October 2, 2012 by Daniel
I forgot a couple things on my Progress Report yesterday soooo…here they are!
1. I totally forgot that I played through Shank in about two days, probably because that game is not very good. The basic combat system is okay, but it’s kind of imprecise. The plot is typical “revenge” kind of stuff, none of the characters are particularly interesting, and I find the dismissive way they deal with the fact that Shank’s girlfriend is RAPED before she’s killed to be kind of troubling. Like, we’re used to girlfriends being used as fridge-stuffing in these testerone-appealing games (not to mention movies, TV, comics, what-have-you), and that’s certainly not acceptable but it’s at least sort of…par for the course. Which is pretty fucking weird when you think about it. But it’s another thing altogether when it’s like “We murdered your girlfriend. Also, she was raped before we did that. Just sayin’.” It’s kind of this bizarre throwaway statement, and it just rubbed me the wrong way.
But anyways, the game itself is bad. It’s only three hours long in the first place and its mechanics couldn’t even hold my attention past the first 30 minutes. The level design has no sense of crescendo and climax – there are at least two occasions where you fight a boss right in the middle of the level, and then the level just…keeps going for no reason. The boss fights themselves are really boring, mostly consisting of a single “trick” that the hint system will straight up tell you about the first time you die, and then you just do that a bunch of times and…that’s it. The game doesn’t really get any more difficult than when it first starts, with the only real ramp-up in later levels coming from parts of the levels being obnoxiously obscured, allowing enemies to get in all kinds of annoying cheap shots. You pick up more weapons as the game goes on, but they’re not all that different from each other and they’re pretty imbalanced, with the shotgun being the obvious best gun other than a few long-distance situations and the katana winning out as the best heavy weapon by way of being able to throw the heavier enemies. I’ll be playing through the co-op mode with a friend shortly, and I suspect that’ll be a bit more fun, but still. Pretty poor game, despite some relatively decent mechanical ideas.
2. I’ve just been mainlining episodes of Archer over the past week and am now midway through the second season. It’s pretty damn hilarious; recommended to anyone who likes their comedies fast and witty. Also, it ends up with about 4 cast members from Arrested Development in it, so if you’re a fan, dig in.
I’m pretty sure it’s just those two. I’m actually gonna put up the first of my new weekly Monday features in like a half hour so stay tuned!