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Tuesday
Jul192011

There's a reason they didn't call her Mrs. 'Splosion Man

Ms. 'Splosion Man has plenty of game, but her charm is almost non-existent. Everything I loved about 'Splosion Man—the gameplay, style, music, and charm—found its way into Ms. 'Splosion Man except for the charm. This lack of charm is due to an abundance of dialogue from the title character and her "nails on a blackboard" voice. Quoting 90's female pop songs is a great idea, but saying them over and over again every thirty seconds is a horrible idea, especially when there isn't much variety. There was a point when she threw out three separate quotes in about fifteen seconds and I just wanted to slap her.

I relieved this annoyance by muting the vocal-specific audio, but this only managed to remove an irritation and did nothing to add charm. Getting past my distaste for the choices made specifically with the character, the game is still fun for the most part. The gameplay is basically identical with new aspects added on a fairly regular basis and some really well thought out level design; however, the camera can force multiple attempts due to cheapness and not user error. The visuals are improved and my favorite part of the game is without question, the music. I eventually stopped playing because a charmless game is not as enjoyable as a "charmless man" and I ceased having any fun.

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Tuesday
Jul052011

Immediate Impressions: Child of Eden

Child of Eden may be the only game capable of ever honestly saying, "Better with Kinect." I have only just begun playing the game, but the feeling I obtain from playing Child of Eden with Kinect is genuinely a new experience. The music is a key component, but playing with my hands—take this time to say your dirty jokes—delivers a sense of immersion and excitement I haven't felt in a long time—more time for dirty jokes. I can't help my lack of originally in the coming statement, but Child of Eden justifies my purchase of Kinect.

With all that said, playing with Kinect—while making it a more enjoyable experience—does not make it easier. Success is much more obtainable with the use of a controller, but the blissful joy takes a hit when controls get physical. There is just something exhilarating about using the Kinect to play this game. The controls are simple—either use one hand for lock-on and one for tracers, or clap to change between the two—and most importantly, the controls work. At no time do I feel as if I'm moving unnaturally to appease the game and I quickly find myself lost in what is currently—from my limited experience—the reason to buy a Kinect.

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Wednesday
May182011

Impressions: L.A. Noire so far

The game in L.A. Noire and these are a few quick impressions of aspects I enjoy and those I dislike. Keep in mind I am still early in the game—as far as I know—and some things may change, but others will likely sit tight. You will likely notice complaints and compliments that seem extremely minute, but we all have our own nits in need of picking. With all that said, here is some good and some bad from L.A. Noire, from the point of view of man who named his site "Pixelated Sausage."

The Good

The facial animation is obviously well done—if a little exaggerated at times—and adds genuine emotion to fictional characters. The story is interesting and the voice acting is top-notch, but there seems to be no existence of a large, encompassing story. The fact that I can adjust the audio level of dialogue separately is a huge relief—I know this is not a big deal for most. The ability to play the game in black and white. Being able to say, "Hey! It's that actress who sucked on Steve Carell's toes in The 40 Year Old Virgin!" And last but not least, the maturity of L.A. Noire—not in levels of violence, language, or sexuality, but in its literal maturity. -- The bad (and more) comes with clickage.

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Tuesday
Apr122011

Immediate Impressions: WWE All Stars (multi)

I hate WWE All Stars' art style. I don't want to start with a low point, but I'd rather get this specific disaster out of the way. I could understand the idea of exaggerating characters in an arcade-esque game, but exaggerating real life exaggerations seems a tad excessive. When a game makes Rey Mysterio look like a truck, capable of lifting The Big Show—which he'd be able to do if he had the right move set—I see a problem of giant, hulking proportions. I deliver immediate apologies.

Another minor issue is the roster, which has too many current "Superstars" for my taste. But at the same time, I haven't watched wrestling in years and have no way of knowing their actual popularity. You may expect me to move onto the positives, but I don't particularly have any; it's not that the game is bad per se, but it's just not for me. As previously eluded to, the game is essentially the NBA Jam of wrestling games, or better yet, the NBA Street of wrestling games. I make this comparison because I find the gameplay of WWE All Stars extremely reminiscent of NBA Street. The finishers feel like gamebreakers and the signature moves feel like turbo-fueled Street moves.

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Friday
Feb182011

Quick Hit: Catherine

My impressions of Catherine will be very limited, as I am not capable of reading or understanding Japanese; however, I felt compelled to throw out some quick impressions from my time with the game. For those unaware, Catherine is the newest game from the team most recently responsible for the Persona games and if you know me, you know that I adore the Persona series.

I immediately fell in love with the visuals, which inevitably sent my imagination running towards the idea of Persona 5 in this engine. The game is not a technical masterpiece, but it has a beautiful style that feels closest to a midpoint between traditional cel-shading and the watercolor aesthetic of Valkyria Chronicles. The game sports the usual anime cut-scenes found in the Persona games, but the in-game visuals are, for lack of a more creative word, beautiful. There is no way I am not coming off overly exuberant, but the visuals were a pleasant surprise and screenshots fail to convey the game's beauty.

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