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 Enslaved, Odyssey to the West

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Mjolnir

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PostSubject: Enslaved, Odyssey to the West   Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:23 am

Game: Enslaved, Odyssey to the West

Format: Xbox 360

Genre: Platform Shooter.



The Premise: The game’s premise is that is a loose reimagining of the old Chinese legend of Monkey, the Monkey demi-god who was forced to escort the monk Tripitaka across ancient China. Those of a certain age will know this story through the 1970s TV classic TV series “Monkey Magic”.



In this version of the game, Monkey is a prisoner aboard a ship that crash lands on a future version of New York City which has been left to go to ruin and become overgrown as mechanical killing machines have taken over the place. He must escort a mysterious girl, Tripitaka (or Trip for short) back to her homeland.



Monkey is forced to do this by a headband Trip has installed on him. If he doesn’t comply, or Trip gets hurt, he feels pain. If she dies, he dies. So you have to keep Trip safe during the game as well.



The gameplay: Gameplay is a combination of combat, shooter, and platform. Monkey is an agile little sod who can climb updecaying walls, jump across gaps, and swing from poles. He also packs a wallop with his fists. As well as this, Monkey is armed with a staff which he can use to batter Mechs, and which can act as a shield against their attacks. He can also shoot plasma shots from the end to take out difficult mechs. Trip isn’t armed, but she can scan areas for Monkey, and can upgrade his weapons using plasma collected as the game goes on. She isn’t as agile as Monkey, so you need to help her get to some places by carrying or throwing her. It’s a nice mechanic of having to think where she is and look after her. She can also be used to distract mechs, allowing you to sneak up on them from behind.



Controls are easy to get to grips with. One button for light attacks, one for heavy, a third goes jumps and grabs, and a fourth does actions. Trigger buttons aim and fire the staff, and the left D pad controls what Trip is doing or offering you. The platform elements all work well and flow nicely, and the combat evolves well, with Monkey learning new moves and takedowns for the harder mechs as you progress. There are puzzle elements (release levers to lower stuff from rusty cranes or align lighting rigs in a ruined theatre, etc) but it all moves briskly.



Combat is likewise well done, being easy to get to grips with, but requiring different techniques of attack/distraction/or sneak attack.



Is it a little samey? Perhaps it is. The mechanics for the levels are very similar, but that doesn’t stop it being fun.



The graphics: The game looks very pretty. There’s a nice brightness to the colours and a softness to the look of the game which works very well. The cut scenes blend seamlessly with the controlled action, and the animation of all the main characters is very smooth. Andy Serkis plays Monkey and did all the motion capture, and it shows in the very impressive range of emotions on the characters during the cut scenes. The dialogue is also very good, a cut above the norm thanks to a script by Alex Gaarland.



In the final analysis, this maybe isn’t a gold star 10/10 must buy “OMG you need to own this” game, but it is a very solid platform shooter with an intelligent premise which has been well executed. 8.5/10
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PostSubject: Re: Enslaved, Odyssey to the West   Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:03 pm

This also sounds a lot like the basic Chinese tale of which I think this and many other things were also derived from.

From this, to the show you speak of, to even a personal favorite of mine, a certain well-known and popular animated show that began as a humorous take on the "Journey To The West" tale that later went in another direction.

The original tale from which all these things is derived is good source material, and something that is pretty daunting to follow. I have to admit, i've never even heard of this one, or the show you speak of, but I'll have to do some research on those next time I'm feeling in need of knowledge to look up. Maybe even play this game sometime.
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Mjolnir

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PostSubject: Enslaved   Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:24 am

You really should look up the TV series. In fact, here's a link to the opening titles.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iUMWy4hqAg

A Japanese telling of a Chinese legend, shot in the 1970s on a budget of about $5 an episode, and then overdubbed into English. Its as cheesy as a cheese feast pizza with extra cheese and a cheese stuffed crust. With your love of Manga and Japanese stuff, I think you'd get into it.

EVERY kid in the UK in the 1970s and early 1980s was massively into this programme. We all wanted to be Monkey.

As for the game, I'd recommend giving it a go. Its very well done and I reckon you'd like it.
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PostSubject: Re: Enslaved, Odyssey to the West   Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:21 pm

I saw the box for this in the shop I work in, and wondered what the game was about. Completely forgot to check it out, so thanks for the review as I was meaning to find out about the game anyway.
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