Sunday, 10 June 2012

Rayman 3: Game Design Review

Sequel to the award winning Rayman 2, Rayman 3 is a 3D action platformer just like Rayman 2. Of note, the game was produced by a different team. Michel Ancel, creator of Rayman was only involved in advisory role. The game is very fun and a worthy successor to Rayman, however there are a couple of issues I have with the game.

Combat still a bit lack luster - Probably the most glaring weakness is that nearly all of the combat is exactly the same. In the game you need to side step and launch your charged up fists at the enemy. It's pretty basic and frankly just tiring on my index fingers holding down the shoulder buttons.

Doesn't innovate - Compared to Rayman 2, the game isn't innovative enough, there are some minor innovations but it's pretty much Rayman 2 with some additional powerups and mini-games.

Controller doesn't work on PC - The game was designed for the console gameplay so its frustrating that I couldn't properly use my controller.

Can't return back to replay stages until you finish the game - In Rayman 2 you had a world map which allowed you to return back to play previous stages. There is no such thing in Rayman 3 until you finish the game at least once and it's just a menu where you scroll between names of the levels.

In conclusion, it's no Beyond Good and Evil but it doesn't necsssarily need to be. Fun, relatively varied, well put together and enjoyable 3D platformer. It's basically more of Rayman 2's gameplay but in larger environments and better graphics. I look forward to the HD version coming out shortly. I do hope they will throw in a couple of new levels at the very least.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Lair of the Evil Doer: Game Design Review

Lair of the Evil Doer is an indie top down dungeon shooter with some light randomised RPG elements developed by Going Loud Studios. Overall I found it a surprisingly fun albeit short game.

Of note are the melee attacks that have 'force' allowing you to smack enemies away with your melee attacks or push them away with your shotgun attacks; something more games need.

 What I didn't like:
Lacks weapon slots - Guns and melee weapons generally feel right. However, you can only have one melee weapon, one sidearm (handgun with unlimited ammo) and one weapon (more powerful weapon but uses up ammo). There are plenty of weapons but what's the use of being able to carry only two? Weapons like shotgun or rocket launcher are situational and there's no reason to carry it when the machine guns or rifles are overall more suited for whatever the game can throw against you. Really, it just needs 1 or 2 more weapon slots just to fix this! This is compounded by the fact that as the statistics for weapons are randomised you can get a really powerful rifle or machine gun making other weapons even less useful.

Poor enemy pathfinding - Enemy often get caught in the corners and it becomes almost silly picking them off as they try to slowly crawl past the corner.

Could use a bit more variety- Yes you can build your character by choosing which stat to upgrade but what about some different classes or abilities? Again, increasing the weapon slots would have helped alot.

Also there need to be different kinds of traps and enemies as the current ones just aren't enough.

Lack of game mode - After finishing the main game you unlock an endless mode where you can keep playing. I think the game needs more game modes and the ability to start endless mode straight away. Maybe a survival mode.

Overall a fun visceral game but needs to have more features and variety. I give it a 5/10. Technically competent, enjoyable but there are better freeware games out there.  I got this as part of the Indie Royale bundle and was probably worth what I paid for it.