all it takes to master this game which made me wonder if players are willing to accept the 240 Microsoft Point ($3.00) asking price. At 80 Microsoft Points however, this game would be a steal.

While the single-player campaign may not be up to speed in terms of length, Speedrunner HD does have an addictive multiplayer component that will make players not think about the inaugural asking price. The game is a lot of fun to play, but don’t expect a lot of replay value unless your a real completionist by saying to yourself that you must achieve that gold medal. In the end, Speedrunner HD is a fun game, but I wish there was more to enjoy.

A big thank you goes out to Casper Van Est of DoubleDutch Games for providing me a review code for the game. Thanks Casper! BH