Lost Planet

Lost Planet

Here is what I would like to know: What is Japan’s problem? I mean besides the squid cookies. I’m specifically thinking here about Capcom, a Japanese video game developer who felt it necessary to screw up Lost Planet, which for me was shaping up to be a pretty good 3rd person shooter until said developer decided to throw in some goofy boss fight where you had to leap from side to side avoiding rockets and use the little Xbox 360 analog sticks to shoot at a moving target without the aid of any kind of real lock-on system. Or try to, when you’re not busy dying all the time. And that was after barely scraping by the previous battle where another boss vomited rockets at you so fast that you couldn’t get out of the stun animation. In France, they call that le stunlock bullsheet.

What makes it worse is that the parts of the game that weren’t boss fights were kind of neat. Well, once you get past the facepalm worthy characters anyway. You play some generic hero on an ice planet who falls in with some rag-tag freedom fighters trying to stick it to the big corporation that runs this ball of permafrost. These friends of yours are pretty generic too, come to think of it, including the perky female character who inexplicably shows off twelve square feet of cleavage despite the fact that it’s a hundred degrees below zero out there and everyone else wears their coats buttoned up to their eyeballs.

But anyway, the gameplay was promising, with a nice range of weapons that felt good, some neat but non-gratuitous climbing mechanics, and the option to customize giant hulking mechs with different kinds of weapons. Plus I really dug the game’s “thermal energy bank” that treated health and fuel as one big pool of energy that constantly ticked down towards zero on account of the cold and had to be replenished by rolling in the orange goo that leaks out of slain enemies or finding caches of that same goo. That added a mild but ever present sense of urgency to the game that kept the pace up.

So I liked the parts of the game that I didnt’ hate and it’s too bad that they screwed it up with the annoying boss battles. Maybe I just suck (I know you’re thinking that) but I rage quit after dying for the umpteenth time on the giant moth …thing that I was supposed to take out in my dinky little mech. Way to poke me in the eye with a stick while I was having a good time, Capcom. Enjoy your squid cookie.

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