Let's say you were a big comic book nerd

. . . and you really, really wanted to buy Hulk: Ultimate Destruction for the PS2 on the day it came out, in the DC metro area. Even though no one but the hyper 14 year olds on GameFaqs and the IGN kiddie boards (tht you’ve been secretly lurking every few days and not admitted to anyone) seems to be excited about it … let’s just suppose you’ve been a Hulk fan since you were a kid and loved the Ang Lee movie, even though everyone else hated it.
Let’s suppose you had this unnatural desire to get a new release that’s supposed to be released today, and Target, GameCrazy, EB Games, Best Buy, and Babbage’s didn’t seem to carry it until Thursday at the earliest. Also, pretend you are at work and you can’t really be calling game stores to ask “Do you have Hulk: Ultimate Destruction for PS2 in today?” because your co-workers would laugh at you. You have to more or less rely on the internet and the kindness of strangers.

Let’s pretend you were a little kid in your mentality today and you didn’t want to work, just wanted to pop this stupid DVD in your PS2 and lift up a car and throw it into a skyscraper.

Just suppose … where would you go to get the game today, even if you had to drive a long way and spend more than you should have?

[size=7]HULK SMASH![/size]



“You were a big comic book nerd.”

You were a big comic book nerd.

quoted for truth!

I, for one, see little to nothing wrong with this.

Hulk smash indeed.

I wish I could help out. I know I’ve struggled with that kind of anticipation and won and lost.

However I can say that calling every store in town and sometimes having them call you back, is a tried and true nerd shame… but it gets the job done.

You don’t want to be that one guy who is way more nerdy than anyone else and flash your nerd badge and gun to soon.

Edit: Like that Warhammer guy, or the tabletop Wargame old man. Right for the throat with no reason or fear!

My five-year-old daughter’s love for Hulk is only surpassed by her love for Spiderman. She loved watching me play Spiderman 2, and we had watched the trailers for Hulk Ultimate Destruction over & over. As she was getting ready for school today, I told her that it was coming out today or tomorrow. She pretended to faint and slumped to the floor, then got up and said, “Then Daddy, you have to buy it today or tomorrow.”

Geez, way to make me feel like a little girl. :oops:

Anyway, I got the game last night, and it’s the most kinetic, frenzied, awesome superhero game I’ve ever played. I LOVE it so far. Better than Spiderman 2, better than X-Men Legends, better than Superman 64 (just kidding).

Guapo, I didn’t see your post until today (I would recommend GameStop and CompUSA if you can’t find it elsewhere in the DC area). Where did you find it?

I got it at GameCrazy (attached to Hollywood video) off Routte 1. Every store around here should have it today, though.

Gamecrazy had this thing rigged up where a dark barked at you when you came in, to promote Nintendogs. Most annoying.


Seriously, if there is interest, I’ll do a quick impressions writeup. It’s exceeded all my expectations so far … call me crazy, but this is the game I’ve looked forward to more than any other for the last year, at least. Even more anticipation than Half Life 2 for me.

Yes. :)

This got on my wish list at E3, where my gleeful “WHOAAAA” as I superjumped resonated through the hall … er, or would have if it wasn’t, you know, E3.

Do tell.

I’ll spare the company lines and what all the reviews/previews say (yes, you can make fists out of cars … I’ll mention that for the 100th time) and just give you my impressions. I’m assuming you don’t live in a cave and know who Hulk is and why it’s so fun to play him.

Graphically, it’s in the realm of Mercenaries or War of the Monsters. It’s no Snake Eater or God of War, but then again a whole lot is going on at the same time, so we can forgive that. The sound is top notch, with huge booming thuds and explosions. Every time you run by someone in the street they scream or say something like “Run! He’ll kill us all!”. Military guys say things like “Holy cow, we need backup! Oh my God, he’s tearing into us!” This really adds to the immersiveness for me. The analog sticks are pressure sensitive (I’m on a PS2), so you can walk around calmly, but the city is never calm when it sees you. In other games you can walk around minding your own business, but here you are pretty much hated and feared (mostly feared) by everyone you meet. It’s very true to how Hulk is actually treated, and I’ve found myself doing things like jumping to a tall building, screaming (you can make him do a Hulked-out yell by pressing a button), then saying “Why won’t everyone just leave Hulk alone!???” as in the Jack Kirby/Stan Lee days, then power smashing the roof.

Your main hub in the game is a small church and surrounding environs (no enemies) where you can buy moves, save, look at unlocks, etc. From here you go to these glowing “jump off” points that lead to environments: The City, The Badlands (which is actually a small town and a large rocky grand canyon like area). So the game is not like GTA: SA where you can free roam everywhere without loading … but the areas are pretty big, so I don’t mind that much. Incidentally, a few of the unlocks so far are “making of” movies, like the one for God of War. I think this should be a required feature from now on, they are really interesting.

Now to the feeling of the game. I have never seen a game that was so destructive, kinetic, and unstoppably violent (in a energetic way … there is no blood or overt violence). You can pick up almost anything you see (except for things like billboards, bus stops, spotlights, etc… but these can be smashed). I’m playing the game slowly, enjoying it like a nice cigar, so I’m not power gaming … but I can tell already that this “unlocking moves” thing is deeper than you’d think. For instance, pretty early on in a main mission you take on some tanks. I found it pretty hard to smash them until I realized that the “car as gloves” thing did more damage. Furthermore, when I have met tanks later, after having unlocked some more moves, the battles with them change completely. New moves bring forth new fighting styles and really fun ways to destroy all those pesky humans. Of course The Hulk is strong enough just to run into an infantryman and knock him out that way, but it’s much more satisfying to pick up one guy and powerslam him into a police car.

The game also has a “threat level” which works almost exactly like the GTA series. It has four levels of agitation, and at level 4 a group of helicopters is dispatched to try and take out hulk. If you destroy this strike team the level resets to zero, so you are never constantly chased forever as in GTA. One complaint I have is that I haven’t seen any difference in between levels 1, 2, and 3. At 1,2 and 3 it just seems to spawn some enemies at random intersections, but at 4 it dispatches the helis. The “magic radio” dispatcher says something about a SWAT team at level 3, but I’ve never seen one. Maybe I’m moving too fast for them to catch up.

The minigames are similar to those in Spiderman 2, except WAY more varied (I didn’t really like the races and courses in SM2). They are really fun challenges, such as “move as far as you can from rooftop to rooftop from this location without touching the ground”, or “Hulk golf” (with a oil derrick pump head for a club), or “bring as many cars to the top of this building as possible”. You can also play these games at any time from the main menu once you find and play them once. Nice touch.

So far I’m loving the sheer destructiveness of it. It’s exactly what I expected, a romp around a city and desert smashing stuff. I’ll give you a few examples and then move on to the few negatives I’ve found.

  • I was in the desert just standing there, minding my own business, looking at different views of The Hulk, when all off a sudden a huge concussion explosion destroyed a natural stone column right beside me. I turn around to see what it was and spot two tanks. I see another flash and all of sudden I’m thrown back, smashing a few cactii. I sprint over there and charge one of the tanks, shouldering my way into it. It rocks and fires high (because I tipped it up) over me. The second tank is machine gunning me now so I jump down on the first one, do the classic Hulk Thunderclap (HULK SMASH!) and destroy the first tank. I pick up the hull of the destroyed tank and use it as a shield to block the gun of the second one. Then I throw this away and pick up the destroyed turret to whale on the second tank until it explodes. For those of you who saw the Ang Lee movie… yes, I was recreating the tank scene, and did it almost perfectly.

  • Every time you jump and land, the ground (or building rooftop) gets huge impact rings and craters. The higher up you are, the bigger the cocentric rings. Really nice touch. Also, when you are flying through the air, or falling, and grab onto a building, you don’t just stick like Spidey. You dig your hands into the building for 20-30 feet and slow yourself down to a stop, leaving a huge rake mark in the building. All done with overlayed textures, but done very convincingly. There are tons of attention to detail like this that really make you feel like you are intercting with and affecting the world in a kinetic and powerful way instead of seeing models you can’t hurt. Punch a wall and it leaves a big crater sprite, for instance.

  • It’s super fun to pick up people, buses, or whatnot, run to the top of a skyscraper, and toss them. First game I’ve seen where you could actually pick something up two handed and carry it to the top of a building like that.

  • Just running down the street, you can either run normally or press a button to put yourself in a “get out of my way” mode where you flip, shoulder, and smash everything out of your way. Great for getting through traffic jams. Helluva fun to watch and listen to as well.

Now, some gripes (we are near the end):

  • If you try to move the camera to get a nice close in view of The Hulk, unless you keep your finger moving the stick, it autopans out to a wider angle. I have no idea why they did this but it’s really annoying. Leave the camera where it is! Nitpicking I know.

  • If you throw a car or truck at say, a building, it bounces off and takes damage, but doesn’t destroy the building or the car, as in Freedom Force. I wished that a fully charged throw would destroy the car, but it doesn’t. In fact, you can throw the car off the tallest building and if it hit the ground it doesn’t explode, but if it hits another “destructible” object it explodes. Don’t know why they didn’t code object to flat surface impacts better.

  • Not all buildings can be destroyed, in fact it seems few can. I tried for 15 minutes to destroy a small one story building with no luck. In some areas, though, like the desert, almost all buildings can be destroyed … and one time I was fighting a random encounter on a skyscraper and it collapsed. I’m not sure what triggers it yet, but I was looking forward to levelling the whole city at some point. Not sure if this is possible.

Whew! That was long winded, but obviously I like this game. If you like fairly brainless action and neat combos, I’d pick it up. If you like superheroes or superhero games, this is the best I’ve ever played. If you play almost exclusively strategy and RPGs, I’d probably pass. It’s very simple and something that even after I get sick of it, I can imagine pulling out to vent some steam as an angry Hulk.