Saturday, January 17, 2009

Game Day

Ginger's still sick but is at least mobile today. In order to kill some time I let the kids try and help me out with two new video games I bought. I bought the Incredible Hulk and Iron Man for the Wii. Both were on sale at Target for only $20 apiece, so I thought to myself that's not too bad and I could take the risk on them.

The Incredible Hulk boasts 360 degree completely interactive environments where everything can be destroyed. So when the game first starts you're in a room in a warehouse (I know, a video game that takes place in a warehouse with boxes and crates, très original). I immediately went and tried to destroy a wall, but no dice. This is apparently the most sturdy well built and fortified warehouse on the planet. Now I will admit that once you get through the warehouse area you get to roam Manhattan. Now this is where it actually gets fun. They've actually mapped out most of Manhattan and you can roam it to your hearts content. And if you're a fan of wanton destruction this is a game for you. You can knock down buildings, destroy cars, and cause general chaos. One aspect that makes the game morally questionable to play with the kids around is that the destruction you cause is indiscriminate, which means you can (and do accidentally) harm civilians as easily as you fight the bad guys. Remember how in the old Hulk cartoons whenever Hulk would destroy stuff somehow no one ever got hurt? That's not the case here. In fact the sheer amount of collateral damage you cause is shocking. The only bad game play issues so far that I can knock it for is the camera angle is a bit hard to control at times. Plus there are a ton of different actions to take and so the controls to execute commands at time can be tedious (like to activate a heal is shake the nunchuk, press right on control pad and press B simultaneously). The other minor issue is traveling from one end of the island to the other takes a fair amount of time. There is a way to use the subways, but you have to travel to the subway waypoints first and they don't tell where those waypoints are (maybe that info is in the instructions, but I didn't read those). Overall I'm pretty happy with this game as it's turning out to be a lot of fun.

The Iron Man game on the other hand must be my karma for enjoying the Hulk game. I haven't had the chance to play the game really yet, but Quinn played through the first level. Unlike most games that use the control stick on the nunchuk to move around, Iron Man has a move forward button and you use the Wii pointer remote to turn (I guess for all the money Tony Stark spends on his suit making it be able to go backwards is beyond current technology). It's a horribly awkward interface. And since Quinn isn't that coordinated in using the pointer everything keeps turning constantly. I thought I might get sick just watching him play the first level. Maybe it gets better after that intro level, but based on the game play, I'm not sure (although Hulk did get a lot better after that intro level, so maybe I should stick with Iron Man a bit more before writing it off).

Unfortunately neither game has a multiplayer option which is something I really look for in games these days so I can play with the kids. I've been spoiled by how good the Lego series is at multiplayer I think (still trying to convince Ginger to let me a buy a PS3 so I can get Little Big Planet).

So I've just learned the kids have Monday and Tuesday off from school. Monday because it's a holiday (Martin Luther King) and Tuesday because of the inauguration. They keep saying how bad traffic and everything is going to be on Tuesday, but I had no idea they were going to close schools. I did like the one report I heard where police officials were telling locals that they should treat it like a hurricane and stock up on food and essentials beforehand (which seems like overkill to me for where we are, although I could see it if you're closer to the actual event).


gaz said...

One aspect that makes the game morally questionable to play with the kids around is that the destruction you cause is indiscriminate,

i guess that's the reason why these type of games are given a T rating.

CAPT_Sawyer said...

Lots of strep going around right now. I'm waiting on my culture results, but I'm already on antibiotics as a precaution.