A while back, I beat Eragon for the Xbox 360. Eragon is button-mashing hack-n-slash game. It’s a weak story with fugly next-gen graphics, cheesy one-liners, and terrible fighting mechanics. Why did I play this game? Because I bought it for less than $10 new and felt I should continue the pain and suffering.
Why am I talking about Eragon when this is a review for Conan? To be frank, Conan brought forth excruciating memories from the past. Almost everything about Conan sucked. Below are the good and the bad.
- CAMERA POSITION: In a 3rd person video game, camera position/angle is key. If you fuck this up, then I can’t see the bad guys! If you force me to replay a section simply because your game engine sucks so bad that you take it out on me, well … go fuck yourself Nihilistic Software and THQ.
- UNBALANCE ENEMIES: Why does a fleshy tiger require 10 hits to bring down when an armored man with a blade fighting back and block my sword swings only take 3 or 4 hits? If I’m in the middle of a combo on said tiger, how does it find room to stop my attack and get in a few good paw swipes on my burly chest?
- INVISIBLE WALLS: Not so bad if you have a visual clue that you’re not allow to go there. But, if Conan is running around trying to take cover or evade enemy attacks, please don’t make it appear as though I can go over there when all that does is leave me open to attacks my giant apes. That leads me to my next complaint.
- GIANT APES: WTF? These psychos take beating and dish it out too. I’m sorry, but if put enough force behind a meat cleaver, you’re gonna get chopped in two! Yeah-yeah, use the magic and stone him to death. Sure … ok. * sigh*
- FINAL BOSS BATTLE: Man, talk about lame and retarded. This douche bag’s death was longer and more drawn out than these. This fight, even on Easy difficulty, was stupid-hard. Not hard as in “figure out the best weapon attack and when to strike” attack … this was more like “avoid my dreadlocks as they whip around in a giant circle while avoiding these tar-covered zombies who and found Conan’s only weakness … spinning helicopter punches to his obviously weak and punny chest” attacks. I swear, at one point I had jumped in the air, and began a heavy attack to slaughter some of these tar dudes when then they (weapon-less mind you) figured out how to beat physics and somehow juggle me in the air with spinning helicopter punches (yes, the kind you and your kid brother used to do to each other when you were a kid). Think of Zangief’s spinning punches, except done by tiny little dudes half the size of Conan with no shields or weapons.
- BUTTON SEQUENCES: I suppose when done correctly, button sequences have their place. In Conan, you’re given about 5 milliseconds after the button you’re supposed to press appears and the time to your untimely death. The only other game where I’ve had to deal with a button sequence was Tomb Raider: Legend. Now, I can’t say it was perfect, but at least the sequence didn’t change, and you were given about 1-2 seconds for your brain to register which button to press. Conan’s just sucked, even on Easy difficulty.
- MINDLESS ENTERTAINMENT: I’ll admit, there were plenty of hours spent playing Conan that were enjoyable. As with Call of Duty 2 or 3, it was fun to slaughter Nazis as a good stress reliever. The same was true with Conan. It was fun to hack-n-slash about an hour or so at a time. Conan was a good in-between game that allowed my left hand a break from Guitar Hero 3 (I hate you Neversoft for including Raining Blood by Slayer in GH3).
- HILARIOUS DIALOG: Conan is a man’s man. He dished out quite a few Schwarzenegger-esque lines. Many directed at his soon-to-be-dead foes. Some that come to mind just as Conan put the finishing move to his victim were “I’ll cleave your skull to your teeth” and “You cry like a child” and “Face Crom”. No doubt, Crom is some kind of mystical god. He’s mentioned quite a bit in the game.
- MAIDENS: Conan is rated M for Mature. There are buckets of blood shed in this game (check), brutal combat sequences (check), and topless whores (double-check) waiting for you to crush them with your love. The topless maidens are scattered throughout each level just waiting for you to rescue them. A few the hotties simply wonder where their clothes went; while others never suspected their savior would be so strong. Buuuuut, a few can’t wait for you to drop your drawers in the mist of major combat sequence to crush them with your (obviously) huge and massive … love. You get the idea. See below:
Overall, I have mixed feelings about this game. While there are more bad things outlined above, there were enough good quality moments that seemed to make me forget about some of the bad. The kicker, however, is that I borrowed this from a friend … I can guarantee that if I’d spent money on this game, I would have been upset. Maybe not so much if I rented it, but this game just wasn’t enjoyable-enough to recommend … even as a rental. My advice is to find someone willing to let you borrow it. If you simply must play it, rent only.
This is a sad, but one of many additions to the Xbox 360 library. You have better options for your video game dollars. With respect to the Playstation 3, I feel sorry for those with so few good games to choose from have yet another shitty game to add to your small (but growing) library of choices.
I give Conan 3 decapitations out of 10.