keskiviikko 8. tammikuuta 2014

REVIEW - The Incredible Hulk | DS | 2008

GENRE(S): Action
RELEASED: June 5, 2008
DEVELOPER(S): Amaze Entertainment

Aaaarrrrghhhh!!! Roaarrrrrr!!! Hulk SMASH!!! There's just no mature way to start a Hulk review. Or if there ever was, I lost all motivation to present one when I did the last couple of Hulk games. Hulk has never been one of my personal favourite characters in Marvel Comics, nor has he been the favourite of game developers or gamers alike... yet when you think about it, how hard would it be to make an entertaining game out of a character that's just pure ANGER and smashes everything he sees to bits?! Well, apparently it's always been trickier than expected. The last two games I reviewed were The Incredible Hulk for 16-bits, released in 1994 - that game was surprisingly decent - and The Incredible Hulk for the Game Boy Advance, released in 2003, very loosely based on (read: riding the coattails of) the first Hulk movie of this generation, and it was outright awful. Here we have one more game simply called The Incredible Hulk, released on the DS in 2008, based on a major platform game loosely based on (yep) the second movie starring the one and only Edward Norton. ...What are you expecting me to say? Okay - it's not good. Not good at all.

Angry, reckless green block of a man

Scientist Bruce Banner is on the run from the U.S. military, attempting to find a cure for a nasty condition caused by a supersoldier experiment. Whenever Bruce's blood pressure rises above 200, he becomes a violent, unreasonable, extremely aggressive and unpleasant giant the military gives the name "Hulk". To add to Bruce's problems, a Royal Marine named Emil Blonsky is outright fascinated with the experiment and wants it done on himself, resulting in the birth of the Abomination.

You know how I usually start these reviews, talking about myself and my personal views on stuff related to the game, rather than the game itself. The thing is I already said all there is to say back up there, and also the previous Hulk reviews I did some months back. In a nutshell, the Hulk isn't my favourite subject when it comes to Marvel - I have always considered him very one-dimensional. But, he's a very popular character, and kind of a must to note in a marathon like this. To throw a carrot into the mix, here I'm reviewing a game based on a movie starring Edward Norton as the Hulk. ...Yuck, the carrot's rotten.

Probably the coolest move you can
do, make Hulk dash through the air
and smash everything in the way.
Lousy traction back on the ground,
And, in a total off-topic paragraph to fabricate a little more length for this predictable bomb, I just tried what it would be like to write these reviews in my own language. Good games - no problem. Bad games - there ain't no good Finnish words to describe games like The Incredible Hulk... joten olen pahoillani, tätä paskaa on saatavilla jatkossakin vain englanniksi.

The only shock here is how the game is so superficially similar to Captain America: Super Soldier which I did a month back. Only, it's much worse. True, I've never liked Hulk, but I never expected him to sink beneath the Cap. This is a much simpler game - you just smash stuff and kick ass. There ain't really nothing horribly wrong with the controls this time around, just the level and enemy design is horribly generic. The enemies behave like in an 80's NES game - or worse, 90's The Terminator. They just stand there and shoot straight forward, they have zero A.I., and if you happen to move an inch into the next screen before taking out an enemy in the current one, you're going to have the next screen's enemy's bullets to dodge too, which usually results in an utterly unavoidable hail of bullets. It's do or die. Or rather, do AND die. The Hulk really ain't as invincible as his fancy smash, dash and vault abilities make believe.

The DS layout, on the other hand, is very similar to another game I did a while back, the absolutely abysmal Rise of the Silver Surfer - although the game itself looks "nicer" and even features a bit of voice acting, the DS scheme is once again rendered completely useless. This could as easily be just as crappy, but - from the developers and financers' point of view - a little less time and effort-consuming Game Boy Advance game.

Even though I believe that I'd find more playable games if I pushed on just a little further, I think that for the sake of variety and sanity, I should put the rest of these handheld games on hold for a while. It disrupts the order of things a little bit, but if I play one more game like this in the immediate future, I will risk disrupting my blood flow. There really ain't much more to say. This incarnation of the title The Incredible Hulk is not as incredibly bad as the Game Boy Advance game of the same name, but almost. I'm beginning to hold the old 16-bit game in much higher regard.

+ Edward Norton's voice
+ The controls are decent - that's good enough in these circles

- Way more than obsolete enemy A.I.
- Generic level design
- Boring gameplay
- The DS' possibilities are ignored

< 4.5 >

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