Friday, July 08, 2005

Speaking of Splinter Cell

After thoroughly enjoying XBox Chaos Theory, I wanted more. Splinter Cell was the game I always wanted; diverse and realistic enough.

So I decided to backtrack and get Pandora Tomorrow for XBox. It's unfair to say, but naturally it doesn't hold a candle to Chaos Theory. I didn't go in expecting all the options I was used to, but I found other problems.

First, the voice acting in Pandora Tomorrow (XBox) was horrid. Personality was non-existent. I felt as though I was listening to robots half the time. To further disappoint me, the controls did not feel right, and some of the movements were "janky". After playing the first couple of levels, I gave up.

One of my room mates offered to let me borrow his PS2 original Splinter Cell. It was difficult at first because the controls are so much different compared to the Xbox. That aside, I immediately noticed better voice acting and a better feel of being "in the game". I was impressed, although it was not as fun as Chaos Theory.

That pushed me to return Pandora Tomorrow (XBox) and trade it in for the PS2 version. The guy at GameStop, who I think is a jerk, tried to argue with me that the XBox one is clearly better and it is stupid to bother with the PS2 version. I told him that the XBox one doesn't feel right, and judging from the first Splinter Cell, I think I'll like it better on PS2.

I do.

However, immediately noticeable in PS2 Pandora Tomorrow is the graphics. They aren't as crisp. Certain areas are much darker. And there's still those wacko controls. I forgot about these quickly...

First of all, the PS2 version is more difficult, which is a good thing. Guards are facing you when on the XBox they wouldn't be, etc. Enemies are more sensitive. It felt much more realistic. Even the "darker" graphics just seem to fit better. The movements are smoother, and the game has just been great so far.

Now what? I kind of want to play Chaos Theory for the PS2. It didn't get as high ratings, and I have a feeling the the XBox one comes out on top anyway. Why? I think they figured it out. Developers got better with the system.

I did get a hold of the Xbox version of the original Splinter Cell. Definitely better than the PS2 version; the voice acting is right, the controls are decent, and the graphics are better. This leaves me wondering why Ubisoft dropped the ball for the Xbox Pandora Tomorrow?

One more negative thing: Chaos Theory DS. The developer dropped the ball on this one. The graphics (out of their control I'm sure) seem like Doom or Wolfenstein. I can see past that. I can't see past the "janky" animation. This game would have been so much better if the movement and animation was cleaned up a little. I actually like the contorls; many people complain about that. I use my thumb for changing the camera angle, and pull out the stylus when picking locks or arming myself. This adds a pinch of realism, so I definitely like it. I just wish they didn't rush it. Then again, early titles for the current generation of systems were definitely horrid compared to current titles.