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Aug 03, 09 at 1:35pm ^Stinger review: Watchmen
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Let me just say that if you havent seen Watchmen, or read the book, do so at your earliest convenience. Its really a great experience.
Basicly what these little mini-sodes are here, are stories that are about events that happen before the movie takes place. The first episode is years back, giving us a look at the time when Rorschac and Nite Owl were partners, taking on cases and fighting crime together. This is alluded to in the book and film, and now we get to have a look firsthand, and better yet, participate in the action.
Now there is one thing we need to keep in mind here. The game was created as an XBOX live downloadable content addition. That being said, you really arent going to see any mind blowing stuff. Reviewers have been exceptionally harsh on this game rating it as if it were a full game only available on disc.
The game harkens back to the old school beat em up games like Final Fight, Streets of Rage, that type of game. You basicly have 2 types of enemies that generally all look the same, the only differences being usually different clothes. Small fast enemies, and big lumbering ones are what you will encounter throughout the game.
As far as the look of the game, its done pretty well. Rorschac and Nite Owl look VERY good considering its just a live game. Rorschac's mask constantly shifts even during gameplay which was unexpected, and Nite Owl's cape flows cleanly while running, jumping down from high ledges, and during his many finishers. No cape through the body syndrome here.
I will say however, that I feel the game is a bit overpriced right now at around 30 bucks. I think both episodes should be able to be downloaded for the price of a single points card, for 20 bucks. Its pretty good, it brings back some good memories of the old school beat em ups, but its still at its core very repetetive and kinda short.
As for gameplay, Watchmen is pretty solid and there is definately some fun to be had here. Its not just a button masher, you need to correctly time your strikes to pull off some devastating combos. Its also a game you cannot rush blindly into. When taking on groups of enemies, the game recognizes that these characters, while masked and hyped as badasses, are still human underneath. A few good counters, or shots to the head with a baseball bat, and youre down.
Correctly timing your combos, and using your special attacks as the situation calls for it can have you looking like a first rate badass. Screwing up has you looking like just some dude in a wierd costume getting his ass kicked by a gang of thugs.
Rorschac is the brutal element in this game. His specials are activated by rage, which is filled by landing combos and performing finishers on enemies. Rorschac also makes use of any fallen weapons that enemies may drop. His finishers are the most devastating, and violent of the two characters. He also has finishers based on what type of weapon he happens to be holding at the time.
When his rage is activated, he becomes faster, and hits much harder, allowing you to basicly take down smaller enemies in a couple of hits and then activating the finisher. It really is quite therapeutic at times to blast into a crowd of goons in full rage, and keep that rage bar going by performing brutal finisher after brutal finisher on your enemies.
Nite Owl is definately the more balanced, finesse fighter. He doesnt pick up weapons from what I can tell, and instead of rage, his Owlsuit is constantly recharging allowing you to power up your attacks with electric current. His fighting style is fast and fluid, employing a nice variety of kicks and agile attacks. His aggression is noticably different from Rorschac's as well, as when about to strike a fallen enemy again, you will see him refrain and hold back and target the next guy, whereas Rorschac would deliver 2-3 more blows to the downed goon.
Nite Owl's power attack is a burst of current from the suit which hits everyone within a set radius, and then his electrified attacks can pretty much trigger finish moves after one strike on anyone left standing.
Either way you want to play it, both characters have the same type of combos. Stun, knockdown, area attack, max damage, throw, and finishers. It just depends on which type of fighting style you want to employ at the time.
After that its basicly move from point A to point B, taking out gangs of goons. Some pretty good dialogue is thrown in there, the actors from the film voice their characters perfectly.
Overall, its a great story, solid gameplay albeit repetetive, and a bit short for my liking, but what is there is definately fun. While I think 30$ for the price is a bit high, Ill still probably end up paying for it to have these episodes. Its definately a must have for any fan of the Watchmen.
Keep in mind that it wasnt meant to be groundbreaking, and treat it like what it was meant to be, an old school beat em up, and your expectations will be exceeded in that regard.
As far as downloadable games go, this game is a solid 8/10.
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