Quarterlies 2005

Playing online really isn’t the focus at all, though. No one should be buying TimeSplitters: Future Perfect expecting to get Halo 2.

That may be the case, but it’s a feature, and it doesn’t work well. I like online play in FPSs like this one, Future Perfect didn’t deliver, I got rid of it. To each his own.

Oh Dave, we know you liked Phantom Dust :) And if I still had an Xbox, your consisten praise of the title would probably have driven me to buy it.

Tom, good list–lots of titles on it that I still need to play (Guitar Hero, Shadow of the Colossus, Killer7). I take it no RPGs really stood out to you this year?

The strange irony here is that Age of Empires III wouldn’t be the most disappointing game of 2004 if I didn’t like it so much.

2004? Intentional dig at Ensemble’s gameplay or typo–you make the call!

  • Alan

I was happy to see this post for no reason other than I had forgotten the name of this game.

After having my interest piqued by your review in the mag a couple months back, I got caught up in some of the other features and forgot about it. Then recycled it.

Then I got a PS2 for Christmas and was thinking, “Okay, what was that ridiculously cool-sounding Japanese game that Chick reviewed a few months back” when I was trying to put together my to-buy list. I couldn’t find the mag, of course, so I was thrilled with the quarterlies.

Then outta my trousers cruel fate ripped my boner, like Dungsroman ripping so much viscera outta a donor; for I saw the Gamecube tag.

Gamecube, what the fiznuck? Do any of the Seven wear red overalls and a plumber’s hat?

It’s also a reminder why innovation is dead, as disingenuously dismayed observers will note from time to time. It’s dead because we don’t need it, and we really never did. Not every game needs to be Darwinia, or Deus Ex, or Guitar Hero, or Katamari Damacy. Innovation sits in its niche – moribund or overlooked or dead, whatever you want to call it – until it hits it big, at which point, it’s no longer innovation. Remember when the original Half-Life was innovative?

Otherwise, the same old stuff is just fine when it works and it’s Quake 4 or Serious Sam II when it doesn’t work. But “same old” has a proven track record. People know how to do it and sometimes they even know how to improve it, as Infinity Ward has done slightly and surprisingly sufficiently with Call of Duty 2.

Tom, this is the best thing you’ve ever written, and I really really really wish that more people could understand it. I’ve shared the same POV forever.

Killer 7 is available for both Gamecube and PS2. In fact, the PS2 version was in the Toys R Us bargain bin for $10.

Mercenaries wasn’t polished enough to make a list IMO.

The driving parts were uninspired and dull, regardless if you were driving a tank or a sports car. Considering how much time was spent getting from place to place and the general lack of helicopters in which to do it in it’s a pretty noticable flaw. Oh, and the bugged bridge on the southern map that would fling any tracked vehicle into the sea. Did I mention that your highly skilled death-machine mercenary can’t swim? It’s an action game, get some action in the damn vehicles. The tanks and APC’s do get some credit for being heavily armed, but that is kinda outweighed by the fact that they are also slow as molassess for the most part.

Thanks, Dave; of all the Daves, I think you’re my favorite!

Please! No Canadian pop culture! I love Kids in the Hall as much as anyone, but that skit, and many others, are as overused as Chapelle’s Rick James. Actually, probably more so. If your name is Dave in Canada, you probably hate Kids in the Hall.

There were helicopters. Tons of fun stealing an enemy copter as it swung in low trying to kill you. Getting a helicopter to last was another issue. But your complaint about the actual driving, I agree with. For a game about mostly driving, the driving sucked.

Chet

I know there were helicopters. Hell, I’ll admit it, the helicopters kicked ass. As did hijacking one from an enemy that swooped past you. But as a rule you never seemed to have access to a helicopter when you wanted to use one to travel somewhere. If Mercenaries just let me take a helicopter all the time I’d do it. What they should have done, IMO, was to give you access to a dirt cheap helicopter early on at the Merchant of Menace. It should have no weapons at all but be quick and zippy so you’d only use it for transport.

If that was an option I wouldn’t get in a bloody car ever again, and I’d enjoy the game a whole lot more.

I agree driving around was boring as hell, I loved doing air raids on targets before jumping out to attack the card. Did anyone else find the missions that have you going after the kings a bit too much trial and error? I remember being really annoyed with the 2nd king mission with the nuclear waste all around.

I was a Kids fan, but I have no clue what this is about… don’t remember this skit - maybe it’s just something bubbling up from the subconscious, reckon? But based on this and my other recollections, I think the “I’m crushing your head guy” was the most overused, or maybe the “I eat stuff for money” backpack kid.

I was always more of a SCTV fan, anyway.

SCTV is simply the best, no question. :)

Good writeup. I just placed an order for Future Perfect to check it out, it had entirely gone past my radar. The comments about innovation are so dead on…

You know, you can order up a helicopter.

These are the Daves I know, I know?

The transport chopper is big, slow, heavy and no fun to fly. To get a small nimble one you need to hunt down listening posts. Which requires a guide at the very least, and is still a chore. And they are both too expensive to be used as throwaway transport vehicles.

Great list, except for the lack of RE4, but that didn’t surprise me. Speaking of surprises, I’m 100% in agreement with Tom on his Most Surprising pick. I went into Call of Duty 2 with sort of a morose resignation (I knew I was going to have to finish it because I reviewed it) at having to tackle yet another WWII game and yet another FPS game, and it completely blew me away. Tom’s point about how innovation isn’t necessary if people just take what already exists and do it really, really well should be posted on the monitors of everyone reviewing games today. It’s probably the best thing I’ve read all year on the subject.

So at what point did CoD2 click for you guys? I thought CoD1 was horribly overrated but got CoD2 for Christmas and I’ve played up to the Russian mission where you have to repair the broken telephone wire and so far I haven’t seen anything to differentiate this one from the first game.