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Posted: Jan 14 2010, 05:05 AM
The Pancreas of this forum
Member No.: 237
Joined: 13-February 09
Iím sure weíve all heard of Twisted Metal, huh? Well, Iím also sure a few of you know a few knockoffs. Personally, there were two main ones I knew of: Rouge Trip 2012 and Vigilante 8. This is a discussion of the latter, although I will mention a few things about RT as well.
I knew the jist of what I was getting into. It was a Car combat game. Thereís not much else that could be said, and I didnít have many expectations. However, when buying it, I was thinking to myself:
ďI hope itís better than Rogue TripĒ.
Mind you, I donít *hate* Rogue Trip. I just didnít like it too much.
I read the manual to get a jist of game play and the weapons (although thereís nowhere in the manual that shows what the default controls are. It just points out you can remap controls in the options menu), and then popped the thing in.
TRIUMPH, OR DIE!
The intro shows 4 people in vehicles breaking into a warehouse (These being the Coyotes) and stealing weapons, only to see another group of 4 vehicles (the Vigilantes) come and attack. One of the members, outside her car, fires a bazooka, and takes out what I found out is the leader of the Vigilantes. And then, title screen. This game is pretty much one of those where the bulk of the plot is in the manual. [Insert link to TV Tropeís ďItís all there in the manualĒ]
The main menu starts up and I was treated to some funky 70ís styled music, and I later found out thatís when the game takes place. Itís a rather nice setup. The option menu even tells you what you unlock and what you need to do to unlock other stuff (there are 5 unlockable drivers and 2 unlockable stages, although only 4 drivers are hinted at). I wonít get into details about the options menu but I do rather like it. Iíll even go as far as say itís my favorite option screen in any game ever.
First I will get this off my chest: Iím glad the machinegun doesnít suck. In the handful of car combat games Iíve played, Iíve come across 2 types of machineguns: The infinite one thatís prone to overheating, or the infinite one that sucks. V8 features the former, although with a good rhythm I donít have to worry much about overheating. Donít get me wrong, the machinegun is a weak weapon, but at the very least itís a useful weak weapon (in short, being weak without being unfeasibly weak). And I can, will, and have killed the occasional enemy with just the machinegun, or at least whittled down a lot of health.
Second, Iím glad the music doesnít suck. Because I didnít like Rogue Trips music much. Although my favorite tunes arenít even the 70ís styled beats, overall itís a nice soundtrack to blow crap up with.
The plotÖ isnít that great, but it works to set the setting. It all boils down to the two groups fighting each other, and both managing to get a bunch of military weapons in the process of one fight.
The game has a Quest mode that is, compared to other games 1P mode in the same genre, rather simple and quick to beat. Each one is comprised of 4 stages, which means unlocking stuff doesnít take long. It took me the span of 2 days just to unlock everything. And after you beat the characters quest youíre treated to an ending, all of which are rather short, and some didnít make sense until later on. Huston, a female cyborg character who was part of the Coyotes against her will takes out the microchip controlling her and smashes in front of someone. I initially thought it was a member of the Coyotes, but I later found out it was the Vigilanteís leader, and it was Huston apparently joining the Vigilantes. Another ending has another character, Slick Clide, take a wizz in a gas station bathroom, see some sort of metallic wrist band, puts it on, and gets charged with electricity before a newspaper transition declares him the new leader of the Coyotes, although I donít have much of an idea where that wrist band came from. My only guess is that it was Hustonís, but I donít see how it supercharged him.
Alright, enough with the endings, letís talk about the essence of car combat games: the weapons.
Of course thereís the weapons that are, to me, not too useful, and the weapons that I love. But for the ones I love, I really love. The only weapon(s) I donít like are the mines, and thatís only because I donít like mines in many games.
All the weapons in the game have to be collected, even special weapons (unlike Twisted Metal where you start with them and you have to wait to get more ammo for it). This means that essentially you can stock up on a lot of a characterís special weapon. Most arenít super deadly, and many have some sort of secondary use (Slick Clydeís can stall enemies, while Hustonís Super Fantastic Death Ray 3-Ax (real name) can knock power ups off).
Also, all the normal weapons (5 total) have 3 firing modes; most are offensive, while a few arenít. Personally, I love shooting someone with the missileís ďRoad RunnerĒ firing mode to cause an enemy to lose control of their car while a rocket pushes them, and use the cannonís ďCow PuncherĒ firing mode to blast them away and into the air. Sometimes into buildings. And man was it fun that one time I Cow Punched a truck into a couple buildings and made them explode.
And thatís why I love this gameÖ itís just fun! Iíve had more fun with it than Twisted Metal and Rogue Trip (although TM2 is really close.) The levels are generally a blast to play (the Oil Rigs were the only *meh* level for me), offers a lot of ways of blowing up the environment (if itís not the ground, you can destroy it. Granted, one of the alternate fire modes of the Mortar can leave craters in normal ground for a little while), and features a colorful cast of characters (But what car combat game would be without a wacky cast?). My favorite is the spy Chassey Blue, because she has a good, well rounded car and I love her special weapon, Gridlock, which can cause cars to stall. And the way it works makes it essentially a shotgun, but with flares. Second to her is Huston 3 (I-MAY-BE-HALF-HU-MAN, but Iím allÖ woman.) Also I need to see if whoever did the robotic voice for Huston also did the ďfinal bossĒ for Portal (I canít remember its name. Iíve never played Portal).
So, it controls nice (I donít have any actual problems with it, so why elaborate), rather colorful, fun, a good soundtrack, whatís not to like?
Well, sometimes a player can fail at physics, especially on the rare occasion where turning over in a crater can somehow launch you 100 feet in the air, but aside from that, a pretty solid game. Not bad for a team of 5 people working on a game. And admittedly the endings were a bit lacking (maybe Iím a bit spoiled by TM2ís endings.) Thereís also the fact that Convoy is too tall, and any car immediately in front is blocked from view.
Also you canít blow up the world like you could in Rogue Trip, but, hey, Iíll live with it.
Aside from that, thereís not much ďbadĒ I could say about it.
If I were to rate it, Iíd give it an 8-9. If you like car combat you should give this a try.
Iím also trying to incorporate the term ďcow punchingĒ in my vocabulary.
Yodle-eh-heee-WHO wants to be my protege?
Me, me too!
So parrot back it
I'm an underlined caret bracket
Greater than or equal to
But greater than four stars
Greater than straight-A report cards
Greater than poor-sports and divorce courts or sports bars