( As a special note, let me say that this game was reviewed entirely with the in-game review feature.
) Yes, Singularity has an in-game review feature, which certainly saved me time writing this blog. Granted, I still had to play the game to use the feature, but I can see why they did it like that. Also, the game's stupidly short, so it all balances out. That is, until you realize that the review feature just lets you view random statistics on what you did in the campaign. So no, I had to type this whole thing myself. Thanks a lot, Singularity.
Of course, this isn't the first time the game pissed me off; that honor belongs to when I saw that the manual was the same piece of shit that every other manual today is. But since every other game's doing it, I can't hold it against the game specifically. I will, but the point is that I can't. What I can hold against the game is the story, which, like Modern Warfare 2
, sounds like Joseph McCarthy's wet dream, only with time travel. It's 1955 and the Soviet Union discovers an island called Katorga-12. They then discover that it's full of a new element, E99 (I'll call it Egg because that's what it looks like), which somehow lets them travel through time, kind of. Predictably, this leads to some Russian asshole (the villain's only significant trait is "asshole") taking over the entire world; unpredictably, everybody speaks perfect (if accented, at times) English, both before and after the take-over. In enters you, Paige Turner, to join a nearby rebel group and "correct" history, hint hint
. Not that the game ever picks up on any of this irony. Hell, it barely picks up on anything. Remember that thing I mentioned about the languages? Turns out that, at times, they do speak Russian. Kinda. It ranges from English dubs over Russian mouth movement (nice) to just English (bad). I get why they put the English in there, but at least be consistent with it! Either Barisov speaks full Russian, or he speaks full English. Don't show him speaking Russian in a movie if he's not gonna speak to me in Russian in the actual game parts.
Apparently, Cthulhu's not a big fan of high fives. I don't know what this has to do with the game, but damn it, it's in there!
Speaking of movies, Paige is apparently made of explosion-proof glass ( a real thing, apparently
), since he can be that asshole who blocks your view in the movie theater, only without any of the blocking parts. I know it's not a big deal, but that's exactly the problem: it's completely lacking in the little touches. I know that I touched on it with the "foreign languages are just accents, right?" thing, but it's more than that. The unchangeable events juxtaposed with the changeable ones; the copious amounts of orange ghost shit hanging around (or rather, how the game doesn't even bother explaining any of it); the fact that characters age like nothing, because they don't; the-wait, that last one's huge. How do they fuck up such a simple/big feature in a game like this? It's not like they were unaware of the whole time-travel thing. Hell, every five rooms or so, you run into BioShock
-esque flashbacks of past people doing past things, the only difference being that it makes more sense. Yes, I've finally arrived at something I like about the game. It pulls off the flashbacks extremely well, juxtaposing their past moments of their despair perfectly alongside their present state of dead. The only problem I have with it is that in the right position, you can see their eyes from the inside their heads, like the Daisy third eye thing from Super Smash Bros. Melee
. Other than that, it's definitely the best use of time travel the game offers.
Wow, I just set myself up for a rather somber transition into the main gameplay feature (it even pulls the Super Mario Galaxy 2 trick of slamming it right on the box): the TMD. The Time Manipulation Device (WHY AN ENGLISH ACRONYM FOR A RUSSIAN INVENTION!?). Actually, that's not entirely accurate, since you're really manipulating the Egg levels in a given object, but since that's not as interesting, let's just call it time travel. Point at an object, and you can either cause it to go through a meth transformation (I'm not Googling that) or fill it with enough botox to stretch back to the original position. Oh, and those are your only options, meaning every Egg-filled object only has two possible states of existence. No sending something far into the future or far into the past; just the two options. Of course, this means that a lot of puzzles are incredibly simple, usually amounting to the same "rewind that worm" or "Half-Life 2
seesaw puzzle" time and time again. OK, so not all the puzzles are like that, but my point is that most of them are. I don't have to tell you how disappointing it is to see such an open-ended concept put to such mundane use, so let's move onto those other puzzles. You have the semen-detecting chrono-ping (because it was such a beloved feature in Perfect Dark Zero
, right?), and one puzzle where you have to use your time-slowing thing. OK, we're good? Fine, let's move onto the combat.
Wait, didn't Stephen Hawking warn against this EXACT type of thing?
Turns out you can use it on your enemies, too! Counting their "base" position, most regular enemies have...three states of being with the Egg thing. You can either send them back in time, to when they were dust (why not just make it the orange option?), or, later in the game, you can send them back in time twice, turning them into zombie things ripped straight from Left 4 Dead
. It's definitely one of those stupid fun weapons you can sick on enemies to sate your primitive bloodlust. Hell, if there's one thing the game does well, it's probably the bloodlust. Want to recreate that Saving Private Ryan scene where the guy's picking up his arm, only he doesn't have an arm with which to pick up the other one? Or legs, and a head? There's a gun for that. Want to steer a bullet (or explosion) straight into a Russian's vocal chords and hope that it corrects that stupid language thing I spoke of earlier? There's a gun for that (and another one, because I like options). Want to catch missiles and play grenade football (how is this
a real thing?) with the asshole who shot them at you, like something other than BioShock that I can't name right now
? There's actually no gun for that, but you can still do it. Weird.
You know what else is weird? Just how generic the game is. You notice all those bolded game titles? Turns out that the game rips something from every single one of them, and so much more. It's so derivative that Newton originally wrote on "how one must calculate the singularity." (Man, how I wish that was real. Can you imagine how badass that would be?) I'd say that it's a Halo
-like cover-based, since that would fit the personality so damn well, but given the lack of regenerative health, I'd say that it's actually closer to Doom
, given that you can soak up enough bullets to be legally considered a Transformer. It doesn't exactly help that there are a billion med kits lying around, making the game a bit easy (but still challenging, for clarification purposes). The sole exceptions to this are the times when you face the suicide bomber bugs (I hate
those things) and generally any moment when the game outright forces you to play a certain way. Oh, you want to make it through this part of the game methodically, picking off key targets at will? Fuck you, you're gonna use this new toy we gave you exactly as we see fit! Not OK with that? Piss off and die! Yet aside from those isolated instances, the game's rather easy: just walk into a brown/gray/orange room, spray bullets around like you're Febreezing a high school locker room, and then move onto the next locker room until all of Katorga-12 has a fresh, sporty smell. It's like Red Dawn: The Game, which, oddly enough, is not a real thing. But grenade football is, for whatever reason.
Because I can feel your attention drifting away into nothingness, here's some nice ass. Enjoy it while you can.
Only now do I realize that I should've ended that paragraph a couple sentences early, since it would've made it easier for me to transition into the weapons. I realize that I hinted at them earlier, but notice how I was talking about the results of weapon use, not the weapons themselves. There's a good reason for that: they're mundane as shit. Not counting the steerable ones (exceptions are not rules), you soon realize how banal your options are: pistol you never use, assault rifle you're always supposed to use, sniper rifle with unexplained time manipulation powers, and, of course, the Duke Nukem/Serious Sam/Doom/pretty much every shooter ever
minigun. Get used to this bad boy, because for most of the end-game, it's probably gonna be primary weapon. You can only hold two, but it doesn't matter what that other weapon is, since this one turns people into stick figures within seconds and, like just about every other weapon in the game, you'll pick up enough ammo to turn others into Transformers. For some reason, the game still gives me the option to buy ammo at a weapon storage unit. You can also upgrade your weapons with standard crap like clip size and reload time, but you'll probably spend more of your money on upgrades to yourself, since they show at least a little creativity (regenerative health, increased strength of the über impulse (yes, über impulse)).
Wait, what am I saying? This game isn't creative! Yea, there's potential for creative shit in here, but I don't think the developers were paying attention to any of that. Hell, just look at the achievements: pass X point in story, kill X amount of enemies with X weapon, get X ending. Christ, this game has more X than Mega Man X. The only creative achievement I found was when I just walked into one. Confused, I looked at the criteria, which were finding a wheel or something. Google told me that it's a Lost reference. Insert "I can use the title as the punchline" joke here. Browsing through the other achievements, I noticed that there was a multiplayer mode, which prompted the following thought: could some of these features actually be more appropriate in multiplayer? The conclusion I arrived at: no, turning stairs back to normal would be just as annoying as it is in the single-player campaign. So yea, it's a generic game through and through, whatever the hell that's supposed to mean. That's why it gets the Store Brand Soda Award: it's generic, lacking an sort of identity, and requires both a mechanical stomach and a robotic sphincter to digest.
- There's a story. It has things in it.
- You gather weapons and shoot baddies. These weapons can be upgraded and swapped out.
- Oh, and there's also this time travel mechanic, but it never feels fleshed out.
(Until they fix the embed thing, I'm gonna put the link in the message and just post a relevant picture.) I'm surprised that none of these women have figured out where to buy shirts that don't expose their tit-cracks
This was the only image I could use.
Ufouria: The Saga
( This is where the title comes to bite me in the ass.
) Actually, it probably bit me in the ass with the boob thing you're still looking at, even though nobody's figured out how to put teeth on tits. Anyway, on this one, I seem to be confusing "released only in Europe" with "made in Europe." It's a jealousy thing, like how I imagine every Japanese kid foamed at the mouth for Conker's Bad Fur Day. I'd change the name of the blog to "An itemized list of reasons to not like Japan", but that's forgetting that the game is actually kinda cool.
You start the game as Bop-Louie, somehow not a 50s gangster you could beat up with your future technology (that's what he gets for having such a stupid name), but more like an alien that looks like an insane mix of Kirby and Jack Frost. He wakes up on an alien planet, separated from his friends. Upon finding his first buddy, The Great ( Techno Marvel
) Leon, he proceeds to beat the shit out of him before reminding him of his name and what he does. And then Bop-Louie proceeds to do this to the rest of his friends before moving onto all the people on the planet he doesn't know, because why the hell not? At least this time, his three friends can join the beatings! There's Freeon-Leon, a lizard who can walk on/breathe ice (Christ, they followed that fridge analogy all the way to the end, didn't they?); Gil, with the useful abilities of walking/infinite-jumping underwater; and finally, Shades. Christ, I love Shades. Yea, he's slower than your average forumite, and he floats FOREVER, but just look at him. Shades, cool hat, cool walk cycle: that's right, Shades is the pimpingest character in video games. The only two words that come to mind when I see Shades are " Washington
" and " Washington
." He's such a pimp that his secret weapon is a backhand. OK, it's actually a hammer or something, but still, that's enough to get him the Pimpingest Character in Gaming Award.
This is the butt string I was talking about.
But of course, you can't always play as Shades. Sometimes you need to switch to the other, lamer characters to progress. Hell, sometimes none of your characters can get you past a certain part of the game. That's when you realize that this is a Metroidvania game, one that's oddly better than the original Metroid. It has a clearer sense of direction (apparent from the moment a giant arrow tells you where to beat up your fridge buddy), but there's still a lot of room for exploration and stuff. Once you get the ability to freeze your enemies, you can pretty much go wherever you want. But since that's late in the game, you instead get to see a huge variety of random areas that oddly blend well together, like how you transition from grabbing a fat bird's butt string to turning a giant faucet without batting an eye. Also, you bat eyes in this game. It has everything! Wait, not everything; the world's so small that you'd think it was a Super Mario Galaxy mini-planet. It doesn't exactly help that there are, like, 3 power-ups in the game, either, and that 3 of them aren't necessary. Those three are the hard-to-get-yet-completely useless power rings, which reveal to you keys needed to complete the game. Keys that any online map will reveal to you, mind you. Even if you don't have the map, they're still pretty easy to get.
Just get to the key area and throw shit at a boss. There may be a minor variation, like timing when you throw shit or having to expose a weak spot before throwing shit, but eventually, every boss battle becomes a weird game of dodgeball. I suspect that this was supposed to be the main combat system, since enemies spit out more balls than health. I wish that was the joke. Instead, that honor goes to the dodgeball system itself; you can also jump on enemies, and while the game doesn't exactly want you doing that (it never tells you that holding down is the only way to kill the fuckers), I found it much more efficient than any of the alternatives. Yes, there is more to this game than jumping and throwing (it's not basketball (is that a joke?)); there are secret weapons. OK, they're not so secret, since at least two of them are absolutely required to finish the game, but the game calls them secret, probably because it thinks you won't need them. Guess what? It's 100% right. Ignoring all the puzzles and arbitrary walls (I'm trying not to look at you, Butt String Bird), the weapons are actually kind of shit. Even the bombs don't do anything! If bombs can't kill these things, what can? Oh.... this
....Yea, I wouldn't fuck with that, either. What could be worse than a wall-humping alien? Oh, damn it, I remember: horny aliens. Turns out that when you hit any of the bosses, an orgasmic look dominates their face, like I just hit their alien clitoris. Trust me, the last thing you ever want to do in battle is turn your enemy on; the Native Americans made that mistake, and they paid for it, along with everybody else
. That's why I'm ending the blog early with The Most Oddly Sexual Game Award: because I dare not risk typing anything else, lest it turns on some alien bent on my destruction.
- An absolutely tiny world that just begs to be explored.
- The combat's a bit weird, but satisfying at times.
- Do not fuck with Shades. You will regret it.