May 26, 2009
A surprise to some but not us, UFC 2009 has stormed into the top spot of the UK gaming charts this week and left Pokemon Platinum in its wake. Usually a newly released Pokemon title would be expected to go straight to the top but the unexpected success of UFC has seen that will not happen. From what we have been hearing most high street and online retailers even sold out of their initial stock a day or so after release! This weeks other big release, Bionic Commando, entered the charts at a lowly number 14. It seems like Nathan Spencer’s bionic arm couldn’t swing the game into a higher position, rightly so too according to my review.
This weeks UK top 10 in full as supplied by GfK Chart Track is:
- UFC: Undisputed
- Pokemon Platinum
- EA Sports Active
- Wii Fit
- FIFA 09
- X-Men Origins: Wolverine
- Wii Play
- Mario Kart Wii
- My Fitness Coach
- Call of Duty: World at War
May 24, 2009
Game: Bionic Commando
Available on: Xbox 360 , PS3 (Reviewed on Xbox 360)
STORY: Forgettable would be the word. This is your bog standard action game story where the hero is unleashed to take out some bad guys. There are few twists here and there but nothing to write home about. Fans of the original game will notice some minor connections to the original Bionic Commando but that doesn’t save an otherwise average uninspiring storyline.
GRAPHICS: Bionic Commando is a decent looking game, there is nothing you will see that will make you gasp in delight but on the other hand there are also no glaring graphical faults either. The game looks its best when you are outside swinging from point to point using the bionic arm. The indoor environments do the job but don’t look that great compared to the rest of the game. The fluid and realistic animations of the main character (Nathan Spencer) are the most impressive thing about the game visually.
SOUND: Some of the music that is played throughout the game is quiet good and adds an “epic” feel to proceedings but this is cancelled out by some quite poor voice acting.
GAMEPLAY: A mixed bag and an area where Bionic Commando should have been alot better. Swinging around using a bionic arm sounds great in theory but doesn’t work so well in practice. It takes a while to get used to the swing mechanic but even once you get used to it everything is very hit and miss, this can lead to some incredibly frustrating deaths.
The bionic arm also plays a part in combat and is extremely fun to use but disappointingly this is not fully exploited by the developers. More often than not you will be bombarded with enemies, who are surprisingly accurate, and due to the sluggish nature of the bionic arm it takes slightly too long to use it during combat which means you will most likely resort back to your trusty weapons. The bionic arm is also very much underused in the games “boss fights”, you can’t help but wonder how much better these battles would have been if the arm was used in more inventive ways.
LONGEVITY: The single player campaign will last you about 10-12 hours on the normal difficulty. You can replay completed levels via the level jump option but this means you can’t earn achievements or complete missed challenges. If you wish to do that you will have to play the entire game again and this really hampers the replayability. There is a multiplayer mode included but trust me you will play it once and then never come back to it again.
VERDICT: When the gameplay mechanics work Bionic Commando is fun to play but it is a shame that those occasions are few and far between throughout the course of the game.