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Death Jr. - Reviews coming in..


Romier S
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Reviews are coming in for Death Jr. finally. I believe EGM gave the game a negative review recently. IGN has chimed in with thier review. 7.0 is the score.:

 

http://psp.ign.com/articles/641/641671p2.html

 

Death Jr. just needed more "oomph" to it than it has. Not only is this the is [sic] the son of Death here, but it's also the game that has become known and "the first PSP game" -- that's a lot for the little fellow to live up to, and he doesn't stand up to the challenge. Back when this game was first shown at GDC in 2004, it was held up as the kind of console-quality next-gen gaming that the PSP would bring handheld gamers after years of settling for less. I'm sad to report this, but DJ still has some Game Boy rush-job rust on it rather than the polished steel of a PlayStation-quality game. The way that the dialog sequences are just text -- not even a face of who's talking to go with the text -- and how the bosses don't even get their own theme song for battles, there are just too many compromises made in the production value to maintain the energy and excitement that this game needs. It's only got about eight hours of gameplay to it, and it takes a long time to get going (it's only really fun when you get the big guns and meet up with the big, big enemies). DJ has got a lot of growing to do if he's going to be the biggest kid on the PSP's block.

 

That said, there's 75% of the game that's all-out action, and with the summer slump of PSP titles, that 75% goes a long, long way. DJ's gunplay and blade-chopping is fast and furious -- a little repetitive, but if you take chances in charging in rather than locking on and retreating, you'll be in for a good damned fight. Also, as much as we were annoyed by the problems of the platforming, there are some decent puzzle challenges and tasks to play through. This is a fierce game of combat, and whatever ticked me off about how the platforming portions worked, I was glad that cool techniques like the scythe hop and helicopter spin were in there to make these sequences fun when things were going my way. Death Jr. on PSP isn't a killer, but with its frenetic action and mix of weapons, it does draw blood.

 

Still undecided on whether to get the game or not. I've not been overly interested in it to be quite honest, but I've been looking for a new platformer since completing Psychonauts and this looked to fit the bill nicely. May end up waiting for the Sly 2 price drop and go with that instead (since it's cheap too).

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I have it preordered, paid in full. If, at worst, I'll get the free UMD cases and comic book disc that comes with it.

 

It's time for something I can play on the subway (Lumines makes me crazy, MVP Baseball is too touchy for the bumping and swerving, and Wipeout makes me want to barf when I see that I should be moving one way while I'm feeling something else).

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Gamespot review is up:

 

http://www.gamespot.com/psp/action/deathjr/review.html

 

You'd think that a game starring the plucky young son of the grim reaper himself would make for a creatively macabre affair. Such a character would warrant a dark, Tim Burton-esque universe, perhaps some off-kilter but subtly funny gameplay mechanics, or even just a mere modicum of personality. Sadly, Konami and Backbone's Death Jr. has just about none of these things. Death Jr. starts off showing a measure of promise but quickly degenerates into a frustrating and dull hybrid of a third-person shooter and a platformer that manages to do neither concept well. What's especially unfortunate is that you'll find sprinklings of a great game concept all throughout Death Jr.'s relatively short storyline. It just never successfully delivers.

 

They gave the game a 6.5.

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Early Impressions:

 

Picked this up on Wednesday, but didn't have a chance to really sit down with it until last night.

 

I've played a lot of platformers and shooters, and I don't know what all the bitching was about. Death, Jr. does a fine job, even an excellent job, at mixing platforming with third-person shooting.

 

Control is spot on except for an overly-touchy reticule in free-look mode (which is sometimes necessary for sniping enemies). Strafing is very intuitive, and melee combat is standard button mashing fare (in a good way).

 

The platforming elements are a bit more difficult that your standard game, and I'm still getting used to them. For instance, wall jumping requires precision timing. However, other moves like getting up a higher wall by using your scythe to hook (called a "hook jump") falls right into place. You'll find all the standard platforming fare: double jumps and glides, pulley swings, wall jumps, etc.).

 

Weapons are nice - so far I have a quick shot that you get at the beginning, a shot gun (fun), and a hamster grenade (very reminiscent of Oddworld: Stranger).

 

Environments, from what I've seen, are decent. They're easily the best I've seen on a portable, and draw distance is phenomenal (you'll see things going on waaaaay in the distance, only to arrive at them in 10-15 minutes).

 

I can tell that this isn't going to be an easy game, so I'm guessing some of the negative press had review writers frustrated when they came in expecting an easy run-through.

 

It's a good mix of platforming and shooting, and I find myself wanting to pick up the PSP more than I have since my Wipeout Pure obsession faded.

 

If you're on the fence, I'd say go grab it with the Limited Edition schwag if you can find it before it's too late. The UMD cases are very very cool, and the digital comic is super pro.

 

So far, so good. Waaaaay better than the other 3rd person fares available on PSP so far (inc. Untold Legends, Ape Escape).

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