April 17, 2012
I had a difficult time tracking down a copy of the Mass Effect 3 collector’s edition because I didn’t preorder it. It’s readily available at online retailers, but it’s pretty pricey – seventy dollars used. Still, it’s a collector’s edition that packs a punch.
Like most other collector’s editions worth their salt, or money as it were, Mass Effect 3 comes in a flashy tin case. On either side are images of the stock male and female Shepherd. Fleshing out more of the game’s art is the miniature art book the collector’s edition comes with. I’m usually opposed to these miniature art books (especially in Skyrim’s wake) but Mass Effect 3’s is okay thanks to its detailed descriptions. Then again, it’s actually excerpted from a larger (page count and size) art book that’s available for sale.
There’s also a short comic book starring the queen of Omega, Aria T’Loak. It’s interesting and accounts for her time between Mass Effect 2 and 3, but it seems more like an advertisement for the related graphic novel, sort of like the art book being a “taste” of the full-size art book. Also related to the art is a lithograph of the Normandy. It’s really just a postcard without the necessary information, but it’s a cool picture of Normandy nonetheless. Another inclusion is a code to download a digital version of the soundtrack. I’d really like to give it a listen, but I wasn’t able to redeem it because I accidently have more than one EA account. To redeem it, I need to know what my EA account is that I signed into Mass Effect 3 with, and I don’t know what it is.
There’s a ton of digital content included too; namely, the From Ashes downloadable mission, character, and so on. It’d be great if used copies had unredeemed codes for this, but they probably don’t so it’s not much of a bonus for most. The rest of the digital content isn’t worth the extra money, and like From Ashes, they’re probably not available in used copies. Still, there are plenty of weapons, extra outfits, and other digital gear.
At twenty dollars over the standard edition, I think the extra content is worth it. Especially considering that From Ashes alone costs ten dollars itself. Oh! The collector’s edition also comes with an N7 patch, so yeah… There’s no dearth of content in the collector’s edition. Plus, Mass Effect 3 is a pretty darned good game.
April 17, 2012
Mass Effect 3, what a game! BioWare and Electronic Arts have closed out the trilogy amid much controversy. The increased amount of related downloadable content and the botched ending have irked many people. Still, the proof is in the pudding and Mass Effect 3 retains the high pedigree associated with the previous two games.
As was the case with Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3 plays more fluidly than its predecessor. Commander Shepherd has a newfound agility that allows him to weave around a battlefield much better than he’s ever been able to. Still there are some annoyances that make Shepherd’s movement feel very rigid. Turning while running was a process I had to become accustomed to and getting into cover was oftentimes finicky. For instance, when I’d run into a wall at an angle, Shepherd wouldn’t get into cover; to get into cover, I’d have to hit it head on. These are a few minor annoyances but overall, Shepherd’s agility is net gain in my book. As far as other elements of the gameplay getting improved, any enhancements were either very subtle or not worth mentioning. The game plays better than ever.
I’ve played as a soldier in each of the Mass Effect games and compared to the other classes, it’s a relatively boring one. Thankfully, the big addition to the series – multiplayer – allowed me to play as the other classes and experience their specialties easily. It’s a much lower barrier of entry then just creating a new character for the single player.
In the multiplayer, teams of four battle through about ten waves of enemies. Most of the time, survival is the only focus although every few waves, teams are tasked with uploading important data, guarding an important terminal, or taking out specific enemies in a timely fashion. I thought the multiplayer was okay, but feeling like I had to do it dragged down my feelings of it.
Mass Effect 3 integrates the multiplayer into the single player and represents the conflicts as actual battles that the good guys are fighting. Each multiplayer arena resides in a galaxy and each galaxy has a readiness rating. Each galaxy begins at 50% and for me, it was necessary to get the average up to about 70% to get the “perfect” ending. And since I was getting it that high, I figured I might as well get the overall number up to 100% to get the achievement for doing so. This was additional time to me because it forced me to halt my single player game and focus on the multiplayer for about ten hours, instead of enjoying it after “the main attraction” concluded.
“The main attraction” in my book is the story and with this I was fulfilled. It was inevitable that the trilogy would end with this, the third game, but as the first few hours of Mass Effect 3 make clear, there was still much work ahead of Shepherd. Constructing a force large enough to deal with the Reapers required Shepherd to put to rest events that have affected the galaxy for hundreds of years. Dealing with the genophage and the Quarian/Geth problem are two of the subplots that stick out largest in my mind.
Still, I can think of other, very memorable moments that may not have had a major impact on the universe as a whole, but affected me greatly. Whether it was losing close allies or making gut decisions on the fly, Mass Effect 3 had some memorable moments. Plus, seeing people I spared in the previous games reappear and discovering how past decisions reverberated was neat too. All the while, these decisions played into Shepherd’s war assets. In combination with the aforementioned readiness levels obtained through multiplayer, the war assets dictated what endings would be available. It’s weird to have every decision I’ve ever made to be distilled into a quick number, but it’s great for comparison to other players!
When everything is said and done, Shepherd once and for all deals with the Reapers. There’s been so much fuss over the ending that forming an opinion is a tough task when there’s so many others floating around on the internet. I had multiple options available to deal with the Reapers, and they were pretty diverse. While I got the “perfect” ending, everything didn’t turn out perfectly. I believe a lot of anger has been directed at the vague resolution of what key characters do after the events of the game, and that’s fair. I also think it’s fair that if players have spent over one hundred hours in this universe, they have enough to go on to form their opinions of what everyone did. Still, recent revelations over the “true ending” downloadable content give me a sourer outlook of the ending.
Overall, I’m pleased as punch with Mass Effect 3. It’s the best playing game in the series and thanks to the multiplayer I have a better understanding of every character class. Leveling up characters in it is pretty fun to boot, as long as I’m not “forced” to do it; most importantly though, I’m pleased with the conclusion of the trilogy. The bevy of events throughout the game was entertaining and I know that if I slightly changed my decisions, they could’ve ended up entirely different. Ultimately though, Commander Shepherd did what he set out to do from day one: deal with the Reapers.
April 5, 2012
Following Wayne Holden as he attempts to remember his past and avenge his father’s death, Lost Planet: Extreme Condition features a deep science fiction background, impressive enemies, outlandish character designs, and some okay action. Developed by Capcom, spearheaded by Keiji Inafune (Mega Man, Dead Rising), and produced by Jun Takeuchi (Resident Evil, Onimusha), Lost Planet is a third-person shooter originally released for the Xbox 360 on January 12, 2007. It was later ported to the PlayStation 3 and PC.
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition takes place on the frigid world of E.D.N. III. The planet is inhospitable, not only because of the unforgiving weather, but also due to a prevalent species of insects. The akrid are aggressive insects that come in many forms, most towering over the invading humans. The human race stumbled upon the frozen, insect-infected wasteland of E.D.N. III in their search for a planet to relocate to before completely destroying Earth. However, a climate change and the removal of the akrid must precede a mass exodus of Earth.
Attempts at solving these problems have been occurring over the past fifty years and solutions are in sight. The corporation NEVEC has been at the front of pioneering solutions to these problems although the rebellious snow pirates have acted as roadblocks.
As Wayne and his father hunt down a massive akrid, they get ambushed by NEVEC who kills Wayne’s father and leaves him for dead. Later rescued by a small gang of snow pirates, Wayne learns of NEVEC’s honorable plans of saving the human race through dastardly means and decides to put a stop to them. Along the way drama ensues amongst the ridiculously outfitted cast of characters.
At every turn, questions are rising over everyone’s true intentions and their mysterious pasts. As such, each and every cutscenes relays not only developments about NEVEC and their plans concerning the climate and the akrid, but also each character’s misgivings about someone else, to the point where the internal strife among the snow pirates resembled a soap opera. The drama also gets amplified by mysterious characters outside of the group who aid and hinder the snow pirates.
Besides the ongoing drama, I had another beef with the characters: their ridiculous outfits. For example one of Wayne’s accomplices, Rick, wore a set of glasses that were opaque and protruded from his face about six inches. Presumably they were some sort of technology but they looked dumb, like he was a Cyclops (X-Men) reject. His goofy haircut was in no way appealing either. The other half dozen or so characters weren’t as bad, but they still wore cluttered outfits. I will say the enemy designs of the akrid were cool, but then again, video games have featured gross looking insects from day one.
Killing the akrid, NEVEC troops, and snow pirates was done with some impressive weaponry. I usually think singling out the weapon selection of a first-person/third-person shooter as a positive aspect is unnecessary in most cases, but I really like Lost Planet’s weapons. There was a plentiful variety and my friend and I always enjoyed trying out a new weapon, but what I liked most about the weapons was their feel. I liked the feedback I got from shooting things, the overpowered shotgun especially.
A second positive aspect regarding the weaponry was the dozen or so mechs. Being that E.D.N. III is a risky place to live, mechs have become all but necessary on the planet. Most of them are in a bipedal form although multiple can transform into speedier forms. Weapons are similarly plentiful for the mechs and they’re able to be installed on nearly every one.
The mechs, as well as the controls in general, were clunky. Wayne moved around awfully slowly and panning the camera around was a chore; so much so that the bumpers on the controller were used to swing the camera around ninety degrees. This was beneficial, but speeding up the camera would’ve meant they wouldn’t have had to even offer a remedy. The stages were too long in most cases too. Averaging about a half hour, they consisted of a slow, boring slog through a usually expansive stage, battling many, many enemies until a confrontation with a usually enormous boss. The game only took my friend and me three or four hours to complete, but I don’t think that’s factoring in the oodles of cutscenes.
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition is a mediocre third-person shooter. The story unfolded through many good looking cutscenes, but was eventually bogged down by the drama. The gameplay was solid, although a little too clunky for me to fully enjoy, and the weaponry was fantastic, but completing stages was a real slog. Lost Planet: Extreme Condition was an enjoyable game but not entirely recommendable.
March 30, 2012
With a pal by my side and a set of plastic instruments surrounding us, we were ready to ROCK! You see, days before I bought AC/DC Live: Rock Band Track Pack, a Wal-Mart exclusive addition to the Rock Band series of games. Being in a mood to ROCK! we decided to play through it in one sitting, plus there was an achievement for doing so…
I’m not the biggest fan of AC/DC, but I enjoy a ton of their songs and can respect what they’ve been doing since the seventies. Since they’ve been making music for so long, they have many popular songs and most are present in the game.
The eighteen songs included are taken from a 1991 concert AC/DC put on and as such, are all live tracks. Live tracks usually aren’t my thing, but these were alright. I knew of the majority of the songs and after scanning through a list of the band’s singles (prior to 1991) the only omission I saw was “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution”.
Playing through the entire set list took us a good while and I was perplexed by two things. Firstly, there wasn’t an option for the concert to seamlessly play out. Instead, with the completion of each song, we were kicked back out to results screen and then the song selection screen to choose the next song in the concert. Secondly, during load screens, Rock Band games include facts about bands, songs, etc. Playing through the game, my friend and I only ever came across AC/DC facts twice. This was a missed opportunity to enhance player’s knowledge on the renowned band.
Still, it was a fun multiplayer experience. The game was originally a Wal-Mart exclusive, although it’s easy to find elsewhere. However, because it was a Wal-Mart exclusive, and the stores around me have always had too many copies, I was able to find a copy on clearance. Like I said though, copies are readily available everywhere and cheap, like, five dollars or less. AC/DC might not be everyone’s taste, but it’s worth checking out if you’re in a mood to ROCK!
March 22, 2012
I’ve written three articles covering collector’s editions of video games so far and they’ve all been similar. Namely, they all came in metal DVD cases; of course they contained other bonuses too but nothing spectacular in my opinion. Well, when it came to releasing a collector’s edition of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Bethesda Softworks decided to do it big.
The collector’s edition of Skyrim is hard to miss in a store thanks to the massive box it comes in. Because it houses a foot tall statue of the dragon Alduin, it takes up a lot of space, which is also why it’s been marked down from its original retail price of $150 to $100, so stores can get rid of them. That’s still a lot of money and the game itself is FANTASTIC and definitely worth playing, but maybe you don’t need all the extras the collector’s edition comes with.
Alduin is really solid, like, made of rock hard plastic, and he has many protrusions, so he’s hard to grasp and handle. Luckily he comes with a stand resembling a word wall from the game, although the stand is hollow and feels cheap, the opposite of Alduin. Regardless, that’s not disappointing because it does its job of displaying Alduin well. If you’re unashamed in your love of dragons it’s a wonderful display piece, if you’ve got the space.
Another bonus included in the collector’s edition is a massive art book, definitely the biggest and best I’ve ever received with a game. It’s not miniature like the ones I’ve received with other games; no sir, it’s a full size book. It contains nearly two hundred pages of concept art, computer-generated art, and descriptions of almost anything you can think of that’s in the game. It’s a seriously nice art book.
Lastly, the collector’s edition features a documentary DVD distilling many facets of the game. It never delves very deep into any particular subject, but, like the art book, covers so many features of the game. I wished I watched it before playing through the game or at least before beating it, but listening to the developers discuss various features of making Skyrim was still interesting.
The collector’s edition of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim sells for around $100 now and personally, I think the premium over the standard edition is worth it, if you’re into displaying massive statues of dragons. The statue of Alduin is badass, the art book is ridiculous compared to the ones that usually get bundled with collector’s edition of video games, and the documentary DVD provides some deeper insight into the game. Too bad the game doesn’t come in a nice SteelBook though.
February 27, 2012
The final piece of downloadable content for Mass Effect 2, Arrival, leads directly into Mass Effect 3 and explained away some of the confusion I had after playing the demo for the trilogy’s finale.
Admiral Hackett reaches out to Commander Shepherd and asks him to undertake a rescue mission solo. An agent of Hackett’s has been working in Batarian space and has uncovered substantial evidence relating to the arrival of the Reapers. She has been apprehended by the Batarians however and is currently in prison. The Batarians and humans have a frayed relationship and if Hackett sent in a squad, this would cause turmoil; much like the relationship between the USA and Pakistan when a special forces squad took out Osama bin Laden. This relationship is why Hackett is asking Shepherd to go it alone. Hackett explains that it’s better for the operation to be viewed as the act of an individual rescuing a friend, rather than an act by the Alliance itself.
So, Shepherd sneaks into the prison and rescues Dr. Amanda Kenson and the two then battle their way out and back onto the asteroid that houses Dr. Kenson’s base. When they arrive Shepherd is shocked to see what Dr. Kenson has found – a Reaper artifact, and one that’s out in the open. Shepherd is immediately worried that everyone on the base has been indoctrinated as Saren had been in Mass Effect; Dr. Kenson claims that’s not the case and they begin discussing the importance of her find.
What Dr. Kenson has gathered relates to the Reapers arrival through the mass relays. Her crew had developed a plan to crash the asteroid her base resided on into the nearby mass relay, preventing the Reapers from entering the solar system. However, they had a change of plans because they had been indoctrinated. They overtake Shepherd who wakes up days later as his window of opportunity to save the day is shrinking. Shepherd proceeds to blast his way through the indoctrinated Alliance members until he reaches a lacking conclusion.
One of the hallmarks of the Mass Effect games has been the ability to shape Shepherd and the universe around him through key decisions. Arrival finishes in a way that seems (almost) ideal for a chance to make hefty moral decision but whimpers out, in spite of an explosion.
Arrival leads directly into Mass Effect 3 (despite the two year gap between games) and explains away my confusion over the soon to be released finale’s opening. Arrival is heavily combat skewed and not having Shepherd’s crew is pretty lame. It’s probably ideal to play Arrival to fully understand Mass Effect 3, but compared to the three other DLC packs for Mass Effect 2, it’s my least favorite. Plus I’ve explained much of the DLC anyways so go figure.
February 21, 2012
Remember when I was ate up with Mass Effect and I played everything I could, including the DLC for Mass Effect 2 in a few month span? Well, to prepare for the release of Mass Effect 3 I figured it was time to revisit Mass Effect 2 and play through the two remaining pieces of DLC I saved. Luckily for me, I probably left the very best one to begin with.
Lair of the Shadow Broker sees Commander Shepherd receiving valuable information on the whereabouts of the mysterious figure whose influence Shepherd has occasionally felt. He, or perhaps it, is similar to a gang lord that deals in information. He has a supply chain consisting of an innumerable amount of henchmen that is able to span the galaxy and gather information. With this supply chain, he’s able to control information so well that little is known about him; it helps that no one who has seen him has lived to tell the tale.
When Shepherd left Liara T’Soni on Illium in Mass Effect 2, he left her as she continued her search for the shadow broker’s whereabouts. Liara has been tracking the information overlord with a vengeance, believing him to be the cause of a partner’s death. When Shepherd receives the information on the shadow broker, he naturally thinks of Liara. Thinking the information is too good to be obtained by just anyone, Liara believes the source of the info is her previously thought dead partner, giving her even more reason to ally with Shepherd again.
Before leaving the financial capital of the universe, Shepherd and his squad deal with the can of worms that hunting an information magnate opens up. An assassination attempt on Liara keeps her and Shepherd separated, but it’s not long before his squad, and Tela Vasir, an asari Spectre meet back up with Liara in an enemy-filled skyscraper. That Spectre double-crosses them, leading to a chase scene between the towering skyscrapers of Illium. This chase scene was very fun and reminiscent of similar futuristic chase scenes from popular science fiction movies. Liara and Shepherd eventually catch Tela, but not before waging battles against more henchmen and passing through a high-end brothel. Tela was a very strong adversary and I had a hard time with this boss fight – I was playing on the second hardest difficulty level however. Afterwards Shepherd gave the most fantastic line of dialogue (paragon choice) when Tela took a hostage. He subsequently chastised Tela with underwhelming reasoning that, when applied to Shepherd himself, doesn’t hold water.
With Shepherd, his squad, and Liara all together again, their search for the shadow broker begins in earnest and leads them to a planet with extremely harsh weather patterns. The shadow broker resides in an enormous starship that remains hidden in an ongoing storm. Landing on the starship, they have to deal with the shadow broker’s henchmen before gaining access to the interior, at which point they have a few more quick bouts with yet more henchmen before finally meeting the shadow broker.
The shadow broker hails from a pre-spaceflight race of aliens that are ferociously deadly, quick learners, yet they’re unable to cooperate with other races, let alone each other. Hence, the shadow broker represents the first (and possibly only) time players will get to see this race of alien. The ensuing battle was representative of a lot of video game boss fights; figure out the boss’ pattern, exploit the boss’ weaknesses, repeat two more times. Not that that’s bad, I really liked this boss fight; it was balanced much better compared to the battle against Tela, and it gave Shepherd a chance to flex his melee skills.
Lair of the Shadow Broker concludes with a fantastic role reprisal that should have major consequences for the upcoming Mass Effect 3. Thanks to the shadow broker’s diligent record keeping, there is plenty of fun information to sift through on Shepherd’s squad and other important characters in the game after the conclusion. And there is an epilogue of sorts with Liara and Shepherd having a heart-to-heart conversation of their strengths and weaknesses and the lack of clarity relating to what the future has in store for every living being.
Lair of the Shadow Broker was a lengthy addition to Mass Effect 2 with a conclusion whose effects should be felt throughout the remainder of the series. The DLC is well worth the price and should be required playing for anyone with a copy of Mass Effect 2.
February 15, 2012
Of the games announced for release this year, Mass Effect 3 is easily the game I’m most looking forward to. It’s a series I only fairly recently began playing – I completed the first two games in early 2011, but it’s a series I’ve quickly become infatuated with.
After a minute or two of customizing Commander Shepherd, the game proper began. Shepherd watches as a young boy plays with a toy before he is quickly ushered to speak with important political figures. Having not played the final piece of DLC for Mass Effect 2 (Arrival) I was a little confused on why Shepherd wasn’t in the position of power he formerly was. Whatever happened in Arrival, Shepherd stood trial for it and Lieutenant Anderson had a role in defending him. During this meeting, the Reapers land on Earth and begin causing havoc. Shepherd was brought in for a conversation on what to do and there were a few more times during the demo that I had conversations, although my options in these were very limited.
This stage sees Anderson and Shepherd fighting their way through groups of the zombie-like husks in order to reach the Normandy and escape. Anderson’s plan is for Shepherd to return to the Citadel and convince the other alien races that the Reapers are here and the only way anyone is going to survive is to work together. During this scene, Anderson and Shepherd battled husks and scaled destroyed buildings as the enormous Reapers launched attacks. It took about twenty minutes all in all and at the end, Anderson decided to stay on Earth and lend a hand to the fight on Earth. This stage had a strong subtext that the heroes were not going to be able to save everyone and I imagine there’ll be dramatic outcomes to the choices Shepherd makes throughout the game. As Shepherd flies away, he watches the young boy from earlier board a doomed escape vehicle.
The demo had another stage, this one farther into the game. It allowed me to upgrade Shepherd and his party of Garrus and Liara from the ground up, choosing which stats and abilities to upgrade. The gang arrived on the Salarian home planet in order to rescue a female krogan – an important concept for anyone familiar with the series. This stage had many familiar faces including Wrex, back in cahoots with Shepherd, and Mordin, the brilliant Salarian doctor. This stage was totally action-orientated and reintroduced me to Cerberus. Cerberus, for whatever reason, is trying to get to the female krogan, and it seems like they’re going to be a constant pain in Shepherd’s butt. This stage had many more weapons than the previous one and allowed me to use my party’s abilities. It didn’t take long for me to develop powerful combinations and become the Spectre I once was.
Mass Effect 3’s combat was really responsive and fast-paced, and blending my party’s weapons and abilities is still super fun. Even though it’s not an improvement, the information I got from targeting enemies was still super helpful; knowing their health and shield levels was vital to developing combinations of weapons and abilities. It seems like there’s a multitude of ways to spec Shepherd and his group still and I can’t wait to dive into the full game and end the trilogy when it releases March 6, 2012.
January 18, 2012
I believe it was E3 2011 when I began paying attention to Asura’s Wrath. I could swear I read previews or listened to podcasts where people discussed the demo at the show. Their descriptions of the game were madness; a boss growing to be larger than Earth itself, another boss wielding a sword whose blade was hundreds of miles long. Well a demo was recently released onto the Xbox 360 and PS3 (the version I played) and I gave it a whirl to see Asura’s Wrath for myself.
The first stage of the demo had me battle a giant Buddha-bellied guy named Wyzen. I played as Asura who stands as tall as a normal human. Meanwhile this Buddha-bellied guy is hundreds of times Asura’s size. I ran towards him firing projectiles which filled a bar at the top of the screen. Once it was full I hit the R2 button and entered Burst Mode. In this mode Asura went all out and I was able to beat the crap out of Wyzen. I think it was at this point that Asura grew four more arms, which helped in accomplishing my goal of beating the crap out of Wyzen. After some more fighting, Wyzen, who was already big, grew to be larger than Earth. He was in space alongside Earth when he began motioning his finger towards Earth, the way you or I would press a button. He began smashing Asura at which point I had to mash on the circle button until I triggered Burst Mode and wailed on Wyzen until he was destroyed.
The second stage of the demo took place on the moon. Asura was battling a guy who looked very similar to him. This battle continued on for a while and it played like a simple beat ‘em up. I had to get close to this guy and then punch him a lot. I continued enabling Burst Mode and taking chunks of this bad dude’s health bar out until he unsheathed his sword. This changed the fight a little as he’d send beams of energy my way. I had to avoid these while trying to get in close to wail on him. After a while he pointed his sword at Asura and it began extending towards him. Asura caught it with his hands but it kept growing, thrusting Asura off the moon and towards Earth. Eventually this bad guy pinned Asura on the Earth, although his sword kept extending eventually breaking through the other side of the planet. Right before Asura’s comeback the demo ended.
If these two stages are any indication, Asura’s Wrath will be jam-packed with outlandish stages and entertaining cutscenes. What it won’t be jam-packed with is actual gameplay. Performing the majority of these actions was done through simple quick-time events, and the little bit of beat ‘em up gameplay I experienced seemed very basic. In this brief introduction to the game, it seemed like my goal was “beat up dude until burst gauge is filled, trigger burst mode, win.” But if Asura’s Wrath is as outlandish as the demo makes it out to be, it should be an entertaining experience regardless of the depth of the combat.
December 26, 2011
Twisted Pixel has been making a name for themselves in the past few years for developing critically and commercially successful games on the Xbox 360. Their first stepping stone to prominence was The Maw, released for Xbox Live Arcade on January 21, 2009 via publisher Microsoft Game Studios.
The Maw opens up with a cutscene showing Frank, the alien I controlled, getting thrown into a jail cell. Riding in a space ship that soon crashed, there were creatures all around Frank, most importantly was the Maw. After the crash Frank and the Maw were on their way to freedom. They soon came upon these small, cute creatures, which the Maw happily ate. After eating a few more he grew larger. This trend continued throughout the game and the Maw became enormous. There were some creatures that also gave the Maw special abilities.
The abilities were interesting but they didn’t stave off the boredom that grew on me. I had to feed the Maw until we were able to continue on to the next area or stage and that was it. The abilities added a new element, break this or fly over that, but I still needed to eat a lot of creatures. I led the Maw around each stage as I attempted to find more edible creatures and this didn’t do it for me.
Throughout the game there was one aspect I really enjoyed and that was the cutscenes. They were told exclusively through body language and they routinely put a smile on my face. Frank and the Maw had a good chemistry and it seemed like they needed each other to succeed; one was the brains and the other was the brawn.
I didn’t really enjoy the gameplay of The Maw but it was short enough that by the time I got bored with it I was close enough to beating it to simply plow through. The highlight for me was the production. Twisted Pixel had a solid vision for the game and they nailed it. The visuals and soundtrack were comparable to a CGI movie and the interactions between Frank and the Maw routinely put a smile on my face. Not too shabby for an initial stepping stone.