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22May/100

Xbox Live Indie Game Trial Impression – Project Zero

xboxboxart I’m not going to get in depth with the trial impressions anymore, because I don’t see trial impressions as actual reviews. I see them as a first impression of the game since they only last 8 minutes.

On that note, this game surprised me. I downloaded it expecting it to be utterly HORRIBLE based solely on the screenshots. It just looked like another dual stick shooter to me (which, in it’s most basic sense, it is) and I’m getting bloody sick of dual stick shooters.

The cover art for this game obviously isn’t all that great. It does not represent the game at all. It looks like it was just slapped together at the last minute to get the thing out there.

But I’m not one to completely judge a game by it’s cover art. In fact, I’m the total opposite because the crappier the cover art the more likely I am to try the game just to see how horrible it really is.

screen1_Web But this game is FAR from horrible … when done right. Graphically, there are a lot of really cool graphical effects going on regarding explosions (which has a lot to do with it) … though the smoke really does obscure what’s going on in what leads to be a really twitchy shooter. And it’s that twitchy nature of it that I absolutely ADORE. It’s not Geometry Wars twitchy … it’s kind of like a dual stick shooter version of Unreal Tournament (which is one of the best online shooters ever frickin’ made by the way. Forget Halo and Call of Duty.) … and there is a certain amount of strategy involved because it’s one of those shooters where you hold down the right trigger to shoot. But your ship can only turn so fast. And there is a LOT going on onscreen.

screen2_Web But there are two things working against it from what I can tell of the trial : the smoke obscuring things … which isn’t THAT big of a deal but it’s definitely worth mentioning … and the fact that the engine for the game collapses in on itself and the frame rate PLUMMETS when it’s the most important. When there is a LOT going on onscreen … the game kicks itself in the junk … for those few VERY important seconds it’s virtually unplayable. Which leads to an unneeded early death. I can deal with the fact that the overall FEEL of the game lacks a lot of polish. It feels like it concentrated more on graphical effects than an overall cohesive feel. But the frame rate issue kills it. Such is the reason this is a trial impression rather than a full game review.

This game IS good, I’d venture to say it’s friggin’ awesome with kick ass weapon powerups, twitchy gameplay. But the frame rate issue REALLY brings it down. If the developer fixes that, this game is an AUTOMATIC buy at 80 points. When the frame rate stays relatively steady, it’s awesome, but it’s unplayable if too much is going on.

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