Two reviews I did over my spare time, for my site
Game: “Postal II”
Producer: ‘Running with Scissors’
Postal II is probably one of the most controversial games I’ve ever played or seen, and I could say quite honestly it is one of the best, too.
This game revolves around an ordinary (if not quite insane) person’s everyday life, and his chores. The protagonist of the game, affectionately named ‘Postal Dude’ by the company and players, lives with his wife in a run-down trailer in the middle of a sunny town in America.
Like Grand Theft Auto, there is a free-roam aspect of the game, that’s more then quite likeable. The residents of the town all live in houses which never seem to be locked, and can be entered to look for items or other goodies, and their reactions are quite realistic if you try and trespass.
The motto for the game is ‘It’s only as violent as you are’. I found, with some trial and error, that it is right. I beat the first level without any casualties at all, minus a tasered dog, a knocked-out disgruntled shopkeeper who chased me after I stole 5 dollars worth of milk, and a tasered terrorist hiding in the back-room of the convenience store, who shot at me upon entering. However, even those were unnecessary, as that room isn’t needed to explore, and the dog can be avoided by running far enough. Also, the milk can be paid for, if you want to wait in line.
Occasionally, violence will break out around you, but there’s always the option of running away.
The weapons in the game are slick and easy to use, but what surprised me the most is the variety. There are cans of gasoline, which you can pour and throw matches into the pools, there are scissors you can use as ninja stars, hammers, shovels, tasers, billy-clubs, the usual generic video game weapons, and even a diseased mad-cow’s head, stuffed full of anthrax, which you can throw. The game had a sick sense of humour around the weapons, such as the ability to pick up random cats and stick them onto the end of your gun to use them as a silencer. At the ninth shot, the cat will then (With an audible “MEOW!!!”) rocket off the end of the barrel, and explode into small chunks.
The most disgusting, by far, was the ability to urinate on absolutely anything you want. Pressing ‘E’ would unzip your fly (with the tip of a black ‘Censored’ sign visible) and aim, as you would with any weapon, and let fly. Walking around the streets with your fly down was quite an amusing experience, as people would look and have different reactions (from screaming and running, to “XYZ, man”). Urinating on people usually has hilarious to disgusting results, from them running around screaming in circles to throwing up repeatedly.
However, this game does have its downfalls. The graphics, no-matter how slick, gave way to the fact that the large variety of people seemed to be based off the same template. Cars were not driveable, yet the high-explosiveness of them was quite fun.
The large amount of melee weapons still lost to the small amount of firearms (Just the generic lot, a pistol, assault rifle, shotgun, rocket launcher and grenades), and the inability to reload. The bullet count always went down from 999 to zero, instead of magazine changes every 30 rounds or so.
There are always, for the more violent of us, killing frenzies that can go on for hours. The weapons are always used in moderation, as they get tiring quickly.
As for the limited amount of firearms, there are patches, mods, and expansions (a more notable one adds hedge trimmers, dual pistols, trench shotguns, chainsaws, butterfly knives, and many more).
This game, because of its controversial status as of late, has been banned in Canada (It’s sort of a good thing, as impressionable youth may pick up on some of Postal Dude’s actions and Bruce Campbell-esque quotes). I really liked this game, but I can guarantee most soccer moms won’t. However, it’s no Manhunt, which is a game based on scoring points on the more gory the execution. That’s a good thing, considering the violence that’s happening with our youth nowadays.
Remember, the game’s only as violent as you are.
Review: Doom 3
Producer: ID Software
I first got this game from Houman Amminejad, and at first, I was very sceptical. After taking a very long time, and installing the game on our aging computer, I decided ‘What the hell, I might as well’. I was brought up with the original Doom games, and decided that it was worth a shot.
When it loaded (Which took a VERY long time), I was still unhappy. The game had taken a long time to load, and after the fairly impressive beginning cinematic, the game had a very low frame rate (I blamed this solely on my computer). Walking would skip frames, and I was very disappointed, as the people seemed to have a shading line at the center of their face, which would make one side almost completely black and the other natural, when a light was on one side. This was quite annoying.
After the start, and meeting with my sergeant, the game began to pick up quite a bit. In the second level, the frame-rate picked up for reasons unknown, and everything seemed to go by a lot faster. However, the two-face problem isn’t fixing itself…
Upon finding the missing man I was looking for, I was greeted with an impressive cinematic involving a ‘gateway to hell’ opening, with large amounts of demons and other nasties coming out, and soldiers being killed. A translucent skull flew through the wall, through the scientist, and through the other side.
That man immediately turned to me, and started trudging, arms outstretched, in the generic zombie style.
This game, from that point, got better and better. It does great as a horror game, and as a first-person shooter, and the plot was thick and full of surprises.
Random scares were numerous too, eventually getting you to whirl around every few steps or so, to try to see if something has came out of nowhere, waiting to attack you.
There are lots of random scares for no reason, too, like monsters breaking out of walls inches from your face, a demon coming to life inside a stasis cell randomly, and other things.
These, however, got quite predictable. Going to the solitary medical kit in the corner became less and less appealing, and were almost always avoided, or collected quickly as possible.
The weapons were fairly generic, as there was a pistol, P-90-esque sub-machine gun, minigun, rocket launcher, grenades, plasma gun, and every Doomer’s favourite, the BFG (In the movie, “BioForceGun”, but we have better names for it) and chainsaw.. Somehow, our hero, Doomguy, can carry all those and thousands of rounds of ammunition without it even being on the outside of his nifty tactical vest.
However, as in every game, there are drawbacks. The weapons are limited, the objects are immovable and the computer has to be extremely powerful. However, in Resurrection of Evil, the expansion, the objects are able to be moved and picked up, and a gravity-gun and a dual-barrel shotgun are added to the arsenal.
Overall, this is one of the best games I’ve played in the past long while. For the times, it goes in par with the game that started it all, Doom.
I’d recommend it to anyone, as long as you don’t get scared too easily. It’s surprisingly hard to play it past midnight.