I rented three more games from Blockbuster to try them out. They are... Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Lightsaber Duels, Mad World and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Lightsaber Duels
SWTCWLD (how's that for shortening the title?) is fun, if not a little too cartoony. That's not the real issue, however. While it's neat using the Force and fighting with lightsabers, the control scheme sucks.
When the Wii came out, everyone's first thought was: "Holy crap! I can't wait until a Star Wars game comes out where I can swing a lightsaber around!" I know that's what crossed my mine.
While the idea was great, it didn't turn out too well. Fighting mostly consists of swinging your Wiimote around haphazardly. That's not entirely unexpected, but it's still a shame. I have to admit that using the Force to pick up objects and toss them is easy to do with the Nunchuk.
There's not a whole lot in the way of story, either. Who buys a fighting game for the story? Not a whole lot of people, but I'd like some sort of purpose.
My last complaint is rather minor, but am I the only one who wants to see lightsabers rendered as lethal as they are in the movies? In every single SW game that's had lightsabers, the enemy can endure multiple hits (as can you). I realize the game would be over quickly if lightsabers were insta-kill weapons, but it'd still be neat.
MW is interesting. It's designed to look a lot like Frank Miller's Sin City comics, although I don't think the two are connected. The graphics are all black and white, but highly stylized. Only blood is colorized.
Blood is something you'll see a lot of, too. I wouldn't say there's tons of gore involved (it's not like you see heads flying or entrails on the floor), but blood splatters all over the place.
The game takes place in some sort of dystopian future (that's original, right?) where gangs rule the streets. Most people fight in televised games where you fight to death -- usually against multiple opponents. For a good idea how this works, think Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome or the Roman Colosseum gladiator fights.
Your character has an artificial right arm and somehow he's able to extend a full working chainsaw from it. You can only have the chainsaw activated in limited intervals or it overheats. Even if you don't use the chainsaw (and you will, trust me), nearly every object in the game can be used to hurt or kill your enemies.
For instance... I first slammed a tire on an enemy, thereby restricting his movement. I then impaled him using a street sign's metal pole. After that, I picked him up and slammed him against a spiked wall (called the "rose bush") where he finally died a very painful death.
You get assigned points for your kills. The more original and intricately involved ways you kill enemies, the more points you gain. There are two announcers who often comment on the battle field, the enemies and your actions.
I have to admit, this game is fun in that it's unique. However, once the novelty of committing gruesome death and destruction wears off, you're not left with much of a game. There's virtually no storyline to speak of. No online play either, but somehow they managed to work in a two-player option. I haven't tried that yet, but I have to assume it's a "versus mode" and not "co-op."
The major problem isn't the game itself. It's that due to its highly violent and graphic content, it'll quickly become a major target for anti-game pundits. MW is, in some ways, very similar to an older game called Manhunt. In that title you played in a violent competition where you were rewarded for killing off your enemies in worst ways possible.
For some reason or another, very few rallied against it. I'd guess that's because it wasn't popular. Instead, most people focused on the GTA games (which actually penalize you for theft and causing violence).
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
MP3C is the third game in the Prime series. The first two were on the Gamecube. You can play GC games on the Wii and last I heard they're getting ported to the Wii. I hope they upgrade the graphics. If not, there's no way it'll be worth a full price purchase -- unless it's a disc where both games are on it.
For those who don't know about the protagonist, she's a woman named Samus Aran. She's been around since 1986 (on the NES) and is widely considered the "first playable female lead" in a video game. That's two years before KQ4 was released and let you play Rosella.
Unlike most female characters, Samus is not eye candy. She looks very good, especially in her Zero Suit outfit which is skin-tight, but even that is practical since it doesn't reveal any skin and is still designed for light combat. Most of the time, however, she wears heavy combat armor that covers her entirely. In fact, you can't even tell she's a woman inside her suit. That was the major surprise at the end of first Metroid on the NES. Everyone thought Samus was a man (the manual even suggested such), but when she took her armor off during the ending, players were shocked to find out Samus is female.
Yes, it's more or less an FPS game, but there's tons of items to interact with. Maia was playing this the other day and when she realized she could scan nearly everything, she decided she would do so at every opportunity. Characters speak to you and you engage in a story that, from what I've heard, is supposed to be pretty good.
You control everything with the Wiimote and Nunchuk and the controls work well. It's a little tiring to move the camera and your weapon with the Wiimote (you need to hold it up at all times), but otherwise, the controls seem intuitive. The best part is when you need to physically interact with the environment. You push and turn and pull the Wiimote to grab and manipulate objects in the game.
The one sore spot is that it uses save points. Many other Wii games do as well, but in a game like this, which is heavily action-oriented and may result in death at any time, it's a real pain to lose whatever work you've accomplished and return to your last save spot. Considering the capabilities of modern consoles, the use of save points is inexcusable. Those may have worked when the SNES and Sega Genesis were modern gaming machines, but nowadays we should be able to save anywhere we want.