View Full Version : The Witcher, Medal of Honor: Heroes 2, and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn "Theme" Review

27th December 07, 07:12 PM
I am reviewing all 3 at once because the reviews will fit a certain theme. This theme being that all 3 games are very watered-down versions of better games or genres. I haven't finished either of the 3 games. I just didn't feel like it was worth it, because I knew where it was going.

Let's start with The Witcher.

The Witcher:

I got my hands on this after it was recommended to me here.

The story of the game is fairly simple: It's some year in some place, and racism is all the rage! No, not against blacks or whatever. It's humans against non-humans, i.e. dwarves and elves. Oddly enough, I don't think I ever saw a non-white human in the game, although I didn't get very far. Still, I was in a major city of the game and nothing.

Anyway, you are a Witcher. A human who goes through special training and ingests special chemicals to mutate him into being slightly better than human. You have better reflexes, are stronger, faster, etc. Nothing major, really. You can cast spells, but as this game is set in a typical RPG fantasy land, wizards and monsters that can cast spells are common. Oh, this also makes you infertile. Srsly.

The jist is there was a war some time ago, and your character, Geralt, got KTFO, but his friends found him and he has amnesia. Cue sorcerer coming in and stealing your school's (the witcher school, there are more than one, but this is the last one apparently) secrets and stuff. You need to get them back. I'm sure it develops from there, stuff like corruption of people in power plays a part, etc.

Anyway, the cool thing is your decisions NOW affect stuff much later in the game. Quests and people are available based on this. So that's pretty innovative. It's actually better than it sounds.

Bad thing is, your character doesn't make any sense. Witchers are basically Humans+, nothing really special compared to all the monsters and shit out there. Secondly, they're all mercenaries. Fighting beasties for money. Your guy routinely gets pissed because people are stealing his jobs. Lastly, your character is weird and at least for me it's hard to relate, since he seems to have no set personality. It doesn't sway, you just don't know what it is. For example, he's a mercenary, but he helps the poor. Then he takes money from the poor a little later for a job. Then he gets into a drinking contest with someone. He tells an entire town not to slaughter someone and will protect her, but right before that essentially started a fight himself (even when the bandits surrendered) and killed a bunch of people. It's not like the stoic heroes of olde, or the badass Duke Nukem hero type. It just seems like he's a regular guy who has a bit of an advantage. Kind of boring. There's also ample chances to get laid in the game, but unlike everything else, it's never been part of the story yet, so I think it's entirely optional (maybe).


This is where you run into trouble. EVERYTHING about this game is counter-intuitive and there are HORRIBLE tutorials about it.

You fight by left-clicking on enemies and clicking again when your curser changes (you'll know when). Okay, it was never explained to me until after my first battle. Depending on which camera mode you have (2 isometric and 1 over the shoulder), you can move by left-clicking too, or just use WASD like in a FPS or something.

Inventory is kind of interesting. It only lets you carry 1 of each weapon type (primary, secondary, small, and I think another), and any armor you have equipped. Meaning you can't take a secondary armor which gives +9 against dragons in case you fight a dragon. That's decent. What sucks is that weapons and armor are really scarce in the game. Not only that, but you'll only ever use 2 weapons: Your silver sword and your steal sword. You see, silver is good vs. monsters. Steal vs. humans.

Okay, so why only those two? Because you have special skills that let you do special combos with swords. That means all other weapons are useless. These special skills include 3 fighting styles: Fast, strong, and group. Yes, it's almost exactly like Jedi Knight. The only difference is you won't ever use Strong, since it's pointless. You can't hit agile enemies with Strong, and slow enemies go down with Fast anyway. Group is for large groups of small/weak enemies, duh.

You can upgrade those skills and make them better, but they hardly do anything. Add another hit to the combo chain, +5% damage or something small like that. There's not much to focus on, and you'll probably get most of them by the end of the game it seems. There's also a seperate skill to learn to fight with silver and steal swords, like it would make a difference.

There's also magic, although I've only found 2 out of like 6 maybe or something. You can upgrade it and stuff, too, but it's largly useless since you need to charge up to do real damage. Fire magic was incredibly worthless, whereas the Force Push magic stunnded enemies after you got the upgrade, so that gave you instant kill. Literally. If you attack a stunned or downed enemy, you do a finishing move. Some are quick, others take 10 seconds while you are getting pummeled and can't do anything.

In general, the fighting system seems very "loose", because you can't really tell if you've qeued an attack. It's really awkward.

So, why is this watered down? The inventory, hero advancement, and fighting systems.

The inventory doesn't let you carry anything, which is decent, if not for the fact that there isn't much to carry besides alchemical ingredients (used to make potions, bombs, and oils that upgrade your weapon temporarily).

Hero advancement is limited because you have no choice in which skills to pick. Your hero WILL be a good swordsman. No mage, no archer, just a good swordsman.

The fighting is simplistic since you don't have much of an arsenal.

But the game isn't all bad. It's "interesting". So I give it a 6/10

Still worth a shot if you have nothing better to do. But it's not much of an RPG. Just remember that.

Next in line will be MOH:H2

27th December 07, 07:31 PM
Medal of Honor: Heroes 2

So this is the next in line of games about WW2. There is absolutely nothing special about this game, other than the controls.

Story is simple, WW2 is on, you are going to Germany to kills some Germies and leave off for another sequel. Who the fuck cares? Actually, I think you are in France in this game. There is a map you pick your missions from, and I didn't pay close attention but it looks more like France.

In any case, there are 3 modes to the game: Campgain, Arcade, and Multiplayer.

Campaign is you kicking ass and taking names, standard MOH stuff. Arcade is you being led around so you don't have to walk and doing the same. Basically, it's an "on the rails" shooter ala House of the Dead or Time Crisis, except that you can turn a bit to view more of the area.

Multiplayer is just online deathmatch, team deathmatch, or capture the flag. Heads up: no offline multiplayer, and multiplayer only lets 1 person per Wii play. The box lied. But it DOES support the Wii Zapper.

The campaign is predictable. Germies everywhere, kill them, get to the goal. Nothing new. The controls are interesting, because you use the Wiimote a lot. To snipe, you twist the Wiimote to zoom in. To throw a grenade, you use a throwing motion while holding down a button, etc. Pretty nifty, although a bit too much in some places. To shoot the bazooka, you turn the Wiimote upside down, and put it on your shoulder like a bazooka, then fire. However, you don't even have a health bar here. You know how damaged you are by how red the screen is. Just got raped? Don't worry, go hide for like 5 seconds, literally, and you'll be healthy again. Just like in real life.

The AI is shit. They run around, not doing much, and your team mates sit on their thumbs while you kill them and yell "Save some for us!" Assholes. No collisions in the game. You can run right through enemies. Makes melee tough. Aiming is shit, since your reticle has no crosshair. You don't really know where you are shooting. What's worse is, your reticle doens't decrease in size if you stop running. In other games, you have worse aim when you run than if you crouch down and wait. Makes sense. Here it's the same all around.

Arcade is the campaign again, really. I don't like how you have to move to the side to check more of the area. You'd think that if it was "on the rails", you'd be lead directly to the action, not "somewhere here there will be enemies". But obviously the controls are different from that of the campaign. No movement, just shoot.

Multiplayer is the meat and potatoes of the game. This is why you would buy it, since it screams 32 PLAYERS!!!!!111 on the box. And this is true. But why would you want to? Let me explain: THE CONTROLS ARE DIFFERENT! Holy shit, you just beat the gampaign and now you find out that the controls in Multiplayer are different? You can sprint, for one (not that you'd need to), you still cannot jump, but now melee and throwing grenades are easier.

Now, remember when I said you heal ultra fast? This happens here, too. You can literally unload a clip into a soldier's toros and nothing will happen. He takes out a pistol and shoots you in the face, and you die. And it usually takes a clip to kill someone. And I say this, because you won't use guns that don't have clips. Using the Karabiner is pointless, since it is no more powerful than a machine gun, just doesn't have the bullet capacity and firing speed. So what typically happens is this:

You run into someone. You both unload machine gun clips into each other while circle-strafing. You then reload, and by the time you finish, your health is back to normal, so you start all over again. Just aim for the head, because it will randomly give you instant kills.

The last part are the graphics. All the models look like they have stomach cramps. They all run around scared. It's so horribly ugly. I don't understand why this game was even released. There is NOTHING good about this game.

The only reason you'd play it is if you had several friends you could play with at once so you could all cuss at the game simultaneously. But that would require all of you buying a copy and a Wii, so it's not worth it.

Everything about this game is watered down.

Final Score: 2/10

Next up is Fire Emblem, although I'll do that later.

29th December 07, 01:54 PM
I actually spoke to the lead designer of the Witcher at Gen Con this year. He seemed like a cool guy with a great idea. They were demoing the game, sort of. I have a little book, the short story on which this is based off of. I did not get a hands on for the game, so I did not get to experience this awkwardness of said game.

I would not mind giving it a real shot though. Specially since your review was not 'that bad'.

If only I had time.

29th December 07, 02:43 PM
It deserves a play through because it's different than the other stuff I've seen.

But you'll be frustrated as hell trying to finish it. It seems really unpolished (lol) and a lot of things are counter-intuitive.

29th December 07, 03:14 PM
Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn:

I was going to give a decent review to this game, but now that I've played it more, it's not going to happen.

For those who have played Final Fantasy Tactics, all you need to know is the following: It's like FFT, but watered down.

For those who have NOT played FFT, let me explain how the game works.

You start on a battle field which is a grid of squares. You and your enemy take turns and do things such as attack move, heal, etc. during your turns. Goal is usually to kill your enemy.

Now, when I mentioned FFT, it's because so far it's been the best example of such a game. Go play it now. It gets a 10/10. Seriously. Even the music and storyline are amazing.

This game, however, is a watered down version. For one, you don't get to pick any of your battles. While it's true that FFT had pre-set battles you had to fight to advance the game, you could also re-visit older areas (and sometimes were forced to) and fight optional battles to level your characters more.

You can't do that hear. You go from battle to battle, only stopping in between to resupply and reform your group if you want. No side quests or anything of the like (whereas FFT had side quests for optional characters).

The characters themselves are pathetic. They each have 1 move, an attack, and that's it. The rogue you start out with can also steal or lock pick doors and chests, but you won't be doing that often. To contrast, FFT let you have class-specific skills such as various magics if you're a mage, all sorts of different attacks as a knight or monk, etc. You could also mix and match however you wanted. Here, you are a set class and that's it. More realistic, sure, but you're dealing with magic here, so you might as well throw that out the window. Also, your class never actually develops any new skills, just stat points, so they don't even make up for it.

The combat is also very watered down. What you do is go up to an opponent, and attack. Then he counter-attacks you. Great. That means that any sort of "ganging up" on a stronger opponent is useless. Let me explain: if the opponent can kill you in one hit (pretty common for bosses), then he will tear through several of your units by counter-attacking before you can kill him.

In FFT, counter-attack was a special skill. It's your turn, why should the enemy attack? That means that through superior strategy, you could take out stronger opponents with weaker ones. The only way to avoid getting countered here is to use different weapons. I.e. if he has a sword, and you shoot him with a bow, he can't retaliate. Vice versa, too, so if you're up close with a sword and he has a bow, he won't be able to retaliate. Kinda stupid, but that's how it is.

Now, the weapons system is also a rock-paper-scissors game. Why? Because apparently lances deal more damage to people carrying swords than they do to people carrying axes. I shit you not. It makes sense if a person with a sword attacks a mounted person. It's easier for the person on foot to maneuver, sure. But both people on foot? The lancer is fucked no matter what.

Anyway, the thing that really pisses me off is that when a character dies, then it's gone for good. In FFT, you had 3 turns to revive him before him going poof. Here, it's over.

Why is this important? Because mid-battle the enemy can get reinforcements and totally blind side you. Or you can do a bonehead mood near the end of the battle. This doesn't let you make ANY mistakes whatsoever. Seeing as how a battle can easily take half an hour, I don't want to have to restart because my main character died near the end.

The game is pretty shitty and boring. Avoid it. It gets a 4/10.

30th December 07, 06:22 PM
Have you played any of the Front Mission games Loops? They're like Final Fantasy Tactics, only good.

30th December 07, 06:31 PM
What was wrong with FFT according to you?

I want to know, in case you mean "but good" as being simple and easy to beat.

30th December 07, 07:06 PM
It has been about 7 years since I played any of them, but this is what I recall:

FFT did, in my opinion, have a clunky and unwieldy game system with RPG elements tacked on without ever really being essential. I also found the story uninteresting, the setting uninteresting, the graphics bland and it just plain failed to impress me as an RPG or strategy game.

The Front Mission games have a different setting, them being mecha-based games with TONS of customisation options for the individual mechas on your team as well as more options in battle, such as targeting individual body parts on enemy mechas in a manner very much like Fallout being a crucial battle strategy since you could take out the legs of powerful close-combat mechas to prevent them from charging you, or blow out the heavy guns of artillery mechas to render them useless.

The RPG system is also more interesting, with your mecha pilots gaining some experience in the relevant skill (firing, missiles, melee etc.) every time they're attacked or attack, so you basically need to choose which pilots to bring on a specific mission and assign them mechas based on their skill sets.

The story and setting are still pretty lame, but the games are better. That's just my opinion, though. Maybe the FFT series has some OMGWTFAWSUM features I just didn't play long enough to see. Or maybe I just find giant robots shooting lazors and missiles at each other more entertaining than a bunch of anime-style knights kicking each others asses.

30th December 07, 07:54 PM
Well FFT was hard to get used to, I'll give you that. No tutorials or anything really hurt it. You should get the jist of the game maybe 2 or 3 hours into it, but you probably won't understand the game until twice that or so.

You can target body parts in FFT, kind of. There is a character who snipes people. Time mages can stop people, sleep, charm, etc. There's a lot you can do to an enemy's "status".

You also get experience in the skills you use, sort of. If you change your job to a knight, you will get experience in knight skills that you get to use. If you want to learn monk skills, you have to switch to monk.

I'd be willing to give it a shot, though. What's the best game in the series and for what system?

30th December 07, 08:04 PM
Well, I only played the one for the SNES (Called Front Mission) and one of the ones for PSX (I THINK it was FM3, but I'm not sure.) The one for the PSX was better IMO, it had more mecha parts, better graphics and a few more strategic options.

Info on the series: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Front_Mission

First game for SNES emulator: http://www.the-underdogs.info/game.php?id=4885

30th December 07, 08:52 PM
Hah, it figures it would be made by Squaresoft.

I'll check out FM3. Emulators exist for PSX, too, you know. ;)

30th December 07, 08:58 PM
How does Sir think I played it in the first place?

30th December 07, 09:15 PM
Well, you didn't link to it, so get fucked.

30th December 07, 09:24 PM
You offering?

30th December 07, 09:53 PM
Well... yeah.

31st December 07, 09:53 PM
Okay, so I played Front Mission 3 for a few hours. I got off of Japan and onto the US Aircraft Carrier.

I don't understand how you can compare this game to FFT. It's watered down just like Fire Emblem.

For one, let's look at the story:

Your character is an annoying dick to everybody. He has to deliver some mechs to an army base. He goes there, explosion, he helps take out malfunctioning turrets.

Oh noes! Turns out his adopted sister got transfered to the base and he hasn't heard from her! So he goes back, but they don't let him in, obviously.

So what does he do? He meets some chick and the chick and his friend talk your character into stealing some more mechas and sneaking into the base to find the sister, whereas the chick obviously has her own motives.

Okay, so you snuck into the army base, found out a huge secret, and are now on the lam. So what do you do? KEEP THE FUCKING MECHAS AND RUN AROUND IN THEM across Japan.

Why don't you just dump them and run away? You actually manage to escape, too, because 100 years in the future, helicopters are rare. Unless the plot calls for them.

Seriously. The game starts by your character stealing a mecha to infiltrate a military base to find his sister who works there. She's not a prisoner, she gets payed to be there.

But as for the gameplay, it's boring.

Here, like in Fire Emblem, you have a team turn-based system. Your team goes, enemy team goes, etc. In FFT, you have a character turn-based system. Meaning that if you have a thief and a knight, the thief will end up having more turns than the knight. Makes sense. Also, you can cast spells to slow down or speed up units so they get turns less or more often.

This also opens up more posibilities for mages. A mage in FFT can target either a set of panels for the spell or a unit and the panels around it will be collateral damage.

This is important becuase mages charge their spells, meaning that if you want to kill a unit that's on a given panel, but you target the panel, the unit can get its turn and simply move away.

Moreover, if you target the unit instead, it can move up to your own characters and the mage will inadvertently hit his allies, too. Of course, you can check the turn order so you don't do something like that. It's not random.

That's what opens up so much more strategy than the bland systems of Front Mission and Fire Emblem.

1st January 08, 03:24 PM
I'll replay FFT at some point, see if it was so awesome as you say. I still like Front Mission though.