Well in the course of one week, I’ve gone from being a potential fangirl for Sony’s PS Vita to being a hater. Part of this has to do with my problems with Unit 13, which I wrote to both Sony’s US division, and to their Italian techs, and I’m still waiting for an answer back. But the other problem is, I’ve just bought Shinobido 2, and less than ten missions into the game I feel ripped off. There are only a few locations used over and over for the same repetitive missions, the same character models are used in every level, and the combat controls are terrible. What little dialogue that isn’t delivered in text boxes is atrociously bad, being both poorly written and poorly acted.
At first, I was trying not to complain about the lousy combat system, since the game had a one-shot-one-kill method of dispatching common foes. I figured maybe the combat being so awful was like an intentional punishment for me not being sneaky enough. This idea was further bolstered by me picking up a new technique, again, a one-shot-one-kill maneuver. BUT, the first time I ran into a boss, the game put two big shit-covered middle fingers right up my nostrils, as if to say, “Oh, you paid full price for this game? TOO BAD, FUCKFACE! YOU LOSE, AND WE WIN! HAHAHAHAHA!”
See, at that point, you can’t target the boss for the newer technique. You can tap the icon, but the attack doesn’t even recognize him as an enemy. You can’t evade and then sneak up behind him for the other kind of killing blow, because he just grabs your sword. The fucker is armed with a musket that fires like a semi-auto, and that he never needs to reload. AND, if you dare to run away to take him from another angle, the fucker drinks healing potions. The game couldn’t be any more cheap in its tactics without the boss being telepathic.
This is one of many launch titles that are awful, and that don’t really use the Vita’s features. Aside from the second killing technique, all other menus and screens ignore touch input, and the menus are put together sloppy. The whole thing feels like a half-assed effort, but Sony is charging premium prices for this shit, like this is comparable to a PC or console game. It’s not. In fact, phone and browser-based games like Angry Birds offer more depth and fun than this. (more…)