I went to PAX, as I have every year except last. I spent some time in Console Free Play catching up on non-PC games, as I do. I played three games, and these are my thoughts.
Saints Row IV
As I mentioned on Twitter, Saints Row IV isn’t so much a game as it is a collection of things intended to be so outrageous you simply must tell your friends; the game is its own highlight reel. Compare this to, say, Far Cry 2 - a collection of systems that can create outrageous moments. In Far Cry 2, when I was assaninating some person or another, and rammed the head car of his convoy and leapt from my vehicle, nailing the rear car of the convoy with an explosive leaving just the target trying to run me over? But I killed the driver after avoiding death, and the important person of some sort hoofed it to the tall grass whereupon I opened fire, only to have my shitty gun break, so I charged on foot but the guy had a pistol and I was going down only to be dragged to safety by a mercenary friend who then promptly finished off the target, leaving me stranded in the savannah suffering from malaria with only a pistol to my name? That was just how the game went, and how it went all the time.
In Saints Row IV, when I had a laughably, intentionally bad quick time fight with a villain before throwing him into lava then jumping onto and dismantling a nuke while Aerosmith blares before skydiving into the Oval Office to take my seat as president? That was exactly what everyone else would experience. It isn’t that my short playtime was bad; once I got super powers it felt like the good bits of Crackdown. It just… it felt like Family Guy or Robot Chicken. It felt like the creators piled on the jokes, rapid fire, because they didn’t have anything else (which isn’t true, as anyone that enjoyed Crackdown will tell you).
So, I guess I’d give Saints Row IV a rating of “definitely a videogame”.
Otherwise known as the game with the breasts, or as the next game from the people the made Odin’s Sphere. The only thing I will say about the ridiculous character proporties: the Amazon skillset was my preferred but I could not, in any way, justify picking such a sexualized character to play in public. So I went with the Wizard, who is just a dude in a robe that looks like a dude.
It felt like Golden Axe, except with more jank and less precise controls. It was mindless and the loot game (which I believe is the whole game) was marred by a laughably bad inventory screen. Item compare was not a feature I could find, which seems like either a hilarious oversight or an inexcusable bit of quirkiness on the part of the dev. At least in the original Diablo you could swap items quickly with your character sheet out; no such luck here.
I’ll give Dragon’s Crown a rating of “jank and quirk” and suggest you play Golden Axe or Shadow Over Mystara instead.
‘ll give this a rating of “justifies the Wii U as a platform”.