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Anybody picked up Buffy: Chaos Bleeds yet? 8.2 at Gamespot.


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#1 of 26 OFFLINE   Nick Graham

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Posted August 27 2003 - 07:00 AM

I'm sure I won't get to play it until after our move this weekend, but I've been fairly hyped for it, and Gamespot gave it an 8.2. I guess EGM panned it, but their review crew is so whacked out these days its hard to know when (if ever) to trust them. Has Mr. Kleist picked it up yet?

#2 of 26 OFFLINE   Brian Kleinke

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Posted August 27 2003 - 07:14 AM

I think he made mention to the order he was going to get it... I've got too many games that still sit unplayed... and many more to buy... If this is really that good perhaps worth it when it hits the discount racks for me Posted Image

#3 of 26 OFFLINE   Dave F

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Posted August 27 2003 - 11:16 AM

I've got it right next to me...will be playing soon.. Posted Image

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#4 of 26 OFFLINE   Dave F

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Posted August 27 2003 - 11:40 AM

Ok - after 10 minutes of play Posted Image

The good news: The Xbox version is 16x9, and has a better framerate.

The bad news: The character models look weird. Buffy looks nowhere near as good. Also, Willow looks looks alot like that doll-faced demon that Spike caught in Once More, With Feeling. Worst of all, Alyson Hannigan does not provide voiceovers this time around. Posted Image

The spoiler(?) news:
In a segment about the recording sessions, it shows Joss Whedon apprently recording a line for the game...


-Dave
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#5 of 26 OFFLINE   Jeff Kleist

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Posted August 27 2003 - 12:22 PM

Dave, rumor has it he's a hidden character for multiplayer Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Romier got it, he says that there are some camera issues in addition to the above problems

I'm hoping to pick it up on Friday

#6 of 26 OFFLINE   Nick Graham

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Posted August 27 2003 - 01:21 PM

Who all from the cast lends their talents?

#7 of 26 OFFLINE   Dave F

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Posted August 27 2003 - 02:01 PM

I just checked the multiplayer game, and he's defintely there - just currently greyed out. The camera is kinda goofy, but it points to a larger problem - enemy targeting. The first game was pretty revolutionary in how it handled targeting one enemy out of many, and made for a very effective 3D street-fighter. It's pretty apparent that this game is a clone, and emulated the earlier fighting system, but didn't quite capture it. Now there are a lot of problems targeting enemies. Quite often my character is punching air.

There are some odd bits as well, such as why would a medpak help Spike? If it was a used & bloody pack it would make sense. Posted Image

Overall, I'm liking it. But the perfect game would be a combination of the first and the second. Willow kicks ass, Xander sucks. Can't wait for Faith...

Oh yeah, for the contributing cast: Amber Benson, Nick Brendon, Eliza (mmmmm...) Dushku, Anthony Stewart Head, James Marsters & Robin Sachs. SMG, Alyson Hannigan & Emma Caulfield are AWOL.

I was hoping for netplay, but the multiplayer options are not system link/LAN-based.

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#8 of 26 OFFLINE   Jeff Kleist

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Posted August 27 2003 - 02:10 PM

[quote] I just checked the multiplayer game, and he's defintely there - just currently greyed out [quote]

Teehee Posted Image

#9 of 26 OFFLINE   Adam Tyner

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Posted August 27 2003 - 02:13 PM

I agree with some of the concerns. The character models are very inconsistent. Xander and Willow look great in the cut-scenes, but others like Spike are lacking in detail. The cut-scenes are also kind of crudely animated and look kind of awkward at times. In game, the models vary as well. Willow's face has an undetailed, plastic-ish appearance, for instance. Also, some of the stances and movement look a bit off as well, such as Spike's very non-threatening appearance when he lurches around with the sword, to name one. There are definitely some camera concerns. In the first level, when I was playing with Spike, there was a creature off-screen (in 'front' of the TV, kind of like where I was sitting) that was hitting me, but I couldn't see him. This is the type of game where before I walk into a room, I have to swivel the camera around to see where the enemies are. They don't make their presence known, at least not as consistently, in quite the same as the first game. I also had a problem intermittently where I'd have several vamps around me, and I'd start mashing buttons really quickly...but if I found myself facing the wrong direction, my character couldn't be reoriented easily in the middle of all the mashing. I took some hits that I probably shouldn't have. And there are other oddities, like being able to stake vampires in the kneecaps (don't remember if this was an issue in the first game), a vibrating screen if a character butted up against a solid object in certain situations, or...to name one random instance, I was punching a vampire, knocked him up on top of a chair, but I couldn't stake him until he got back up, even though I was more or less on level with him. The puzzles were what I found most annoying, though not really to the point of frustration. The weird thing is that the puzzles aren't all that hard or complex, and they're often even kind of obvious, but they still gave me quite a headache. Level two in particular seems to have a dozen different puzzles. It took me almost an hour and a half to get through it, mostly due to aimless running around trying to solve extremely easy puzzles. To rattle off a few examples -- in the first level, Willow finds a key and is told that it opens a cabinet (or something). So I ran up to things that looked like cabinets, kept pressing 'Y', but no luck. I kept scouring. Again, no dice. Then, I decided to rub Willow against the perimeter of the room, pressing 'Y' quickly and waiting for something to eventually open. Still nothing. I think I was on my third or fourth try doing that when I eventually opened the item I had been looking for. When I did it, it looked obvious enough, and I'm surprised I didn't activate it earlier, intentionally or inadvertently. Still, kind of a pain. The items you search for glow slightly, but the places where you put them aren't. There were more moments like that in level two. I forgot where the busted sundial was, so I kept running around and around. It was right in front of me several times, but it didn't stand out enough for it to catch my eye in earlier attempts. Then, I spent a while trying to track down the third piece of the sundial, which was hidden behind a tombstone. It's not always like a lot of games where you get keys by killing certain enemies. At least one of the necessary items was hidden inside a crate, which veterans of the original will be busting open anyway, but that's mildly annoying. One of those items was a valve thingie, which I found before having any idea why I had it or where I needed to put it. The destination didn't take much time or effort to find, but it's not one of those cases where there's a sign that says "Main Valve" and a very noticeable hole where the valve should be. When looking for a missing fuse and the 'key' to opening a triggered lock, I could've sworn I'd pressed 'Y' at least in one or two different attempts in the places where I eventually picked up the items I needed, but for whatever reason, they didn't 'take' before. Maybe I have to be facing a particular angle, maybe I'm just an idiot...I dunno. Buffy does toss out a couple of quips about puzzles and finding keys, which were actually pretty funny. Audio gripe: Ack! Dialogue, both in-game and in the cut-scenes, appears in four speakers at once. Stop it! Or at least it is on my system. Maybe my receiver dislikes me. I made the same complaint about the previous Buffy game, but someone on one of the eight billion forums I read told me I was mistaken. If anyone can verify, it'd be appreciated. Short summary -- I'm not as immediately smitten by "Chaos Bleeds" as I was with Buffy's previous outing on the XBox. The complaints I have now seem bearable at the moment, and I think I'll enjoy it a lot more the second time through when I have a clearer idea of exactly what I need to accomplish...I can actually play the game rather than just run around aimlessly like I have been tonight. I'll have to play it more to really have an opinion firmly cemented. I seem to like it enough for the moment, though, and I'm looking forward to giving the game another spin tomorrow.

#10 of 26 OFFLINE   Kyle McKnight

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Posted August 27 2003 - 02:19 PM

I will be buying this game...but it does pain me to see that The Collective wasn't able to do this Buffy game. Heck, their game engine is even called "The Slayer Engine" which Indiana Jones was done off of...and I loved it so.
Kyle McKnight

#11 of 26 OFFLINE   James T

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Posted August 27 2003 - 02:20 PM

I wasn't even aware it was out. Hopefully I can pick it up on Friday.

#12 of 26 OFFLINE   Romier S

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Posted August 27 2003 - 03:40 PM

[quote] Ack! Dialogue, both in-game and in the cut-scenes [quote]
You've covered the sound format issue now I'll cover the horrendous voice actor they hired to play Willow. Can we say ear shatteringly terrible? She gets worst and worst as the game progresses. Which is ashame because one very big highlight to Chaos Bleeds is Willows ability to cast magic. She is one of the more fun characters to play.

A few comments of my own:

Eurocom really seems to have "dumbed down" the combo system in the game. The first game was a bit faster but it was really open for experimentation. You could take your time to find different ways to use your moves and create some really stellar looking fights. This game thus far meets the "plentiful" moves quota but it seems..souless.... for lack of a better word. You have many moves available but the chaining abilities of the first game have been reduced almost to nothing.

For example: One of my favorite moves in the original game was a three kick combo followed by a bicycle kick and a thrown stake to the heart right after. You could variate that with punches and really have a great time creating the battle. Maybe throw in a holy water splash or hellfire bottle for the hell of it. The combat controls here are less responsive and the bicycle kick is almost impossible to chain into a combo much less attempt to lock on for a splash of holy water. Just in case I was going crazy I threw in the first game and had a go through the first two or three levels and well, I have to say the first is quite a bit more satisfying :?

So far I'm disappointed. Mind you my expectations were not high with this one, I'm a Buffy fan and the first is one of those fun action games that suprise you. I'm going to give it more time, hopefully things will improve.

#13 of 26 OFFLINE   Larry Talbot

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Posted August 27 2003 - 07:33 PM

So it sounds like the consensus here is that the first one was better? I hope so, because I have a chance to pick it up used for ten bucks, and I'd rather do that than shell out fifty or so for the sequel...

#14 of 26 OFFLINE   Adam Tyner

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Posted August 27 2003 - 11:49 PM

Based on what I've played so far, Larry, I'd say absolutely. In any case, the original is a great game -- still one of my favorites for the XBox -- and it's definitely worth $10. If you play it and enjoy it, you might want to give the sequel a rental, but again, based on what I've seen up to this point, "Chaos Bleeds" isn't worth $50.

#15 of 26 OFFLINE   GlenHaag

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Posted August 28 2003 - 02:58 AM

Darn. I guess I'll be holding out until the game hits the $20 level. Oh, well. I have to buy season 2 of Angel next week anyway. I really wonder how many "guy" Buffy/Angel fans there are around. My wife and I are totally hooked on both shows, but I have yet to meet any guys locally that enjoy them. Oh, well. They don't know what they're missing. Glen

#16 of 26 OFFLINE   Jeff Kleist

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Posted August 28 2003 - 04:55 AM

[quote] really wonder how many "guy" Buffy/Angel fans there are around. My wife and I are totally hooked on both shows, but I have yet to meet any guys locally that enjoy them. Oh, well. They don't know what they're missing. [quote]

There are plenty, but they tend to be in the "nerd" community who watched the show originally because it had the scifi/horror elements, and stayed for the superb writing.

Mainstream males who enjoy the show are few and far between, because of A- The title and B- "it's a girl's show"

#17 of 26 OFFLINE   Larry Talbot

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Posted August 28 2003 - 05:49 AM

Thanks for the answer, Adam. I think I'll be picking up the original soon...

#18 of 26 OFFLINE   Dave F

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Posted August 28 2003 - 11:26 AM

[quote] Eurocom really seems to have "dumbed down" the combo system in the game. [quote] I think what happened is that this is a completely new engine, and they tried to copy the fighting scheme of the first, but Eurocom just doesn't have the fighter pedigree that was present at The Collective. So while they were able to put in similar moves and similar combos, they just couldn't capture the intricacies that made the original so deep and rewarding.

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#19 of 26 OFFLINE   Romier S

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Posted August 28 2003 - 02:06 PM

[quote] I think what happened is that this is a completely new engine, and they tried to copy the fighting scheme of the first [quote]

Yep, read recently that it is an all new engine. Its ashame, they pretty much killed the most enjoyable part of the first gamePosted Image .

#20 of 26 OFFLINE   Jason Quillen

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Posted August 29 2003 - 04:37 AM

Well I picked it up on Wednesday along with SCII.

Overall, I think it's bad. Actually, I think it's horrible when compared to the first game. But all comparisons to the original game aside, Chaos Bleeds is still only mediocre. Heres why:

- First things first, Willow is terrible. The character model looks like the ugliest childrens doll you can imagine, with as much makeup as you can possibly cram on her face. Whoever said she looks like Sweet's henchmen from Once More With Feeling is right on the mark. If anyone needs to refresh their memory, you can see a pic of one of the henchmen Here. Add some red hair and a brightly colored sweater and you're looking at Willow in Chaos Bleeds.

- Next up...Willows Voice! Whoever did the voice for Willow (I read somewhere its the same girl that does Buffy) should be forbidden from ever doing that voice again. It sounds like a a dopey 10 year old. Combine that voice with the heavy handed "Willow talk" lines they have her saying and her character model and its scary. Its the kinda stuff nightmares are made of.

Ok, on to the more important issues...

- The biggest issue for me is the camera. Now I played the original game again in the weeks leading up to Chaos Bleeds to get back in the slaying mode. The original games camera was so great. You could always move it around you completely, it was fast, and it was a good distance from Buffy so you could see everything happening around you.
The Chaos Bleeds camera is horrible. Why? You can't move the thing through walls. Try moving the camera in one of those narrow hallways in the Magic Box. The camera will move to the side, but once you hit a wall, thats it. So its extremely difficult to get a decent view of all you opponents.

- Issue # 2 is the real rigid feeling of the game. Everything in Chaos Bleeds seems to be slower and more stiff than in the original. Jumps seem to be the best example of this. All the characters can jump higher, but it doesn't feel like jumping because its so slow and rigid - its more like floating for a few seconds.

- Issue # 3 is the graphics. The only thing I can think of is that the Chaos Bleeds guys must have wanted the opposite of the first game, which had a darker graphic quality to it. Everything is much brighter and more textured than in the first game.
The graphics are, undoubtedly, much better - especially the levels. So with everything looking as good as it does, I can't understand why the character models suck so bad.
As I said above, Willow is undoubtedly the worst offender so far, but Ethan looks like someone either shoved a stick up his ass or his spine isn't capable of movement.

- Lastly, Issue # 4 is the "dumbing down" of Chaos Bleeds, which a couple people already wrote about.
The "dumbing down" is rampant throughout the game (or what I've seen so far) and the biggest offender is the combat.

The charm of the first games combat is completely gone. Everything is 100x easier to kill. As Spike in the Magic Box you pickup a sword, and when you press the "stake" button to dispatch a vamp, Spike just runs the sword through him and hes dust. Might sound ok, but...you can't kill a vamp by stabbing it with a metal sword. Another example is the Zombies. In the original, it was always fun to have to do a specific move to destroy a zombies head. In Chaos bleeds, though, its just press-all-the-buttons-you-can and zombies are destroyed with a few randomly placed punches.

And level design - horrible. My XBox has to stay on all night just cause I dont wanna lose my checkpoint when I'm 3/4 of the way through a level. Why didnt they break it down into stages, like the original did?

All in all, I'm underwhelmed.

The bottom line is that Chaos Bleeds is a quick follow-up to the original that, despite its best efforts, can't keep the prevalent charm of the original (Charm that still keeps the original on many XBox top 10 lists). The graphics and the "Quick Stake" button are the only improvements Chaos Bleeds can claim over its predecessor.

In a perfect world, the third Buffy video game would keep the original games base, with a few of Chaos Bleeds improvements.

Overall, I'd say somewhere around 7 / 10 for Chaos Bleeds





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