Sunday, December 05, 2010

Video game number three hundred and forty nine: Unbound Saga

Video game review number three hundred and forty nine in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "Unbound Saga".

What would happen if someone made an awesome video game where your character jumped into a comic book, and fought his way through pages of panels before turning to the next adventure?'d have Comic Jumper. That was one of my favorite games of the year, and I've played it for countless hours so far (Even though I've beaten it, I still haven't gotten all of the achievements just yet, and I'd still like to).

Unbound Saga feels like a ripoff of Comic Jumper, even though this game was actually released on the PSP last year. It's one of those situations where I played a newer, better game first, and then went back an older similar one. Unlike my experience with Dante's Inferno earlier this year, I think the older game sucks. Unbound Saga feels like the rough draft, or maybe the rejected storyboards for Comic Jumper, which is a much more polished version of a similar concept. I realize my perspective is backwards (In reality, Comic Jumper is probably more of an updated, full featured and more polished version of this game)...but I can't help my viewpoint. It really feels like this one is the redundant one instead of the other way around.

Saga is a beat-em-up side scroller, and I love those. It's supposed to be really funny, and at can be, but most of the jokes fall flat. I played through 6 levels of it so far, and I can't really tell you exactly what my mission is. It's that forgettable. Beat up everyone, and repeat. It was entertaining enough to keep me playing, but unlike Comic Jumper, I couldn't tell you what the hell was going on in the story.

You have your choice of two characters in this game: Rick and Lori. Rick is the typical Comic book hero, except he's also self aware. He knows he's in a Comic Book, and he's trying to bust out to fight "The Maker". This is one part of the game I actually think is pretty funny, because he sometimes argues with the artist, and then you'll see this hand jump onto the screen with a pencil, and draw some more enemies for him to fight. I'm not sure if they mean for it to be really overt humor, or more tongue in cheek....but it comes across as trying to hard for whichever way they were going. Rick's moves are punch, kick and throw, and various combinations of those can be unlocked as you level him up.

Lori is the hot babe. Unlike Rick, she can't pick things up and throw them, but she does have a unique healing power. This helps her regenerate in the middle of fights, which is great. She also kicks faster than Rick does, and unlike him...she can jump. You can hot swap between the two characters at any moment during gameplay, which is pretty cool...and keeps the pace nice and quick.

Each level in the game (or I should say, the first 6 I have played) almost identical. You start a panel, you have a brief dialog with the enemies in that panel, and then you fight. When you've cleared all the enemies out, you find the exit and move to the next panel. Then you repeat...until you get to the end of the level. "BOSS FIGHT!" the game will scream (again, not sure what kind of humor they were going to, but it's something you chuckle at once, and then get sick of the second through sixth times you see it).

Overall Score? 6/10. I played for a good 90 minutes, but I never really warmed up to it. It's definitely "ok", but unless you already own Comic Jumper AND Scott Pilgrim, I really can't recommend that you buy this game. Try it first for's fun, but in a very underwhelming sort of way.

Achievements? I'm confident I could easily get almost the entire 200 gamerscore in a day, but I have more games to play, and better ones to replay than this. In fact, I'm off to go play some more Need for Speed right now.

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