Delayed Responsibility

I Shouldn't Be Gaming Right Now… But I Am!

Arcanum, and Heavenly Sword

Posted by deckard47 on July 28, 2008

First of all, why is LA so hot? I was there for two days, and my body still remembers that oppressive, constant heat. Never, never will I live in that sweltering dust bowl (unless somebody there hires me!).

Enough of that, there are two things from Comic-Con that bear mentioning. First, we have the Tron 2 (or Tr2n… really?) trailer, which features a badass, bearded Jeff Bridges, and some new and possibly improved Light Cycle action. Exciting, yes? I love old Jeff Bridges, I must say. I wonder how he’ll have changed since the last movie. Probably a bit more jaded, from the look of the beardie.

Second, there is the trailer (in two parts) of the Wolverine movie. I was really skeptical about this when I first heard about it. I think everyone remembers how bad the third movie was. It was amazingly bad. Sadly, I’m still pretty skeptical about it. Some of it looks cool, but the mutton chops on Laertes are a bit silly. I guess it’s canonical, or some shit. Still, could be fun, and it would have to work hard to be as bad as X3.

Now, for the title of this post. I am now dead set on downloading Arcanum. I dream of crafting pistols and rifles, and then questing for more parts with my kickass dwarf inventor. Soon.

Finally, Heavenly Sword. There were a lot of mean things said about this game before and after it came out, there were a lot of people who were quick to point out how darn mediocre the game was, and all because a small group of nutso Sony fans (and a larger, more vocal group of Sony PR people) kept on telling this game would rule everybody. In the end, I was actually kind of happy with my experience. Yes, it is absolutely a short game. It makes Drake’s Fortune look long by comparison. I think it is about 5 hours long if that. I must admit, it felt a bit short. Didn’t they have any more story to throw in there? Guess not. The combat was fun, and despite the fact that people found it boring, I loved how ludicrous the combos (and resulting ragdoll effects) got. Everyone was talking about how this game could never be compared to God of War, and they were right. This game might have slightly repetitive combat, small scope, and unambitious design, but it had a few things that God of War sadly lacks.

God of War has a boring story. BORING. I don’t care if you can kill a lost God while riding a sexy demon woman horse bareback while she exhorts you to murder her evil incubus father on a giant, beautifully rendered heaving ship, all while the entire map is being eaten by a mutant armadillo. Yes, I get it, your shit is epic. Luckily, we have a great story to back up that gameplay, right? No, we have a stupid, monosyllabic, pale “Greek” troglodyte who makes his Penny Arcade incarnation look downright Falknerian (is that a word? It might be, I suppose, if I spelled it differently… maybe I should say Jamesian? I think we all know that the most complicated characters of all are written by Terry Goodkind) in his level of character depth.

Yes, the actors in Heavenly Sword do ham it up, and the plot and setting are pretty unimaginative (look, white people with “Asian” culture… why, dunno?). Still, I found myself enjoying the overwrought melodrama and the bizarrely comedic interludes equally. Plus, Nariko and Kai rock the shit, each in their different way. Was I the only one who was reminded of the BBC television series’ Sheriff of Nottingham, every time Bohan/Andy Serkis opened his mouth? I kind a dug it, to tell the truth. He was spitting and laughing and talking in the same fashion, and I forgave him his faults, in the same fashion. Despite all this, there were problems. I could bearly stop myself from laughing at the various bad guys henchmen (especially snake lady and weird flying sword guy), and it was not good laughter. Plus, let’s not forget Nariko’s clothes… Really guys, really? Was your game in that much need of bare legs?

I think that I’m sad that they aren’t planning on a sequel. It was a nice alternative to God of War’s Xtreme Rock n’ Roll take on ancient Greece, and now we may never see it again. I especially will miss the dynamic between Nariko and Kai, which was better than most character relationships in almost any game I’ve ever played. I can’t honestly say that most people will like this game. You can go read a review, and you’ll probably figure out that this game is only worth renting (which is true!). BUT, you’d be making a mistake if you wrote it off as just an IGN 7. It’s an interesting entry in the field of heavily motion-captured games, one that I think more people should experience.

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