Saturday, 25 September 2010

Tets Plays a Demo, then rants. Enslaved, Odyssey to the West

Just played a demo of Enslaved, Odyssey to the West. Why? Just because.

What was it like...

Not too bad actually. The action is quite good and on the second time I played it I decided that it is a take on the good old Buddhist story of Sanzo and Son Goku. Also known as “Monkey Magic” for those of the 80's who watched the ABC and for the later kids often known as “Saiyuki Journey to the West” which is the name of a game on the PS1 as well as an unrelated anime series.

The story of Son Goku has been used all over the place. Dragonball's main character, various adaptation and retelling of the original story and many many more.

Some common Saiyuki plot pieces. Monkey is the main character and is strong and hard to control, hence his crown that Sanzo uses to punish him or bring him back into control, as Monkey is known to go a bit berserk. Monkey is rescued from imprisonment by Sanzo and is enlisted somehow to be Sanzo's bodyguard. They then journey west for some reason (originally to collect religious scrolls from India to bring peace to China). Sanzo is also known as Tripitaka and can be represented by a girl. The original legend has Sanzo as a boy priest. The Monkey Magic TV show had a woman play the priest so as to present a delicate boy priest. In the English dubbed version, Tripitaka's voice was a ladies', leading many young kids to assume that Tripitaka was a woman.

Enslaved first struck me as 'Monkey'-ish when your main character whose name I didn't know as I had the sound off, jumps and climbs around, much like a monkey. He is let loose from a prison cell intentionally or unintentionally (it is not made clear) by a young girl. Called trip. Monkey then goes and finds his weapons, which wait for it is a staff that can change size! After all, this is set in the future where nature has reclaimed cities and mankind appears to be in limited supply. In fact, think of the city in “I am Legend” with Will smith and that is the sort of setting we have.

Monkey then has to escape from a out of control flying slave ship and he and Trip get on the same escape pod and then crash. When Monkey wakes up, he has a crown on that Trip can make cause pain. Oooo! That's the clincher there.

Immediately my interest was piqued. I love the Monkey Magic story as Tripitaka would travel across the land, he would do his best to solve problems of the villages that they passed through. Even going and helping out monsters as well. Pretty much like video game settings really and this sort of act really struck a chord with me. As a result, I have been a fan of Monkey and am always interested in how the story will play out.

Luckily the platforming action was all pretty good fun in this game. It was quick and simple and despite my first misgivings about Monkey's animation at the start being a bit jerky, it all works kind of well. Since the demo ends after you get off the ship and Trip threatens Monkey into going along with her to her village via the pain crown, we never get to see if there is any village traversing.

This sort of slides into the next section as well. DLC.... Curious to see if my thoughts of Monkey Magic similarity were true, I did some googling and found out that the game already has a DLC pack planned. WHAAAAT? It's not even out yet. The extra pack lest you play as Pigsy/Hakkai... I really hate the way that this sort of thing gets done. Promising DLC like that before the game is released is bad form. This says to me that the game is incomplete. What a rip off. If the DLC is free, than that is better, sucks for those not connected to the internet though, but it really irritates me no end to discover content has been planned like this. I bet they charge full price for the game at retail too. Would it be so bad if the game was $30 at retail? Probably not, but lets face it, it will be the full price and then you have to pay more for other bits.

Can anyone say shame?

Call of Duty World at War is the same. I was playing Nazi Zombies mode and discovered that I only had one map to play in. To get the others have to buy them. What? I thought I had to unlock them. Nope, silly test, you have to pay. The game actually says this too, o they obviously planned it before release. Grrrrr. Unfinished sloppy work.

It really is enough to put me off a game. Which is a shame as Enslaved seem to play alright and I could imagine myself buying it. Now after discovering it's unfinished? Hmm, makes me less inclined to want to fork out my hard earned dosh to be honest.

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