Sunday, June 30, 2013

Deadpool: The Game (2013) Xbox 360

I got it out of a taco truck.
Rating:  3 out of 5 Dual Sledgehammer Shots to the Face

Plot Synopsis:  Deadpool gets his own game, which is actually a major part of the plot.  Following that what starts out as a routine job taking out a media mogul turns into a trek across Genosha to deal with Mr. Sinister.

The Good:

-This game is super fucking Deadpool.  There’s swearing in it and they don’t skimp on the violence either.

-The story is hilarious and written by former Deadpool writer Daniel Way which makes this a worthy inclusion into his run as one of the best Deadpool writers ever (the last few Deadpool arcs not withstanding).  I’d gladly take this over anything after issue 50 of the series.

-Great cameos from Cable and Wolverine.  Domino, Psylocke and Rogue also make appearances but their presence is really downgraded to eye candy.

-Deadpool comments of the D-List status of his enemies (Vertigo, Arc Light and Blockbuster).

-Tons of fourth wall breaking including Deadpool calling Nolan North as well as constantly calling and yelling at High Moon producer Peter.

-Deadpool’s apartment, highlights include petting a dog, making pancakes, eating pizza through your mask, pooping and listening to your neighbors have sex while you surf the internet.

-There are these little character trailers, some can be played optionally during the story, some are accessible through the main menu but they will bring you up to speed on who everyone in the game is in case you are fan new to the X-Universe in hilarious and entertaining news clip style segments.

-A good selection of weapons, four guns (pistol, shotgun, machine gun and laser rifle) and three melee weapons (sword, sai and hammer), all wielded dually, plus four thrown weapons (flash grenade, frag grenade, bear trap and mine).  I would have liked to have seen knives as one of the throwing weapons but what you have is good.  My favorite, and probably the most useful on big enemy types, was the bear trap.  You throw that down, they get trapped and they you can go to town on them with a pair of hammers or dual shotguns.  I would have also liked to have seen one rifle that wasn’t dual wielded as the duel wield laser rifle looks stupid, I’d rather it was just one gun you held with two hands with a zoom.  You don’t often get into long distance confrontations though so it doesn’t really matter.

-Gun-kata.  You can do gun-kata with all the guns and they all look pretty badass.

-The set pieces are really great and break up the usual action quite well.

-You really fell like Deadpool, it’s a great time spent with the character, you are given everything you need to know about him and it feels like a true Deadpool experience.

-At one point you play as Rouge having absorbed Deadpool’s powers and get to kick-ass with her.

-Great soundtrack.

The Bad:

-The counter/evade button gets tricky and more often than not instead of countering I evade which gets frustrating because of the next bullet point…

-…later enemies block a lot, the best way to get around this is to use the counter but since it’s a little tricky you end up teleporting and you continue hitting basically a wall which then causes you to lose your combo.

-Grinding for DP points to buy upgrades is a chore.  Lower the prices of the upgrades or increase a players haul or institute some kind of found freebie type bonus’ but I’m on my second play through because I ended the game with around half the total upgrades.  Ideally a game should end with pretty much everything earned, with a second play through leaving you feeling incredibly OP while you get those last few major upgrades.

-Enemies get cheap even on normal difficulty.  At the end of the game I found myself getting continuously beat on and defeated by hordes of regular enemies which lead me to exhausting much of my arsenal and when it came time to fight Mr. Sinister (or rather his army of clones) I found it almost impossible.  At one point you are fighting 5 of these boss level enemies at a time and it gets really frustrating as they are all incredibly powerful and incredibly cheap.

-The X-Ladies are just basically hollow, minor window dressing.  Psylocke and Domino don’t even get introductions in game, you can find intro’s on the main menu in case you’re curious what Deadpool has to say about them.

-There really should be more ammo for everything or an infinite ammo upgrade.  For being Deadpool I found myself out of ammo a lot and having to run down gun wielding bad guys.

-Combat gets repetitive pretty quickly.

-The gunplay could use some work, the lock on isn’t great and there is no cover system.  Granted it’s Deadpool, Deadpool doesn’t take cover but it leaves you feeling especially vulnerable during the larger gun battles.

-There’s very little replay value and the challenge modes aren’t that fun.

-The jump feels really floaty and unsatisfying.  I wasn't able to do any sort of precision platforming.  The game asks you to do very little precision platforming though so it works out.

-The counter attack follow up for the sai is you throwing the sai.  I found myself getting pounded on every time I tried to use it.  In the game the sai is described as the weapon to use for building combos but on what probably could have been the most useful move you pretty much open yourself up to a guaranteed free hit.

-The game is short, around 6-10 hours, but I was ready for it to be over when the ending came.

-There isn’t a lot here for non-Deadpool fans.  Everything here has been done better by other games and the only thing that makes this game is that it’s Deadpool.

The Ugly:

-Not much ugly here, game looks great and plays great.  There is this weird sound effect when you get low on ammo that I found way more annoying than helpful.

Final Thoughts:  Despite everything good I have to say about this game I’m actually giving it a reserved and respectful 3 out of 5.  I loved my time with the game and am halfway through my second play through, as a fan of Deadpool you couldn’t ask for a better game, it is the perfect game for fans.  But, that, its greatest strength is also its greatest flaw.  Without the Deadpool there really isn’t a whole lot here.  Strip out the story and the character and the gameplay is really no better than an average Dynasty Warriors style hack n’ slash.  Which makes it a good thing that the game is written so superbly and the character so accurately portrayed.  But even with those unless you are a fan of the Deadpool’s, or at least interested in becoming a fan of Deadpool’s, then there also isn’t a whole lot here for you.  If someone asked me what things were the essential Deadpool that every fan must experience to truly understand the character I would point to Wolverine: Origins issues #21-#27 and this game.

            But, again, strip out the fandom and you have a pretty grindy, repetitive game.  The run and gunning isn’t all that great (the lock on being the worst part of that), the melee combat really boils down to mashing buttons and the story, if you aren’t familiar with how Deadpool does it, will probably just be confusing and, at times, gross.  So the score is heavily modified by if the player is a Deadpool fan and by how much.  If I were being non-objective, speaking purely as a fan, I would give this a 5 out of 5 or maybe even a 6 but really, if you look at it and admit it’s flaws it simply doesn’t live up to that.  If you like Deadpool, or want to see what the hype behind Deadpool is, then get this game.  It is well worth the full retail price, I just hope we get the Hit-Monkey game that Full Moon originally promoted (granted as a smokescreen for the Deadpool game), maybe as DLC.  I can always dream.

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