Alan Wake Screenshot

Alan Wake is certainly not a terrible title, but it is repetitive and fairly underwhelming—doubly so for a game that's been in development for more than five years. I give credit to the developers for some beautiful environments and a combat style that's sensible and engaging, but it's weak in most other areas. I also have to say that for a game that's been so heavily touted for its story, I found the plot to be poorly-structured and unsatisfying.

(A side note to you preemptive Alan Wake fanboys who've been posting negative remarks on the review: At least have the decency to wait until the game hits retail before tearing my evaluation down. If you've got a reason to disagree with me, I'd love to hear it. Present your case. Tell me your rationale. I'm honestly interested. However, you really don't have a thing to say until you've actually played the game, you "every other site gave it a 9" tossers.)

In other games news, I've been spending a bit of time with Retro (mini) on PlayStation Portable. It's a new take on the old formula where players pilot a ship of some sort through obstacles and caves while struggling against gravity. I think the first game of its type ever played was Solar Jetman way back on the NES, and this isn't much different. However, although it's not reinventing the wheel, it's got a clean presentation and it handles well. If you've got an itch for this sort of thing, I think it will be pretty well scratched.

Also just finished off the Blue Toad Murder Files series on PSN with the wife. My review of the first three (of six) chapters is right here. Although it's lean on gameplay, a few of the puzzles are bogus, and the story isn't as tight as it could be, I admit that I had a soft spot for the dialogue and characters. Some of that stuff just completely cracks me up. The butcher? Pure gold. If the game was a little more robust in terms of how many puzzles were offered and had the multiplayer tweaked, I would have no problem recommending it to others. As it stands, it's fairly flawed, though there's a lot to like if you dig kooky cut scenes.

One final bit on games, I was quite lucky this week and won a copy of Monster Hunter Tri from GameZone in one of their contests.

Though I'm totally in love with the concept of hunting giant monsters, my experience with the original PlayStation 2 Monster Hunter was quite negative and I couldn't possibly conceive of any way the follow-up PSP version could have possibly been worth my time. Even so, I still think the concept is golden and reviews of Tri have been very favorable. I'm really hoping that Capcom has tweaked the formula enough to finally deliver the goods. At this point, I wasn't convinced enough to put my own money down on it, but I will most definitely put a free copy through its paces.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
Brad Gallaway

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8 Comments on "Quick note on Alan Wake review response"

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Edward
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I don’t see why the five year development time has anything to do with people’s expectations. Games are often notoriously late, and if anything, after five years, it doesn’t surprise me Remedy have played it safe. Alan Wake is polished, yes, but it doesn’t reinvent the wheel. Why is anyone surprised?

Krovi
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I played Alan Wake yesterday for a couple of hours and I was really disappointed.

I would expect a much more better title for an exclusive XBOX360 title and a game that has been developed for 5 years.

Anonymous
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“retail blunder” means he pirated it. There’s been copies of it floating around for a while now, sadly.

Li-Ion
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[quote=techRELIC]I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of Alan Wake 2 weeks before launch due to a retail blunder.[/quote] Ok, seems that everyone and his dog got this game ‘somehow’ weeks before release. I don’t buy it, sorry. I’ve never seen a game where so many claimed to have played it already weeks before release, and that reviewers that have something to complain about get it all wrong. On Eurogamer there are now almost 800 comments on the review (rating 7/10, same as EDGE magazines 7/10), and many of them from people who are just missing… Read more »
techRELIC
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I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of Alan Wake 2 weeks before launch due to a retail blunder. Let me preface this by saying that Alan Wake made me feel like a little kid trapped in a dark room with monsters crawling under my bed. I had nightmares. And I loved every minute of it. The nostalgia this brought me back to, the days of Silent Hill and Resident Evil, that isolated feeling, that helpless feeling. Not only the feeling of fear, it was the feeling of immersion. Remedy did an amazing job of making… Read more »
coyls3
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People don’t have to play the game to knock the review. Don’t you remember? You’re a “statistical outlier.” lol

Crofto
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I haven’t always agreed with your reviews Brad, but I do respect that you are one of the very few reviewers who has the courage to review a game exactly as you see it.

Just remember that it’s much better to be hated for reviewing a game low, than it is for rating it too highly.

Dane
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does the word “tosser” have the same meaning in the states as it does here in england? your use of it made me laugh.

to buy alan wake or not too…

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