Tag Archives: Eidos Interactive

Touch the Dead, Nintendo DS

Known as Dead ‘n’ Furious in Europe, but I’m going with the North American title for this Nintendo DS rail shooter – a touch-screen tribute to Sega‘s infamous arcade game House of the Dead. Only the title reference doesn’t work properly because there’s no “of” in it… I would’ve gone for ‘Touch of the Dead‘, which doesn’t really make sense but is better than what they used, because it at least references the original game properly. Anyway…

So a touch-screen House of the Dead? That should work okay, shouldn’t it? The DS has got a stylus, and the idea is to simply touch where you want to shoot. You don’t directly control the movement of your character (a prisoner), although you can occasionally choose the direction of travel. Some branches being easier than others.

Where Touch the Dead falls down for me is with gun reloading. The game was criticised at the time of release for the way you have to drag a clip onto the magazine, which works okay for me, but what I didn’t like was that you then have to wait for the reload animation to complete before you can shoot. Which takes too long. Either drag the ammo and you’re reloaded, or have the reload animation – not both! It feels like you’re being penalised by having to wait twice…

Touch the Dead is not a bad game, but it is both limited and lacking the graphical detail we’ve come to expect from the House of the Dead series. And I’m willing to bet there are better rail shooters on the DS.

More: Touch the Dead on Wikipedia

Anachronox, PC [Part 2]

Part 2 of our Anachronox special.

A selection of grabs from later in the game. Showing just a fraction of the wide variety in this groundbreaking American Role-Playing Game.

Anachronox is not only a great game, but it is also a grabber’s dream!

Click here for Part 1 of Anachronox on The King of Grabs

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anachronox
Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/242940/Anachronox/
GOG.com: https://www.gog.com/game/anachronox

Anachronox, PC [Part 1]

Anachronox is a weird-but-great mixture of RPG and action game, developed by Ion Storm and published by Eidos Interactive in 2001.

What is strange about it is the storyline, and the setting. It’s part ‘film noir-ish’ detective story; part comedy – part sci-fi fantasy; set across six different planets in a far-flung future, packed full of bizarre characters, environments and quests.

The surprising thing for me about Anachronox is that it uses a turn-based game mechanic for the combat. And a party system. Which I like. Turn-based combat is usually only seen in Japanese RPGs, which makes this American release all the more unique. At first the combat might seem a bit sparse, or even a bit clunky, but after you get past the first twenty or so battles – and start having battles with more and more enemies – you’ll realise that the combat actually works really well. You have to pay attention though, because there’s also a real-time element in the combat that requires you choose an action before the enemy moves – otherwise you can be left standing there while your enemies give you a kicking… It is this mixture of turn-based and real-time elements in the combat that make it work well against more enemies, than say just two (because when there are just a few enemies up against you there are periods where you are just waiting for your turn and nothing is happening).

Of course, being an RPG, Anachronox has items and inventories and journals and shops and all of that stuff, and they are all extremely well dealt with. This being a 2001 release, though, the inventory screens are all quite basic.

Anachronox also has a very slick control/camera system that makes the game a joy to play. Normal WASD and mouse controls move you around, but if you stop moving a cursor (called a LifeCursor) pops up and allows you to interact with things, as well as use it as a kind of ‘freelook’ to move the camera around. Hold CTRL and click for special character actions. The Tab key switches between party members. Everything else is mouse selected. It’s all very easy to use, which makes taking in all the story strangeness easier (because you don’t have to worry too much about the controls).

I’d recommend Anachronox to anyone who likes RPGs but fancies something a bit different from the norm. It’s engrossing to play – once you get over the shock of the new, and become familiar with the world you’re trying to gain a foothold in. It’s extremely varied too, with arcade-style sections every now and then to break up the adventuring. You can even skip by these if they’re not your kind of thing.

Anachronox is slick on every level, and it has jumped onto my “favourite games of all time” list with its refreshingly different approach to role-playing.

Click here for Anachronox Part 2 on The King of Grabs

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anachronox
Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/242940/Anachronox/
GOG.com: https://www.gog.com/game/anachronox

Deus Ex, PC

A game close to my heart, as I was the first person in the world to review Ion Storm‘s brilliant Deus Ex, for PC Zone magazine in 2000. Click here for the review.

Deus Ex (pronounced Day-Us-Ex – NOT Deuce-Ex) is a classic first-person, futuristic action game with stealth overtones, although you can choose whether to blast your way through it or not.

Some of these grabs were taken during my playthrough for the original review (18 year-old grabs!) and thus are relatively low resolution. Some grabs (the higher resolution shots) I took on a recent playthrough. They’re all good though. As is the game, which is a must-play if you’re a first-person shooter fan.

More: Deus Ex on Wikipedia
Steam: Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition on Steam
GOG.com: Deus Ex on Gog.com

100 Best Level-Grinders Of All-Time
100 Best Level-Grinders Of All-Time