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Apr 06

Recent Demo Reviews

I was planning on writing full reviews (with screenshots) for each of these demos, but given that I’ve fallen behind, I’m lazy and google hates me, I’m going to jam them altogether.

On that note, I’m seriously PO’d by google. Yahoo and MSN have fully indexed the site, but despite my emphatic cooperation with google (ads, sitemap, optimization (within reason)), they still refuse to crawl the site properly.

To a certain extent I understand. I don’t have a front page link from Penny Arcade so why should they crawl the site? For one, they crawl a lot worse sites. Secondly, there is content on here that is useful, but at this stage they’re ignoring it. Why? Because they have a personal grievance with me.

Update: Google has decided to reconcile our relationship by finally indexing the site, at least now most search queries will find the right post.

Anyway, game reviews…

Utopia City

Utopia City Screen Shot

Download

I’m still somewhat hesitant to give games terrible reviews. Am I missing something? Do I not understand the genre? So I could stand to be corrected, but I thought this game was rubbish.

The only mediocre thing about it was the story line. The story was pretty much identical to The Matrix, except that people chose to be plugged in. The problem is that the real world is dying, and there’s no one there. So the government decides to send covert agents into the system to pull people out. Obviously there are some human rights issues to address here.

It’s all downhill from here however. The graphics are the worst I’ve seen in a game for about five years. I asked myself a lot of questions about this (I assumed I’d just got it wrong) but the graphics are just horrible. The conclusion I reached is that the only hope for redemption of this game is that the graphics will be better in the full release.

You progress through the demo solving puzzles (like opening valves and entering codes) to progress further into the level. You can try and be covert, but if you’re found out, you may end up fighting guards off with a number of weapons. This aspect of the game (like all other aspects) is nowhere near the standard of other games.

In the end I didn’t finish the demo, I went and ate dinner and couldn’t bring myself to play it anymore. A total waste of my time. 2/10.

Evolution GT

Download

I was waiting to review Evolution GT until I got my Xbox 360 Controller (X3C)(more on that later). I’m glad I did, as it really added to the game.

EvGT is a good game. Not a great game, but a good game.

It seems to me that to have a market share in the racing scene, you have to have a niche. This niche of EvGT is realistic racing. The cars don’t turn on a penny, and other attributes were similar to life. Furthermore, in the career mode, you have features such as drafting, intimidation, concentration and others. For instance, with intimidation, each player has an intimidation quotient. When you are behind a driver, you can see a bar representing this quotient. If you sit closely behind the car, the bar drops until they ‘lose concentration’ and you can pass them. When this happens to you, your entire screen fogs up, and you have no chance of driving like normal.

These features were enjoyable, but probably wouldn’t be enough to make me buy the game. The graphics were ok, but far inferior to the next game GTI Racing. The extra features and other hooks make this game extremely addictive (ask Megan (she hardly saw me last night)). I’m happy giving this a solid 7/10.

GTI Racing

Download

This game really deserves a screenshot, so maybe I’ll have to add one later.

GTI Racing is another car racing game. Again it has a niche, but it is very different to EvGT. You race VW’s. So in the demo you’ll have the option of driving the old Golf, the new Golf, and a Beatle. Yes, that’s write, you can relive Herbie.

The driving is fairly unrealistic, but not as much as Mario Cart.

But by far the most noteworthy feature is the graphics. If I’m honest, the reason for buying the X3C was to make me feel like I owned an Xbox 360. To do this I needed a game as crisp and beautifully animated as Project Gotham Racing 3, or pretty close. This game gave it to me.

Tearing around the well designed levels, X3C rumbling in my hands, I felt that I owned an Xbox 360. If you break the game down, it is definitely not PGR3 nor could be compared remotely favourably, but it gave me the desired warm fuzzies. Would be worth a buy if you had a soft spot from VW’s. 8/10.

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