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19 January 2005 @ 09:45 pm
FMA Broken Angel Game review  
nota bene: I am tempermental, loud, and unreasonable. Especially about games.

A quick first impression/review of the FMA:Broken Angel Game

This game is really, really, really really really really REally and also really BAD.

I have been doing the game thing since I first got one of those nice single button one rubbery stick Atari 2600 controlers in my hand, and baby, it was 1980-mutter- and cutting edge, I tell you what, and in that time I've thrown down my joystick in disgust with the worst of them.

Now before you chew my head off, I want to say that the localization is fabulous, the dialog is witty, and while having Alphonse call Ed by name and not "Niisan" takes a getting used to, all the basic, in character bits of the game (so far) have been good, and our stateside voice actors are top notch. So if I am to pick up this game again (which I suppose I must, having slapped down $40 for it and really I hate that it is so stinky as a game), it would be for that. Apart from random girl additions the characters seem solid, so don't worry about that. As far as I can tell it takes place somewhere around after the Dr. Marco bits and #13. It starts off in a train heist similar in form to the series one. We had four or five really good laugh out loud lines in the first hour alone, and the dialog is spot-on sharp. Ed's potty-mouth, especially.

but the gameplay, jesus it is laughable.

One, FMA would have made one really good game, something with really good logic puzzles to balance out the random transmute and whack, perhaps of a vagrant story nature. Especially if Square had bothered to make it anything more than a tie-in marketing game. Squarenix should be ashamed to be seen in public after this one.

The worst factor is probably the camera angles. In the same way that the worst part about being hit by a falling piano is the death bit. Camera angles are controlled by the right analog stick, motion by the left one. fair enough. Except there is NO targeting system, so to even try to keep your enemy in sight you have to have your thumb on the right stick all the time, rolling it in random directions as your camera bounces off walls and Ed's hair and Al's spikes and distant clouds. and be running with the left stick, and attacking with the square buttons. and holding down the circle button long enough to transmute something worthwhile. And yes, getting Al (darling trust me really I love you) to do something besides just standing there breathing heavily (I don't know why, since he doesn't have to, and it looks sort of dumb) you have to press R1, and right you're being attacked so camera angles no where did he go funny all I can see is Al no wait he has to be right there because he is invisible No all I see is the giant MONSTER wait no where am I why can't I transmute anything no wait I can make a bomb just give me a minute to make it and light it and aim it and funny I can't see anything except AL GET OUT OF THE WAY and dammit I need spikes, man, SPIKES not a wall and ADJUST CAMERA and L1 CAMERA DEFUALT no crap I'm looking AT MY OWN ASS FOR THE LOVE OF PETER PAUL AND MARY TRANSMUTE, TRANSMUTE already NO I don't NEED another polearm I need a BIG FREAKING GUN where is he anyway OG he's over AAAUGHH

_Game Over_

If you were following me through that helpful demonstration, you would have seen that the average number of thumbs needed to play this game is 27. Therefore, when this game is translated in Wizigrik Basic and imported on the Twelfth Moon of Naar in a distant solar system, I expect the quintuple-thumbed Naarian Natives will have a heyday.

if you're a human, you're screwed.

I have not yet tried moving the buttons around out of their factory defaults, so there may yet be hope. That's the most quickly I have ever given up on a game in complete frustration, which makes me really sad as I was super happy to get it not three hours ago. This is also a first impression, so I might need to gnaw on the ins and outs a little, but transmuting seems rather bulky and tedious and also an all-purpose answer to everything instead of making the player use their brain instead.

That and my wife might leave me, much like the famed Xenogears Calamity Bossfight incident that is not spoken of in this household.

The other silly things are of course the budget (blown entirely on the animated sequences, the rest of the time your players roll on the screen on casters, remember Unlimited Saga?), and the music that I swear to god sounds like it was ripped off a super nintendo game. I had not yet got to tons of plot, so I'm not sure how thin it is (i suspect pretty damn thin), and the non-boss enemy ai obviously got its degree from the stormtrooper school of accuracy and will never come at you, preferring to jog in vauge circles.

Ed's movement is really slow, not so bad at response hitting/whacking/jumping but dude it takes him ten years just to climb a ladder or run down a hallway. The backgrounds are tempting but the interaction level with your enviroment is almost nil. If Al had half the AI of one of your support characters in Kingdom hearts it would be great, but if you haven't given him a weapon he tends to stand there while Ed gets the daylights knocked out of him, which does not strike me as very Alphonsish. And either you have absolutely no idea where he is or he is blocking your view on the very small platform you have to jump off of.

However, the laugh we got out of the pogo stick was probably worth about $25, hands down.

It's really a shame that a game based off of such a really good, solid, well-plotted anime is such a half-assed tie-in lamer game.

If you are a hard core gamer, well, you wouldn't waste your time on it.

If you are a passionate lover of FMA, you probably should wait until the used copies start rolling in and some codes are out to let you just enjoy the really nice animated bits and the good banter.

If you are a passionate lover of FMA and a hard core gamer, god have mercy on us, then you probably already have the game.

It's okay. $40 couldn't have gotten you that Hughes special WolfGung doujinshi anyway.

...well, not off ebay.

NOTE: IMHO, YMMV, I'm a big fat liar and I write Hughes shagging Roy so why should you belive me anyway, no games were harmed in the making of this review but I don't know about my controller, Really you don't have to agree with me that is fine, Etc, etc ad nauseum.
Marikaitou_marina on January 19th, 2005 06:59 pm (UTC)
Hehen, nothing to do with the gameplay, but I'm actually quite pleased that I've now heard Armstrong's voice and he hasn't even been on TV yet. It's AWESOME! <33333333333
Cryssiharmonies on January 19th, 2005 07:51 pm (UTC)
I LOVE ARMSTRONG'S ENGLISH VOICE. omg. XD The VA walked up to me at Ohayocon and was all "Ah! Young Edward Elric~" And I swear my face looked like O__O;;
(no subject) - kaitou_marina on January 19th, 2005 08:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kalikamaxwell on January 19th, 2005 08:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - harmonies on January 19th, 2005 09:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - brakusjs on January 19th, 2005 09:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - brakusjs on January 19th, 2005 08:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - harmonies on January 19th, 2005 09:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kaitou_marina on January 19th, 2005 10:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
a fangirltreesock on January 19th, 2005 07:02 pm (UTC)
Hughes special doujinshi? Whatever are you talking about? *curious*

Also: I have gripes with this game too. The dialogue is so ASS CHEESY.

Then again, I've never seen dubbed FMA so it could be the same. (well, i did pirate episode 5...)

Then again, my copy is pirated and has a few MAJOR problems, so I'm going to hold out until someone decides to sell the game for like 5 bucks and snap it up. It won't be long, considering how much of a steaming turd it is. >_>
nobody home: (infatuated) a man in uniformfeartotread on January 19th, 2005 07:31 pm (UTC)
Hughes special doujinshi? Whatever are you talking about? *curious*

WolfGung (studio wild works, Kuga/Soga) is my favorite dj circle, and not just because they tend to do not only series i like, but pairings I like. That and they really know how to put arms on a guy, if you know what I mean.

Item I was vaugely referencing was this, which is one of the two out of four FMA books of theirs I don't have yet. So how much of a hughes special it is, I dunno, but the one I DO have with Roy/Maes switching bodies freaky-friday style is pretty damn funny.

They also do extremely good Xenogears and Suikoden, which are both hard to find good books on, and I love their Zax/Cloud. They do FF7, FFX, FMA, and Naruto too.

(I watched all of FMA subbed, so the dubbing does take a little getting used to, and I prefer the japanese, but they are not bad dubs compared to some. hey, I watched all of Ronin Warriors dubbed, repeatedly, voluntarily, so it don't get much worse than that)
(no subject) - floweranza on January 19th, 2005 08:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - treesock on January 20th, 2005 03:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
Luna Hoshinoluna_hoshino on January 19th, 2005 07:04 pm (UTC)
... just from this review, I'm having flashbacks to horrid camera angles in certain parts of Kingdom Hearts. :P That was pretty much my only complaint about that game: camera control SUCKED BIG TIME.
nobody home: (daily grind) random combat {zax}feartotread on January 19th, 2005 07:19 pm (UTC)
I hear you on that. This game makes KH's camera angles look like a springtime stroll in the park. >_<

(Actually, though it may have other issues, I really liked Castelvania:Lament of Innocence's camera angles. I never -once- thought about them. I've heard people say the exact opposite, but if that camera could be loaded in every game I'd be happy, at least)
(no subject) - fullmetalkatu on January 20th, 2005 02:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
silenka on January 19th, 2005 07:10 pm (UTC)
I'm really interested to see what's going to happen when I get this game...I'm pretty much just looking forward to it for the new story and the FMVs...if it's that God-awfully horrible, though, well...at least I'll have it in my collection. ^^;
nobody home: (quois?) gas on? {scar}feartotread on January 19th, 2005 07:20 pm (UTC)
errum, Ed's status portrait is purdy? ^_^;
evilmooglequeenevilmooglequeen on January 19th, 2005 07:30 pm (UTC)
That might be the funniest, most well-written review I've read in ages.

I may or may not buy it... it isn't like I have time to play more than the first 20 minutes of it. When I actually do get to a game store (to buy Xenosaga II) I might get it, just to see for myself how bad it is.
Olga: Justice Will Prevail!urdsama on January 19th, 2005 07:31 pm (UTC)
but dude it takes him ten years just to climb a ladder or run down a hallway.

But dude. What if he doesn't /want/ to run down that hallway? Considering the amount of random crap that's been just slamming into Ed from random hallways corners and nooks, can you really blame him?

^____^ LOLOLOL

Maaan, I half-way seriously considered buying this, because I am obsessed with the show. But I was sane enough to realize that I am not a gamer, and it would have kicked my ass till Friday, while ruining my thumbs. Which I sorta need. 9_9

Mew, felt like calling you tonight, to bitch about jobs and gush over the stuff I missed throughout January. >_< Am not dead! But I don't have yo number... <:) ::bummed::
Byron D. Zerobyronstrife on January 19th, 2005 07:32 pm (UTC)
I played the japanese version at Anime Next I didn't hate it, besides it's better than Yu Yu Hakusho Dark Tournament
Katufullmetalkatu on January 20th, 2005 02:35 pm (UTC)
Yeah. That game really, REALLY did suck. But I still beat it.
(Anonymous) on January 19th, 2005 07:38 pm (UTC)
ah, i bought it already and played it and well, i dunno, i got used to the camera toggling and etc.
Danikillcity on January 19th, 2005 07:39 pm (UTC)
Ahhh.. Something to not look foward too T___T;

Let's hope the Dream Carnival one is hell of a lot better.
a fangirltreesock on January 20th, 2005 03:53 am (UTC)
Dream Carnival is one of the best games I have ever played.

In any genre.

And I'm not speaking from "OMG HUGHESORGY" bias, either.

It's THAT good.
(no subject) - hezul on January 20th, 2005 08:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
t_wisted on January 19th, 2005 07:50 pm (UTC)
Great review, freakishly funny yet informative! Grah, now I'm at a loss. I've been hoping to buy this game as soon as I could, but if it's as sucky as you say it is then...
ACacdragonmaster on January 19th, 2005 07:53 pm (UTC)
...ironically, this has probably made me more curious about the game than I already was (though I don't own a PS2, in any case). Why? Because I have a certain fondness for "dumb" games. I love my imported Rurouni Kenshin RPG for the PS1 to death, while fully aware of the cliched plot and just, well, everything.

I think there's really two types of "hardcore" gamers- the ones who're into it because of the technical side of gaming, fine-tuned controls on which are honed even finer-tuned skills, and the ones who just love the games for the games' sake. And can find away around the most cumbersome controls within minutes if the game's story or eye candy or whatever it may be appeals to them.

vicemagevicemage on January 19th, 2005 08:02 pm (UTC)
Heh... I'll probably still be picking this one up, even after that. Why? Because the game has to be as bad as Orphen: Scion of Sorcery for me to actually put it down with no hope of ever picking it back up again (and even that one I might try again, if I ever feel the need for massive frustration).

No one here has it yet though... I'll see if it comes in tomorrow.
(no subject) - feartotread on January 19th, 2005 08:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acdragonmaster on January 19th, 2005 08:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - zrana on January 21st, 2005 12:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - vicemage on January 21st, 2005 05:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - feartotread on January 19th, 2005 08:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acdragonmaster on January 19th, 2005 08:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hezul on January 20th, 2005 08:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
Rhel: envy - psychorabidtanukichan on January 19th, 2005 07:53 pm (UTC)
Bah. I'm getting it anyway, just because it's FMA *peace* Plus, even if I yell at evil camera angles and artificial non-intelligence, I love my games dearly *hug*
Except, it hasn't gotten to Alaska yet. And the Walmart people gave me funny looks when I asked about it... damn.
Dream Carnival looks hot though <3
nikui_kuyami on January 19th, 2005 08:05 pm (UTC)
lol ahh I have a copy of it. Uhh, *in Alaska* O_O!!
But it's in Japanese... ^^;;;

And yeah, I got mine anyway "just because it's FMA" as well. XD
Melfra ♥: HagaRen - Oh yeah. That was REAL smoothmelfra on January 19th, 2005 07:54 pm (UTC)
Ah, shazbot. I'd hoped they'd be nice and give us a good game. Ehhh, SquEnix, what were you thinking!? Well, I'm a poor gamer anyway, so I guess I'll be stalking the bargain bin until the game lands face-first in it. And here I was, hoping we'd get a dual-audio feature. I hate that habit of theirs. Dubs like to hit me in the face with a cheese-grater, but hey, I guess it can't be too bad - I've liked what I've seen on CN so far. Erk, incoherency.

bossfight.... *falls over foaming at the mouth with her leg twitching*

I'd just forgotten that thing, too!!! ;.;
Marikaitou_marina on January 19th, 2005 08:08 pm (UTC)
The voice acting in the game is actually pretty awesome. I thought it was going to be worse than in the TV show, because I'd heard the game was done first, but holy crap, it's good. <3
(no subject) - treesock on January 20th, 2005 03:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
White Asterwhite_aster on January 19th, 2005 07:57 pm (UTC)
and funny I can't see anything except AL GET OUT OF THE WAY and dammit I need spikes, man, SPIKES not a wall and ADJUST CAMERA and L1 CAMERA DEFUALT no crap I'm looking AT MY OWN ASS FOR THE LOVE OF PETER PAUL AND MARY TRANSMUTE, TRANSMUTE already NO I don't NEED another polearm I need a BIG FREAKING GUN where is he anyway OG he's over AAAUGHH
_Game Over_

Oh gods, I've been sick, and this made me laugh so hard I thought my lungs would seize up on me. ^___^ Well, I'm not much for action games, but I'm glad to know that it's EXACTLY the type of action game I should stay far, far away from (I have the gaming coordination of the average tree sloth. There's a reason I stick to RPGs). It's funny, though, because all the reviews that I have seen elsewhere seemed to say that the game was a bit too easy, and that you could just lope along behind Al most of the time. Maybe they upped the difficulty before releasing it.
nikui_kuyami on January 19th, 2005 08:00 pm (UTC)
If I can, I might rent the game. I've already bought the Japanese version and liked it. It was very short for a one time play through, but I had already heard about that, so it wasn't much of a disappointment for me.

But I do think there was a LOT of things missing or things they could've been added to the game. More items, not going to repeated areas, more options, etc...

I never had problems with the camera angles, just the bosses! Especially near the end.