Monday, 8 December 2014

RESOGUN: Gamertroll Review - PS4 exclusive

Much as Gamertroll loves evangelising the recent crop of excellent video games, it's also a personal pleasure hauling up digital turd for public execution. Next on the block - Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Resogun!

Mysteriously Hailed as the must-have justification for picking up a PS4 in it's early launch period, it's hard not to be bewildered by those claims when actually playing it.

In short, the game is an wraparound, side-scrolling arcade shooter, it's Finnish indie developer, Housemarque has pretty much remade Defender and put it in a Goldfish-bowl. There's the obligatory weapons power-ups and Alien blobs which descend to abduct your static human charges. It's all such a well-trodden path that the only thing of note left to add is that Resogun features mildly entertaining boss battles at the end of stages (nothing to trouble R-type at all), after which the environment superficially changes and more explosions happen. Whoop de doo.

Ship creation.. adds a minute of fun
Ok so apart from the obligatory screen-clearing Bomb there is a charge weapon and a vaguely entertaining speed boost with which to barrel through enemies. The order in which you dispatch enemy ships dictates your ability to release the imprisoned humans for rescue. There is a ship-editing function where you can assemble your own creations or download popular patterns made by others. There's local and online Co-op which Gamertroll freely confesses to not being able to summon a single shit enough to try out; It's hard to see how it would change the overall experience much in any case.

At this point Gamertroll runs out of interesting things to say about Resogun. It's just another Defender ripoff, given a new paint job. The novelty of in-game announcements ("MULTIPLIER LOST!" etc.) issuing from the gamepad speaker is the first and last surprise Resogun will supply. If you've been around long enough, you'll have seen it all many, many times before.

Gamertroll saw Resogun in PsPlus member's sale for 3.49GBP (otherwise 6.99GBP) and snapped it up, thinking to see what all the fuss was about. It appears that fuss was about nothing. It's clear now that Resogun was 'buttered-up' with principally subjective superlatives and shoved up other peoples' arses by those who sought to coverup the fact that PS4 had no decent exclusives. Mystery solved and we didn't even need Scooby Doo.

In reality there's about 3 minutes of entertainment provided in Resogun, beyond which the experience flat-lines into boredom.

And why is this not available to PS3 owners? More smoke and mirrors I'm afraid. There's nothing technically accomplished about it other than the large polygonal fractal explosions that could easily be substituted by other techniques for the same visual impact. Most of it is simple voxel-based graphics, Shucks, Resogun could be played on an Android phone FFS.

Don't get too excited, it's just the end of level animation
Want to know all there is to know about Resogun? Play it for 10 minutes, If you're any good you'll see everything it has to offer. Do you really want to buy and play a game like that? It's appeal is hard to comprehend in the modern era of gaming.

Retro gaming is queer mistress, once you get down to it, even collectors often would much rather look at the box art than boot up the game. Barring a few notable exceptions going back and playing retro games is almost always a massive disappointment - take it from a Troll who is so into retrogames that he has ordered a ZX Spectrum Vega.. before the first one has even been manufactured.

Nostalgia is just that, no amount of Rose-tinting and fancy dress-up can elevate these old games to accepted modern standards for content. Got money to burn and only want a quick blast here and there? Knock yourself out, but for the rest of us these games hardly provide a snack between meal times.

Hugely entertaining re-imaginings of old genres with retro elements are sprouting up everywhere thanks to talented and creative developers the world over. Ever tried Terraria or Shovel knight, how about Steam World Dig? Even older Geometry Wars games make for a far better alternative nostalgia trip than Resogun.

Gamertroll tried fairly hard to like Resogun, bore-festing through most of the first 5 of the near-identical, 3 phase levels. Despite dying three times trying play and simultaneously take screenshots of the second boss, still the score multiplier shot up and the lives kept mercilessly replenishing. It was after defeating the fourth circular shaped boss, wishing for death that the thought occurred to just pull the plug. 'Gameover' just couldn't turn up fast enough.

The only reason Resogun scores more than the abysmal 'Never Alone' is that at least Housemarque has competently achieved what it set out to do with the game, the trouble is that what they set out to do was so desperately mundane and unambitious.

A derivative dose of short-lived arcade action. Not terrible, not good. 'Meh' with a capital 'M'


'5/10!' You might think, 'that's a bit harsh..'
But Gamertroll will always give Over-hyped lacklustre games a bigger slap in the manboobs just to restore balance to the force.

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