Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

 

Not many people have heard of this game, and i don’t know why, because I really enjoyed it. It takes place more than 150 years in the future, where the world has transformed with a dwindling human population and merciless robots left over from wars long past. In Enslaved, players take on the role of Monkey, a strong and brutish loner, and his AI partner Trip, a technologically savvy but sheltered young woman from a peaceful community. Both become captured by a mysterious slave ship, which are rumored to harvest people and take them out west never to return.

According to Wikipedia:

The story is a re-imagining of the novel Journey to the West written by Wu Cheng’en. Unlike the original story that was set in a fantastical version of ancient China, the game is set 150 years in a future post-apocalyptic world following a global war, with only remnants of humanity left, along with the still active war machines left over from the conflict. Like the original story however, the plot revolves around someone who forces the help and protection of a warrior, with many characters sharing the same names and roles.

Monkey’s this big strong tough guy, and then there’s young, 19 year old Tripitaka or “Trip.” She’s really good with computers and hacks a slave headband to control Monkey to keep her alive after they both (not together but together) escaped the slave ship. See, she’s extremely vulnerable, and has no combat abilities except for her EMP and Decoy. The headband prevents Monkey from going too far (or else Trip will release a poison to kill him), and forces him to keep Trip alive. If Trip dies, then so does Monkey.

The gameplay is a bit like the very first Uncharted game. The camera freezes in a particular way to illustrate to the player that your next move is somewhere in the vicinity. Once you get past this part, it’s not bad at all. Monkey’s combat is fairly straightforward. His abilities can be upgraded over time with the “Trip Store” by collecting the red tech orbs found throughout the game. And upgradable skills means only one thing! New Game Plus! Okay, no not really, but if you say play the game on Easy or Medium, and then say quit halfway or 3/4 of the way through the game and you decide to start a new game, you will essentially get to keep all of your upgrades! I discovered this one day when I reached a part of the game that required quite a bit of ammo. Let’s just say that I’m not the best shot, so when I got to this area I was shit out of luck. I was so frustrated with having made horrible upgrade choices, I quit my current game and started a new one. I also decided to choose an easier difficulty because quite frankly, I don’t find being punished during a game fun. I play video games because they’re enjoyable, not because they fucking hard and I have to redo a free-form combat 20 times before I can move on. So I started a new game and all of my upgrades were still there. Let’s just say the second time around was a lot more fun. I also whizzed through the first 7 chapters in a 4 hours.

When I saw the DLC was all about Pigsy, the other character in the game, I wasn’t thrilled. I thought, who cares about a short man who looks like a pig? I didn’t think I’d like this character that is likened to a pig, but when Monkey and Trip encountered him, he quickly became my favorite funny character. His comments and questions directed at Monkey were pretty funny.

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 10.21.15 PM

Pigsy sees Monkey as a funny man, with weird hair, and stating that it’s clear why his name is Monkey. He’s also extremely jealous of him and his relationship with Trip. When I first bought the game I wasn’t interested in the DLC, but I put it in my PSN cart and intend on buying it soon. He’s hilarious. Not to mention… well… I won’t say much more because it’ll spoil the game. Oh yeah! I forgot to mention that Pigsy thinks he’s a ladies man. I mean, he thinks he’s all hot shit, and the ladies love him. Haha.

Things I loved about the game:

  • Upgrades carry over to a new game.
  • The dialogue in the game, and how amusing it can be.
  • Pigsy and what happened between and Trip, and him and Monkey. Hahaha.
  • The last two chapters. I loved this story!!
  • Pigsy and his comments toward Monkey.
  • Trip. She’s my favorite character. She’s sexy, gorgeous, and I really love her outfit.
  • Monkey’s body. Rwarrr. He’s hot for a game character.

Things I didn’t like about the game:

  • The game was pretty short. I was able to play the entire game in less than 10 hours.
  • All the bugs I saw during my playthroughs.

Bugs I encountered during my playthrough: 

  • Trip’s hair is constantly clipping through her shoulder or back.
  • First time battling the dog with the Cloud, Monkey was falling out of world, except he just kept going higher and higher until the game disappeared and it was replaced with blue then black textures. I must have pushed the right stick too fast, which is what most likely caused the issue.
  • Trip walked through Monkey, and dialogue was out of sync. I’m pretty sure all of that was also the cause for Monkey going out of world.
  • If you run around grabbing tech orbs, you might see Trip running into a corner. It has happened multiple times.

All in all this is a great game! If you buy the digital game on the Playstation website, you can get the game, the DLC, and two or three skins for $20. If you were to buy the game used at a store like EB Games, it’s only about $9. Totally worth it.

My rating? 8 out of 10! I recommend this game to anyone who likes a good story and some fun times. 🙂

Cheers!

Bitchin’ Gamer Girl.

Mirror’s Edge Review

What can I say about Mirror’s Edge? It’s a pretty neat first person look of a girl who’s a courier, and she runs around, and travels the city she lives in by climbing rooftops, scaling walls using pipes, or going through vents.

I have a love/hate relationship with this game. One the love side, I really enjoyed its uniqueness. Running as a courier, doing all sorts of things I can’t or won’t do in real life. She lives a very exciting life. What I hated about the game was how I didn’t quite get a hang of the controls, and some of the jumps would take me a dozen or two dozen times before I finally made it to the other side. What’s important in this game, especially for long jumps or long wall runs, is to keep the momentum going by having a fluidic set of actions that doesn’t break Faith’s momentum. Because if she needs to run along a really long wall, and she doesn’t have the right momentum, well, she’ll fall. And I spent a lot of time watching Faith, the character’s name, falling to her death and hearing the gross splat! sound at the end. But what’s a game without a little challenge right?

Mirror’s Edge is set in a quasi-futuristic dystopian society. You’ll find out pretty quick that the police do not like couriers like Faith, so more often than not, she’s being chased by cops firing guns at her. If you’re successful at taking one down, you can steal their gun and shoot back, but she definitely runs slower with a gun. When she’s not being shot at and outside, you’ll see the urban area is bright and cheery. Everything is very white, or nearly so, and anything that Faith can interact with will highlight red when she’s nearby. Unless you’re playing with that setting turned off, in which it makes things a lot more difficult, especially if you didn’t run through the game once before.
I don’t mind the story in this game, but I think it could have used maybe a bit of work. I won’t spoil it for anyone, but I certainly didn’t play this game for the story. I hope the story is better in the upcoming Mirror’s Edge…

Things I love about this game:

  • The soundtrack was amazing (recorded by a Swedish band called Solar Fields
  • The clean, primary colours of the urban city
  • Running and jumping, and feeling free

Things I dislike about this game:

  • The ending was lame
  • Some of the jumps were hard
  • Story could have used some work
  • Once you play it, it loses its appeal and uniqueness and it’s just another parkour game

Despite it all, I was happy I managed to complete this game and that I didn’t give up! I wasn’t sure I was going to finish it because halfway through I got so frustrated with this one jump in the scaffolding, but after a short break (and finding a secret save point) I was able to happily keep playing. I’m actually looking forward to the next Mirror’s Edge game. She’ll be in a new city, there will be an overhaul on the combat mechanics (she won’t be able to pick up and use guns), and there will be a multiplayer option. Should be neat. I’ll definitely be giving it a try.
My rating? 4 out of 5 stars.

Cheers!

Bitchin’ Gamer Girl