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Looks like some Walmarts have stock
 
jack_deth  posted on May 01, 2009 6:42:02 AM - Report post

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Just got back from Wally World and am installing as I type this. I played the leaked 360 version as I've just seen far too many awful movie tie-in titles to buy blindly, and I just don't trust review sites any longer. Thankfully this one is worth the purchase.

Needless to say, I'm impressed. This is the most fun I've had with a beat-em-up since The Warriors shipped for the Xbox and PS2. Raven has chosen to give Wolverine back his claws, and they have done so by making one of the most visually violent titles since Soldier of Fortune 1 and 2. One can lop off arms, hands, heads, torsos, legs, split bodies, beat people to death with their limbs, and in general just **** people up something fierce.

The button layout is pretty standard fare (I'd recommend using a controller with the PC version for best results). You have your basic light attack button, heavy attack button, jump button, and grab button on the face of the controller. The bumpers act as a block, dodge when both triggers are pulled (aka block + dodge + analog stick ='s direction to dodge in), a lock-on button, the dodge when pulled alone and used in conjunction with a face button opens up a brutal rage attack, and your leap attack.

The leap attacks are especially cool. this allows you to lock onto a target from a distance and leap to him delivering a killing blow to weak enemies and knocking back stronger enemies whilst allowing you to get in some cheap shots or even an instant kill.

Speaking of instant kills. If you grab an opponent you have several options. You may move the analog stick to throw your opponent, use the light attack button to pummel them a bit, or use the heavy attack button to pull back your claws - wait for a glimmer of light - then hit the heavy attack again to deliver a nasty insta-kill that comes in several varieties and varies quite a bit from enemy to enemy. You might hold an enemy in the air and stab them repeatedly in the stomach, you might behead them, you could stab them in the neck and rip them from gullet to groin, you might even grab their weapon force it to their own head and pull the trigger. Best of all is how intuitive the controls are after just playing the title for a few minutes. if you've ever played a beat-em-up before, you'll be very much at home.

One of the neat things about this game is that it is the first to truly consider Wolverines real mutant ability, that being his ability to heal from damn near anything. This is also represented in game in several ways. The most obvious is Wolverine's two health bars. The main bar represents Logan's body health. As you're shot, stabbed, electrocuted, blown up, and dropped from the stars you'll see bits of flesh stripped away from your on-screen character and you'll also notice his main health meter drop. Once gone Logan's internal organs will be exposed (yes, you can see them on your character in the game, adamantium skeleton and all) leaving his second heart meter ripe for the taking. Once that second meter is gone you're dead. True to form, you can get away from battle for a bit to regain health. Not only will the health bar rise, but you will really see Logan's organs, muscle, and even flesh regenerate before your eyes. The effect is very cool and also provides an immediate way of determining health without always needing to glance at your health bar.

Now, the down side. Graphically the game is a mixed bag. Some areas look quite stunning while others look very dated. Enemy types are limited, especially boss type creatures that seem to be mostly giant rock creatures requiring the same type of tactic to kill. The game is also very repetitive, though I found myself having so much fun that I didn't care. I honestly feel that repetition is something to expect from any beat-em-up. And the monotony is easily broken up by the sheer variety of ways to approach every situation. You won't be asking yourself how to get out of situation so much as you'll be thinking about which limb you want to rip from which enemy first to start the bloodbath that's sure to leave you standing alone. The story is also a tad dry, though you probably will be like me and not really care too much about anything but killing more enemies and leveling up your character (yes, there are some nice RPG elements here in the form of combat abilities, leveling, and mutagens).

All in all a very solid entry to the genre and the best Wolverine game ever. Easily a solid 8.0 out of 10 in my book. Eagerly anticipating what options we'll get via the trainer as well.

 
jack_deth  posted on May 01, 2009 11:10:37 AM - Report post

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Little update.

I've been playing the PC version since I picked it up at Walmart earlier and can list a few differences I've noticed between it and the 360 version.

My nearly 3 year old PC (X6800 3.33GHz, 4GB PC2 8500 RAM, HD4870) plays this game at a superb framerate with no drops at a resolution of 1920x1200 with 4xFSAA, quality adaptive AA, and 16xAF enabled (v-sync on to alleviate screen tearing). Well above the 1280x720 of the 360 which does experience framerate dips. The textures appear slightly more crisp, though I believe that is due to the 360 running below my LCD's native resolution. The 360 gamepad is perfectly supported. Also, the audio separation is actually better in the PC version. I'm using an Auzentech Xplosion 7.1 with DTS connect to a high end 7.1 channel mid-fi system with a Velodyne DD-15 for bass. I may take this into the theater room and hook it up to the Krell Heat system with 4 Velodyne DD-1812SE's later on.

All in all a fantastic, stable, and well coded port. Also one hell of a grand beat-em-up and return to form for the Wolverine! Go and buy this today!


edit - Noticed one more benefit. The 360 version, even when loaded to the HDD, will often say "streaming" and you'll notice textures slowly load into place (much like Mass Effect and other Unreal Engine 3 based titles). The PC version exhibits no such texture loads, they just appear instantly, much like the PC version of Mass Effect was a major improvement upon the 360 title in that respect.

[Edited by jack_deth, 5/1/2009 12:41:15 PM]

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