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Review: Satan Sam
Most of you reading this won't know James, which is a pity, since you won't have seen the plethora of games that he's made, and you won't know the standard to which he makes them.
He tends to populate less member-heavy boards, like MSNGroups, etc. This, however, is by no means any detremental slant on his ability. Outside of the wider click world, where people want a little more space, this guy is famous.
Anyway, on with the review. Bearing in mind of course that I base these marks on what I expect James to achieve in his games, not what others may be capable of.
The presentation in SAM lacks a certain absolute essence of professionality that would push this up to a 9, but the game is presented well enough certainly to give it an 8. The titlescreen is artistic, and the design very well executed. However, a more comprehensive help system built within the game would make it much more professional, and it could perhaps do with an options screen (to tweak particles on or off, change sound volumes, and more). Generally, this is incredibly well done, but I suppose does lack a little of the absolutely professional finess that I was expecting... maybe...
An unfortunate downer on the overall score. Admittedly, this will partially be a personal preference, but I found the movement engine a little glitchy, and gravity too strong. It may just be my monitor, but it was also difficult on some background objects to tell where they ended, so it would appear that you were standing a few pixels away from a rock because the shading on the edge was a bit too dark. My monitor has contrast problems though, so it could just be that. There are lots of features that you can use, such as the very cool and intuitive parachute jump, but alas something about the execution of the game as a whole (I think it was mostly level design) meant much of the genius of these features was lost.
It was also a bit too difficult. Perhaps difficulty settings would have helped a bit, although it was mostly the difficulty of the level designs themselves. This was the only real area I could find that prevented the game being as enjoyable as hoped.
Very nice! The same general colourscheme is perhaps a bit overdone, it would be nice to see some variation, but heck they're in hell, so I'm sure you can get away with it! The particle effects were lovely, although perhaps again gravity was a bit too fast. The sprites for enemies could at times be a little difficult to differentiate from the background unfortunately, but that was rare, and for the most part they worked well. The artistry behind the graphics was highly commendable, and it all married together to make a fluid and seamless graphical experience that James should be happy with.
Nice! Perhaps there should have been more sound effects, maybe a few atmospheric ones like the poping and splashing of flowing lava, etc, but it ultimately worked quite well. The music (oh the glory of DMC2) was great, and this really helped bump up the quality of the game, giving it an extra factor to pull it away from the stereotype of a click game. Very well executed.
DMC2 does have problems with setting volume to 100%, however, so a volume option would have been nice.
Unfortunately, this game didn't really have much replay value, and the difficulty I found was always strongly tempting you to give up, without an equal or greater force driving you not to. However, the game should for many last until it's over at least, and sending Sam flying into the pits of hell is entertaining enough to eek out a few more minutes of play time.
Although this review may sound very negative, it's not intended to be (hence the high scores). The game is a good one, and although it doesn't have much REplay value, it has enough to make you want to play it to the end. The game is entertaining; not the best Titan has ever made, not by a LONG way, but certainly it has been entertaining. Which, considering this is the electronic entertainment industry, is what this is all about anyway.
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