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    jp's Death Jr. (PSP)

    [March 18, 2008 09:22:35 AM]
    I just gave up in frustration.

    I did make considerable progress (almost 50%, I think) until I got to an area with a weird spider-like boss enemy at the end. The boss battle itself wasn't that bad (though I never did defeat it). What really got under my skin was the realization that I was having a really hard time with this fight because the camera kept getting in the way. Essentially, the interface was making what I wanted to do harder, for the sake of it. Here's a short list of some of the problems I had:

    1) Can't get character to turn around and face enemy
    2) Character will automatically turn around when I didn't want him to
    3) Camera will "flip around" (change orientation wildly, back and forth) when close to corners, or when jumping into corners.

    On another note, I have been thinking about some other things as well:

    a) The percent completion for this game is noted in the saved game, which is a bit awkward to get to. I also realized that I'm not sure what it refers to exactly. If I finish all the levels will I get 100%? For non-gamers this must be pretty confusing, since I'm sure that 100% means that you finished all the areas as well as the (probable) secret areas, as well as collected all the macguffins, and whatnot.

    b) I've been trying to think about what makes this game "special". In terms of gameplay, I couldn't really come up with anything..which is a bit sad I guess. However, I did enjoy the design of the levels in the sense of their theme and decor. (not so much the platform jumping). There are some really creative ideas in here. Also, the concept and characters are clever and interesting. I guess that must count for something, right?

    c) I had been wandering around for a while and seeing these icons that looked like little pigs with backpacks on them. I'd walk up to them and nothing would happen, so I was really curious about what they were for. I was also feeling a bit weirded out by the fact that I had had to figure out many of the "moves" that Death Jr. could do. I though it was rather weird that they hadn't been covered in the tutorial area. However, some exploration in the main hub area "uncovered" an advanced tutorial...hmm.. (by this time I had completed half of the game). So, I entered, completed the tutorial (which covered the "advanced moves") AND obtained a new weapon along the way...explosive hamsters. So, these icons I had been seeing were actually ammo reloads for a weapon I did not have (and would have liked to!). I thought this whole setup was weird since the areas I had cleared would have been a lot less challenging with this extra weapon...which was a reward for completing the tutorial. I guess I was just really confused by the fact that the tutorial gave access to an important element of gameplay. Grrr..
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    [March 11, 2008 11:37:59 AM]
    I think I'm about 27% done which I guess is rather significant in terms of amount of time spent playing the game. My initial perceptions regarding the difficulty of navigating and aiming remain. In some sense my perception have gotten worse as later levels have incorporated challenges and tasks that require you to move around in 3d space appropriately (for example, platform jumping, hooking to and jumping from hooks in the ceiling, etc.). Yes, these latter parts have been extremely frustrating because I feel I can't control the character appropriately and neither can I control the essentially it feels like a crap shoot a lot of the time.

    Another thing that I've been confused about is how to best progress in this game. This game is segmented in the typical hub and spokes with a large central hub that leads to 5(?) subhubs. Each of these has 3 areas. For each of the subhubs, you have to complete the areas in order, as the 2nd and 3rd one unlock after completing the 1st and 2nd respectively. However, since each of the subhubs (each corresponding to one of Death Jr's friends) is open I have wondered about whether I should try to complete a particular character (ie, all of the levels in a subhub) or whether I should do the first area in all of the subhubs before going on to the next area, and so on. So far I haven't finished the 3rd area of any of the subhubs, but I have felt that the difficulty in these 3rd areas has been higher. However, I wonder whether the difficulty has been spiking due to the progress I've made in the game or if it's tied to the actual area. Hmmm...
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    [March 4, 2008 10:08:22 PM]
    I think this game was a PSP launch title which would make it at least 3 years old. That bit of information is only really important in the context of my recollection of what kind of reviews it got when it first came out. I have the impression that they weren't that good.

    Isn't that strange? How a vague recollection of bad reviews can predispose you to assume that the game won't be any fun. However, in the 3 years since the original I know that a sequel came out (at least one...I think there is a new one on DS?) and I'm pretty sure that there is a cartoon show or something like that. Clearly the IP was successful to a certain extent otherwise I wouldn't remember anything at all about the game.

    So, I've been playing it for a few days now and my initial reaction has been one of absolute hatred tempered by a pinch of enjoyment for the characters and setting which are rather clever and cute. Actually, sort of cute, in a kiddie show kind of way without being over-the-top crazy like a lot of the shows on Adult swim but still cool enough. I guess what I'm saying is that I wouldn't mind having a Death Jr. figure on my desk.

    Why hatred? Hmm... well, it's taken me a while to get used to the camera which never seems to be where I want it. You can't control it either...and the controls don't feel quite right yet. I guess I have to learn them and get used to them, which is why I'm still playing this game...I haven't played an action game like this in a while so I definitely need to get back in to it. As for the combat? Well, there's the scythe and you have guns. The shooting was much more interesting and exciting in Infected, which I guess I'm starting to respect more now that I'm seeing how it's done here. What is also curious is that, having completed a few levels, I have 3 new weapons in addition to the starting pair of pistols (with infinite ammo). However, I always end up going back to the pistols because the other weapons either don't have the range or can't fire fast enough. You can really get cranking on the pistols which is quite satisfying I must admit.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Mar 11th, 2008 at 11:23:38.

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    jp's Death Jr. (PSP)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Got frustrated

    GameLog started on: Sunday 2 March, 2008

    GameLog closed on: Tuesday 18 March, 2008

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    Quite fiddly and and frustrating due to the camera. However, it does have style and just feels extremely unpolished.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstar

    Related Links

    See jp's page

    See info on Death Jr.

    More GameLogs
    other GameLogs for this Game
    1 : Death Jr. (PSP) by lucem_ferre (rating: 4)


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