1175 Reviews liked by Snigglegros
The visuals and music are top notch - but the gameplay is a bit shallow. Thankfully the game itself is fairly short, and the various different environments were interesting enough to carry through.
Every single second of playing this game I was thinking "Wow, we've come a long way!" The shooting feels weak, there's almost no hit feedback, Jango's controls are clumsy, the jetpack feels awful, enemies are spongy and sloppily placed, levels go on too long, the camera doesn't work, the writing is atrocious... Actually I don't know, that last point is pretty authentic to the Star Wars experience, I guess that's ok, but god the rest of this game sucks!
I bailed at the prison break level, which is roughly halfway through the game. I wouldn't even say I got "filtered," that implies the developers had some level of intention and designed their game to be challenging. Rather, Bounty Hunter's many problems add up here in a really grotesque way and it made me hit my breaking point. The last straw was when the controls glitched out and Jango was suddenly only capable of strafing while a turret melted his health. This was about five minutes from the end of a 30 minute level and it was my last life and look, at some point you have to look at your backlog and respect the fact that there's multiple hundreds of games on there and you could be playing something else. Playing this on the GameCube might also be part of the problem, and I don't really have a good answer for why I chose that platform specifically. I guess I wanted to hold its controller for a while, feel like a goofy goober.
This also doesn't do anything for me as a (admittedly fair weather) fan of Star Wars. Bounty Hunter attempts to provide context for why Jango agreed to be cloned, but like much of the Prequel era content, it's not a story that really needs to be told. At the very least they don't do anything interesting with it. You could probably play around with the idea that Jango wants a family, or that he cares about legacy, but instead his nagging mother pesters him to have some kids and I guess he finally relents. Maybe they go somewhere with it in the later half of the game, it's probably not fair to judge the story as a whole, but what I was able to digest wasn't particularly compelling.
At least they got Temuera Morrison on board, so thank christ Bounty Hunter has one thing going for it.
Hot Wheels Unleashed
looks great, but too many buttons and too slow. we want stunt track driver 3.
One Piece Odyssey
a step in the right direction, fun combat actually but the story is boring as shit and really slow, luffy's own move speed is slow as shit too (i had to mod it up). maybe the next one will be good
One Piece Odyssey
"remember all your favorite One Piece moments? Well what if they SUCKED instead"
The significance of music is truly something I could never speak highly enough about. It comes in so many flavors and moods, and in such different styles that I find it hard to imagine anyone could possibly be grouchy and curmudgeon enough to go, "man, I fucking hate music. Get that shit out of here".
Sure, it's an old version of Tetris with the usual endearing clunk to be expected from it's day, perhaps even slightly more so going off the poor emulation I was using, but with someone like me who's too foolish to focus on the gameplay aspect, I could only find myself in a permanent state of zen thanks to the musical contributions of Jim Andron and the scenery of our beautiful planet. Even with the awful control scheme I had to use with my mouse and arrow keys, I didn't mind a damn thing, because I was happy as can be. Heartwarmed as always to find the wholesome comment section on Youtube of all places for Tetris CD-i's OST with Jim Andron himself there thanking everyone for enjoying his work so much later after the CD-i's demise.
I may have said it before already elsewhere, but I do truly love composers who put the work in no matter what game or system they're on task for. They're among my favorite people ever, and I couldn't possibly thank them enough for making video games even more memorable. Thanks to them, this particular version of the classic did indeed become a legend....
Rather bored out of my mind (it is nearing 4AM EST when I am writing this), so I figured I might as well do another off-the-cuff sort of review, this time on a game that, while not completely maligned by the masses - I mean, just take a look at that average rating! - is something I do think people scoff and handwave much too easily... especially since I find it to be my favorite Arkham entry to this day. So, indulge my writing here, as I tell you my experience with one of The Bat's most lauded and acclaimed games.
Gonna start with easily the mildest one I have, this is the best narrative of the Arkham series. It feels the most complete, it has the tightest pacing, every voice work from returning BTAS stars Kevin Conroy (RIP my GOAT), Arleen Sorki, and Mark Hamill to stars new to the Batverse like Tom Kane, Cree Summer, Wally Wingert, and Steve Blum to name the notable people delivers excellent performances, some of which have stuck in my mind for years. The way the lighting and framing's done with the cutscenes is reminiscent of the Burton films, even if it [wasn't the](https://web.archive.org/web/20131109043616/http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=20344) [main influence](https://web.archive.org/web/20131109044644/http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=20931), so moments like the Poison Ivy encounter and of course all of Scarecrow's encounters stick out so much in evoking that sort of grim, rather haunting feel of both those films and what this game's aiming for. I don't have much negatives to even dish here because it's so tightly written, but if there are a few, it's that there's a weird bump around the last third that feels like a drawback of not having a clear connecting point to the endgame, and the infamous final boss for reasons I'll elaborate on for my next point. It's not exactly a grand slam of a Batman narrative, but it's still something I enjoy a lot, especially considering the following games drop the ball in more ways than one.
Anyway, here's a take that's a bit warmer: I don't find the game's combat to be all that "aged" or whatever people are throwing out nowadays, and in fact find this simple approach much more palpable than whatever Origins and especially Knight were aiming to do. The simple nature of the beat-em-up style physicality, not only sounding and connecting nicely, also has a great rhythm-groove to it, making it so that trying out for high-stringing combos and crit strike timings is always a blast. This is somewhat propped up a few upgrade unlocks, such as the batarang being usable to continue the combo going from far away foes while also stunning certain ones, special throws and takedowns to make it more snappy and line up finishers quicker, and the batclaw to pull more foes in for beatdowns. For what's supposed to be the third iteration of the physical combat, as well as something they noted as being the most difficult design aspect, the team at Rocksteady sort of knocked it out the park, and it's an aspect I feel many overlook and/or don't appreciate as strongly because City does more with it... which, to be fair, I do find myself agreeing to a degree. It at least does a better job of making minute yet fulfilling improvements than the other two games did. Still, a common opinion I've seen in this regard is that stealth's usually the more appealing and diverse route, which again, makes sense. It's Bruce's thing, after all, so I find myself getting caught by surprise over the intricacy of doing all this sort of tasks and involvement even to this day. Again, this was a first stab, and while not a true-blooded stealth game, there is a commendable amount of nuances and opportunities available to make this angle in regards to shifting about the place, going through the vents, mounted gargoyles, what have you and dispatching foes left and right as you make each remaining one feel more and more insecure and frightful of your presence. If there is an aspect I'll actually give City over though, it's the boss fights. It's no secret the bosses in Asylum are the weakest part of the game, consisting of just the Titan-infused lackeys modeled after Bane's movekit, and while far from the worst bosses ever, it's a pacebreaker to flow from one setpiece to the next to hit these bosses where the game makes you wait until you Hit Them Right, run into a wall for big damage, rinse and repeat. This is also why Titan Joker is a massive blue ball because it follows after one of those fights, and exacerbates the whole issue entirely by making you wait just a smidge locker to pull him down. City's fights aren't exactly gold standards, but opting to do more variety after Asylum only teases it with Killer Croc and Poison Ivy - who, even then, is still not all that exciting to fight regardless by how cramped and weird the arena is - makes it way easier to appreciate.
My biggest reason for a good few years now, as to why I prefer this over all the following entries, is that I much, much prefer this linear, Metroid-esque world progression and design over the sequels' often bloated and, to be frank, unnecessary sandbox ethos. Asylum's perfectly crafted to have each spot be used or reused when absolutely necessary in the story, meanwhile the sequels sort of force you to hobble all over the place for the sake of moving on. Asylum has you utilize and activate a majority of your gadgets in ways that feels congruent within the facility's island abode even past their required needs, meanwhile the later sequels fall into the same problem certain Zelda games have where you're sort of just stuck with an item because one closed-off area from somewhere in the world requires you use that and only that to nab it. On that note, getting Riddler trophies in Asylum is actually fun and rewarding because it's super easy to pick up most of them on your first run and cleaning up isn't too much of a time commitment or hassle even without a walkthrough, and the times you get hit with sweeping landscape shots, or even uncover a great secret makes it easy to get into a carefree daze, meanwhile later games forces you to do stupid minigames, waiting on side activities to reach an activation checkpoint and/or asks that you whisk wherever the Trophies are all over the place as if you're playing a middling collect-a-thon from the early 2000s, something City and Knight worsen by the former having Catwomen have her own set of Trophies to collect, and the latter outright requiring you to do this in order to properly get the ending sequence. Sorry, but there's a reason I can 100% clear Asylum in my sleep, while I give up and let the Riddler do what he wants in City and Origins, and bemoan my wasted time in Knight. Even without all of that, Asylum does a plain better job at conveying what you've been doing over the course of the game, and especially at making each quadrant of the item distinct and memorable enough to mold a mental map on. City sort of does this with each of its districts somewhat tying back into whoever the supervillain leaders are, as well as special cases like the soaked Ferris Wheel and Wonder City, and Origins by technicality """passes""" since it's just built off of City's sandbox, but Knight? I genuinely can't remember a thing about that game's world, even discounting a replay potentially helping out since I've seen footage of it on-and-off over the years! Can't help but feel like those games' sandbox approach was only ever done for the sake of excess and not because the game called for it.
So yea, there's my piece. Sorry for all the comparisons done in this (it's probably the most I've done in a long while for a review), but considering the aforementioned iterative approach Rocksteady had for the Arkham entries, it was basically inevitable. Even if you disagree with some, most, shit all of what I had to say, hopefully you can, on some level, understand where I'm coming from. It's not I have totally negative things to say about the sequels even! I'll get to those in time! Just uh, maybe have a butler or round robins force me to replay City again. Anything else here.... I guess maybe avoid the Return To Arkham remaster? I've never played it myself but I have seen comparison videos as well as first hand account from friends and acquaintances, and sorry to say, but I feel safe classifying this job as a genuine "soul vs soulless" moment. Maybe not the worst remaster released, but despite that you're still better off picking up a semi-potato computer (or perhaps a Steam Deck) instead, since and City still run and play fine to this day. Hell, if you want a better HD remaster, a few people have answered your request. In fact, the one I linked for Asylum even details how to play the PS3-exclusive DLCs, a process also noted on PCGamingWiki!
what if ALttP was good? a 3D game from when they were still doing 3D with a great soundtrack. no more goofy clown villains please
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