Thursday, August 9, 2007

Def Jam: Vendetta

Developer: EA Canada
Publisher: EA Sports Big
Release Date: March 3, 2003
Systems: PS2 (reviewed), GameCube
ESRB Rating: T
Official Web Site

In a nutshell: Rappers doing what they do best. Wrestling!

0:01 "Used to be, you wanted to make yourself known, you proved yourself as a a street fighter or hustler." Now you... what, get an MBA? "I'm a businessman, and this is my business."Who are you, again?
0:02 Tutorial time. "This red bar is your health meter and indicates your remaining health." Oh really. That's interesting, because I've NEVER PLAYED A FIGHTING GAME BEFORE EVER!
0:03 The guy narrating the tutorial videos is the whiniest guy I've ever heard. It's especially weird considering the whole hug image this game tries to pull off. Did they just grab a random programmer?
0:06 I hate these video tutorials. Unitl I actually do it, I won't be able to remember all this stuff. Ground grapples, momentum, snake whips. Too much!
0:08 Still on the video tutorials. A guy is dazed on the corner of the ropes, and the other guy straddles his face and flips him with his legs. This is a little homoerotic for my tastes.
0:09 Briggs, Proof, Spider and Tank are my options.It's a bit weird to see a token white guy for once. Why is charisma a statistic. Is this a tabletop RPG or a fighting game?
0:10 I really like the slightly elongated, expressive facial modeling. It looks a little unnatural but not creepily unnatural. Great animation too, especially for the PS2.
0:11 Not two seconds into the match a big guy comes running at me and drops me. Ouch!
0:13 The big guy is now literally grinding his butt into my face. The game has just gotten WAY too homoerotic for my tastes.
0:14 I finally get off a pin after five tries. So far the gameplay mostly consists of jamming on square, and it seems to be working. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I get graded a D, but I still won.
0:15 "Drake: This ain't no tickle fight, little man." Thanks for clearing that up.
0:17 Another pin, much quicker this time. He barely touches me. The button-mashing nature of this game is becoming increasingly clear. I get a B for hitting square a lot, essentially.
0:18 Scarface is so big he blocks my view of my character. Weak.
0:21 Scarface is the first opponent who actually seems to know what he's doing. He blocks and reverses and actually grapples. Gotta figure out what to do about that.
0:24 I try to lift Scarface, who weighs about 4 million pounds, and my character just sits there straining. Ha!
0:26 After pulling off an early lead with a lot of grabs, I manage a pin after a way-too-long match. I get a B and $12,000.
0:28 You can use your money to by photos of girls. Whoo! That's a feature I always look for in my games.
0:29 The cheering crowds really add to the atmosphere.
0:32 You know what I love. Being so dazed from a move that I can't do anything before the opponent sets up his next move. I also love endless tapping buttons to do basic things like stand up. I absolutely LOVE it.
0:33 This guy is really good at reversing most of my moves, but still susceptible to one thing -- quick grabs and drops. It's almost too easy.
0:35 I activate blazin' mode for the first time, but forget to do my super secret finishing move. Oh well. I've played Mortal Kombat. I doubt these are better.
0:37 Sketch literally reverses everything I throw at him and leaves me dazed for tens of seconds at a time. End it already!
0:38 He ends it by playing jumprope. With my body. Ouch!
0:41 I have some fun playing coward and leaving the ring over and over while my health replenishes. He can't touch me. It's lame, but I'll take advantage of it if the game allows me to.
0:44 I have no idea how I'm doing most of my moves -- the same exact button inputs do vastly different things. Can't manage to consistently pull of reversals either, of figure out why the opponent reverses me. It's mostly just random button mashing to me.
0:47 This match has been going on for eight minutes now. He keeps getting me into the danger zone and refusing to pin me. Why?
0:48 I finally pin him after getting a few lucky shots in. I did not deserve to win that match at all. I got a B. Go figure.
0:49 Two women are fighting over me in a cut scene. Did they see the last match? I get to choose one of them for my girlfriend? Sweet!
0:50 The cat fight wasn't just verbal... my girlfriend and her rival are going at it in the ring. "I want to hear you scream." Subtle.
0:51 Is it a bad sign when fighting with your randomly chosen girlfriend is hard to distinguish from the character you've been building up for five fights? Seriously, the moves and strategy are pretty identical.
0:52 I get off a reversal without even being aware I was trying to pull one off. Whoot!
0:54 My opponent goes Blazin' and I just avoid her by constantly leaving and re-entering the ring. This should not be so easy. 0:55 I don't know how I do the moves, but they look really good when I do them.
0:57 Another come from behind pin that I didn't deserve. What is wrong with this game?

Would I play this game for more than an hour? No
Why? I prefer fighting games that are more about strategy and less about mashing buttons and watching animations.

This review based on a used, purchased retail copy.

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