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  • Game Review: Hellboy: The Science of Evil (PSP)

    I'm in between reviews at the moment, so I'm taking a little review break with another review. It makes sense to me at least. (I can't find another game to review right now...this should be relieved by at least July 8.) Besides, I've been a Hellboy fan for a bit of time.

    Hellboy: The Science of Evil
    Publisher: Konami
    Developer: Chrome Studios
    Genre: Action
    Players: 1

    This game is currently being used as a coaster.

    In Hellboy: Science of Evil, you take the role of Hellboy, a demon operative of a secret underground group who hunt down all things supernatural. You play through 6 chapters following the villain Von Brampt to try and stop him from accomplishing his evil goals.

    There's nothing to write here.
    No witty comment. Not approving or disproving remark before this paragraph about this games story. The title just about explains it all. The "story" here, if you can even call it that, is the same thing as taking 15 different, totally unrelated ideas and shoving them together and using scotch tape to make them stay together. Alright, enough of that. The story in Hellboy: Science of Evil can hardly be called a story. Its composed of 6 broken and terribly composed chapters, almost all of which have an ending even before the climax. An example can be seen as far back as the first level. You find yourself as Hellboy in a distant cemetery in the-devs-only-know-where chasing down a witch who has stolen a great deal of precious artifacts, and killed all the people who tried and stop her. Now let me stop for a minute to explain something about the cut-scenes these messages are conveyed through. At first glance you may well see a stylish cut-scene, almost even a little bit reminiscent to the comic book. Now just wait until it starts moving. the poorly thrown together, no-voice acted cutscenes are the epitome of a bland and inexcusable attempt at piecing together a comic book style presentation. Characters look extremely different in style from one another, almost as though half of each cutscene was drawn by a different artist. The small feat they do manage to accomplish is get at least a little bit of the point of each scene across, but for the most part they simply cause more confusion. Now back to where we were, with the witch and the cemetery. The entire level basically changes course, and only follows Hellboy as though he's bent on escaping rather then catching the witch. And even after you complete the entire level, the last scene shows you overlooking a village and falling off a cliff, without so much as even a mini-boss fight. Wanna take a wild guess at level two? Probably not, since your most likely wrong. None your fault, though, as you somehow wind up in Japan, where you've apparently entirely forgotten anything about a witch and death and mayhem and blahblahblahblah. This games story is the most broken I've seen since Ghost Rider the game.


    Prepare to fight these guys, over and over and over and over...

    Hellboy has never looked worse
    The strangest thing about the fact that this game looks depressingly terrible is that the original movie actually got many awards for its great cinematography and costume design. The comic book has gotten many awards for great artistry. So you'd think, at least by a little, that the devs here would have at least put a bit more effort into the graphical component to this game. Well besides story, this is easily its worst part. And what better way to explain then by example. Textures disappearing: I walked past a door at one (or more) points in the game, only to find the door wide open when I couldn't access it. So I walk back three steps to go in only to find that the door never moved in the first place. So I ended up just having to leave the ghost door in place, without ever knowing if it was opened or closed. Clipping issues: When throwing or finishing off enemies, they have strange tendency to clip straight through the floor and fall under the level. Also, when thrown they also sometimes go straight through a solid wall. Fence posts and the such move back and forth straight through the ground as you go away and to them. Bland menus: The death screen isn't an extra screen at all. It simply brings up a menu no different then the main menu and asks me if I want to start checkpoint over. All menus look exactly the same. Back to normal style graphics section explanations. The HUD actually doesn't look all too terrible. the colorful bars of health and Rage bar offset an often boring and repetitive background. About backgrounds, each level does sport a different background, for a while at least. The problem with each is they tend to be bland and overall are extremely linear. They also share the exact same pale color pallet, which looks nice for a while, but loses its small charm before the first level is even over. The different levels do have a little desperately needed change in this game. Every enemy has the same battle and death animations, as well as Hellboy himself-- while he sports a semi-decent character model unlike the rest of the 3D models-- has glitches and slow animations. Its truly painful. Just watch a Youtube video or something to see what I mean.

    A half-baked soundtrack with a no-baked anything else
    Sound. As far as music goes, the music isn't too easy on the ears. But the good part about the music is that it somehow doesn't get annoying after you've heard it for a good 30 minutes, which is probably the only thing in this game you won't get sick of after 30 minutes. Sound effects are a whole different matter. Repetitious and bland, the sound effects are probably 100, max(considering most games have well over 1000, this isn't very good) Every enemy has the same death grunt, battle grunt, attack grunt, and just about every enemy has one or two sounds. The ones who have two sounds are usually either the bosses or hard enemies. Really, I can't think of anything else to say here. No voice acting whatsoever. For the better though, the dialogue is terrible.


    Best character model in the game. Not terribly bad, but its about 10 times better then the nest best.

    3 hit max combos = tedious Repetition
    This game can hardly even call itself a button masher-- the fighting is so slow, boring and tedious that you don't mash buttons, you more just tap one every other second. I guess its still classified as a button masher for all intensive purposes, and this game is the embodiment of a one-button game.(Dragon Sword has more button usage then this game, and its a DS touch-screen only game.) The max chained attack you can get in this game (that i can find) is 3 hits, and even after you get more combos unlocked they all consist of 3 hits as well. This is the part I've been most curious about in this game-- when the developers play this game after they finished making it, what were they thinking? Did they think that in a world of games that have 100 hit button combos this game was even vaguely acceptable? I can never understand that in a game. Isn't the creation of a game supposed to be a long process that takes months and usually years? If so what on earth? Did the developer rush the company to throw out this game? I don't know...but I'll get back on topic know. Sigh. The enemy intelligence is somewhere(on a scale of 1 to 10) between 0 and 1. The enemies will blindly rush at you in this game, and have exactly no strategy or other objectives whatsoever. The don't try to defend themselves or run away if they are almost dead. They are like the homing enemies of the 8-bit days--they will just rush you, leading to vast annoyances. Among these annoyances is that fact that after every hit you take you will be stunned, so if you are surrounded by 4 enemies and get hit, your most likely gonna get hit at least 4 more times before you can move again. Another gameplay fault is the lack of depth perception on deep pits. Often you'll fun to an edge to jump only to figure out the hole was 2 or 3 steps closer then you thought and fall in. While the gameplay is terribly marred by generic button mashing, A.I., and other classic low-budget game issues, there are some good parts about it. These "good" parts consist of being able to shoot your gun, Samaritan, and the Rage bar attacks. Rage bar basically powers up Hellboy for a few seconds, allowing you to take explosive shots at the enemies before it wears off. And you gun is only good because it quickly picks off smaller and annoying enemies. Other then that...puzzles. The only puzzles in this game are extremely linear, bland, and straightforward. the answer is horrendously obvious, as the answer is almost always right beside the puzzle itself. They shouldn't have done this to Hellboy. That comic doesn't deserve this...

    Unlockables are supposed to be rewards right?
    The games replay value takes one form, and that's of unlockable art and interviews. I've unlocked some art, but the thing is that I have no idea how I did it. Furthermore, the art itself wasn't even all that good. Unlocking trailers and interviews won't get any to bother either, unless they are a death-bent Hellboy fan. Even then they'll probably pass it up. I haven't unlocked any interviews, but given the budget, I'm willing to bet they aren't worth it.

    Alright.

    Major Selling points:
    -- Its Hellboy

    Major breaking Points:
    -- Terrible button-mashing gameplay
    -- Graphical problems distort everything around you
    -- Repetitious sounds and no voice acting
    -- Extremely broken and inconsistent story
    -- Defective comic-book style cutscenes

    Story: 2/10
    I'll tell you when I find it.

    Graphics: 3/10
    Broken and glitch full backgrounds, textures, and enemy models. Sometimes they look a bit good, but that's primarily bosses, and even they're animations are terrible.

    Sound: 2/5
    Music is bland and boring, but easy on the ears(somehow, anyway.) Sound effects are terrible, and voice acting is non-existent.

    Gameplay: 1/5
    Terrible, broken button-mashing. Enemies are stupid, and extremely frustrating annoyances are everywhere

    Replay Value: 0.5/5
    Besides the 4 hour campaign, there is nothing. And the campaign is terrible.

    Overall:


    Hellboy is a classic example of an extremely rushed game that reeks of poor development, low budget, and all around terrible and lazy efforts. They soiled the name of a great comic book character. I think I'm done here for now, I'm gonna go take an aspirin...
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Game Review: Hellboy: The Science of Evil (PSP) started by Shadowblind View original post
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