All About Darkman2007
Hello everyone, so for this review I decided to review a lesser known game, , that game is MDK.
MDK was developed by Shiny Entertainment, the makers of Earthworm Jim and Aladdin (well , Aladdin wasn't made by Shiny as such , but the team that made the game, went on to form Shiny), and released in 1997. MDK was Shiny's first big attempt at a 3D game, , MDK is really just a 3rd person shooter, but its one infused with Shiny's trademark sense of humor and wacky and innovative thinking.
MDK was originally released on the PC, and I will focus on that version (all of the screenshots, unless stated otherwise , are from the PC), but I will talk about the PS1 version too.
Story - MDK surprisingly has a story , Dr Fluke Hawkins, a rather crazy scientist and inventor, has had enough with the laughter of the scientific community at his theories and inventions. To this end Hawkins travels into space to live alone in his space station...Well , almost alone, he does take his janitor , Kurt Hectic, along with him (convincing him to stay due to the programmable VCR on the space station). After a failed attempt to create a coffee-making robot (due to the robot having world domination plans), Dr Hawkins finally creates a sucessful robot, a 6 legged dog called Max.
All is calm until the earth is invaded by aliens, who deploy minecrawlers across the earth. These minecrawlers are huge harvesters (the size of cities) who scour the earth for mineral wealth and destroy everything in the way.
Kurt is thus forced to wear the Dr's experimental coil suit, and save the world.
MDK has a pretty wacky story, although for the most part the game itself has no story, most of the story is there through the manual.Gameplay - As mentioned before, MDK is a 3rd person shooter, you run around shooting enemies, use items and solve the occasional platforming section. Each level is seperated into sections, or rooms, and each has a different feel and challenge to it, some areas are more open and are really more of a suvival round where you have to fight past alot of enemies, while some other areas are more enclosed and generally have more platforming elements to them. Alot of areas are also very creative in their design , and require you to adopt odd strategies (such as defeating a powerful enemy , while also jumping from platform to platform , and escaping a wrecking ball)The interesting thing is that even the weaker enemies are not that much weaker than you, they die quicker, but there are many more of them. As such , the game requires you to use alot of strategy strafing and taking cover behined objects and walls is key .Not to worry though , Kurt has a number of things to help him , pickups that give you extra health or a temporary extra firepower, As well as a trusty sniper scope hidden in his helmet. the sniper mode lets you fire a number of rounds , be they normal shots, or mortar shots. Beyond that, Kurt has a chaingun mounted on his arm , which is the game's standard weapon. To help with the platforming , Kurt has a glider of sorts which he can use to stay in the air longer.Every level has an end of level boss, which is more of a puzzle than a fight, since they require you to hit specific places and such , There is a also a bonus section at the end of each level. The controls are also good, though you will have to use the keyboard (there is a joystick option , but I can't get it to work)The wacky and crazy nature which all of Shiny's games is here, the enemies are wacky, the jokes are wacky, and overall, while MDK is not that innovative as such , its very well done , and has gameplay which keeps the game interesting.Graphics and Sound - Graphically, MDK is a great looking game, with a colourful and wacky design , as well as some great looking areas which have a very long draw distance. Great transparent and reflection effects also help alot . While Kurt himself is a 2D sprite, the entire game is in 3D, and for a game in 1997 , the game still looks great due to its art design .MDK was also one of the earlier games to support the use of a 3D accelerator , to those who did not play PC games at the time, there were 2 options for PCs . You had a normal 2D graphics card, which ran your DOS games , and such , and an optional 3D accelerator card alongside it if you wished , games which supported it took advantage of it, usually had sharper textures, smoother polygons, better effects, etc. MDK has various patches for it for both Direct 3D and 3DFX Glide mode.Software mode MDK3DFX/D3D MDKadmittedly its not a huge difference in MDK (this was built with the 2D cards in mind after all)m but the difference is thereFrom a sound perspective , MDK is quite good if a little generic, its the kind of music one would expect and it fits pretty well , although alot of times, the game is pretty silent, where you might hear the engine of the minecrawler you are on.MDK on the PS1As mentioned before, MDK was eventually ported to the PS1 , the developers had numerous challenges in porting this game over to the PS1 . So did they suceed in bringing the game over?In short, yes, although things had to be downgraded. The resolution is halved (320X240 on PS1, as opposed to 640X480 on the PC) , slightly simplified enviroments and characters, and a general lack of sharpness in comparison , and the frame rate can occasionally get choppy.For comparison , here are 2 screenshots from the PS1 version , although sadly it was taken with a webcam since my capture card is broken (it will do)That said, the PS1 version doesn't have any compatibility issues, and proper gamepad support, which might convince some. Don't get me wrong, its a good version overall , just a downgrade at the same time.So in conclusion , MDK is a great game with a wacky sense of humor and some great level design , with visuals to match (for the time of course). The game is not hard to find either, besides the physical copies for both the PC and PS1, you can buy the games on GoG and Steam, I personally haven't tried those as I have the physical copy ,but I suspect they will run fine on a modern computer.Whichever way you decide to play MDK , you will find a great and inventive 3rd person shooter .So this was my review of MDK , I highly recommend it in one form or another. There was also a sequel released a few years later, but that is a different story altogether.Thanks for reading
Hello everyone, so here is another review , this time its a rather well known game, Samurai Shodown , specifically , the 3DO version
Samurai Shodown was originally released for the Neo Geo arcade and home systems in 1993, as another attempt by SNK to outdo Capcom , the game was not a Street Fighter clone (as many games were, including some of SNK's earlier offerings) , Samurai Shodown instead focuses on weapons combat. Being very popular on the Neo Geo , Samurai Shodown was ported to every major system at the time, the Mega Drive , SNES , Mega CD , and even the Gameboy and Game Gear all got versions of the game, where the ports were of varying quality due to the hardware of those system.
The 3DO version of the game was released in 1995 ,after being ported by Crystal Dynamics, This version also has its quirks, though not necessarily stemming from the game itself.
before I begin , you will have to excuse the poor camerawork , my capture card is broken , and thus Im forced to use a webcam , but its more to give you an idea of what the game looks like (and I will post a video link at th end)Story - There is a story to this game? no, no there isn't, well, to be fair there is some story at the begining, but its almost non existant, and frankly, you can make up your own.Gameplay - As mentioned before, Samurai Shodown is a weapons based fighting game , its quite similar to any other 2D fighting game at the time, but veers away from both Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. The game does use 6 buttons like Street Fighter , 3 "punches" which in this game are weapon strikes of varying strengths/speeds , and 3 kick attacks. In this game, one has to be more defensive , blocking is more important here than in most other 2D fighters, as weapon attacks especially will take off alot of health , even more so with special moves (some can take off half your life bar if you are not careful)If your character blocks or gets hit enough times, the "POW" meter gets filled , when its full , your character will turn red (as shown above) and will be able to do much more damage per hit temprarily.All this doesn't sound that great, but the stength of this game comes from the variety of the characters, in Street Fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat, many of the characters were similar, their punches and kicks were almost the same, the main difference were the special moves.in Samurai Shodown , because every character has a different weapon to use, every character is very different in both tactics and attacks, a character with a sword is going to have less reach than one with a spear, but will do more damage if he actually managed to hit someone.The game does take some inspiration from MK though , in the form of the blood, its not as crazy as MK , but its certainly visible, also if you execute a powerful move at the end of the match , you might cut your opponent in half.The game however is let down somewhat by the 3DO itself, firstly, the frame rate isn't as good as should be, the game is not slow, it is a fast game, but at times the game does slow down , mostly during special moves, but it does occasionally happen.The 2nd issue is the controls, put it simply, the 3DO controller doesn't have enough controls, and has a pretty mediocre d-pad, to show what I mean , here is a 3DO controllerthe controller only has 5 buttons (that thing at the top middle is actually a port to connect the 2nd controller to , the 3DO uses a daisychain system to connect controllers), and so at any and all times, the 3 face buttons are your weapon strikes, if you hold the right shoulder button , the face buttons will change to kick attacks. That is annoying , its not game breaking and you do get used to it, but its certainly not ideal.The 2nd issue is the d-pad, while the d-pad looks like a Mega Drive/Saturn d-pad , its stiffer, which makes diagonal moves in particular more difficult, in fact, Crystal Dynamics actually gives you instructions in the manual on how to modify the controller to loosen the d-pad, again , just like the buttons, its not game breaking, you do get used to it, but its not idea.Loading is about what one would expect for a CD game at the time , the games load before each battle , but the loading itself isn't that long (pretty similar to the 2D fighters on the PS1)So the gameplay in Samurai Shodown is fun , though its let down somewhat by the 3DO itself.Graphics and Sound - When Samurai Shodown first appeared in arcades , it was one of the best looking 2D fighting games on the market, The large sprites, great animation , zooming camera and great style made Samurai Shodown stand out. The SNES/MD/SCD versions varied in quality, none could produce the same quality as the Neo Geo did, and all lacked a character called Earthquake (pictured above). The 3DO was the first non Neo Geo system to produce something that looks very close to the original , The characters are well animated, colourful ,and detailed, the same goes for the backgrounds. One can't really fault the game visually (Im sure purists could point out differences, but its close enough)Sound on the other hand is something else, The game itself has a great soundtracks, which all fit the nature of the game. SNK wasn't content with a cheesy soundtrack , and also included enviromental sounds, during the battles you will hear the wind blowing , or the sound of the waves of the sea . This in addition to the music, gives the game a great atmosphere.Here the 3DO has its ups and downs, since the audio is all recorded music , it's not downgraded in any way, but the sound quality is not good, voices in particular are muffled and the music itself isn't helped by this either.In conclusion , Samurai Shodown is a very good fighting game, with great gameplay, visuals and audio , but the 3DO version is not necessarily the way to go . It is technically the best classic version of the game (and a nice addition to your collection if you have a 3DO) , but there is no denying that later versions found on compilations might be better for the average person , both because they are arcade perfect (as opposed to very close to perfect , but with some flaws) , and the fact the 3DO is not a console everybody owns.( the Engrish here is so bad, that its awesome)finally, here is a video of the 3DO versionSo this was my review of Samurai Shodown , a fun fighting game all fighting fans should check out, on whatever platform (though ideally on the 3DO or later)Thanks for reading(you will have to excuse the format of the review, for some reason the spacing between the paragraphs is messed up)
Hello again , so I said there would be a blog, and indeed there is, and in this blog I thought I would give my opinion on a game I got about a month ago , a game that has been getting some mixed reviews to say the least, some really like it, some hate it, and that game is Hitman Absolution.
So the first Hitman game in some 6 years (if I remember correctly) is a bit of a different animal from its forebears, and this is arguably the reasons for the mixed opinions , I was hesitant to buy it because of this, though eventually I found it on sale, and have played through it .
More specifically I got the PC version of the game, but we will get to that in time, regardless, all the screenshots in this review are from the PC version , directly from my PC.
Story - From the begining of the game, you can already tell effort went into the story, it begins with Agent 47, the protagonist of the series, on the way to murder Diana , the woman who in previous games , gave 47 his missions at the Agency (the mysterious organisation 47 works for). With some hesitation ,47 accomplishes this mission , but then proceeds to switch sides, so to speak , and fulfill Diana's last request to protect a girl the agency is looking for. Obviously once its discovered that 47 betrayed the agency , everybody and their cousin are now after him as the girl is valuable in some way you will discover later on.
This story is actually quite an achievement for the series, anybody familiar with the earlier games in the series, will know the story was always pretty weak , they got better later on , but for the most part you were not getting to know any characters well , and that includes 47 himself. Absolution changes that with better story telling which helps immerse you in the world, the people you fight are not just contracts you know nothing about, but in some cases legitimate enemies
However, the one problem the heavy story introduces is linearity , something that will be discussed later.
Gameplay - This is the area where people are rather divided about, and with some good reason . traditionally, Hitman games put you in a large open world with a series of targets, you were to kill someone, steal something, or usually both, and then escape, how you did this was entirely up to you.
Hitman Absolution has many of these things, and the abilities that 47 had are retained, you can still kill enemies from behined with your fibre wire , you can still take the costumes of your enemies to better disguise yourself, this is still a stealth game in every way with many of the skills and abilities one finds in other stealth games.
Where the potential problem arises is how these skills are implemented, because of the story , your missions are not as open ended, nor does every mission involve killing anybody, in fact, most missions do not have a specific target as such , in fact alot of the missions have you go to a certain place, and sneak past the guards, also do not get select what weapons you have at the begining of each mission , your weapons are dictated by the story, and what weaposn you pick up during the game.
You still get to roam the levels freely, but your goals don't always make it necessary to do so , though the levels themselves have the flaw of being smaller than the average level on any of the older Hitman games (at least as far as Contracts or Blood Money were concerend)
Moreover, the costume system has been changed, to what is arguably a more realistic, but also somewhat more troublesome system. As mentioned, 47 can steal any costume he wants, and this is better than his standard suit, but costumes are based on character class, which means that if , for instance, you dress as a policeman , other police officers will be able to see through your disguise if you don't quickly walk away.
As you can see in this picture, 47 is disguised as a police officer, and in order to avoid being discovered by a nearby policeman , he has to hide his face using instinct mode, which helps you spot targets and hide like this , although this eventually runs out and refills through out the level (indicated by the yellow bar at the side of the screen)
One thing that has certainly been improved is the combat system , previous Hitman games had a somewhat clunky system. Hitman Absolution brings into the series elements which are found in modern 3rd person shooters, such as a cover mechanic , and this helps you when you get discovered, which happens quite often.
The game does have a multiplayer mode to remedy the linearity though , in the form of contracts, in this mode, gamers themselves create scenarios using the existing levels, you are given weapons , a list of targets and attempt to beat the levels created by the player. This actually feels more like the older games, but its quality is varied obviously.
I know this sounds like Im being negative , but Im not, as I said, the elements which make up the gameplay are well done, but the context in which they are used has changed, which can be both a good and bad thing.
As a side note, the PC version supports both the keyboard/mouse and the 360 controller , which is what Im using, as it helps the game in my opinion.
Graphics and Sound - As noted before, this is the PC version , and it looks great, the new engine used for the game really shines, the texture quality, and models, its all great ,and the overall design of the game is good too. The engine does a good job of bringing the various locals to life , wheres previous games felt like you were the only person on the street, Absolution has lots of people , and alot of detail everywhere (probably the trade off for the smaller levels)
On my PC , Im running the game at 1920X1080 , at these settings
needless to say these are not the maxed out settings, but the game still looks and runs better than it does on the consoles , if you have a good PC , I would recommend this version over the others, as the optimization is pretty good as far as a multiplat goes
(my PC is a Phenom II X6 , 4GB DDR3 and a Radeon 6870 1GB , and it runs the game at around 45-70 fps , mostly at 55ish, depending on the situation , it should give you an idea of how well you might run it)
That said, I have played the PS3 version , and while its obviously not as good looking, its still a good looking and smooth running game so don't hesitate to get the console versions.
Sound is done pretty well in this game too, there isn't that much music, but the eviroment and characters provide the right atmosphere , although music is used when youre discovered. The game has more voice acting in it than previous games ,and its overall well done, if at times a little cheesy.
Overall, I can't complain about the overall presentation of the game.
Overall , Im not sure what to say about Hitman Absolution , its certainly a not for everyone, it really depends on what youre expecting. If youre looking for a traditional Hitman game, then youre not going to get it, the game is not as open ended, and not necessarily all about assasinations. If youre looking for a good stealth game however , you will probably like the game, since the overall elements which make up the game, are well done.
I personally found the game fun , I was open minded about it and was willing to accept the changes its not like they turned the game into a Call Of Duty clone , its still , at its core , the same game as its predecessors.
So there was my review of Hitman Absolution , its a hard game to describe because there is alot to like, but also some flaws which hurt it, I hope this helped some people make up their mind about the game
Thanks for reading
My Recent Reviews
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Made by Sega AM2 (Outrun , Virtua , Shenmue) as a tech demo for the Saturn in 1997 the game looks amazing for 1997, but thats where it ends, its just a tech demo with a few mini games. Im not a fan of the music, but interesting tech demo.
Savaki is a rather odd and quite obscure fighting/martial arts game for the Saturn , quite a mixed bag in alot of ways.
May 3, 2013 9:25 am GMTDarkman2007 added Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon to their owned game list
Apr 26, 2013 2:04 am GMTDarkman2007 gave System Shock 2 a score of 9.0
Apr 23, 2013 10:40 am GMTDarkman2007 added Nuclear Strike to their owned game list
Apr 18, 2013 8:20 pm GMTDarkman2007 added Giants: Citizen Kabuto to their owned game list
Apr 14, 2013 5:16 pm GMTDarkman2007 added System Shock 2 to their owned game list
Apr 7, 2013 9:50 pm GMTDarkman2007 gave Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories a score of 7.5
Apr 2, 2013 7:41 pm GMTDarkman2007 gave Tomb Raider a score of 8.5
Apr 2, 2013 7:40 pm GMTDarkman2007 joined the union Underrated Gems: The Union
Apr 2, 2013 10:28 am GMTDarkman2007 added BioShock to their owned game list
Apr 1, 2013 11:39 pm GMTDarkman2007 gave BioShock Infinite a score of 9.0