Wednesday, 19 January 2011

S is for....

Shadow the Hedgehog


Sonic’s rival Shadow stars in his own game but can the game rival that of Sonic’s or does it lag behind in second place?

Well it depends on how you look at it really; the basic game play of running/working through a level is no different to the Sonic Adventure games but the stuff that has been added/changed is where the real differences are. First of is the use of guns and swords for Shadow to use which predates the gimmicky usage in the Wii Sonic games, also Shadow can jump into cars and drive around which to me is a bit pointless as they are slower than Shadow though you can run over enemies whilst driving around. The main change is the way that you can complete each level with the objective of your choosing depending on whether you want to be a hero, villain or neutral. If you want to be a hero you need to defeat all of the enemies, if you want to be a villain you need to defeat the good guys and if you want to remain neutral you need to collect the Chaos Emerald or just simply finish the level by reaching the goal.

Depending on which side you fight for depends on which one of two gauges will be filled to allow Shadow to use a Chaos power causing Shadow to either move a lot faster or to cause a huge explosion destroying all nearby enemies. Also depending on what mission you choose for each level the plot, cut-scenes and ending will be different giving the game a lot of replay value. The game isn’t without it’s niggles but not enough to put off playing the game, more just little annoyances.

Within the 15 minutes: Level 2

Will I play it again? Will give it another shot.

Smuggler’s Run: Warzones


Smuggler’s Run is as the title says a game where you must smuggle illegal contraband to various destinations which all seem to be on the same map.

The game is simple enough with you driving a car to pick up and drop off the cargo going pretty much from A to B, it’s all of the different obstacles that appear that make each mission different to the last. You start off doing a few training missions which involve following a car without losing sight of it or driving through checkpoints before the timer runs out. You then progress onto the main game where each level has you picking up and dropping off cargo with the police chasing you or rival smugglers trying to take it from you or having to collect cargo that has been dropped by a helicopter or even collecting it from an aeroplane before if flies off and lands elsewhere.

The game is simple enough and slightly varied on each mission but the worry is that the game could get very repetitive rather quickly. I definitely think that this is a game to be played in short bursts instead of playing solidly.

Within the 15 minutes: Had completed seven missions.

Will I play it again? Will finish it off.

Sonic the Hedgehog: Spinball


Not very good cash-in or a good game to capitalise on the success of Sonic? Only one way to find out, let’s play (S)pinball.

Like a few of the games that I’ve played there isn’t really that much that I can say about the game as everything you need to know is in the title. You control the flippers on a pinball machine where Sonic is the ball and just like the platform games you rescue imprisoned animals and have to collect the Chaos Emeralds on each level. The storyline is pretty much the same as the platform games with Dr. Robotnik involved in some sort of scheme that Sonic must stop.

The game is actually rather fun with all of the obstacles on the table and different sections which can be accessed through pipes and having to destroy enemies to rescue the animals and all in all to answer the original question I would put it under the good game category.

Within the 15 minutes: Was still playing around on the first level.

Will I play it again? Yes, will try and complete it.

Speedball 2


Set in the future Speedball 2 is a violent sport crossed between Handball and Ice Hockey with points being scored for getting goals and for injuring the opposing team.

Controlling a team of nine players the objective is to get the ball into the back of the net, rack up the points and win the match. Each goal you score gives you 10 points but on the walls are multipliers to increase the point total to 15 and 20. You can also get extra points by hitting the ball against the centre circle and against stars on the walls. Finally you can also get points for seriously injuring a player on the opposition team if so inclined, obviously I tried.

Before each match you get the option to level up your team using money earned during the match which allows you to upgrade your kit including armour, shoulder pads etc. There are five different modes to be played including league and cup. I went for knockout and managed two wins in for matches which I was pleased with. It is a good game and I would recommend picking it up.

Within the 15 minutes: Had played four matches.

Will I play it again? Yes.

Sword of Vermillion


Sword of Vermillion is a good old fashioned RPG where the hero has to hunt down various objects whilst killing monsters before finding the sword of the title.

So with the basic plot out of the way I can now concentrate on the game play. The first thing you notice is that whilst the character is in villages everything and I mean everything is done via a command box. Stuff like equipping weaponry and selecting magic via a command box is fair enough to even if you just want to talk to someone you have to select the command instead of just simply pressing a button. Another thing that you will notice is that once you leave the village the overhead view becomes a first person perspective (which with the graphics reminded me of the TV programme Knightmare) whilst you are walking around and when you are fighting enemies the view becomes a tilted overhead view. Why the developers felt the need to do this have no idea but you get used to it pretty quickly.

Off what I played it seemed quite an enjoyable RPG, even with all of the views, and I would be quite happy to one day return to the game to give it the attention that it deserves.

Within the 15 minutes: Had left the village and entered the forest.

Will I play it again? I will at some point.


  1. speedball 2 is a classic but it really is better two player.

  2. I like SOV and have always wanted to give Smuggler's Run a try. Never liked Speedball though, and Spinball is meant to be insanely tough. Do you find that?