Lost Planet: Extreme Condition

2008-12-07 21:54:08

Lost Planet Extreme Condition (Xbox360)

How extreme is Extreme Conditions? Extremely Generic, Extremely Anime, Extremely Short. That's how extreme extreme conditions is. It is guilty of adhering very tightly to many Anime Cliche's which you may see regularly in J-RPG's, except this is a 3rd person shooter/mechsuit battle game. Backstory, this game is supposed to take place on an arctic planet (think Hoth, but more like EXTREME Hoth), in which humanity has decided to colonize as opposed to other much more hospitable planets no doubt within similar distance from earth. This game was the first one I ever saw advertised on the big screen in movie theatres around the country. Hopefully this will be the last shitty game that is advertised in that way.

The advertisement seen in theatres is right here below

what did you take from that? epic battles on snowy hillsides, man vs man, crazy mass battles with multiple people per side in epic conflict. Maybe something akin to the mass battles you have in Viking? certainly not a generic action game. By the way, that video not only is nothing like the gameplay, it's not even in the game. One huge bitch I have is we now live in the world of Next-Gen consoles that can render eye-ripping 1080p quality graphics. Yet how is it that this game looks nothing nearly as cool as the trailer? common advertising agency lies. below is footage from in game.

As you can see there is no army following you down hillsides to epic conflicts, it's all just you running around killing everything in site as normal. at least you don't have to worry about friendly fire in this game.

Now lets take a look and see how much cliche they poured into this mold when they made this vanilla title:

  • Americanized Anime Rule 101-B: Thou must name the main character with an American name, whilst the rest of the team may be ethnic - Your characters name is Wayne while you encounter a love interest Luka, a Scientist Yuri, a computer Hacker Rick(exception to the rule), Bandero, Isenberg, and Basil.
  • Anime Familial Narrative Rule 206-A: Thou shall not suffer family to live - Your father dies in the opening scene.
  • Anime Familial Responsibility Rule 301-A: Your Family member will be responsible for the conflict, but also provide you the key to the end of the conflict at the same time. - Your father started an uprising against NEVEC, and gave you a Harmonizer which allows you to supercharge mecha.
  • Anime Robotics Laboratory Rule 102-A: There must be robots/robot suits in everything - Half the game is spent inside a Mechsuit called a VS or VITAL SUIT.
  • Anime Love Interest Rule 109-B: In the event of 2 conflicting women loving the main character, one must die defending the main character so he may live to get his knob slobbed by the other lady - Basil dies in the end giving Wayne time to get to the Orbital Elevator with Luka.

I could go on and on, but suffice it to say this game is filled to the brim in Animu. If this game was any more Animu there would be 7 foot swords and 19 foot tall hairdos and everything would be Anime Orange or Yellow. The narrative for this story is that Humanity decided to colonize this rock, but they woke an alien life form known as the Akrid, which is really a misnomer, because there are so many species of Akrid that I think the term Akrid is way overused. As there are giant moth akrid, worm akrid, lobster akrid, flying wasp akrid, and preying mantis akrid. Not to mention the boss akrid. So I really think that a Biologist needs to be summoned to the planet to more accurately catalogue the alien life forms as Akrid seems a bit too universal.

The game is a little hard to steer, mostly because it uses a unique aiming model, meaning that you can aim without turning your whole body, so there is a lot of play in where you aim compared to where you are moving. swift turns to the left and right are accomplished by using the left and right bumpers on the controller to do an instant left or right facing manuever. Once you are used to this it isn't much of a hinderance.

There are a lot of options for combat, you have 3 types of grenades you can pickup in the game world, gum grenades for sticking to objects, standard hand grenades for distance and bounce, and Disc grenades that are the longest distance linear trajectory and stick to the enemy when they connect. There are plenty of types of weapons, from shotgun, machine gun, rocket launcher, to the mech suit guns you can rip down and use with your bare hands. Lots of options means a lot of fun normally. unfortunately many of the more exotic weapons have such limited ammo counts that I'd typically be found using the machine gun most of the game, since I'd often times have max ammo(999) for it. The rifle, while a great one shot headshot weapon, is made incredibly difficult to use due to a lack of zoom feature. While most action games include a sniper rifle of sorts this game does but refuses to put in a zoom option so you can get headshots easier. Extremely Weak. (CORRECTION: apparently there is a Zoom which is featured in the above footage, however it was not easily found when I attempted to locate it when I had the rifle in hand, and I tried just about every single button to no effect. apparently they made that a bit more difficult than it should've been.)

Now 90% of the game elements don't depend on the location, so why an Ice planet? well, that's where the other 10% comes in. See Akrid ooze out of their bulletholes a wonderful slime called Thermal Energy(or T-Eng on your HUD) you can just wallow in it for a second and your character will suck it into his hip container. this keeps you from freezing solid as a rock. Now sadly if you noticed in the previous vid footage of the game, most of the therm is found in the enemies anus. So you basically have to shoot the Akrid's asshole until it leaks vital ass juice to keep you performing on top of your game. Thankfully Akrid aren't the only sources of T-Eng, anytime you kill anyone or destroy any mecha, they ooze leftover T-Eng, as everything on the planet relies on Akrid Ass-fluid to survive. Now what benefit does T-Eng give you other than a contrived time limit? well, it's used to power the VS, so if you run out of it(doing extreme VS manuvers using the Jets) you'll be ejected from the VS to die. Course once you're out of T-Eng your HP will also slowly start to dissipate until you do die, your body will get coated in snow and frost until you are dead. Also, T-Eng controls your first aid capability, so T-Eng allows your Harmonizer attachment to heal you if you go below 50% health, and you will be doing that a LOT in the end of the game, luckily by that time there are so many SILO's filled with Therm to blow up and absorb by the thousands of points, that running out of therm is a fool's task. The snow effects in the game are really well done, and it's cool when you kill an Akrid his body crystalizes since all his Therm spilled out of his ass, and it shatters when you shoot it, but other than that T-Eng is just a contrived time limit that is pretty much designed to prevent you from spending hours playing a 11 mission game.

The game is short, thankfully short, despite having all the sembelence of a Final Fantasy Game, this game is thankfully not Square-Enix made and thus we can avoid spending 72 straight hours in game. I played this off and on for 3 days and beat it, I think it could be easily taken out in 2 days during a couple of not so extended game sessions. So how does it rate?

Reason Rank
Start 10
Snow Effects are pretty cool +2
Oh cool a cutscene, oh who is this I meet? wantering snow pirate Anime Cliche Funhouse? NIIIICE -5
Boss Fights are just find the glowy part of the body and shoot it lots -3
Ho Hum ending to a Ho Hum story, easily forgettable




I forgot to mention at the beginning of this article that the main character of the game suffers from amnesia after his father dies, oh and he suffers from amnesia at the end too because it's a side effect to using the shit out of your harmonizer attachment on your arm. Making for one of the most awkward anti-endings ever, and the fact that I forgot this piece of the puzzle is just proof how forgettable this game is. It's so forgettable you might find yourself pulling a Wayne and forgetting who you even are after beating this gag-fest.