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February 2009
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Loading Unleashed

Post 2 on Star Wars: the Force Unleashed.  I want to emphasize my earlier post in saying that this game is much better than its demo.  In general, I’m going to continue to praise it, but with three notable gripes:

1. Loading screens are too often.  They’re not too long, at least the first twenty times.  But they just get annoying.  I have a couple problems with them.  The first is that the menus have loading screens.  When you pause, you get the main menu quickly.  But every sub-menu has a loading screen.  Done in the sub-menu?  There’s a loading screen back to the main menu.  If you die right after a save point?  Loading screen.  Die-and-reload doesn’t need a loading screen, I don’t care what you say.  It’s the same area.  The game assets are already in memory.  They should be able to put things back in their original positions quickly, but they don’t.  They reload the area.

2. Bad jumping puzzles.  I hate when failing a jump sets you way back or makes you reload.  It’s okay to do this once or twice – I think a good platformer could still be made so that you don’t die, but I wouldn’t mind a few deaths in a game like this that auto-saves.  It’s when I hit a part where I die over and over again that bugs me.  I found a place where I could see where I was supposed to go part way across a chasm, but no further.  It turned out to be a very thin ledge on the side and I’m still not convinced I found the right way across, but I got there.

3. The cutscenes.  They’re shiny and pretty, which is basically my problem with them.  The engine-rendered graphics of the rest of the game are good (not really great, but certainly good enough).  So why don’t they use those for the cutscenes.  I mean, I know why old games used pre-rendered cutscenes: their graphics were bad.  But these days, come on people, use your game engine to render your cutscenes.  It’s jarring to have the graphics change just slightly.  Like the uncanny valley effect, when something is very similar but slightly different, the difference seems huge.  It might look a little less spectacular to engine-render the cutscenes, but it would come out looking better.  Of course, it could be worse.  Did anybody play Enter the Matrix?



Pingback from Epic Spoon » Put the Force Back on its Leash
Time February 16, 2009 at 10:19 am

[…] need to return for a second to the complaint I had about cutscenes last time.  Worse than just the jarring effect of switching between engine-rendered and […]

Comment from PcGamesGalaxy
Time March 20, 2009 at 8:43 pm

Enter the Matrix it’s not that bad.
The graphics are not the best but story line it’s pretty good.

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