Hey what is up everybody at PN and XBL Radio, it is Mr B4 here to give you the latest about what is going on in the gaming community. I do not have any nintendo news for you this week, what I do have is a written review for a game that I played recently. The game is called Hellboy: The Science of Evil, and it is available for the PS3, 360, and PSP. I will be reviewing the Xbox 360 version of the game.
Without further adieu, let us get right into the review:
With the release of the new Hellboy movie only days away, what better way to cash in on the movie franchise than to release a game that is loosely based on the movie in someway shape or form. Hellboy: The Science of Evil is a beat-em-up game that is tied in with the movie release. To be honest with you, this is a title that should have never been released, and I will tell you why.
Story (D-): This is by far the biggest dissapointment of this game. I am honestly going to tell all of you right now that I could not figure out what the story was in this game whatsoever. You basically move from one random location to another without being told why you are doing so. You go from being in a graveyard, to a forest, to somewhere in Japan, to a rainy abandoned town, to a desert, then to a castle. There are certain characters you meet along the way who will explain to you the reason as to why everything is going on, but honestly, it gets confusing and uninteresting very quickly. I would have just preferred the story from the movie, that way at least there would be some from of structure to it.
Sound(C-): There is nothing special in the game as far as sounds are concerned. When Hellboy beats down enemies, all you hear is a basic whooshing sound, which is kind of strange considering the size of his hand, you would think it make a more thunderous sound, but this is not the case. It is kind of cool to hear the sound of an entire wall crumbling when Hellboy beats it down with his fists. Enemies have no sounds other than grunts, which makes it easier for you to beat down on them, but really also gives them a lack of personality.
The voice acting is pretty good for the most part, with Ron Perlman’s sarcastic sense of humor being the highlight of most of the voice acting in the cutscenes. Other people that you encounter, such as the witch, and a few skeleton people, do an okay job of voice acting, but do not do enough to counteract the one liners from Ron Perlman.
The music is pretty bad as well, with literally the same background music repeating itself over and over again from level to level. When you first hear it, it does sound pretty cool, menacing, and scary, but after awhile you will grow tired of it. Different background music for each of the different levels would have been nice, but sadly they are non-existent.
Graphics(B-): Graphics are actually the high point of this game. Character models for the most part look next-gen, with Hellboy once again being the highlight of the graphics department. He looks very menacing, has piercing red eyes, and much detail has gone into the overall look of his body as far as muscles go. Environments are nothing special, there are a few nice lighting effects here and there, but much more could have been done to make the environments more inviting, such as more parts of the environment being available to destroy. As it stands, the environments look like they were taken from games on the original xbox.
Gameplay/Controls(C-): The game is a beat-em up, which basically comes down to mashing buttons to defeat your enemies, primarily in this case the X-button will end up being your button of choice. You can do other combos by mixing the X and Y buttons together, but they are not really neccesary or fun to do. There are also finishers that you can perform on both small and large enemies by grappling them with the RT button and by pressing the B button, but the only time that you will need to use them in order to progress through the game is during some boss fights, that is it.
Boss fights themselves are boring and unintersting, and really require no other strategy to them other than mashing on the X button until the enemy is stunned, then do a finishing move, then the fight ends. Even though the fighting is dull and repetitive, it is quite easy to understand. You can also use your gun by pressing the LB button to shoot at your enemies, and the RB button to select different types of ammo that you will find throughout the game. The different types of ammo include a spread shot, a power shot, a grenade shot, a flame shot, a crystal shot, etc. You really do not need to use your guns that much throughout the game, other than to shoot an object to open it, to break through a wall, etc.
You can also use Hellboy’s fists to break through walls, open up certain areas, light torches to burn down obstacles, but that is about it. All of these actions can be performed by locking onto something with the RT button, then pressing the X button to perform the action. These action promps do not occur that often throughout the game, leaving you wondering why they were put there in the first place.
The biggest dissapointment in the gameplay department is the camera positioned on Hellboy. The camera places Hellboy in a fixed perspective point of view, making it hard for you to see where enemies are coming from, judge distances between certain gaps where you have to jump, where an enemy is during a boss fight, etc. The fact that you cannot adjust the view at all is very dissapointing and frustrating. By simply allowing players to adjust the view, alot more parts of this game could have been easier to complete.
Replay Value (D-) : Other than completing the maing quest, which only consists of six levels, there is not much else to do. You can play through the game again either alone or online with a friend to complete certain tasks in order to gain achievements, such as kill a certain amounts of enemies with a certain weapon, find artifacts, etc., but that is about it. Some unlockable costumes or new weapons might have given gamers a reason to play through the game one more time, but sadly they are nowhere to be found, a major dissapointment.
Overall (D): While the nostalgia of playing as Hellboy and smashing your way through enemies and obstacles can be fun for about an hour or so, the fun wears off pretty quickly. With bad camera angles, unintersting boss fights, decent dialogue, repetitive gameplay, and a disjointed story, this is a game that you should definitely pass on. The only reason I gave it a D instead of an F is because you do receive a free movie ticket to see the new Hellboy movie when you buy the game.
Give it a rent if you are looking for an easy way to gain achievement points, otherwise, just do not bother playing it at all.
Take care gamers, and I will see you next time.