Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Review #444: Dead to Rights - Reckoning

 The follow-up we deserved.
 Dead to Rights II was disappointing to say the least, but Namco wasn't done with with Dead to Rights, not yet, and thus, Reckoning made it into the PSP. It brings fast-paced, arcade shooting action at the palm of your hand, and despite the weaker hardware, proves to be the real sequel(Prequel?) to Dead to Rights 1.

 Reckoning is a prequel to the prequel, which means chronologically it takes place before Dead to Rights II. Not that it really matters, these games never cared too much about story, and this is no exception. You only get a few lines of text before the game starts, concerning a hostage. And it seems like the took the piss with this one, as one too many times Jack Slate chases a lead, kills the lead and then complains about the lead being dead. And while Dead to Rights 1 was very cheesy, I think having the kidnapee be a fetished highscool-uniform wearing babe is a bit too much. The entire game is finished in under an hour, which is kinda sad, but it has a multiplayer component... in case you know someone else with a PSP.
 As with previous games, this is an arcade-shooter, meaning that it's nonstop, fast-paced third-person shooting all the way through. Jack retains most abilities from the console games, he can dive and dive in slo-mo, crouch, instakill disarm an enemy or send Shadow to instakill them. It all works better than II since it feels more like Dead to Rights 1. Shadow has his own gauge and cool-down, and well called down upon an enemy initiates a cutscene, thus making him useful again, disarms can be performed at any time, and you can switch to punches at the tap of a button, not that you'll run out of ammo in this game anyways. Fisticuffs are kinda useless to be honest, every single enemy comes armed with guns, so there's absolutely no scenario in which going melee is useful. But hey, at least the option's there, unlike II!

 In DTRII, having to redo entire segments was kinda annoying, but this time around there're checkpoints!... which are useless, since, at least on the normal difficulty setting, the game is rather easy, and loading screens don't last more than 2 seconds either. It's probably this easy to make up for the fact that it's running on a handheld with a single analog stick. I know that they made the most of the hardware, but having to quickly tap R to switch between targets can be rather imprecise at times. Movement is a bit floaty as well, but in a game like this, it doesn't get in your way. At all.
 It seems like I'm not crazy believing that this is the True Dead to Rights II since Reckoning reuses a ton of assets from Dead to Rights II. Entire stages, most enemy models, weapons and even Jack himself come straight out of Dead to Rights II, albeit with a lower polygon count. And, y'know what, it kinda redeems it in my eyes. This is the game it should've been, a fast-paced shooter that doesn't require you to think, but rather, kill as many enemies as you can in as little time as possible while looking as badass as you can.

 This is the game I wanted. This is what I expected out of a sequel(Prequel?) to Dead to Rights. This is a brainless, but highly entertaining, action game on the PSP, probably among the best. It also serves as an apology for botching Dead to Rights II!
 8.0 out of 10

No comments:

Post a Comment