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Lair Review

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the i-want-to-apologize-to-my-dragon dept.

PlayStation (Games) 136

Nothing disappoints me more than having my expectations met. I managed to see The Matrix without knowing what to expect, and as a result it was a fine moviegoing experience. Lair, one of the first in a series of high profile PlayStation 3 games due out this year, met every expectation I had when I picked up the controller. If you haven't been paying attention to games sites of late ... that's bad. Pushed for time and under pressure from higher ups at Sony, Factor 5 has poorly rehashed the same formula that made for a couple of very playable GameCube games. The difference? Lair is, in some places, literally unplayable. It's disappointing, and a frustrating way to begin my relationship with the PS3. Read on for my thoughts on Lair, and what might have been.

  • Title: Lair
  • Developer/Publisher: Factor 5 / Sony
  • System: PlayStation 3
  • Genre: Flight Shooter
  • Score: 1/5 - This game is unfinished/unplayable. It is not worth the trouble of purchasing, or renting.
The World of Asylia

Before you ever enter into combat, before the game proper begins, Lair displays a lot of promise. As Roan, you play the part of a dragon rider standing as guardian over a theocratic civilization called Asylia in the northern part of the world. The globe has been torn apart by geological instability, and the only other real bastion of humanity left in the world is your technology-using neighbors to the south. They've been having difficulties you haven't, though, and the game starts amid a conflict between your culture and the Mokai ultimately spurred on by scarce resources.

As the game progresses, we get hints of deeper elements to the story. The two groups are not mono-cultures; there are factions on both sides manipulating events to their own ends. Some of the voice acting isn't bad and while the plot itself isn't the most original tale ever told, it's competently woven. Julian Eggebrecht was the writer for the game, and the same hand that guided storytelling successfully in the Rogue Squadron games does a fine job here.

The game's attempt to evoke a place is greatly helped by the fact that it's visually stunning. It's an old saw now that this generation is no longer 'next-', but screenshots really don't do the game justice. Seeing the dragons in motion is a treat, and the digital actors are better than average. The landscapes really stand out as well, with everything from craggy seascapes to verdant pastures beautifully rendered by the PlayStation's raw horsepower. One early level has you facing down opponents while flying around a massive rock tower, which itself features pieces that are turning in place. It's a complicated environment, but thanks to the detailed graphics it's an easy one to understand. Whatever else should be said about the game, it's important to note just how beautiful Lair is.

The Problems: Everything Else

The reason, of course, that it's important to note that ... is that is just about the only nice thing I can say about the game. I moved past the controls introduction stage, and played through the first level, with no problems. I fought some dragons, killed 'em, landed and slaughtered some troops, and everything was good. There were little things that bugged me, but I assumed it was just because I was new to the controls. So I pressed on.

Bam. Immediately in the next stage, I started hating the experience of playing Lair. The fundamental elements of playing the game are simply poorly executed. That first level, which allowed me the chance to fly up close to dragon opponents, was the best possible light for the game's incredibly weak 'lock on' system. At any range, the vague red glow - which is the title's only indication you've locked onto a target - is essentially invisible. Your best bet is to continuously hold down the lock on button and fire repeatedly. I found that ... occasionally ... hits enemies while in the air. The alternative, free firing at your enemies, is essentially not an option. They're either far enough away that they're dots on the screen, or up close and moving too quickly to draw a bead.

The way you control your steed has drawn the most frustration from critics. Indeed, the PlayStation 3's motion control system is incredibly unsatisfying here. I regularly found myself tilting the controller hard left, only to see my dragon happily smash into a wall. A few times when I tilted left or right the thing would actually go in the opposite direction, which would seem to defeat the point of having the player provide input in the first place. In short: it only sometimes works. Given that this is the very first thing you do in the game (turn left, or right, or fly up), and that the gimmick hinges on one of the back-of-the-box PS3 features, I would have figured this to be a mandatory 'get it right' situation.

Instead, the control experience feels nothing short of 'mushy'. Above and beyond turning, any attempt to complete a 'special move' has a very low chance of success. In order to do a 180 the player is instructed to pull back sharply with the controller in an upwards movement. I think that motion resulted in my dragon executing such a turn only twice in the time I spent playing the game. Other ways that my dragon interpreted that command include: ignoring it, turning slowly in one direction or another, diving, rising, and then diving again. My personal favorite reaction to that controller input was 'speed way up', which invariably ended up with my dragon and I slamming into a wall or enemy.

The title's showpiece stage, the conflict between two armies on a bridge, has been used at numerous events to highlight the game's features. Instead, for me, it was where the game turned from a title I was struggling to enjoy to a game I was actually angry that I had to keep playing. You're constantly bombarded by new objectives, and your only means of ascertaining the location of these targets is a big blunt arrow. It's just as unhelpful as it sounds, and can easily result in blameless failure as you go on a futile hunt for 'those guys you just saw' in the thousandth cutscene this level. Not only does the game remove your ability to choose what you're doing by making you rush back and forth across the map, but once you're there you are forced into solving the problem a specific way. "Dark Dragons" have to be killed via the horrible wave the controller back and forth minigame. Giant bulls must be slain by waving the controller up and down vertically in another (equally unfun) minigame.

The whole experience is disappointing and (ultimately) kind of degrading. We as consumers are left with the distinct impression that we're not entirely playing Factor 5's game. Having played Rogue Squadron titles before, I know for a fact that they can deliver a tightly tuned control scheme and a satisfying flight/shooter experience. They're hardly blameless, of course, but you have to look at what's changed since those halcyon GameCube days. What's changed is, of course, their new backers.

Conclusions

I really wanted to like this game. I set my expectations (mentioned above) very, very, very low for this title. I figured that if I assumed the game would be utter crap going into it, there was almost no way I could be disappointed. Instead, Lair precisely met my dialed in crap setting. Beyond the first few levels the opponents (who are not hampered by the game's poor interface) become oppressively hard while the story takes a back seat to 'yet another excuse for a dragon-to-dragon dogfight'. Even the graphics stop looking that great when you've been staring at a stage's backdrop constantly for the last hour or two, literally fighting with the controller to get it to do what you want.

That right there is what makes this so sad. If they had allowed you the opportunity to use the controller's thumbsticks, this would be a completely different game. The lock-on system and lack of a proper radar would still be frustrating, but at least the game would be playable. That said, I can't wait for the rest of this year's PlayStation 3 offerings. I'm really looking forward to Ratchet and Clank, and even more to Drake's Fortune. This game, though, is a devastating blow for a title-starved console whose owners (including me) are ever trying to justify the high price we paid for entrance into Sony's version of the 'HD era'.

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Grammar alert! (-1, Troll)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#20702429)

Holy fucking shit! Why do we have to get reviews from near-illiterate editors?

while the plot itself isn't the most original tale ever told, it's competently weaved.
Weaved??? The term is WOVEN, jerkoff.

Oh, I know how this is going to play out: "I was just making a statement about the complexity of English and how it needs to be simplified by eliminating irregular past participles."

Hm, that would be a neat trick, considering Zonk has no problem using the correct irregular verb forms everywhere else:

Julian Eggebrecht was the writer for the game [emphasis added]
"Was," Zonk? Why not "beed"?

Jesus fuck, this reminds me of those writers who think they're the hottest shit ever because they spell words phonetically. (Zora Neale Hurston, I'm looking in your general direction.) Each and every one of them manages to leave some words spelled in their regular form and non-phonetically, implicitly justifying why virtually everyone else doesn't follow that "style" (and I use the term loosely).

Re:Grammar alert! (-1, Troll)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#20702485)

Oops, forgot to make that anonymous.

Just have a good laugh and mod it funny :-)

Re:Grammar alert! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20702569)

you little bitch. mod this asshole "troll".

Re:Grammar alert! (0)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 7 years ago | (#20702587)

I imagine that your situation is like those dreams where you get up to speak at graduation and you're naked.

Re:Grammar alert! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20702751)

HAAA HAAA you fucking sack of dick meat!!!!!
Zonk should ban your sorry ass!!!

Re:Grammar alert! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20703027)

Oops, forgot to make that anonymous.
So remember, folks, all the ACs that vent like they're fifteen year olds are just UbuntuDupe.

Well done, sir. It's nice to know that deep down inside you like to troll Slashdot despite what was a very good record.

Did you hear that? That was my respect for you plummeting.

Re:Grammar alert! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20702597)

Oh come on. You're technically correct but thats not the point of this forum or article. The intent could be clearly understood. If you aren't going to comment on the content, don't bother to comment.

I'm sure there are grammatical errors in this posting also. Please feel free to point them out.

Re:Grammar alert! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20702601)

Prozac. Just do it.

Re:Grammar alert! (-1, Offtopic)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#20702607)

Weaved??? The term is WOVEN, jerkoff.

Aren't we being a little rough on Zonk? Certainly he's a dumbass or a fuckhead but a "jerk off"? That might be going too far.

Jesus fuck, this reminds me of those writers who think they're the hottest shit ever because they spell words phonetically.

I prefer Jesus Fucking Christ Almighty but to each their own. Lay off the caffeine BTW, your body will thank you :)

Re:Grammar alert! (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 7 years ago | (#20702609)

It's OK for you. I got as far as the first two sentences and my brain shutdown with an "unrecoverable non sequitur" error

Re:Grammar alert! (5, Funny)

entmike (469980) | more than 7 years ago | (#20702625)

You need to get laid.

Everyone (5, Funny)

hellfire (86129) | more than 7 years ago | (#20702757)

You need to get laid.

This is slashdot, we all need to get laid.

Re:Everyone (1)

jelizondo (183861) | more than 7 years ago | (#20703791)

Amen, brother!

Re:Everyone (1)

Chrisje (471362) | more than 7 years ago | (#20705231)

Careful there.... I managed to knock up my girl.

Hehehe... who's your daddy?

Re:Grammar alert! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20703003)

Weaved??? The term is WOVEN, jerkoff.
According to http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/weave [m-w.com] both are acceptable.

Re:Grammar alert! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20703193)

Oh, I know how this is going to play out: "I was just making a statement about the complexity of English and how it needs to be simplified by eliminating irregular past participles."

"Weaved" is rarely used, but is acceptable, as past participle. In this case it's obviously awkward, but I think that's largely because of the passive voice. "Woven" would not have actually improved the sentence much.

Re:Grammar alert! (1)

architimmy (727047) | more than 7 years ago | (#20708211)

While "weaved" is a word, I have only heard it used in description of the movement of large bodies. To describe the past tense of weaving fabric "wove" or "woven" would be correct. "He weaved through traffic" would be acceptable where "He weaved a shirt" would just be downright odd. So in the context of a dragon flight game I believe "weaved" is probably ok.

Re:Grammar alert! (1)

haggus71 (1051238) | more than 7 years ago | (#20704049)

Would you like to comment on the actual review? Someone who starts a sentence with, "Jesus fuck", has little leeway to criticize another person's writing style. Besides, only an English major would comment on the diction of a gaming blogger. If you are an English Major....how's that serving job at Chili's?

Haha... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20702509)

PS3 games are so sucky

Gosh Zonk, thanks for sharing. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20702531)

The fact that you stated The Matrix was a "fine moviegoing experience" rather undermines your opinion, though.

Re:Gosh Zonk, thanks for sharing. (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 7 years ago | (#20706643)

the first one was good, just the 2nd and 3rd ones utterly sucked.

OMG (0, Troll)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#20702613)

I've never seen so many misuses of italics, parenthesis, and pretty much everything else in the article. Apparently the game is SO bad that it affects your ability to write a review. But that's okay because it sounds about that bad in the review. In my experience, being difficult to steer while flying and lock on being difficult to use are some of the absolute most annoying problems a game maker can possibly put in a game.

screw games anyway (1)

deftones_325 (1159693) | more than 7 years ago | (#20702643)

i'll probably check out grand theft auto 4. i think i'm too old for this sh1t

Really not that bad (5, Interesting)

Bugs42 (788576) | more than 7 years ago | (#20702693)

I've read all the reviews of Lair, and I'm starting to wonder - did I get a broken copy? It works PERFECTLY for me. The controls respond just fine (I can count on one hand the number of times my dragon didn't respond the way I wanted it to, and I've played quite a bit), the lock-on system works fine, and call me crazy but the game's actually FUN. It's really met all my expectations as a good, enjoyable game. If you enjoyed any of the old Star Wars: Rogue Squadron games, then you'll probably like Lair.

Oh, and to the reviewer - the main character is "Rohn", not "Roan."

Re:Really not that bad (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20703263)

Fucking shill, get back under your Sony / Microshaft rock.

Re:Really not that bad (5, Funny)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#20703485)

Oh, and to the reviewer - the main character is "Rohn", not "Roan."
Behold! The Riders of Ron!

Re:Really not that bad (5, Funny)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 7 years ago | (#20704483)

Behold! The Riders of Ron!

Sounds like a prison title to me.

Re:Really not that bad (1)

Enlightenment (1073994) | more than 7 years ago | (#20705263)

Forth Eorlingas!

Re:Really not that bad (3, Informative)

rikkitikki (91982) | more than 7 years ago | (#20703567)

Yeah, it's really not that bad. I feel the reviewers are being overly harsh. It sounds like most of them just do the initial basic tutorial and move onto the game and have a hard time controlling things. When I played it, I played the initial tutorial, level 1, then went back to the tutorial section and played through all the other tutorials. That probably helped immensely. I still struggled a bit with the 180 turns and the dragon battles that required me to shake the controller left and right. Otherwise, it responded to everything else just fine for me.
It really wasn't this massive struggle they make it out to be.

I really don't understand what their problem is.

Re:Really not that bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20705939)

Thank you! I bought this game the day it came out. I've played it multiple times in the past couple weeks. I think the game is fantastic. The visuals are amazing. The battles are intense. The controls are off-putting at first, but once you get used to them, they are easy to use. There is a bit of trouble between the 180 turn and the forward dash, but other than that, the controls work great. The people who are bashing this game either don't give it enough of a chance, or they should go back to playing less complicated games like Mario on the SNES.

Re:Really not that bad (2, Interesting)

freeweed (309734) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707467)

When I played it, I played the initial tutorial, level 1, then went back to the tutorial section and played through all the other tutorials.

This thread is reminding me why everyone and their dog is buying a Wii, including those like myself who've been doing this for 30 years now.

Re:Really not that bad (1)

bdhall1313 (202306) | more than 7 years ago | (#20703743)

I wondered the same thing. The controls worked fine for me.

Maybe a lot of people got defective controllers.

Another possibility is that you aren't controlling the dragon directly. You are giving commands to the dragon rider who then gives commands to the dragon so there is a slight delay. Horse riding in "Two Worlds" on the 360 works the same way and a lot of people complained about that.

Re:Really not that bad (2, Funny)

HAKdragon (193605) | more than 7 years ago | (#20704891)

Oh, and to the reviewer - the main character is "Rohn", not "Roan."

It also should be noted that the Mokai (your main enemies) are from the north while the Asylians are from the south. Also

Spoiler Alert!

Asylia doesn't become a theocracy until near the end of the game.

Re:Really not that bad (1)

Warlock7 (531656) | more than 7 years ago | (#20705701)

I agree with you 100%. I've really enjoyed playing this game. Accurate controls that I haven't had any real trouble with. The lock-on system seems to work fine for me. I've gotten gold in all the levels except one already. I really don't understand the reviewers either. There is a certain level way to hold the controller, which may be messing with people's sense of how to hold the thing, that might enter into how the game handles. The complaint about the "turbo" and the "180 degree turn" cropped up a couple of times in the beginning, but once I realized how to do it correctly, I never had another issue with it.

Re:Really not that bad (2, Interesting)

seebs (15766) | more than 7 years ago | (#20705893)

I saw a video on youtube (no link, sorry) suggesting that it's the same thing that happened to me when I first tried to control a driving game with an analog stick: Massive oversteering by the player, and the game responding as though the rider were waving his hands around spastically. Which he is.

If you tilt gently to turn gently, all is (apparently) well. I might even get this one.

Re:Really not that bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20705955)

Looks okay to me - http://www.n4g.com/ps3/News-65293.aspx [n4g.com]

Re:Really not that bad (1)

xXDarkNinjaXx (525539) | more than 7 years ago | (#20706253)

>did I get a broken copy?

I don't think you did; I really love my copy as well. Once I was used to controlling the dragon and using the techniques they teach in the training (like using "rage vision" to spot enemies), the game became a BLAST.

Re:Really not that bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20707091)

It's groupthink.

(It reminds me of the number of people loudly joking about how crappy 'Gigli' was. If that number of people had actually seen the movie, it would have been a blockbuster hit. It may have been crap (I've never seen it so I wouldn't know), but most people won't decide based on anything other than what they have been told to think by others. Sadly, most people are too stupid to make up their own minds rationally.)

(Further disclaimer: I hate Sony, but I think the game looks like fun. And I love parentheses).

Re:Really not that bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20707355)

Sony snuck a fix into one of the PS3 firmwares. Most the reviews were done before the patch was snuck out there.

So, yes, you did play a different version, one with the controls fixed. Too bad Sony forgot to buy off the reviewers when doing that.

Makes me wonder... (3, Insightful)

riskeetee (1039912) | more than 7 years ago | (#20702711)

...if the control issue is the fault of the game developer or the hardware? Are there other games that use the sixaxis feature with precision, or is it just a clunky piece of hardware they tacked on to the PS3 "because Nintendo is doing it?"

Re:Makes me wonder... (2, Informative)

Swordopolis (1159065) | more than 7 years ago | (#20702927)

The infamous "twing-twang" from Heavenly Sword allows for arrow movement via the motion-sensing feature. I haven't actually played it myself, but a couple friends have said it handles waaaaay better than Lair.

Re:Makes me wonder... (2, Insightful)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 7 years ago | (#20702949)

Its the fault of the developer in any case.

They have the same consols. If the input axis were not precise enough for the purpose they want them so serve, they should have used a different control sheme.

Re:Makes me wonder... (1)

Ambiguous Puzuma (1134017) | more than 7 years ago | (#20703033)

It could be a hardware quality control issue, where some controllers (including the ones used in development) perform just fine, and others do not. That seems like a fairly likely scenario to me, explaining why some people have no problem with the controls, and others find the game to be unplayable.

Re:Makes me wonder... (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#20706771)

Actually I would say it has the human factor as a major part of it.

On the Wii, my GF is a whizz at the boxing meanwhile I have trouble.
When I pick up the controllers and play my arms punch as I would but it doesn't seem to effect it, meanwhile the missus takes up a Buffy stance and knocks 10 tonnes of shit out of any opponent.

On the inverse I can play the racing and driving games better whilst she sometimes has trouble with turning - she gets the similar "turn too far and it goes the wrong way" problem.
If you hold the mote at about 80 degrees either way a small knock can make the sensor pick up an opposite tilt and the car flies off towards the other wall.

Re:Makes me wonder... (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 7 years ago | (#20703695)

I'm going to have to say it could be hardware, but the only games I've extensively used both my Sixaxis motion sensing controllers on were Blazing Angels and Flow. I picked up Lair and Warhawk at the same time and played a little bit of Lair (first mission, and training) I thought it was a little funny (as in wonky, a tad unresponsive) and I put it up instead of sticking with it too long. Since then Warhawk hasn't left my PS3, so I can't tell you how well the motion controller is on Lair beyond the first stage. I could have possibly just received two good controllers as well.

Re:Makes me wonder... (2, Insightful)

hchaudh1 (963268) | more than 7 years ago | (#20703233)

I don't think its anybody's "fault". Now when everyone expects humans to jump 10 ft. in the air, blasting away and all that, a bit of physics does jar people's expectations. I found Lair to be perfectly playable once you realize that you are flying a dragon, not a jet fighter. As far as Sixaxis being broken goes, I also play Warhawk regularly and the controller is really responsive. I think the problem is that way too many people are hooked on games like Halo and don't appreciate really good, team strategy based games like America's Army. That, IMO is the cause of all this hand wringing.

Re:Makes me wonder... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20703641)

But see... should you MAKE a game like that?

I imagine if they made a game about team-based combat between soldiers wearing those grizzly bear-protection suits the people in the game wouldn't be very agile either... but recreating clunky, immobile combat accurately isn't necessarily something you should be praised for, and there's a chance it won't make for a good game, to boot.

You know what DOES make for good action? Games where the things on the screen do what you want them to WHEN you want them to.

Hopefully it's a system level issue... (3, Insightful)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 7 years ago | (#20703587)

...if the control issue is the fault of the game developer or the hardware? Are there other games that use the sixaxis feature with precision, or is it just a clunky piece of hardware they tacked on to the PS3 "because Nintendo is doing it?"

It was a peice of hardware bolted on since "Nintendo was doing it", but I don't think it's the Hardware per se. Lair by all accounts controlled badly, and no game I played (Heavenly Sword, Warhawk, Motorstorm, or The Super-Rub-a-dub demo) handle with the correct ammount of sensitivity and I end up turning it off whenever possible. Heavenly Sword's "Twing Twang" sections were far more playable using the analog stick, and Warhawk even has the motion controls disabled by default if that's any indication for you.

Not to sound trollish, but It can be done if you look over at the Wii side. Nintendo can get very accurate and sensitive readings from the motion controller over BlueTooth, so there really is no reason why Sony can't.

Maybe Sony went cheap on the motion chip in the SixAxis, or maybe it's the developers not using the tools properly, or issues with how the system itself receives and sends the signals from the chip. Since this seems to be the case across games I'm betting (and hoping) it's a Sony issue with how they interpret commands. I'm hoping it's their problem not because "It's more egg on their face" but because they could fix it in a firmware update and fix the problem for all these games.

Re:Makes me wonder... (1)

gr3kgr33n (824960) | more than 7 years ago | (#20703825)

yes. Warhawk for example uses the motion control. IMHO warhawk nailed it with flight controls. Motion control plus two joysticks, one for aiming and the other split into two functions.
The aiming is absolute stick position.
On the other joystick, left/right is rudder control. Up and down are 180 loops (Pull up till your facing behind you). The loop only happens one the joystick is at 100% top or bottom.

In expert mode, the plane does not auto rotate to UP.
Weapon select is on the D-PAD so you are not loosing mobility to select a different weapon, instead you are loosing aiming.

This problem seems to be squarely on the shoulders of the game developers.

I have noticed the motion controls are very sensitive on some games and you don't have the option to turn down the sensitivity. When the sensitivity is turned all the way up, sharp movements are not registered and it makes me think they [LAIR Designers] overlooked this aspect of game input design. If in Warhawk you turn up the sensitivity, yes you can violently thrust the control in a direction, but at the end of the motion, you have to bring it back to a normal gaming position, and most games will read that as an override to the action your just slung your control out of your hands for.

If the game is as bad as this and other reviews, why would a game studio put out something to place marks against their reputation. If it was pressure from Sony, then the responsible party for placing that pressure should admit defeat and do what a Honorable Japanese Fellow does when he faces defeat.

My money is that there will be a patch to eventually fix this problem. At this point in the game of developing a market for the PS3, Sony really needs to have a Quality Control team properly review each title before it gets out of the development phase. They can ill afford bad press like this.

Don't give me something that isn't polished, cleaned, and doesn't require me to grow 6 extra fingers to operate. If it doesn't work, then it doesn't work and should never be boxed, wrapped, copied, printed or reviewed until your get it right.

Re:Makes me wonder... (1)

supertex2000 (997089) | more than 7 years ago | (#20704927)

I agree with gr3kgr33n...Warhawk nails it perfectly. Nothing about Warhawk motion control ever feels unresponsive or out of your hands. I have to disagree that Wii controls are more sensitive. I've gotten pretty frustrated with putting in Wii sports golf (don't swing softly...flick the wrist (is that really golfing???)) and Metroid Prime 3 (after grabbing a latch, I struggle to get the controller to recognize that I'm pulling back or pushing in).

Re:Makes me wonder... (1)

427_ci_505 (1009677) | more than 7 years ago | (#20706319)

I own a PS3. Here's what I think: Motion control in the 6Axis controller is an unnecessary tacked on gimmick that was added because Nintendo was doing it. Or that is the way it seems. In Call of Duty 3, for example, the only place it is used (and is, alas, necessary) is in scripted events - not core gameplay. I just use the analogs whenever I can instead. They are...better. Now the PS3 is a great system, because it has powerful hardware. Like any system, its success will be determined by the games coming out for it. The 6Axis neither adds nor detracts from it. (Unless developers do something retarded like using it).

Re:Makes me wonder... (1)

Simian Road (1138739) | more than 7 years ago | (#20706669)

In this case it is the fault of the developer. Not because they were forced to make an entirely sixaxis game (who knows?), but because they didn't even include an alternate control scheme so you can swap to the analog sticks.

who gives a... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20702743)

OHHHH! Who gives a fat fuckin shit? The people who buy these game systems and the turd dropplets called "games" aren't worth the air consumed by thier worthless lungs. I for one spend my free time reading and eveloping software that actually does something. Anyone who is wasting their time on this crap is truly frying their brain. I can see getting into War Craft or something but wasting your wealth on video game systems is pointless and makes obvious your reduced IQ. Get a fuckin life you waste of flesh generation X piece of shit!!!!

Re:who gives a... (1)

TheMadcapZ (868196) | more than 7 years ago | (#20702879)

"Anyone who is wasting their time on this crap is truly frying their brain. I can see getting into War Craft or something but wasting your wealth on video game systems is pointless and makes obvious your reduced IQ"

So becoming a zombie on Warcraft is ok, but 30 minutes to play around of golf on Tiger Woods is the devil???

What software have you "eveloped" lately? What ever it is I am sure it has a bitter GUI and provides the result begrudgingly.

Re:who gives a... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20702971)

If you could develop a patch to fix this game, I'm sure people would appreciate it.

Then you could pin a badge that says "Savior of Broken PlayStation Games" on your chest next to the "Develops Software that Actually Does Something", "Can Read", "Loves the Smell of My Own Feces", and "Trolls Message Boards Like a Douche" badges.

Re:who gives a... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20702983)

Don't worry, kiddo. Sooner or later Mommy will buy you that PS3 you've been asking for, and then you can admit that you like video games again.

Sad that this has to be asked...but... (4, Interesting)

Cutriss (262920) | more than 7 years ago | (#20702807)

What firmware version was your PS3 when you played Lair? Reports are somewhat widespread that the newest firmware greatly improves the control experience.

Granted, shipping a game that bad and then patching it later is inexcuseable, but it would be a good datapoint to know if you had difficulty with the game pre- or post-patch.

Re:Sad that this has to be asked...but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20703203)

so if you have re-mortgaged your house to buy a ps3 and either can't afford broadband - how do you update your firmware? I have broadband (rather fast at that) but it really really pisses me off that the general assumption these days by all sorts of hardware and software companies is that you have super fast BB. Don't worry, update and patch your windows/unix/linux/freebsd/xbox/ps3/wii etc... the download is only xxxxMB - or *several decades downloading over 56k.

Re:Sad that this has to be asked...but... (1)

gr3kgr33n (824960) | more than 7 years ago | (#20704625)

if you have to re-morage your house to afford a ps3, then obviously your living in one of those plush cardboard boxes on in the ally off 32nd street. I hear those are going for $13,000 and renting around $200 a month.

Re:Sad that this has to be asked...but... (1)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 7 years ago | (#20706585)

Never mind that. If you re-mortgage your house to afford a PS3, you have seriously fucked up priorities that need revising ASAP. Unless you're too busy playing GTA of course.

Re:Sad that this has to be asked...but... (1)

shawnap (959909) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707371)

I've heard that if you kill your loan officer right after you get the second mortgage, you can take your money back.

Re:Sad that this has to be asked...but... (1)

macshome (818789) | more than 7 years ago | (#20703473)

I would think that if the FW update fixes things in a flagship game that Sony would be yelling it from the rooftops.

Also this... http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/09/07 [penny-arcade.com]

Re:Sad that this has to be asked...but... (1)

ShawnDoc (572959) | more than 7 years ago | (#20705359)

No, because then they would have to admit to having released the game before it was ready. Better to hype the game and "fix" it via hidden patch.

maturity doesn't come with age (0, Troll)

d3l33t (1106803) | more than 7 years ago | (#20702853)

'sonysucks' as a keyword? grow up

Re:maturity doesn't come with age (0, Troll)

d3l33t (1106803) | more than 7 years ago | (#20703805)

first off topic, now a troll with the added proverb "shutupfanboys". don't you have something better to do?

Nice review but I need a point of reference. (1)

FatherOfONe (515801) | more than 7 years ago | (#20702865)

I appreciate your feedback on this game, but to help me and others out it would be great to hear your opinion of some other PS3 games you have played and your overall opinion of them.

On a similar note I was thinking about picking up this game but unfortunately it is too violent for me to play around my family, and now am considering Heavenly Sword (T rating), and I can't wait for Eye of Judgment because my son loves Pokemon/Yu-Gi-Oh, so that game is a no brainer.

Again, what did you think of other PS3 games you have played? I am sure that someone who writes the review you did have played about all of them and it would help set some reference points if you and others (me) felt the same way on other games.

Thanks, and I can't wait to play GT5 Prologue this year.

Re:Nice review but I need a point of reference. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20703787)

Ass kisser.

The Solution? (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 7 years ago | (#20702891)

For Sega to work up an installment of Panzer Dragoon for the Wii.

Re:The Solution? (1)

dank zappingly (975064) | more than 7 years ago | (#20705225)

Seriously. I'll buy whatever console comes out with a Panzer Dragoon sequel first.

Re:The Solution? (1)

Nick of NSTime (597712) | more than 7 years ago | (#20706367)

How about Panzer Dragoon II for the Sega Saturn?

motion controller (1)

theMerovingian (722983) | more than 7 years ago | (#20702909)


Warhawk gives you the option to use that 'controller-tilt' thing to steer the airplanes. I played around with that for quite a while and finally just gave up on it. Thumbsticks are so much easier.

I wonder if the controller-tilt feedback sent to the PS3 is not very high quality (as in, game programmers have a hard time converting whatever signals are sent from the controller into game events), or if people just aren't used to playing with it. Any PS3 developers have an opinion?

Re:motion controller (1)

d3l33t (1106803) | more than 7 years ago | (#20702989)

I hear that the second generation of sixaxis controllers released (ones they didn't tell press or customers about) actually had improved tilt control

Re:motion controller (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#20703043)

Motion control was the surprise Wii counter announced six months before launch. Even the developers said they didn't know about it. It's tacked on, and as such, it's pretty much useless shit. Sony should have concentrated on making games instead of trying to catch up to Nintendo's control innovations yet again. Then they might not be in last place, trailing behind their own last generation.

Still, as soon as there are those magic five games I'm interested in playing, I'm in. But I'm an addict.

Re:motion controller (2, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#20703297)

IANAPS3D, but I'd venture to guess that the input itself is on the mushy side...The Wii design team obviously mistrusted pure controller sensors; it's why you have to strap that crap on your TV. In my experience (not vast, but existent) with the sort of gyros and acceleration sensors small enough to jam into a hand-held controller, I'd be surprised if they got really accurate fine-grained responses in a chaotic dogfighting session.

Without that, it doesn't matter how good the developers are.

Another thing (pet peeve) that pisses me off is gratuitous "special moves". I have to master a special move to do a loop? Wtf is wrong with just pulling up? By itself, it suggests that you're going to have issues with the flight controls. I remember this crap being executed fine on F-16 back in the '80s, but not now? Work on your damn interface.

Re:motion controller (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20704017)

Another thing (pet peeve) that pisses me off is gratuitous "special moves". I have to master a special move to do a loop? Wtf is wrong with just pulling up? By itself, it suggests that you're going to have issues with the flight controls. I remember this crap being executed fine on F-16 back in the '80s, but not now? Work on your damn interface.
There's no special move to do a loop. You pull back. The manual tells you to move your controller up, but I found it responds to pulling back (toward your body) every time.

Re:motion controller (2, Informative)

NaugaHunter (639364) | more than 7 years ago | (#20704409)

Um, the 'light sensor bar' you set above or below your screen reads infrared for aiming, and probably has little to do with motion sensing per se. Most actual motion sensing that I've seen so far has been for wide motions (swinging a bat, yanking a fishing rod, waving up & down to run). All of the fine sensing seems light-based and involve aiming of some kind.

Unless there was some other 'crap' in your Wii box that you "strapped" on your TV, for some bizarre reason.

Re:motion controller (2, Informative)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#20705469)

The sensor bar doesn't read anything, it's just a set of IR LED's that the wiimote's IR camera sees and uses as a point of reference, for calibration and tracking. When it can't see the bar, it relies on the rate gyros alone. People have substituted candles for the bar and it works fine (you'd think it would blind the sensor, but I guess the camera has limiters).

Re:motion controller (1)

Have Blue (616) | more than 7 years ago | (#20704923)

The Wii doesn't use the sensor bar to replace acceleration sensors, it's to give the controller a point of reference to determine its position in space.

wrong department (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20703563)

should have been "beating-a-dead-dragon dept."

Forget Lair... (1)

toriver (11308) | more than 7 years ago | (#20703773)

... get MotorStorm and enjoy PS3 gaming properly. Or Virtua Fighter 5 if that's your thing.

A lot of piss-poor games (2, Informative)

photomonkey (987563) | more than 7 years ago | (#20703935)

I've been noticing a lot of crap on both consoles recently. I haven't had much time for videogames, but I did pick up MOH Airborne, and it blows. The multiplayer is the same crap that's seen in every FPS game these days, the storyline isn't much fun and the Super Nazis at the last few missions really kill the feel of the game.

Besides that, the single player campaign is all too short (5 hours to beat it on Normal, with more than one hour of that dedicated to beating the Super Nazis at the end.

Overlord was a good game, but the brewery glitch is a real killer, and precludes you from finishing the game. Last I checked, there was still not a 360 patch out there.

And Lair. Great graphics, shitty, shitty gameplay.

When the next generation Xbox360 and PS3 hit, it was expected that some games wouldn't do anything more than win oohs and ahs for the graphics. They've both been out for a while now. Where are the games?

Some guy in the raytracing story today said that 80% of all games have always been stinkers across all platforms. Maybe that's true, but there were a lot more games available too. That was a bigger 20%.

I don't own a Wii, but it's going to be short in coming if I don't find some games for Xbox360 or PS3 that can hold my attention for more than a few hours. At $60 a game, this is getting kinda ridiculous.

We'll see what Halo looks like next week. My guess: a re-hash of the same old game.

Re:A lot of piss-poor games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20705455)

"We'll see what Halo looks like next week. My guess: a re-hash of the same old game."

I sure hope so. The 'same old game' is the most enjoyable FPS I have ever played, and the new additions this time around, while I thought they'd be a bit tacky/gimmicky initially, seem to be shaping up to something really cool. Not to mention Forge and Saved Films, which I can't wait to play around with.

Re:A lot of piss-poor games (1)

MooseMuffin (799896) | more than 7 years ago | (#20706233)

You're looking to avoid a re-hashes of the same old game and you picked up a WWII shooter? And not just any WWII shooter, the 11th game in a franchise that was never very interesting to begin with. And then complained about its storyline? The internet is full of game reviews if you're interested in knowing whats crap before you spend your money.

Re:A lot of piss-poor games (1)

photomonkey (987563) | more than 7 years ago | (#20706409)

Perhaps I should have been a bit more clear. I really like historical shooters. Brothers in Arms was great, as was Medal of Honor Allied Assault (the last MOH I played). Call of Duty 2 and 3 (never played the first one) was equally good and had pretty decent multiplayer features.

They had a chance to do something really cool with Airborne; and in fact there are some good features. The graphics are incredible, and the non-linear, start-wherever-you-want setup is pretty cool. They just lost it with the very short single player campaign, and the ridiculous Super Nazis at the end (as well as less-than stellar AI).

I also don't trust online game reviews any more than I trust movie reviews. There's plenty of good stuff out there that gets trashed, and vice versa.

Re:A lot of piss-poor games (1)

Damvan (824570) | more than 7 years ago | (#20706463)

You missed out, Call of Duty 1 and the expansion, United Offensive, were by far the best games of the series and put COD2 and COD3 to shame. MOH games have all been mediocre. Brothers in Arms is coming out for the 360, lets keep our fingers crossed that it doesn't suck.

By the way, did you try the demo for MOH before purchasing it? That demo was all I needed to know it was crap.

You didn't mention Bioshock...by far the best game for the 360 yet.

Re:A lot of piss-poor games (1)

photomonkey (987563) | more than 7 years ago | (#20706597)

Haven't played Bioshock yet. I'm hoping to pick it up next month when I have a bit more free time.

I didn't download the demo for MOH, one of the rare instances that I didn't try before I bought. I wish I had.

Re:A lot of piss-poor games (1)

TheWolfie (1160175) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707799)

I believe a patch for Overlord has been released which addressed a number of game blocking bugs.

Hey Zonk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20704045)

Replace the batteries in your controller.

Might want to re-write the review after you do that. @@

Welcome to four weeks ago... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20704325)

How about a review of Heavenly Sword, or has Slashdot truly become nothing more than a Sony bash fest?

If you review the crappy games on a console you need to review the good ones too.

Re:Welcome to four weeks ago... (1)

Mathonwy (160184) | more than 7 years ago | (#20706873)

So wait, I'm confused. Is Heavenly Sword your example of an awesome game they should review as a counter-example, or a "why not review sucktastic heavenly sword, while you're piling on the hate"?

I honestly don't know...

Relationships with machines. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20704425)

That's just fucking sad.

I disagree. (2, Informative)

Maudib (223520) | more than 7 years ago | (#20704689)

I have to disagree with the reviews. I found the game really enjoyable, including the sixaxis controls. I was better able to handle the controls in this game then most console titles, as I find dual analog stick to be impossible.

I think that there has been an awful lot of band wagoning around this title.

Re:I disagree. (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 7 years ago | (#20708117)

"I have to disagree with the reviews. I found the game really enjoyable, including the sixaxis controls"

How old are you? and how many games have you played? Are you hardcore or casual? What era did you start gaming?

I think this is a relevant question.

"unfinished/unplayable" ... so then ... (1, Troll)

oGMo (379) | more than 7 years ago | (#20704783)

Score: 1/5 - This game is unfinished/unplayable. It is not worth the trouble of purchasing, or renting.

So after reading all the reviews on the internet and in print saying this exact same thing---weeks ago, mind you---with the myriad of evidence to back it up, you still decided it was worth playing and reviewing here? What a waste of time and bandwidth.

Get Heavenly Sword - Its Brilliant. (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 7 years ago | (#20705089)

Lair was expected to be a piece of shit since it was delayed so many times and the original PR screen shots were nothing more than lies.

Heavenly Sword on the other hand is brilliantly acted / performed, and the game is very well executed. It is short but sweet. The dramatic performances mix well with the action to provide an experience that is really the best seen to date on the PS3. I know thats not saying much, but Heavenly Sword really does shine as a great game and it will for a long time.

Try it.

Re:Get Heavenly Sword - Its Brilliant. (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#20705507)

> Heavenly Sword really does shine as a great game and it will for a long time.

Or until you've finished it on the same afternoon that you bought it. I'm sure it's a good game, I'm just not sure it's a good $60 game.

Re:Get Heavenly Sword - Its Brilliant. (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 7 years ago | (#20705843)

I'm beginning to wonder if _no_ length is long enough or short enough for some folks (I'm speaking generally here, so keep those cards and letters) we hear "this game is TOO long" for game X, and game Y is "too short"... really, I would like to know what the proper length is? It seems the bar moves depending on the game...

I like long games (Oblivion), but I also like rather short games as well... if they're well executed. (And HS sounds very well executed..and I loved the demo).

Making a game too long with Fed-Ex quests, rescue minor characters, and travel 100's of miles for one potion is inexcusable. I finish some games in two or three sittings, but if it kept my interest and didn't feel like a chore, that game is (was) worth its price. I never finished Morrowind, because the game felt less intriguing... (though, ironically enough, I loved Oblivion...) yet there was content out the wazoo in both games (even without the add-ons.) So length only matters if I'm knee-deep in the game and it suddenly ends.... that would peeve me... like those lame cliffhanger endings on TV. ;)

I'm getting Heavenly Sword in spite of the length talk... and I'm going to rent Lair, since the last game everyone panned (Dark Kingdom) turned out to be great fun. :) High art? Hardly... glitchy in some places? Yes... but still fun and challenging. :) It provided my next-gen Diablo fix... (at least until Conan comes out... and then Viking: Battle for Asgard... w00t!)

Re:Get Heavenly Sword - Its Brilliant. (1)

TheRequiem13 (978749) | more than 7 years ago | (#20706835)

I thought God of War had an excellent play time. Beat in about 20-25 hours spread over a week or so. That's just right for me.

Re:Get Heavenly Sword - Its Brilliant. (1)

rikkitikki (91982) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707855)

Dude, you have way to much free time on your hands! 20-25 hours in a week? That's half a regular work week. Actually, isn't that how many hours people put in at a part-time job? Sounds like you need to get out or get yourself a job man.

Re:Get Heavenly Sword - Its Brilliant. (1)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 7 years ago | (#20708163)

Feel free to pay $60 for it.

Oh, but wait, you bought a PS3, you're already an idiot.
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