Puzzle games and Online games

Posts Tagged ‘PSP

Syphon Filter:  Take the graphics, for instance, which were already quite stunning the first time around. The character models still look as good as ever, but some of the environments are especially impressive.

Water plays a part in some of the new environs, and while it looks amazing when you are on the surface, actual underwater combat is only so-so. The bulk of the game centers on either being stealthy or flagrantly combative, but underwater combat strips that away (you’re slower and can’t really use cover). It’s not horrible by any means, but we definitely prefer fighting with ground beneath our feet.

One complaint we had about the first game was that the story wasn’t all that engaging, and sadly, we have to say the same about Logan’s Shadow. The basic premise of sidekick Lian Xing possibly being a double agent is intriguing, but the major plot points are predictable – which is kind of surprising given that author Greg Rucka (Queen and Country, Whiteout) helped craft the story.

Everything else is great, though. Both the multiplayer and the gameplay are better than ever – the former thanks to two new modes (Retrieval, which is like Capture the Flag, and the Sabortage, where you, well, Sabortage your opponents), and the latter thanks to new features like being able to use enemies as human shields. It’s enhancement like these that help make Logan’s Shadow the best in the series.

Advertisements

Functionally Open Warfare 2 is flawless: connections are mostly solid and reliable with little slowdown. In terms of features, Worms is far in advance of any other PSP game too. As well as regular deathmatches, it is also possible to take part in ‘Fort’ games, where each side protects a base, and ‘Races’ where teams compete to Ninja Rope from one end of level to another. Each mode is bolstered by a healthy set of leaderboards that rival even the best Xbox Live games for comprehensiveness.

If the game judged on these merits alone then it would surely achieve the highest possible score, if only for the fact that it is that much more advanced than any other PSP title. Sadly Open Warfare 2 features a slight variation to the rules that will infuriate Worms purists for the way that it unbalances the game. Play a ranked match in any other version of Worms and the weapon scheme will be limited to the low powered weapons in order to force players to adopt strategic tactics, which ultimately makes the game fair. In Open Warfare 2, though, every ranked game is assigned a random weapon scheme that could potentially allow a player to win a game in just one turn with a Concrete Donkey, the most powerful weapon, and send them flying up the leaderboards.

That such an oversight has crept into series that always prides itself on balance in both astonishing and shameful. What is genuinely the best Worms game in years in reduced to one of the worst when playing online, which is even more of a shame, considering the potential offered by the wealthy set of options? Anyone who cares about ranking should therefore stick to Live Arcade for now.