Crystal's Game Beat
In this regular feature, I will judge books, erm, games by their covers. And their advertising campaigns.
This game has a pretty epic trailer. I get the distinct feeling I’m about to step into a political thriller. Our hero will “stop at nothing to learn the truth.” He slams a man into a shattered mirror. He turns around to view a national monument, a building surrounded by American flags. Johnny Cash plays while this bad ass uses an American flag as a weapon. Crashing glass, giant guns, gritty urban areas.
The cover of the game features an unshaven, tough as nails fighter with a small gun. Perhaps his gun is small because he makes up for it with epic power. He was certainly carrying a much bigger gun in the trailer. I preferred it that way.
A demo cover has a man with shaggy hair and a Jedi-esque hood wearing night vision goggles. I’m guessing there’s some kind of stealth element going on from this picture but the trailer suggests otherwise with it’s super fast cuts of action sequences—I’d estimate a quarter of them are actual game play. Conviction is trying too hard in the story and visual affects area and not trying hard enough in the beating people up area. I have a hunch the flag isn’t a weapon you can cycle. That is a serious bummer.
Really? Is this not an trailer for a Disney movie? Or at least a Disney theme park or attraction? ABC family even? It begins with a creepy computer generated older brother telling some even creepier computer generated children stories of Aragon while they sit by a roaring fire. Afterwords, the man’s voice over continues along with epic music and different shots of game play and cut scenes. It ends with flashes of phrases, asking me if I’ll pick up the quest and take the sword.
I can’t resist such a call of duty*. Although, this trailer is mostly a lot of talking then a lot of running and some spider slaughter. I do hate giant, evil black spiders and I’m pretty sure that I’ll spend a third of my time at the controller hacking them to pieces. Another third will be running, and then cut scenes aimed at fans of the Lord of the Rings movies.
The game cover features Aragon with his sword pointed towards me and his shield at his side. There’s a wizard with a magic scepter behind him (Gandolf, I assume), and behind the wizard lies a very gloomy kingdom full of black enemies I can only assume are spiders.
Let’s go kill some spiders.
*Call Of Duty is also a shooting game with guns, for those may be unaware. It remains popular despite it’s lack of arachnid-ocide.
There’s a strange voice talking about how awful the streets have become, how to go any lower would mean sinking into hell. During these two minutes of narration people walk around dark streets until finally we hear a knife sharpening and see a flash of silver and red.
I don’t have the faintest idea how this all translates to game play. I’m pretty sure you have to stand around and compose perfect prose on the subject of safety in the streets. Since the game has a Sherlock Holmes tie in, there may or may not be some detective work involved, but I couldn’t tell you how that plays out without a single second of game play in the trailer.
The cover features the detective and his assistant, a British police officer of some kind, and a silhouette of a man walking away against an unnaturally red background. It seems these three men of the law must catch this man of madness. But, of course, you could have guessed that from the title.
Monster Hunter Tri (4/20)
Three minutes is far too long for this trailer. I got the whole running around to unique lands to catch monsters concept pretty quickly. At least I know that I’ll spend most of my time hitting creatures with a big rock tied to a big stick. That’s not bad. I don’t really like how the monsters all seem to look like dinosaurs or dragons. Part of this trailer, especially the “trying hard to be epic” music, really reminds me of Jurassic Park— because I like both dinosaurs and dragons. I guess that’s just a personal preference.
There’s a lot here in terms of monster bashing. You’re on land, in lava, under water, on land some more. You don’t seem to have to manage your breathe, which everyone hates.
The cover shows a giant dragon who is about to totally destroy a man in armor. Go dragon go! Kill that knight! He’s a jerk. Oh, wait, I’m the jerk. Oh. Are you sure I can’t be the dragon instead? I think that would be more exciting.
In summation, there’s no way I would buy Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper or Monster Hunter Tri. I have no interest in staring at a screen while Sherlock Holmes talks about murder and mayhem, or running around in what I would assume is a seriously inferior version of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. Monster Hunter Tri seems a little too well titled and one note.
I might buy Lord of the Rings: Aragon’s Quest, but it seems quite story driven and I found the Lord of the Rings movies way, way too long. Like Monster Hunter Tri, it seems to involve nothing but running around and killing monsters.
I would buy Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, Conviction because I want to smack people into mirrors and knock them onto the floor with flags. I don’t want to know what that says about me.