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Game Review: Mad Max

Some of you may be familiar with Mad Max, but some of you won’t. So what is Mad Max? In one word: glorious.Image result for mad max

I mean that in the truest sense of the word. It feels out of this world. At first glance, one might think it’s they are over-the-top movies, but they’re much, much more than that.

Everything in this world feels painfully real. The suffering, the tragedies, the characters, the wasteland, … The films have a very distinct style that has influenced pop culture more than you might think: it launched Mel Gibson’s career, the raiders in Fallout are heavily inspired by those in Mad Max and it spawned countless rip-offs by Italian and Turkish directors, as well as American ones. I feel like I need to discuss the films briefly before getting to the game. After all, that is what inspired its creators to make the game.

The great thing about the Mad Max films – and the game – is that they all feel different. The first film was very grounded in reality and quite slow-paced, though that is not a bad thing. The second film, The Road Warrior, was generally considered to be the best one. It established the character as he is still known and loved. He’s deeply flawed and haunted by his past, but that makes him feel very real. The third film, Beyond Thunderdome, has its problems; most of them caused by Hollywood mingling. And then there’re last year’s Fury Road, now regarded as the best of all four films. Tom Hardy plays Mad Max, not Mel Gibson, and his performance is excellent.

Now Max is a bit of a difficult character to talk about, because he is both simple and complex at the same time. He’s simple, because most of his actions throughout the films and game are selfish. Even helping people is often because it makes things more convenient for him, but at the same time he won’t harm the innocent. He doesn’t really care about who lives or dies, as this is a harsh world and survival is key, but he won’t just kill anyone for the sake of killing or just for fun. It is a very hard thing to explain. It’s almost instinctive. You just understand him on an emotional level, not an intellectual one. You just know if something is in-character for him to do or not, but you can’t really explain why. I say this, because there’s something I want to discuss at the end of this article after the SPOILERS warning.

Now onto the game! I’m not exactly sure when the game is set in the timeline, but it feels like it takes place right before the events of the fourth film: Fury Road. But, like with the entire Mad Max saga, the exact time has never been important. You start off the game losing the famous Interceptor, the car Max drives, and battling Lord Scrotus. You put a chainsaw through his skull, but he survives and throws you off a fast moving truck. You then set out on a very simple quest: get your car back and kill Lord Scrotus. This is very much in theme with the films, where the story is often quite simple and just a structure for strong characters.

And strong characters is what this game has. The portrayal of Max is pretty much spot-on (except for a little thing that bugs me in the ending). You find a hunchback named Chumbucket who is a car nut and believes you are some sort of Saint sent by the Angel to clear the wasteland. He offers you a car that you can upgrade and change the appearance of during the game. He is a fantastic character, obsessed with cars and fixing cars and thinking you’re some sort of deity. And of course, Max goes along with it, because it helps him. Where in other games having a companion around can be frustrating, Chumbucket is nothing but helpful. He brings you the car when you signal him with a flare gun, fixes the car when it’s damaged and most of his dialogue is really entertaining.

Visually, the game encapsulates the look and feel of the films very well. It’s a gorgeous game with a wonderful art style. The graphics won’t blow you away, but it’s not trying to either. It’s aiming for aesthetics rather the latest and greatest in graphical settings.

The story is very simple, as I mentioned before. There isn’t that much to talk about here, other than that it’s very much in theme with the films. The end goal is to get your car back and kill Lord Scrotus, but it can take you a while to get there. You can choose to just follow the main quests and do the bare minimum to unlock new upgrades for your car, so you can continue with the missions, but that will make the game a lot more difficult. Still, you’ll probably have to put in twelve to fifteen hours to beat this game in a hurry.

As a sort of side story, you can try to loosen the grip that Lord Scrotus has on the different regions by doing certain mini missions. You can clear out camps, destroy their totems and sniping towers, clear minefields, et cetera. Lowering the threat levels in regions unlocks more upgrades for Max and his car. This is where the game really shines in my eyes, as it makes the gameplay more varied. Clearing the camps requires more combat, destroying the totems and sniping towers is mostly done from inside the car and you need a special buggy that can carry the mine-sniffing dog to clear out minefields. Some camps have difficult bosses or certain things you have to destroy. Having done almost everything there is to do in this game, I racked up a very respectable 54 hours in this game. Not bad at all for having paid less than €15 for it in a Steam sale.

There aren’t a whole lot of negative to this game, I feel. The driving controls could’ve been tighter, but most of the time they’re just fine. Two locations in the game are locked off after the mission is over, which means that if you didn’t pick up the collectables or scrap, they’ll be lost forever. This is odd, since none of the other locations become inaccessible. Lastly (and I’ll get into more detail in a bit) there’s one thing that happens right at the end that I feel is out of character for Max, which makes the ending a bit less enjoyable for me.

So overall I highly recommend it if you like the Mad Max films, but even as a general gamer, it’s a very fun game. The combat is fun, modding the car gives you lots of options and the characters are very enjoyable. The highest praise I could possibly give it is that if  I were to rank this game alongside the films, the order would be (from best to “worst”): Fury Road – THIS GAME – Road Warrior – Original Mad Max – Beyond Thunderdome. So yeah, very close second 🙂

 

 

–SPOILERS FOR THE END OF THE GAME BELOW–

 

 

This is what happens at the end of the game that bothers me a bit. After the final boss battle, we see the truck that Lord Scrotus is driving close to the edge of a cliff. Max decides to ram it with his car and Chumbucket, still believing the car is the sacred tool, sent by the Angel to be used by you, doesn’t want you to destroy it. While charging at the truck, he climbs on the bonnet of the car, trying to convince you to stop. Max tells him to jump of and Chumbucket says he’s willing to die with the car. Max then proceeds to jump out of the car, right before it hits the truck and both vehicles fall off the cliff. I know Max is a character who will do pretty much anything to achieve his goal, but I feel like killing Chumbucket was very much out of character. Max doesn’t hurt people, unless he feels it’s absolutely necessary and I feel like killing Chumbucket was not. You may disagree with that, but it’s how I feel about it.

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NekoJonez got an award!

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So, a few days ago, I downloaded Ace Attorney 5 from the eShop… Nah, let’s wait with that article. Okay, new start. Hello Neko’s, today is a big day, here is my review of Pokemon X & Y. No, wait. I still need to call my classmate since he hasn’t replied yet. Darn it. And I want to write an article so rendering a new video of Evoland is for later in the upcoming week. Let’s see, about what can I write? Another game diary? Well, maybe. I could take my preparation of that and write it on ButtonSmashers. But not now, I want to write an article on this blog. And it should be a review or something since it has been some time since I wrote a review. Okay, which games have I recently finished? Or shall I look online for idea’s? Nah, that’s too cheap. I’m not like that! I use my creativity. Sometimes to google, but that are details… Wait, hold your tails. What is this? My blog got an award?! FOR REAL? Somebody pinch me! Is this really happening? Okay, time for an article that is blog exclusive for this blog! No reblogging this time! 

versatile-blogger-award-imageName award: The Versatile Blogger 2013

Won on: 22nd October 2013

Won for: Arpegi

Type of award: Community

Given by: Allahweh

Official website: http://versatilebloggeraward.wordpress.com/

Post about the award: http://gaminggoddess.net/2013/10/22/the-versatile-blogger-award-2013/

This is such a honor! This means a lot to me. I barely restarted blogging and creating my articles and I get awards like this. This is my first award for this very blog. Apart from the “awards” I get from WordPress like having 50+ likes and such on my blog.

Allahweh, thank you so much for this award. Go click on that post Neko’s and check her blog out. I met her actually not that long ago and she already gave me an award. And being the 2nd in her list, is mind blowing. I now look even more forward to creating content with her!

I think the worth of this award is bigger then some might think. This might be a sort of “pass around” mail clone for blogs, yet this feels extremely different. Bloggers could choose to ignore it, but I see this is a “thank you” for all the hours and creativity I have put in this blog. I even printed out the article and it’s now happily on my notice board. Hanging with one of my favorite magnets. (Because it has a beautiful Dutch saying about a cat.)

There are rules to follow about this award. And so I’ll. Let’s copy-pasta this.

  1. Display the award on your blog

  2. Announce your win with a post and thank the blogger that nominated you

  3. Present 15 deserving bloggers with this award

  4. Link your nominees in your post and let them know they were nominated

  5. Post 7 interesting things about yourself

Rule 1, taken care of. Rule 2, done as well. Rule 3 & 4, soon. But first of all, rule 5. Alright, 7 special things about myself.

  1. Before this blog, I actually had a Dutch blog. That blog became popular after some exposure on TV. It’s rather long story where I wrote an article about an E3 presentation that went all wrong. I got invited to explain my story on TV, yet it was in the middle of my exams and I didn’t had time to do it.
  2. My choose of music is actually extremely wide. My favorite style is Hardstyle and nearly any electronic style. With that I mean, things like Techno, Dance, Electro and others. I dislike any variant of Dubstep, with one exception. Some Glitch Hop tracks I can listen too and enjoy. I also listen to rock, pop, jazz, movie OST, game OST and others. Metal is something I rarely listen too. I’m more of a melodic music fan.
  3. My favorite soda is Ice Tea. I remember one day that when I was at the final day of a education to be allowed to work as a animator for the children, like those people that guide youth movements like the Scouts, there was a big party. Since I didn’t like to become drunk, I drunk my favorite soda. As it turned out, I drunk 10+ bottles of it. Of each +/- 30cl. So, over 5 liters. Man, I was shacking of the sugar when I was waiting in front of my room for the door to be opened.
  4. I didn’t prepare a lot for this blog. So, that’s why I took up more time then I was hoping. This is a perfect example to show that I’m a big mess when it comes to planning. Sometimes I rush too much and when I look on a later date to the final product, I always want to improve it.
  5. My love for writing has been with me for years. After nearly winning a short story contest, it became my main hobby. Nearly all my hobbies have something to do with being creative.
  6. One of the creative things I wish I could do is drawing. I’m extremely bad in drawing. Even when I try with an open mind. I made some music tracks in the past but those got lost due to hard drive crash.
  7. I love to learn actually. To a certain degree. I’m not a guy that goes reading book after book about history or other subjects. I like to watch shows that cover the history of the gaming industry or a game studio. Also, when I can choose what to watch on TV, I watch to shows on Discovery Channel and National Geographic. But I also watch to my fair share of (mindless) entertainment, those that aren’t meant to educate you.
  8. BONUS ONE: As it’s rather obvious, I like and love to tell stories.  I’m rather addicted to that. As clear to the length of the “Seven facts about yourself.”

So, now that I have taken care of that, let’s list 15 bloggers that earn this award as well! So, these are the bloggers I think are worthy of this award. And these are also the bloggers I personally enjoy.

  1. Allahweh – I know this is cheating in a way. But hey, who can blame me? I like her content. And there is a saying in Dutch. When I literally translate it, it’s: “You deserved it double and fat.” Yeah, sounds weird. But the mean is that you deserve to have praise or an award for the full 200%. So yeah, now it’s literally!
  2. ButtonSmashers – For all the chances and free games, in order to review (and/or enjoy) I receive. Q, thanks a lot and I’m really looking forward to be in another podcast with you.
  3. Beer And Joysticks – There is no doubt in my mind that these guys earn this award. For liking nearly every piece of content I publish and talking to me as if I’m a partner of them for years, I think they earned this award. Also, they are my 100th Twitter follower.
  4. After Dark Gaming – This guy already gave ButtonSmashers an award. It would feel wrong if I talked about this “Family Award” on my blog since it has been given to the ButtonSmashers. And I might be a part of it… Maybe it’s just a bit of a modest feeling. Yeah, that explains it. Yet, check out this great blogger!
  5. What’s Your Tag? – The fact that they present some of their articles in nicely drawing comics is enough for my to give them this award. It’s one of the first people I clicked the “Follow” button for.
  6. John Heatz – Clicking the like button on various articles of mine and enjoying my content, I really think he is worthy of getting this award. Also, his blog is really great to keep yourself up-to-date with various gaming news thing-a-bobs.
  7. Ryu’s Dreams – I would feel ashamed if I forgot him. The discussion I started with him about RPG’s got so interesting, that he suggested to continue to talk about it in a podcast. And we shall! (And thanks for making my to watch list grow.)
  8. Bucket List – One of the first people that liked my content. And this is a rather interesting blog. When I want to go on a holiday, I’ll be sure to check this one out!
  9. Icesabel – Just a blog I love to check out when I have time to spare and when I want to read about something different then games. Just the way she writes is excellent!
  10. TapThisApp! – I always thought of creating a blog about mobile games, yet this blog covers it perfectly. And from here I should get a lot of idea’s to maybe write a new article of Android game suggestions.

And I’m terribly sorry to break a rule but I am going to leave it with these 10. Simply because I can’t come up with more blogs that really deserve this award. Because when I found my blogs to follow, I rarely look for other ones to read. And since I started blogging again at the end of May, I don’t know a lot of good blogs. So, forgive me for that!

Anyways, I think it’s time for me to watch some video’s and finish some games. So, I can work hard for college tomorrow and write some new articles for you Neko’s. Thanks for reading and thanks for all the support. Go check out the guys I gave the award too myself. They earn it!

Signed

NekoJonez