With many graduates emerging from high school and universities this summer, and the job market being as rough as it is, it can be hard for gamers to keep up with the bevy of new titles that have come out this year. So for those starving students, thrifty thinkers, or just plain cheap chaps, I humbly present to you some decent games at fair prices to help you out this summer.
Conan for the Xbox 360 and PS3 is a decent beat em up that is far from perfect, but its age means that it should only cost you a few dollars. And with the best XBL/PSN games costing up to $20, this is an example of an older game that’s arguably a better deal. Ironically, Conan looks and feels like an XBL/PSN title too.
You take control of everyone's favorite Cimmerian, Conan, as he hacks through man and beast alike, cleaving his way to glory. The story is pretty terrible, as Conan chases down the scattered pieces of his armor while putting a stop to an evil sorcerer, curing a corrupting plague, and rescuing beautiful topless maidens, but it all comes off like Conan is doing homework at the last minute. The cutscenes are poorly illustrated and focus more on the female protagonist than Conan unfortunately. A part of me wants to warn you that this game features women with exposed breasts, but that feels hypocritical without mentioning the amounts of dismembered limbs and decapitated heads that you'll will be buried under. There is a narrative plot twist at the very end that anyone who’s half-awake could see coming a mile away, and it adds nothing to the actual story immersion.
The facial features on Conan are decent but he rarely emotes enough, and Ron Perlman is absolutely wasted with emotionless delivery. The graphics aren't anything to write home about either, and are pretty dated and can get glitchy at times. Glitches that don't freeze your game have always been kind of charming to me, and seeing a fallen enemy spazing about on the floor, or stuck inside your character whilst flailing about wildly have always made me burst into laughter. If you find glitches like these funny than you may enjoy them when they inevitably occur during your play through. If you go into it with a grain of salt and an eye for the comically bad, than the visuals can be pretty entertaining, similar to watching a bad movie for the cheesy special effects!
Conan utilizes three fighting styles: sword and shield, dual swords, and a two handed sword. They all provide similar methods of handling enemies in groups or one-on-one. Regardless of the method you choose, they are all more than capable of decimating anything the game throws against you, and you are pretty free to switch between them at any time. The game isn't that difficult, but some enemy types can be a little cheap, with the lions and giant gorillas being notably annoying. These two are enemies that have uninterruptable attacks and can soak up more damage than should be reasonable. But even still, it’s nothing that good old fashioned blocking and stick-and-move tactics can't solve.
The gameplay is the only major catch here, as this game will only appeal to people who enjoy beat em up or hack n slash games. The ride is rather short also, clocking in at around four or five hours. There is a harder difficulty you can unlock, but it also comes with unlockable invincibility, making that playthrough even faster if you decide to use it. But if hacking waves of generic villains sounds like a brainless good time, and it certainly does to me, then this game may be right for you. Check it out if you can find it for $5 or less, and that shouldn’t be too hard. Trust me, it'll be worth nearly every penny.