Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cool Hip is being productive. For realz.

Hello, loyal fans. You might be asking yourself, "WTF? Cool Hip is posting something? She's ALLOWED!?" Well, I am now. To tide you over until the very special, super-fun-time bonanza that is episode 50, here's a little something-something I put together.

Dante's Inferno Review


Do you like God of War? Does the thought of unbaptized children make you violently angry? Do you have a deep-seeded fear of monstrous vaginas attacking you, and want to confront it? Well my friends, have I got a game for you!

Dante's Inferno, developed by Visceral Games and published by EA, is based on the first part of Dante Alighieri's
The Divine Comedy. Comedy had a different meaning back then. Rather than play a lost, faintly, wimpy man, Dante is re-imagined as a veteran of the Crusades, and is on a mission to save his beloved Beatrice, who has been killed and dragged into Hell by Lucifer. It's funny to point out that this is entirely Dante's fault, as SPOILER: Beatrice wagered he would be faithful to her as he was getting it in on with a slave girl. Lots of things are Dante's fault. He's been a very bad Christian. Dante, wanting to save her soul from being Lucifer's own sex slave and Queen of Hell, kills death and journeys through the 9 circles of hell.


Gameplay: The mechanics of the game are pretty straight-forward. You have a scythe and it hacks-and-slashes its way through hoards of demons, gluttons, children, vaginas, dog-things, and if you choose, prominent damned figures. In addition to your death scythe, you have your condemned girlfriend's cross, which is used to absolve demons and damned folk of all their sins, and also to inflict a serious amount of pain. Weird, right? While slaughtering foes, pressing the grab button will prompt the player on whether they want to absolve or punish the hell out of it. Depending on the player's choice, points will be added to either the "Unholy" or "Holy" skill tree. The Unholy skill path with raise the damage of the scythe, while the Holy path raises the power of Beatrice's cross, and also gives Dante some regenerative properties. Either way, the cross will always do some major damage. Choosing to absolve the famous damned souls will bring up a mini game, which can only be described as playing Guitar Hero with people's sins. You'll see.

On your trip through Hell, you will encounter some hell-dogs munching on unfortunate souls (they're all unfortunate, they're in Hell!). These hell-dogs house relics, which can be equipped to give Dante special skills or abilities. Speaking to your guide Virgil and defeating bosses will also yield relics, as well as magic powers. As expected from a title like this, Dante can perform many different combos that are learned through the different skill paths. With the cross attacks being as overpowered as they are, you'll find yourself spamming that for large mobs. And then again for everything else.

Platforming in this game will leave a bit of a sour taste in your mouth. It's a tad clunky, and many times, it's not apparent where you have to jump next. When there is nowhere to go but down, and nothing to break your fall, a quick-time-event will appear, prompting you to press the appropriate button to use your scythe to swing onto the next part of the stage. Unfortunately, this prompt is somewhat small on the screen, and is sometimes a little late to the party -- When you realize you were suppose to press it, you've already fallen to your death. "Death?" Dying will yield a short loading screen in which a line from the original poem is displayed. Many battles can also be won by a series of QTEs after softening the enemy up. Seems familiar...

Sending things to Heaven hurts. A lot.

Presentation: Holy shit, Hell is gross! The developers did not hold anything back in their rendering of the Inferno. The most inventive and foul stages of Hell are awarded to Lust and Gluttony. In Lust's circle, images of genitalia are everywhere. EVERYWHERE. In fact, the Lust tower is a giant penis. For realz. Many statues found in this circle depict twisted and contorted figures in various sexual positions. And then we get to the vagina monsters. Slaves of lust, these women have giant vaginas that come out and try and suck you in. Seriously. Main boss in this stage is Cleopatra, and her boobies can lick your face, and shoot babies at you. No joke.

Gluttony is guarded by the giant worm Cerberus, where people are made to consume their own waste. The level looks like a giant intestinal tract, and some walls are covered in colossal, flaming assholes Dante must dodge to descend into Greed. I shit you not.

Greed is probably the prettiest (?!) of the levels. Yes, people are suffering and being tortured, but it's all made of gold! Shiny, shiny gold! It's interesting to note that Hell just doesn't have people in it, it's MADE of people. Often time you'll have to wall-crawl to progress through a level, with the wall being made up entirely of wailing people. It’s also interesting to note that the other half of Hell is made of gears and levers. Loads of gears and levers. The developers took great care in paying attention to level and character design, and it shows.


The Gist: Dante’s Inferno excels in its presentation of the 9 circles of Hell, its creature design, and has a somewhat stable gameplay system. Plowing through enemies will be great fun at first, but become repetitive toward the end. The look of the game will keep you entertained, at least for one playthrough, while waiting for the Dark Forest and Trials of St. Lucia DLC. For its short gameplay time, this will be a rent for most people, but if you own a PS3, you’ll get the Divine Edition, which will bring a code to unlock the Dark Forest DLC for free, as well as a digital art book, original poem, making-of documentary, and the soundtrack. Happy travels!

Fuck these babies


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