Pulse Cannon

Pulse Cannon Sept 9, 04
Michael O’Reilly

Welcome to another edition of the Pulse Cannon, where today I’ll be talking about Doom 3 again….no not really. This week I’ve got a special treat, as I rented some games and managed to avoid talking about Doom 3 yet again. I know, I’m all happy about that also. Anywho, on with the gaming talk. This week I wandered into Blockbuster and decided I was going to rent a game even if there was nothing I wanted that was new. As it happened I found 2 games, one of which, Psi-Ops, I had been tempted to pick up before but had talked myself out of, and the other, Bujingai The Forsaken City sounded fairly interesting so I decided to take the plunge. My other game this week was the recently released ESPN NHL 2k5 on Xbox.

I’ll start off talking about Bujingai: The Forsaken city. This is one game I had never heard of at all, and after playing it for a little while I came away with these impressions. It plays a bit like Devil May Cry without the guns, meaning just sword play, but they make up for the lack of guns with a second sword and magic spells. To be honest the most fun I had with this game was during the videotaped training sessions, listening to your master explain the various moves and combos was quite funny I thought. I can’t say if they meant it to be funny or I just found it amusing. I am amused by such little things so it might just be me. The game isn’t really bad, but the camera needs some work and the combat wasn’t really that interesting. Maybe Devil May Cry and Ninja Gaiden have spoiled me, but when I look at them and then at this, I didn’t wind up playing this very long.

My brother picked up ESPN NHL 2K5 last week, and while at first I wasn’t really all that interested in playing it, I soon found myself knee deep in a season, trying to see if I liked it enough to slug my way through the 82 regular season games plus the playoffs. I do know this much, if I couldn’t turn off the announcers, I would have stopped playing by game 5, and never looked back. Gary Thorn I like, he knows what he’s talking about and isn’t annoying. Bill Clement on the other hand drives me up the wall. It’s not all his fault, I’ve listened to him on the real ESPN broadcasts and he’s not that bad, but it seems like Sega want to make him comedy relief or something, which doesn’t work well at all. All it does is make me race to the options screen to shut him up. And speaking of the options screen, wow, does that ever need to be redesigned. Not only is it nearly impossible to start a second profile, but in game forget trying to quickly switch your goalie. I had hoped they would correct the mistakes they made with last years game, but there I found the same mistakes again. As for the actual gameplay, I had trouble at first adjusting to the new shooting scheme (or at least it seems new, I didn’t play much of last years game, it got lost in the shuffle). Having to hold down the left trigger and then the x button to fire off a wrist shot just seems like a waste of a button, but eventually I got used to it. I’m thinking that I am going to have to up the difficulty if I do keep playing the game, as I’ve basically mastered playing the game at it’s current settings. I’ll have to see what EA comes up with when they release NHL 2005, but for now I can live with 2k5 as my hockey fix.

Lastly I come to Psi-Ops: The Mind Gate Conspiracy. Published by Midway, I’m kind of surprised a game like this wasn’t made earlier. Similar in many ways to a Metal Gear Solid or a Syphon Filter, you start the game as a soldier in the Army that is attacked by a shadowy force known as the Movement, who seem to use Psychic powers to control their forces and to manipulate the environment. You are captured and sent to become one of their mindless drones when you are rescued by an agent who is working undercover in the Movement. She injects you with a serum and you slowly discover that you yourself have these Psychic powers, like telekenesis (moving things with your mind), mind control, and various other powers. You then set about taking down the Movement one drone at a time, using these powers to their fullest extent. Rarely do I cackle with evil laughter, but when I was in training for telekenesis and I found I could grab people and fling them around the room, I threw my head back and howled with an evil kind of glee. (PRAY I don’t develop powers, I’ll be worse than Magneto…). This game is a joy to play, and I’ll be purchasing it as soon as I can find the time. You should do, post haste, without any delay. MY MIND COMPELLS YOU! Anyway, while I love this game and can’t believe it hadn’t been done before (Ok Jedi Knight 1 2 and 3 sorta did some of it, but that was the force, and those games never let you do as much as this one lets you do), I see room for improvement even in this. Why can’t I pick up multiple objects? Why can’t I levitate? I can ride on other things I’m moving with my mind, why not myself? Why can’t I rip a person limb from limb if I’m so powerful? Inquiring minds want to know! At any rate, I am really hoping this game gets a sequel so I can do even more with my latent psychic powers.

Well there you go, a taste of the evil joy I felt last week as I played Psi-Ops, and a glimpse into my views of ESPN Hockey and The Forsaken City. I’ve actually got more to say about Forsaken City, if I’m in the mood next week I’ll talk about it some more. For now though, this Pulse Cannon is outta ammo. O’Reilly signing off.