Hit or miss?: Think you missed some blinding titles this year? Don’t panic! Here’s some ramblings about Jet Set Radio, the ported over classic originally released on Dreamcast! There’s also ramblings about the robot packed Binary Domain, which pretty much punches above its weight!
I’m going to get right to the point… Binary Domain really does have the crappiest looking box art that I’ve seen for a good while, very generic for a first person shooter. The whole strutting guy thing got old a while back too and I over looked it for that one fact alone. I then however saw a couple of comments on twitter basically saying it was a bit of alright.
I picked a copy up and began to play and realised the controls worked pretty well, the environment was rather impressive and character roster in a cliche way was fun and familiar. Binary Domain revolves around a two sided struggle between humans and A.I. It’s up to you to start pushing back against these metal menaces!
You proceed through various parts of the city taking out various squads of robots to reach objectives and goals to ultimately uncover the fate of humanity. This is simply great fun when you first begin as you can blow various parts off the robots in various ways. There are various characters that accompany you though the game, all having different strengths and styles of combat. The classes don’t create a huge amount of difference and your buddies can be a bit clumsy. They’ll start to dislike you as well if you clip them with fire. A blue bar will appear that indicates whether you’re on their good side or their bad side. If you stay on their good-side characters fight harder or by answering their questions right, they’ll try and be that harder to kill when push comes to shove. This is a feature that runs through the game and often links into button prompted scenes too which gives Binary Domain enough action and pace to carry the slightly predictable story of man vs. machine.
As you progress through the levels you’ll hit the boss. They normally require you to hit certain weak spots and dodge there series of tactical advances. These parts of BD are especially rewarding as you get to hammer the bosses with everything you have in your arsenal and with what’s scattered throughout the area around you. The designs of the bosses look really cool too, you get to see exo- skeletons while you’re ripping parts right off them. They’ll usually go rampant after a few good hits, which ups the pace and will have you ducking and diving. However your ally’s seem to think this is the best time to try spark up a face to face conversation with you, they really aren’t the sharpest bunch when it comes to fighting a giant, armed to the teeth, rampant robot. When you suffer too much damage you’ll hit the dirt and require medical assistance. You and your ally’s can carry medi-packs and can administer them to each other but you will have to shout for help before an allay will heal you on the ground. Your allays can also die, which will end the game. This can become a bit of a drag especially when bosses are concerned, your allays can pretty much end the game for you if you can’t get to them in time.
The best part of Binary Domain is the robots! You’ll take your time picking them apart, watching them crawl across the rubble with their glowing red eyes. The special effects from the sparks to the smoke are well done for such a quiet game, you really will get engrossed in shooting them. A lot of enjoyment is in the detail, having panels blow right off to reveal more underneath is strangely addictive and will draw you in. There are some car chase scenes (which are good) and a couple of spots where you can interact with the figures around you… But that’s it! The game would have benefited greatly from more additions like these and maybe a couple of other idea, it’s just such a shame that there isn’t necessarily anything worth going back for
You can upgrade your weapon and your ally’s but not much else after that. It lack in the upgrade department but does offer a nano booster feature where you can add several ability boosting nano chips within a 6/2 grid. Sadly the game does lack badly in some areas, leaving parts of the game too thin or bare which is a total shame as I think the game would have benefited hugely from some mini-games or a more interactive areas in the game.
The story isn’t too bad and not too badly told either, it even holds a little bit of romance too! The characters expressions do portray the urgency of some of the scenes rather well and the character designs make them come across like a right rough rabble… I just can’t completely escape the repetitiveness and the game gets too thin too quickly in places and shows that it’s in need of more detail to fill it out.
Binary Domain is a good game and has potential but lacks the diversity other bigger more expensive titles have right now, however if you like your robots and you like your action don’t walk past it next time in store. Maybe take a look at the back of the box!