Too Human {only available on the 360}
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« on: June 17, 2014, 04:33:56 am »

Too Human {only available on the 360}

Anyone who knows me knows I love RPGs {and racing games}, so when I saw that Too Human was classed as an RPG, I was over the moon that we finally get another non Japanese RPG for the 360.

Too Human is not, I repeat, is not an RPG.  It seems to fall under this new and made up term "Action - Adventure RPG".  Basically, it means it's a game that looks similar to an RPG, but is in reality and action - adventure game.  GRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!

Too Human is supposed to be the first installment of a trilogy.

While other stores are claiming to have done well with Too Human, Game and Game Station are saying that it was a flop because it was marketed completely wrong and pissed off RPG fans. 

I only bought Too Human because it was on sale for £10 {retail price} at my local Game store, while seeing it going for over £30 at other stores.  So I figured WTF, I'll give it a go.

If you love action - adventure games, this is a good one.  If you love true RPGs, you'll be sorely disappointed.

NOTE 1:  I have only completed the first 2 missions of 5, though I have spent more than 24 hours playing this game, according to the game stats in the options section.

History/Backdrop

The game is set some time in the distant future, when the world is in tatters and we are trying to return it to it's former glory.  The world got destroyed due to the war between man and machine.

The only living plant is the "Great Tree" in, not surprisingly, the "Hall of the Great Tree".

The basis of the game is Norse mythology, but at the same time they use many of the common RPG terms for the monsters as well as the Norse names.  Sometimes it gets really confusing, so I just stick with the RPG names.

You play Baldur {the name should be familiar to any RPG fan}, the son of Odin, and as usual in these games, it's left up to you for various reasons to save the world from the machine enemies and then return it to it's former glory.

NOTE 2:  Since I can't remember all the Norse names and can't spell most of them, I'll just use the traditional RPG names that the game also uses.

Artwork

This has the best artwork I have seen in ages.  Words can't describe how utterly beautiful the scenery is in this game.

SciFi fans would wet themselves in this game.

Instructions/Manual

For the most part, the game manual is worthless, except that it does show you what the various buttons do and that doesn't help very much.  Other than that, it explains nothing.

In game instructions are very limited and vague and leave the screen very fast.  My partner and I can't keep up with them.

There is so much in this game that isn't explained.  Like what do charms do, how to you get runes to activate so you can use them, without having to buy activated ones. 

Even if you do activate the runes, what do most of them do?!  Some stuff is obvious, like "Hammer Crush +3%", but there are many others that you can't tell what they do from their names.

Game play

I found game play to be very difficult for the longest time because the game gives you no help at all, even though it uses a completely new {new to me anyway} game play system.  There is no starter section that helps you learn how to use the controls.

In this game, you must use both the left and right sticks to control Baldur.  The left stick does the usual movements {forward, back, and side to side} while the right stick also does those movements, but it's for which way you are facing. As an example, say you are running forward and now want to keep going in the same direction, but want to face backward so you can shoot mobs {RPG slang for monsters/enemies}, use the left stick to go forward and use the right stick to make yourself face backward.  The right stick is also used for targeting, so it gets very tricky.

The right stick is also used to change targets on mob body parts, like trolls {see below}.

This game only has 1 setting and it ain't easy, I can tell you that.

Camera

The camera has a mind of it's own.  In most cases, if you are just running along and the camera gets in a weird angle, just use the left bumper and it will give you the usual 3rd person view.

Some sections have a fixed camera angle and you must fight using only that and it can be very difficult to see what's going on.

In combat, the camera can swing wildly trying to keep up with you and you may be shooting at nothing, wasting ammo and needing to reload, because you can't see what/where you are shooting at.

Saving/Save Points

The game only has 1 save point at a time.  You can overwrite this by doing a manual save. 

Now here is the kicker, just because you saved at spot X, doesn't mean the game will return you to that point in the game.  You are sent back to a previous point.  Even the automatic game saves do this.

I haven't figured this out yet, but the game sends you back to a previous point in the game and you have to redo at least part of that section, depending on how far you were when you saved.  Just because a normal person would think that certain places are good for saving, doesn't mean the game agrees with you.   Be prepared to repeat a lot of sections if you don't have 14 hours to play an entire mission through or need to return to town to repair your gear.

Mobs/Monsters/Enemies

This, for the most part, should be straight forward for anyone who has ever played an RPG, FPS or action - Adventure game.  There are basic mobs, group leaders, group bosses, mini bosses and bosses.

The goblins, first mobs you will meet, are very agile and will gang bang you {RPG slang for gang up}.  You will get boxed in and can't move while they beat the crap out of you, so don't stay in any one spot for too long.

The game swamps you in most sections, so be prepared to die a few times in normal battles and a lot in bigger battles.  A few battles were wave after wave, after wave, after wave of mobs and it took about an hour to complete them, though most battles take about 10 to 20 minutes.

Some mobs have multiple "kill spots" that you must destroy to completely kill them.  Trolls for example, have 5 or 6 "kill spots", depending on the type.  Hammer trolls have 5 spots {head, arms and legs}, while the shooter trolls have 6 spots {ammo case, head, arms and legs}.  As with all trolls in RPG games, don't bother with melee attacks.  Shoot out their weapon arms first, then go after their legs so they can't move as fast.

All mobs are faster than you or have some form of long range attacks, as well as their close combat attacks. Goblins also like to jump around a lot, making you not be able to keep them targeted.   

Try to keep some spare gear on hand for long battles, as you will need it.  I keep my 5 best pieces of each type of gear and some types end up completely broken by the end of the mission.  As an example, I had no usable gloves or helmets for the last 4 hours or so of the 2nd mission.  Constantly check the equipment menu to see which items need to be changed or you will only be harming yourself.

Death in game

You will die a lot and I seriously do mean a lot.

Once you die, an angel {Valkyrie} will take you up to heaven {Valhalla} and then you will reappear back in the game.  Hopefully, you won't be dropped back in the middle of a swarm of mobs, but don't count on it. 

Every time you die, the stuff you are wearing and the weapons you are currently using will degrade. You can tell, if you look close enough, by the red tint of your armor and weapon, that it's almost ready to break.  On it's broken, it will "flash" bright red.  So make sure you have spare gear to put on/use when this happens.  Don't confuse the bright green, orange, blue etc bits with the bright red of broken gear, it's not the same thing.  Those are part of the look of the armor/weapons and don't change color. 

Broken and damaged gear can be repaired at the shops {armor and weapon} in "town".  I'll talk more about this in the Armor/Weapons section.

Henchmen/Squad

You get a squad of humans to help you in the missions, which is nice or is it?!  A lot of times, they don't come through doorways {the maker admits it's a game flaw}, so you are on your own.  They do pop up at some later point or {game maker's patch} when you go back into the game after leaving it completely.

The squad is extremely weak in all aspects, but they do have a role.   You are always the target of the mobs and many have shields that you can't get through from the front, so draw the mobs to you so that the squad is behind them and they can shoot the mobs in their unprotected backs.  True, it will seem like using spit balls to defeat a tank, but it eventually does work.

As you finish sections of the missions, you will lose squad members, permanently.  As I said previously, I've only done the first 2 missions of 5 and my 12 member squad is now down to 7.  You will get cut scenes showing you when you've lost a member for good.  The first squad member to die permanently, dies in the first battle cut scene before you have any control over the game.

The squad members are carried off to heaven by angels just like you when they die and brought back, just like you.  That is unless they died permanently, of course.

Armor/Weapons/other gear

As with all games you get your starter gear from the game. So no big deal there.

The game uses the traditional RPG color coding for gear; ie white is common, while red is the most rare. This refers to the color of the name of the item, not it's actual color in game.

You can get loot {armor, weapons, blueprints for craft, runes, charms, money, etc} from killing mobs, destroying the little red cocoon things along the side of roads and paths and from the glowing spire things that are dotted around the world and in "cyberspace".

Armor/weapons have an "as new" rating that says how long it will last.  Below level 10 gear has a rating of 10,000, while above level 10 gear has various ratings, but none about 2,500 {except maybe red gear, which I haven't gotten so far}.  I haven't figured out how the game decides how much the gear degrades when you die, but each death takes away from the "as new" rating on death.

Unless your gear is broken, it keeps it's stats, unlike games like the Morrowind games.  If it does 100 damage when new, it will keep doing 100 damage until it breaks.

Below level 10, the gear is non specific and you can use anything you find, as long as you meet the level requirements for the item. When you reach level 10 and not in a mission, you will be told to report to the cybergenics lab.  This where you decide on whether you want to stay a human or become a cybergen. Which ever you decide, you can only use gear for that class from this point forward.   

Above level 10 gear is a pain in the ass.  Common gear {ie cheap stuff} has very low rating in every sense.  It's "as new" rating is 500, while the much better and much, much more expensive purple gear {2nd most rare} is 2,500.

You can get runes to increase various aspects of your stats, depending on the gear you have.  Some come with all the slots full, while others come with a some or all empty for you to customize your gear.  Common gear {white} does not have upgrade slots.  As I mentioned earlier, some runes are obvious in what they do, but most are too vague for you to have any clue on what they do.

Health potions can not be bought, they drop on the battlefield from mobs or from those red cocoon things.  If you are even missing 1 hp, the game takes the whole health potion and gives you 1 hp to fill you up.

Money isn't easy to come by in the game, especially with crafting and repairs {see below}.

Repairing Gear

You have to go to or be in "town" to repair your gear.  There is a specific weapon shop and a shop to get armor and runes.  You can also buy color modules to change the color of your gear, but it requires a rune slot and that takes away from stat boosts, so why bother.

The cost of repairing your gear is the how much it takes to make it back to it's retail value.  Damaged and broken gear can be repaired back to new.  You must do a full repair or no repair at all. 

After you complete your first mission, you will come back to "town" and from this point onwards, you can return to town as needed while in missions to repair or buy gear.  As I mentioned above, you will have to repeat sections of the mission that you already did when you come back to the mission.

Crafting

The game drops blueprints that you can use to craft items.  These items are either purple or red {2nd highest and highest}.   

Crafted items are much, much better than their store bought or mob dropped counter parts.  As an example, I have a blueprint for a purple level 14 pair of boots with an armor rating of 50, with 4 nice stat boosters.  The best in the shops or that I got from drops is a purple level 14 with an armor rating of 41 and 3 stat boosters.

Be warned, crafting is extremely expensive.  I haven't gotten any red items yet, but the purple items cost 4 times the retail value to craft.

"Bounty" or Money

Money is hard to come by in the game and you constantly have need for it {repairs and crafting}.

You don't have to buy ammo for your pistols and rifles.

The best thing I can tell you is to explore everywhere and break all the red cocoons you see, use all the glowing spires and never leave loot on the ground.

You can also "salvage" your unwanted gear and get it's current value in money.

My Overall Opinion of the Game

The game makers should have included more info in the game or in the manual and given us a starter section to learn the game controls before dropping us into a mission. 

I'm not impressed with the save point and having to do huge sections over again because I needed to repair my gear or don't have time to finish the entire mission in 1 go.   Also, your squad, if they haven't disappeared because of the game bug, isn't there to help you with the mobs that have shields.  On the plus side, you do get to keep all the loot you got from previous goes at the section.

Money should be easier to come by.

Of course there is the game bug and the maker's "fix".  They want you to completely exit the game and reenter the game to get the squad back, but this means you have to repeat an entire section of the mission.  Of course doing this usually means the squad isn't with you, unless you get lucky and find the magical spot to save and exit the game.

Regenerating health shouldn't take nearly as long as it does {20 minutes when almost empty} in this game and I'm playing as a "Bio Engineer" who is supposed to be the best/fastest at healing.  I'd hate to see what the other classes are like.  I guess the game makers did this so people could have built in bathroom and food/drink breaks.

I must say that I honestly have mixed emotions about this game.  While in some areas, it far exceeds anything else out there {ie artwork}, it fails miserably in other areas.   As much as I hate this game most of the time, it does draw you in somehow.

Overall, I give it 3 out of 10.
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