Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Herdy Gerdy (PS2)

Play Time: 3 hrs

What Happened:
I picked this game up at the local used game store in Albany. It's an older game, so it actually had a real description on the back which caught my interest - this is a game about interacting with different types of animals. :) It's a neat game! You play as Gerdy, who wakes up ready to leave for the annual herding competition with his father - but he won't wake up because he's been placed under a spell by the evil Sandorf. The only way to save your dad is to get to the competition yourself and defeat Sandorf.  

What I Liked:

Animation. Although I think some of the acting doesn't feel in character and is pretty punched up, overall the animation is really cool. The cutscene animation in particular had a lot of time and effort put into it, and it came out really well - especially the facial animation. In game, Gerdy definitely feels like a kid, and has a fun sense of weight and inertia to his movements. 

Character Design. I feel like the character design is derivative of something I've seen before (but for all I know, maybe the same artist I'm thinking of was involved with this game?) - but the character designs were really cool.   

Creature Design. I'm not totally convinced that the characters and the creatures belong in the same world, but the creature design was very playful and I enjoyed seeing new creatures as the game progressed. 

World. I liked the way that the levels were laid out. They felt big and fun to explore, without being so vast that I felt lost. I also generally enjoyed the level art. The world has a nice feel to it.

Concept. Look at this combat free game! ;) You just chase animals into pens, and it's pretty satisfying. 

What I Didn't Like:

UI. It was pretty sloppy in places, and felt like an afterthought. 

Loading Screens. :) It's an old game, so I don't know how much could have been done about it, but the loading times were pretty brutal. You were left with an illustration and a loading bar. The first loading screen at the start of the game didn't give any real indication of what was happening, and the first time I played I thought the game had crashed. :) A simple "loading" would have helped. 

Lack of Direction? The first level didn't really tell me what to do, I just sort of assumed after awhile that I should be herding some animals. There were a couple of other times where I wasn't really clear on what I should be doing. 

Voice Acting. Some of the voice acting was a little weak, which was a big deal since the whole game is fully voiced. Gerdy is alright, but you can tell that some of the NPCs got a little less attention. 

How Do I Feel About Continuing?:

Well, I haven't picked this up since I first checked it out in September. ;) I think the 3 hours I got out of it was worthwhile though, and I could see coming back to it for future reference. 

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