nobody home (feartotread) wrote in fm_alchemist,
nobody home

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.

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