Killer Preview

Been a bit slow in the games department lately as I haven't played much other than going back to Outlaw Golf 2. I've recently finished Destroy All Humans, so expect a review of that soon. The only new game I've gotten so far is Killer 7, Capcom's highly anticipated cell-shaded hitman game, where you play as a hitman with 7 alternate personas to get his hit jobs done. Review coming when I can get around to it.


Black Market Bowling

Going into this, I was expecting an extreme version of the sport much like what the Outlaw series of games had done in the past. The potential was there: a wild cast of characters and some interesting locations for them to compete in. The end product however leaves much to be desired.
The first thing you’ll notice about the game is the beautiful job they did with the bowling venues. The reflections off the wax polished floor and lanes are some of the best I can remember seeing in a game, but that’s about it as far as the graphics go.
The characters look like rejects from The Sims or something like that, and while some of the characters are interesting, they mostly lack any personality. Where the characters in the Outlaw series had multiple win/loss poses and sound bites to use, they only gave each character here ONE. And while there are a few interesting characters to choose from, they sort of dropped the ball here as well as far as character development goes. This is supposed to be BLACK MARKET bowling, so you’d expect a wild and rebellious cast characters like what the Outlaw series have, but instead they put in some BORING characters that some people will probably NEVER use, like the old granny who bowls as slow as she looks and an annoying school girl who sounds like she forgot to take her medication today or something.
Audio-wise, each bowling alley has it’s own music to match the background, which isn’t so bad. Uptown and more posh locales have classical music in the background, where as the more beaten down places have more grungier tunes. And the character voices need A LOT of help as they sound really bad and unincouraging.
Gameplay wise, it’s simple to pick up, but it’s just not involving enough. Align you shot, set the spin, then press a button to control your power and release. Yawn. They could have benefited from using the analog stick to toss the ball so you feel more in control. And it just doesn’t feel like there’s any impact when your ball hits the pins.
Overall: The guys that do the Outlaw franchise should do a bowling game once Outlaw Tennis is released later this year, then they can show these Black Market people how to do an unorthodox extreme sport game the right way.

Graphics – 5
Sound – 6
Gameplay – 4
Lifespan – 2
Overall – 2


Samurai Western

You’re a samurai in the wild wild west looking for a fellow warrior, trouble is, you get drawn into the woes of the town your at and as your code of honor directs, you help out where you see fit. Such is the premise behind this game with an interesting concept. It’s just too bad the execution was a bit off.
First thing you notice is the rather impressive intro where shadowed characters duel it out, but once you get to the actual game, you get the feeling like your looking at an old PS1 game. The characters look very bland and almost stick figure-ish. After playing games like Devil May Cry and God of War, you know it’s possible to do a better job than what was done here. And the music is rather generic too.
And don’t get me started on the voice acting. When the hero is speaking in Japanese, it’s ok, but it sounds just horrible when he starts speaking English as it sounds more like he has a fat lip than a Japanese accent. All the other cowboy voices also can get annoying as they sound like your typical forced John Wayne impersonations.
As for the main game itself, there really isn’t much on offer other than to slash away at everyone on screen. You basically select a mission, equip your character, and after a brief story sequence, you just start slicing away at all the enemies on screen. There isn’t even any point to it. Just attack EVERYONE. And you don’t even know what your doing since there’s no time limit or head count, with the level just ending abruptly that it feels like your just filling in time. During Boss-fights, you fight a boss, but the other levels in between are just pointless. No puzzles to solve, no tricks, no nothing. Just attack and kill every baddie you can find until the game suddenly decides to jump to a cut scene to end the level.
The controls would have been a welcomed change since there are some innovative moves your Samurai can pull off, like actually deflecting bullets and thrown objects with your sword. Problem is, you’d need the reflexes of a real samurai warrior to time it so your sword slashes deflect the bullets. So you’ll most probably find yourself running around and dodging to get to your enemies to slash them rather than use the cool bullet deflection strategy that the intro and cut scenes pride themselves on. Using combo attacks also doesn’t really help you much cause your character always does a brief pause at the end of a combo, which leaves him open to attack. It also seems like there are invisible walls in this game. You see a fence with an open area behind it, yet you can’t jump over the fence to get there, but rather run all the way around to find a opening. And even jumping can be a hassle when you need to jump accurately to get to enemies standing on rooftops.
Overall, this is something your might want to rent or borrow to try out before even thinking of purchasing. It’s good for a once over, but not long term as all there is once you beat a level is to just try it again to beat the record you made the previous time. So this game is not recommended for me, even if the story and concept does sound interesting. You can do much better with the greats like Devil May Cry and God of War.

Graphics – 6
Sound – 6
Gamepley – 5
Lifespan – 5
Overall – 4

UPDATE: While there are some twists to the plotline later in the game, as well as more objectives to each level, it still gets redundant really quick with you having to just take out anyone in your path. You'll only want to finish this game to get the unlockables, such as hidden playable characters and character accessories, but probably won't stick around for much else.