Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Video game number forty four: 0 Day Attack on Earth

Game review number forty four in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "0 Day Attack on Earth".

This week, 81 people (besides me) decided to play this game on the easy mode. The guy who has the bottom spot on the leaderboards may very well have booted it up by mistake. He has zero points, so clearly...he turned it back off again before he ever fired a shot. The guy ranked number 81 got 3120 points before quitting (or dying). Since you have three lives and each kill gives you a few hundred points, I'm guessing he probably said something along the lines of "fuck this shit" and turned it off.

The Weekly scores, snapped with my camera phone:

I was playing this game for the project, not because it was something I was dying to try. Today is the 48th day of the year and I'm currently four games behind. That's largely due to how much I've been loving the Mass Effect series this week, but I couldn't let myself play those awesome games exclusively. Gotta keep expanding those horizons. Zero Day seemed like a game I'd be able to get the idea of in an hour or two. I've read some pretty horrible reviews and knew exactly what to all I had to do was play it and form my own opinion.

I don't hate it, but it's certainly nothing I want to keep playing.

This game is your standard twin-stick shooter. The only unique thing about this game is that instead of animated level backgrounds, the fighting takes place over real satellite maps of famous cities from Google Earth. Frankly, this didn't make a big difference to me. It's not like the game was more realistic or anything...they could put anything in the background of this game and it would still be lame. In fact, if the entire fight took place above a giant pizza instead of New York City, I think I might have given it more points for creativity. Having the game be set above a pizza would not have affected it negatively in any way, I assure you. It could only have made it better.

Since I wasn't on the design team of this one, it starts out in New York. You get to choose one of four different ships (they all suck), and fight aliens. The three sucky ships you didn't choose will become computer controlled partners. Don't worry, the AI controlling them will be sure to that you're not getting any help while killing enemies. They have to keep that single player experience strictly single player.

Naturally, you begin the game on Day 1 in New York city. There is no plot or back story, you just get right into killing things. Each Day consists of three or four big targets you have to kill, and as many little ones as you like. Some of these little targets are orange, and will give you achievements for killing ten of them. The orange runs run away from you, literally making you chase the achievements if you want them. I did not. Instead, I opted for progress through the campaign. When you're not chasing the orange achievement ships, you can fly around the map and kill your bigger targets in any order you choose. When they are all dead, you move on to the next day....leaving your achievements behind you.

I made it to the 7th day, where the final boss killed me over and over again. I finally beat him by learning his pattern, but it took just about all my lives to do so. I was hoping for an achievement or at least an awesome cut scene or something, but no such luck.

After New York, you immediately head off to Toyko. Strangely enough, it looks a lot like New York. I guess having Google Earth maps wasn't such a good idea after all. If these backgrounds were animated, they would have at least put some big neon signs in Kanji, or had Godzilla running around or something. Maybe I play too much Katamari Damacy, but I was expecting Japan to have a little more character than what it does in this game.

Since every day in New York was exactly the same, it stands to reason that this will be the case in Tokyo as well. I can't really see the point in grinding for the I didn't continue after the second day in Japan. I can say that the monsters are much cooler in Tokyo, (aren't they always?) They have these big purple space ships there, which you must shoot the armor off of in order to destroy. I actually liked them, but not enough to keep playing. New York had these giant half robot, half organic aliens that looked like the baby you might get if ED-209 from Robocop got busy with a giant squid. They got old really fast, maybe the aliens in Tokyo would have as well.

After finishing nine levels of this game, I think I'm about done. I have no idea how many there actually are, but I'm guessing it's close to 20. I can at least take some comfort in the fact that I made it to the top 20 in the weekly leaderboards for this game, even if it was just on easy. Yes, that's right...I'm awesome and now everyone knows it.

Overall rating 4/10. I like this game more than Ikaruga, but I'm still not a fan of the genre itself. Geometry Wars is probably my biggest exception to this rule.

I think I might have enjoyed the multiplayer, but since this is such a lame one is playing it online. I started up a match and let it sit for quite awhile, but everyone (including that dude with the zero points on the leaderboard)..must have been off playing something better.

I got two achievements playing. The first is the freebie they give you for booting the game (They must have felt like they owed you something for playing this game). The second is for killing ten of the orange achievement aliens. I assure you, I did not run around the map chasing these things...but after nine levels, I supposed I encountered enough for it to pop on it's own. I'm probably pretty close to a few more achievements....but I don't care enough to chase them.

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