Well, I went and enjoyed my long hiatus. Being away form home for a while and being busy made for some delightful adventures I shalln't soon forget. And what better way to open up the next set of reviews than with Hexagohn's "Heart of Gold"
HoG is another standard temple exploration level of which I seem to have seen far more than I had ever planned to in the past couple weeks. You go in, head high on your shoulders, looking for treasure. That is pretty much the way most of these levels work. As an additional condition, the setting is usually some unknown temple or ruins that haven't been seen for many a year, and is usually engaged by the main character either fully knowing about the temple or simply stumbling in blindly whilst doing other normal things.....in the middle of no where. Finally, most of these levels finish things off by activating some form of mechanized trap inside of the temple which lead to some Indiana-esque escape scenes that are about as overplayed as Rap music in a ghetto. Point is, I rarely see anything that truly distinguishes these levels apart from one another other than better use of gameplay mechanics or innovative puzzles; mostly they all seem far too similar and don't offer a great deal of ingenuity worthy of receiving an abundantly high score. HoG has....very little outstanding from this class of cliches.
You and team of researchers looking for gold are out in the middle of the jungle (cliche count:). Your team states at the beginning that after too much digging and exploring, just about everybody is ready to go home. You decide to take the jeep and do some last minute exploring while you swear about your team's overall laziness under your breath. While driving around you are sandwiched in between two cars that appear from out of the shadows, caught within the gunfire from the both of them. While they shoot at each other, your jeep appears to have fallen inside a huge pitfall, which leads into a long forgotten temple (cliche count:). While amazed both by the temple you are standing in and the fact that you amazingly didn't die, your team has radioed you in trying to ascertain your whereabouts. While explaining how you fell into the giant pitfall and discovered the temple, your team responds with the usual "Try to stay safe, we're sending help to get you, if you find any treasure grab some while you're down there" response.
So, you start making your way through the temple, starting with a special alter that says that "only the worthy may pass", and after standing inside a little drop/rise chamber, you are deemed worthy of passage (cliche count:). Now it is up to you to complete 3 tests to claim the ultimate prize (cliche count:). First is the test of agility, in which you will fall down a hole and put in a little pit trap with a small moving wall of fire on your left. You have to use your reaction time to just over all the small obstacles in your way as fast as possible. After that quick segment you will be presented with the test of strength. Use your climbing ability to push three gigantic boulders onto a switch and cause the gate before you to open. Finally, like the rest of us had probably guessed, the final test.....is a test of wisdom (cliche count:). You will be given 6 lettered stickers to solve a 7 letter riddle with three rhyming phrases. In all honesty, I think just the letters given to you are enough to solve the riddle, but either way it's not that complicated (no, I'm not so petty as to give away the answer). After answering the last riddle, you are invited to get the treasure, but before you can claim anything, a band of thugs run by a auspicious looking businessman had been waiting there for you to solve the riddle while also holding a couple members of your team hostage (cliche count:). He tells you that he will let you live on two conditions: that you forget about the whole incident (even though really none of this is in any way your fault) and that you tell him where the last member of your team is (since he apparently couldn't find him and needs to literally eliminate all possible suspects......except you of course). You decide to tell him to go **** himself and thus the chase begins. You must now use your amazing athletic ability to take out all the henchmen waiting right outside the temple (in other words, avoid the trap that almost gets you killed on the way out of the temple. Cliche count:). Now then, after you get through 4 thugs and a TF2 heavy, you manage to to find your last team mate who will help you get through this.....next time apparently as you hit the exit and must await the second and possibly third parts of this cliche madness.
Now then, there were a few things I liked and didn't like about this level. On the positive spectrum of things, the level is simple, nicely organized, and had a couple of fun moments which were mostly composed of any moment in which opposing groups were trying to kill you. In other words, the start and finish of the level were halfway decent. The part the leaves me with certain disappointments is mostly the middle, for being overly simplistic, not dynamic enough, and certainly not all that fun to play. Also, while it sounds like the overwhelming number of cliches in the level is the biggest problem I can't completely discredit the level for doing it too much since this is also one of those levels that almost looks like it was naturally designed to carry a load of cliches as part of the fun, it just didn't happen to add anything to the experience for me.
To put it simply, this level felt about as enjoyable overall as watching Indiana Jones 4, and I'll let you view that statement anyway you like.
6.0 / 10
Fairly bad dialogue for a story teller, not very exciting for an action level, and not enough dynamic puzzles for a puzzle level. It's a little hard to tell what this level is trying to be since it's trying to be so many things at once and not really doing any of them well.
On a side note, who else is hyped up for Blazblue? PS3 release in 2 days!
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NyWsBfEJok&fmt=18"]YouTube - BlazBlue Arcade Opening[/ame]
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Thread: SA reviews "Heart of Gold"
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SA reviews "Heart of Gold"
Last edited by Shining Aquas; 06-29-2009 at 05:19 AM.